Part Two: Breaking Eggs to Make Utopia
(For Part One, go here)
Since Rousseau Leftist thought has held that man is basically good, and that in his primitive state man is basically noble. That social forces, particularly civilization, have twisted man’s generous nature. That in his “natural”, primitive state men shared all the world’s bounty in common. Rousseau felt that the concept of “private property” was the source of much of man’s evils:
“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.” 
In this, Rousseau presaged Marx.
The political left exists in a world of their minds; a world of their own imaginings that bears only tangential resemblance to reality. Much of leftist thinking involves ignoring or rejecting the realities of the world that is, in favor of a Utopian world they imagine is or seek to create.
But there are benefits to dreaming of a better world, so long as one sees the world in which they live with clear eyes.
“Some men see things the way they are and ask, “Why?” I dream things that never were, and ask “Why not?” George Bernard Shaw (not Robert Kennedy) brilliantly encapsulates here the thinking of those on the Left. It’s a lovely thought, and indeed, dreamers are often the vanguard of progress.
Leftism appeals to the young and the romantic because it sees and dreams of a better world than that in which we live. It sees a world in which all men live selflessly in communal harmony, as Rousseau envisioned our primitive ancestors. That if private property, the source crimes, wars, and murders, can be abolished; then so will these evils.
It is an old argument, “nature or nurture”: whether man’s character is a byproduct of his upbringing and experiences, or if man’s nature is ingrained. The Left tends to believe that man is born a tabula rasa, a blank slate. That if man is just properly educated, inculcated, and indoctrinated in correct thinking he will become the “perfect socialist man”.
But the very trait that makes leftism so attractive to young dreamers is the source of its propensity to violence.
Neurotics create castles in the sky; psychotics live in them: It is an old joke in psychiatric medicine. And as any psychiatrist will tell you, confronting the delusions of a lunatic will often elicit a violent response.
The left creates castles in the sky, and attempts to not only live in them, but to make the rest of us do so as well. When confronted by the reality of the world as it is, the reaction is often a violent rejection.
At its heart, the problem is one of man’s very nature.
Humans are not born tabula rasa, a blank slate. We have certain traits that are nearly universal in our collective natures. For example, we love our children; we prefer the company of family and friends and people like ourselves; and we are motivated most commonly and successfully to labor for our own or our family’s profit. We also are born with natures that are unique to each, giving us natural born talents and tendencies. Some are naturally more aggressive, some naturally less. Some are naturally gregarious, while others tend to melancholy. Were all men born tabula rasa, then genetically identical twins raised by the same parents would turn out as near to carbon copies of each other as is possible. But anyone who has known twins will tell you that this is far from the case.
What humans are not is ants or bees. Men do not labor selflessly for the “collective good”. While some can be educated to think such selflessness is virtue (and perhaps it is), it is not ingrained in our nature. And when such selflessness conflicts with our basic need to labor for our own or family’s profit, man will opt to labor for himself before others unless forced to do otherwise.
It is only by force or coercion that the left has ever been able to force men to live the life of the “perfect socialist man”; which is akin to that of the ant or the bee. And it is only by force and coercion that leftist regimes can create and maintain some semblance of the utopia they envision.
To the left any means is justifiable in pursuit of their better world. As they live in a world of moral relativism, there is nothing wrong in using immoral means to achieve a moral goal. In telling lies about their opponents, they advance a greater truth. No calumny or slander is too great if it destroys those that stand in their way.
“What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” (Robert Kennedy)
If in creating their utopia the left destroys men’s lives, they justify it in that they are saving mankind.
As Lenin famously said, one cannot make omelets without first breaking a few eggs.
Part 3: Utopian Visions Lead to Bloody Revolutions
- Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. Contrary to popular opinion, Rousseau never used the term “noble savage”. However the concept and character of primitive man as the “noble savage” was alive in France from the 16th century, when first articulated by Jacques Cartier speaking of the Iroquois, and Michel de Montaigne speaking of the Tupinamba.