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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Twilight of the Red and Green

The left has never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.

The Cold War was even worse. The moderate left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the left slowly disavowed the USSR, but refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.

Having failed the test twice, it is no wonder that the left has been unable to come to terms with Islam, or that it has resorted to insisting that, like Germany and Russia, the Muslim world is just another victim of imperialism and western warmongering in need of support and encouragement from the progressive camp.

The anti-war worldview is generations out of date. It is mired in an outdated analysis of imperial conflicts that ceased being relevant with the downfall of the nation-state and its replacement by international organizations and causes based around ideologies. Nazism could still loosely fit into the jackboots of the nation state. Communism was another creature entirely, a red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and using those organizations to take over nations.

Islamism is even more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations, but able to spring up anywhere in the Muslim world. Its proponents have even less use for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law; a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.

The left is incapable of engaging with Islamism as an ideology, instead it reduces the conflict to a struggle between colonial and anti-colonial forces, showing once again that the left's worldview is usually at least fifty years out of date. Mapping colonial and anti-colonial conflicts over a map of Mali, where the anti-colonial forces are represented by the slave-owning Tuaregs and the Arab and Pakistani Jihadis invading an African country, makes very little sense, but that is all that the left knows how to do.

The anti-war movement does not deal with wars as they are, but with a revisionist history of war. The continuum from Oliver Stone to Ron Paul resolves all questions through a historical revisionism that locates the source of every conflict in American foreign policy. By blaming America for it all, they are freed of the need to examine who the other side is and what it wants.

During WW2, Trotskyist unions in the UK claimed that American troops weren't coming to help fight Hitler, but to break up labor protests. That same obtuse obliviousness, the insistence that a conflict spanning centuries, religions and continents is all about their pet cause, is how the left has responded to every conflict since.

Their response to the Clash of Civilizations has been to include Islamists in the global rainbow coalition of minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third world farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, sex workers and terrorists; without considering what the Islamists were or how they would fit into this charmed circle.

The left views the Islamists as just another front group to be used. The Islamists see the left the same way and in Iran, Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamists have a better track record of getting the better of the left. But the left never learns from history. It never questions its outdated Marxist fisheye view of events or realizes that the Industrial Revolution, feudal peasants and the banks are not a metaphor for absolutely every struggle that takes place anywhere in the world. And so the left dooms itself to repeat again and again the history that it refuses to learn.

The left only recognizes one ideological war. Its own. Through its narrow garret window, it sees only the dead hand of the capitalist establishment and the fossilized nation-state bound together by a devilish compact of greed blocking its way. It cannot recognize that there are other historical forces at work and other fanatics who dream of exploiting the collapse of the western nation-state for their own purposes.

Progressives see history moving forward in their direction and ignore the Islamists who see everything coming up Jihad. There are two ideologies who both see themselves as the culmination of human history going down the same track and only one of them can make it to the final destination. The Islamists understand that, but the left does not.

Rather than deal with Islamism, the left persists in fighting phantom wars against nationalism, capitalism, militarism, colonialism and imperialism; all things that are approaching extinction in its sphere of influence, while thriving outside its sphere of influence. The left is too busy fighting a civil war to see that if it wants to survive, it will have to fight a global war. True to its nature, it is determined to finish digesting the West before it is ready to defend it, and by the time that the left digests the West, with the help of its Islamist allies, the war will be over and the left will have lost.

The left is undone by its own conception of history as a treadmill moving forward through historical stages, rather than a chaotic morass of forces colliding together. In the progressive understanding of history, progressive forces defeat reactionary forces and humanity advances to the next stage. There is no room in that neat orderly evolution for the violent chaos of Islamism and its resurrection of tribal forces, ethnic grievances and religious intolerance into a worldwide movement that is every bit as fanatical and determined to forcibly carve out its own vision of a new world order.

From the progressive perspective of history as an evolutionary process, Islamist tribal fanaticism is from too early a stage to threaten the left. Socialism must battle against the industrialism of the previous stage, with each generation advancing the future by destroying the achievements of the previous generation in a species of grim historical cannibalism. The left fears being held back by capitalism, not by Islamism. It does not believe that the values of the 6th century can compete with it, only that the values of the 19th century can.

The left's rigid view of history has caused it problems before. It rejected Zionism as a historical aberration, and spent over a century fighting against the idea with spiteful hate, propaganda, terrorism and tanks. In the left's view of history, a Jewish State is an attempt to turn back time by building a state whose roots are in religious scripture. Israel is ahistorical and must therefore be destroyed. 

What it rejected as ahistorical for the Western Jew, who was expected to assimilate into the Socialist society, rather than building a nation state of his own, it accepted from the Muslim world, which it deemed more backward and in need of passing through all the historical stages to get to the red finish line. The left has been willing to tentatively accept Islamism, even when it is destroying Arab Socialism, because it assumes that Muslims are backward enough to need an Islamic simulation of Socialism.

While the left sees itself as progressive and Islamism as reactionary, it is the left that has trouble adapting to new developments, while the Islamists have successfully glommed onto everything from the Cold War to the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of international organizations and even the War on Terror, and exploited events for their ends. In the new century, the Islamists have been riding the left over the finish line, without the left realizing that it was being ridden.

The Islamists are intellectually and morally backward, but unlike their collaborators on the left they are not bounded by an inflexible vision of history. Their strategy is flexible and they are willing to do anything that works. They are utterly unconcerned with the tactics they use or with the historical implications of movements and events so long as they lead to them toward a Caliphate.

The Islamists do not need to understand the left. All they need to do is go on using it. The left does need to understand Islamists, but generally chooses not to. When some among the left, like Christopher Hitchens, take a long look at the Islamists, they have the same reaction that the USSR did when the Nazi tank began rolling across the Russian border, and realize that it's come down to fight or die.

The left dwells in an intellectual bubble of its own making. It transforms that bubble into an elaborate place, furnishing the space until it resembles a miniature world, but a bubble is not a world, it can only ever be a bubble. Ideology is the left's bubble. It is the lens that the left sees through, the air that it breathes and the clamor that fills its ears. Ideology conditions the left to view history as an orderly progression. An arrangement of chess pieces moving forward in a complex strategy to cripple their opponents.

The left is often vicious, hysterical and irrational, but underneath that is the vision of an orderly historical progression toward a great society. Trapped inside the bubble, it cannot realize that the world is going backward, not forward, that the 21st century is really the 7th century and that the future is the past. The Islamists understand this quite well. The left cannot.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

You'll have to forgive the left. They've only had 1400 years of Islamic history from which to learn about Muslim behavior.

RAM said...

"The left is undone by its own conception of history as a treadmill moving forward through historical stages, rather than a chaotic morass of forces colliding together."

Keep in mind that G-d runs the world.

Anonymous said...

Here we go... Have we not seen what a paper tiger the Islamist Threat (!) is? How many sand dunes do we need to drone-smack to satisfy this appetite for "Victory" in the endless GWOT?

You discount any opposition to this thinking as self-masochism & as reflexive anti-American but I don't come at it this way at all-- nor do many others. You've set up Oliver Stone et al as straw men to represent the isolationist position is a clumsy manner-- at least drag out Buchanan to front this argument.

Nor do you paint what this struggle looks like or what the stakes are. An Islamified Europe? I doubt it-- even less so an Islamified Anglosphere. What's at issue again? Oh right-- Israel. Glad we got to the bottom of that.

Not interested. It is all so tired. You're so much better on other topics-- and more convincing.

Libertarian Advocate said...

Pretty grim analysis. Is there really no hope at all in your world view?

Edward Cline said...

First, they came for the Jews. Then they came for the Christians. Then they came for the atheists, Hindus, apostates, and others. Then they decided that the Left-Islamic Alliance was finished, and they came for the Lefities. Many of them converted from sheer funk to Islam, but were forced to watch their former, hapless comrades beheaded, hanged, whipped, raped, and eliminated, as a lesson to the new converts about what would happen to them if they went astray.

Johnny said...

>>they are not bounded by an inflexible vision of history... Well, actually they are bound by an inflexible vision of history. The goal is to convert all of humanity to Islam. And when that happens there will be this second coming, a more complex doctrine that I am not familiar with.

Where Islam shows flexibility is in means. Anything is good enough as long as it spreads the religion. Kill the infidel, convert him, subvert him, whatever it takes. It is a culture terminally at war. Jihad (or struggle to convert) is supposed to be the normal state of a devout Muslim.

Bill in AZ said...

"It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics."

This passage reminded me of the story of the 'Senate Munitions Committee' in 34 lead by North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye. I still have a copy of "In Search Of Peace" by John Wiltz that documents the mood as well as the sentiments of, those that as Daniel points out above, didn't in 34, know that their assumptions were about to require some revision.

The Ray Esquivel said...

Ah Yes! The scorpion hitching a ride on the back of the wishful thinking frog. Such is the foolishness of all sides for ignoring the basics of life and the reality of "the wolf always being at the door" no matter whose door it is.

Why is it that the left, who knows they have superior motives for their efforts do not know or seem capable of following the first rule of war ... know your enemy. Could it be that they "think" Islamists' are really brothers in the same cause fighting for the underclass? I think they are fooled because both aim for the same targets not knowing that the left of the west is one and the same ... the infidel. The left, of course, probably thinks that because they do not believe in God, they will receive a special kind of dispensation from Muslim tyranny just as in years gone by people would buy salvation from the Pope for their sins. Such beliefs are divine foolishness and whether revealed at the pearly gates or on the chopping block as the knife creases their skin, the left will realize only too late that they have failed ... again. The left will never conceive such a thing however, as they are too smart to let that happen.

Anonymous said...

Imo, the Left at bottom, is based on Judeo/Christian theology, however much they might disagree, and even reject any theology. The Golden Rule about 'loving one's neighbor' typifies the Left on steroids. They think that if one doesn't love their neighbor in a way they see fit, it is acceptable for the gov't to force the bitter clingers to do so through gov't action. They delude themselves that they are honoring the Individual, when in truth, they see the average Westerner as simply the means to their rainbow and unicorn meme of 'the greater good.'
In that respect they have something in common with Islam.
I have long believed that most of us raised in a Western society will never, ever, understand the Eastern mind, and will continue to be duped, until we destroy ourselves. Imo, only Israel, in their unique position in the world, 'gets it' and continues to receive massive scorn for trying to point out the truth.

sophie

negi said...

Sorry, but Islamism is Nazism. They are one and the same. If you look, the entire movement is just the Muslim interpretation of Nazism, not the other way around.

From the very beginning of Islamism, there were close ties with the German trunk of Nazi ideology, and because the US, the Soviets, the French, and Britain failed to eliminate (or actively co-opted) Nazi operatives and infrastructure that served as the roots and trunk sustaining the evil, the Muslim and Arab branches, though often fighting for nutrients, continued to flourish. With the failure and withering of Arab Nazism, Islamic Nazism is now proliferating unchecked throughout the entire world.

We need to burn this thing out at the roots, or it will destroy us. Ben Zion Netanyahu spoke the truth when he said that the holocaust never ended. Nazism reared its ugly head mere months after we defeated it in the field, as evinced by Hassan al-Banna's warm welcome to Cairo for Haj Amin el Hussini "Oh what a man, oh what a hero! Hitler may be gone, but Amin el-Husseini will continue the struggle".

What struggle is that, mayhap? Do you even need to ask ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous.."Paper Tiger"..? Are you kidding ? Ground Zero ring any bells ?

sophie

Anonymous said...

The leftists’ moral flaw shows on lofty ideals through bad deeds. Doing bad to achieve good. When the ideals fail, only the means remain within cynical souls. If they grab power they exert it ruthlessly (think eurocrats), if not they tend to favor doom for all, be it eco-nihilism, islamization or mass emigration (forced miscegenation). Older guys that instead of providing a role model for younger generations, keep messing up because that is what they do best.

Anonymous said...

"Here we go... Have we not seen what a paper tiger the Islamist Threat (!) is? How many sand dunes do we need to drone-smack to satisfy this appetite for "Victory" in the endless GWOT?"

We do have an open ended GWOT regardless if you want it or not. That does not mean we must engage in war in any given place, or that the Iraq War was a good idea all considered, it does mean we will be at war. Even if we pretend otherwise.

Herbert R. said...

The Left fail to realize that the antagonisms of the Middle East are intensely focused, with the Arabs dedicated to driving Israel into the sea. Arab overtures of peace will continue only as this objective is advanced. Although the Arabs may find it expedient to pen their names to any number of peace pacts with the Jews(likewise partnerships with the easily persuaded Left), like the evil arrogant sponsors of anti-Semitism, they will only depart "until an oppurtune time" to await a more favorable advantage for attack and conquest.

Ah, The Sweet Smell Of Elitism said...

“It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics.”

Patently false. As early as 1934, the FDR Administration wrote an internal memo detailing how American trade to Nazi-Germany was benefitting their “bellicose actions” and detailed in several speeches about the necessity to “quarantine aggressors”. The American public justly , and FDR publicly acquiesced, but ultimately crafted policies that eventually offered financial and military support to Great Britain and France.


“The moderate left never came to terms with Communism.”

You mean James Forrestal, a leading advocate among Truman's inner circle of a hard-line approach to relations with the Soviets, and George Kennan, who provided the intellectual basis for containment strategy against the communists?


“Having failed the test twice,”



Having crafted an entirely baseless argument not rooted in historical fact, of course you draw its natural conclusion.


“the Muslim world is just another victim of imperialism and western warmongering...”

Indeed, Musloid barbarity toward their white aggressors necessitated western “recalibration” in the form of nationalizing oil fields, forcible removal of popularly elected leaders, and good ol’ fashioned Christian charity.


“What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law; a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.”

Had this been the case, there would have been another Crusade, with tens of millions of Musloids engaging in jihad. You seem to conveniently forget that the majority of Muslims generally want to be left alone, similar to their Jewish and Christian counterparts, and practice their faith free from the tyranny of religious radicals who loudly proclaim “My religion is better than your religion”.


“The left is incapable of engaging with Islamism as an ideology, instead it reduces the conflict to a struggle between colonial and anti-colonial forces, showing once again that the left's worldview is usually at least fifty years out of date.”

Some on the right are utterly irresponsible in their portrayal of Islam, colored by their own prejudices about the meaning of “true” faith, insisting that the battle for spiritual supremacy is rooted between “good” and “evil”, demonstrating their perspective is is intellectually and morally bankrupted.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"Had this been the case, there would have been another Crusade, with tens of millions of Musloids engaging in jihad."

Might want to pay attention to the news.

There's immigration Jihad that's swamping the West. And more conventional Jihad around the world.

"You seem to conveniently forget that the majority of Muslims generally want to be left alone,"

Ah, that's what Islam is best known for. Leaving people alone. That explains why Islam is currently involved in multiple wars with itself and every other religion in its ambit.

Why won't everyone leave Muslims alone?

Herbert R. said...

A few examples of Muslim agressiveness: NO ONE was killing Muslims when Muhammed invaded Israel in the 7th century. NO ONE was killing Muslims when the Muslim Armies destroyed all Christian and Jewish homes and cities in Northern Africa in the 7th century. NO ONE was killing Muslims when they invaded southern Europe. NO ONE was killing Muslims when they invaded southern Italy. NO ONE was killing Muslims when they invaded Turkey, Persia, Assyria, India, and China. NO ONE was killing Muslims when Ghengis Khan did his world tour of slaughter for conquest and began forcing the Islamic faith on his subjects. I could give other examples of their war-like appetite for expansion, but I will stop right here.

truepeers said...

Are you implying that the left could ever "think" outside its elaborate conspiracy theories in which history is alway some crime to move beyond? Then it wouldn't be the left with its Utopia in front of it in which to "believe", man.

Anonymous said...

You touched a nerve, Daniel.

Both are chiliastic. They both believe in an ultimate paradise, one in this world and the other in the next, and they are willing to do anything to fast forward to their conclusion. With heaven at stake, what does it matter that a few people die along the way when so much is at stake?

The only significant difference is that Marxism and all of its variants (the latest version: Thomas Piketty’s "Capital in the Twenty-First Century") has a kind of sic-fi aura about it. The urgency of its faith in progress (Progressivism!) is ultimately predicated on the success of industrial productivity to rise to a point where all human needs can be provided for with ease. Their only wrinkle to iron out (oh, the turns of irony!) is the anticipation of hoarded wealth by the captains of industry. Incite the proletarian mob to enslave the "slave masters" and therefore usher in the millennium. Presto!

http://www.aei.org/article/economics/the-new-marxism/

DenisO said...

I agree with 'sweet smell' that the vast majority of Muslims, who worry about survival for their families, could care less about a world-wide Caliphate. We complicate the problem, and solution, by assuming Islam is the enemy of the West. In fact, the rich rulers of the major Middle East Countries do not want it either. Why complicate and endanger their good thing, power and wealth?
They appease the radical Clergy that fanatically believes the "story" of the end of the World and the coming of the Mahdi. They preach their dogma and hate to the People in the Mosques. Their soldier/terrorists wear no uniform that would suggest a formal enemy Country that could be targeted in retaliation. They operate as civilian terrorists directed from the Mosques, where the perpetrators have too long been safe. Islam is not the enemy; their religious leaders, small and large, are were retaliation needs to be directed.
No uniformed army is necessary to punish the terror leaders, either. Anonymous fire power can make life difficult for those religious trouble-making punks. Once a few of the loudest vaporize, the call for a Caliphate will no longer be heard.
Who's going to do it, if it's no longer popular with the Clergy?
Regards,

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"I agree with 'sweet smell' that the vast majority of Muslims, who worry about survival for their families, could care less about a world-wide Caliphate"

Yes that's the conclusion every liberal and most Republicans have come to, historical evidence and current evidence be damned.


Anonymous said...

Muslims do not respect human life, neither their own or anyone else's. They do not value their children in the same way that Jews and Christians do, if they did, they would not strap bombs on them and use them as human missiles. Their mistreatment of their own mothers, aunts, wives and daughters is well documented. They mutilate young females, and force sexual acts upon children.
They kill polio workers.
The Lib response is to point out that these are the acts of 'extremists' and do not reflect the values of everyday people. So far, no one has explained to my satisfaction why if there are so many peace loving 'everyday' Muslims, they do not rise as one against the terrorists among them... Or why many still support businesses and institutions that fund terrorism.
Then again, how to explain an American President who funnels weapons and aid to the Brotherhood ?
Remind me again; who exactly just wants to be left alone ? Can we tell by the color of their hats?
sophie

Anonymous said...

How many more shootings sultan do you need before you realize that gun control in America is not an afterthought but a priority?.

You've uncanny knack of ignoring the many shootings that don't have double figure body counts why is that Sultan (Daniel)?

Funny there has been loads of individual shooting incidents of innocents since Sandy Hook, but because the body count has been relatively low in comparison easy to brush yet another plethora of shootings under the carpet to justify an archaic right to bare arms.

Only a matter of time before we have another huge body count as some nut justifies his existence while the "right" will drag the bottom of the barrel and quote a centuries old amendment which has no place in todays (relatively) civilized society, just as long as they're seen to oppose the "so called" left, and any sort of appeasement would be seen as a white flag of surrender, when gun control in America to anyone with an ounce of a brain cell is just basic common sense, and you don't need to be right or left to figure that one out!.

The next mass shooting sultan is believe me only months away and you'll still find a way to justify why citizens should be armed with assault rifles as scores and scores of innocents die needlessly because of some nut case or suicidal teenager had easy access to an arsenal of powerful weapons,

Mothers,fathers, siblings when the next mass murder of your innocents occurs give the Sultan a shout he'll comfort you with words of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, since when do 'nut cases and suicidal teenagers' have easy access to weapons ? Surely you are not referring to legal weapons, legally obtained ?
Because they are the only weapons that will be eliminated under even more gun control.
Jim Jones, a nut case if ever there was one, used Koolaid.
In the case of the Sandy Hook shooter, no parent with a single working brain cell would have a house full of guns while raising a schizophrenic kid..
Emptying the mental hospitals so the patients could 'find their bliss' and become photographers or improv comedians, was the Left's idea. Now they are compounding the problem by opening the prisons.. Modern society sacrifices the good for the misbegotten, and calls it progress.
sophie

DenisO said...

"I agree with 'sweet smell' that the vast majority of Muslims, who worry about survival for their families, could care less about a world-wide Caliphate" (DenisO)

"Yes that's the conclusion every liberal and most Republicans have come to, historical evidence and current evidence be damned."

If you have "evidence", Daniel, why don't you state it, and back-up your constant claims that the enemy is the Muslim people? Even if that were possible, the way I suggest the enemy be defeated is to attack the religious leaders who urge and direct terror.
It is an old, reliable tactic of tyrants, to manage your population, by distracting them with a "common, evil, external enemy", so those in power can stay in power.
FYI, I am neither a Liberal or a Republican, but I believe in the TEA Party.
Regards,

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The evidence you seek is in any history book predating political correctness. It's also in a cursory reading of websites such as Jihad Watch or Religion of Peace chronicling current Muslim violence.

If you want to believe it's a tiny minority of extremists, you're in good company with Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Anonymous said...

Or just go to You Tube and search for Iran Morality Police. Staggering.

Keliata

Anonymous said...

Not to be sarcastic or anything, Denis, but consider this quote:

"The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it." Joseph Mengele said that.

Keliata

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