Frida : Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

Sorry about the somewhat provocative subject line, but I did seriously want to discuss why it is that so many of history's great artists and thinkers have been quite liberal and what we would call left-leaning today, in their politics?

I suspect it is that liberals, by their very name and nature, are more open to new ideas and experiences and channel that into their work.

"My name is Jerry and this is my associate Cornelius"

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

Most actors, artists and intellectuals in America today are also liberal. It probably has something to do with the arts being steeped in humanism, as opposed to being concerned with post-Christian constructions like morality and the afterlife. Progressiveness is always sexier!

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

There are several great philosophers who are conservative i.e. Kant. Although I do not agree with his way of thinking I believe he is brilliant nonetheless.

Pope John Paul was incredible with his philosophical arguments against abortion and he did not use religion as a reason against it.

Leftists/liberals are not typically religious so they tend to find some other sort of explaination without relying on the "god made it that way" approach. Rightwing conservatives often believe in order and that things are done a certain way. Liberals believe that things are open to interpretation which allows the views, readers, etc. to make up their own answers.

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

The funny thing is that even the "conservative"/"right-wing" artists, writers, philosophers, scientists etc. are quite usually very unorthodox, unconventional and libertine people. For example, many have questioned their religious upbringing and endorsed "alternative" worldviews and religions. Many have had radical ideas, employed radical artistic styles in their work and ended up living a bohmian life. Many have had eccentric, arcane and obscure interests. Some have been drug users, drunkards and homosexuals.

Some "right-wing eccentrics" include Savitri Devi and Ren Gunon (combined right-wing ideas with Hinduism and Islam), Julius Evola, Miguel Serrano and Mircea Eliade (combined right-wing ideas with occultism and Jungian psychology), Yukio Mishima (death-obsessed homosexual and Japanese extreme nationalist), Ernst Jnger (German political radical, early Nazi supporter, later Nazi resister and an LSD enthusiast) and H. P. Lovecraft, Louis-Ferdinand Cline and even the young Adolf Hitler, who all exemplify the struggling bohmian artist stereotype, producing unconventional works and living on the edges of society.

I don't think that has anything to do with the assessment of "conservative" and "liberal" political thought as such, i.e. the fact that the production of conservative thinking seems to require somewhat unconventional and libertine attitudes to life does not mean that "liberal outlook" really has more weight attached to it. Many such "libertine conservatives" I've described recognize the tragic and dualist nature of human essence and consider themselves and the others alienated by the very same modernism which made their thinking possible. They bemoan the loss of innocence, the death of Lyotardian Great Narratives. They are self-consciously living the civilization stage of Oswald Spengler's cultural lifecycle.

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

To answer your question completely would take an entire book, but I will jot down a couple of ideas on the topic that you may consider or discard as you see fit.

Many famous artists - notice I said famous, not "great" - are liberals, and it should not surprise anyone as there have always been and I suppose there always will be liberals in any given society. As to your assertion that there are "so many", and assuming that you meant it in the sense that a person who is (or was) liberal has a greater chance of being famous as an artist or thinker, I would suggest that "greatness" or fame depends more on the era in which that person happened to be born rather than an objective result of liberal ideology.

To put it another way, art is subjective. Different persons will differ over whether a famous artist is "great" or not. For instance, Diego Rivera is undoubtedly a famous artist, but I do not consider him a great artist. In fact, as he grew older, his art played second fiddle to his politics. As history begins to show the lie in Marx/Lenin/Trotskyist ideology, his paintings appear even more grotesque to my sensibilities.

Lastly, you suggest - as an answer to your own question - a common misconception of liberalism: that it is "more open to new ideas and experiences" than conservatism or other competing -isms. This is a misconception because most, if not all, humans are essentially open to new ideas and experiences - regardless of their ideological bent. Paradoxically, it is also true that most, if not all, humans are essentially close-minded as well. Liberals are just as close-minded about their core values as any other group of humans. If that last statement were not true, politics in the United States and elsewhere would not be so divisive because liberals would be truly and amazingly "open-minded" to ideas other than their own.

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

Famous of great, it`s hard to come up with artists in either category who would be considered conservative in their political or social ideas.

You say liberals in America are not open to the ideas of those on the Right, but I said they were more open to new ideas and experiences. By definition, conservatives hold views that are long established, and do not favour change.

"My name is Jerry and this is my associate Cornelius"

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

You say liberals are more "open to new ideas." What new ideas?

I bet for every "new" idea you propose, I can find a historical precedent. And, in most cases, I can't show you how and why it failed.

Liberal people have good hearts. I have no dispute with their goodness and admirable intentions. Where I disagree is with their interpretation of human nature and their unwillingness to avow that there is a fundamentally "dark side" that will never be irradicated from within us. Liberal policy tends to enslave even as it works for social justice. There is an internal paradox to liberalism that will never be resolved, and so each liberal victory contains within itself the seeds of its defeat: liberalism praises diversity and accepts new ideas but it posits no moral foundation for any of its ideas which leads to the eventual corruption of its mission as unrepressed (if they were repressed, then that "liberal" society would be coercive as well) and destructive ideas take over a population with no moral compass.

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

People with an higher IQ are more capable to break new ground, to feel empathy, to be creative and to challenge old traditions. Studies show that there is a correlation between a higher IQ and (in the context of evolutionary biology) the new concepts of liberal thinking and scrutinize religious, traditional and decrepit structures.

So people with a strong conservative and traditional mindset as well as religious zealots are in general less capable of doing great new art or think outside the box.



Why Liberals Are More Intelligent Than Conservatives:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201003/why-liberals-are-more-intelligent-conservatives

Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact:
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/01/04/0956797611421206.abstract

Right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2095549/Right-wingers-intelligent-left-wingers-says-controversial-study--conservative-politics-lead-people-racist.html

Socialists and conservatives may be born not made:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/jan/31/socialists-conservatives-born-not-made

Green and Lib Dem voters are cleverest, says research:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2008/nov/03/greenpolitics-liberaldemocrats

Re: Why are the left and liberals so great generally?

This is a bit of a digression, but it should be pointed out that Frida Kahlo wasn't a liberal; she was a communist, which is a separate political category, though it shares the same origins as liberalism.

Liberalism is an ideology based on private property, the market economy, individualism and idealist humanism. It begins from the standpoint of "individual liberty", which begins with the right of the individual to own private property. It's an ideology born out of the bourgeois revolutions that brought the capitalist social order into being.

Communism is a socialist ideology that rejects private property and the market economy, that rejects the capitalist social order and the bourgeoisie as a class, and advocates a society based on collective ownership of the means of production and the wealth produced therefrom. Something that Stalin said in his work "Anarchism or Socialism" is just as well applied to liberalism. He said that anarchism begins from the standpoint of "everything for the individual", whereas socialism is "everything for the masses". The collective comes first and the individual second (though this is not to say, as anti-communists claim, that the individual is eliminated altogether; only that the rights of the individual depend on the rights of the collective, and only with the liberation of the collective is the liberation of the individual truly possible; in liberal capitalist society, liberty depends on wealth and those without wealth are not truly free even if they have the same rights on paper).
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