LI has very simple reasons for hating the Left (there should be an echo effect every time that nasty little term is uttered): whenever the Left (echo echo) is part of the title of some essay, the alleged Leftist is surely going to use the occasion to support the war in Iraq, or support stuffing the Washington Consensus down the throat of Latin American, or denounce Chavez, or do variations on the power elite dance that are indistinguishable, in the end, from policies advocated by the Cato Institute (which is, actually, more antiwar than the Left (echo echo)) or the Heritage foundation.
Take a gander at a magazine like Dissent (or, if you have a stronger stomach, Democratiya – which by the way, what fucking dick came up with that title? do those people entirely lack a sense of humor?). The current online issue offers for your entertainment and progressive reading pleasure an article analyzing the Mexican elections (you guessed it – Lopez Obrador is an authoritarian, the future is in markets, there was no election fraud, blah blah blah) by Angel Jaramillo – a New School student specializing in (o Lord, take me now!) Leo Strauss.
There is also the editor’s intro to Dissent, which begins by pointing out, through the wisdom of a poll conducted by CNN, that the elections (ritual expression of gratitude for the Dems win) don’t represent some leftward tending by the electorate. Heaven forbid. The Left (echo echo) stands firmly committed to a third way that triangulates from the really conservative feelings of the vast majority of the population – and if the vast majority starts expressing a yen for lefty-liberal programs, it will certainly mess up the triangulation.
And then the editor (one Mitchell Cohen) proceeds to shovel this poop:
“Some of the toughest questions will concern foreign policy. Consider Iran’s aggressive ambitions. Here is a militant theocracy pursuing nuclear weapons, calling for genocide against a member of the UN, and seeking hegemony in a rattled region. It’s rattled, in part, thanks to disheartening U.S. policy. The United States has a long record of stumbling when it comes to Iran. Think of Washington’s support for the 1953 coup. Remember the utter incompetence of Jimmy Carter’s policies. In this issue we publish a remarkable speech made in Tehran by Joschka Fischer, Germany’s ex–foreign minister. He presents the stakes with candor. In addition, we feature a symposium on Iran and the West. The problems raised in the symposium have frightening implications. People on the left need to be thoughtful and not clichéd in approaching them. See Fred Halliday’s critical article on the romance of some leftists with Islamic extremists—the jihadism of fools. Not that there are wise holy wars.”
Then there is Halliday’s article. I hope he did a twofer with this one - it would fit so well with our comrades over at Telos! I'd go into it, but how much stupidity do I have to suffer for the sake of my readers? Okay, begin with muttering about widespread approval on the Left (hiss hiss – this is the bad left that cheers for the wolf instead of Red Riding Hood, the one that is being rescued by the good left, the Halliday-Cohen-Hitchens left, calling out to all comrades at sea) of the 9/11 attacks. Then the usual humanitarian intervention, Halliday fighting, of course, the fourth world war from an ultra Marxy perspective! It will be a killing field, boys, but fifty years from now, women will be freed from the veil. Mention Iran as a theocracy. That's a good one. That will show em. A dictatorship no less. And so, in the manner of the beloved Soviet Union before him, Halliday and his ilk temporarily form a popular front with the Cheney daughters.
Your average radio talkshow bigneck can do a better job with these threads and pieces than Halliday, but such is the sum of that thing called Dissent. Irving Howe, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you... oo oo oo.
My suggestion is: the LEFT (echo echo) should slit its throat with a big rusty razor. Basta! I know just how Robespierre felt. But have no fear, fearless Leftyites, you will be propped up for decades for your usefulness in creating a counterfeit ideology to flood the market. Case in point: look at, or weep over, the tender Saturday profile of the insufferable Kenan Makiya, the man who who wrote that the the bombs being dropped by American aircraft on Baghdad was "music to his ears" in 2003, as he wrestles with the demons of Iraq in the dangerous precincts of Cambridge, Mass. He is ... doing an analysis! I shiver and shake, thinking of the radical things that might come out of that! But let's see, I'll look in my crystal ball for a moment and find - everything he believed before the invasion was right! he was let down by the people. That's what I'd bet. Hitchens just reviewed his own support for the war and found it was right, too. I was so nervous - I thought he might think he screwed the pooch. So reassuring.
And so it goes, Leftyism serving the war culture in every way.
Surely some budding Sartre should somewhere should write a Naissance d'un guachiste as a matching set with Naissance d'un chef. The first phase would be the ultra phase. Capitalism must be overthrown. The rhetoric in this phase is all ruddy and bloody, the demands, oh, how they pile up! Our lefty is in full imperative mode. He knows that the people united will never be defeated. Phase two, of course, is the upward trajectory. The invites to write articles. Here, our lefty is mr. strategist. Ah, how he casts his sharp eye upon the field of forces! phase three is the NGO or the Academic post. Now comes the era of taking the temperature of the Left. He is continually sticking a thermometer in its, or his, ass, and reporting on the important numbers. By this time, of course, Left is his brand. But it turns out that not overthrowing capitalism right away has had advantages. The credit card, the tenure track, the kids' schooling. So time for phase four, which is democracy - or democratiya, for by this time the Leftist has lost any sense of humor, and finds the least hint of irony to be a bad sign - cynicism afoot and like that. Now he can bring his immense credentials, the threat he once posed to the whole capitalist system, to the crying need for human rights in some place that has to be at least two thousand miles from where he lives - and the rhetoric swells with the accustomed absolutes! But the battle now is against comrades who are allied with fascists - say it ain't so! but sadly, it is. All those comrades with the poster up of Mohammad Atta - oh, they may seem invisible, they may seem non-existent, but comrades, they swarm in the night!
And so on. As a career track move, I highly recommend Leftyism to the budding student out there. It pays richly, both in the moral butter one can swim in in the twenties, and the fat of the land one gets to enjoy later on.
But me? This is why I hate the Left (echo echo).
“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears
Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann
"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads
"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads