Skip to comments.The New Anti-Semitism? [Anti-Americanism]
Posted on 07/18/2004 10:03:00 AM PDT by saquin
I THINK IT WAS after the first Gulf War - technically, the second, if you count the Iraq - Iran conflict - when it became clear the times were definitely a-changing. Something was different; you could feel it. When George Bush Sr visited Australia in 1993 to thank his old friend Bob Hawke for Australia's support during the war to liberate Kuwait (only to find himself greeted by Paul Keating), the demonstrators were predictably out in force, but there was some-thing new in the air.
Large-scale organised protests against visiting US leaders were nothing new; but something about these demonstrations was. The tone was new: not merely strident, but shrill, vindictive, intemperate; but most noticeably, the real target was new. The object of the massed demonstrators' fury was not America's foreign policies, nor its alliance with Australia, nor, it seemed, even the recent war. The target was the United States itself. It was not what the USA did that was the problem; it was what the USA was.
In some ways this was strange and to a degree unexpected. America had led the multinational coalition that had routed the forces of a ruthless dictator and liberated the horribly traumatised Kuwaitis. At the time, local rumour had it that Australian medical staff deployed to Kuwait refused to tell their friends what they had seen; but horrifying stories circulated about the discovery of buckets full of eyeballs.
It was the retreating Hussein who fired Kuwait's oil wells in an act of malignant spite, raising fears of environmental catastrophe - exaggerated, as it turned out, as so many others before and since. But it was coalition troops and America's specialist firefighters who put them out, not Greenpeace activists.
Back at the fort, with UN endorsement, and with consummate political skill, President Bush had put together a coalition that included Arab nations - the first time in the modern era that Arab states had fought against one of their own. And, honouring the commitment he made at the war's start, he refused to allow coalition troops to set foot on the territory of Iraq. The Arab states had made it clear from the beginning that if any did, they would pull out of the coalition. Bush agreed, even at the cost of an "unfinished" war whose resolution, ironically enough, fell to his own son, ten years later.
Conceivably, then, Bush should have been on a roll when he visited Australia in 1993. The war had been an astonishing success. A small, defenceless country had been liberated, civilian casualties had been minimised through the use of precision weapons, Arab sensitivities had been respected, and Hussein was, as was then thought, well on the way to being comprehensively disarmed of his WMD munitions (years of playing cat-and-mouse with the UNSCOM weapons inspectors still lay ahead). Bush's own leadership of the whole enterprise had been greatly praised, especially in Asia, where it was viewed as a model of international statesmanship.
But in Australia, the Left reacted to his presence not with opposition or reasoned objection, but with visceral, unremitting ideological hatred. The particular circumstance was irrelevant; any old excuse would do. America was the world's whipping boy, simply because it was America. That's what was different then, and it stayed different.
This hatred has been the hallmark of the Left's attitude to the USA throughout the ten years since, steadily strengthening, not at all mitigated - on the contrary, noticeably sharpened - by the events of September 11, and hugely exacerbated by the recent, second, war against Iraq, about which there was some real moral ambiguity. Today, it has reached the proportions of an epidemic, with disturbing additional characteristics.
Anti-Americanism has become a superstition. Fear, loathing, fury and resentment have combined to produce something that resembles nothing so much as a new form of virulent anti-Semitism. Within the USA and without, tirades are daily directed against America, its values, its founding fathers, its policies past and present, its very being. Intellectuals as notable as Gore Vidal have allowed themselves to descend to conspiracy theories about September 11 that would shame even an undergraduate. "Bush knew about it in advance and allowed it to happen in order to give him a pretext for invading Afghanistan and seizing its oil" - this summarises, I think, the startling truth Vidal unleashed on the world. Such a construction would do the authors of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion proud. And Vidal didn't even have to forge anything; his audience was never going to ask to see the evidence.
As Alice once remarked: "What on earth is going on?" The reasons are not all that hard to find. It's about an ideology in defeat and retreat, yet not acknowledging either.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY was the site of the battleground of socialism and capitalism. Towards the end of the century, capitalism won. Its victory was unexpected, and unexpectedly swift, but near-total and unqualified. The free market triumphed over the command economy, and liberal democracy defeated the secret state, virtually everywhere they were in conflict.
True, there were and still are holdouts. China has ditched the socialist model for its economy, and political reform will doubtless follow, in time. For now, North Korea remains locked in the cage of its own insanity, its people forced to eat grass when they run out of food, and North Koreans when they run out of grass. In Vietnam, the most visible resurgence comes from the unconquerable spirit of entrepreneurial Saigon. Cuba continues to dine, however meagrely, off an almost-forgotten revolution, while its people, bereft of Soviet subsidies, look hungrily towards the United States.
The collapse of the Soviet empire, and the tearing-down of the Berlin Wall by its erstwhile prisoners, signalled the end of the socialist enterprise. Its story ended there and then, but it was a hard ending. By the late 1980s the international Left had, almost everywhere, ceased even to pretend it was the voice of the working class, and had instead become the spokesman for the disaffected middle-class elites. Even so, the old illusions held their grip on the Left's elder generation and its children.
For seventy or so years, well-meaning Westerners, and some less well-meaning, had looked to the Soviet experiment to instruct them on how to reform their own morally and ideologically defunct societies, as they perceived them. Sure, the Soviet system had its problems, and perhaps even excesses; but the Soviets were really trying, and they meant well; that was all that really counted. After all, they were socialists.
Generations of credulous intellectuals went to the Soviet Union seeking tools and ideas to enable them to build a better society in the West. Why so many should have gone from a liberal democracy to a totalitarian police state in search of them is one of the twentieth century's great unanswered questions. But go they did, and usually came back invigorated and refreshed. Among them was Australia's own Manning Clark, whose 1958 claim that "Lenin was Christ-like, at least in his compassion" rang hollow even then, but now seems actually obscene, given what we have since learned of Lenin's mental condition, the atrocities of his dreaded Cheka secret police, and the wholesale murder of the kulaks.
All this sounds like ancient history now, but the symbolic importance of the Soviet experiment cannot be overestimated. When the Soviet Union fell, followed by its satellites, a dream fell with it. The light on the hill, which had burned so brightly for 150 years, flickered - once, maybe twice - then quietly went out. And, in fairness, it was a good dream and a golden light. It was a dream that somehow, somewhere, human beings could surely create a society where sharing was as important as having, where wealth was apportioned according to needs, not wants, where the economic machine could be configured against the imperatives of fairness and equity, not greed and acquisition, and where everyone could have some hold or claim upon the processes of political power, without fear of exclusion or discrimination. Any decent person could subscribe to such a dream, and millions did.
But, as it turned out, it did not work. Human nature itself defeated it. We weren't good enough for it; it asked too much of us: or, to put it another way, socialism asked too much of itself. The stark lesson of the twentieth century is that socialism is a marvellous idea that doesn't work, and capitalism is a terrible idea that does. Unbelievably, inexplicably (to socialists), it turned out to be capitalism which delivered what socialism always promised: not all at once, not without bad episodes; not evenly, not at first for everyone, or even now for everyone; not quickly, and, certainly, not always willingly. But, in the end, it delivered.
Yet nowhere did socialism fail to fail. Nowhere was it tried - and I mean real socialism, not welfare statism - where tyranny, misery, poverty, fear and oppression failed to follow. Capitalism delivered its share of the bad stuff, too; certainly oppression - witness Taiwan, South Korea, Chile. But capitalism's lackeys always seemed to recover, to get over it, and get better: witness Taiwan, South Korea, Chile. Socialism never did; it never found a cure for its ills. Where now are Romania's traditional villages, victims of Ceausescu's madness? How much of Russia's rich historical store will be found to have survived its KGB custodians, and the criminal gangs that succeeded them? What will be left of ancient Tibet when Chinese communism finally succumbs, apart from the ashes of gutted monasteries and the ghosts of murdered priests? Despite having over seventy years and most of half the planet - surely time and space enough to make it work, if it was ever going to - all the socialist experiments have failed.
Opinions will vary on when it was the socialist dream really died: Budapest, 1956; Prague, 1968; Tiananmen Square, 1989; Berlin, 1989. For my part, I think it died that day in 1989 when Czechoslovakia opened its borders to Austria. For the first time ever, an institutional socialist state said to its people, as all the democratic states say to theirs: "You are free to leave if you want to." As one, or so it seemed at the time, almost every physically able person in Eastern Europe packed a single bag and toothbrush, petrolled up the Trabant, and raced for the hole in the wall. Nothing could have made it clearer that socialism's prison had never been their choice, and they wanted out.
At about that time, the Australian media reported a demonstration in Prague, which included an old Czech woman's bitter malediction upon socialism. As I remember it, the cameras captured her shaking fists, her contorted face and angry tears attesting more eloquently than words to a lifetime lost to misery and terror as, furiously, she shouted - in English! - "They should have tried it on animals first!" It had probably never been possible to tell her that George Orwell had done just that, in Animal Farm, but had not been widely enough heeded. It seems not too bold a prediction to say that no sovereign state will ever again choose socialism for its forward pathway.
This is the font and source of the Left's rage and hate. The wrong side, the wrong ideas, the wrong attitudes and the wrong people had somehow contrived to win. And then, on top of the political and economic victories heralded by end of the Cold War, unsupportable enough in themselves, there came the USA's seemingly effortless military victory over Iraq in 1991 - in a war, as we remember, that the hard Left was unanimous in opposing, despite the fact it was unarguably just. The Left's fury and frustration boiled over. Who to blame for its immense, unimaginable defeat? To its question, "Why did the right side, the right ideas, the right attitudes and the right people not win?" the Left found a single, simple, one-word answer: Amerika. The rest, as they say, is polemics: the unending regurgitation of that helpless, futile response.
Indeed, America's victory in the Cold War seems to have opened a kind of psychic wound in the collective sub-conscious of the Left, poisoning its soul. Perhaps the anti-American pandemic represents the effluxion by which the Left hopes to purge its own pain, understand its hurt, and heal it.
LET ME JUMP forward to where we are now, ten or so years later. In 2002, long before the Left became exercised by the USA's war plans for Iraq, Icon Books in the UK published a curious little book, entitled Why Do People Hate America? by Ziauddin Sardar, a postmodernist cultural critic, and Merryl Wyn Davies, said to be a writer and anthropologist. It was written as a commentary on the events of September 11. Not encouragingly, its cover carries an endorsement from Noam Chomsky.
It's not a non-mainstream book. It is commonly found in bookshops around Canberra, and presumably elsewhere in Australia. So it can be reasonably taken to be a book with some popular cachet. From page 195 on, it articulates what the authors see as the principal reasons for the hatred in which America is allegedly universally held.
First, the existential: "The US has simply made it too difficult for other people to exist." The USA has contrived to structure the international economy to guarantee perpetual enrichment of itself, and abject poverty for everyone else (at least, the non-Western world).
Second, the cosmological: America has replaced God as the "cause of everything". Further, imperial America is engaged on a project that involves the consumption of all time and space, and aspires to consuming all non-American people; "Inducted into the cosmological structure of America, the rest of the world will vanish."
The third is ontological: America has replaced the notion of "good" with the notion of itself, as the binary opposite to "evil". Thus, America can only be good and virtuous, and only America can be such.
The fourth is definitional: American has assumed the right to define what it means even to be human, and that only in terms of its own identity. American values are therefore the only ones that any longer actually are.
Two things might immediately be said about this. One: it is transparent nonsense, evidencing a seriously deformed kind of intellectualism. (The whole world is no more than items on America's fast-food menu - literally the imperialist's snack, for heaven's sake.) Two, and more disturbingly: replace "America" with "the Jews", and you begin to get some idea of where this is coming from.
The "facts" of American evil and the hatred felt for it are not argued from circumstance or evidence: they are derived from an intellectual horizon wholly indifferent to logic. The evil is pre-assumed, cosmic and all-encompassing. It impacts the very basis of our reality, evidenced by the philosophies by which we understand it. America's evil is inherent, insistent and inevitable. And it is intended, deliberate and engineered, out of a spirit of pure, unadulterated malignance towards the non-American world. To Sardar and Davies, America is not a country at all, but rather a poisonous psychic space, and an infectious effluvium.
At this point, if not before, one realises that Why Do People Hate America? is purely the invention of its own malevolence. It resembles a scene from German Expressionist cinema, with strange splashes of light and dark, foreshortened figures, distorted shadows and an eerie, sinister mise-en-scene. Its underlying psychological state is reminiscent of nothing so much as Nazi hate literature, where you will find the Jews huddled in the same livid half-light, viewed through the same pornographying prism of delusional paranoia. This is worse than superstition; it is superstitious hatred; worse yet, it is hateful superstition.
This is bad stuff, indeed: alarming, even frightening; and it's breaking out all over. The internet both propagates and fuels it, and you'll find it on a host of web-sites, from ZNet.org to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Is this then the ground that what's left of the Left wants to occupy, and is this really the best it can do? It needs to look around and see what company it keeps, past and present, including in the contemporary Middle East. In parts, Why Do People Hate America? reads like bin Laden out of Edward Said. It argues, for example, that Christianity's ancient struggle against Islam, then triumphant in Europe, somehow transmuted, by some kind of logical extension, into a Muslim-circumventing colonial enterprise in the New World - not that the authors offer any objection to Islamic imperialism. On this reading, even the colonisation of America was part of the Crusaders' anti-Islamic project.
This is plain lunacy. If the radical Left is to recover some kind of intellectual respectability, it has to do better than this, and find another way of accommodating itself to its own defeat. There is still work to be done in mitigating the worst effects of capitalism, even if socialism can no longer dream of replacing it. No one has ever claimed that capitalism is perfect; but at least it's always been more open to correction than its old enemy was ever revealed to be. So it's not the end of the road for the rational Left. The true dinosaurs are beyond recovery, of course, but one day they will at least do the rest of us the favour of putting us out of their misery (or themselves out of ours) by shutting up, and confining themselves to sulkily reading - and re-reading, and re-reading - their Chomsky and Pilger.
AS A PARTING SHOT, might I offer a coda to truly horrify them - the dinosaurs, I mean; one which I suspect dwells somewhere in the sub-terrain of the irrational Left's collective sub-conscious, and fuels its implacable hatred of the United States.
In the past five hundred years, perhaps in all history, there has only been one genuinely successful revolution - one that delivered on its promises for a better world, based on the principles of freedom, equality, enterprise and endeavour; one that actually succeeded, despite the acknowledged imperfection of some of its outcomes. And of these latter, thanks largely to the failure of socialism, we now understand rather better that politics cannot be relied upon to correct the human condition.
It was not the English Revolution of 1641, nor the French of 1789, or the French or German of 1848, or the Russian of 1917, the Chinese of 1949, or the Cuban of 1958, the essays of the Parisian students in 1968, nor the host of abortive adventures in Asia and Africa.
It was the American Revolution of 1776. That's the only one that has ever really worked.
excellent stuff here.
God Bless the Aussies.
"It seems not too bold a prediction to say that no sovereign state will ever again choose socialism for its forward pathway."
Has the author talked to the Democrat party about this?
Could Rob Foot be Dr. Robert Foot, the physicist from the University of Melbourne?
What with Bolt yesterday and Foot today it would seem that the strongest support for America is coming from down under; now if we could only convince freeze dried/blow dried to put a little old fashioned Texas Whoop-ass on the Whoopi-Cushion the world would take notice...but Dan Rather wouldn't.
This essay should be mandatory reading in every highschool class in America.
My first encounter, too.
Excellent article, the type of post that just sets this site apart from all others in terms of good quality.
My only one. I think we have a closet philosopher in the physics department. Just like in Atlas Shrugged.
I don't believe any of us could in any way add to what he has written. But I'd like to focus on just one of his small comments and take off on a tangent of my own (it won't be nearly as beautiful or well-researched as his, but allow me some room anyway. I'm a layman :)
I know you agree with me that 'socialists' have been around since time immemorial, having existed under countless labels as the history of humankind has unfolded. They will never cease to exist, no matter the defeats they suffer. Each defeat is seen only as a setback which occurred as the result of the ignorance and stupidity of mankind. They will always return, after licking their wounds, because they represent a segment of mankind that believes that a superior ruling elite (which appears to genetically pass its arrogance down through the generations) knows best how the world should be run. They do not recognize God. They despise Him. His eternal words stand in their way. They value human life only as a means to an end. They harbor no allegiance to anything except their timeless ideological agenda. And they see truth as nothing more than an obstacle toward the realization of that agenda.
In America 2004, socialism (as evidenced by, and embodied in, its loathing of everything genuinely American, and its revulsion when confronted with truth) is alive and well in leadership at the highest levels -- especially on Capitol Hill and in the Supreme Court.
The attack on America that is occurring today is unprecedented. Under attack are the God whose hand played the most intimate role in her founding and her rise to greatness, the Founders who risked their lives fortunes and sacred honor to leave us an inheritance worthy of all three, and the values that laid the groundwork for a republic that rose out of the ashes of what this author rightly calls the only genuinely successful revolution in the history of mankind.
And the most venomous and hate-filled of these attacks are being orchestrated by people within our own borders people who sit in seats of national leadership. One of them is seeking the Presidency. One of them is seeking the Vice Presidency. (One of them is seeking re-election to a fifth-term senate seat in my own state of Pennsylvania). And perhaps two hundred or more of them sit in Congress, and on the highest court in the land.
The rabid socialists within our borders, and the terrorists without, share two very deadly traits: (1) they place little or no value on human life, and (2) they define reverence for truth as an obstacle, rather than a virtue.
All one needs to do is take a good hard look at the agenda of the anti-American forces at work in the world today. Where in the focus of that agenda do human life, and human dignity, lie?
We are forever confronted with the human atrocities these critics of America commit. But we choose not to look at them at least not for very long. They are too offensive. Yet, because the words of the perpetrators so often belie their deeds, it is only in examining, and remembering, their deeds that we can comprehend the truth about who they are. You can't put 2 and 2 together and visualize a 4, if, because it was too hard to look at, you've discarded one of the 2's along the way.
We look away from the videos of innocent American office-workers leaping to their deaths from the fiery inferno that was the World Trade Center. We choose not to witness the charred pieces of American bodies hung from a bridge above the Euphrates. We would rather not see the slow, torturous decapitation, or hear the agonized cries, of Nick Berg, or those unfortunates who followed in his footsteps.
Closer to home, we (apparently 50% of us) applaud the Vietnam vet who seeks to be president. We ignore the fact that he sees nothing wrong with the murderous torture known as partial birth abortion.
The video, 'Silent Scream' which has been on the internet for many years, depicts an early-term (eleven week) abortion via real-time ultrasound. An abortion from the victim's vantage point. If we were willing to witness it, we would see a child (fully formed, absolutely identifiable, who has had brain waves for six weeks, and a functioning heart for eight weeks) screaming as it is torn apart, dismembered, crushed and destroyed by the cold steel instruments of the abortionist.
In partial birth abortions, children six months closer to being naturally born, are tortured in no less brutal a manner. And I would imagine their screams are even more audible.
One of our Presidential candidates, and many of the hundreds of other socialists in our government, see nothing wrong with such human torture. Because, after all, it furthers an all-important political ideological agenda.
And their reasons offered for condoning the murder of the innocent unborn (almost always 'the concern for the health of the mother' ) are untrue. As usual, life and truth take a back seat to agenda realization. Life and truth are simply roadblocks on the road to something far more inglorious.
How many Americans who will pull the lever next to the Kerry/Edwards ticket in November comprehend their stance on PBA? How many of these voters have seen Silent Scream? How many of them would see no connection between a stance on partial birth abortion and a cavalier view of the value of human life (and human liberty, and human dignity) in general? Do these same people believe that a John Kerry, or a John Edwards, or any of their socialist clones in Washington, value the life of the average American any more than they do the tiny victims of PBA?
Human life (whether in-utero, or walking down Main Street) and truth are of little value to a socialist.
And yet most Americans, who find all of the atrocities mentioned above repulsive, choose to not recognize that they exist, or to exile them from our consciousness as soon as conveniently possible, or to declare them somehow irrelevant to 'the big picture'.
They are 'the big picture'.
Neil Cavuto, who generally has the courage to attempt to force us to see (either literally or figuratively) the ugliness which threatens us all, recently wrote a wonderful piece on just this subject. Here is an excerpt:
Show me the senselessness of their killings. Show me the evil behind their killings.... Show me all of it. And don't sanitize it. Don't blur it, mask it, color it or frame it. Don't gloss over it and try to make us not see it or be appalled by it. You see, I want us appalled. I want us angry. I want us outraged. I want us sickened.... I want all of us who survived hell to see hell, to see the tears and know the loss. I want us to relive those days, every day, and not forget for a moment the evil that perpetuated it, condoned it and sanctioned it. For some, it's heady stuff. But I say, these are heady, sickening days. The war on terror is that kind of war. It is ugly. It is gory. It is stomach-churning. We do ourselves a disservice as victims when we don't show our victims. We do ourselves an injustice when we don't look at the injustice of terrorists. That's why I say, with some caution, to relax our caution. Nothing rouses a nation's anger in a war more than when we see the victims of a war -- our victims, our friends and our countrymen. They did not have to die. But they did. Why should we gloss over the fact that they did? I think it cheapens their sacrifice when we try to sanitize their loss. There's no nice way to say someone was beheaded and butchered. There's only one way to talk about it, and that's to show it. I want us to get angry, outraged, furious and incensed because this is evil in its purest and simplest form. We must see it for what it is, not cover it up for what it is not." Neil Cavuto
The terrorists in Iraq are surely more bloodthirsty than the socialists in the halls of Congress. But those who demean, or refuse to acknowledge the sanctity of, human life and dignity share a 'connection' that makes them allies on at least some level. (Have we given much thought lately to Mary Jo Kopechne? Or Vince Foster? Or Ron Brown? Or the tens of millions of innocent pre-born children who, because of the inconvenience they posed to a living, breathing woman, were not allowed to continue living? just a handful of 'lives deemed worthless' from an unending list )
The one area in which their (the socialists' and the terrorists') alliance is always visible is in their need to bring America to her knees. America is what stands in the way of ultimate success to those who view both life and truth as dispensable. Men cannot be allowed to extinguish the lives or liberties of other men when the country in which they live acknowledges a God who granted those gifts, and forbids their destruction. Such a nations past, present, and future must be defiled (by lies) and destroyed (by removing her underpinnings).
The defiling continues. And the underpinnings are weakening. And we whose charge it is to prevent both had better develop a stomach for looking into the ugly faces of those who are causing the destruction. There is no courage in turning away.
Beautifully said joanie.
This is the font and source of the Left's rage and hate. The wrong side, the wrong ideas, the wrong attitudes and the wrong people had somehow contrived to win.
Absolutely right. To a very great degree my doctrinaire leftist acquaintances feel a sense of profound betrayal at the failure of what they took to be the morally superior Soviet Union - that must seem almost a quaint usage by now, but I assure younger readers that it was so. To be a leftist was to believe in something greater than oneself, which is the very definition of a religion. Socialism was, truly, "The God That Failed."
I note, as an aside, that the structure of Why Do People Hate America?, the volume by Sardar and Davies cited by the author, mirrors closely the classic arguments for the existence of God - cosmological, ontological, and teleological - this may be a clever summation by Professor Foot, but if it is actually in that book it is extremely revealing.
What we had in the waning days of the Cold War was a belief system that had systematically failed to produce the Promised Land, and all it left to its adherents was a sense of desperate denial - the Soviet Union was a Workers' Paradise because it must be. But the evidence was at last undeniable - throngs leaving that "paradise" could not be ignored - and it resulted in a case of mass cognitive dissonance, whose reverberations echo in the unreasoning, passionate level of hatred directed at the victor. It is literally the stuff of insanity.
Saquin, many thanks for posting this wonderful and thought-provoking article. I have it bookmarked, because it's going to take quite a bit more consideration than the half-hour I've given it.
And pray tell who might that be? :-)
The only change I would make to your excellent post is to substitute "elitists" for "socialists", but that's a technicality.
Human life (whether in-utero, or walking down Main Street) and truth are of little value to a socialist.
It's time we understood that.
Bump for later. Thanks for the ping.
China has ditched the socialist model for its economy, and political reform will doubtless follow, in time.
I believe Red China is the evil empire of our time and that they are in fact behind the scenes in much of the external and internal confrontations we face. Not that they are necessarily the puppet master by any means...we have plenty of foreign and home grown enemies who are still bent on socialsim/marxism/totalitarianism and tyranny on their own...but they are certainly trying to use those others to their advantage. Where possible, they are also trying, IMHO, to orchestrate them for their own purposes.
They have adopted a fascist economic model, but at their root they are still the communist masters. I believe a failurte to recognize this will lead to a much, much worse conflict and confrontation than what we faced with the Soviets. And precisely because the Chinese have been intelligent enough to abandon the failed marxist and maoist economic failures. They are showing us and the world a psuedo-market economy that is still rooted in totalitarianism and they are soaking up our own capitol, monies and manufacturing to fuel it. If it ever reaches its own critical mass...we are going to be in very deep trouble...I believe we already are.
I believe we must find a way to confont them as Reagan did the Soviets and bankrupt them before that time...to the point that they fail and the people within China either fall into civil dissarray or create their own republican institutions (they have done so before). The vast majority of the people in China are still significantly repressed, problem is, 8-10% if 1.4 billion is a BIG number and can easily be used to make it appear as though reform is in the wind when it is not for the other 1.25 billion.
Anyhow, as you well know, for this reason, along with the continued outsourcing of most of our manufacturing, the continued rampant illegal immigration on our southern borders, the continued push for more and more "command economy and control" modules in our own government and because of the continued external threats from other sources is why I have written the:
Hopefully it is a warning note that can be heard by more and more people...one that causes them to reflect and think about current circumstances in a light that fosters more vigilance regarding the foundational principles which have made this nation what it is...and to which you spoke so well.
Thank you so much for drawing my attention to this.
Should be required reading for every American.
You're right about China, my friend.
What was once a communist state is in reality now a fascist super-state.
Communists lay claim to all the means of production.
Fascists let you believe that the means of production belong to you.
Socialism and its proponents on the American Left are EVIL and must be confronted and defeated.
Good stuff, joanie...thanks fer the ping to the article and your comments...MUD
Thanks for the ping to his "masterpiece" (and it is).
Yours is one, too.
I pray we wake up to what Red China is doing and how they are taking abject advantage of us in climbing towards true superpower status.
If they achieve it, we will either be in the fight for our lives...or we will have turned things over to the socialists and elitists in our own country to the point of either being much like them...or civil war.
You got it.
Joanie, thanks for your fine post, and to you and saquin and First_Salute for bringing this article to our attention. My only objection to it is that the article assumes that the America hating was something new in 1993.
Certainly, the Tories weren't terrifically psyched about an independent America, although I don't know that they can be called "America haters." Their sympathies, certainly, weren't loving of the American ideals. That God endows individual man with equal liberties to all other men was unthinkable to stratified, aristocratic England. Still, it was revolutionary only insofar as it denied devine rule. King George was amazed when Washington resigned his commission, for the King realized that Washington could have been king. He didn't. That was revolutionary.
That all men are created equal was yet concept. Therefore, there wasn't much objection to it.
Andy Jackson broke through the American aristocracy with his comman man's revolution. Indeed, into the early 20th Century, Democrats could brag that their party brought suffrage to all white men. This was true.
I say this as an aside to the next movement which was knee-jerk anti-American, for it was of the effort to extend the ideas of the revolution to all men, but was unaccepting of any delay or failure in it. I believe that the America-hating purists do so from their self-generated disgust that those ideals are not bestowed upon anyone anywhere. That is, any failure, anywhere, is the failure of the American revolution itself. If there is a starving, betrayed soul in Palestine, it is America's fault, for America's promise wasn't fulfilled. Same for anywhere and everywhere else, except, of course, here, where that dream is available to all who are willing to do what it takes to make it happen (such as following the advice of late of Bill Cosby). Sadly, they don't see that in America, those who succeed do so because they do that which creates success, and those who don't succeed don't do what those who succeed do, and -- and this is what makes America unique -- there is nothing in the political America that denies them that opportunity. Critics fail to understand that it is defeated culture that creates defeat, and vice versa.
In the 1840s and 1850s, the abolition movement arose under the proposition that the ideals of the Declaration ought be extended to all men. This, indeed, was Jefferson's triumph -- that which made him a hypocrite -- that "All men are created equal." Had he not written it, he'd be no hypocrite. That he wrote it made for the idea of abolition. The abolitionists, though, as today's fools who denigrate Jefferson, got impatient fast, and denied him of his right, and denigrated him for the particular failures of the Declaration rather than applauding him for making those failures failures as opposed to social norms. So, when slavery wouldn't just go away at their word, the abolotionists turned on that which first empowered their movement, the Declaration. The radical abolitionist Wendell Phillips said -- and believed, that the Constitution was "a league with death and a covenent with hell."
Leftism is impatience. It is right as is the clock, twice a-day, and it is only so right in history.
This appeared again in the 1880s and 1890s in the populist revolts against the railroads the banks. And again, most prominently, in the election of 1912, when the socialists took almost 900,000 votes, taking therein the highest pure socialist portion of the vote ever in America. Now, before you go saying that the socialists in those days were more pure, and that socialism has taken hold of one of the two major parties, so every election they yank a good part of the electorate and American sentiment, regardless, I put to you that while the socialists of 1912 polled 900,000, the "Progressive Party" of 1912 polled over four million votes and 88 electoral votes -- while standing very directly for such things socialistic as that written by its major press organ, The Outlook,
"You may go on with your business so long as you conduct it subject to the regulation of the Government, make goods which conform to its standard, pay wages and provide conditions which are satisfactory to its superivising Bureau, charge no greater price for the product than the Government regards as just, and take no illegal measures to crush your competitors."
This was the party of Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.
I'm no expert on the New Deal, although I know enough of it to know that the lesser ideas of the 1912 progressives were enacted into law by FDR and his Congresses under the agency of extreme crisis. I also know that that period, as with the progressives, had no patience for the American Founding. And, as with the progressive period, it was hardly beneficial to American blacks, and, in its attempt to mandate equality, it evaded core matters of equality of opportunity. The great 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement was a product of the American Founding more than anything else, except its success in bringiing equality and justice to more people across a people than any other political system in history. As in sports, when the team is getting beaten like a dead mule, it acts like one; but when the team gets closer, it tastes victory, and fights for it more heartily and more successfully. Civil rights in America are a product not of dissatisfaction but of success.
Socialism and Leftism and anti-Americanism is bastardization of Americanism. Without Americanism, however, there is no complaint.
To the Left, when Americans die, it is the fault of the success of America; when others die, it is because America has failed to meet its promise. They are so foolish.
Thanks for the thoughts and the article.
Excellent embellishment of the author's fine analysis...
In one short paragraph you have struck sham socialism at its core -- which is anathema to "God, family and country," as well as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" -- in one fall swoop.
Lol, ain't it the truth? Always d@mn if we do; d@mn if we don't.
Btw, tremendous post.
Certainly, the Tories weren't terrifically psyched about an independent America, although I don't know that they can be called "America haters." That all men are created equal was yet concept. Therefore, there wasn't much objection to it.
You said a mouthful, Michael.
The concept of all men having been granted life and liberty (and, by extrapolation, equality) by God and, therefore, that the power to remove any or all of those conditions does not lie within the authority of other men, was indeed only conceptual in the late eighteenth century.
But it is still conceptual today. We are still attempting to transform that concept into a workable reality. What has stood in the way is put simply human nature.
You talk about purists (understandably in a negative light, in the context in which you use it). But purists of the kind who genuinely comprehend and revere the Founders vision are, sadly, in short supply and have been so, to varying degrees, depending on the era and the circumstances, since the ink dried on our founding documents.
The concepts of the sanctity of individual liberty, and equality, have proved to be the most difficult to define, and the most cumbersome to enforce, mainly because there have always been those among us who choose to stretch their definitions in countless directions.
In a civilized society, individual liberty must be violated in many ways in order to prevent one mans liberty from turning into another mans torment (the old my freedom to swing my fist ends at the other mans nose). And therein lies the concept/reality conundrum. There will always be those who obsessively advocate sometimes to the exclusion of all other liberties the sanctity of the right to swing ones fist. And there will always be those who are obsessed with assuring the safety of noses. And there will always be a certain, practical, striving-for-purism cadre of common-sense thinkers sandwiched in between.
Over the past two-plus centuries, depending on the resolve and endurance (or lack thereof) of the common-sense thinkers, the fist-obsessed-faction or the nose-obsessed-faction have often enjoyed pre-eminence. It has been during those times in our history that we have wandered farthest from the concept.
And just as the definitions, and defenders, of liberty are myriad, so too and maybe even moreso are those of equality.
To my mind, the most flagrant bastardization of the definition of equality occurs when the inferred of opportunity is ignored. That particular severed interpretation opens a Pandoras Box of societal mazes that result in anything but the equality the Founders sought to ensure and defend.
You talk about the unacceptance of any delay or failure in the ideas of the Revolution.
Because of the historically unprecedented noble nature of our founding concepts, we are always in an evolutionary(/devolutionary) process.
And because of the nature of man, I believe that, should we continue to survive with our original foundations reasonably intact, the striving for realization of the concept will be endless. And those who criticize the fact that we have not yet arrived -- at a goal that, to my mind, is unattainable -- are of two types: (1) the genuine America-haters, who do not want the experiment to succeed anyway, and who seize every opportunity to illustrate the fact that it is failing, and (2) those who revere the concept, and who want to continue along the path our Founders laid, no matter the detours taken believing that, detours and all, it is the most noble and satisfying path ever blazed.
I believe your any failure, anywhere, is the failure of the American revolution itself is the core tenet of advocates of (1). And your those who follow the advice of late of Bill Cosby are generally advocates of (2).
You talk a great deal about patience and delay. If I am reading you right, I agree with your take on both.
The extremists -- the fist-defenders, the nose-defenders, and those who grasp every opportunity to prove that the American experiment has failed -- consistently use impatience, delay, and crisis to their advantage. They would have us believe that the fact that the concept has not been fully realized is evidence of its failure ... or that crisis provides a reason to abandon it.
The path that was laid out for us more than two centuries ago is noble. Man is not. It is only when we recognize that, just as with personal faith, the genuine attempt to simply remain on the path should be viewed as success enough especially when the ultimate goal, in its purest sense, may be unattainable. In order to persevere, it will be necessary to rein in the fist- and nose-extremists, acknowledge the distorters for who they are, and focus our attention and allegiance on the concept, while avoiding their extremist detours. Then, when history records the beginning, evolution, and end of the American experiment, it will record that there was a great, glorious, historically unprecedented measure of success in achieving that alone.
Kudos on two excellent posts.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. When I speak of the "purists" I mean those for whom expectations and reality never meet. The reason we believe in the American Founding is not because its ideas are nice, or beautiful, or happy -- and they are. I mean, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" -- can it get better than that? I suppose so, if we add "Twelve Points" or maybe "Four Points" to it, or an entire manifesto of proletariate joy.... whatever.
No, we do not believe in the Declaration and the Constitution because it is beautiful, we believe in it and with purity in our hearts because it works.
Please forgive leaving here of some other excellent ideas and points you've brought up -- in the midst of a huge paper that's sucking away my summer.
Oh, this: the American experiment endures, and will continue. I am not afraid for it.
An awesome analysis.
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