Friday, August 18, 2006

Arrogance a la Left

Dr. Gadi Taub teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and prints a withering critique of the Left in Israel (but not quite sharp enough for me):-

Arrogance behind radical left

Dring war extreme wing of the left divorced itself from, rather than led, the overall left

As opposed to the first Lebanon War in which left-wing anti-war demonstrations gathered strength within days, this time around they were limited to a small circle of leftists who view themselves as "radical."

This time around, the extreme wing of the left divorced itself from, rather than led, the overall left..Israelis paid no attention this time to "stop shooting, start talking," because there was no plan behind the slogan, no debate about now-existential problems...Anyone failing to have constructive proposals for these questions is simply irrelevant.

The truth is that there is a deep arrogance behind this type of degenerate "left-ism." It's appeal is relevant only when we win. Its criticism is valid only on the assumption that we are the victorious and evil side. But in this case? It seems we are neither. Even if we made terrible mistakes, we are not the guilty party. Anyone with eyes in their head sees the Iran inspired Islamic brand of fascism, and no elaborate explanations are needed to understand why it is evil.

...Over 40 years of occupation the intellectual basis of the radical intellectual left has been gradually rotting. It has but one reaction to every war; therefore, it has no ability to say anything concrete about justice. It has no criteria by which to distinguish between just war and unjust wars...they gave us a hearty serving of automatic "left-wing" reactions, ramblings about our internal discourse, about art, about our image.

[In the Haaretz Magazine special] Shimon Adaf asked, "Have we become the people we wanted to become?". Nir Baram wrote of the depression that gripped him last summer, and added some ramblings about how Ehud Olmert's speeches construct our collective memory. Ronit Matlon wrote of the gap between the language of "homeland" and that of "home," and about why patriotism is a "muddy pool in which bigmouths stricken with amnesia wade." Sami Michael noted that war is opposite of art. Yitzhak Laor took the words right out of my mouth when he told us to "think in the other side's terms." Well put. Except there was nothing about the other's side terms in his piece, only an analysis of our own military self-image and discourse.

This narcissism does not start with journalism, nor with demonstrations. It starts with the fading of the left's ideological home front, and its degeneration into reflexes. This is the damage the new paradigm called "multi-cultural criticism" has caused. This intellectual vogue seems to speak of the other endlessly. But the truth is, it never really does. Rather, it deals with the question of how the Other appears in our own "hegemonic discourse."

...In the current situation we're facing we would do well to concern ourselves with the barbarians among them, because they pose a very real and non-discursive danger at the moment. And Because a new world has been created around us, a world where the idea that only the West is oppressive looks a little pale in light of the rising wave of Muslim fascism.

Hello? Does anyone on the "radical" discourse-oriented naval gazer left remember that there are actual other people in the world?

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