Last week, Auster revisted an old post where he addressed the unprincipled exceptions of the Left: “The unprincipled exception as dramatized in Atlas Shrugged” Auster begins by summarizing the unprincipled exception, which he frequently mentions as it is necessarily common in leftist policies:
Since liberalism contradicts the nature of reality, it must lead to the death of society if its principles are consistently followed. Therefore a liberal society, in order to continue functioning and surviving, must make lots of exceptions to liberal principles. But since liberal society prohibits all non-liberal principles, these exceptions, upon which the very existence of the society depends, have no principle to back them up. Thus the only way a member of liberal society can slow its march to destruction is through means that to him must seem unprincipled. Liberal society remains viable only insofar as unprincipled exceptions prevent it from consistently following its own principles; and it only seems viable to its members insofar as they employ unprincipled exceptions to disguise from themselves its true nature and inevitable end.
Auster has compiled a list of articles that deal with this issue, “The unprincipled exception: a key to understanding liberalism.”
I find it perplexing, though, that so few people wake from their contradictions. It is the same mystery as to why men remain in the cave in The Republic. Why did the Athenians allow Socrates to be sentenced to death? Why did the Jews choose Barabbas over Jesus? The stupidity, wickedness, and cowardice of the herd are evident in most places at most times. Such is the lot of fallen man. Happily, though, what I call existential logic sparks a discomfort in some people, which results in a journey that leads them out of darkness and into the light.