Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, October 10, 2005

About Iraq and Lefty Politics


        Why are so many leftists indifferent to what would happen in Iraq if we pulled out?  Because at a deep level, the Iraqi people don't really exist for the lefties.

At Length:

        Recently, Michael Barone blogged:
        I am struck by the sublime indifference of most critics of Bush's Iraq policy to the fate of the Iraqi people. They are totally unexultant about the overthrow of a vicious dictatorship and seem to have no interest at all in what would happen to Iraqis if we leave suddenly.

        That led Will Collier to comment:
        I don't understand why anybody as knowledgeable as Barone would be at all surprised.  The western Left didn't give a tinker's dam for the fates of the Iranians, Lebanese, Nicaraguans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Koreans, Cubans, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, or even Russians, so long as the eeeevil American right-wingers were dealt a political defeat (and let's not even start on Israelis).

        Why should anybody be surprised that they could now care less about Iraqis?

        True enough, but I'd like to add something.  When you read into the history of Leftism, one of the things worth noting is the doctrine of the "General Will."  The General Will is supposedly shared by everyone at some deep level.  Down there, everyone supposedly agrees on every issue of importance.

        Of course, it's easily observed that people don't agree on everything, but those who push this idea have an answer.  The dissidents are ignorant, or stupid, or suffering from "false consciousness," or just plain evil.  So those who are in touch with the General Will have the right and duty to sprprise dissent, rule dictatorially, and re-educate the populace.  And no, this isn't tyranny, because the vast majority, at that deep level, agree with the rulers and want this done too.  The only ones who don't are those who are evil, and they don't count anyway.

        This is why leftist politics always gets so vicious.  Since there can't be any valid, reasonable disagreements, everyone who dissents is evil, stupid, ignorant, or deluded, and must crushed at the first opportunity

        At the root of this, I am convinced, is a sort of solipsism.  To the left wing political activist, the only people who are real are himself and those who agree with him.  The hoards of political pilgrims to the ex-Soviet Union (OOH! I just LOVE to type "ex-Soviet Union!"), to Mao's China, to all the other grotty little dictatorships literally don't see the suffering and oppression.  They project images that make them feel good onto the situation, then react to their images.

        And that's why "peace" activists can cheer on the fighters and murderers on the other side, why "liberals" who talk about improving things for all mankind ignore oppression and corruption, why they are so "sublimely indifferent" to the fate of the Iraqi people, or the results of our leaving suddenly.  The Iraqi people aren't real to them.  Only the "activists" are real (and, to a lesser extent, the activists political opponents).  "War" is something the United States can wage, but the jihadis and Ba'athists aren't at war, because they don't really exist.  So, stopping the U.S. armed forces will bring peace.  The U.S. can oppress the Iraqis, because it's sort of real, but the Saddam regime and the terrorists can't.  Saddam, al-Qaida, and the Iraqis are real only to the extent they're dealing with left-wingers or the U.S. and its allies.

        It's a very evil sort of madness, and it needs to be kept in mind whenever dealing with leftists.



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