February 28, 2006
The Suicidal Left: Civilizations and their Death DrivesBy Vasko Kohlmayer
For a long time now, the political Left has been a source of widespread puzzlement. Many people instinctively suspect its insidiousness, but are uncertain of its precise nature. The confusion is further compounded by the apparent incongruence between the Left's flowery rhetoric and the detrimental effects of its actions. Unable to grasp its nature, many have followed with uneasy apprehension its growth into a powerful force whose seemingly inescapable influence has been increasingly felt in virtually every sector of our society.
Duplicitous by disposition, the Left indeed does not lend itself to easy analysis. Although its corrosiveness has been intuited by many, the reasons for the misgivings are usually not so easily articulable. Yet the Left cannot be effectively contended with until we are able to grasp its essence. Effective action requires knowledge.
The Left's devotees like to say that knowledge is power, and on this much at least we can agree. Let us begin, then, our quest for knowledge by rising above the political and cultural melees of the day to obtain a more rounded view of the battlefield forces.
Hatred of Western Civilization
Once we do so, we cannot but notice that the Left's army is clothed in distinctly anti—Western colors. Marching to the beat of deep—seated hostility, the Left makes no secret of its contempt for western values, traditions and achievements.
It intensely detests Christianity, the West's predominant religion.
Deeply averse to the West's moral code, the Left contemptuously refers to it as bourgeois morality. It denigrates the West's cultural triumphs, contending they are no more unique than those of other societies. It disparages the West's past by painting it as nothing more than an amalgamation of oppression, exploitation and all—around ignominy.
Scoffing at the notion of the limited State, the Left rejects the climax of western political tradition. And the Left, of course, despises free market capitalism — the West's economic foundation — which it claims to be inherently exploitative, unfair or worse.
The Left's successes
The Left, however, does not confine itself to mere criticism, but aggressively seeks to transform its anti—Western attitude into reality. Even a cursory glance at some of its successes should give us an idea of just how effective its efforts have been.
Virtually demolishing the West's traditional morality, the Left has managed to legitimize promiscuity, illegitimacy, abortion and homosexuality. This transformation has reached a point where in many quarters these behaviors are not only considered acceptable but outright commendable.
Through its aggressive atheism, the Left has succeeded in virtually eliminating Christianity from our public arena, and to a large degree from the private sphere as well. This trend has been especially pronounced in Europe where only some seven percent of the population engage in some form of regular religious observance.
The Left's seemingly insatiable hunger for governmental expansion has bucked the West's long—term trend toward the limited State. Dominated by large, all—intrusive welfare states, the condition of many European countries could be justifiably described as soft socialism. The excessive taxation and regulation which are the inevitable byproducts of this have virtually strangled their free economic enterprise and induced long—term economic malaise. Diametrically opposed to the ideals of classical liberalism, this state of affairs represents a complete subversion of western political and economic tradition.
By teaching that the masterpieces of the West's greatest creative minds are no more intrinsically valuable than artifacts of far less advanced societies, the Left has deprived westerners' of their justified pride in their own culture. And by lying about the West's past, it has managed to suppress our consciousness of historical greatness.
The Left's successes have been largely due to its takeover of the two main channels for the dissemination of knowledge and information — the media and academia. Careful to avoid positive portrayal of the West in almost any context, they abound in aspersions and criticism. In the process, the Left has devised an ingenious and effective mode of censorship to further its ends. It is called political correctness.
Death Wish: destroying the West
The West's moral decline, the collapse of its religion, economic sluggishness, and the indifference to its own historical and cultural achievements — all this is the Left's doing. Ominously, it has succeeded in inculcating large segments of the western population with contempt for their own culture and heritage. This is a dire state indeed, for no society that is despised by its own people can go on for very long.
Regardless of its rhetoric or avowed objective, the driving force behind the Left's every movement is to strike against some aspect of Western society. Environmentalism, for instance, hits at the West's economic foundation of free—market capitalism. Multiculturalism seeks to unravel its cultural coherence. The gay rights movement strikes at its moral underpinnings, and so on. The Left, of course, will deny the real reason for its actions. But to evaluate the true value of any act we need to look at its effect not the rhetoric behind it. And the effects of the Left's actions are invariably — in one way or another — destructive to the West.
The Left's gains have been greatly facilitated by its ingenious modus operandi, which is to cloak its destructive intent in the language of good causes. Civil rights, gender equality, ecological preservation are among some of its favorite ploys. The ostensible caring is not real, for these are not at all what the Left's efforts are ultimately about.
The West's greatest threat is neither Islam nor any other external foe. It is its own political Left. All the great ills and woes under which our civilization so agonizingly belabors — and under the weight of which it is slowly sinking — have been either brought on or inflamed by it.
By corroding the West's moral, spiritual, economic and cultural foundation, the Left has wrought incalculable damage on our civilization. The fact that this assault has come from within makes it all the more astounding. The Left is a wholly western child, born and raised within its confines. It is as though the Left somehow embodies the West's reaction against the West. It is as though under some suicidal impulse the West has turned against itself with a self—destructive intent.
As has been the case with all great civilizations — with the arguable exception of ancient Greece — the West has grown far too powerful to be brought down by an external enemy. It can only fall if it destroys itself. By gradually hollowing itself out, it has nearly succeeded in doing so. The Left's relentless subversion has indeed brought us to the brink of breakdown.
History unambiguously shows that all great civilizations collapsed as a result of internal weakness. Coming to their end by self—destructing, they in effect committed suicide. Sigmund Freud posited the existence of a death drive in individuals. It is my contention that a death drive also runs through whole civilizations.
Everything we see around us indicates that the Left is the West's instrument of self—destruction and, in fact, the incarnation in our time of the deleterious force that ultimately brings down great civilizations. The Left is the material manifestation of the West's death drive.
Even as individuals commit suicide by drowning or shooting or some other such means, so the West is in the process of committing suicide by the Left.
A testable hypothesis
At first glance, this may appear too sweeping a thesis to account for all the complexities of political reality, but there a simple way to test its validity. To prove it incorrect all you need to do is to come up with one counter—example, one single instance from among the Left's campaigns and advocacies which is not in some way injurious to western civilization. Try as hard as you may, you will not be able to do it.
The Left never errs — it always acts against the West. It never stands or fights for anything that may be good for the western world. It can't, because it is a reaction against it. Opposition to the West is the very reason for its existence; it is its nature. A wolf can't act like a hare or a lion like an antelope. The Left can never become the West's friend, because antipathy towards it actuates its heart and infuses its soul.
The theory proposed here shows why this is so. But it does more than this — it also makes readily comprehensible even the Left's most seemingly inexplicable rhetoric and behavior.
Explaining the inexplicable
As a quick illustration, let's just look at the Left's opposition to drilling in ANWAR. Many people do not know what to make of it, since it is difficult to conceive how drilling there could have any negative environmental impact, which, of course, is the main objection. It is a well—known fact that the latest technology enables us to extract oil with virtually no environmental damage. Many Middle Eastern countries drill literally in the backyards of their communities with no appreciable harm to their people, animals or ecosystems. How drilling in a small patch of vast forlorn tundra could pose any serious danger to anyone or anything is beyond most people's comprehension. On the face of it, the Left's opposition indeed makes no sense.
But things will come into focus when we apply our axiom which says that the real reason behind everything the Left does is to inflict harm upon the West (represented by the U.S. in this particular instance). If this should be so, then the motive behind its opposition would not really be to protect the environment but be to deprive the U.S. of some benefit. Judging by the amount of money and effort the Left has invested in this cause, this potential benefit would be immense in its eyes. It is not difficult to see why.
We all know that oil is the fuel of the American economy. Drilling in ANWAR would give us more of it at a lower price, which would inevitably contribute to our economic well—being and growth. Significant as this may be, it is only of secondary importance in this particular controversy. Much more importantly, opening up ANWAR would be a vital step toward reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.
Foreign oil dependence is the greatest strategic weakness of this country, since it in a way holds America hostage to Middle Eastern regimes, many of which are our enemies. The problem is made worse by the fact that an appreciable portion of the vast amounts we pay for their oil is used to finance anti—American and anti—Western efforts. This produces a situation whereby our own money strengthens our enemies. Troubling as this is to most of us, it is precisely what the Left wants.
It is the Left's desire to subvert the West that explains why in every conflict it invariably takes the side of our enemies. It sided with the Soviets during the Cold War, with the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. It regularly sides with hostile dictators world over, and, predictably enough, it takes the Islamists' side in the present War on Terror. The only reason why it turned against fascism — a virulent anti—western force — was because Hitler attacked the Left's great hope and friend the Soviet Union. Prior to the Soviet invasion, the Left viewed fascism as a friend.
[The Left cheers for our foes not because it is somehow stupid, as many people erroneously think, but because it wants us defeated. I have analyzed this behavior in some detail in a piece that can be read here.]
It is the desire to weaken America while building up her enemies that is the true motive behind the Left's hysterical and seemingly irrational opposition to drilling in ANWAR. It, however, only appears so only as long as we are unaware of the Left's real nature and goals. When we realize what the Left is truly about, its behavior will make perfect sense.
If you have ever wondered why the Left's arguments in this controversy sound so absurd, the explanation is quite simple: These are the best arguments that anyone could come up with under the circumstances. Environmentalism is the only possible platform — however tenuous — from which the ANWAR project could ever be possibly objected to. Being bogus through and through, claims in its support must by necessity ring hollow. But even despite their apparent weakness, these arguments have been effective so far. This is an ominous sign, since the political and intellectual climate that has allowed such weeds to take root must be afflicted indeed.
Since we are already at it, we may as well explain the real basis of the Left's virulent anti—Americanism. As almost everyone is aware, America is a thorn in the eye and the favorite whipping child of both the American and worldwide Left.
America is a country that every leftist worth his salt loves to hate. Many have been startled by this, especially given the fact that America seems to be good to all the groups and things that the Left claims to care deeply about. Its poor are the richest in the world, and on the whole better off than the middle classes of most nations. America's environment is among the cleanest on this earth. Its minorities enjoy more opportunities, earn more and achieve higher positions than minorities elsewhere, even in their own countries (which is why so many are eager to immigrate to the U.S.).
American working women are better paid and enjoy more access to power than their counterparts anywhere else. And we could go on. Needless to say — in the light of all this — America should be loved and applauded by the Left. So why this seemingly irrational hatred? Let's turn to our theory for a clue.
Even though western civilization was not born in America, today she stands as the undisputed bearer of its torch. Being the most capitalistic of all western countries and having the least intrusive government (domestically speaking), it best embodies the ideals of classical liberalism. It is also by far the most Christian among western nations.
In addition, during the last 60 years or so America has invariably spearheaded the West's efforts against its enemies — it led the fight against German fascism, Soviet communism and now against Islamic fundamentalism. In short, America is the foremost practitioner of the West's values, the guardian of its legacy, and the guarantor of its survival.
In the light of our thesis, can you now see why the Left hates America so? Being intransigently anti—western, its raging hatred of America is an expression of its implacable hostility toward the West.
Many have been likewise shocked and startled by the Left's virulent hatred of George W. Bush. Seemingly boundless, the Left's detestation of him is quite obviously out of all proportion to anything this decent and gallant man has done. Even the blind must see that the driving impetus behind his presidency is ultimately the safety and security of our country. Doing all he can to prevent another attack, he is also trying to ensure that Islamic fundamentalists will not emerge victorious from this conflict.
This behavior will never commend him to the Left, and is precisely the reason why they hate him so much. George Bush is the West's leader and champion in the current clash of civilizations. Bent as it is on the West's destruction, the Left will never forgive him for it. It is most telling that in its loathing of George W. Bush, the Left is in complete agreement with Islamic fundamentalists. So much so, that bin Laden and others even use leftist arguments in their doom—threatening missives to the West. Is it any surprise, given that they both strive for the same goal and share the same enemy?
Equally bitter was the Left's hatred for Ronald Reagan who led the West fearlessly against another ideology whose objective was our destruction — communism. To this day the Left has not forgiven him for defeating it. So blinding and virulent is its odium that mere four days after his death, Ted Rall — a nationally syndicated cartoonist and one of the Left's most outspoken defenders — told us on television that he hoped that Ronald Reagan was being burned in hell to a brown crisp. This he said about the man who has done more for the good of this country — and for the good of the whole world — than any other individual in modern times.
Although on the face of it such sentiments may seem utterly irrational if not outright inane, they cease to be so the moment we look at them in the light of the thesis of a death drive.
Surviving the Left's worst efforts
If the West wants to survive, it must recognize the Left for what it is — a subversive internal force bent on our destruction.
The incarnation of the death drive that runs like a black lace through the fabric of great civilizations, the Left is the originator of our most grievous ills and the gravest danger that we face. It is at the root of the strife and tribulations that are tearing down the edifice of the Western world.
Perhaps this recognition will give us the moral strength to swerve from the road to perdition along which we have been dragged for so long. There is every indication that its terminal point is not too far away. One can almost hear the echo of the abyss as one after another the great pillars of our civilization come crumbling down. Mixed with the doom—bound calls for appeasement in the face of barbarism, it makes for a bloodcurdling sound. If we want to live we must take heed, for the next bend in this road may well be the last.
Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.