Some thoughts on Leftism from Gagdad Bob
Yesterday we discussed Voegelin's concept of political gnosticism, which first "condemns the existing world as broken and alienating, plagued by evil forces preventing a complete and happy restoration of man's spiritual and material life." This existential diagnosis is followed by the promise of "a mode of deliverance or salvation from the prison of the world for man through a secret gnosis" -- i.e., by the toxic political prescription of a secular priesthood. Progressives believe that by manipulating people with just the right coercive policies, the state can reconstitute paradise and create a "'kingdom of heaven on earth," for which Voegelin coined the ponderous term, "immanentizing the eschaton." ...
From Marx on down, the leftist fallacy follows from turning spiritual Truth on its head (or "inside-out"), so that man's spiritual crisis is seen as a material one (e.g. "robber barons," "global warming," "global cooling," "nuclear power," "income disparity," "corporate greed," etc.) instead of a psycho-spiritual one. This is the "fundamental assumption" which adherents of all the variant progressive systems within our epoch unconsciously presuppose.
For example, the progressive would say that Palestinians aren't evil, they're just poor. Which precisely inverts the truism that they are poor because they are evil (except for the few who are extraordinarily wealthy because they are evil, having been enriched by the largesse of Western progressives who give them money because they think it will stop them from being evil, when it always does the opposite, thus ensuring a constant cash flow from backward progressives).
So yes, secular progressives do begin with the same cognitive "deep structure" as those who are in touch with reality, but they promptly place their heads up their assumptions and de-spiritualize them, very similar to how the unconscious mind creates a sexual perversion. In order to create a perversion, the unconscious must "see" a truth it wishes to deny, usually revolving around the reality of sexual/generational differences. For example, many homosexual men compulsively attempt to incorporate the father's phallus in a direct instead of symbolic manner. An insecure heterosexual man might attempt the same thing by projecting this homosexual desire into women, thus having a compulsive need to "conquer" them in order to shore up his weak masculinity.
Brits can't deport bin Laden's right hand man: "The government's anti-terror policy was dealt a double blow yesterday when firebrand preacher Abu Qatada won his fight against deportation, and ministers were forced to abandon their bid to eject a further 12 terror suspects from Britain. Qatada, a Jordanian once described as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe", will remain behind bars while the Home Office appeals against his landmark victory in the Court of Appeal. In the second case, two Libyans known only as "AS" and "DD" won their appeals against deportation, leading the Home Office to drop proceedings against them and ten other Libyans suspected of terrorism."
The Afghanistan success story: "Most of the American media have continuously misreported the NATO mission in Afghanistan as a disaster unfolding, beginning before the effort even began, with warnings of the "brutal Afghan winter." More recently, the media are representing that the Taliban is "resurgent" (when in fact it was NATO that was on the offensive), that the NATO alliance is crumbling, and that Afghanistan is all but lost. I have shown that statements from NATO leaders have gone almost completely ignored when they do not sustain the "losing in Afghanistan" narrative. I remember one article in which the writer declared that the Taliban had "vast swaths of unchallenged territory, including rural areas." The truth of the matter was that NATO forces had pushed the Taliban out of the towns and villages and into the wastelands. But even a clear victory finds the media unable to represent the truth of the matter that we are holding, expanding and rebuilding in Afghanistan. To be sure, there are challenges ahead but the general trend is one of victory, not defeat."
McCain refuses to rule out preemptive war against Iran: "McCain, who has wrapped up his party's nomination to run for the White House in the November election, has maintained support for Iraq war and has said frequently that he would rather lose an election than a war. When asked at a town hall meeting about the Bush policy on preemption, McCain said: "I don't think you can make a blanket statement about preemptive war because obviously it depends on the threat that the United States of America faces."
Forza Silvio! "Silvio Berlusconi, who is ahead in the opinion polls before a general election in Italy this weekend, claimed that right-wing women were more attractive than those who supported the Left. Mr Berlusconi, noted for his impromptu gaffes, told a radio station: "The women of the Right are certainly the most beautiful." By contrast, "the Left has no taste, not even when it comes to women", he said. Giovanna Melandri, a leading centre-left politician and Minister for Sport and Youth in the outgoing Government of Romano Prodi, said that Mr Berlusconi's jokes showed "a repeated and denigrating conception of women"."
Jewish group angry over banned radio ad: "A Jewish advocacy group is steaming after a classical radio station in New York refused to run an ad that described the daily threat of missile attacks facing Israelis in the Gaza border city of Sderot. WQXR, which is owned by The New York Times decided not to run the 60-spot from the American Jewish Committee because it was out of the bounds of acceptability and could alarm the station's American listeners. AJC Executive Director David Harris issued a lengthy statement on the group's Web site decrying the decision as an attempt to 'silence' the group's viewpoint. Harris complained the station's managers wanted acknowledgment of Israel's own military actions in the ad."
Biting the hand that feeds you.: "A common complaint in Europe is that Israel is "starving" Gaza, and that vital medical supplies are not getting through to civilians. This - despite Israeli workers having to supply these essentials to Gaza under terrorists' fire and threat of bombing - is nonsense. Also, let's leave aside the orchestrated-for-Western-media Hamas "blackout" of Gaza recently. Here's an interesting report. 4 Palestinian Arab terrorists killed 2 Israeli workers Tuesday. Fair enough, some might think: the victims were Israeli "occupiers," after all. The terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza, and killed 2 employees of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal. The thing is, this Israeli fuel terminal supplies Gaza with most of its fuel supply. Analogy: after the London Blitz, the world expects Britain to supply the Germans with food, medical supplies, fuel, etc. Morally, there is no difference here."
Veterans Affairs: Employees spend billions: "Veterans Affairs employees last year racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in government credit-card bills at casino and luxury hotels, movie theaters and high-end retailers such as Sharper Image and Franklin Covey -- and government auditors are investigating, citing past spending abuses. All told, VA staff charged $2.6 billion to their government credit cards. The Associated Press, through a Freedom of Information request, obtained the VA list of 3.1 million purchases made in the 2007 budget year. The list offers a detailed look into the everyday spending at the government's second largest department."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is a recent example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)