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Thursday, November 18, 2010

How William F. Buckley and the neocons neutered the Right and opened the door for the cultural Marxist takeover

How the Left Won the Cold War

(Alternative Right) -- by Paul E. Gottfried --

...While the Left pushes Political Correctness without buts or ifs, the conservative movement expresses it in a less extreme form. But both groups reflect in varying degrees the same general cultural movement. Like our Left and like the dominant ideology in Western Europe, our 30- and 40-some conservative publicists are immersed in a leftist culture. And the result is something that all of them believe things that adults in the 1950s, including Communist sympathizers, would barely have understood.

It would be no exaggeration to say that Sarah Palin, who is an outspoken advocate of anti-discrimination laws for women, is more radical socially than were French and Italian Communist leaders sixty years ago. While old-fashioned CP members favored a centrally controlled economy and rooted for the Soviet side in the Cold War, unlike Sarah, they were not eager to punish sexists. And they didn’t give a hoot about gays, up until the time Communist parties were under siege from the post-Marxist Left. It is inconceivable that Communists of this era would have followed Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, John Podhoretz, the neocon New York Post and the WSJ in affirming government-enforced “gay rights.” Two historians of the post-World War Two Communist movements in France and Italy, Annie Kriegel and Andrea Ragusa, depict a party leadership that belonged, even in spite of itself, to a bourgeois age. They stress the degree to which Communist parties embodied the social attitudes of the pre-Vatican Two Church.

Acceptable critics of the Islamic invasion of Europe like Steyn and Christopher Caldwell are targeting (and this must be noted) a specifically European experiment in multiculturalism. America’s willingness to take in and naturalize just about anybody does not bother these critics; presumably our big tent can hold lots more than we already have. By declaring ourselves to be a “propositional nation” held together by human rights and the belief in universal democratic equality, we are opening our doors to the world, or at least to those in the world who affirm our universalist creed.

I’ve also learned over the last two decades thanks to movement conservative celebrities: that Martin Luther King was acting specifically as a conservative Christian theologian when he spearheaded the civil rights revolution; that gay marriage, properly understood, may be a conservative “family value;” and that we are duty-bound to convert Muslims to our current notion of women’s rights and gay rights. It is precisely these ideas that make us “Western”; and if we truly value the glories of our civilization, which came into existence during some recent phase of late modernity, we should work to spread everywhere our high ideals. Equally relevant, those who have challenged our human rights beliefs, and most outrageously 19th-century counterrevolutionaries were actually “liberals.” Otherwise these mislabeled conservatives would have embraced the American creed of democratic equality!

A striking example of how deeply leftist thought patterns have affected the Right can be discerned in William F. Buckley responses to the attacks in the liberal/neocon press against the “anti-Semites” Joe Sobran and Pat Buchanan. In National Review in December 1991 and March 1992 and in his subsequent In Search of Anti-Semitism, Buckley distinguishes between those who are anti-Semites by conviction and those who are “contextually” anti-Jewish. His key distinction goes back to the Marxist notion of being an “objective reactionary,” meaning someone who challenges the preferences of the Communist Party. Buckley’s argument from context likewise recalls the charge in Europe against those who challenge multiculturalism, as greasing the skids for neo-Nazis.

From this standpoint, it does not matter whether or not one says something that is objectively correct. What counts is not upsetting certain VIPs. In Buckley’s brief, neither the malefactors nor the victims have anything to do with the European Holocaust. The catastrophe is being placed at the doorstep of anyone who allows himself to be intimidated into accepting it. Furthermore, the blame in this instance affects American Christians, who are required to show prescribed sensitivity toward particular American Jews. There are surrogate victims and surrogate victimizers, the first being Buckley’s dinner companions and those journalists who felt outraged, and the second being those who made offending remarks but who had nothing to do with Nazi crimes. Offenders had to be driven off the pages of National Review and out of polite society. They are or were the equivalent of what the Communists used to call “social fascists” and what the European guardians of PC consider “fascistoid.” Such antisocial types are contextually dangerous and therefore must be ostracized lest they do harm.

Note that our two contextual anti-Semites were not abetting violence against Jews, any more than European critics of Muslim immigration or German scholars who question the exclusive blame of their country for every major war are trying to unleash pogroms. They have simply run afoul of certain elite groups, by reopening an inconvenient debate. The conservative movement plays this game by declaring any question it doesn’t want raised forever closed. Such questions now include, among a myriad of other things, objecting in any way to the major congressional legislation of the 1960s...MORE...LINK
Done deal: Buckley helped close the door on traditional conservatism, which moved the conservative spectrum left, and helped usher in neocon Machiavellians and their stooges like Bush

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