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Symposium: Leaving the Political Faith: Part IV By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, October 21, 2005


Unholy Alliance 

Ladies and gentlemen, as former members of the Left, you obviously know some things about the Left that many others may not completely understand. In our terror war today, the Left is in league with the Islamist enemy. Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Tom Hayden, George Galloway and many of their ilk are championing the terrorists and cheering for their victory. I remember after 9/11 in my own community, leftists I personally know were gleaming with euphoric inspiration. I hadn’t seen them so happy in years. It was one of the creepiest things I had ever witnessed.

The Left is supposed to be for women’s rights, for minority rights, for gay rights and for all democratic rights. And yet, today, the members of the political faith are vehemently cheering on the most gay-hating, women-hating, minority-hating and democracy-hating force on the face of the earth. They are in league with a repulsive and sadistic and fascist death-cult.

 

This is nothing new, of course, for Leftists’ support of communism throughout the 20th century, of mass murderers like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and Mengistu was all part of the same tradition.

 

But what gives here in general? Can you give us a psychological analysis of why, let us say, a leftist feminist would support an ideology that enforces a vicious form of gender apartheid? What motivates these people in general to venerate ideologies and regimes where they themselves would be extinguished within 30 seconds of contact?  

 

Bradley: Regarding Dr Chesler's question about whether I am serious about the NY Times not being ideological, I said "highly ideological". It has an obvious liberal bias in its opinion pages, but it is also a newspaper of record, and its coverage of the Middle East is by and large (in my opinion) balanced. It is certainly not in favor of suicide bombings or madness of that nature.

 

And while it is often critical of right-wing Israeli governments, Israel is after all a democracy, and therefore permits of such criticism -- from within its own political system and free media and from outsiders. No government in the world should ever be beyond rational and measured criticism, by which I do not of course mean the "Israel is the source of all the evil in the world and must be destroyed" nonsense.

Jamie, I think -- to return to your question of the "unholy alliance" between the Left and Islamist terrorism -- that it is mainly a case of my enemy's enemy is my friend. When the Berlin Wall came down and the Communist threat disappeared, the Islamist threat filled the vacuum. Those on the Left who saw the imminent triumph of free-market capitalism, and were initially filled with dread, welcomed the rise of the Islamists because they seemed to check American power by challenging American hegemony and norms. 

On the personal level, I think it is a combination of ignorance and wilful self-delusion. Perhaps I can best illustrate this by way of example. I met a female British journalist in Cairo recently who is a notorious Leftist in sympathy with the Iraqi insurgents who, as you suggest, would only keep her alive for more than 30 seconds if it was to torture her before a final beheading. She is forever pointing out the supposed pitfalls of those on the Right who criticise Arab culture. And yes, she is in favor of gay and women's rights, something those she lives among of course are not.

But it didn't take me long to see how she reconciles these apparent contradictions: She just doesn't ever mix with the locals! In fact, I can tell you that she privately had nothing but contempt for Egyptians and Egyptian culture. Her whole stance was just a pose. She was exploiting the issues raised by America's role in the Middle East to promote an anti-American agenda. She was dealing with symbols and not reality. And when reality had to be confronted -- as in the outrageous arrest, torture and imprisonment of gays in Cairo, or the obvious violations of women's rights in Saudi Arabia -- she would say something about how these cultures are "different", that we have to respect other people's cultures -- cultures she actually hated so much that she couldn't bear to immerse herself in them even though they were on the doorstep.

Lopez-Calderon: On the matter of the Unholy Alliance between elements of the radical Left and Wahhabi-inspired radical Islam, I would remind people that there also exists an unofficial tacit alliance between the White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, and isolationists on one hand and the radical Islamists on the other.  Dr. Chesler spoke of belief in “Paradise Now” and Keith Thompson said that the “capacity for self-delusion is an existential factor of human nature per se, rather than a specific characteristic of the Left or even a defining quality of ideology as such,” while John R. Bradley referred to the alliance as one of “a case of my enemy's enemy is my friend.”  All three of these observations come closer to the reality of the American Left than suggestions of outright nefarious plans for treason. 

 

The American Left has a faith in the overall goodness of humanity, and that belief system of theirs does not wish to be disturbed by the ugly truth that evil exists.  So they misplace their anger by engaging in elaborate conspiracy theories about corporate power and Chomsky’s favorite anti-MSM charge, “webs of deceit.” The vast majority of American Leftists are misguided; however, they are neither stupid nor suicidal.  Their naivety is dangerous in that it can undermine a national consensus to steel our resolve for the long war ahead against radical Islam.  But the majority of American Leftists most likely would drop their anti-American pretensions in the aftermath of a catastrophic terror attack that makes 9/11 look like child’s play.  They would come around as did the America First isolationists of over three generations ago.

 

What is different today from the isolationists of December 7, 1941 is that September 11 did not serve as a catalytic event for domestic critics of U.S. power the way Pearl Harbor did.  I have always feared that 9/11 was not enough and have wondered if it would take a more devastating blow finally to awaken a sizeable number of “soft” and muddleheaded, wind-chiming Americans.  I fear the answer is 9/11 was not enough.  But make no mistake, if there is a massive Al-Qaeda WMD attack or a series of smaller but deadly attacks that bring war, death, and destruction to our soil, the percentage of American Leftists now thought be a “threat” would shrink to a tiny, rabid few aged communists, youthful halfwits, and a pitiful number of professorial clowns like Ward Churchill.

 

So in essence, the real threat posed by the American Left is one of demoralizing the military, confusing and misleading the public; undermining long-term and admittedly difficult foreign policy goals; and thus making us more vulnerable to attack.  However, should those attacks occur in frequency and grow in scale you will witness a majority of the American Left finally making a stand to defend home and hearth.  They’re naïve, we strongly disagree with their political positions, but they’re not suicidal-inclined traitors.  They’ll realize the Islamists are equal opportunity murderers that make no distinctions between right and left.  

 

FP: I’m afraid that I ascribe much more malicious and destructive intent to the Left and its vision than some of our guests here today.

 

I find it incredible that after a whole century of leftists supporting and venerating one mass murderer after another, one genocidal killing machine after another, that somehow, when the new killing machine is born, and the Left ecstatically jumps to wholeheartedly support its vicious path, we are somehow supposed to believe that, once again, most leftists are somehow acting out of some kind of good-hearted and naïve wish for a better world.

 

You witness Stalin kill millions, you witness Mao kill millions, you witness Pol and Mengistu and Castro and North Vietnam engage in mass murder. You witness 100 million human corpses sacrificed on the altar of utopian ideals. And yet, when you jump to support the next totality that is operating on the same principles that engendered the mass murder you just witnessed, you are somehow not entertaining any kind of malicious agenda; you are just naïve and misguided.

 

And now, a new totality emerges as the top enemy to freedom in the world, this time Islamism, and you know full well that it operates on the same totalitarian impulses that motivated the mass killers you supported throughout the 20th century. And it is massacring innocent human beings right before your eyes. And somehow, again, your support of this ideology and the terrorists who act in its name only involves some kind of naïve and misguided agenda.

 

Please. Isn’t this becoming a little tired?

 

I have a clue: when you support ideas that lead to mass murder, and then you witness that mass murder, and then you support new regimes founded on the same ideas that spawn more mass murder. And then you witness this mass murder. And then you support new regimes that are based on the same values and ideals as the last killing machine, and you witness more mass murder. And then a new ideology arises that begins to perpetrate the same acts for the same ideals and you support it. And this process goes on over and over again. The clue: it just may be that your motives have something to do with the end results of the earthly incarnations you champion. 

 

Why this is so difficult to accept in our culture I have no idea. If it was racial hatred, it is a given. When it is class hatred, every and any excuse is used to exonerate what resides in the heart of the Left.

 

Thompson: It just now occurs to me that we are approaching the end of a spirited conversation about the Left, in which “the Left” has not been defined — and least not explicitly. In one sense I’m glad for that, because a categorical definition might have led us into a pedantic discussion about the map instead of talking in a way that really engages the territory, as we have.

 

Still I’m not at all that we’ve all been talking about the same Left, or that we were all ever part of the same Left — though certain common themes have emerged during the conversation. For instance, I think Tammy’s quite right when she says most of us had some turning point when we saw the gap between the Left’s analysis of society and human nature, on the one hand, and the reality of leftist tactics and the failure of planned economies and totalitarian mindsets. And Jamie’s spot on about the countless iterations of the same horrific pattern in the name of leftist ideals. Communism and socialism – the Left's evil twins – have murdered tens of millions of their own citizens in our lifetimes, in the name of Utopia. I agree with Jamie that it’s crucial to work at understanding one’s own motives.

I nodded when John Bradley mentioned the “my enemy's enemy is my friend” phenomenon. My early political activism was motivated by wanting to set myself apart from — and find alternatives to — the dysfunctional conservative culture of northwest Ohio in the Fifties and Sixties. The freedom quests of the civil rights and feminist movements were huge for me. As a high school student I opposed American involvement in Vietnam, based on what I read about the French failure in that region and what seemed Washington’s repetition of the same “imperialist” errors.

 

My disdain for LBJ and Nixon was visceral. I now realize it was also adolescent in the way Dr. Chesler implies about her own youthful assumptions about the impending Brave New World. I must add that at my most radical I was a work-within-the-system liberal Democrat rather than a revolutionary of a “bring down the system” stripe. The world would be a good place if George McGovern made it to the White House and if Congress were filled with legislators with high approval ratings from Americans for Democratic Action and other self-styled progressive activist organizations.

So if the “hard” Left is comprised of the Haydens and Fondas who rooted for America’s enemies and worked for America’s failure at home and abroad — then and now — I must honestly place my past political activity within the “soft” Left. I say this not to lessen my accountability for my beliefs and actions. I turned a blind eye as malignant multiculturalism captured the civil rights movement and extreme gender feminism took hold of the mainstream women’s movement.

 

In each instance I opted to interpret the fallacies charitably, usually with some variation of  “They may be misguided but the conservative movement is worse.” There’s much more to say, hence my current work on a book about how I came to discover that the people whose views I today identify with most call themselves conservatives, libertarians, federalists, constitutionalists, free traders and patriots. These are today’s genuine progressives, not the angry, self-victimized, blame-throwing elitists who live in this country as domestic expatriates and whose idea of a day well spent is turning out to mock the Iraqi people when they risk their lives to vote.

 

FP: Thank you Mr. Thompson. Can you kindly briefly touch on what is in the heart of the leftists who today who cheer on the Islamist enemy in this terror war? The other day, for instance, a leftist feminist I know from my days in academia was patiently explaining to me how “ignorant” I was in not understanding the advantages of the Burqa. “You just flop it over your PJ’s.” she said flippantly, “It’s really cool.” After that she lectured me on how evil Bush is and how we mustn’t judge other cultures we do not understand. This particular culture that I “do not understand” would execute this particular woman I was speaking to in less than 30 seconds upon contact. What gives? Why would a Western “feminist” venerate and excuse the most vicious woman-hating ideology on the face of the earth? And please don’t give me the “they are misguided and naïve” thesis. This woman I was arguing with knows, and knows very well, the reality of the tortured women under the former Taliban and under Islamism in general.

 

Thompson: “What gives” is exactly the question, one that opens up staggeringly important ground. I know it’s against courtroom rules to introduce new evidence in a closing argument, so I’ll try simply to paint some broad outlines. First, the Left as a whole has mutated over the past three decades, beginning roughly with the McGovern campaign. What used to be a radical fringe beyond the pale of mainstream thought has moved very close to the center of the movement that now ridiculously calls itself progressive. The internationalist consensus represented by Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger, even John Kenneth Galbraith, has been thoroughly marginalized. The new consensus is animated by a coalition comprised of MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, the ACLU, Media Matters, and other likeminded efforts, bankrolled significantly by the Soros engine and animated intellectually by Chomsky, Derrida, Zinn, Foucault and their willing accomplices and their uncritical acolytes.

I hasten to add I am not alleging any simplistic conspiracy. (For the record, I believe the best evidence shows Oswald acted alone.) Actually it’s the contemporary Left elite that has embraced conspiratorial thinking and taken it to pathological extremes: “Bush and Cheney knew 9/11 was coming and they allowed it to happen so they could build an oil pipeline and enrich their Texas pals.” Their central article of faith is that Western culture in general and the United States in particular are at the center of a vast, insidious conspiracy against the common good. David Horowitz and Peter Collier have bravely documented the wholesale destruction of language, history, and literature wrought by Chomsky et al; the real question is why their crackbrain theories have had such influence over a generation — so much so that many who subscribe to Chomsky’s worldview have never read his work yet they believe his theories are true because they “must” be. What accounts for this engine of animus?

To even begin to answer this question, we’ve got to start with consciousness. Any given era is dominated by certain modes, styles, structures of consciousness. America in the 1950s, for instance, was a steady-state period in which conventional, conformist values were prominent: family, suburbs, Horatio Algier, I Like Ike, and so forth. All of this began to shift in the 1960s. I believe there’s something historically significant about the psychological dynamics of the American Baby Boom generation. At its best, the Boomer generation ushered in values that had never been explored on a large scale basis: pluralism, egalitarianism, diversity, non-institutional spirituality, multiculturalism — hence, a greater concern for marginalized perspectives and groups, civil rights, feminism, ecology, cross-cultural studies. But there was a hidden toxic undercurrent to this otherwise healthy shift: a runaway relativism that went beyond respecting previously marginalized groups, to declaring that all forms of hierarchy, all conventional norms, all established structures of authority — especially Mom and Dad — are necessarily and intrinsically oppressive. We can all giggle at newsreels of this anti-authority, anti-hierarchy, anti-modernity worldview at Woodstock, but the problem is that the meme became a virulent ideology that today goes by the pretentious name of Deconstructive Postmodernism.

Here’s what matters. The contemporary moral-equivalence movement can be traced to these developments. The catechism goes like this: “Cultures different from America’s must be judged in their own terms because there is no basis for making distinctions between cultures, because distinctions are judgmental and hierarchical and based on hidden power advantages enjoyed by mainstream, dominator cultures.” This is absurd on its face, because the assertion that there’s no basis for universal value judgments is itself a universal value judgment, pretending not to be.

 

Any former leftist can attest to hours spent in non-hierarchical meetings where everybody expresses their feelings with no decision reached because any specific course of action would certainly exclude somebody. Left-inspired campus speech codes are based on a simple two-step: “Offensive” speech is wrong because it is hurtful; hence such speech must be forbidden. And since all perspectives are equally valid, it’s hard to keep track of the notoriously sloppy, narcissistic, subjective “science” we find coming out of university “critical studies” departments, where “respect for diversity” and “commitment to inclusiveness” means everybody’s welcome, with the exception of individualism, capitalism, logic, the Enlightenment, science, Judeo-Christian values, masculinity, the concept of personal achievement, and the feasibility of objective knowledge. (After 2,000 years of future marginalization, these topics may merit a campus day pass. Please check back.)

I’ve probably said too much, thus opening myself to charges of oppression and marginalization. Suffice it to say I’m appalled but never surprised to come across hardcore leftists so committed to egalitarianism that they can’t summon the conviction or energy to defend a way of life that makes pluralism historically possible on a societal level. You’ve all probably heard that a liberal (of the Left kind) is someone who won’t take his own side in a fight. You’re very right, Jamie: The Burqa-loving feminist would be among those beheaded first because the Islamists, like the Pol Pot before them, know that the useful idiots who betrayed their own culture are especially dangerous to the order and stability of the new regime. There’s an element of self-loathing on the hard Left that invariably gets projected onto the culture as a whole: “America had it coming on September 11.” I despise what these smirking, vicious, suicidal domestic exiles are attempting to do to my son’s future. Whatever our differences on specific issues, I hope every participant in this conversation will make common cause to ensure that these reprobates’ wish to take our whole culture down with them fails utterly.

 

Bruce: I am particularly struck by John’s comment that the Left is simply ignorant and self-deluded. This ‘they do not know what they do’ argument is dangerous, as it lessens the seriousness of the Left and leads to underestimating the agenda, and length to which they are willing to go to achieve their ends.

 

But even more shocking was Michael’s comment that the American Left “has a faith in the overall goodness of humanity, and that belief system of theirs does not wish to be disturbed by the ugly truth that evil exists.”

 

So what does give? I can tell you in all of my years in national leftist leadership, working with the feminist, gay and the black elite, I never met an idealist. No one I knew had ‘faith in the goodness of humanity.’ On the contrary—their foundational belief was that humanity was evil; there was a little Hitler in everyone which needed to be controlled. It was their self-hatred (their admissions of racism, sexism and homophobia) which cleansed them, they felt, allowing them to see more clearly the evil in everyone else.

 

The apparent contradiction of the Left only exists if you actually believe what they say publicly. The Left has always presented an idealistic line, based on co-opting the issues of the underclass. They do this, of course, because no one will rally around a message based in a condemnation of humanity. So instead, it’s a message based in hatred for everyone who is not like the people listening.

 

Within the feminist elite, contempt for activists, other leaders, other women, the average person, was rife. The reality is Leftists truly do despise themselves and therefore despise humanity. Support for ideas and regimes which destroy humanity is ultimately a natural fit for those whose guilt is based in their very existence. The contempt and loathing within the establishment fuels in-fighting and organizational failure, and even corruption. Outside, it fuels an agenda which allows “feminists” to support predators like Bill Clinton, Communists and even Islamists. 

 

I met more people than I care to remember on the Left (and this is pre-September 11th) who so loath this nation, they do wish her harm. If any of this had anything to do with reality, of course a normal person would see the savagery of Islamism, and the depravity of Communism. But the Left is not based in reality, it is a collection of people who are simply so damaged and so malignantly narcissistic and so self-destructive, they want to take everyone with them.

 

Assigning ignorance to these people is the last thing we should do. And self-deluded? Possibly, but not within the framework of the choices they make, and the end goal. Why they’re making those choices is what escapes them. I’ve heard before the argument that the Left means well, and that they truly believe in a utopia where all living creatures will live in peace. The biggest success of the Left has been their ability to con virtually everyone into thinking they actually have everyone’s best interests at heart, that they mean well.

 

And why do they hate America the most? Specifically because, despite our many imperfections, we do serve as an example of the goodness and decency of humanity. Our existence proves that happiness, hope and decency can and do exist. For a leftist, the values of this nation, and the nature of her people, is a constant reminder by counterpoint of what they are not—happy, industrious, hopeful, and truly free.  For the leftist and Islamist, hatred of this nation, and humanity is personal. It’s that simple.

 

Chesler: This has been a bracing and possibly ground-breaking discussion. I agree with Jamie that most leftists do not see themselves as culpable for any crime committed in the name of the socialist and Marxist utopia in which they still believe. On October 14, 2005, I lectured at the CUNY Graduate Center in the evening. Katha Pollitt of Nation magazine and others who share her views engaged in a persistent campaign of harassment to shame and intimidate both the National Organization of Women (who had co-sponsored the event) and the Continuing Education Program at the Grad Center for having invited me to speak.

 

In a series of letters, I was described as an anti-feminist and reactionary because, among other reasons, I write for Frontpage magazine and because I will be attending the Restoration Weekend. Other left feminists, who work with them, like Judith Ezekiel who lives in France, simultaneously told French feminists that I am no longer a feminist for the same above reasons.
 
Freedom of speech and the First Amendment is, in their view, a vehicle to permit more left voices to be heard, perhaps only left voices; it is not meant for anyone who thinks differently, or independently, or who strongly opposes the constant denigration of America, Israel, patriotism, God, and President Bush. To their credit, both NOW and the Grad Center resisted Pollitt's continued pressure and the evening was fairly triumphant for this and for other reasons as well.
 
However, WBAI, that well known listener sponsored hate radio station (which believes it is a progressive station--talk about Orwellian moments) was there taping it and 3 young Marxists, all women, all feminists, got up to rant and rail at me, not because they disagreed with the picture I had painted of Islamic gender apartheid but because I had not attributed this problem to the sins of American Empire. (Actually, they probably had their remarks pre-packaged and would have delivered them no matter what I had said. They were on a holy mission). And then, a more maturelLady who sells the works of Rosa Luxembourg and distributes socialist-humanist newsletters at conferences got up to make a more polished speech. I asked her whether she feels absolutely no regret, has no second thoughts, no doubts about a vision in whose name hundreds of millions of innocent souls were murdered: I asked her Jamie's poignant and relentless question. Her answer: "Oh you can't blame Marx or his ideas for what happened.

 

That's two different things."
 
I agree with Jamie that the left (only now it's a "hard" left masquerading as classically liberal) does control the boundaries of permitted discourse. And, like Jamie, I also know leftists who took a coarse pleasure in 9/11. Worse, a number of feminists, such as Robin Morgan, (whose work I describe  in my new book The Death of Feminism. What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom), were immediately concerned for the physical safety of Muslim men in America and theatrically fantasised about setting of "safe houses" for them. I would not have been happy if the government immediately started rounding up innocent Muslim men and putting them in concentration camps. But, this did not really happen. But, the next piece of work in what has been dubbed "The Unholy Alliance" was undertaken by those who worried more about the civil rights of Muslim warriors and potential terrorists captured in battle than about the right of Americans to live. This is fairly unbelievable and terribly odious but darkly comic as well.
 
Here is where I must agree with Tammy that the left can--and is--dangerous. They are cheering on jihadic reactionaries but claiming that they are for "progress" and "anti-war."  They are engaging in a fight for the civil rights of Islamist reactionaries and are silencing all those who see this as dangerous--and dubbing them reactionaries.
 
Some quick comments:
 
I disagree with John that the mainstream media and the NYT have been balanced in their Mid-East coverage. And, while I agree that any country may be criticized the point is that only Israel has been savagely criticized 24/7, but usually not fairly. It has more often been defamed, slandered, and de-legitimized. As to John's outrageously elitist feminist who will not mingle with the natives: I agree with him that, at it's heart, her brand of cultural relativism allows a great deal of unacknowledged racism and sexism to continue beating. I write about this at length in my new book.
 
I disagree with Michael that most leftists have faith in the goodness of humanity. They may have faith in their own noble intentionality and in the nobility of their symbolically egalitarian vision. But, they do not like most people, are elitists, judge others very harshly and with great, punitive anger--and they cut their own comrades down over and over again; Tammy is right here.  I agree with Michael that it is most unfortunate that 9/11 has not functioned as a wake-up call as Pearl Harbor did. I wonder if watching so many slick horror films and real-life tragedies onscreen has rendered us immune to real things, to even our own reality.
 
While Jamie ascribes hatefulness and maliciousness to many or most leftists, and this is often true, I think being disassociated and mindless are more serious problems as are a pagan level of blood-lust.
 
Clearly, I agree with Keith about the importance of understanding one's own motives. He is also right about the hard left having become much harder and meaner, more shrill, more righteous, more arrogant--and more out of touch with common humanity, kindness, personal and collective sacrifice. Keith is especially good in describing the "toxic" undercurrent of relativism which indeed has now resulted in an isolationist and anti-activist western academy.
 
Tammy is right about the contempt that feminists have routinely expressed toward and about other feminists but they have also expressed love and respect. Both things are true.
 
Finally, I fear that self-hatred may not be the only source of appeasement and of unholy alliances. Many leftists just want to lead their own small but immensely privileged lives which are dear to them--dearer than all the world. Many (there are exceptions) are supremely selfish, not necessarily self-hating; selfish, not altruistic; selfish, not generous. Many are filled with self-love and are seething with hatred for others. They are opening wide the gates for the barbarian hordes--they think they will be spared because of their politically correct views. They are certainly conducting a massive disinformation campaign which is meant to weaken America and destroy Israel. I take this very seriously.

 

Kamolnick: The present-day Leftist alliance with Islamist Terrorism, and with persons who demonstrate sympathy with their goals and to a lesser extent their means, poses extreme danger to the Western Civilization and American Civilization that I deeply value. The fact of that alliance is undeniable, though it is always important to qualify the terms "Leftist" and "Islamist" to determine the precise divisions existing within those parties themselves, and how their own will to totalitarianism often leads over time to fratricidal warfare and sectarian implosion. But this alliance is real, and a real danger. Because of this, any seriously credible causal analysis of this alliance is not only welcome but will mark a decisive contribution to strengthening the War Against Islamist terrorism itself.
 
I have taught social and political theory for fifteen years now, and for about twenty-five, have immersed myself in the classical canon of Western civilization. As a formerly-devoted Marxist scholar and activist, I also possess a perspective that derives from being a former "believer." The truism "it takes one to know one" I think really contains much wisdom, and from former converts and ex-converts, especially those possessed of sufficient humility, I expect alot of insight into some dimensions of this unholy alliance.
 
I have some tentative ideas on the causes of this alliance, and offer them here merely as reasoned assertions. Three distinct dimensions appear to me the most important: biopsychological traits, modern civilization and its discontents, and the destructive generation's corrosion of classical liberal meritocracy.
 
The standard view found in sociology and the Left generally, is that social movements are generated from objective conditions, and that exploitative conditions generate collective identities and group affiliations, that then challenge existing patterns of life and social order. But what if this story is false, and instead we consider another theory. Suppose human individuals are by nature--innately and intrinsically--differentially constructed, and that by some combination of genetic and unintented micro-environmental causes, we come to have the biopsychological natures we do. 
 
Instead of social movements being objectively defined by social circumstances, imagine that social movements are actually merely agglomerations of psychologically-similar types of human individual, each attracted as if by a magnet, to a certain way of interpreting the world and one's place within it. Is it possible that the extreme Left and Right are composed of psychological types whose will to power and radical interpretation stems from a kind of innate disposition that necessitates negation, critique, violence, terror, as an act of affirmation? Tammy's  and Phyllis' identification of a psychologically-damaged individual as a component of the unholy alliance is what I have in mind here. Whether it is a clinical form of narcissistic personality disorder, an extreme value on a normal tempermental scale, rooted in the will to destruction Nietzsche brilliantly identified as the single creative act of the impotent and resentful soul (all the while hidden beneath the rhetoric and ideals of "justice" and "fairness" and "equality"), must be figured out here. 
 
Modern civilization and its discontents have probably led over the course of our last couple of thousand years, if not more, to a strange phenomenon. That phenomenon involves the fact that those who should be in a position to fully affirm themselves in the bounty, plenty, and remarkable achievements arising from the creation of the democratic polis, rise of market societies, and expansion of scientific and technological achievements instead are led, a la Rousseau, to declare these achievements bereft of any genuine value and in fact the complete decimation of all authentic value. Instead of remarkable achievement, civilization is desribed as corrupt, decadent, materialistic, empty, alienated, meaningless.
 
A Future-Past is invoked as a utopian vision, and this Past-Perfect becomes identified with the barbarian, the uncivilized, the primitive, the unsullied and primordial Human Nature whose authenticity was secured via submersion in communal obligations, natural rhythms, and communally-grounded norms of reciprocity. The aristocrat's son making common cause with the Visigothic sacking of classical Roman cities is probably not that different from the likes of today's limousine millionare Leftists and liberals making common cause with their hoped-for redeemer in whatever anti-Western movement happens to capture the news of the day.
 
This is a very complicated phenomenon. The extreme wing of this is found in the ecoterrorism and black anarchistic anti-globalization "movements". Less violent but still sympathetic are the millions whose critique of Western science, medicine, and civilization generally lead them to seek authenticity in the Far East, anti-vaccination campaigns, hippie-type back-to-nature communalism, and chunks of the "counter culture". And remember the difference between the New Left and the Old Left: the New representing the Ivy League revolt against capitialist consumerism and the shallowness and materialism of a decadent imperial America. This was a far cry from the battle cries "Abolish the wages system!" or "You have nothing to lose but your chains!"
 
Add to this the Future-Perfect of the revolutionary Marxist and anarchist "Left" that is supposed not to be a utopia at all, but the recovery in a necessarily determined future, of the true species essence and authentic human nature that for so long has been crumbled up and corrupted by capitalist civilization. The scientific socialists claimed that their poetry was derived from the future, not the past, and that in their destined highest stage of communism they were not merely invoking an archaic image of communitarianism but a thoroughly modern, scientific egalitarian social order characterized by the plenitude that capitalism and the lower stage of communism had made possible. 
 
In actuality, whether the Left's Future-Perfect or the Right's Past-Perfect, each party views value as absent from the present-moment, and in extreme expressions of their ideologies, call for violence and terror against the present moment. For the Right all value lay in the Past, for the Left, allegedly, all value resides in a Future yet to be made. So, in the huge chasm that confronts each party as they struggle and await for their anticipated utopias, the real enemy becomes all those who affirm and identify with the present, and all those who seek to work to enjoy and maintain the present as a site and source of genuine promise. Fascists and Communists, Ecoterrorists and Communists, anti-globalization anarchists and Communists, make common cause not merely on tactical grounds, but because of a shared hatred of the present. Unable to imagine value in daily life, they are necessarily at war with that life, and the vast majority of humanity that values it.
 
I am supremely optimistic about the unholy alliance collapsing because it is an alliance forged among a tiny minority with another tiny minority, many of whom who are highly educated, intolerant, doctrinaire, and possessed of an uninspired arrogance that will lead them to join those whose fates have been similarly tragic. The Zawahiri letter to Zarqawi is a brilliant example of the grounds for this optimism, since a  careful reading of this document reveals that the vanguard theory of Islamism is in complete crisis, and in Zawahiri's eyes, the Muslim masses have rejected this Terror and do not understand it, nor condone it. The splintering of a splinter is the beginning of the end for the Al Qaeda dream of a global Caliphate.
 
The unholy alliance certainly must be fought--psychologically, politically, and strategically--and along with determined former members of the political faith--Right and Left--the masses of humanity will always reject terror and violence, for life and love and health and hope. Eliminating the resentful leadership of the present unholy alliance will be accomplished by the deeds of the sane, and the desires of the masses that exceed the sterile prisons of those imagined Perfections. It is here that the third causal variable may be identified: i.e, the abandonment and/or radical critique of liberal meritocracy within the university system.
 
The Left's greatest unannounced triumph has been their virtually untrammeled legitimacy within universities to identify liberal meritocracy as either a ruling-class ideological fiction, or a value that is devoid of value relative to others apparently more worthy--e.g. the celebration of difference, the delegitimation of tough academic standards, the creation of the shadow university that mandates rightthink, rightfeel, and rightdeed, rather than serious intellectual inquiry and pluralistic value inquiry. The imagined utopias that threaten to smash the present are not mass-based but elite-base, university-based. They are doctrinaire university ideologies later imposed on the masses who never quite get it, or want to serve as their suicidal and homicidal fodder. Challenging the reign of the Left's transformation of the university into a producer of present-negating Utopia, and anti-meritocracy, is for sure one of the most significant and worthy challenges that remain.  


FP: Dr, Phyllis Chesler, Dr. Paul Kamolnick, Tammy Bruce, John Bradley, Keith Thompson and Michael Lopez-Calderon, this was quite a dialogue we have had. It was a privilege to join all of you and to participate in what I think was a crucial and priceless discussion. I am very grateful to you each of you for the time and energy you have devoted to this symposium. One feels, of course, that we are only starting. But alas, we are out of time. Thank you kindly and we hope to see you all again soon.

 

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Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.


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