Tales of Tadeusz

Friday, July 15, 2005

Hohenwald News: VDH Analyzes the Left's Mindset

There's a false narrative behind the Left's understanding of the world.

Victor Davis Hanson explains it. Here's a taste of his article...

In a word, this version of events brings spiritual calm for millions of troubled though affluent and blessed Westerners. There are three sacraments to their postmodern thinking, besides the primordial fear that so often leads to appeasement.Our first hindrance is moral equivalence. For the hard Left there is no absolute right and wrong since amorality is defined arbitrarily and only by those in power. Taking back Fallujah from beheaders and terrorists is no different from bombing the London subway since civilians may die in either case. The deliberate rather than accidental targeting of noncombatants makes little difference, especially since the underdog in Fallujah is not to be judged by the same standard as the overdogs in London and New York. A half-dozen roughed up prisoners in Guantanamo are the same as the Nazi death camps or the Gulag.Our second shackle is utopian pacifism — ‘war never solved anything’ and ‘violence only begets violence.’ Thus it makes no sense to resort to violence, since reason and conflict resolution can convince even a bin Laden to come to the table. That most evil has ended tragically and most good has resumed through armed struggle — whether in Germany, Japan, and Italy or Panama, Belgrade, and Kabul — is irrelevant. Apparently on some past day, sophisticated Westerners, in their infinite wisdom and morality, transcended age-old human nature, and as a reward were given a pass from the smelly, dirty old world of the past six millennia.
The third restraint is multiculturalism, or the idea that all social practices are of equal merit. Who are we to generalize that the regimes and fundamentalist sects of the Middle East result in economic backwardness, intolerance of religious and ethnic minorities, gender apartheid, racism, homophobia, and patriarchy? Being different from the West is never being worse.


  • If this cartoonish view of "the left" is valid, so is the equally cartoonish view of the right which says the right believes loss of life is no problem at all.

    There is a deeper issue, which patriots like George Washington well understood: We cannot fight for values we are not willing to live up to. Killing innocent civilians in Iraq is not a problem because of any squishy moral system -- it is a problem because it is a terrible tactic. If such deaths are unavoidable as a point of war, we need to be careful that we do not wage a war which pushes Iraqis away from our view, to the point that they become our enemies.

    One of the issues with U.S.-sponsored torture is that we do it at all. Or are you suggesting it's okay for us to act like Hitler, if we do it just a bit less?

    By Blogger Ed Darrell, at 7:13 AM  

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