Hollywood comic Evan Sayet is proving himself to be a truly significant thinker and observer of human foibles. In this commentary, he explores the fundamental divide between the Left and Right /Conservative views of humanity.

One one side you have Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s vision of “perfect” or “natural” human beings distorted by societal corruption. On the other,  you have the Judeo-Christian perception of humans as fallible (broken angels), torn between competing propensities toward good and evil. Building on this divide, Evan Sayet offers trenchant observations on why these two views lead us to very different ways of approaching the world. In this essay, he weaves in the insights of Thomas Sowell on Liberal/Left concepts of “victimization”, explains how the flawed visions of the Left underpin virtually every action taken by the Obama administration, and why such will inevitably lead us to disaster.


I happen to believe that the Jean-Jacques Rousseau vision of humanity is a luxury born of indolence and wealth. One can only indulge in such views when living in a bubble protected from the harsh realities of life. Rousseau lived his life as a parasite, feeding off handouts from wealthy benefactors in exchange for intellectual pablum. He was a hypocrite, of course. His own life and treatment of his family (and women in general) was a despicable refutation of all that he preached. Today, the indulgences of Rousseau’s vision are enjoyed mostly by those who sustain themselves by parasitizing the productive elements of society as well as their own wealthy benefactors. Consider as exhibit A the Leftwing propensities of trust-fund babies, students living on their parents’ dimes and wealthy Hollywood celebs. The hardcore Left is largely an upper-middle class phenomenon, comprised mainly of over-indulged youth that were protected by parents and society from ever having to confront Life’s harsh realities. It was their right, you see.



Sadly, I do not think that there is any easy way to bridge this divide, as it is far too fundamental and deeply ingrained. People have chosen sides.



This divide is  not new, nor is it recent. Humanity has been struggling to resolve these competing visions for millennia. It is addressed in the Old Testament /Torah  Book of Proverbs, for example.


If I was to put my finger on why this has come to be, I would propose that it is the inevitable product of the unparalleled wealth and comforts enjoyed by the West post-WWII. The WWII generation may have remembered the sacrifices made in order to generate such wealth and comfort, but its children and grand children took it for granted and are now in the process of squandering it. Perhaps such a dynamic explains the historical rise and fall of societies.


I do think that, today, this divide is driving us (the world) to a clash of epic proportions that will ultimately force people to confront life the way it really is. This is the way that history seems to work.


Evan Sayet may be a comic in his profession, but he is also proving himself to be a very serious man indeed. Sayet again and again and again…!

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  • Michael Adams

    Danny, did you ever get around to reading Systems of Survival ? That’s a very useful overview, or theory, for the analysis of what you have started to discuss today.

  • Ymarsakar

    I think in the end, only suffering will open the path to truth. In the olden days, suffering and stoicism and such things were considered the natural path to achieving enlightenment or wisdom. In the modern era, pleasure and intelligence is said to be the natural heirs of success. That’s because the Left considers pleasure and intelligence to be the “source” of wealth to begin with, in a zero sum world.

    What a broken cosmology and metaphysics.

    What thing has a human valued when he didn’t suffer to acquire it? What goal does a human value when he didn’t suffer to achieve it?

    If a person didn’t put in any effort, hard work, perseverance in the face of despair and challenges, what worth is it that person?

    It is Zero. Zero like a Zero Sum World. It means nothing. Absolutely nothing. Garbage in, garbage out. If you put a bunch of empty crack a lot ideas and time into something, that’s how much it will be worth.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Thanks, Michael Adams. I went and read up on Systems of Survival on Amazon after your comment and have added it to my reading list.

    I am working on a rather scholarly book on the reasons for the decline of the Roman Republic right now, another excellent recommendation from this blog.

  • evansayet

    Hi Danny,

    Thanks for the recognition.  I agree with you completely, the stupidity that is Modern Liberalism is completely a function of the luxury of our era.  Stupidity is a luxury and it’s not a coincidence that, in the time and place of the greatest luxury in the history of the world you would have the stupidest ideology in the history of the world.  One can only afford to be wasteful and wrong when there’s plenty more for them to take.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Wow! That you responded to my post makes my day, Evan. Thanks! 

    Does this mean that wealth and comfort doom societies to eventual decline?

    I have an uncle, a very wise and influential man in European and American politics, that commented upon the fall of the Berlin Wall, “this is the end of our peace”.

    I am finally beginning to understand what he meant.

  • evansayet

    It means that a society that isn’t predicated on morals and unalienable rights is doomed.  Glad to have made your day!!!

  • Michael Adams

    Rousseau set up the problem like a mathematician, to be solved by later mathematicians.  The bourgeoisie, how to destroy them?  Marx. Nietzsche, Proudhon, Hitler,  Goebbels, Lenin, all offered their solutions. However, if anyone  rereads Rousseau as an adult, they see, even just in the TWO introductions, the mind of a bipolar at work.  That so many people have suffered so much from the fevered imaginings of one man is almost too much to believe, but it’s pretty inescapable. OTOH, Old Mo Hammad was pretty lithium deficient, too and his followers did their fair share of damage.
    Remember, also, that Rousseau wrote just as the idea of a bourgeois dominant society was taking hold, just before American independence, with parliamentary rule in Britain.  The hereditary ruling class, the “nobility,” were having to depend upon the “tradesmen”.  Many of the old sort of people were just appalled by that development.
    The socialism that Europe adopted, in a poor compromise with outright Communism, froze people in place, The American experience of social mobility is quite foreign to the Europeans I have known, including a few who made across the water.  It’s actually quite inspiring to watch as an immigrant takes hold of the idea, little by little, that there really are no limits other than ones own energy and ability,  free of the strictures of European socialism.
    At this point, of course, our young trolls will scream that American workers are “free to starve” and lack the huge catalog of social protections of European workers. However, while the trollitos are free to believe as they like, and, indeed, have a deep emotional need to believe so, I have been in the apartments of Europeans who made about as much as I do, and they were a bit less than half the size of the Section 8 apartments of my Medicaid patients.  The other comparisons of standard of living, like grams of protein in the diet, etc, also show European workers at half the American standard of living.  These facts will make no impression, will, if the past is any indication, be taken as some kind of affront. Nevertheless, the facts are measured and officially reported, and I have seen them with my own eyes, also.

  • Charles Martel

    Michael, you just reminded me of a program that my wife and I enjoy on the HGTV network called “House Hunters International.” Each episode is a 30-minute vignette of couples looking to buy a house or apartment in a foreign country. The program might show a search for a fixer-upper in Calabria, or a walk-up in Buenos Aires, or a ranchette in Auckland.

    What has struck us though throughout the series is the abysmally low standard of living in places we expected would be on a par with the United States: Parisian apartments going for $1 million that are quasi-dumps with primitive plumbing; $800,000 Berlin flats with tiny kitchens that to us reveal a deep cultural ambivalence about food; $600,000 Glaswegian townhouses that are as dreary and dour on their interiors as the Scottish countryside in winter.

    The shock of seeing such terrible aesthetics and the rip-off prices for places that would be considered Section 8 or slum housing in the United States has made us very careful about which episodes we watch. If it’s aout people looking for a vacation home in Central America, or the Balkans, or the remote Italian countryside, we’ll watch it. None of the countries or regions involved makes any pretense about its wealth. But looking at how little the Europeans have been able to do with all their wealth to raise the standard of living in their signature cities beyond 1975 just leaves us aghast.

  • Ymarsakar

    $800,000 Berlin flats with tiny kitchens that to us reveal a deep cultural ambivalence about food

    That’s why they won’t kick out MacDonalds. Half of Europe would starve if that happened. 

    But looking at how little the Europeans have been able to do with all their wealth to raise the standard of living in their signature cities beyond 1975 just leaves us aghast.

    I am aghast that anyone would think peasants and serfs need better than they have. Of course they don’t.

  • Michael Adams

    Ymarsakar,  You run cover for the bloody mindedness of the rest of us. Preach it,  Brother!
    I think you may be one of those kids our mothers told us not to play with.  Damn, I’ve had to redo about half of these lines, because I was laughing so hard, I lost my home keys.
    You’ve done my heart good.

  • Zachriel

    Michael Adams: The American experience of social mobility is quite foreign to the Europeans I have known, including a few who made across the water.

    There is significant economic mobility in Europe. This chart is based on research by the Brookings Institute and measures generational mobility.

  • suek

    Nice graph. Very pretty.

    Not especially informative, but very pretty.

    How is mobility measured? What standards do they use?

  • suek

    And I forgot to ask…

    Do they allow _all_ children to attend high school these days? Used to be that the children were evaluated about 6th grade level, and some were directed to the high school, after which they might attend the university, the rest were destined for the trade schools and were not permitted to attend the universities. Unless they came to the US, of course. That change alone could make a big difference in upward mobility…

    Do they have a high school drop out problem? If so, how does it compare to ours? What about the recent “asian” immigrants? Do they attend public schools? if so, what grade levels do they achieve on average?

  • Zachriel

    suek: Not especially informative, but very pretty.

    Unfortunately, only one link is usually allowed to avoid the moderation queue. Basically, a child’s income is more strongly correlated with the parent’s income in the U.S. than in many other developed countries.


  • Danny Lemieux

    Zach, why don’t you provide a source for that chart, together with the criteria upon which the data used in that chart was developed. Otherwise, like Suek points out, it’s just a pretty picture.

  • Michael Adams

    [Tired sigh]  Of course there’s a correlation, probably more now than ever, as men marry women for something besides looks, as couples meet at University, as women do some of the picking, and not just for income potential.  There is a correlation between ability and achievement, even if some of us,(cough) don’t make it so apparent.
    e.g. Hillary married Bill for h is potential. but surely did NOT marry her for her looks. Even when she was  young, she was not all that pulchritudinous.  I despise his overt politics, even more his suspected ones, and hers, likewise, but no one could say she was one of Bill’s cute bimbos.

  • Ymarsakar

    25% of what I say is meant for humor. 33% is serious. And the other 42% is a mystery…

  • Charles Martel

    Doesn’t the word bimbo just cry out for conjugation?

    Bimbo—I screw for Bill

    Bimboes—You screw for Bill

    Bimboet—She screws for Bill (he screws for Barney Fwank)

    Bimboemus—We screw  for Bill

    Bimboetes—You all/youse screw for Bill

    Bimboeten—They screw for Bill