In other times, a government as ineffective as that which is currently in office would trail far behind the opposition in the opinion polls, that Theresa May’s Conservative Party still leads is a testimony to the incompetence of the Opposition and the suspicion that people feel about the Hard Left elements that have entered the Labour Party.
In college days, such Left-wing groups knew they were were right. Their radical Left wing views could be the only correct understanding of society and their prescription for radical change must be the best way forward for working people. Should the working classes decide that they didn’t actually want the Left and decline to vote for them; this was further evidence of how right they had been in the first place – working class rejection of Left-wing politics was because of “false consciousness”on the part of the workers. Working people who understood the truth would see the rightness of the cause and must be educated as to their own best interests. To deny the arguments was simply to be absorbed by the same false consciousness that enshrouded the workers.
The Left-wing idea of false consciousness would have found a counterpart in the works of Sigmund Freud, where the hammering of facts into a shape that fits the theory seems common. Freud’s writing seemed to suggest a man obsessed with seeing every moment as a confirmation of his theories regarding sex. In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life he wrote:
As the girl’s uncle, a very old man, entered the room, we both jumped to our feet to bring him a chair which stood in the corner. She was more agile than I and also nearer the object, so that she was the first to take possession of the chair. She carried it with its back to her, holding both hands on the edge of the seat. As I got there later and did not give up the claim to carrying the chair, I suddenly stood directly back of her, and with both my arms was embracing her from behind, and for a moment my hands touched her lap. I naturally solved the situation as quickly as it came about. Nor did it occur to anybody how dexterously I had taken advantage of this awkward movement.
Occasionally I have had to admit to myself that the annoying, awkward stepping aside on the street, whereby for some seconds one steps here and there, yet always in the same direction as the other person, until finally both stop facing each other, that this “barring one’s way” repeats an ill-mannered, provoking conduct of earlier times and conceals erotic purposes under the mask of awkwardness. From my psychoanalysis of neurotics I know that the so-called naïveté of young people and children is frequently only such a mask, employed in order that the subject may say or do the indecent without restraint.
Couldn’t Freud’s problem have been a much simpler one? Couldn’t it have been a simple lack of co-ordination? However, to have disagreed Freud’s arguments would simply have invited the accusation one was in denial.
To argue with the Left is like trying to argue with the perverse logic of Freud: how does one argue with someone who knows they are right?