Two from Jonah Goldberg, related to my post Cosmetic Distinctions, below.
There’s a natural tendency to think that when people, or movements, hate each other, it must be because they’re opposites. This assumption overlooks the fact that many — indeed, most — of the great conflicts and hatreds in human history are derived from what Sigmund Freud called the “narcissism of minor differences.”
I’m reminded of this passage from Alan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind: “I have seen young people, and older people too, who are good democratic liberals, lovers of peace and gentleness, struck dumb with admiration for individuals threatening or using the most terrible violence for the slightest and tawdriest of reasons.” He continued: “They have a sneaking suspicion that they are face to face with men of real commitment, which they themselves lack. And commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.”
Bloom is writing about people avoiding the messy distractions of understanding their own ideas, because “[C]ommitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.”
They are committed to no more than having unexamined good intentions: Liberal Ayn Rand?