While searching for that post, however, I noticed that Commentary had a symposium about Norman Podhoretz's new book, Why Are Jews Liberals? I skimmed over it, found it interesting and did a post with excerpts of the symposium, adding my own thoughts on the subject.
Monday evening, habitually checking SiteMeter, I discovered that I had been linked by the liberal Balloon Juice blog which ridiculously insinuated . . . well, something:
Maybe I’m too touchy about this, but I’m profoundly disturbed by the idea of relocating intellectuals, especially Jewish intellectuals, so they can learn about real values. Isn’t that exactly what Stalin and Mao did? Is there any Maoist/Stalinist/Leninist idea that the American right hasn’t embraced.This is the most perverse possible reading of my post, which had observed merely that:
- Modern liberalism is predominantly an urban phenomenon;
- American Jews are more likely to reside in urban areas; and
- Therefore, if conservative Jews wish to ameliorate the prevalence of liberalism among Jews, they should think about ways to encourage more Jews to live in small towns in the Heartland.
The simplest way to define conservatism is this: The belief that liberalism is wrong.The great truths are simple truths. And the great errors are liberal errors. Speaking of liberals and errors, via Memeorandum, I find that the Balloon Juice thread is linked with a Newshoggers post about Max Blumenthal's new book, quoting this from a BuzzFlash review:
"Inspired by the work of psychologist Erich Fromm, who analyzed how the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, Blumenthal explains in a compelling narrative how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical right."Ding! Ding! Ding! Blumenthal's analysis is warmed-over cultural Marxism via the Frankfurt School:
'Cultural Marxism' and 'critical theory' are concepts developed by a group of German intellectuals, who, in 1923 in Germany, founded the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University. The Institute, modeled after the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, became known as the Frankfurt School. In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany, the members of the Frankfurt School fled to the United States. . . .Thus the discredited Marxist theories of the past are made the ideological template through which 21st-century "progressives" misunderstand the present. From atop my desk, I retrieve my yellowed and tattered old paperback edition of William F. Buckley Jr.'s Up From Liberalism (1961), from pages 78-79 of which I quote, in reference to the Frankfurt School's grandest project:
[Frankfurt School theorists sought a] 'revolution' [that] would be accomplished by fomenting a very quiet, subtle and slowly spreading 'cultural Marxism' which would apply to culture the principles of Karl Marx bolstered by the modern psychological tools of Sigmund Freud. Thus, 'cultural Marxism' became a marriage of Marx and Freud aimed at producing a 'quiet' revolution in the United States of America . . .
The counter-culture revolution of the 1960s was set in motion and guided intellectually by the 'cultural Marxists' of the Frankfurt School -- Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Wilhelm Reich, and others.
[O]ne needs no advanced degrees in clinical psychology and psychoanalytical theory in order to penetrate the fallacy of The Authoritarian Personality. Its thesis is very simply this: American conservatives (primarily members of the lower middle class) are the way they are politically because of marked tendencies to authoritarianism. The authors of the project began with the assumption that anyone who is opposed to the welfare state is likely to be "unenlightened" in his attitudes . . . These postulates are fed into a mill . . . to produce the stereotype: "the authoritarian personality."Which is to say that Adorno, Fromm, Marcuse, et al., were recognized as transparent frauds 50 years ago, and yet we find that Fromm's smug little theory is made the inspirational basis for a "compelling narrative" -- compelling to whom? liberals, of course -- in 2009!
Remarkable, really, how the Left's erroneous presumptions haven't changed at all: If the social welfare state is synonymous with enlightenment, opponents of the welfare state must therefore be unenlightened. The only question remaining for the liberal theorist is to identify the variety of psychopathology that explains this (presumably irrational) opposition.
So it is that Max Blumenthal, who no doubt favors putting the federal government in control of America's health-care system, effectively nationalizing 1/7th of the economy, presumes to diagnose opponents of such policies as suffering from "the fear of freedom."
Well, two can play the armchair psychoanalyst game, and I hereby diagnose Max as suffering from diminished self-awareness and an underdeveloped appreciation for irony.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. When you point out how idiotically circular are the "intellectual" arguments that beguile liberals, their response is the same as it was a half-century ago. The finger is pointed at you and the furious shrieking is heard: "Fascist!"