Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Leftist Mishegas in Tablet Magazine

The problem isn't Black Lives Matter. The problem is the Occupation.

Wrong. The problem is the cult of victimhood Marxism (as practiced and exemplified by BLM) and the left's usefully idiotic preoccupation with the capital "o" Occupation (especially since the Palestinians and their leftist/Islamist backers have made it abundantly clear that their concept of what's been "occupied" takes in the entirety of Israel--i.e. "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free").

Update: Serendipitously, Bruce Thornton has a piece in FPM today that summarizes how victimhood Marxism arose and gained traction in the West:
In the twentieth century, however, the Western proletariat ignored Marx’s laws of history and did not ignite the communist revolution. They preferred to take advantage of the expanding wealth created by free-market capitalism, and to join the hated bourgeoisie. Communists then looked to the Third World, where the postwar anticolonial movements promised the worldwide revolution the workers of the West had betrayed. “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” cried Jean-Paul Sartre, replacing the old “workers of the world” with the oppressed victims of European colonization. 
Thus was born Third Worldism, the modern reboot of the old noble savage myth. Once considered primitives that needed to be civilized, now non-Westerners were idealized. Their exotic customs and mores, and their simpler, more authentic lives, were held up as reproaches to the “air-conditioned nightmare” of the repressed bourgeois West and its soul-killing, mass-produced consumerism. The tyranny and cultural dysfunctions of these newly liberated peoples, and the persistence of their old tribal intolerance and violence, were ignored or rationalized as understandable reactions to continued Western oppression. 
At the same time, multiculturalism became institutionalized in Western politics and culture, an ideology founded on the same assumption of Third Worldism: “Every Westerner is presumed guilty until proven innocent,” as the French social critic Pascal Bruckner put it. We Westerners, he continued, “have been raised to detest ourselves, certain that, within our world, there is an essential evil that must be relentlessly atoned for . . . colonialism and imperialism.” This fashionable self-loathing, of course, came cheap, as Westerners continued to enjoy the leisure, affluence, and human rights created by Western ideas that the people they idealized lacked or hated. 
In this misguided and reductive worldview, the Islamic peoples were grouped together with the other non-Western cultures. The Arab-Israeli conflict gave this idealism a geopolitical significance that had little to do with religion. The Arabs attacking Israel were transformed into victims of neo-colonialism and “illegal occupation” by the capitalist puppet Israel. Like the Viet Cong, the Algerian Liberation Front, and Castro’s guerrillas, they were freedom fighters struggling for national “self-determination.” The Islamic roots of Arab revanchist hatred were ignored in the West, even as PLO leader Yasser Arafat issued the traditional Koranic call for “jihad, jihad, jihad” from the “river to the sea”—that is, for a war to ethnically cleanse Israelis from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. 
America’s Cold War involvement in other Muslim nations seemingly confirmed this narrative, making the Muslim people yet another Third World victim of the evil West, and so an object of admiration and idealization by leftists and progressives. The illiberal, anti-modern, intolerant dimensions of sharia law were dismissed or rationalized. Just mentioning such things became a sign of Western bigotry against the oppressed “other,” as the literary critic Edward Said argued in his still influential Orientalism.

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