On Managerial Elites 4 - The Guilt of the Liberal

On Managerial Elites 4 - The Guilt of the Liberal
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge / Unsplash

Full Title: The Guilt of the Liberal - YouTube
Creator: Academic Agent
Publication Date: February 29, 2020
Series: On Managerial Elites

This video is a reading of an excerpt from James Burnham, Suicide of the West (1964; New York: Encounter Books, 2014), pp. 221-8.


Guilt and Moral Disarmament of Liberals:

  • The guilt insisted in the liberal ideology and psyche leads to moral disarmament
  • Liberals are morally disarmed before those they perceive as less well off
  • The guilt of the liberal is insatiable. They feel they deserve to be punished unceasingly for their infinite crimes.

Manifestation of Guilt in Education:

  • Example of grading disparity at New York University between African American and white students
  • Most of the faculty had no difficulty justifying this "rule" to themselves
  • They felt they were helping students who had difficult backgrounds, home conditions, and potentially had to work on the side as well.
  • This rule remained "unwritten," however
  • It also ends up creating widespread academic fraud

Selective Indignation and Double Standards Towards Acts of Terror and Colonialism:

  • Liberals show selective indignation towards acts of terror committed by different groups
  • Example of liberals protesting French paratroop terror but being muted towards Arab terror
  • Lack of liberal protest against South African Negroes or Angolan revolutionaries
  • Similarly, liberal opinion demands opposition to any and all forms of colonialism from Western countries.
  • But when an "underdeveloped" nation goes colonial, there will be no discussion of this allowed, and no reproval of their actions, no matter how bloody or abusive.

Moral Asymmetry and Condemnation:

  • Liberals find it difficult to condemn groups they perceive as less well off than themselves
  • Feeling of guilt and egalitarian principles prevent liberals from condemning certain acts
  • They will judge their own side strictly, while refusing to judge an outsider civilization due to their perception that it is a "lower" civilization than their own.
  • It really is a bigotry of low expectations.
  • The presuppositions of moral conduct for "the other" is low, and upon them, the liberal takes pity, and they are placed outside of the realm of moral judgement or blame.

Generalized Hatred of Western Civilization:

  • Liberals develop a generalized hatred of Western civilization and their own country due to guilt
  • Hatred is seen in liberal magazines and their response to Western retreats or humiliations
  • They will claim it is "reason" that they are using to come up with their biases, but it really is just their guilt.

Importance of Order and Security in Society:

  • Maintaining order and security is crucial for civilization to exist
  • Society requires a certain rule and order to prevent subversion and destruction
  • At some point, a civilization needs to draw a line on order and security.

Review of Discussion Points:

  • Liberal guilt leads to moral disarmament before those perceived as less well off
  • Grading disparity at New York University highlights the manifestation of guilt in education
  • Liberals show selective indignation and double standards towards acts of terror and colonization
  • Moral asymmetry makes it difficult for liberals to condemn certain groups or acts
  • Generalized hatred of Western civilization develops as a result of guilt
  • Maintaining order and security is crucial for the existence of civilization.


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