Hitchens and the Left

jenyan1 jenyan1 at uic.edu
Sat Sep 29 16:14:16 MDT 2001

On Sat, 29 Sep 2001, Austin, Andrew wrote:

> What needs to be explored is the TOTAL character of the ideology
> underpinning the actions of terrorists and extremists. Where is any of
> this considered in what is being passed off as objective analyses on
> these lists?
> There must be no sympathy for the fate of clerical fascism (call it what you
> will, the analogy works). Our sympathies must be for those who are oppressed
> by atavistic, religiously fundamentalist, and brutally patriarchal regimes.
> The stealth heroicizing of terrorists by many on the current left is
> reminiscent of the heroicizing of the street criminal by the New Left in the
> early 1970s. It was inexcusable then, and it is inexcusable today.

Sympathy's all very well, but what will sympathy do to counteract the
billions that the West [and in this case their Israeli and Saudi] allies
used to arm the fascist gangs who have caused immeasurable amounts of
material, cultural and ideological harm to the progressive cause,
particlularly in the third world?

Anyway, clerical fascism, as you call it, literally keeps the wheels of
capitalist [Western] industry oiled by fighting communists, Nasserists
and other upstarts -- much like its European counterpart of the 1930's
did. [see http://www.monthlyreview.org/leibovit.htm ]

"Once upon a time a valiant fellow had the idea that men were drowned in
water only because they were possessed with the idea of gravity. If they
were to knock this notion out of their heads, say by stating it to be a
superstition, a religious concept, they would be sublimely proof against
any danger from water. His whole life long he fought against the illusion
of gravity.... etc"

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