[Marxism] A malaise on the Left
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 9 12:56:31 MDT 2014
The following piece by Louis Proyect is the sixth article I’ve posted in
response to Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line” which
appeared in the London Review of Books on Sunday.
How can one article merit this amount of attention and criticism?
In terms of its substance, it does not. Had such a thinly-sourced report
been written by anyone else, the LRB wouldn’t have touched it — it would
more likely have appeared somewhere like Mint Press or Alex Jones’ Infowars.
But whenever the byline “Seymour Hersh” appears in the media,
shock-waves ripple across the planet. His latest blockbuster always
commands that governments respond. Within hours official statements get
circulated to the press.
It’s an unfortunate effect because this reaction to Hersh lends his
reporting more gravity than its most recent examples deserve. Moreover,
the fact that he can prompt such swift responses reenforces the
perception that this is a man who through telling the truth, has the
power to shake the establishment. Thus, there seems all the more reason
to treat his “revelations” as authoritative.
However, for me (and a few others) the reason Hersh’s work demands
attention at this time, is because it reveals a malaise on the Left.
A fear of “Islamic terrorists” or “jihadists” which a decade ago served
as the fuel powering the neoconservative enterprise, has since then
percolated across the political spectrum and turned into a widely
accepted means to delegitimize the Syrian revolution.
It is now not uncommon to hear people suggest that after Bashar al-Assad
has killed tens of thousands of his own people and turned cities to
rubble, for him to remain in power would be the lesser of two evils.
It’s either Assad or the wild men who eat human hearts for breakfast,
many on the Right and the Left now believe.
Islamophobia which used to reside on the Right has now acquired a veneer
of cosmopolitan “realism.”
This is why the attention I’m giving to Hersh is not all about the
veteran investigative reporter. He merely highlights a much wider
corruption of thought.
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