They take to the streets to paint President Bush as both a dolt and Hitler incarnate, and to demand that the “unjust” war on a terrorist states be stopped immediately. If you disagree with these “peace” activists, they’ll block traffic (including emergency vehicles), vandalize property, and strike police with bricks and acid.

At root, the intellectual and moral superiority these Leftists posture and the physical force they initiate are consequences of intrinsicism, the belief that a thing, idea or action is good in itself, regardless of a standard of value and an evaluator.

“The environment” is good in itself, the Left believes, despite its value to man; thus government is just in “protecting” nature by forcing man to sacrifice his interests to animals, trees and rocks. The poor are intrinsically good, they assert, despite the cause of their impoverishment; thus government is just in forcing Peter (i.e., the comparatively wealthy) to pay Paul.

This intrinsicism as practiced by the “anti-war” protesters is captured in the following e-mail exchange: “I only hope that President Bush’s great concern for the safety of his wife and daughters will enable him to feel the same concern for the wives, daughters and sons in Iraq at this time,” wrote a woman opposing the war. “One human life is as sacred as another.”

A man favoring America’s self-defense against terrorists asked this woman if Saddam Hussein’s life is as sacred to her as the life of her child, to which she replied: “Absolutely. God made us, one and all.”

In other words, a “human life” is inherently valuable, despite the person’s moral stature; thus the US government acts justly if it pacifies a mass-murdering dictator who has the capability to terrorize Americans.

The intrinsicist Left regards something or someone as valuable, not by rationally distinguishing good and bad according to the standard of the needs of human life and survival, but by dropping this relevant fact to proclaim anything they champion as innately good. So, just as Leftists believe a poor person is inherently good even though he is impoverished because he squandered his life savings, the Leftist activists believe Saddam Hussein’s life is inherently good even though he’s murdered countless innocents and threatens American lives.

By dropping reason, the intrinsicist Left must thereby treat its intellectual and moral positions as if they are as self-evident as the perceptual fact that the sky is blue. Thus, if you assert that nature is a value because it benefits man, that spendthrifts morally deserve their impoverishment, and that a murderous dictator is evil and executing him is just, they scowl at you as if you’d said the sky is pink with purple polka dots.

Yet, in reality, they are asserting that the sky is colored such, and if you dissent they will force the “truth” on you. For instance, because of its vast oil reserves, Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a benefit to man. But environmentalists, who claim nature has intrinsic value (or that ANWAR is a value, at most, only to caribou), regards as unjust the oil drilling Bush calls for there. They call for environmental regulations that ban the drilling; forcing man to sacrifice himself to the non- and sub-human.

Further, because Bush’s war on terrorist states embodies government’s primary function — to protect its citizens against foreign and domestic aggressors — it benefits Americans. But “peace” activist, who claim all human life as inherently valuable, want government to point its guns instead at its own citizens; forcing them through increased taxation to finance programs such as welfare and Medicaid for the innately good — “the poor” or “underprivileged.”

Individuals who respect the reasoning mind, however, attempt through logical arguments to persuade others to accept their ideas voluntarily. But reason and logic are nowhere to be found in the intrinsicist’s positions, which both evade and attack the standard of life and survival from which rational human values arise. And once men drop reason and logic, their only other means of “persuading” dissenters is by force.

It’s no wonder then that the “peace” activists must portrait their opponents as ignorant neo-Nazis who must be dealt with violently. These desperate measures reveal their inevitable failure to persuade men who live in reality and by reason.

Ultimately, the intrinsicist Left’s intellectually and morally superior posture is a house of cards composed of a deck of dishonesty and evasion. In short, theirs is a downright anti-intellectual and immoral stance that deserves to collapse like Hussein’s regime.

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Joseph Kellard

Joseph Kellard is a journalist living in New York. To read more of Mr. Kellard's commentary, visit his website The American Individualist at