Understanding the modern-day Left
As is so often the case with some of the world's most destructive ideologies, they are born from the honest and high-minded efforts of intellectuals, politicians, and historians to right a perceived societal wrong, often coupled with a desire to redress the purported victimization of a people or a nation. One cannot fathom the power of these revolutionary movements without at least attempting to understand their appeal. Few, if any, successful revolutionary movements were based on the embrace of the dark side of human nature; on the contrary, most were clothed in the shining raiment of goodness and equity. The most violent excesses of the French Revolution were -- at least, originally -- carried out in the firm belief that they were working for the betterment of mankind.
The fervor with which these Great Causes were embraced by so many otherwise 'normal' people did not come from their perception of themselves or The Cause as the virtual incarnation of Evil, but rather as the victory of the Good. Whether we are contemplating Islamism, Fascism, Nazism or Communism, or even the rise of an unmitigated monster such as a Pol Pot or an Osama bin Laden, we cannot comprehend these sweeping political upheavals without first acknowledging their loyal adherents' unquestioned self-perception as the embodiment of justice and righteousness. The road to hell is paved with such well-intentioned movements.
The closest this contentious world has ever come to achieving true social equity has been in those modern nations which have embraced the combined principles of freedom, capitalism, and democracy. They are simply the most judicious and honorable systems yet devised. Unfortunately, this glaring truth does not render these privileged societies impervious to the machinations of those who know better, those who understand history better, and can better interpret its meanings, those who have conceptualized a better vision of the future, embodied in a better system. There is always a 'better system' out there. And as we have seen to our despair, oftentimes those same old ugly lies reappear in the guise of some newer 'better system', and subsequently a whole new generations of believers is born.
Thus we now have our New Left. A New Left which really isn't all that new; and yet, despite its undeniable previous history of abject failure and brutal oppression, it still manages to attract a whole new roster of converts. And once again, this is not because it appeals to the evil hearts and minds of these newest disciples, but rather beckons to their higher selves. They believe that they have a better grasp of historical truth than the rest of us. They believe that they have the answers for the rest of us. And, as with all those other monumental idealistic disasters that have befallen mankind, they will be our ruin unless we can stop them. And we cannot hope to stop them unless and until we understand them.
If I understand it correctly, the argument of the liberal, multicultural, internationalist left goes like this: Over the course of history, the concept of nationhood has been thoroughly discredited: it has wrought nothing but divisiveness and trouble to the world community. The two greatest and most destructive wars in human history were the direct result of the opposing selfish ambitions of several major nation states. Nationalism breeds patriotism; patriotism breeds chauvinism; chauvinism, in turn, breeds ultra-nationalism -- or as it is more commonly known, fascism. Therefore, for the sake of world peace, the idea of individualistic nations with finite borders and selfish agendas must be done away with completely and forever and replaced by the more rational, humanistic concept of internationalism.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the left lost its champion for the worldwide movement of internationalism, which it had hoped would defeat the self-interested powers of nationalism and capitalism. Following the disintegration of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R., and the abject failure of communism in general, the left had to look for a new paradigm, and for new leaders. Not surprisingly, the new left would find its leaders amongst the liberal intelligentsia, who were, themselves, largely products of the radical protest movements of the Sixties and the "cultural elite". This new social revolution would be led by artists, writers, academics and left-leaning politicians of the world who would unite to create a new internationalist order.
Whereas the goals of the Communist state-based old left were primarily political, the new left's battles are primarily cultural -- political power, as such, is seen only as a means to an end. This internationalist new left is ideologically opposed to any intrinsic national characteristics -- such as, language, monetary systems, customs, etc. -- which would set one nation apart from another. Most particularly, they are opposed to borders -- borders, after all, define nations, which, as has been proven, are a fundamentally disruptive and dangerous concept. Secondly, once the whole construct of nationhood is done away with, then those intransigent problems of racism and immigration (two issues high on the new left's agenda) would disappear.
In the last several decades Europe has already moved (perhaps irreversibly) in this direction, with its creation of the European Union, the introduction of the Euro, the pan-European capitol at Brussels, with its International Court at the Hague and, of course, its "moral" opposition the the "nationalistic" United States. More ominously, Europe's intrinsic cultural identity is in the process of being obliterated by the mass influx of (mostly Muslim) immigrants who, rather than assimilate, more often than not form their own separate enclaves, follow their own cultural leaders and laws, and continue speaking their own languages. Less and less do these new immigrants show any sense of affiliation with, or loyalty toward their new European host countries.* In fact, in many instances, they thoroughly despise these liberal societies which they have infiltrated and actively seek to tear them down from within and replace them with something more "internationalist", like the universal religion of Islam. Unfortunately, far from being some compassionate, all-encompassing, peace-loving world order, this radical form of jihadist Islam -- whose rights the new leftists so passionately defend -- is, in the end, far more tyrannical and fascistic than any of these so-called brutal imperialist nations that they would like to do away with.
These ideological battles with the forces of the multicultural, internationalist new left and their allies at the ACLU, the universities, Hollywood and the media, etc., are being played out daily in our own country with our ongoing and hotly contested debates over border enforcement, immigration legislation, English language issues, illegal alien rights, racial profiling, etc. The new left's Utopian and monumentally ambitious goal is to eventually have an America without borders, either northern or southern, a North American Union, similar in concept to the EU, a thoroughly homogeneous socialist society, minus, of course, any culturally unique Americans, governed by international laws, adjudicated by international courts.
These current societal conflicts are essentially battles of migration, similar to the great Germanic migrations that overwhelmed the increasingly vulnerable Roman Empire of the third, fourth and fifth centuries. They are battles of demographics. And they are battles that, for various reasons, the peoples of the Western Democracies are losing. However violent and bloody they might be, the most serious threats to our democratic societies do not necessarily come from these well-publicized, intermittent terrorist attacks but, rather, from these insidious -- and seemingly unstoppable -- ubiquitous cultural invasions, against which we, in our liberal and open societies seem woefully incapable of defending ourselves.
I guess I must be a sentimental old fool. I read recently a story in "The Times" which I cannot get out of my head. I have posted it on Paralipomena. It is about a man who was adopted out as a baby but who finally traced his birth mother when he was 41. Such stories are usually emotional but you read such stories often so what was unusual about this story? The striking thing is in the very last sentence -- a sentence that is at once totally crazy and totally right. I am sure that no self-obsessed Leftist would think anything of it but it brings tears to my old eyes. If you choose to read it, do read the whole story first. Peeking at the last sentence first may well deprive it of much of its impact. A recent post on Wicked Thoughts has got some memorable entries in it too.
Two major Left-leaning Australian newspapers cut back: "Fairfax Media Ltd says it will cut five per cent of its workforce under a new business improvement program to save costs. The program will be implemented in the first half of 2008/09 and extend across the group's corporate division, Australian publishing and printing businesses and Fairfax New Zealand. "A wide range of initiatives will result in a head count reduction of approximately 550 employees in Australia and New Zealand, or approximately five per cent of the company's full time workforce," it said in a statement. The program will deliver around $50 million in annualised cost savings. Some $25 million of the savings will flow into the 2008/09 annual result. Fairfax will book a one-off charge of about $50 million for redundancy and associated costs. [The papers mainly affected are the Melbourne "Age" and the "Sydney Morning Herald"]
Economic myths : "By taking a couple of courses in economic theory, we could immunize ourselves from nonsense spouted by politicians and pundits, but in the meantime check out Professor John R. Lott's `Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works.' His first chapter is `Are You Being Ripped Off?' It addresses myths about predation where it's sometimes alleged that corporations will charge below-cost prices to bankrupt their rivals and then charge unconscionable prices. There's little or no evidence that corporations would choose predation as strategy; there are too many pitfalls."
Affirmative-action ban on 2 state ballots: "Backers of a November ballot measure to ban affirmative action will focus on two states - one of them a battleground in the presidential election - after their efforts failed elsewhere. Nebraska on Friday joined Colorado as one of two places where voters will decide whether to end programs that increase minority and female participation in government and education. The measure did not receive enough valid signatures in Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma."
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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)