February 12, 2005


FIRST THE CORRECTION: I was wrong about PayPal – I can indeed withdraw funds credited by eBay to a PayPal account. It's just that the PayPal system is so user-unfriendly – and absolutely unresponsive to "how-to" inquiries – it took me a very long time to figure out its quirks.

NOW THE GOOD NEWS: Not only am I recovering from the flu. I have picked up an additional (and very major) freelance employer. Fortunately for me, but perhaps unfortunately for readers of this weblog, my new obligation – a decidedly upscale publication – will more than triple the amount of time I spend on income-producing enterprises. It will thus reduce my available blogging-time and writing-energy accordingly. In addition, assignments from my other employer are increasing too, both in number and complexity. Hence I cannot predict how frequently I will be available to update this space, nor even whether I will at some point opt to discontinue the whole blog in the interest of economizing the use of my time. Whichever I decide, I will of course let you know; I won't pull a Washingtonienne and merely drop out of sight.

LASTLY, THE LINK: to a Ross Terrill essay on Boston.com discussing the Left's wholesale abandonment of its democratic ideals and their replacement by an ethos of ever-more-intimate (and thus ultimately obscene) submissiveness to tyranny and authoritarianism.

Here is the key passage:

Why has the historic switch of partners occurred? The left of center parties embraced identity politics from the 1970s. Gays, minorities, women, and others were cultivated as building blocks for a progressive edifice...Other factors include the left's discovery that courts help the cause of social engineering more readily than ballots, and the appalling role of money in elections.

While the remainder of Terrill's discussion is enough revealing and provocative for me to list it here as a "Must Read," he nevertheless overlooks what I regard as the pivotal element in the Left's profound transmogrification from a pro-democracy movement to an advocate of a totalitarian brand of statism, a statism that – despite its socialist disguise – is closer to classical fascism than to anything else. This overlooked element is the Marxist doctrine of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which is essentially a politically "correct" version of the old Tammany Hall adage, "to the victors belong the spoils."

In the Marxist schemata, once the proletariat wins the "workers' revolution," it imposes an absolute dictatorship – the so-called Dictatorship of the Proletariat – during which public consciousness is radically reformed to comply with the Marxist ideal. This is accomplished by the combination of exterminating "enemies of the people" and the forcible re-education of the survivors. The Marxist ideal itself is grimly Utopian – a Golden Rule of share-and-share-alike enforced at secret-police gunpoint – which explains why Marxism becomes so attractive during hard economic times. (In theory, once the public is morally so transformed, the prevalence of Marxist consciousness will eventually render all governments obsolete, and thus the state will "wither away" – an impossible goal that nevertheless further explains the Marxist appeal.)

It is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat itself (and not the liberation of the proletariat from socioeconomic oppression) that the victim-identity cultists of the Left find so appealing. Indeed, the whole notion of such a (“compensatory”and retaliatory) dictatorship dovetails neatly with the victim-identity cults’ ever-more-strident demands for affirmative action, quota-mongering in social services, slave “reparations” etc. ad nauseum. Hence the Left of today identifies entirely with “protected” minorities – Sunni terrorists and the ousted Baath Party tyrants – and not at all with the truly oppressed. Indeed – given the Left’s brazen support for Saddam Hussein – I cannot but wonder how modern leftists would react to what happened at Petrograd in 1905, when the Czar’s troops and police sparked a revolution by massacring hundreds of peaceful demonstrators outside the Winter Palace.

Here is Terrill's own vital evidence of modern-day leftist intent:

Not least, the left cultural gate-keepers of our time in the media and academia have come to picture themselves as rivals of democracy. Telling us how we are going to vote (polls) and then why we voted (more polls) is a usurpation of democracy. Consider the arrogance of the exit poll; CNN announces the result before the result exists! For voters, the system is not theirs to infuse from below; it is the (left’s) to re-engineer from above.

This is so compelling I wonder how Terrill misses the point: that the members of today's Left see themselves not as liberators but as defacto oppressors. This is why they identify with Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, why they can no longer identify even with Leon Trotskii and most certainly not with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. or Thomas Jefferson.

The remainder of Terrill's otherwise-excellent essay is here. Enjoy the rest of the weekend; I'll be back during the days ahead, though only as time allows.

Posted by Loren at 02:39 PM | Comments (2)