Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Left Has Always Been Totalitarian, Robert Ehrlich

In NRO today Robert Ehrlich, former Republican governor of Maryland, has some sensible things to say about the ungenerous and anti-democratic Left in America. His piece is titled "A Syllabus of the Dangerous Errors of the Left." (The link and the tag say things like "Progressivism and Democratic Party: Exteme and Dangerous" so you can see that the editors had a bit of a struggle with the lead.) tag say things like "Progressivism and Democratic Party: Exteme and Dangerous" so you can see that the editors had a bit of a struggle with the lead.)</p> <p> <br></p> <p> Robert Ehrlich is a professional politician, so he knows how to be nice. I think he is being too kind by suggesting that today's liberals are out of sync. In my view the Left has always been totalitarian and extreme and intolerant. The only reason that we think of it in rose-tinted nostalgic terms is that the Left has always had a good press. </p> <p> <br></p> <p> Let's look at Ehrlich's points.</p> <p> <br></p> <p> <i>Possibly the most perplexing aspect of modern progressivism is its intolerance of alternative viewpoints.</i></p> <p> <i><br></i></p> <p> I'd say that was too generous. The Left has always been intolerant of alternative viewpoints, starting with the origin of the word "left" in the French Revolution and its Terror and certainly beginning not later than Marx with his no-holds-barred rhetoric about the bourgeoisie and "bribed apologists" and his idea that capitalism was a continuation of the exploitation of the feudal era, only worse. Then we got the Frankfurt School and Herbert Marcuse and the notion that intolerance from the left wasn't intolerance, because the left cared, which basically gave the left a "00" prefix to hunt down its enemies. Now we have the utter folly of safe spaces, microagressions, and hate speech. This is nothing new, just leftist politics by other means.</p> <p> <br></p> <p> <i>A progressive anti-Israel bias has been clear since Day One of the Obama administration.</i></p> <p> <br></p> <p> Well, since the left has been anti-capitalist since Day One, I'd say that anti-Israel bias fits it like a glove. Actually, the left has been against Israel for decades, because the left always chooses the "exploited" party in any political dyad. Palestinians equal oppressed; Israelis equal colonizers. QED.</p> <p> <br></p> <p> <i>You know the old saying that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that some people aren’t out to get you.</i></p> <p> <br></p> <p> This is a reference to the John Doe investigation of Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker, and little Lois Lerner at the IRS throwing mud in the eyes of conservative non-profit groups. I have to admit that this is new, at least in its egregious violation of the letter and the spirit of US law. But it clearly issues from the Left's war on western law, that it is just a means to assist the propertied and make war on the powerless. It's easy to proceed from there to the idea that all Republicans are evil, because they oppose us, the virtuous left, and because, anyway, Republicans are all racists, sexists, and homophobes.</p> <p> <br></p> <p> <span style="font-size: 16px; line-height: 16px;"><i>We throw the term “sanctuary city” around so lightly today, it’s now part of our lexicon.</i></span><br style="outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 16px;"><br></p> <p> Hey kids, this is nothing more than liberals arrogating to themselves a "selective approach to federal immigration law," writes Ehrlich. But I'd paint the sanctuary city movement in darker hues. In the old days, after all, this selective approach to federal law was called "nullification." But, of course, every ruling class arrogates to itself the right to bend the law a little in its own interest. This is nothing new. </p> <p> <br></p> <p> <i>Black Lives Matter!</i></p> <p> <br></p> <p> Ehrlich is really too polite about this. The Black Lives Matter movement is racism, straight up. Period. And the encouragement of black racism by ruling class white liberals is the crime of the century, because it makes blacks sequester themselves into a racial ghetto instead of getting out and "fitting in."</p> <p> <br></p> <p> Really, I think that liberals, sealed off in their ideological echo chamber, are fools. By their shameless use of government power they are setting up America for a decade of Republican rule. They do not understand that <i>all government is injustice</i>. They think that the way to right injustice is with government power, when really the way to right injustice is by reducing government power. Everyone understands about protesting against government injustice; they do not understand that once they get government power they are immediately doing what they protested against.</p> <p> <br></p> <p> The point is that any government will do things that a lot of people will experience as injustice. The wise politicians knows this and tries to structure programs to minimize injustice to the minority, or at least hide it from view. When liberals impose affirmative action or speech codes they imagine they are redressing age-old grievances. Maybe they are. But they are also crushing innocents under the millstones of government power, and the innocents don't take that sort of treatment lightly.</p> </div>

But I think that Ehrlich is being too gentle with the left. So let's go through his syllabus item by item and shine his list of errors up a bit.

Possibly the most perplexing aspect of modern progressivism is its intolerance of alternative viewpoints.

Really? Hasn't the left always been intolerant of alternative viewpoints? That was the whole point of Marx's inflammatory rhetoric: to put opponents on the defensive, to make out modern popular governments as merely the executive committee of the bourgeoisie, and defenders of the middle-class republics as "bribed apologists" of the evil capitalists. And then there was Lenin and his secret police. And Stalin with his purges. And Mao and his cultural revolution. And Herbert Marcuse with his intolerant tolerance. Hey, politics is violence, after all.

A progressive anti-Israel bias has been clear since Day One of the Obama administration.

No kidding. And the left has been anti-Israel way longer than that, at least since the 1967 war. The left always sides with the non-western victims against the supposed colonizers, and non-whites against whites. In recent years this anti-Israel thing has blossomed into outright anti-semitism, but who cares?

You know the old saying that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that some people aren’t out to get you.

Yeah. The left has always been out to get people that advocate against the left. The whole "McCarthyism" thing has always been a leftist campaign to shut up the Republicans that, rightly, accused a ton of supposed liberals of being Communists and spying for the Soviet Union. As in Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White.

So of course liberals are using IRS agents like little Lois Lerner to savage conservative groups applying for non-profit status. Of course Democrats tried to shut up Wisconsin conservatives and Republican Governor Scott Walker with their unjust and secretive "John Doe" investigation. Of course Barack Obama's Organizing for Action is fomenting race and identity activism all around the nation.

We throw the term “sanctuary city” around so lightly today, it’s now part of our lexicon.

Imagine that! When liberals don't like a law they declare their cities exempt. So there! In the good old days of slavery and King Cotton, this was called "nullification" and every liberal knows it was evil. But when liberals do it, well, you are a bigot and a racist for complaining.

Black Lives Matter!

The nods and winks say that Black Lives Matter is a creature of funding from George Soros's foundations and encouragement from Obama's Organizing for Action. Who knows? But this movement is a cruel joke. What blacks need above all is to stop separating themselves from the mainstream of American life and just get on and fit in.

It's pretty obvious what Black Lives Matter is all about. It is a combination of profound disappointment with the Obama years and Democratic need for angry voters that will go to the polls. Blacks were told that America was irretrievably racist. Then America elected a black president and it seemed that the millennium had arrived. Only it hadn't, in particular because the policies of the Obama administration could not have been better designed to keep minorities down. So now blacks are angry and despondent at the disappointment of their millennial hopes. Meanwhile Democrats need to keep blacks energized and angry so they will go tot he polls in 2016.

It's all so sad, but it all issues out of the necessities of left-wing politics. Our current ruling class relies on the votes of a Coalition of the Fringes, people that believe that only government and its free stuff can protect them against a racist and sexist America. It's a neverending job to keep these people angry and keep them separate from the rest of America. But liberals are up to the job, because everything, their power and their money and the love of their beautiful women, depends on it.

I think that all this Alinskyism and Cloward-Piven stuff, the idea that activism and "peaceful protest" is the essence of politics, will prove to be an epic mistake. Maybe it will make the reaction against the Sixties look like a picnic. I think that the American people hates all this elite-driven activism, and will remind its ruling class of this in November 2016.

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