Posted on | December 29, 2012 | 11 Comments
“Weapons are my business. You name it and I know it: guns, bombs, gas, fire, knives and everything else. . . . .
“WHY ARE WE GROVELING? . . .
“Are we dupes? Do the Red Pansies want to destroy us? If not, why do they mock all we believe in?”
— “Raoul Duke” (Hunter S. Thompson), “The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement,” Scanlan’s Monthly, June 1970, collected in The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time
You might think that anyone claiming to be “radical” would love guns with the quasi-religious fervor of Raoul Duke. After all, when the toiling masses rise up to overthrow the bourgeois imperialist oppressors, it might be handy for the revolutionary comrades to have a few weapons.
Quite the opposite attitude prevails, however, among the tame and toothless intelligentsia of our contemporary Left, whose only ambition is to secure a place for themselves within the bureaucracies of the status quo. Witness the “argument” of Claire B. Potter, Professor of History at The New School for Public Engagement, writing the “Tenured Radical” column at the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Conservative backers of the odious gun lobby are determined to divert our attention from the 27 dead in Newtown CT using familiar tactics: accuse someone else! Brilliant. This time the perp in question is an (unarmed) history professor, who has been accused of inciting violence against Bizarro NRA prez Wayne LaPierre (who presumably is armed to the teeth.)
Go here for the story of right wing media attacks on Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island history proffie and fellow blogger at Lawyers, Guns and Money, as narrated by the gang at Crooked Timber blog. Loomis’s weapon of choice was his Twitter account, through which he tweeted his desire to have LaPierre’s “head on a stick” after the Newtown school massacre.
As we all know, however, the blog is mightier than the Bushmaster. CT‘s efforts helped to galvanize a letter-writing protest campaign to the URI administration, who was cowering in the corner and had seemed willing to throw Loomis (who, according to this rightwing blogger, tweeted variations of the word “f**k” a lot, but the last time I looked that was also protected speech unless you shout “f**k” in a crowded bed) under the bus.
All of which is wonderfully snide, but is merely an evasion of the question: Who is to blame for the Newtown massacre?
Who is trying “to divert our attention” from the actual culprit, namely the Creepy Little Weirdo who clearly should have been locked away at the kook farm long ago? It wasn’t Wayne LaPierre and “the odious gun lobby” who pulled the trigger, was it?
It was the ACLU, not the NRA, which insisted on de-institutionalizing the mentally ill. So why — other than their purely partisan desire to play “Pin the Tail on the Right-Wing Bad Guy” — is the Left now claiming that the Newtown massacre is a story about gun control, and that any other discussion is deliberately off-topic?
Never mind the specific issue at hand, however: In what sense is Professor Potter “radical” vis-a-vis the Obama Age? Where is there in her attitude anything revolutionary? Her “specialties are feminism, political history and cultural criticism,” and she directs us to a curriculum vitae that includes these titles:
- Queer Hoover: Sex, Lies, and Political History, Journal of the History of Sexuality (2006)
- Ahead of her Time, Women’s Review of Books (2001)
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Women’s Review of Books (2001)
- Nation and Reunification, Reviews in American History (2000)
- The Problem of the Color Line: Segregation, Politics, and Historical Writing, Cultural Critique (1998)
What kind of weak-kneed intellectual drivel is this, Professor? Where do we see here any call for Revolutionary Action by the Toiling Masses?
“Death to the Fascist Insect That Preys Upon the Life of the People!” — that, my friends, is genuine radicalism, not a bunch of timid academic maundering in Women’s Review of Books.
When the revolution comes, these establishmentarian poseurs will be dealt with in summary fashion. They’ll be lucky if the Dictatorship of the Proletariat even bothers to give them “show trials” before they are taught that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.