Left Liberal Ideology

Ken Howard kenhow at werple.mira.net.au
Tue Apr 2 00:10:11 MST 1996

>The following is a true story and has some bearings on the recent events
>in this list:
>When I was studying engineering (undergraduate), the freshmen and women
>were subjected to severe hazing during the very first month after
>entering the university. This hazing was carried out mostly by the progeny
>of the city intellectuals and sometimes took serious forms of abuse.
>After we went through this experience, it was decided by some of us to
>form an anti-fascist faction to oppose this practice and to welcome and
>show support to the new students entering our hostel. G, who although
>quite young (late teens) and had read some Marx and Lenin, became the leader
>of this left faction. In the hostel, there was another student A who
>(we thought at that time) was a progressive or a left liberal. A had a
>very pleasant personality, was well read (especially in English literature),
>a good debater, and a jolly and kind young fellow who got along well with
>every one in the hostel.
>During our third or fourth year (I can't remember which), an event
>occurred in the hostel which was to have far-reaching ramifications. One
>evening, there was a knock on my door and one of my friends entered
>with a serious look on his face. This friend, who was from a small town,
>and had not read any Marx or Lenin, spoke with a slight embarassed stutter
>and was the butt of jokes of the intellectuals in the hostel, was
>a sincere supporter of the anti-fascist faction. He said that a freshman
>had been been very seriouly abused by a senior and thereupon had run to
>G' room in tears and had related his torture. G,immediately upon hearing
>this, threatened to report the name of the perpetrator and his participating
>cronies to the University officials (the university had an official anti-
>hazing policy at that time). This was serious business since if the hazing
>incident was found to be true by an university investigating committee,
>the abusing student could be expelled from school according to unversity
>guidelines. As soon as they heard this threat from G, the fascists had
>gathered en masse outside his room threatening him with violence and
>calling for a general meeting in the common room in which they would
>ask G to take back his threat to report them. My friend said that
>G wanted to hold an urgent meeting of the antifascist group to discuss
>whether we should agree with this general meeting with the fascists.
>My friend and I walked up to G's room to find the fascists hurling
>expletives (red bastard, communist swine, etc.) outside his door and
>threatening violence. After a brief meeting, we decided that we should
>stick to our priciples of opposing all forms of hazing and should not
>give in to the fascists' demand of a signed letter from G saying that
>he would not report them. If they wanted to meet with us, it should be
>without any prior imposed conditions.
>During all this time of heightened tension,when physical violence by the
>fascists could have been sparked at any momement, our left liberal
>friend A was running back and forth between the fascist and anti-fascist
>camps trying to "soothe things over". He said that there should be no
>divisions in the hostel, that in outside events (sports, culture, etc.),
>the hostel should present a united front (it was many years later that
>I realized that he was calling for an unprincipled unity). He also
>repeatedly asked us, especially G, to withdraw his threat of reporting
>the fascists. When this was firmly declined, he made a move which
>kind of shocked us. He suddenly accused one of the members of the
>anti-fascist faction of threatening him with a knife. This was an out
>an out lie and seeing his dramatic transformation from an apparently
>"neutral" person and joining the camp of reaction, kind of made our knees
>quake. Of all people in the hostel, he was the last person, we thought,
>who could play a treacherous role like this.
>We had a general meeting in the common room with A now clearly in the enemy
>camp and denouncing us. After a lot of arguments, finally when the fascist
>side agreed to stop their abuse of incoming new students, a verbal
>agreement of not to report this particular hazing incident was made, but
>they would be watched closely and the next trangression
>would have serious consequences.
>In this list also, the last two weeks have been a time of heightened
>tension. This state has revealed the true ideology of some of the
>left intellectuals (names are not necessary since they are obvious).
>What was still amazing was the level of vitriol (pathology, lunatics,
>perverion, pathogens, creeps, etc.) and hatred from apparently
>intelligent and well-meaning people in their calls for expulsion and
>censorship. A significant part of this left-liberal spectrum will
>go over to the side of reaction in times of crisis (like A) when the
>cover of "neutrality" can no longer be maintained. Left-liberal ideology
>is "left in form" but "right in essence".
>     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu
--A salutory point and a lesson well learnt I hope, but I doubt it.
Adelante Ken howard.

     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

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