Sunday, September 21, 2008

Left In Dark Times: A Stand Against The New Barbarism

“I’m convinced that the collapse of the Communist house almost everywhere has even, in certain cases, had the unexpected side effect of wiping out the traces of its crimes, the visible signs of its failure, allowing certain people to start dreaming once again of an unsullied Communism, uncompromised and happy.” - from Bernard Henry-Levi's latest.

Which prompts Christopher Hitchens to reflect:

If this is not precisely true, even of those nostalgic for “Fidel,” apologetic about Hugo Chavez, credulous about how “secular” the Baath Party was, or prone to sympathize with Vladimir Putin concerning the “encircling” of his country by aggressive titans like Estonia and Kosovo and Georgia, still it does contain a truth. One could actually have gone further and argued that the totalitarian temptation now extends to an endorsement of Islam­ism as the last, best hope of humanity against the American empire. I could without difficulty name some prominent leftists, from George Galloway to Michael Moore, who have used the same glowing terms to describe “resistance” in, say, Iraq as they would once have employed for the Red Army or the Vietcong. Trawling the intellectual history of Europe, as he is able to do with some skill, Lévy comes across an ancestor of this sinister convergence in a yearning remark confided to his journal by the fascist writer Paul Claudel on May 21, 1935: “Hitler's speech; a kind of Islamism is being created at the center of Europe.”


Blogger RadicalOmnivore said...

Salim Mansur wrote:"In the riding of Bourassa in Montreal, Layton is running a CIC operative, Samira Laouni of Moroccan origin, as NDP candidate."

WTF is going on with the NDP candidate selection process?
I don't 'spose anyone's got footage of this Laouini chap stuffing his chops with a fist full of joints then eh?

9:18 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

I am not sure that "wiping out the traces of its crimes" is a sufficient explanation to the process of selective memory loss. One of the (several other) reasons is our inability to cope with crimes of mutual inhumanity on such scale as, for instance, Soviet or Chinese mass murders.

Even on a smaller scale - one amazing example for me was unwillingness of Spaniards to talk about their Civil War. I was looking once for a grave of a distant relative who fought in the International Brigades and was executed by Franco's soldiers near Barcelona. The denial was almost unbelievable.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


Good points.

In Spain's case, an added factor was that the fascists won, and any debate or discussion of the Spanish War was more or less prohibited until Franco was gone, and that didn't happen until 1975. By then, the Spanish people had been subjected to nearly 40 years of its dictatorship's efforts to expunge those memories from the people.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Will said...

BHL in discussion with Zizek here.

5:27 PM  

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