“We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his … comic inversion of our old certitudes … But as we laugh, we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces, there is no smile.” – Hilaire Belloc.
This will probably get me hate mail. Perhaps it will merit a condign banning from all right-of-center blogs I post it to. That’s OK. Maybe George Bernard Shaw was accurate in his disdain for any club that would willingly include him as a member. But here goes my version of the Albigensian Heresy. American would be a better country if we had a strong Left that still adhered to its original principles.
I say this because the United States will always have a strong Leftist movement. Like cockroaches, Marxists, Socialists and most of the Professoriate at Oberlin College will surely survive the next incident of nuclear war. The liberals, like the poor, will always be with us. What they won’t always do is plant their banner on the bedrock of commendable and unflinching principle.
They have achieved great power in America and eschewed all responsibility. As a result of this, they have achieved the vexing contradictory conundrum of massive political power combined with incontinent functional impotence. Mark Tapscott describes how a hyper-empowered Leftist US President, with Congressional majorities unrivaled since Lyndon Johnson held office, is impotent before the fundamental demands of his job.
We see this week a remarkable confluence of events signaling the eventual end of Big Government: The bureaucrats and politicians can spend trillions but they can’t plug the Gulf oil spill, agree on a budget in Congress or end the Great Recession’s foreclosures and unemployment. (HT: Washington Examiner)
This should not come as a surprise. Those who have no vision are doomed to be lost. Like Roland of Gilead forgetting his magical horn in Book 7 of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, the American Left has forgotten the core moral justification or having a Leftist Movement at all. Leftist French Philosopher Bernard Le’vy describes the evil shadow that has fallen over the ideology he spent his life serving.
The Left that he supported ever since 1968, the one that sought human liberation from dictators and from ancient prejudices, has been rapidly disintegrating, Le´vy writes, and is being replaced by a degenerate version. He sees in this Zombie Left or New Barbarism (two of his several epithets) the essence of totalitarian thought:… (Ernest Sternberg. Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For. University of Buffalo.)
Nick Cohen, another life-long man of The Left describes more specifically what has made The New Liberalism so profoundly and hatefully illiberal towards its philosophical opponents.
‘‘For all the atrocities and follies committed in its name,’’ he writes, ‘‘the Left
possessed this virtue: it would stand firm against fascism.’’ But then he speaks of the corruption that befell their movement and morphed them into something more criminal and, dare I say it, sinister. ‘‘I call them nihilists because of their willful refusal to put an agenda before the public. Because they don’t have a positive programme, it is difficult to think of a better label, although I accept that one is needed because they are the dominant left-wing force today.’’( Nick Cohen, What’s Left? How the Left Lost It’s Way (London: Harper Perennial, 2007).
Ernest Sternberg writes that this New Left believes in a crucible-like purification of the world. He describes this ideology as Purificationism. His description of Purificationism follows below.
The past decade has seen the coalescence of a new ideology that envisions social movements in a cataclysmic struggle against global capitalist Empire. Controlled by U.S. militarism and multinational corporations, in cahoots with Zionism, Empire contaminates environments and destroys cultures. Its defeat will bring about a new era of social justice and sustainable development, in which the diverse cultures harmoniously share the earth. Is this a totalitarian ideology?
Thus, in the name of all that is decent, the Purifcationists will smash the Evil Empire. They will replace it with what? Perhaps what Mark Tapscott described above is the best they are capable of. They promise a world that is cleaner, more moral, less decadent and more livable. In reality, they piddle with impotence incapable of plugging any of the d__n holes.
So what exactly happens in Italy when Il Duce can’t manage a train station any more effectively than Larry, Curly or Moe? They do what Big Brother would do. Every INGSOC must have its Goldstein. We see this when Hateful Thomas demands that Israel “Get the H_ll out of Palestine.” If we could just sacrifice the scapegoat, then the gods will no longer be angry.
There are other parts of the world that have tried this before. In the Congo, Laurant Kabila swore up and down that he would apply Scientific Socialism, give power to the People, and everything would be “Right On!” Five Million dead scapegoats, hundreds of thousands of rapes and the largest international force of peacekeepers deployed in world history have not put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.
The Congo remains the Congo. It is the place where the Leftist ideological experiment runs to its logical conclusion in the complete absence of any interest or interference from the Diabolical West. The Congo is the epitome of what The Purificationists are capable of. It is the experimental result that will recur in every land where the Modern Liberal is allowed to rule unchallenged.
Yet to read Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin, there can be a Left with at least tolerably decent and noble intentions. The character of Sandy Blair was prepared to give up his life assassinating someone to subvert a vile Totalitarian Leftist plot. These people do have the ideological tools at hand to police their own in a manner not reminiscent of Danton, Marat or Robespierre. Yet they don’t because of their badly flawed template.
The Left has seemed to have evolved the following template to salvation. (1) Smash the Neo-Capitalist Empire. (2) Purify the world by purging the Infidels. (3)?????? (4) Nirvana.
Reality then rears its hoary, reptilian head. The way it works here on Earth is as follows. (1) Smash the Neo-Capitalist Empire. (2) Purify the world by purging the Infidels. (3) Starvation, barbarism, violence, cataclysmic warfare and death. (AKA – Congo).
Belloc accurately described the barbarism. Yet the large and awful faces are no longer beyond. If our nation is not rid of Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the hateful, Neo-Fascist ideology that motivates all three of these so-called “Progressives” we are going find out just how badly these large and awful faces emit halitosis.
The principled, honorable and decently educated human beings who ascribe to a Liberal view of the world have to acknowledge the obvious factual state of their current regime to solve America’s problems. I can’t convince these people to agree with me, but I can hopefully convince them to police up their own ideological garbage, rather than nominating it to run The House of Representatives.
The Left will always be with us. The Left will always be strong. They will always tend to disagree with the Conservative view of the world. I ask them to be strong and decent as well because the Left doesn’t always have to hate the existence of America as it was originally founded. The barbarians encroach on our circle ever closer. The American Left could at least have the decency to stand up against the ones within their own ranks.