Monday, July 29, 2013

Then: Exquisitely Refined Bien Pensant Types Characterize Anti-Communists as Hysterical, Knuckle-Dragging Nut-Jobs. Today: Bien Pensants Do the Same to Counterjhadists

Bruce Bawer, a card-carrying counter-jihadist who lives in Norway (of all places), writes:
I’m old enough to recall the obloquy heaped upon [anti-Communists] by bien pensant types – professors and high-toned journalists who considered active, vocal opposition to Communism the most lowbrow of pastimes. Yes, whereas today’s counter-counterjihadists act as if jihad is a figment of counterjihadists’ fevered imaginations, the anti-anti-Communists (a label they wore with pride) at least acknowledged – albeit in a bland, bored way – that Communism existed. Sometimes they even admitted that it wasn’t all that terrific. But by focusing their animus on anti-Communism, and remaining all but silent about the evils of Communism itself – indeed, by insisting that the very application of words like “evil” to Communism (à la Ronald Reagan) was infantile and hyberbolic – they drove home the idea that overt anti-Communism was worse – by which they meant less intelligent, less sophisticated, less worldly – than Communism itself. Indeed, even as self-identified Communists in America and throughout the West held positions of trust in the academy, government, the arts, and elsewhere, anti-Communists came to be viewed as fanatical, paranoid conspiracy theorists who, in the phrase of the day, saw “a Communist under every bed.” Even now, the Hollywood Ten, a group of directors and screenwriters who in 1947 were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about their Communist Party affiliations, are considered heroes of American freedom, even though it is a matter of public record that all ten of them turned out, in fact, to be Stalinists, dedicated to destroying American freedom; meanwhile, director Elia Kazan – a former member of the Party who named names” because he recognized Stalinism as a genuine menace to American freedom – is still remembered as a fink. 
So it is today with Islam. The “counterjihadists”  are the villains – the hysterics, the fools, who see a Muslim under every bed, with a bomb in his turban. Meanwhile the good guys are the counter-counterjihadists – the journalists, activists, and others who make a career of slamming Islam’s critics, whom they frequently represent (especially over here in Scandinavia) as “conspiracy theorists.”...
BTW, it bears repeating all these years later that Alger Hiss, darling of the chattering classes, was a Communist who was in the employ--and who served the interests--of Soviet mass-murderers, and Whittaker Chambers, his nemesis, was a hero.

Update: The real hysterics are those who equate the Tea Party (a group of people who have the temerity to want to limit the size and intrusiveness of the state) with the Taliban (jihadists who want to enact Draconian sharia law, the most intrusive, liberty-inhibiting religio-political system ever).

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