Sunday, September 23, 2007

Both Leftism and Islamism are outlets for rage

Young people who are enraged tend to be drawn into delinquency, drug and alcohol use, and criminality, all as ways to manage and discharge their intolerable internal states. Imagine how awful it is to feel that everyone has disappointed and failed you; imagine the rage of children who feel betrayed and let down over and over again. Such young people are also drawn to ideologies which explicitly support their need to externalize:

I am enraged; it is intolerable to know that my rage stems from my own failures and the failures of those people who have formed the nidus of my internal object world [usually parents]; my failures must be caused by someone else and their behavior [Jews, Americans] justifies this rage I cannot get rid of; now I have a place to discharge and rid myself of this rage.

In reality, since the primary source of the rage is internal, such discharge only works temporarily, necessitating new situations in which to justify and discharge the renewed built-up rage.

Both Marxism and Islamism, with their emphasis on Utopian goals which promise to end disappointment and deprivation while directing condoned rage against the external world of oppressors, share this structure. They facilitate defensive externalization, allow for the free expression of primitive rage, and promise a Utopian consummation, either in an earthly paradise where all desires, material and sexual, can be achieved, or in the heavenly Paradise where the 72 virgins await. This is the attraction of Islam and Marxism to so many disaffected young people.

In college, I dabbled in radical politics. I went to many anti-war demonstrations as a teenager. I enjoyed the frisson of rebellion that the Psychedelic 60s was shrouded within, yet a single incident awoke me to the reality that I would never be a good Marxist. I had been intrigued by Trotsky, the idea of constant revolution was fascinating to someone who wished to resist falling into the predicted and predictable path I feared I was on. On campus was a well established group of young Trotskyites, the Young Socialist Alliance. They were involved in various protests, which were always enjoyable, not least for the presence of many nubile, young radical women who approved of radical young men. One fateful day I stopped by the YSA table to find out more about them. I made a joking reference to the previous weekend's demonstration and discovered that the leader of the group was a young man who was incredibly humorless. He proceeded to lecture me (hectored me, perhaps) with a diatribe on how much commitment was necessary for the revolution to succeed and how there was no room for humor in the revolution; this was deadly serious business fighting the oppressors and jokes had no place in it.

I thought he was a complete jerk; I also thought he was a very dangerous jerk. This was the kind of person who would have no trouble condemning someone for thought crimes. If that was the kind of person who was attracted to Marxism, perhaps I wasn't as much of a radical as I fancied.

Years later I can still recall him, with a Che Guevara beard, intense eyes, and a complete lack of humor or humanity. Any revolution that condemned humor was not a revolution for me.

Rage at a cruel and withholding universe (often a derivative of infantile frustration) is difficult to tolerate. Most of us, with good-enough parenting, come to temper our infantile frustrations (which have roots in our infantile grandiosity which is so painful to give up) by using our loving ties to our parents to metabolize the rage which would otherwise be so destructive. Those unfortunates who cannot do so via love are left enraged and searching for ways to offload the rage to an external victim. Ideologies that enable such offloading attract the angry and the failed and it is through this pathway that Marx (the angry, anti-Semitic hater of religion) and the Islamists (descended from Qutb, the angry, anti-Semitic hater of secularism) find their true identity.




Wal-Mart Unveils Employee Health-Care Overhaul-But Haters Still Unsatisfied: "Wal-Mart, long criticized for its healthcare coverage, unveiled a broad plan this week that is intended to cut employee costs, expand coverage and offer workers thousands of cheap prescription drugs. Starting next year, Wal-Mart"s insurance will look a lot like that offered by many other American companies, but with some twists that even longtime critics described as innovative. Independent experts praised several features of the plan and said it could represent a turning point for the retailer, the NY Times reports. "On face value, this looks like a very significant change and improvement," said Ron Pollack, president of Families USA, a healthcare advocacy group in Washington that has been critical of Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart Watch, a group long critical of the company, said "these plans are still unaffordable due to low wages or inaccessible due to waiting periods," according to the Times report by Michael Barbaro. The plans with the lowest premiums would still charge annual deductibles as high as $2,000-typical for American corporate health plans, but perhaps steep for Wal-Mart employees, many of whom work part time and earn less than $20,000 a year. And the company"s plans have other limitations, including waiting periods as long as a year for new employees. But industry analysts said the program represented an upgrade for the 636,000 employees who already receive health insurance through Wal-Mart. They said it could force the company"s discount-retailing competitors to offer more generous plans for their own workers".

Army wants 10,000 new armored vehicles: "The Army has decided to ask for 10,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles to counter the threat of makeshift bombs in Iraq, according to one of the program's top congressional supporters. The new request is nearly four times the 2,700 vehicles, known as MRAPs, that the Army had sought. That's still not enough, said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who was briefed on the change by the Defense Department. Biden cited a request this year for 17,770 of the vehicles for the Army by Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 military commander in Iraq."

Poor don't fret about income inequality: "Many analysts think society is happier when inequalities fall and unhappier when inequalities rise. The truth is more complex. In an economic recession, profits fall much faster than wages, so equality improves. But the poor don't enjoy recessions, because they don't want to lose their jobs. They prefer an economic boom, when profits rise faster than wages, even though inequalities also increase. In India, states like Bihar and Orissa are dirt poor while Maharashtra and Goa are rich. But while economists fret about the disparity, the poor people of Bihar and Orissa don't. They know their travails are caused not by rich people in other states but by local landlords, mobsters and politicians. Poor people worry about inequality when the local dominant classes keep them down. But they have no wish to impoverish industrialists in rich states; they merely want to become rich themselves. Booming stock markets bring jobs and investment, so poor people welcome them."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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