The Political Spectrum is Leftist

Christians should stay out of politics.

Many years ago I wrote in “Left, Right, and Religion” that from the Christian perspective there is no meaningful distinction between the Left and the Right political wings. All are leftist in terms of the philosophy of their purpose. I wrote:

The distinction between “Republican vs. Democrat”/”Left vs. Right”/”Liberal vs. Conservative” has very little real importance to the follower of Jesus Christ. With few exceptions, both parties lead to the same moral dead-end.

Accordingly, I cited Bruce Charlton who noted that the defining characteristic of leftism is utilitarianism:

“[A]ll the Leftisms are types of utilitarianism in some kind of groupish abstraction – universalism, humankind, the nation, state, class, region, a sex or race, or some other unit. The disagreements on the Left, the differences between the secular Leftisms listed above – which may be very bitter – are merely concerned with the identity of the group for which utility is to be maximised, and how best to maximise utility – that is all. [T]he only way of not being Left, is to be Religious

John C. Wright, arriving quite late to the game, just posted “Left to Right is Leftist” in which he makes the same claim that the Left-to-Right spectrum merely describes variation among leftism. He then explains that the farther one gets from God[1] in any political and religious orientation, the closer one gets to philosophical nihilism. Wright’s identifies multiple dimensions on axes of multiculturalism vs. cultural Marxism, fascism vs. political Marxism, and ideology vs mysticism. While there are many distinct paths, all embrace nihilism more-and-more the greater one abandons God.

As Bruce Charlton long ago demonstrated, abandoning God is the logical consequence of utilitarianism. This nihilism is a moral dead-end. The hardest part for people to accept is that the apparent religiosity along the political spectrum is not a genuine expression of ones obedience to God, but is in fact the opposite. John C. Wright’s various examples show many distinct secular and religious forces all serve to separate one from God. It is for this reason that John C. Wright says…

If one were to adopt a new political spectrum — which I am not advising…

…and Bruce Charlton (and myself) say that politics offers nothing for the Christian.


[1] John C. Wright believes that Roman Catholicism is the answer. While this is false, his overall point is close enough for this discussion that we don’t need to quibble about it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *