Saturday, November 4, 2017

The West Has Gone Bats!

Michael Lumish

{This is a fleshing out of an earlier thing that I called The U.S. Has Gone Bats!}

It is also published at Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}

Yes, that is the way it is.

I suppose that it is not surprising that my cohort, born in the 1960s, stomped on the Western Liberal Tradition.

This is to say that the contemporary Left is shedding its own intellectual heritage - defined by Enlightenment liberalism - and in the process is emerging as authoritarian, increasingly opposed to freedom of speech and thought, and increasingly antisemitic.

{One of my new favorite rebels - University of Toronto professor of evolutionary psychology, Jordan Peterson - would likely agree.}

And when I argue that my friends on the Left are trending against the "Western liberal tradition," I mean just that.

The contemporary Left is turning against the philosophical tradition of Enlightenment liberalism that emphasized rationality and individuality as it emerged out of the European Renaissance and took political forms from Magna Carta to the Constitution of the United States to the Knesset in Israel.

Instead, what we get today from the activist Left is reactionary, irrational, close-minded, violently-inclined, smug, stupid, arrogant, authoritarian, and dismissive of freedom of speech.

The American Left is often misdescribed as "liberal," but that is the last thing that it is.

The western-left, today, is opposed to the liberal tradition.

Among the reasons for growing American Left disinterest in the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism is because those of us who came of age following the Baby Boomers were trained not to believe in "Western values" by our Vietnam War era older peers and siblings.

From Abbie Hoffman to Alan Ginsberg to Noam Chomsky, much of The Movement, as Terry Anderson called it, prodded and poked at the ongoing viability of more traditional and allegedly objective European suppositions on how to apprehend truth.

It is no coincidence, after all, that the post-structuralist turn in western academia paralleled the Counterculture and the rise of the New Left toward the middle-end of the twentieth-century.

Our older siblings and friends who came out of the Vietnam War period, for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us.

The twentieth-century was a bloody nightmare and those of us raised on the Anti-War Movement, the Counterculture, and Civil Rights looked in directions - politically and personally - beyond anything that Eisenhower could have imagined when his boys stormed the beaches.

I do not know about you, but I grew up reading Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson and Joseph Heller.

It was all about rebellion and, in the cases of the latter three, hilarious rebellion.

{Kerouac was never particularly funny.}

The interesting question for me, now, is how it is that my generation - which both voted for Ronald Reagan and read Vonnegut - is now ushering in the current era of corrosive, hard-ass, high-handed, progressive-left identity politics which is shedding liberalism and tends to despise Israel.

From a political-social standpoint, it is a damn good question.

It's not that we are responsible for the never-ending malice and bloodshed in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. Nor are those of us who entered college in the United States in the 1980s responsible for the perpetual poverty of the urban poor, or climate change, or general human stupidity.

We inherited these joys to the world.

We are, however, responsible for the current state of American politics, which is absolutely dismal and, on the progressive-left, increasingly ugly toward diaspora Jewry when we speak out on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

The United States has not been this culturally torn-up since 1968.

American politics at this moment has people at one another's throats. It is ripping up families and friendships. It is resulting in violence in the streets from Berkeley to Charlottesville.

And, it must be understood, that the current toxic nature of American politics is encouraging the rise of the new white nationalism. I tend to downplay the white nationalist trend because playing it up increases its attractiveness to idiots so inclined.

But the difference between now and then is that by 1968 over 30,000 U.S. servicemen died in Vietnam in a war that seemed to have no end.

Women were still objectively second-class citizens.

And bigotry throughout the country was violent in a way that makes the contemporary South look like a racial shangri-la. 

I was born in 1963, the very year that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and almost exactly one year before Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer.

Despite the fact that I am a New York Jew, I can assure you that from a historical perspective race relations in the South are far better today than they were in 1963. It's not even close. An observer from Mars should be able to see that, yet somehow it seems lost on much of the contemporary American Left.

The causes of political tensions in the United States today are not due to war or sexism or racism like they were in 1968.

On every social-political level, the U.S. has made great strides toward social justice from that day to this.

The truth, in fact, is that the U.S. is among the most liberal countries on the planet.

This may sound old-fashioned but we hold out a greater opportunity to any man or woman of any "race, color, or creed" - as they used to say - than almost any place else on Earth.

We should be proud of how far we have come in so short a period of time.

We are well beyond where we were when Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Mall.

But we do not recognize it.

Instead, we tear down statuary of Robert E. Lee.


  1. If the Muslims were wise, then they would realize that Jews have a 33-century historical record of outlasting the world’s most powerful empires. Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia, the Medieval Church, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union – all of them persecuted Jews when they were at the height of their powers, and all of them are now gone.

    But Jews are still here, and Hebrew – the language of the Jews – is the only language in the history of the human race to become the language of a country of millions of people, after having been categorized as a dead language for approximately 2,000 years.

    Please, don’t get me started on the topic of great Jewish: inventors, musicians, actors, authors, businessmen, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, engineers, biologists, doctors, and Nobel Prize Winners, because they are far too many to describe, or even list their names.

    But none of that has any effect on Muslims; they are far too ignorant and far too brainwashed. The only thing they know about Jews is what the Koran (chapter 5, verse 82) says: “Jews are the worst enemies of Muslims”.

    MARK MY WORDS: there will come a day when the All-Mighty G*D OF ISRAEL directs His righteous anger against Muslims and their Leftist allies. When He is finished with them, none will remain; Muslims and their Leftist allies will be nothing more than unpleasant memories, flushed down the Toilet Bowl Of History, where they belong.

    Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel:

    Can Jews learn something from Captain Kirk?

    How to Convict the New York Times
    of Unfair Bias Against Israel:

    Why Israel’s 1967 Borders are Undefendable:

  2. The West, in general, is careening off the walls, but the worst part about it, from my perspective, is the failure of dialogue.

    The rise of political Islam and the increase of associated terrorism is a perfect example.

    You cannot even raise the question without risk of opening yourself up to charges of racism.

    It's absolutely disgraceful and entirely unjust.

    1. They will call you a racist not because it's true, but because it works. It's a lot like terrorism.

  3. Of course we are light years ahead of where we were vis a vis race and sex discrimination in 1963. Today these issues are hyped for reasons that have nothing to do with their severity.
    I'll just throw in that I personally prefer the term "social progress" over "social justice" which to me means absolutely nothing (nothing good, anyway).

    This is an insightful article.

    1. We're moving backwards in terms of ethnic relations in the US.

      The Left thinks that that Trump and the "alt-right" is the source of this.

      In truth, the Left's increasing inclination toward what I call "identity politics overreach" and its disregard for the white working-class is creating the very social phenomena that they claim to oppose.

      I am, for obvious reasons, highly opposed to white nationalism, but if you spit on people of European descent long enough some of them are going to stand up and say, "Ya know what? You want the Klan? We'll give you the fucking Klan!"

      And that's pretty much what is happening.

      The progressive-left needed white nationalism for political reasons and now, by God, they've got it.

      Although, yes, I still think that its significance is marginal, at best.

      Were it not for the Hillary campaign practically no one would ever have even heard of Breitbart, much less Richard Spencer.

    2. I must agree with you entirely. Funny though that the Left always complained that the Right needed enemies. Damned ironic.

    3. I also despise the nonsense-term "social justice". "Social progress" is an improvement, but it's still problematic because progress is subjective when it comes to social issues. Is teaching grade-school kids that there are 32 different genders progress? What about bearded, hormone-pumped women-who-identify-as-men becoming pregnant. Is that progress? For the Left it is the height of enlightenment (aka "woke-ness"). For me it is the sign of a society in decline.

    4. this society has enough equality, or well as much as government can impart without overstepping its bounds. We need order, patriotism, and stability.

    5. Once they start making up words for political reasons you know that they are filled with beans.

      The term "woke" is a perfect example. It denotes moral superiority and insight whereas, in truth, it actually means political conformity to popular group-think. To be "woke" is to be done with thinking because who needs to think when you've woked and, thus, have the answers?

      The words "alt-left" and "alt-right" are likewise bullshit terms.

      The term "alt-right" only became popularized during the previously presidential campaign.
      The Hillary people needed something more sinister to fight than run-of-the-mill right-wingers, so they both amped up the language and promoted a new terms to encompass this allegedly rising threat.

      So, no longer would we merely be fighting racism. Uh-uh. In order ensure electoral victory the Democratic Party and the progressive-left started (irresponsibly) flinging around terms like "white nationalist" or "white supremacist" or Klansmen or Nazi and they were all collected together under the term "alt-right" which then came to mean pretty much anyone not in the Democratic Party.

      The term "alt-left" is merely the Republican Party's response to the "alt-right" meme.

    6. Not just making up words but also making up new meanings for words: apartheid. open air concentration camp, etc. Newspeak.

    7. That very true, Doodad.

      The word "white" no longer means "person of European descent."

      The word "Zionist" no longer means someone who supports Jewish freedom.

      Now both those terms actually mean "racist, imperialist, colonialist, oppressor, fuckhead."

  4. "Instead, what we get today from the activist Left is reactionary, irrational, close-minded, violently-inclined, smug, stupid, arrogant, authoritarian, and dismissive of freedom of speech."
    I would clean this sentence up a bit. Maybe take out the "what we get today from" and change it to "today the activist Left is..."

  5. "Our older siblings and friends who came out of the Vietnam War period, for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us."
    They certainly did. I was at the tail end of that generation - the draft ended the year I was to turn 19. Isn't it time though, to put Vietnam into perspective as bad judgment and/or mistaken policy at the time and stop claiming it as a complete and total indictment of "the system?" (Look at how awful "the System" is today in the hands of that generation. E.g., Hillary Clinton makes Nixon look clean.)
    As for identity politics, yes it is high-handed, but isn't it also a slight of hand, i.e., built on the illusion of a rampant racism which no longer really exists?
    I was tuned in to NPR tonight in my car and heard a conversation between a host and an actress , both probably under 30, and it took all of 5 minutes for the conversation to turn into a virtue signaling session over "people of color."

    The entire obsession with Israel itself and its ongoing conflict with the Pal Arabs (and to be honest and factual, its conflict with the bulk of the Arabs and Muslims and the quite rightfully guilt ridden duplicitous and hypocritical Schmucks of Europe), the least oppressed "oppressed peoples" (and most lavishly rewarded), that is seen as the focal point of some sort of western imperialism and ultimate symbol of evil in the world is a testament to the Left's abandonment of liberalism and reason. Out the window. How do we not call this antisemitic?

  6. and of course, liberals in the west probably think this is OK

  7. Pretty much everything the left goes on about are vestiges of Soviet propaganda/psy ops; lies, all of it. And in each new generation, wannabe revolutionaries take up the BS and keep it alive. And the elites let 'em cause....bread and circuses.

  8. Throw the ingredients of the salad back into the melting pot. American identity is the melting pot! No other country or people are similarly composed. Though imperfect in application, this idea is part of what makes America exceptional, despite the horrifics of progressives.

    This conflict is going on everywhere, partly as technocrats attack concepts of ethics and morals. These "intellectuals" seem incapable of recognizing that those concepts have fueled creation of societies that allowed humans to develop and create the technology they worship. Obtuse. Social constructs are technologically driven.

    At McGill, students were rejected for being Jewish. At Brandeis, a parody play about social activists was banned by social activists. In Portland, a candidate for city council is shamed for being a straight white male. The tipping point approaches, hopefully, or maybe has been reached. It's not a linear process. There is a reason for Weinstein, for Brazile, to illustrate the hypocrisy and deception under the "diversity" narrative of the progressive identity mongers, the fakery of "stronger together!"

    Who knows when the next earthquake will occur. Who cares when there's more to be outraged about from that molehill over there.

    The Western fetish for technology has wrought a need to oversensationalize and address opinions and arguments about the smallest of things. There is now a disconnectedness between humans masked by the quantity of Facebook "friends" one possesses. People in this environment are no match for the committed activists, be they carrying a political or religious grudge. These actors drive the conflicts and events that the rest are unprepared to cope with.

    As we drifted along this current, Trump bursted into the scene. The status quo is shaken. At least we now have opportunity to take stock of the world, post WWII, and examine how things are working. So much is swept under the rug and, eventually, reality cannot be put off forever.


  10. Looks like the middle east has gone bats too.

    "Speaking to CNN, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir unambiguously charged that Iran had effectively declared war.

    "We see this as an act of war," he said. "Iran can not lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps."

    Add that to the arrests of princes, senior military officers, businessmen and top officials and the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri over Hezb and Iran's machination and who knows what's going to happen. Course all this happened after the Saudis gave women the right to drive. Coincidence? HMMMMMMMMMM.