Friday, July 27, 2007

The lefty mind

In an excellent discussion between David Thompson and Ophelia Benson (co-author of ‘Why Truth Matters’) we get some insight into what goes on in lefty heads.

Ms. Benson insists that postmodernism, for example, has little to do with the left. David Thompson, argues very coherently to the contrary:
OB: ...There are core ideas and allegiances that do place people firmly and openly on the right or the left, but a sceptical view of postmodernism is not one of them....
DT: ... pomo’s key contemporary figures – its architects and advocates - are almost all leftwing and often pointedly so. I’m guessing this isn’t just a coincidence…
OB: ...I think the whole subject is mixed up with celebrity-worship, fandom, star-hugging, fashion, trendiness, attention-seeking, in a truly depressing and distasteful ..... But what on earth is 'left' about that? Nothing, I would say.
DT: Well, as to what’s ‘left’ about the worship of dubious figures, I’m inclined to cough and mutter Marx", "Castro", "Chavez" and Che Guevara T-shirts." Communist societies are surprisingly big on idolatry, aren’t they? .... Ditto the white middle-class lefties who wave placards announcing "We are all Hizballah now." I guess it’s something to do with "giving it to the man" or not liking one’s parents or something. It all seems a tad narcissistic to me, and just a little depraved.
OB: Yes, but is the idolatry of known Communist societies a feature of their Communism or of something else? .....Maybe it's just groupthink; maybe it's that simple and that obvious and there's nothing more profound to be said about it.
DT: It seems to me that your idea of what a left ought to be is rather at odds with what much of the left, perhaps most of it, has become. ...
DT: It’s easy to see what much of the left is against, if not the reasons why. It’s much harder to see what the left is for. I don’t see a coherent set of ideas. I see a patchwork of contradiction, often for its own sake, or the sake of appearance, or in some cases to enact some kind of personal psychodrama.

Here's the whole piece.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see that there is very little understanding of the modern left. It makes it much easier to confuse.

Seriously, THIS is your baseline for understanding?

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about 'baseline for understanding'? This is just a glimpse in relation to recent postmodernist 'thinking'.

A "baseline" can be found in Ludwig von Mises' 'Socialism'.

Anonymous said...

But you do raise a good point. There is a great deal of confusion out there - mostly on the left.

I really would like to see a coherent exposition of the modern socialist worldview/vision, from a socialist.

Unfortunately, as David Thompson said, all we seem to get is a "...a patchwork of contradiction...".

Blazingcatfur said...

Even a coherent patchwork of contradiction would work for me;)