If you Google the phrase “opposite rule of liberalism” you will arrive upon the world bestriding post from my favorite blogger. The rule described is not really a rule, more like a general observation, like Moore’s Law or the Peter Principle. These are useful guides to understanding some phenomenon, but are not iron laws of nature, like the speed of light.
The simple version of the “opposite rule of liberalism” is to take whatever Progressives are saying about a subject, conjure the opposite and you are at a good starting point for understanding the topic at hand. It’s not always simple as many things don’t have an obvious opposite, but it gets you at a good starting point. It is also a good way to clear the mind of the Progressive cant that defines our age.
A good example of what I mean by “clearing the mind” is in the Iran deal Obama is pushing through Congress. Everyone has been conditioned to think that “conservatives” are motivated by money and “liberals” are motivated by idealism. Bush invades Iraq and it is about oil. Obama makes a deal with Iran and it is about foolishly trusting the mullahs. The debate then ensues within what is an entirely backward framework.
The Bush people did not invade Iraq for oil. They talked endlessly about their Freedom Agenda and how Iraq could be a model for other Arab countries. The plan was to topple Saddam, install a representative democracy and watch an Athenian democracy take root and bloom in the birth place of civilization. The people pushing the invasion of Iraq were not in it for money; they were true believers.
Yet from about 2002 through the end of the Bush years, fanatics were in the streets chanting “no blood for oil.” If you took the opposite of that and assumed the invasion was not for cynical reasons and instead went looking for ideological motivations, you would have quickly discovered that neo-cons had been championing democracy as a palliative to Arab fanaticism since the first Gulf War.
Similarly, that’s what’s happening with Iran. This deal has nothing to do with idealism or naivete. It is a money grab. Iran has massive untapped energy reserves. It also has other natural resources in high demand on world markets. It’s location is also valuable as it can be a stable transport link between the massive oil and gas fields in the south and the European markets to the north.
For over a year, US energy companies have been negotiating with Iran over development deals. I have friends in the region and they have been watching CEO’s from US energy and logistics firms come through Dubai, where negotiations take place. The initial batch of deals is estimated to be $185 billion and that’s just the starting point. The revenues from oil and gas will be pumped into infrastructure and military projects, on contracts to Western firms.
It’s not just oil and gas. Firms like Halliburton will get contracts to build roads, dams, electric plants, you name it. They will, of course, hire people who have the diplomatic connections to help smooth the way to making these deals happen. This is going to be the greatest jobs program for the political class since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That’s not even counting the armaments deals that will follow on in the coming decades.
In opposite land, no one bothers to make this argument. Instead the GOP field carps about how this deal is bad for Israel or terrorism. The Democrats and the media celebrate it as “diplomacy over war.” Executives from ExxonMobile could be walking out of the White House with bags of cash and no one would notice. Everyone is trapped in the opposite land narrative.
It’s tempting to think it is deliberate, but it’s just a byproduct of being ruled by a religious minority. Progressives have been in charge of America for as long as anyone has been alive, so their narrative transcends all public debate. They frame all pubic discussion and define all the terms. Their version of reality is everyone’s version of reality, whether they like it or not.
That’s why we live in opposite land. Progressives, unlike Christians or Jews, have no self-awareness. Instead, they focus entirely on their enemies, real or imagined, as that’s how the Progressive defines himself. They project onto the undifferentiated other all of the things they hate about themselves. After all, one does not join a mass movement or cult to be self-absorbed and independent.
That means extreme right-wing extremists of the most extreme kind are greedy, selfish and callous, even though Progressives are the least charitable people on earth, according to people who track these things. It means normal people are intolerant bigots that must be sued into penury for not following party orders with regards to homosexuals, all in the name of tolerance.