Post excerpted from Breath of the Beast. See the original for links
Up to this point I have concentrated on the similarities between The Left and the Islamists. As important as it is to understand those similarities, we cannot solve the dilemma they put us in without looking at the ways in which they differ. Ironically, the only way to highlight those differences is to point out one last, critical similarity. That is, that they are both afraid of and at war with the future.
Now, it is true that to conceal this fear (even from themselves) both groups put up a brave front by claiming to be "the wave of the future". Communists and socialists, of course, have always presented themselves as the avant-garde. From the theses of Marx, to the perpetual revolution rhetoric of the Russians and the Chinese, to the presumptive (and pathetically hopeful) appellation "Progressive" that much of today's European and American left has adopted as its title, the left has always presumed that their ideas and practices would sweep away the "old order" and bring in a new and finer age of political, economic and social equality.
But we have seen that whenever a leftist government has been in control, change has immediately become the enemy, a new, more exclusive ruling class has arisen and extraordinarily harsh measures have been used to repress individual initiative and thought. That same fear of the future is what turns liberal western politicians into "control freaks". It fuels their desire to give the government control over all aspects of life. They want government health care, to make government the monitor of the balance of conservative and liberal conversation on the broadcast media, to call on government to become the enforcer of racial preferences on hiring and educational opportunity, it even (in Massachusetts, any way) wants the government to specify and police the fat content of perfectly edible foods. It is the atavistic fear of the future that desires the government to control the distribution of wealth and resources.
The left's fear of the future results in paralysis. The logical extension of those creeping government controls is a soviet-like, centrally controlled economy, and history has shown that to be a failure. It was that very central management of the economy and the stagnation it created, not any internal political heresy or subversion, that caused the Soviet Union to fall apart. The leftists paralyze themselves politically with their cultural relativism and the illusion that they can create equality in an unequal world. They are unable to make value judgments on cultural cornerstones such as family, education, morality and ethics because they are mired in intellectualized, multicultural "non-judgementalism". They have no way forward because they have prohibited themselves from favoring any one course over another- or even considering what the differences might be. Their ethos is one of an intellectually nomadic existence, wandering from one platitudinous, ineffectual idea to the next.
As long as the leftmost "progressives" are a tiny minority this might seem a harmless, if perverse, pastime. But they are never content with strangling and avoiding their own future. They are convinced that everyone must be forced to participate in their dystopian dream. The left is always attempting to force others to share their unproductive illusions. They take a particular interest in becoming educators and trying to bend, fold and mutilate the children of others into becoming the vanguard of the new social order of stagnancy they aspire to. My post about the "progressive" teachers who banned their classes from playing with Legos because, "the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys - assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society - a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive" shows how they take normal childhood behavior and turn its energy not into a productive learning experience but a pedantic inquisition into thought crimes.
They don't seem to know who they are, really. They deny that they are children of this culture. They do not seem to recognize that they owe their education and freedom of expression to this culture. They keep themselves assiduously ignorant of the fact that no other culture in the history of the world was ever as free as ours, and that their pose as perpetual social gadflies and Cassandras would have landed them in prison or mental asylums in most other cultures. They are in total denial that is that very "ownership and social power" that they detest that has given them the opportunity to work with (and attempt to indoctrinate) the children of gainfully employed, productive citizens. This is a classic example of the dissociation of a borderline personality expressed in the cultural dimension. How else could a human being of at least average intelligence (many of these lefties are very intelligent) propose the least successful, most class-based (the ruling class in a communist system decides everything by fiat) and repressive system known in modern times as a "better alternative" to the most successful and freest one. Remember that the definition of Borderline Personality Disorder is, in part; "(3) self-image, (4) identity, and (5) behavior, as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation."
The western left seems always to be behaving as if they want to tear down the government and the culture that supports it while not admitting to the knowledge that were there to be a change of regime, even a leftist one, the vast majority of them would be among the very first to be purged, imprisoned or marginalized by whatever autocratic or totalitarian regime arose in its place. They are literally sitting on the limb that they appear to be trying to saw off. Either they have supreme confidence that nothing they do will actually cause the bough to break they are simply so blinded and consumed by their fear of the future, they are blind to the kind of future they would bring down on themselves if they were successful. They clearly do not feel at home in their own culture and have no clear idea of what their new home might look like if they could move to one or build it themselves. They only know what they hate (Bush, capitalism, ownership, power, competitiveness, patriotism and meritocracy, etc...) about this one. They really seem to be happiest knowing that the culture they despise will not hurt them, nor will it expel them thereby forcing them to fend for themselves in other, less hospitable, societies. They are homeless, nomadic foreigners in their own homeland. Which, in a cultural sense, is the first definition of pilgrim (with a lower case "p"): one who journeys in foreign lands: nomadic
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