It is not just in Iraq that the political left has an investment in failure. Domestically as well as internationally, the left has long had a vested interest in poverty and social malaise.
The old advertising slogan, "Progress is our most important product," has never applied to the left. Whether it is successful black schools in the United States or Third World countries where millions of people have been rising out of poverty in recent years, the left has shown little interest.
Progress in general seems to hold little interest for people who call themselves "progressives." What arouses them are denunciations of social failures and accusations of wrong-doing.
One wonders what they would do in heaven.
We are in no danger of producing heaven on earth but there have been some remarkable developments in some Third World countries within the past generation that have allowed many very poor people to rise to a standard of living that was never within their reach before.
The August 18th issue of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist" reveals the economic progress in Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American nations that has given a better life to millions of their poorest citizens.
Some of the economic policies that have led to these results are discussed in "The Economist" but it is doubtful that members of the political left will stampede there to find out what those policies were.
Go on! Take a wild stab at whether those policies involved allowing the "selfish" free market to operate; or whether they represented the latest in "selfless" tyranny.
Sowell goes on to note:
Despite whatever the left may say, or even believe, about their concern for the poor, their actual behavior shows their interest in the poor to be greatest when the poor can be used as a focus of the left's denunciations of society.
When the poor stop being poor, they lose the attention of the left. What actions on the part of the poor, or what changes in the economy, have led to drastic reductions in poverty seldom arouse much curiosity, much less celebration.
In "The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of Today's Left", I wrote:
What we have witnessed over the 30- 45 years since the Left ascended to dominate political thought in the mid 20th century, is its rapid and unprecedented decline into wholesale intellectual and moral bankruptcy. The noble values and ideals they once stood for have been abandoned; and almost as if a surreal cosmic joke was being played on them, they have—without even noticing!-- embraced the exact opposite of what they once stood for.
Where once they stood for freedom; they now enable dictatorships and apologize for tyrants. Where once they sought to bring justice to the world; they now defend horrific acts of mass murder and enslavement. Where once they rightly demanded equal opportunity, they have embraced all kinds of racial quotas and discriminatory practices and demand equality of outcome. Where once they sought to empower the weak; they are now instrumental in maintaining and expanding their victimhood.
After all, how can you be a “champion of the oppressed” unless you maintain and nurture an oppressed class that will always require your services to help them?
This rather obvious fact, of course, goes a long way to explaining the rather peculiar attitude that the Left has toward any members of its various victim groups who actually escape victimhood and become successful, achieving and independently thinking adults! The previously altruistic and idealistic worldview is now merely a narcissistic one—and a malignantly narcissistic one at that—wholly preoccupied with the possession and retention of power for an elite few.
What was once a concern that equal opportunity be afforded to all members of our society has run amok and is now a shrill, insistent demand that all outcomes be exactly equal... or else.
Intellectual and moral bankruptcy results from deliberately ignoring the actual consequences of one's beliefs in the real world, and being more concerned with the self-righteousness of one's cause and feeling good about one's self.
And that is why the political left is regressive, rather than progressive. As for "reality-based"....the only time they see reality is when they look in their rear view mirror to watch it recede away from them.