Projection, the tactic of accusing one’s enemies of one’s own flaws, seems to be a near-universal constant of collectivist propaganda. Behind approximately 90% of collectivist attacks lies a projection, something that the believer is trying to hide about his own belief system. Religionists accuse us of having no clear morals, of rejecting god due to immorality, of being intolerant, and of being unable to find purpose in materialistic reality. All of these are projections of the major flaws of religion. Statists accuse us of being against society, of promoting crime and disorder, and of promoting social hierarchies. All of these are projections of the major flaws of statism.
There is also a flip-side, though less pronounced, to this projection: the tendancy to give oneself the attributes which least fit one’s belief system. For instance, violent and cruel belief systems calling themselves “compassionate.” We might call this hypocrisy of the highest order, doublethink, code-words, whatever you want.
A relatively recent example of this is “compassionate conservatism.” We have now seen the result of this newfound compassion: so far, three-quarters of a million dead, 95% of which are civilians, rising every day, many many times over the number of victims of terrorism. If this is compassion, give me cruelty!
Time after time, one can observe that the supposedly nicest and most compassionate are actually the cruelest. This may not, at first, be obvious.
Take New Age belief systems, for instance. New Age is advertised as a gentler, more individualistic, less dogmatic sort of spirituality. That’s all well and good, but if you look at their beliefs, this advertisement is clearly shown as hypocrisy.
Most New Agers believe in some form of the “law of attraction”: that you “attract” whatever happens in your life by your thoughts and attitudes, positive or negative. Of course, they use this to praise the good things that happen in their lives, but rarely the bad things. This is understandable, since the ramifications would kill their belief. Is a cancer patient responsible for his cancer? Is a victim of murder or rape responsible for the crime? Did the 6 million victims of the Holocaust think really bad thoughts all at the same time? One we start applying it, the principle, like divine benevolence and all other attempts to explain away morality, crumbles under the weight of all the evil in the world.
The fact that this “law of attraction” cannot explain massive events shows that it is wrong. But believers only apply it to individuals, not groups of people. So they miss that point entirely.
But most importantly, it also destroys any pretense that New Agers are compassionate. I hope I don’t need to explain this, but it is not compassionate, but rather very cruel, to tell people that they caused their own diseases and suffering. At best all it can do is make a gullible victim feel guilt or pity for himself.
Christianity is supposed to be a compassionate religion. The non-existing messiah figure “Jesus” is supposed to have died to “save” everyone of a torment he himself invented- except of course that he really only “saves” the believers. There’s the catch. This idea of eternal torment, is it compassionate? How can Christianity be a compassionate religion when it preaches that everyone, regardless of how moral they are, is worthy of eternal torment?
Mother Theresa has a reputation for being compassionate. In fact, she did not allow her “patients” any pain medications, under pretense of helping them get closer to god. That is extreme cruelty.
If you look carefully, you will find that all cases of alleged “compassion” are very cruel indeed.
Many, if not most, collectivist belief systems have killed or enslaved millions. This is due to the fact that killing and enslaving people in the name of a higher ideal is pretty easy: all you need is a belief system which promotes a collective good that goes against individual will, and gain some political or social power. Note that I do not say “all” belief systems, because there are some obvious counter-examples, either because they are too new (Greenieism) or because they skirt the line between belief and primitive reason (Buddhism).
But one thing is clear: collectivism is not the way to compassion. Denying the freedom and happiness of the individual in the name of higher ideals, trivializing the individual, is the best rationalization for killing him.