Anyone who reads the Bible will get a sense that this is so. The heroes of the Bible, men of God though they may be, all have all too human flaws. Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer and a murderer. The list goes on and on. But there has been as long as can be determined a different strain in human thinking, the idea that man can be perfected. Christianity clearly teaches that man is incapable of saving himself, since even if he did everything perfectly, he would only be doing what was expected of him. Therefore the only way for anyone to be saved is through the Grace of our Savior, God in the form of his Son, took our punishment upon himself to save all men (here using the English convention which means "men" here stands for women, children indeed all humankind.) This alternate strain teaches that man can effect his own salvation, creating a paradise on earth.
There is something profoundly conservative about this, though not in any neatly partisan sense. One of the great intellectual and philosophical divides — a chasm really — is between those who believe in the “perfectibility of man” and those who side with Kant’s observation that “out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.” The perfectibility of man comes with a lot of associated intellectual baggage. It tends to rely on the idea that we are “blank slates.” How could it be otherwise? If we come preloaded with software that cannot be erased, we cannot be perfected. Rousseau, one of the great advocates of the perfectibility of man, got around this by arguing that, in our natural state, we were perfect: “noble savages,” as John Dryden put it. According to this theory, what makes us sinful isn’t our nature but the oppressiveness of our civilization. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” is the way that Rousseau put it, arguing that civilization was unnatural and soul-warping.
But, since we couldn’t go back to our blissful state of nature, the only choice was to go forward and create a new perfect society — an idea that is only possible if you believe that the crooked timber of the people can be shaped.
The Founders rejected this view, believing that human nature is a constant, like a river. It can be shaped and, more often, channeled — but it cannot be erased. It’s better, therefore, to create systems that check our worst instincts and encourage our best ones.The baggage of which Goldberg speaks is the intellectual heft behind the Left whether it calls itself Communist/Facsism/Socialism/Progressive/Liberal/Fabianism (have I left any of the names of the Left out?) ideology. At their core, they assume that man is a blank slate that can be molded, that his nature can be changed by the right combination of laws and magical incantations. But the truth is that human nature has never changed. The truth is that the Left wants power, and its followers want free stuff that they did not work to achieve. Power and envy then drives the people who believe in the perfectibility of man. Power and envy, and hey say that the nature of man can be perfected. Riiight.