Dan Greenfield has another brilliant essay which identifies precisely the absurd intellectual underpinnings of the left’s only-too-successful moral jiu-jitsu.
The rhetoric of equality asserts a just cause while overlooking the social good. Rights are demanded. The demand is absolute and the logic for it remains left behind in a desk drawer on the wrong side of the table. Instead there are calls for empathy. “If you only knew a gay couple.” Hysterical condemnations. “I’m pretty sure you’re the devil”, one recent email to me began. And a whole lot of vague promises about the good things that will follow once we’re all paying for it.
We aren’t truly moving toward anarchy or some libertarian order, but a calculated form of repression in which shrill demands substitute for legal guidelines and those who scream the loudest get the most rights.
The new freedoms are largely random and chaotic. Donate enough money to the right people while helping out the left and a special addition to the marriage split-level house will be carved out for you. Why? Because there will be a lot of yelling. Naturally. And if the polygamists yell loudly enough and donate enough money, they’ll get their own marriage expansion as well because that is how things work now.
There is no longer a fixed notion of rights. The trappings of equality and angry causes are hollow. The legal doctrine on which courts make their decisions are targets in search of arrows, emotions hunting around for precedents to wrap them in. These decisions are not rational, but rather rationalizations. Their only anchor is a new role for government in protecting any group that is officially marginalized.
The old Bill of Rights extended rights irrespective of group membership. The new one wipes out universal rights and replaces them with particular privileges. Entire amendments may sink beneath the waves, but a few groups get comfortable deck chairs on the Titanic.
Why is one group protected rather than another? Why do gay activists get a government-bonded right, complete with Federal enforcement, while polygamy is outlawed? The only answers are rationalizations. With morality sinking fast and few common values that the people in charge will accept, there is no longer a common value system to rely on.
Progressive morality is constantly being reshaped in tune to the whims of the left. It can’t be relied upon, because it isn’t there. The only thing fixed about it is the need to fight for the oppressed, which not coincidentally at all is also the shaky civil rights era legal doctrine on which the whole modern house of cards rests.