The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Self-Destructive Illusions of ‘Social Justice’

Posted on | October 26, 2019 | Comments Off on Self-Destructive Illusions of ‘Social Justice’

Christine Douglass-Williams reports at Jihad Watch:

A stunning finding about American Jews polled in the U.S. on the threat of antisemitism: more Jews believe that the “extreme political right” poses a bigger threat than Islamic “extremism,” according to an American Jewish Committee (AJC) poll:

Almost 90 percent of Jews who responded said that the extreme political right presents an anti-Semitic threat. Less, though, said the same about “extremism in the name of Islam” — only 85 percent said it represents an anti-Semitic threat in the United States.

This despite the fact that Islamic antisemitism has had a huge impact, all the way up to Congress. Even a Washington Post article identified Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar as open antisemites. Their partnership with “vicious antisemites” who also aim to destroy Israel is well known.
In reality, there is no organized “extreme political right” today. The entire Palestinian resistance is based on obliterating Israel “from the river to the sea,” and the movement has managed to gain worrying traction over the decades, a movement which began in 1948 among surrounding Arab nations, as the Jewish state declared its nationhood. Yet still denial prevails.

Why this paranoid fear of the “extreme political right”?

Start here: American Jews are overwhelmingly Democrats. For example, in 2016, Jewish voters chose Hillary Clinton (71%) by more than a 2-to-1 margin over Donald Trump (23%). This leftist tendency among Jews has long been remarked. Despite their higher-than-average incomes, Jews continue to vote as if they were impoverished immigrants. “Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans,” Milton Himmelfarb said. The cultural roots of this political bias were examined in Norman Podhoretz’s 2009 book, Why Are Jews Liberals? My conservative Jewish friends are often exasperated by this tendency among their fellow tribesmen, particularly because of a circular logic that the Jewish-Democrat alliance often employs: Whatever cause is currently supported by Democrats must “good for the Jews,” and therefore Republican opponents are motivated by anti-Semitism. This tautology has been employed for decades, and arguably originated with the Communist Party during the “Popular Front” era of the 1930s. Because Republicans were generally opposed to U.S. intervention in Europe, this was portrayed by the Communists (and their various front groups) as indicative of pro-Nazi sympathies in the GOP. This libel persisted even after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, whereby Stalin formed an alliance with Hitler to carve up Poland between them, a cynical agreement that should have permanently disillusioned anyone who ever imagined the Soviet Union represented a “progressive” ideal (e.g., “the right side of history”).

After World War II, when it became apparent that Communist infiltration was a national security threat, Communists responded with a propaganda campaign smearing their antagonists as “fascists” motivated by anti-Semitism. This propaganda yielded a distortion that has warped the teaching of Cold War history. Even though Stalin was, in the final years of his dictatorship, engaged in anti-Semitic purges in the Soviet Union, and even though many Jews (including ex-Communists) were active in the anti-Communist cause, nevertheless “McCarthyism” is portrayed as anti-Semitic. A simplistic formula seems to have taken root among liberal Jews: Because the Nazis were a “right-wing” phenomenon, therefore all right-wingers were Nazis and, by logical obverse, all left-wing movements were good for the Jews. This formula of pas d’ennemis à gauche (“No enemies to the Left”) was more or less explicitly codified in Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance.”

The Republican Party has never been able to undo the damage of this old Communist libel, in part because I don’t think most Republicans have ever studied the problem in depth, but mainly because of the general incompetence of Republicans when it comes to cultural politics. The mythology of Republicans-as-Nazis has by now become so deeply embedded in liberal Jewish culture that we are shocked by any Jew who forthrightly rejects it. And this myth is inescapably intertwined with a specifically Jewish form of “social justice” ideology, expressed by the Hebrew phrase tikkun olam (“repairing the world”). Without presuming to write a thesis on this subject, I’ll just say that tikkun olam seems to result in a stark binary division of mankind into two groups: On the one hand are the oppressors and on the other, the victims of oppression. White people oppress black people (“racism”), men oppress women (“sexism”), straight people oppress gay people (“homophobia”) and so forth, with no uncertainty as to the pervasive nature of oppression as the most meaningful fact of human existence. From this uncritical belief stems a tendency to view any social or political conflict as the result of oppression; merely figure out which side of the conflict represents victimhood, and you thereby know which side to support, with their opponents being automatically demonized as oppressors.

This is how, since 9/11, so many left-wing Jews have embraced the idea that “Islamophobia” is a worse danger than Islamic terrorism. Because “Islamophobia” is believed to inspire people to vote Republican, therefore Muslims are sympathetic victims of oppression, and never mind how often Islamic leaders express their hatred of Jews. According to the “social justice” mythology embraced by left-wing Jews, everything must be done to oppose the Republican/Nazi menace, even if that means supporting Jew-haters like Ilhan Omar. Thus, “social justice” becomes an ideology of mass suicide, like the Jonestown cult.

Paranoid fantasies about the “extreme political right” as the all-purpose bogeyman encourage the left-wing Jew to ignore any possibility that there are dangers far worse — and far more numerous — than a comparative handful of neo-Nazi kooks. And as with other identity-politics beliefs, one finds that it is impossible to persuade such people by rational argument. Because the appeal of this mythology is essentially emotional, no amount of facts or logic can suffice to refute it.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



Comments are closed.