Saturday, 14 April 2012

The far left, the far right and the cultural revolution in modern Europe

Masculine and feminine genders are a bore for foreigners learning Romanian but I think they and possibly the Orthodox religion make Anglo-Saxon feminism impossible in Romania. In Sweden they are doing away with genders it seems. This is something even the Leninists didn't think of, or am I wrong?

It seems that the left, in Sweden and worldwide, are trying to create a new man (I mean person) in a way that parallels the Communist idea of the new Soviet man. Having suffered one form of Marxist political correctness does not mean that some clever young Romanians will not want to import a new kind of utopianism. I see straws in the wind already. Most people who go to foreign universities come back intent on making money, which is depressing but quite possibly useful, but a small but growing number want to remodel Romania along left-wing lines. How short memories are.

In Romania the ideas of political correctness or what we might call cultural socialism will certainly not be achieved by the corrupt left-wing ex-Communist party, led by millionaires, or by the ageing convinced Communists but by the E.U.

Talking about feminism and remaking human nature, I came across this statement by Emma Goldman the anarchist and feminist:

' a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity and increases his arrogance and conceit.'

Emma Goldman was very mistaken about this and many things, even though to her great credit she saw through Lenin. It is very forgiveable for a Jewess from Czar Alexander II's Russia not to care for patriotism but this hatred of patriotism, which was once confined to the far Left, is now considered a very respectable opinion in England, possibly almost the consensus, though certainly not in Eastern Europe. It shows the far Left origins of political correctness. Internationalism is a truth universally agreed on amongst the bien pensants. How telling that in English we (or at least right-of-centre journalists) use the phrase bien pensants now to refer to holders of received liberal opinions not of Catholic, patriotic, bourgeois opinions for whom the phrase was coined.

People ask why, at least outside Eastern Europe, Nazism is loathed more than Communism and there are many reasons (more is expected of Germans than Russians, Stalin was our ally, etc., etc.) but one reason I have not seen mentioned. It is that many things the far Left believed in in the teens of the last century are now widely accepted: sexual equality; free love, including for homosexuals; contraception; abortion; internationalism; the end of colonialism; racial equality; confiscation of property from the rich; atheism; materialism; the general idea that tradition is oppressive and that our generation is much more moral than our ancestors.

Karl Marx and the Marxists are still held in respect whereas the ideas of Gobineau, H.S. Chamberlain, Lothrop Stoddard and the rest, who saw race and not class as the driving force in history and who were equally crackpot yet interesting, are regarded as diabolical.

Mussolini's definition of fascism was, “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state.” If in many ways the ideals of the Bolsheviks have triumphed, so too has this essential fascist doctrine. But fascism and communism, it is now 
increasingly clear, are political pseudo-scientific religions which closely resemble each other and they have profoundly changed liberalism, which once was about letting people do what they want and now is more often about making people do what is right. The British Government's wars on obesity, drunkenness and smoking could easily fit in with either communism or fascism.

Interestingly, the progressives of right and left alike once believed in eugenics but this idea was dead after the war with Hitler. It survives on the right sotto voce and in the Left's enthusiasm for contraception and abortion. Population growth is presumably closely linked to climate change but this is not mentioned by the advocates of sacrificing economic growth for fewer carbon emissions.

Another line of thought I find interesting is that, though Jews like Emma Goldman were disproportionately drawn to the parties of the left including the Communists, nevertheless both the far left and the liberals tend to have very often had an anti-Jewish default setting. Before 1914, attacks on capitalists were often attacks on Jews, whether in the pages of writers like L.T. Hobhouse and J.A. Hobson, or in a violent uprising like the 1907 Romanian peasants' revolt. Karl Marx himself was an anti-Semite who said things like:

"What is the object of the Jew's worship in this world? Usury. What is his worldly god? Money."
This is not so far from this from Joseph Goebbels:

As socialists, we are opponents of the Jews, because we see, in the Hebrews, the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods.

P.S. I wonder why many, though not of course all, left-wing women are physically repellent. Rosa Luxembourg, Ana Pauker... while apolitical (which means conservative) women who enjoy the status quo or in some cases even live for frivolity are often much better-looking. There is a book here, but not one that could these days be published.

1 comment:

  1. I like the bien pensant part. Disagree on the female postscript. I know of quite a few gorgeous hippyish leftwing types. I think there is more of a political/non political divide than a right/left one. Henry Hopwood-Phillips