Way back in the olden thymes, I was going back and forth with a liberal acquaintance about a topic related to his cult’s recent fixation on diversity. I no longer recall the details of the conversation, but at some point he said, “The reason we moved to Arlington was so our child could experience diversity.” He was speaking of Arlington Massachusetts, one of the whitest places on earth. He had moved to honkeyville, but he had somehow convinced himself that it was a rainbow community of racial and ethnic diversity.
Being a polite person, I laughed in his face. There are limits to civility. I doubt he has ever forgiven me for not only laughing at the ridiculous claim, but then proceeding to point out the demographic reality of his new home. Arlington is roughly 85% white and 10% Asian and those Asians will be college professors and professionals. The tiny black and Hispanic population is clustered in one area of town. You can drive around the place all day and never see a brown face that is not riding a lawnmower or leaf blower.
Now, I have no doubt that my former acquaintance and his Progressive hive-mates glorified one another on a regular basis for their embrace of diversity. You can bet they swapped stories about how their kid had a black friend at school or about their supposed friendship with the Muslim coworkers. He actually tried that one on me once. Because it was nothing but virtue signalling, they never faced any push-back. In fact, they got nothing but confirmation from their hive mates, so their delusions were always reinforced.
When people outside the hive wonder how people in the hive can believe the nonsense about diversity and the blank slate, it is important to keep in mind the power of magical thinking. They want this stuff to be true, so they tend to gravitate toward others who have the same fantasies. It is exactly how cults work. The doubt or concern of one member becomes a reason for the rest to double up on their belief. Progressives are people in search of purpose and identity, so they tend to clump together for support.
Whether you call it self-delusion, magical thinking, wishful thinking or whatever, this is powerful juju. My old Progressive acquaintance was not phased by my mockery or the facts I later sent him. In fact, he has only grown more deluded over the years. He’s now one of those old guys who still wears an “I’m With Her” t-shirt and tells people he is a moderate libertarian. It’s not that he is a liar or crazy, it’s that he so desperately wants this image he has of himself to be true, that he has convinced himself it is fact.
It is not just lefty cult members who are prone to self-delusion. Magical thinking is just the grease that makes the gears of life turn smoothly for people. All of us engage in some degree of it. In fact, it may be a requirement of leadership. Read the biographies of great leaders and you almost always find that they had an extreme over-confidence in their abilities. Often, they believed it was their destiny to achieve greatness. It was what pushed them to conquer the world or accomplish some great contribution to humanity.
At the same time, over-the-top belief in some cause is the driving force behind the great evils of history. Stalin was not mindlessly evil. He believed he was on the side of the righteous, just as the Nazis, Chinese communists and other murderous movements of the last century believed they were on the side of good. The Allies in World War II incinerated cities full of women and children, in order to break the will of the other side, because they thought they were fighting a just cause. The self-righteous make the best killers.
The power of self-delusion is not just the belief in some cause, but belief in the face of available evidence. It’s the conflict between the delusion and reality that is the chemical reaction, releasing energy the believers harness. The American Left refers to themselves as the “resistance” even though they are in complete control. It seems that the greater the gap between observable reality and the delusion, the more fanatical the believer. That conflict between reality and the delusion releases energy in relation to its contrast.
This is a useful thing to keep in mind when dealing with lefty relations. Your well-intended efforts to break the spell, only serve to make it stronger. It is counter intuitive, but the best thing you can do for a deluded friend or relative is to act disinterested. If you argue with them, they see that as proof they are speaking truth to power. If you agree with them, even on a small point, they see that as confirmation. Indifference throws water on that chemical reaction and robs them of the energy to carry on in the face of reality.
This is why the Left forces everyone to pick a side. For example, you cannot be indifferent to the various crotch fads. You are either enlightened or a homophobe, open minded or a gender-normative bigot. There can be no middle ground, because the delusion that fuels these causes depends upon the conflict. The indifferent are the black swans of the delusional. It’s not simply hive-mindedness. It is a need for the conflict between their beliefs about themselves and the reality of the world in which those beliefs conflict.