The Psychodynamics of the Radical Liberal Mind
The first step toward an in-depth understanding of adult behavior is to comprehend its origins in childhood. Whether adaptive or maladaptive, the enduring patterns of thinking, emoting, behaving and relating that define adult personality begin in the early years of life. In fact, our earliest experiences with caretakers and others, acting on inherited temperament factors, strongly determine our later personality traits, including those expressed in political values and beliefs.
The dispositions of the liberal mind are no exception: his hopes and fears, beliefs and passions, values and morals are in great measure the legacy of his childhood from birth through adolescence. The traits that define who he is are the traits that lead him to pursue particular goals in the political arena and to use particular methods to achieve them.
The radical liberal mind’s goals are now familiar, of course, but another brief summary will prove useful in highlighting their essentially childlike nature. Just noted were the grandiose goals of providing for everyone’s material welfare and healthcare, protecting everyone’s self-esteem correcting all social and political disadvantages, educating all citizens, and eliminating all class distinctions.
In his pursuit of these goals, he intends to construct a universal human family, one united in bonds of mutual love, concern, caretaking and tolerance. Through drastic government action the radical liberal seeks the following:
1. A powerful parental government to provide everyone with a good life and a caring presence
2. An elite corps of surrogate parents that will manage the lives of the people through approximately equal distributions of goods and services, just as real parents provide equally for the needs of their children
3. A guarantee of material security from the state, similar to that which a child expects from his parents
4. A form of parental social justice that cures or mitigates all states of deprivation, inequality, suffering and disadvantage
5. A guarantee that negative rights for the protection of individual liberty will yield to positive rights that reduce or eliminate inequalities of wealth, social status and power, just as good parents would balance benefits to their children
6. Government laws that will punish the “haves” for their excesses and compensate the “have-nots” for the pangs of envy, just as good parents would do for their children
7. Government directives from wise and caring officials that channel the citizen’s initiative and industry through social programs and tax incentives, just as wise parents determine the directions of the family’s labors
8. Government policy that instructs the people in how to relate to each other politically, just as good parents instruct their children in how to conduct themselves properly
9. Permissive laws passed by sympathetic legislators that lower the obligations of contracts, ease codes of acceptable conduct, and relax the burdens of established institutions such as marriage and adoption procedures, just as indulgent parents would do
10. Government welfare programs that free the citizen-child from the duties of altruism, just as parents do
11. An international caring agenda that will enhance the family of nations by understanding everyone’s hardships, tolerating destructive actions by others, and empathizing with aggressors to bring them to the negotiating table, just as good parents do in resolving family disputes