Ideas Can Be Judged as Either Good or Evil
NOTE: I’d like to reproduce a Facebook discussion I had with a friend and a stranger. In this discussion, I gave a glimpse of my personal life and shared why ideas can be judged as either good or evil.
My school, UE, “was” heavily infested with young leftists/activists over a decade or two ago. But this trend was successfully
ended in 2000 when the school administration expelled a number of activist student leaders who desecrated Lualhati (the symbolic statue of UE) and committed acts of vandalism. The protesting student leaders were not allowed to enroll anymore. Others suffered light penalty like suspension ranging from a semester or two. That was the end of it. But when I assumed the campus’ editorship of our weekly campus organ from 2005 to 2007 I still felt the presence of struggling leftist activism in the university’s two campuses. I saw what they call leftist “teach-ins” where you get a taste of actual leftist indoctrination by students who firmly believed in Marxism. I was invited attend one of their teach-in sessions. I attended one session, however, I disliked the idea. I wasn’t simply comfortable with the leftist idea yet I didn’t know what exactly was wrong with communism. Now I know. That time I wasn’t yet an advocate of free-market capitalism, although I believed education was both a right and a privilege. Now I know it is neither.
However, I find most of the bloggers’ (see related blog) comments really disgusting, appalling, troubling, and amusing. I have mixed feelings. I know… so long as there are two or three or so young people who are willing to fight for what they think is right, moral, and practical, there’s hope. Don’t let it go…
Then someone asked: “Are leftists evil?”
A Facebook friend, Elevic Pernis, made an excellent point:
“I would have to say, YES, but I have to qualify this. The principles that these leftists hold dear are evil. They are dangerous, and if followed would lead society to crumble into chaos. These leftists are evil since what they espouse are evil and dangerous philosophies.
“However, they are not evil in the sense that they want people to suffer or that they want society to plunge into chaos. They are well-intentioned. But like I said when you asked if Obama is evil, good intentions do not matter if they lead to dire consequences.
“Now, Ludwig von Mises has emphasized throughout his works the importance of ideas. If you hold even one small but insidious idea as your implicit assumption, that could lead to dangerous conclusions. Change your implicit assumptions, and you change your ideas. Change your ideas, and you change your conclusions. Change your conclusions, and you change your philosophy.
“Look again at Froi’s controversial blog posts. There were a lot of UP students who commented there, leftists or not. I think a lot of their rants, context-dropping, and disagreements stem from many of their implicit assumptions. Is education a right? They assume so. Suppose that education is not a right, isn’t state funding of education instrumentally good, they counter? This rests on the assumption that education is a public good. I’ll do some research on this angle. Many economists, Austrian economists mainly, and some perhaps mainstream economists, do not recognize education as a public good. But do you see the point I’m making?
“If their ideas were not challenged, they woud continue to pursue actions that would be detrimental to you, to me, and to the rest of us.”
I totally agree with Pernis’ answer and made the following observation:
“I would say ideas could be judged as either good or evil. People hold on to ideas whether they like it or not. It is inescapable. Look at the ideas that killed hundreds of millions of people in the past century. Those tyrants who held on to t…hose evil ideas were sincere in achieving their goal. They firmly believed they had the right idea. For them, the end justifies the means. Alas, we have the same evil idea in this country with all its Machiavellian trappings- the end justifies the means. Leftism is an evil idea for it regards man as the means to the ends of others. It simply means institutionalized slavery where the concept of rights is merely a floating abstraction and not grounded in reality.
“We are all engaged in a battle of ideas. It is the selfish responsibility of those who think to challenge the evil ideas that have been blighting the minds of the people.”
Here’s another question: “What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and
rewrite all the rules.” (No changes made)
“What’s the most resilient parasite?” It’s the idea that holds man is the means to the ends of others- that man must sacrifice his life to others. The person who speaks of sacrifice would like to be the collector of sacrificial offerings. He’s the prime-mover of a parasitical ideology, which calls for the immolation of others for the sake of what is called the common good.
“I hold that man is an end in himself and not the means to the others of others. This is the fundamental credo of individualism.”