Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Are the Liberals Waking Up?

In a recent In These Times article by Michelle Goldberg, she decries the sort of pander-to-the-bigots cynicism that, in fact, drove me out of the Democratic Party:

"Rather than reflecting on what kind of policies would make their own lives better, what kind of country they want to live in, and who they want to represent them—and then figuring out how to win others to their vision—progressives flail about for ideas and symbols that they hope will appeal to some imaginary heartland rube. That is condescending."

I wholeheartedly agree with almost everything Ms. Goldberg says here. The only correction I wish to suggest is that people who sink to such political skulduggery are not "progressives" in any meaningful sense of the word. They are "centrists" -- that lovely, morally-bankrupt term the Clintons and their cohorts have visited upon the Democratic Party. Centrists will do virtually anything to get elected, because they stand for no principle more solid or enduring than themselves. Crassly blaming gays and other assorted "liberal special interest groups" for the defeat of their latest wishy-washy Presidential candidate, they have since insinuated themselves into an even greater entrenchment of power than Bubba ever brought them.

As they care for nothing except political victory and popularity in opinion polls, there is no way to shame these people into standing for anything. It may just be that the Democratic Party is lost to liberals, progressives or whatever the hell else they may decide to call themselves.

I'm going to make a prediction right here and now. Mark it well, or else someday, not too many years from now, you will wake up and find that it's come true. In the Twenty-first Century, socialism -- and totalitarianism in general -- will make a hard swing to the Right. Fascism, that horrible relic of the past century, will -- like those maggot-eaten mummies in Dawn of the Dead -- rise up out of the grave to walk the earth again. And, like so many horror-movie monsters, it will eat as much of the flesh, and drink as much of the blood, of the living that it must in order to keep from being driven back into the grave again.

The socialist Left is dying, because the power-mad need capital and willing labor in order to survive. And the fascist Right is studying hard the mistakes made by its Twentieth-Century forebears. What it seems, all too obviously, to be learning is not that fascism died because it deserved to, but that it made mistakes our modern fascists will be determined not to repeat.

There is only one hope for defeating the new fascist Right -- and that is libertarianism. If all the people feel they have to choose from is one power-mad police state or another, they will always choose the one that plays to their basest instincts over that which might attempt to elevate them to a higher plane. The Right can beat the Left at this any day of the week. If "liberals" and "progressives" don't wake up, very soon, and realize that they will never regain anything even approaching success via a totalitarian system, then nothing awaits them but extinction.

And if liberals and progressives abandon all who have for so long placed their hopes in them, there won't even be anybody left to cry at the graveside.


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