The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

The Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism


The book “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness” by Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr. M.D. is about the psychological basis of the Progressives/Leftists mindset, and human nature and human freedom. Although the book was published in 2006, the Liberal Agenda has become more pronounced and easily understood by the words and deeds of today's “Progressives/Leftists”. All should read this book to understand the liberal mindset and its psychological basis, as stated From the Preface:

“This book is about human nature and human freedom, and the relationship between them. Its contents are an outgrowth of my life-long interest in how the mind works. That interest, beginning at about age twelve, eventually led me to careers in clinical and forensic psychiatry and to the particular access these disciplines provide to human psychology. Disorders of personality have been a special focus of this interest. First in clinical practice and then in forensic evaluations, I have had the opportunity to study the nature of personality and the factors which affect its development. The practice of forensic psychiatry has permitted an especially close look at the manner in which all mental illnesses, including personality disorders, interact with society's rules for acceptable conduct. These rules, both civil and criminal, largely define the domains of human freedom and the conditions that ground social order.

Historically, of course, western ideas about freedom and social order have come from fields quite distant from psychiatry: philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence, history, theology, economics, anthropology, sociology, art and literature, among others. But the workings of the human mind as understood by psychiatry and psychology are necessarily relevant to these disciplines and to the social institutions that arise from them. This book is an attempt to connect mechanisms of the mind to certain economic, social and political conditions, those under which freedom and order may flourish. Although I have made strenuous efforts to follow where reason leads, I have not written this book out of intellectual interest alone. My intent has been more "generative" than that, to use one of Erik Erikson's terms. It has, in fact, grown out of a deep concern for the future of ordered liberty. In their efforts "to form a more perfect Union," America's founding fathers intended, as the Preamble tells us, to establish justice, insure peace, provide for the nation's defense, promote its general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. But the entire twentieth century, and the dawn of the twenty-first, have witnessed modern liberalism's relentless attacks on all of these goals and on all of the principles on which individual liberty and rational social order rest. Although they are strikingly deficient in political substance, these attacks have nevertheless been successful in exploiting the psychological nature of man for socialist purposes. To counter the destructiveness of these attacks requires a clear understanding of the relationship between human psychology and social process. It is my hope that this book makes at least a small contribution to that purpose.

Progressive/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders believe that they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior they are, of course, always correct. In fact, they are neither of these things. If they were more intelligent, then they could rationally and reasonably discuss their political goals and policy agendas. Instead, they often resort to the tactic of "Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage (The Three D's)" their opponents when defending their positions, which demonstrates that they are bereft of intelligence. As for their better education, given the state of American education today where indoctrination is more prevalent than education, as I have written in my article, “Indoctrination versus Education”, this is nothing to boast about. Moral superiority requires the recognition of everybody’s Natural Rights that Western Civilization has spent several millennia trying to delimit. In Chapter 47, ‘The Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism” there is a section, ‘The Liberal Agenda as an Evil’, that contradicts this claim of moral superiority and that they are in fact morally inferior in not outright evil. Also, in Chapter 47, the section ‘Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism’ establishes that they are not correct. These sections are:

The Liberal Agenda as an Evil

Unfortunately the history of radical liberalism’s attempts to fulfill this promise has been one of stunning failure. The radical agenda by any other name—communism, socialism, collectivism, progressivism, welfarism—has invariably resulted in large-scale social decline. The reasons are not hard to find. Once translated into social policy, radical liberalism immediately comes into conflict with the defining characteristics of human nature: its capacities for rational choice, will, agency, autonomy, initiative, purpose, recognition, morality, industry, identity and competence. It then proceeds to undermine the essential virtues of civilized freedom: good will, good purpose, self-reliance, cooperation, mutuality and accountability. Further, the radical agenda violates all of the rights at the core of ordered liberty, presumes to repeal the laws of economics, condemns the traditions essential to civil society, and applauds banality as it snubs excellence. Unearned rewards and unpunished crimes endorsed by the radical agenda corrupt the people’s sense of justice. In support of secularism, the agenda attacks the religious foundations of morality and altruism and replaces faith in God with idolatry of government.

Radical liberalism thus assaults the foundations of civilized freedom, and for that reason it is a genuine evil. Further, given its irrational goals, coercive methods and historical failures, and given its perverse effects on human development, there can be no question of the radical agenda’s madness. Only an irrational agenda would advocate a systematic destruction of the foundations on which ordered liberty depends. Only an irrational man would want the state to run his life for him rather than create secure conditions in which he can run his own life. Only an irrational agenda would deliberately undermine the citizen’s growth to competence by having the state adopt him. Only irrational thinking would trade individual liberty for government coercion, then sacrifice the pride of self-reliance for welfare dependency. Only an irrational man would look at a community of free people cooperating by choice and see a society of victims exploited by villains.

Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism

In a competent society the principles of ordered liberty guide the citizen throughout the life cycle. They inform him and his children and the community of the rules by which human beings make good lives for themselves. Because the rights, laws and duties of the competent society are all of a piece and reflect the bipolar nature of man, the entire ensemble of individual citizen, family, community, society and institutions forms a coherent whole in support of life, liberty, social cooperation and the pursuit of happiness. Under the rules that govern ordered liberty, the human organism and its physical and social environment are in harmony to the maximum extent possible given the turbulent nature of man.

By contrast, a society organized under radical liberalism comes into immediate conflict with the bipolar nature of man and with the rights, laws and duties needed for human beings to live in peace and freedom. Rather than coordinating the life of the individual citizen with the institutions of his society, radical liberalism sets individuals and institutions into perpetual conflict with each other through its rhetoric of class warfare and victimization, its violations of personal freedom through confiscatory taxation and invasive regulation, its attacks on family integrity, and the endless bungling of government bureaucracy.

To eradicate this madness requires two insights and an educational campaign. The first insight consists in the realization that radical liberalism is in fact a form of madness. That proposition has been argued throughout the present work. The second insight consists in a showing of the myriad ways in which liberal madness manifests itself. That insight, too, has been illustrated in this book with numerous examples. The educational campaign, if implemented, would attempt to disseminate these insights and rebut the madness of liberal policies. To that end, it is important to note the extent to which radical liberalism’s avowed purposes diverge from its real world effects.

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More information about this book can be viewed at his website The Liberty Mind,. Although the book was published in 2006, the Liberal/Progressive/Leftist Agenda has become more pronounced and easily understood by the words and deeds of today's "Progressives/Leftists" and the Democrat Party. These political goals and policy agendas are antithetical to our American Ideals and should frighten any person who believes in “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. Consequently, it is the duty and responsibility of freedom-loving Americans to actively oppose Progressives and Leftists and the Democrat Party, for the purposes of retaining our freedoms and liberties. This book inspired me to create articles that are extractions from this book. I would suggest that you read these articles in the following order to obtain the essence of this book:

  • The Liberal Mind Overview - This article is an overview of the three sections of this book, which I have titled: I – The Nature of Man, II – The Development to Adulthood, and III – The Adult Liberal.
  • The Liberal Mindset – This article is the author's selections from the book that highlight the major topics of the book.
  • The Two Liberal Minds Beliefs (this article) - This article defines two types of liberals: ‘The Benign Liberal’ and ‘The Radical Liberal’ and their different viewpoints and perspectives.
  • The Liberal Manifesto Major Principles - The section “The Liberal Manifesto: Major Principles” from Chapter 35 examines their political goals and policy agendas of today's Progressives/Leftists and the Democrat Party. I have excerpted this section of the book for your review and consideration.
  • The Liberal Integrity and Treatment - The Chapter 48 section, ‘Integrity and Treatment’, has the best explanation of the difference between the Liberal and Conservative mindset that I have ever encountered. I have excerpted four sections of this chapter of the book for your review and consideration, and as a basis for understanding the psychological nature of the political divides that are occurring in America today.
  • The Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism (this article) – The Chapter 47 sections, ‘The Liberal Agenda as an Evil’, and ‘Ideal and Reality in Radical Liberalism’ contradicts the claims of moral superiority and correctness that The Liberal Mind so often self-proclaims.