Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Morally Righteous

Related to the previous comment about language and culture.  Occupy Democrats is calling Obama's executive order "morally righteous" today (comparing it to Eisenhower's desegregation order).  Not so very long ago, the more-extreme liberal would snigger at anything claiming to be righteous, as that sort of moral certainty is impossible. From late in my college career until about a decade ago, that would have been the case (though the belief in their moral certainty remained intact.  One just didn't say so.) "Righteous" was a word of mockery. "Moral" was sometimes admitted, but could also have an eye-roll attached to it.

Words change.


RichardJohnson said...

My perspective as someone who left the Left is that there has always been a strong element of self-righteousness to the Left.[We are the Folk Song Army, every one of us CARES...] For many of the Left, who have left formal religion, there is still a need to be considered one of the elect.[Read Joseph Borrum.] They accordingly define their sociopolitical stances as taking a stance against evil, against those evil racist bigoted right wingers, doncha' know.

By labeling an executive order as "morally righteous" they are simply making the implicit explicit. Some have called Obama the light bringer. Is not the light bringer morally righteous?

Texan99 said...

If you're going to break the law, you have to say something, right? If it's not going to be "what're you gonna do about it?" there's not too much left besides "Yes, but I'm following a Higher Law."

Earl Wajenberg said...

I can't see that I've ever seen a lot of difference between left and right in self-righteousness quotient, just in the grounds they assume for it.

But it is interesting that moral relativism seems to be dying. I suppose it's a casualty of the current polarization. It's hard to be relativist when you feel yourself in a life-or-death struggle with Evil.

james said...

They may have left the old formal religions, but I'm not so sure they are irreligious. For the old Marxists the Party provided a center for understanding the world, a purpose and meaning for their lives, an eschatology, even a kind of theodicy to explain why so many eggs had to be sacrificed for the Omelet.

The new ones still seem to worship an idealized state, though the details of the dogma change somewhat with each new prophetic vision telling what the next purity requirement is.

Earl Wajenberg said...

I dislike both extremes, but I want to note that the mirror religion on the right seems to be the worship of the Invisible Hand proclaimed by Adam Smith.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The right has enormous difficulty separating Christian Culture, American Style from Historical Teachings of Christ. Is that worse, or better than the Left editing the teachings of Christ? That latter aims higher, but I think falls lower thereby.