Tuesday, March 16, 2004


Liberal with other people's money is about all

America's academic Left still love communism: "In Denial pulls no punches. "Far too much academic writing about communism, anticommunism and espionage is marked by dishonesty, evasion, special pleading and moral squalor. Like Holocaust deniers, some historians of American communism have evaded and avoided facing a preeminent evil"-namely, the Stalinist dictatorship that for decades ruled the Soviet Union, murdered millions of its own citizens, and treated foreign Communist parties as mere minions of Moscow. There's no denying Haynes and Klehr's contention that "a significant number of American academics still have soft spots in their hearts for the CPUSA," the American Communist Party".

The 60s generation: "One of the most striking features in the anti-Vietnam-War movement and standpoint .. was the astonishing tolerance shown towards the Communist countries, and their deeds, that is, what they did or had done to their own people, and to others, and to their attitudes towards basic notions like freedom, human autonomy, and even the possibility of democracy... Elitism without Guilt.. the Sixties' young grabbed it, and have lived off the fantasy ever since. These Believers think that everything worth saying has been said - and is known - by them. Past knowledge and history are bunk. The forever young make the new history, and make sure that no-one with different values is listened to. The similarity of these political fairytales told to our impressionable, upwardly mobile radical young, and those told to young Germans, and Italians and Russians - rather earlier - is striking".

At least this book pulls no punches about the Leftist attitude to free speech: There's No Such Thing As Free Speech: And It's a Good Thing, Too by Stanley Fish. Given my generally cynical view of Leftist motivations, I am inclined to agree with the reviewer who said: "But it seems to me more likely that Fish is simply being meritricious for personal gain: he is using his considerable rhetorical and pedagogical talents to defend nonsense, not because he believes it or wants others to object to him, but in order to make a name for himself as academia's "bad boy"." Fish's arguments are nonetheless conventional Leftist postmodernism and, as such, are taken very seriously by his colleagues on the academic Left -- as we see here

Che Guevara is still worshipped by the young Leftists of Western universities but as a Cuban writes of him: "He did not have any business in Cuba but he went there to kill Cubans. He did not have any business in Africa but he went there to kill Africans. He did not have any business in Bolivia, but he went there to kill Bolivians, where he eventually died on his own sword.... As far as I am concerned, Ernesto Guevara was the Bin Laden of his time.... It will be very insulting for millions of people if, 30 years from now, they were to see in the streets people wearing Bin Laden T-shirts, as it is now for us to see people using Che Guevara's T-shirts."

Actually both Castro and Guevara have more in common with Mussolini (the founder of Fascism) than anyone else -- though that is probably unkind to Mussolini. As it says here: "From 1912 to 1914, Mussolini was the Che Guevara of his day, a living saint of leftism. Handsome, courageous, charismatic, an erudite Marxist, a riveting speaker and writer, a dedicated class warrior to the core, he was the peerless duce of the Italian Left. He looked like the head of any future Italian socialist government, elected or revolutionary...."

Hayek had it right long ago: "Hayek's challenge was to argue that German Nazism was not an aberrant "right-wing" perversion growing out of the "contradictions" of capitalism. Instead, the Nazi movement had developed out of the "enlightened" and "progressive" socialist and collectivist ideas of the pre-World War I era, which many intellectuals in England and the United States had praised and propagandized for in their own countries."


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