Here's an extract from a blog by William M. Briggs:
A question from the new SAT in Reading Comprehension was leaked: "'The students rushed the platform to prevent the speaker from speaking.' Were these students, (A) progressives, or (B) conservatives?"
Swap in "The protesters turned violent" or "The demonstrators resorted to vandalism, theft, and mayhem" and the answer, which everybody knows, remains the same.
A progressive is a man who, while beating you over the head with his "Support NPR" poster, simultaneously lectures you on the evils of violence. A progressive is a woman who chants "Free speech!" as she and the crowd she instigated rushes the dais. A progressive is an academic who looks upon a fallen world and would fix it by Theory, by preaching that the ends justify the means.
There is no philosophy more evil than that.
He's quite right: no tea party meeting has ever ended in violence, and when the tea party ran a half million or more protesters through downtown Washington DC they left it cleaner than they found it - where an occupy protest featuring about 50,000 bussed in extras left truckloads of garbage.
But why? Why do progressives say one thing but do the opposite? They value life, but favor abortion; they value women's rights, but support Islam; support democracy but routinely use the courts to overturn referenda and political policy; value the rule of law along with checks, balances, and compromise in the making of law, but try to stack the courts and elevate the likes of Hugo Chavez and Obama to power.
They are Malthusians: cultists committed to a prophet and prophecy that have failed, and failed catastrophically - - so they're desperate to avoid information contrary to their beliefs and equally desperate to embrace anyone who acts on the prophecy, claims to believe it, or tries to make it real.
In reality, what they think Malthus said, isn't what he said - and every faux Malthusian prediction tested to date has proven wrong, but the faith never ends: eventually, they think, too many people will run out of land, water, oil, something -and then, and then, and then, anthill earth will be kicked over! all those other people will die! although, of course, the deserving faithful will be rewarded. Somehow.
Nonsense, but the bottom line on liberal/progressive motivation is the rejection of disconfirmatory information by whatever means necessary to support a prophecy that always fails, but must be honored.
Herewith, therefore, a brief discussion of the Malthusian basis for each of eighteen well established leftist policy positions.
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so fervently advocate abortion? Because their earth has too many people, and abortion kills lessor people early on.
The hypocrisy is stunning: liberals strongly believe in science, strongly believe in human rights, and strongly oppose the death penalty for murderers and serial rapists - but deny that DNA shows beyond doubt that the fetus is a separate biological entity and not part of the mother's body, deny that human babies have human rights, and absolutely demand that the mother's right to have her child killed for no reason beyond convenience be widely recognized and socially accepted.
White liberals, in particular, favor black abortion: blacks make up less than 15% of the U.S. population but account for about 80% of the abortions - and it's no coincidence: Marx and Engels, after all, thought blacks sub-human, and Mexicans barely so.
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so strongly support Islam over Christianity?
- because pseudo malthusian prophecy threatens extinction and Islam is an old testament religion appropriate to a people under threat;
- because Islam's feudal structure supports Nietzche's consequence to the prophecy in its them-or-us view of a contracting universe;
- because Christianity opposes malthusian prophecy by assuming expanding horizons for all;
- because many associate Christianity with the absolutely unacceptable and to them horrific injunction "Go forth and multiply" -without realizing that this is actually both from the old testament and duplicated in Islam;
- because Christianity's commitment to individual rights, and individual freedoms, undermines governance by the elite; and,
- because the Christian ethic does not permit of a master race but Islam, like national socialism, proclaims its adherents superior.
Israel Bad, Palestine Good.
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so strongly support Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Front, and other Palestinian terror groups in their attempts to kill Israelis?
The original conflict goes back something like 3,300 years, but leftists joined with Muslims to attack Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries largely because exploiting anti-semitism fit their political ends - and have become more emotionally committed to the denigration of Israel since then because almost any comparison between Israel and Palestine utterly disconfirms their political beliefs.
Israel and Palestine exist side by side with comparable resources and comparable peoples - in fact, if you interview educated, Americanized, second generation Palestinians and Jews in the U.S. you will be hard put to tell the members of one group from the other.
Israel is a success: despite more than seventy years of increasingly bitter international condemnation it's a booming democracy hitting well above its weight class in all major areas of human advancement, a low crime country in which human rights are assured, human equality is assumed, and individual achievement is both expected and celebrated.
Isreal's big crime against leftism, in other words, is its demonstration that people trump resources: that trade and competition based social structures can free a people, and a country, to succeed without a major resource base.
In contrast, the Palestinian territories have parlayed more than seventy years of international aid and support into complete social failure. In effect, the territories preview the faux Malthusian end game: essentially all fuel and food are imported; no one is secure; armed gangs masquerade as government; policing is largely vigilante; education is largely non existent or purely propagandist in nature; health care, quality housing, and economic opportunity exist more in media party reports than on the ground; and, the only nearly impossible thing they have achieved since 1948 has been to occasionally get per capita GDP below per capita aid from donor countries like the United States.
As in Watts, Harlem, or Detroit, the problem did not originate with the people - the problem arose in response to policies inflicted on them by their betters, and because that is both obvious and unacceptable to the world's leftists their collective response has been to treat the killing of Israeli school children and others by suicide bombers, rocket attacks, and thugs wielding machine guns as welcome proof of the justice of the Palestinian cause.
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else try to force gay marriage?
Mainly because gays don't breed and binding as many as possible in pretend marriages to each other reduces leakage by taking some right out of the gene pool - but in part too because espousing gay marriage triggers a strong reaction from Christians; one that can be easily ridiculed and thus exploited for political purposes. That's why a Catholic bishop's carefully phrased statement including gays under the umbrella of God's love for humanity while expressing the concern that a legal partnership, no matter how named or invoked, is still just a partnership and not a real marriage constitutes a crime against humanity - but the public ravings of Imams demanding that all gays be killed as quickly and barbarically as possible are perfectly acceptable.
The gay marriage issue also illustrates two methods many cults use to gain attention while distracting their opposition. Logically these are both examples of the equivalence fallacy but, in practice, they illustrate deception through the misuse of language.
- misrepresenting the subject and the objection
Marriage, whether carried out with all due ceremony in an Anglican cathedral or as a practical arrangement arrived at by necessity somewhere in a South American slum, is always a partnership between men and women for the purpose of raising children. Thus in most cultures, including ours, the sacrament is about the children, not the adults; and most mentions of marriage in both secular and religious law are consequently also about the children, not the adults - the tax and tithing breaks almost every society offers married couples are not, for example, intended to support partnerships; they're intended to make it easier and more attractive for men and women to work together to raise a family.
Partner marriages, in contrast, are about them: the adults, not society and not the children they won't have: them - and that, not the implied sexual relationships, is what makes the pretended equivalence to traditional marriage seem perverted to many.
- attacking the objector
Relatively few Christians object to gay partnerships - what people do object to is the pretense that a gay union carries the same social rights and obligations as a lifetime commitment to renewing and continuing society by having and raising children. Some, of course, and particularly those more steeped in the old testament than the new, do object and this is where progressive hypocrisy shows itself as particularly excreable. Thus liberals who consider Mr. Huckabee's views about homosexuality to be stupid, intolerant, and bigoted tend to generalize that first to say that Mr. Huckabee is himself stupid, intolerant, and bigoted; and then, because Mr. Huckabee is a republican, that all republicans are thereby proven stupid, intolerant, bigoted - and if you want to argue either the logic or the belief, you're stupid, intolerant, and bigoted too.
In reality traditional marriage has a clear social purpose: community continuation through family support for children - and so the objection to partner marriage is an objection to giving partner marriage social support, not to the relationships involved. Thus, the majority view is that individuals can form any kind of partnership they want, but the absence of social purpose means that gay unions earn no social support.
Basically, if your belief is that other people are having too many children then forcing widespread social support for gay marriage makes perfect sense because it erodes families, reduces social support for children, weakens community institutions like the church, clothes your selfishness in social justice raiment, and can be thought of as likely to reduce population growth.
The Delta Smelt
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else prefer the delta smelt to food production in the Imperial valley? or, more generally, place the rights of non human life over those of humans?
For the same reason they oppose nuclear power and want the water control mechanisms provided by the army corp of engineers during the 1930s through 70s torn down: as Malthus actually did point out, the prophecy fails when government doesn't intervene because the market's invisible hand continues to provide new resources as the population expands; so finding ways to block food or energy production is the same as finding ways to make the prophecy come true.
GMOs, Fertilizers, Pesticides, and other Stuffs
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else want to force mass starvation by banning technologies critical to food production?
Why do they so desperately oppose life saving crop innovations like golden rice, hugely effective pesticides like DDT, or any use of genetic modification techniques to protect the world's wheat crop from fungal rust?
Because they've spent the better part of two hundred years predicting mass starvation and they're becoming quite desperate to make it happen.
So why do people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else claim to see such an impending disaster in global warming that we should all cut back on energy use now? A wetter, warmer, world will support more life and is therefore extremely frightening to people who believe their racial salvation lies in reducing the population.
A more subtle question arises as a corolary: why is the political left so deeply anti-science? Among the first actions taken by Carter, Clinton, and Obama were cuts to NASA, cuts to military R&D, cuts to DOE and other departmentally funded science work, and the redirection of congressionally committed national science foundation and related federally controlled grant budgets away from science and engineering and to things like Women's studies, Urban studies, and research in education.
Carter, incidently, mothballed promising DOE research and development work on hydraulic fracturing; while NASA, which under President Bush obtained financing for and launched the Pluto, Ceres, Solar, and telescopic exploration projects making recent science headlines, has managed, eight years after the 2006/7 Pelosi budget, to meet the Obama administration mandate on Muslim outreach by hiring several hundred new Mohammads.
In a recent discussion with a devout progressive who stayed civil until nearly the end, I was informed with absolute sincerity that Obama et al tried to kill the space program while redirecting science funding to arts faculties and community colleges because republicans want to cut taxes.
The real reason is that science is the enemy of delusion, engineering the enemy of scarcity.
Why isn't the world population limited to a few million chosen living lives of peace, harmony, and self-fulfillment in glorious synchronicity with nature? Because it's an absurd vision - someone has to clean the toilets, grow the food, and make the entertainment. The Seinfeld universe, like Jane Austen's, is free of both science and servants, but the real one depends on science to advance, on engineering to make things work, and on Adam Smith's invisible hand to motivate those turning ideas into realities.
Basically, if you want to believe, and your belief predicts scarcity, you will find ways to see science and engineering as the enemy.
A minor reason is that the ignorant, like the dead, vote left: the less the person knows about how the world works, the more likely they are to support liberal/progressive causes - and it doesn't matter whether that lack of knowledge is reflected in a Ph'd in basket weaving or the illiteracy of the gang banger: neither has a clue, and both generally vote democrat.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else such eager supporters of mass murderers like Mao Tse Dung, Che Guevera, or Ho chi Minh? Because mass death isn't a problem: for progressive mathusians, it's part of the solution.
Basically, the reality is that first dehumanizing, and then killing, competitors is a human response to limited resources: if the world can only support one of us, me or you, my family or yours, my race or yours - well expect a bullet in the head, asshole.
In 1940, after 12 years of taking Jean-Paul Sartre's advice that publishing information about the purges of the general staffs and each other's supporters taking place in Russia and Germany would merely discourage the proletariat, the New York Times, acting through the person of columnist Walter Durranty, took time off from puffing the glories of FDR's new deal for the American worker to applaud Stalin's decision to have Trotsky killed in Mexico and his family murdered at home.
That same New York Times recently found budget and reporters to comb through Sarah Palin's emails, but refuses to examine the purges Mr. Obama carried out within the American military; refuses to publish information on the war against Christians being carried out in Muslim countries around the world; refuses to see the suppression of freedoms in American universities; and continues to put serious effort into hiding the Obama administration's abuse of its regulatory and investigative powers to reward friends and punish enemies.
What's going on is that progressives see mass death as a good thing, and if the dead were killed in a good cause than no one need be alerted, no one need be concerned.
Bear in mind, in this context, that the beatniks and peace activists who still celebrate mass murderers like Mengistu Haile Mariam generally arrived at 60s happenings in lovingly decorated vans adapted from stolen designs by NAZIs, first built by forced labor, and promised to the German public by Adolph Hitler - and it wasn't an accident: those same people decorated their bedrooms with posters celebrating Peace, Love, and Chairman Mao.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else typically so racist?
In the United States leftists tend to hide their racism - but entire long term programs (war on poverty, affirmative action) insisted on by the left are racially based. Watch liberals watching television or at the movies and you'll notice that they react almost instantly to actor skin color (and gender identification) where conservatives tend to notice sexual characteristics and portrayed character first.
An aside: Thus the reason about 80% of commercials aimed at mid range demographics feature blacks is that blacks and liberals care where conservatives don't - so over representing blacks in ads offers a win in some demographics unaccompanied by losses in others.
But why? The ultimate reason for progressive racism is very simple: embraced from Marx to Obama, it celebrates the obvious: you can't see yourself as a Nietzchean ubermench without also picturing others as naturally and permanently inferior.
Hitler asked "How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?" but why is that? Why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else typically so vehemently anti-semitic?
The appeal of anti-semitism among people influenced by leftists from Lenin to Ayers is driven by a variety of factors including:
- The deepest malthusian belief is that the world will eventually run out of resources and leave humanity to die out or revert to a kind of bronze age lifestyle. Thus the core idea behind national socialism is that the tribe which seizes the most resources and has the fewest useless eaters will survive longest. In that context the widely recognized claim that the Jews are God's chosen people resonates strongly - and causes many to reject both Jews and God.
- Christian values derive from Jewish values and uniformly place the individual over the oligarchy. As long ago as the Exodus Jews have put individual rights over those of the king, refused to accept feudalism, and demanded the right to self-government - so trying to force people back into feudal societies automatically carries an anti-semitic component.
- Jesus was a Jew, so opposition to the open horizons of the Christian revolution carries anti-semitism with it.
- Leftist political action generally requires whipping up a mob; schoolyard hatred of the smart kid has been a staple ingredient of the human psyche since the beginning - and Jews have historically been mankind's highest achieving cultural group.
- Jewish success has a disconfirmatory effect on Malthusian belief. Thus the faux Malthusian dogma developed by European cafe intellectuals during the 19th century predicted that exploding populations in Europe and America would lead to grinding poverty, educational failure, and starvation - but the opposite happened: living conditions improved, working conditions improved, and the lumpen proletariats the socialists were going to recruit obtained enormous benefits from the self-serving actions of rich, Jewish, bankers and industrialists in both England and the United States.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else both so willing to hold and direct the subservient and the same time so desperate to blame most of the world's ills on slavery in America?
Because the leftist cannot be a superior human without inventing and naming inferiors, and because misrepresenting history in this way both lays the blame for the world's ills on men whose lives were heavily influenced by their Christian faiths and allows the leftist to reject America's material success as the proceeds of immorality.
An aside: The American guilt trip over American slavery was fanned into flame as a political expedient during the 1960s and isn't based on historical reality:
- "Roots" is entirely a work of manipulative fiction. There were people somewhat like Kinte, but the people who captured and sold him were African blacks just like him;
- most slaves sold into Virginia and other states became free men after the expiry of an initial period of contracted indenture. The story of Anthony Johnson as reported on Wikipedia is not typical in terms of his later success (and slave holding) but it does illustrate the opportunities available to American blacks:Johnson was captured in his native Angola by an enemy tribe and sold to Arab slave traders. He was eventually sold as an indentured servant to a merchant working for the Virginia Company.
He arrived in Virginia in 1621 aboard the James. The Virginia Muster (census) of 1624 lists his name as "Antonio not given," recorded as "a Negro" in the "notes" column. There is some dispute among historians as to whether this was the Antonio later known as Anthony Johnson, as the census lists several "Antonios." This one is considered the most likely.
Johnson was sold to a white planter named Bennet as an indentured servant to work on his Virginia tobacco farm. Servants typically worked under an indenture contract for four to seven years to pay off their passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. In the early colonial years, most Africans in the Thirteen Colonies were held under such contracts of indentured servitude. With the exception of those indentured for life, they were released after a contracted period with many of the indentured receiving land and equipment after their contracts expired or were bought out.
When Johnson was released from servitude, he was legally recognized as a "free Negro." He developed a successful farm. In 1651 he owned 250 acres, and the services of four white and one black indentured servants. In 1653, John Casor, a black indentured servant whose contract Johnson appeared to have bought in the early 1640s, approached Captain Goldsmith, claiming his indenture had expired seven years earlier and that he was being held illegally by Johnson. A neighbor, Robert Parker, intervened and persuaded Johnson to free Casor.
Parker offered Casor work, and he signed a term of indenture to the planter. Johnson sued Parker in the Northampton Court in 1654 for the return of Casor. The court initially found in favor of Parker, but Johnson appealed. In 1655, the court reversed its ruling. Finding that Anthony Johnson still "owned" John Casor, the court ordered that he be returned with the court dues paid by Robert Parker.
This was the first instance of a judicial determination in the Thirteen Colonies holding that a person who had committed no crime could be held in servitude for life.
Though Casor was the first person declared a slave in a civil case, there were both black and white indentured servants sentenced to lifetime servitude before him. Many historians describe indentured servant John Punch as the first documented slave, as he was sentenced to life in servitude as punishment for escaping in 1640. The Punch case was significant because it established the disparity between his sentence as a negro and that of the two European indentured servants who escaped with him (one described as Dutch and one as a Scotchman). It is the first documented case in Virginia of an African sentenced to lifetime servitude. It is considered one of the first legal cases to make a racial distinction between black and white indentured servants.
- many slaves were white debtors imported from Europe - and, because they spoke English, they tended to rise quickly to foreman or overseer positions. As a result, they, not rich white men raping black slave women, were the source of most of the mixed race children seen in the second and later generations;
- inclusion of the slave states in the union was a political necessity in 1776, but the founders intended, from the beginning, to outlaw slavery in new entrants to the American federation; and,
- the first significant anti-slavery legislation enacted in any English speaking country was the Slave Trade Act passed by Congress in 1794.
Notice that, in contrast to Lincoln (a republican) and most Americans since the founding, the progressive left has no actual objection to slavery. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the Shawa regime in Japan all made extensive use of slave labor drawn, of course, mainly from the lessor races founding fathers Marx and Engels spoke so contemptuously of.
Of course that was then -more recently the Obama administration had no problem with the virtual enslavement of a billion women under Islam; lobbied extensively to get the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a country with an estimated 600,000 formally indentured black slaves, on various U.N. human rights bodies; and heavily promoted the illegal immigration of America's future servants, prostitutes, and other minimum wage workers.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so eager to hold up American life as immoral and terrible while arguing that people escaping from far more progressive countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, or Ecuador should be given free access to American services, American opportunities, American Education, American health care, and American freedoms?
"The reason" is a multi-layer construct with no obvious consistency in the weightings each person gives the major components. In general, however:
- many among the more politically dedicated believe illegal immigration will shift the country to the left and produce an easily controlled population whose expectations in terms of personal freedom and opportunity are dramatically lower than those of other Americans.
- illegal immigrants from Latin America tend to self-ghetoize (a tendency greatly encouraged by wildly enthusiastic democrat support for the use of Spanish throughout government and the educational system) to a much greater degree than others coming from Europe, India, or south east Asia. They also tend to be uneducated, menially employed, and prolific - increasing their numbers and concentration therefore creates islands in which Malthusian prophecy looks good.
- more subtly, blacks simply do not make good servants - but Latins do. In the freeest market left in the world, the on-line porn market, Latina sites outnumber black sites by better than 100 to 1. The war on poverty has produced urban cancers like Watts, Harlem, and Chicago's public housing complexes accompanied by widespread disfunction and despair among the young - and because the left's inherent racism leads them to put the blame on the people instead of the policies, they see Latin immigration as an intensely desirable reboot: a second chance to prove that they were right all along by working with a much more malleable population.
- and, of course, many leftist supporters, real Americans who vote democrat out of habit or ignorance, know that America is a wonderful country, are genuinely willing to see newcomers welcomed, and have no idea what the impact of the numbers and law breaking involved is likely to be.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so eager to legalize dangerous drugs? Because there are too many people and these drugs kill or debilitate large numbers of them.
Any good progressive will tell you that tobacco smoking should be illegal, but marijuana smoking should be legal - that it should be illegal to cycle without a helmet, but legal to buy and use anything from Kwat to heroin. These positions may look contradictory, but are not because both appear consistent with the cult's stated values while actually contributing to the achievement of its unvoiced goals.
Thus making tabacco smoking illegal is consistent with the "brother's keeper" side of leftist values and drives toward the establishment of feudal government on other Americans, but doesn't cost much in Malthusian terms because it has very little effect on population health or average longevity. Similarly, making dangerous drugs not just legal, but socially acceptable, is consistent with leftist values favoring personal freedom but actually produces death, disability, and the social instability consequent to the destruction of families in job lots.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else so eager to simultaneously both outlaw and applaud hate speech? Because they get to define it in ways that force anyone pointing out their belief system's total lack of clothes to shut up.
Progressive beliefs must not be challenged: their intellectual emperor is metaphorically naked and everybody involved knows it, but no one is allowed to say so out loud. It's a response straight out of Festinger.
Climatism supports Malthusian belief - challenge it and you're a denier, a hater, an ignorant bigot. Calling Sarah Palin a stupid c* is fair comment, calling Charles Rangel corrupt is racist; praising Isreal's commitment to human rights for Palestinians is hate speech, calling for the extermination of Jews is perfectly ok - for Muslims. The absurdity staggers the imagination, but it works for the left: in Canada "human rights commissions" have made free speech a thing of the past because the haters demanding prosecution get government funding while defendants are on their own - and the most widely honored principle of liberalized civil law in Canada is that he who has the most money, wins.
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else always so ready to force people to use Euro-style mass transit? The key thing leftists always cite about European mass transit is that it works for the masses - and what they never seem to add is that the rich don't use it.
Henry Ford, an American, made automobiles for everyone; but European companies like Mercedes, Daimler-Benz, and BMW make them only for people with very stable, and well above average, incomes. In America poor people buy used cars; in Europe they're herded onto trains - the private car empowers the individual to go where he wants, when he wants; mass transit as envisaged and implemented by leftists empowers the employer by guaranteeing the on-time delivery of his labor force.
- What is now Volkswagen started as the Hitler mandated KDF-Wagen (Kraft durch Freude) and was sold to the German public on an installment plan under which the car was to be delivered after the last installment was paid - but, in reality, the factory was built to produce war materiel using impressed labor; the story that the autobahns were being built to support the private automobile was simply disinformation; and most of the 700 or so consumer oriented vehicles actually produced by Volkswagen either went to lower level NAZI officials or were toured around as part of the installment plan marketing process. Basically, and all propaganda to the contrary, Volkswagen was never intended to be Germany's Model T and only became that when it was re-incorporated under the post war Marshall plan and encouraged to make and export vehicles for the American consumer market.
- The pre-war French auto industry followed the general European trend - in 1935 Citroen, for example, sold its "industry leading" (designed by Philadephia's Budd Companies) Traction Avant for about eight times the price of the comparable Ford.
After the war, however, French industry, under the leadership of the country's right wing war hero, Charles de Gaulle, diverged from the general European trend toward greater class differentiation in transport technologies by making smaller investments in mass transit and encouraging Citroen to produce the first European people's car (the 1948 2CV) - something that ultimately forced competitors including Volkswagen and Renault to offer at least some ordinary cars for ordinary people.
To a progressive the steady stream of traffic on a busy highway is an absolute horror show: thousands of people making their own decisions, going where they want to go, when they want to go, and for their own reasons -it's unconscionable, it's unacceptable, it's beyond their control. More subtly, all those vehicles and the freedom to use them are the result of free markets at work - and that too is anathema to the progressives because it rather directly shows that their entire understanding of the world as about competition for resources is simply and fatally wrong.
The autonomous vehicle
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else such eager supporters of the self-driving vehicle? Because they see these as equipped with a government controlled kill switch and so little different from trains.
The contradictions are appalling. All major unions in the United States are significant contributors to democratic party campaigns, but the vast majority of those who will be among the first to lose their jobs to automated driving machines will be unionized bus drivers and garbage collection operators - to be followed, one assumes fairly quickly, by nearly the entirety of the Teamsters Union's natural membership.
More subtly: democrats are rabid supporters of gun control and Homeland security bureaucracies like the TSA whose primary focus lies in taking weapons out of the hands of the people - but the self driving vehicle represents an entirely new, and far more dangerous, form of weapon that democrats want to make available, and as quickly as possible at that, to nearly everyone. Imagine, for example, what a motivated terrorist (or disgruntled former DOT employee) could do with control of only a small number of city buses in the context of a Santa Claus parade.
The resolution to these contradictions is that the effect on people who drive for a living is not an issue for democrats - but the expectation that government will have an off switch for all of these vehicles is utterly compelling because the personal vehicle is a key symbol and component of the enemies of all things Malthusian: Adam Smith, American freedoms, and human ingenuity.
The Catastrophe du Jour
So why are people who claim to uphold the value of human life and human freedoms above all else such eager supporters of any destructive social movement that happens along - from native self government in Canada to Japan's Hikikomori movement?
In part because the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but mostly because these movements tend to have a basis in apparently sensible ideas easily sold the inattentive, but become socially and economically destructive as they evolve into their own reductiones ad absurdum.
Modern feminism illustrates the end game: nobody (except the 10th century Islamic despots beloved of the far left) really thinks that women in a modern industrial economy should be kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen; but the image against which feminists contrast this purported bitter clinger dream: that of the sexually ambiguous editor or intern at a high fashion magazine using children's faces on sexless bodies to sell perfumes to crowds of rich, stupid, and faceless imitators, is actually so much more demeaning to women that the movement has long since become a caricature of itself.
Common Core and its corollaries in education illustrate this process at its beginning. The basic ideas seem very simple: establish national standards and make sure that every American is educated to those standards. What could possibly be wrong with that? On the unsubtle side, the curriculum can be made to reflect the NAZI idea that children propagandized early enough will be believers for life - but, more subtly and more importantly, the process leads directly to German style educational streaming in which the student's right to educational self determination is completely transferred to the state.
In a more general sense, progressives tend to support any socially destructive movement, and particularly those whose effects are to decrease average educational attainment and thus increase crime, corruption, and human degradation, simply because these tend to produce outcomes in line with the prophecies whose fullfillment they fear most. It seems illogical, but is the same psychological phenomenon causing drivers losing control on slippery roads to hit a statistically unlikely number of lamp and sign posts simply because they unconsciously aim the vehicle at the danger they focus most on.