“Let justice be done, though the heavens fall!”
(This is the third in a series of posts relating to the contemporary political scene in the United States. I’d originally intended there only be two posts in this series, but addressing issues at the progressive side of politics needed more comment. I’ve had plenty to say about the authoritarian character of conservatives.)
The above phrase was much favored by the philosopher Immanuel Kant and, it would seem, those people I previously described as “cry baby” progressives. There is a certain thrilling nobility to the sentiment; or, at least, that’s how it might first appear to people driven by ideology and indifferent to consequences. This is made evident by the regular as clockwork whining by such progressives (because they didn’t get everything they wanted, the instant they wanted it, exactly the way they wanted it) about what the cry-babies pejoratively refer to as “lesser-of-two-evils-ism.” I’ve seen some people – I believe the Green party candidate Jill Stein is one, but I didn’t save the URL and wouldn’t dignify it with a link if I had saved it – claim something to the effect that this oogity-boogity “lesser-of-two-evils-ism” is “anti-democratic” (regardless of the fact that it won far more votes than the alternative of Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum. Evidently, for these cry-babies, not getting everything they wanted, the instant they wanted it, exactly the way they wanted it, is “anti-democratic.”) So it would seem that these cry-baby progressives would rather burn the world to a cinder, because obviously that always makes things better. Just look at how Shrub … er, I mean, Bush Jr. … advanced progressive causes with his programs. (And who cares about the upwards of one million – that’s 1,000,000 – Iraqis who died to justify our infantile self-righteousness.) Because, after all … Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum.
But how much “justice” can really be on the agenda when one is prepared to let the world be reduced to rubble on no other account than that it failed to provide perfect justice instantly, right here, right now? Cry-baby progressives often talk about “revolution,” but they seldom if ever talk about hard work. (The overwhelming majority of progressives who do talk about hard work, about incremental change, and about such things as the long bend in the “arc of the universe,” strangely never find themselves welcomed to the cry-babies’ club meetings.) The condemnatory language with which certain progressives use the “lesser-of-two-evils-ism” terminology is intended to hide from you the fact that the alternative is the GREATER-of-two-evils. But these cry-baby progressives do not want to deal with this fact; rather they want to dazzle you with fantastical promises that amount to winning the lottery in a single stroke without even purchasing a ticket. “We must reject the system!” is their rallying cry, raised in voices loud enough to drown out anyone wondering how they plan to replace that system, especially when any effort to make that system better is just too hard to contemplate. Justice never comes without hard work, and hard work only ever makes things a little bit better at a time. But these folks do not want “a little bit” – they want it all, and they want it now. Continue reading →