There are some very good posts out of late, trying to analyze the motivations, and in some cases, tactics, of the left wing our political spectrum. Both are correct. I would take them a bit farther in some respects.
At Bookworm Room, the author writes:
The author goes on to flush out the point about damaged individuals. They are the footsoldiers of the left. The left invites them to embrace their grievances, nurse them, use those grievances to define themselves. Then they claim moral superiority as victims of society, for which they demand sympathy and obsequence. Woe be unto any person in society who does not provide both for, whenever possible, the left will enlist the police power of the state to punish them.
Near the end of his talk about American communists’ long-term plan (now coming to fruition) to flood America with a permanent Democrat majority through Hispanic amnesty, Trevor Loudon tossed in an interesting throwaway. When someone asked him why Leftists would want to reduce the US to the status of a Latin American banana Republic, he said that, in a conversation with Tammy Bruce (a former hard Leftist herself), she told him “They’re all damaged individuals.” That is, we have a powerful political movement made up of damaged people out for revenge.
At American Digest, where Gerard Van Der Luen invariably looks at the oddities of life from a unique perspective, he opines that the left has taken the seven deadly sins and turned them into left-wing virtues:
Progressive PRIDE: It’s no accident that this word comes up again and again in their writings. It is essential for the Progressive to internalize extreme amounts of Pride. Pride in the self is the single most important element the freed will needs to move God out of the universe entirely and Self into the center. Once Self is in the center and the feeding of Self the most important element of existence, there is effectively no limit on what the Will can demand for the Self. . . .
Progressive ENVY: This is an ancient organizing tool that uses those with less than everything as tools against those who have, well, more. It doesn’t matter if “more” is an second goat, or an extra billion dollars. Thou shalt covet is the commandment here. . . .
Progressive SLOTH: One of the pleasures of being a Progressive is the one never has to actually produce anything of use in the form of innovation and invention. Progressives need only put in place things that impede innovation and invention in the form of excessive laws and continuing and complex regulations and false customs. It is remarkable in this century that one can spend a lifetime making these impediments to prosperity in the media, in academic life, in unions, and in a bureaucratic career, and only rise from reward to greater reward by making those and other careers safer for slackers and lay-abouts. . . .
Progressive LUST: . . . [T]here are endless fully-supported programs that enable sex without any chance of pregnancy and, should avoiding pregnancy prove to be beyond the mental capabilities of the betas, there are subsidized programs for terminating any inconveniences. . . .
Progressive AVARICE: The old joke of the two line IRS form that reads,
HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE? __________________.
SEND IT IN.
seems less and less amusing as it becomes more and more clear that Progressivism is merely the stalking horse for the complete control of private property and assets of the middle class. (Graduation to the “political class” aka “The Party” or “Politburo” grants you and your family a waiver.)
Both BWR and van der Luen are accurate in their assessments of the left and the left's tactics. I'll go just a bit farther in trying to relate my own thoughts.
1. Victim Groups: Marx, in his magnum opus, The Communist Manifesto, claimed in his opening lines that all of history was nothing more than a "history of class struggles" between "oppressor and oppressed." It is an incredibly simplistic, distorted and myopic view of society and history, but it is the one the left has wholly adopted. Thus, the left seeks power by dividing the world into discrete victim's groups, and, as Bookworm Room points out, this draws the traumatized and those who feel wronged like moths to a flame. They become the foot soldiers and captains in the left's war on Western civilization.
2. Moral Superiority: The left claims for themselves moral superiority on behalf of the victim groups. The left uses that to justify harnessing the police power of the state, ostensibly in defense or furtherance of these victim groups. And in order to work fundamental change, the left seeks to punish not merely deed, but thought and speech through the police powers of the state.
Note here the corollary to all of the above. Once the victims groups have served their purpose and the left fully takes power, there are no more victims groups, only the state and enemies of the state.
3. Socio-Economics: The entire focus of the left is on socio-economics. From each according to his means to each according to his needs, as Marx once wrote. A leftist views perfection as equality of outcome, and more particularly, economic outcome. Thus does the left see societal problems and solutions as all rooted in economics. All problems of this nation and, indeed, the world, can be solved with better job opportunities and increased sharing of wealth. It is one of the reasons our modern left has failed in so many ways to actually help the victim groups they claim to champion, yet whose problems largely transcend economics. It's why you have Nicholas Kristoff at the NYT this week bemoaning the fact that the left ignored the Moynihan report half a century ago. And it is why the left is having so much trouble dealing with Iran and Islamic terrorism, none of whose motivations are rooted in economics.
4. Religion As The Enemy: The goal of marxism and the left is to rework society, to uproot it from its historical foundations, and to create a paradise of equality for all on earth. Since the inception of left wing philosophy in the French Revolution, it's adherents have sought, as absolutely necessary for achieving their ends, to drive the Judeo-Christian religion from the public square. The Judeo-Christian religions are inextricably linked to our governing systems, laws and societal structures and provide the basis for Western morality, elevating the sanctity of the individual human life above all. The left wants morality to be determined solely by Government. That can only be accomplished when the Judeo-Christian religion no longer influences our society.
The left relied on the Courts and a bastardized interpretation of the First Amendment to attack the Judeo Christian religion for the past near century. But their greatest weapon has come with "gay rights," given that both Judaism and Christianity view homosexuality as a sin. That tool has been coupled with an expansive version of "women's rights" to include forced taxpayer funding of contraception, to include abortifacients, as a means to attack and marginalize religion in society.
5. Education: Lenin once famously said ""Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." And thus the left has long sought to dominate academia at all levels, to control the curriculum, and to teach left wing values.
6. Family: The basis for society since the dawn of Western civilization has been the family, with it being the parent's responsibility to teach their children values and morality. But the left seeks to intercede, and indeed, limit the role of the family in raising children. This desire to stand in loco parentis is nowhere more apparent than in regards to decisions regarding sex, abortion and birth control, where the left has long sought to completely disengage parents from these decisions, where issues, implicating as they do fundamental morality.
7. Emotion Over Reason: The left relies on emotion over reason, which is perhaps their greatest strength. Oh, left wing academics kill entire forests to add the patina of reason to justify left wing policies. But the reality is that the pull of the left is their emotional appeal to values we all share, even if those values are utterly perverted by the policies the left adopts.
8. Kulaks: The left must have their Kulaks, their groups of implacable enemies and oppressors. For race hustlers, it is white conservatives. For radical feminists, it's the patriarchy. When Obama was pushing Obamacare, it was the insurance companies. For people to feel emotion and certainty of moral purpose, the left must always have an evil oppressor to demonize.
9. Hatred of Western Civilization: Within the larger context of left wing ideology, since it is our nation and Western civilization that the left wishes to co-opt and change, it is our nation as well as Western civilization that is promoted as uniquely evil. Thus do women's rights advocates spend mountains of ink attacking such burning issues as man-spreading on the NY subway while wholly ignoring the complete lack of women's rights in the Islamic world. Thus can Obama excuse Muslim violence against the West by pointing back a thousand years in history to the Crusades. How often can the West be condemned for imperialism before it is noted that virtually every extant nation on earth has engaged in imperialism at one time or another, and that the Muslims have been the most imperialistic and expansionist force in history. When left wing academics condemn Americans for expanding into Indian territory in America, do they ever go back to look at the brutal wars the Indians themselves fought for territory? No, in every case, for the left, nothing excuses the actions of the West, nor does anything rise to the level of sin outside of the West.