Monday, July 19, 2004

The Triune Demon

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs links to an article by Rob Foot in Australia's Quadrant magazine discussing a facet of the New Antisemitism -- its coterminousness with anti-Americanism.

I was stirred to comment on it, so I'll reproduce that here (minorly edited), as both the article and my response examine the rot at the heart of contemporary Leftism, and the history of ideas that led to it.

This is a sometimes inadequate and sometimes brilliant article about a complex topic, so it merits a lot more commentary than this. One thing that watchers of Leftist anti-Semitism have long noticed, however, is the irony embodied in an incorrect assertion of Foot's:

Yet nowhere did socialism fail to fail. Nowhere was it tried - and I mean real socialism, not welfare statism - where tyranny, misery, poverty, fear and oppression failed to follow.

Putting aside whether Social Democracy is actually socialism, and acknowledging that all other socialist experiments have indeed failed, one must note that in not every case did socialism bring about tyranny, misery, fear and oppression. In the case of the kibbutz movement of Israel, socialism died (or is dying), but entirely outside of the context of Stalinist or Hitlerian insanity to which Foot alludes.

This is more than an academic point. Why? Because where Foot is brilliantly on target is in illustrating the complimentarity of Jew-hatred and anti-Americanism in modern Leftism. Socialist anti-Americanism is a relatively new phenomenon, but revolutionary or utopian anti-Semitism spans centuries. If one studies the history of revolutionary anti-Semitism, one sees that invariably it conflates things like modernity, progress, paper money, the city, and increasing isolation from God with Jews and Judaism. Indeed, in a sick inverse of Catholicism, it can be said that revolutionary anti-Semites revile a triune demon: modernity, capitalism, Jews/Judaism.

So, to Foot's point that Leftists loathe America and its compliment, an empowered and international Jewry, our correction produces a vital irony: The one historical flirtation with socialism that saw a measure of success was conducted by Jews as an integral component of their nationalist experiment.

Now imagine some of the Indymedia kids chewing on that, if any of them were vaguely capable figuring any of this out. I don't think the irony escapes people like Chomsky, though.