Skip to comments.David Mamet Turns Right
Posted on 06/10/2011 5:20:10 AM PDT by Kaslin
Conservatives have a new celebrity spokesman-writer-thinker-philosopher. David Mamet, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, movie director and sometime essayist, has come out of the closet.
No longer, he declares, is he a "brain-dead liberal." Now he's a wide-awake conservative. Some time after arriving in Hollywood, of all places, and at age 60, he engaged in a conversation with his Republican rabbi (where did he find one?), who gave him the books of conservative writers, such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Milton Friedman and Paul Johnson.
He had a dramatic political conversion.
Mamet re-evaluated his own heroes, starting with the playwright Bertolt Brecht, whom he now describes as "a show dog of communism," who theatrically criticized capitalism even as his royalties allowed him to live comfortably on capital deposited in a Swiss bank account. Karl Marx, he discovered, never earned his money, but mooched on Friedrich Engels' family, which may account for his ideas about how wealth should be distributed.
Mamet writes of his conversion to free market economics, his discovery of the errors of multiculturalism, in a new book titled, "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture." He sounds like a latter-day Candide marooned in postmodern America, where liberals think they have all the answers for creating the "best of all possible worlds." He renders them as absurd as Dr. Pangloss, who saw even the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 as among "the best of all possible worlds."
"The great wickedness of Liberalism," Mamet discovered, "was that those who devise the ever-new state Utopias ... set out to bankrupt and restrict not themselves, but others."
Mamet first observes his own hypocrisy, recognizing the disconnect between how he acted and how he talked, "talking Left and living Right," which leads him to a collective indictment of himself and others in his generation of baby boomers, whose ideology has never quite been in sync with the real world they inhabit.
"As my generation did not live through the Depression, World War II and the agony of the immigrants who are our grandparents or great-grandparents; as we were raised in the greatest plenty the world has ever known and in the most just of societies," he writes, "we have grown lazy and entitled (not unlike Marx, who lived as a parasite upon Engels, and never worked a day in his life)."
In this scenario, liberals replace the Judeo-Christian roots of democracy with wishful Utopian thinking, belief in man in the abstract rather than the flawed human being he is: "We are told we need not produce, but may merely hope, we need not defend, but may hope, we must not consume, but are allowed, somehow, to hope for sustenance, magically, deriving from some unspecified actions of a government, which, all observe, is at best competent, and, more usually, self-serving and corrupt, whoever is in power."
His book comes out just as President Obama's poll numbers have collapsed into his lowest numbers yet, according to the latest measurement by The Washington Post-ABC News. By a margin of two to one, Americans say the economy is on the wrong track.
Mamet doesn't examine this finding, but his critique of the president's 2008 campaign slogans of "hope" and "change" are exposed for what they were, a triumph of advertising. "Hope is a very different exhortation than ... save, work, cooperate, sacrifice."
He compares vacuous appeals of liberal thinking to that of Mark Rudd, the leader of the radicals who seized an administration building at Columbia University during riots in the '60s. "We got a good thing going here," Rudd cried. "Now we've got to find out what it is."
The title of Mamet's book is meant as ironic -- there is no secret knowledge, except the recognition that the federal government in its expanding power is "the zoning board writ large." Mamet's new-found hero is Friedrich Hayek, who observed that man is limited and government should be, too.
Good intentions lead to unintended consequences, whether in urban renewal, affirmative action, welfare or busing. His most scathing criticism lands on liberal education, which he regards as indoctrination in identity politics, with students drugged with self-indulgence. He passionately defends patriotism, tradition, the family (rather than the diluted "family values") and the Bible.
This is a big mess of a book, spontaneous and contemplative, wild and earnest, ferociously eloquent and pugnaciously persuasive, filled with free association, dashes of hyperbole and overwrought arguments posed in angry and edgy Mametspeak. He closes with a remark by his son, offered as something calmer with the clarity of simplicity, on the difference between liberal and conservative: "Then basically, it's the difference between the heavenly dream and the God-awful reality." How true.
Very interesting. That’s a big name right there.
I agree. This could be important.
Mammet inhabits a certain high place in the Liberal mind. His conversion could make it “trendy” for other liberals too.
I’m naturally pessimistic, but there’s a chance - however small - that we could finally see a way out of this mess.
I’ve never understood how an intelligent, rational human being could be anything but a Conservative. I bid a belated welcome to Mr. Mamet.
Its an easy retirement for a worn out writer.
I just wonder how his liberal “friends” are treating him. I’m glad he had his awakening. It’s hard to react to this because of all his years of demagoguery. It’s hard to trust, but the way he’s talking, he sounds sincere, and yes, welcome to the fold, David.
Sounds an awful lot like
"We have to vote for the bill," Pelosi cried, "to find out what's in it!"
Nothing better illustrates “O’s” lack of fitness for leadership than this observation.
If the Pilgrims and every OTHER group or individual who reached these shores arrived with no greater or stronger intention than to HOPE, we'd still be a weak colonial toy of the British Monarchy-or worse.
Bravo David, welcome to the club. Now prepare yourself for your previous friends snubbings. Be strong...
**...welcome to the club. Now prepare yourself for your previous friends snubbings.**
Your “NAME” will help only somewhat to mitigate the trashing and upcoming Unemployment you will endure.
There will undoubtedly be reprisals. The regard of any liberal is conditional on whether you walk the party line or not.
“Mammet inhabits a certain high place in the Liberal mind.”
So too did Henry David Thoreau... once. No more.
Dennis Miller interviewed Mamet on his radio program Thursday.
It`s a MUST listen !
I’ve loathed him since “The Water Engine,” a viciously corrupt attack upon business and capitalism. The play is another leftist fantasy about an inventor who creates a car engine that runs on water. Of course he is murdered by businessmen and his invention hidden from the world. Gag.
I just hear his interview on Rush. He is smart, perceptive, writes and speaks well and has been in the liberal trenches most of his life. He’s gonna burn some ears with his honesty.
There is no greater threat to a liberal than someone who was once one of them. If you think they hate the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh or Hannity wait 'til they start unloading on this guy!
Hannity had him on his show last night I believe
Hannity had him on his show last night I believe
The point is David Mamet woke up