by Daniel Greenfield
There is no one that the left hates more than a man who does not hate,
who goes through the day without outrage and who does not spend his life
stewing with vindictive resentments.
Leftists call it “privilege” now. They have called it apathy, escapism and a hundred other things.
They will find a thousand other names for it as they march through the
future centuries grinding their teeth and cursing their country for its
backwardness, their people for their provincialism and their culture for
its mercantilism. But privilege is simply freedom from resentment.
To be of the left is to confuse perpetual outrage with righteousness.
The professional leftist believes that the path to utopia on earth lies
in constantly denouncing thought criminals until they have all been
unthought so that only their kind of ethical and empathetic people walk
Like most utopians, they plan for a utopia that they could never actually live in.
Leftists without grievances are like an army without guns. That is why
leftist experiments in communes dissolved into denunciations, power
grabs and authoritarian rules as soon the drugs ran out. Often even
before. The leftist isn’t seeking freedom from capitalism, religion,
nationalism, racism, sexism, office dress codes, bar codes and any of
the other great evils of the moment. These are just the outrage fuel of
the willfully outraged whose resentment has become both culture and
What he wants is to express an egotistical grievance at a world that is
not built around him. His resentments came before his ideology. They are
in a very real sense his ideology. The idealistic leftist is a passing
phenomenon. He is useful for getting the actual work done while everyone
else shouts. Unless he is very dim, he eventually realizes that and
heads off to volunteer in Africa. The core is the aggrieved leftist
whose grievances merge with his storytelling skills into the compelling
narrative of a narcissist.
The perpetually aggrieved deeply resent those who are oblivious to their
anger. It is the theme that dominates the literature, the music and the
political writings of an infuriated left throwing its anger at a
mindless mass that is perfectly happy collecting paychecks, living in
the suburbs and watching television. It is not their prosperity that the
left hates, but their uncomplicated happiness.
It is this uncomplicated happiness that the left sets out to ruin at all costs.
Leftist activism is drama. It is deliberately destructive and
disruptive. It glories in taking the happy lives of ordinary people and
wrecking them. It plays the part of the troubled sibling, the one who is
driven to destroy the happiness of the rest of the family out of his or
her own willful unhappiness.
Happiness is a choice. It is not dependent on the condition of the
individual, but on his state of mind. The essence of enduring happiness
is a state of stability. Leftist politics are instability incarnate; the
opposite number of happiness. That is why the left acts as the
destroyer of happiness.
The left does not think that anyone should be happy. It is not unhappy
because it is personally enmeshed in suffering. The ideological leaders
of the left tend to come from the upper classes. They know no hunger
except when they are dieting. They experience so few material
shortcomings that they treat poverty as a lifestyle; slumming in poor
areas and showily living on a few dollars a day.
It is the happiness of others that makes the left unhappy. It is
convinced that this happiness is unearned and illegitimate because it
does not take into account how unhappy this happiness makes the left.
Privilege is the accusation that the very lack of resentment and
grievance, neurotic responses to simple phrases and a cloud of
free-floating anger, represents an ignorant oppression. The happy are
only happy at the expense of the unhappy and must recognize the unhappy
privilege of their happiness.
Leftists are missionaries of unhappiness. Their creed is salvation
through anger. Their governing philosophy is to make others miserable in
order to teach them how they have overlooked the misery of others. They
are forever spreading misery around the world for the sake of the
If the left sees anyone being happy, it must immediately set out to ruin
the fun. The simple joy of others turns out to be only a cover for
monstrous abuses that they are determined to make everyone else see. If
it’s an object, it was made by oppressed workers. If it’s a social
group, it’s discriminatory. If it’s food, it makes you sick. If it’s a
sport, it’s abusive. If it’s art, then it’s escapism from the misery the
It is straightforward happiness that the left hates most of all. It is
unable to appreciate anything directly unless it is medicated. It likes
things only askew. It says that it likes bad art and ugly fashions
because it is being ironic. What it really means is that it is only
capable of liking something as a commentary on the absurdity of the
thing and the emotion of liking it. Even its happiness is a critique of
Its joys are as sour as the rest of its nature.
The left views simplicity as dishonest. It is full of secret agendas and
projects this in paranoid fashion. It is always finding the subtext in
everything because it brings the subtext to the table. It is forever
carrying around Rorschach inkblots in its head and shouting about all
the terrible things it sees around it.
Deriving its happiness from the unhappiness of others, the left must see
the destruction of happiness as moral and its victims as immoral.
Happiness is selfish, it insists, while the awareness of how many evils
are hidden beneath the simplistic façade of happiness is ethically
enlightening. And yet its own obsession with destroying the happiness of
others is the selfish way in which the left finds its happiness.
The left is only truly happy when it is destroying something. Its
sublime transcendent moments are revolutionary. Their joy is derived not
from what is being created, but from what is being destroyed. Every
leftist revolution from the reign of Madame Guillotine to Obama’s
election was full of vicious glee at things coming undone. Under the
banner of equality, the left inaugurates inequality. Through calls for
peace, it brings war and with cries of prosperity, it ushers in an age
of terrible poverty.
Unable to create, the left ultimately only destroys. Its creative
energies spring from bitterness. It glories in subversively undermining
the happiness of others, directly and indirectly, but once all the
things that it sought to destroy have been banished, it has nothing more
to offer. Its hatred is sterile. It poison can be artfully disguised as
idealism, humor and passion, but when there is nothing left to attack
or subvert, it shows its true viral form by dying, as every virus that
kills its host must inevitably do.
When the left finally triumphs, its first order of business is a total
ruthless purge of its own professional dissenters because without such a
purge, it would remain in the same dysfunctional state.
The left is satanic in its original sense of ‘antagonist’. It represents
the darker side of human nature. It is the ideology of those who cannot
let their anger go, who gain a perverse enjoyment from their grudges
and define themselves less by what they are for than by what they are
against. Its followers are motivated by an endless resentment that
cannot be appeased because the resentment is their purpose.
It is impossible to meet the left halfway or to compromise with it
because it is not seeking the stable balance that so many conservatives
are. It finds its true purpose in the chaos of conflict. It gains its
meaning in opposition not in co-existence. To compromise with the left
is to rob it of its purpose. And the left pushes back against any such
efforts through renewed bursts of radicalism.
Conservative parties lose when they fail to come to terms with this
antagonistic dynamic and assume their opponents on the left also seek a
stable state that they can find common ground on. Stability is the enemy
of the left. Stability is privilege. Stability is happiness. Stability
is everything that the left despises.
The left has learned to cloak its animosity and destructive aims in
positive rhetoric. It destroys economies, families and freedoms in the
name of equality. Its cheering mobs realize too late that its cause is
not the equality of opportunity, happiness or liberty, but poverty,
misery and slavery.
The left does not redistribute wealth. It redistributes want. It does
not want everyone to share in the happiness of others, but to be
burdened with a larger burden of their miseries.
No compromise can be had with the missionaries of unhappiness. Happiness
can be shared without diminishing its quality, but the division of
misery is the aim of the professionally miserable.
The left has suffered its worst defeats at the hands of the happy
warriors of the right. Its greatest vulnerability is its meanness of
spirit. Its defeat comes when its malaise is contrasted with happiness,
when its deep suspicion of humanity is met with patriotic optimism and
when its alarmist crises are met with laughter.