The Causes and Consequences of Liberal Superiority Complex

Worth Readingby Thomas E. Brewton

Liberal-progressive-socialists, from Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte in the early 1800s and Karl Marx in the mid-1800s, to present-day liberal-progressive members of the Democrat/Socialist Party, have believed as an article of secular religious faith that their superior intellects alone are capable of intuiting the inevitable course of history. Those who disagree with their reading are written off as cranks or imbeciles, unworthy of serious consideration.

For liberal-progressives, apparently, the inevitable triumph of socialism is “settled science” with which all the world’s important people agree.

Read Chris DeMuth’s post on the American Enterprise Institute website.


Gerard Alexander delivered a fine lecture at the American Enterprise Institute last evening, diagnosing a striking feature of contemporary political debate—that liberals regard conservatives as not merely wrong and wrongheaded but illegitimate, dishonest, pathological, and unworthy of being taken seriously. In this view, conservatism is not a philosophy but a conspiracy. Paul Krugman is explicit that conservative policy ideas are, by definition, lies advanced for ulterior purposes. But the assumption is implicit in the haughty rhetoric and actions of a great many liberals, including President Obama.

...many liberals today are also progressives. They believe that the natural course of history is the emergence of secular rationality as the true way to think about problems and of state power as the effective way to organize society along rational lines. If that is your worldview, then such things as revealed religion, cultural tradition, and the marketplace (whose outcomes are spontaneous, not rationalized) are vestiges of our primitive past, sure to be displaced by the spreading application of human reason...President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid are progressives in this sense; many recent Democratic presidential candidates were as well—John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis.

The grip of progressivism is probably the best explanation for the Democratic Party’s astonishing campaign to nationalize the U.S. healthcare sector by all means necessary. This arrogance explains President Obama’s dismissal of opposition to Obamacare with the comment that people will come to recognize national healthcare’s great benefits only after they have experienced them. In the president’s paradigm, those who are not liberal-progressive socialists implicitly are incapable of assessing complex programs with only their own intellects.

Such assessments are best left to liberal-progressives, whose intellects enable them to reach definitive, scientific conclusions without even bothering to read the legislation involved.