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27 November 2008

What's left of the 'liberal' 'left'? And is it worth a light?

Amidst the decomposition of the old world, false consciousness -- which still reigns but no longer governs -- has the nerve to take to task a whole generation of young proletarians, who have re-launched the offensive against the society of the spectacle, for not being able to resolve all the questions at the origin of both their revolt and the crisis in which all the appointed powers are floundering. The real situation is very different: what the young proletarians are in fact being taken to task for is posing questions that power cannot resolve, for it is power itself that is being questioned.

Any old lefties or liberals left? Any of them doing much of any use to the greater mass of humanity or are they still stuck in a parapolitically anachronistic timewarp, out of touch with the sentiments of the ordinary man and woman in the street?

Noam Chomsky is definitely doing the timewarp. Speaking about the events of 11th September 2001, Chomksy famously said, 'Who | Cares?' The latest leftist intellectual heavyweight to join the "government's nearly all bad but they're really telling us mostly the whole truth about just this one thing" club is Howard Zinn. Let's do the timewarp again.

History is the past and there's no need to care much about it, so proclaims historiantician Zinn, parroting the sentiments of his brainiac buddy Chomsky. So it is in a world where the post-modernist fetishism for a committed absence of absolute truth favours instead riding the Valkyries of subjective historical narratives, depicted by the linguistic flourishes of obscurantist metaphor and allegory that stand in testimony to the bleakest of bleak realpolitik from which the fetishists allude to dissent, while simultaneously failing to mount the most rudimentary of political challenges. (Bonus faux revolutionary post-modernist points for anyone who translates that last sentence into the Francophonics of Bataille, Baudrillard and Foucault.)
So, what did Zinn have to say on the subject of the events of 11th September 2001?
9/11 truth confront Howard Zinn in Montreal
20 November 2008

After viewing the disappointing and disrespectful comments made by Howard Zinn on 09/10/08 in Colorado, responding to a request for help in spreading 9/11 awareness, Howard Zinn expresses that he does not care about accountability and justice for the 9/11 attacks, because it is in the past.

Interesting to note the brief, private word in the ear of Zinn from his co-chair and the attendant restraining hand on the arm gesture as the first 9/11 related question is asked, and also the second intervention by an organising minion who hands Zinn a note as the issue is raised for a second time. As Zinn's words ring out there remain now not many 'left' or 'liberal' intellectual heavyweights left who don't find themselves arguing from the same positions as those on the far right, something which never seems to bother the liberals or leftists, much less prompt them into thinking that something might be amiss with their analysis and conclusions.

With regard to 7/7, our 9/11, the 'radical' 'left' 'conspiracy theory' about how those events came to be is that of the much publicised "blow back" theory. It goes a little like this: "If the UK hadn't illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, 7/7 never would have happened." A statement that is as beautifully simple and all encompassing as it is perfectly flawed and lacking in evidence and substance. The tragic irony that the 'liberal' 'left' consistently fail to grasp and take on board is that their 'analysis', from wherever it comes, just happens to render them to the point of arguing from the entrenched 'radical', 'left' position of far-right Neo Nazis like Nick Griffin of the BNP. Yet the 'leftists' and 'liberals' would rather defend to the death their incorrect, indefensible, neo-fascist positions that lend support to official orthodoxy than they would cross the uncrossable line beyond which each and every historical event of consequence begs an in depth understanding not just of its perverse superficial horrorism, but also of its very essence. Such a transgression would earn them the greatest derogation of intellectual rigour, that of being labelled "conspiracy theorist".

As a wise man whose heart was in the right place once put it:
Now the truth's unnumerable enemies in the political center, right and left will have to reveal themselves by combatting it on open ground, because their lies will no longer succeed in hiding it.

Politically there is now no place left to hide. The fear of anyone who might like to think of themselves as a little 'left' or 'liberal' in their political outlook being labelled a 'conspiracy theorist' should pale into insignificance when their 'radical', 'left' or 'liberal' political analysis leads to the adoption of precisely the same argumentation position and style as that of much abhorred xenophobic, reactionary, far-right bigots. When this happens it becomes obvious to all, whether they are willing to acknowledge it and its implications or not, that something is fundamentally amiss with the method of analysis used to arrive at that position.

That 7/7 "blowback theory" is championed by both 'left', 'anti-war', 'liberals' in precisely the same fashion as it is championed by the likes of Nick Griffin and the BNP should sound alarm bells for all. Any 'radical', 'left' or 'liberal' analysis of something which leads to the wholesale adoption of precisely the same political stance as that of xenophobic, reactionary far-right bigots cannot then be legitimately expressed as a 'left' or 'liberal' sentiment. Neither is it in any way 'radical' for it doesn't even come close to challenging the official narratives and orthodoxies that predetermine the bounds of acceptable debate, bounds within which the status quo can be easily maintained.

One can only wonder if Michael Parenti's (see Antagonista TV for more) views on his well and forcefully expressed ideas about Conspiracy AND Class Power (Part 1 | Part 2 - finally widely available as MP3s for all!) hold true in relation to more recent events such as 9/11 and 7/7, among, sadly, many other similar examples:
Michael Parenti: CONSPIRACY & CLASS POWER

One of Parenti's most influential archival speeches. This is an in-depth analysis of the modern state and the exercise of power behind the scenes. The speech is also an important historic document. Given in 1993 it issues a warning of the use of deception to justify going to war. The speech also explains the expansion of the deregulated free market that would lead to a financial crisis as we see it today.

The speech on Conspiracy and Class Power was lost for several years and only recently discovered in the collection of a listener in Seattle. Michael Parenti spoke before an overflow audience in Berkeley, CA

Michael Parenti is an internationally known author and lecturer. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 1962 and is one of the nation's leading progressive political thinkers. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. His books include Democracy for the Few, Superpatriotism, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, History as Mystery, and Contrary Notions.

For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part ONE click HERE
For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part TWO click HERE
Listen carefully and learn. As for those who like to think of themselves as 'left' or 'liberal', either buck up your analysis and ideas or stop bothering everyone with your inane diatribes that espouse little more than a shared leftist and rightist common ideology of tyranny.

2 comments:

Bridget Dunne said...

At least Parenti employs a class analysis and points the finger at the Neo-Cons, PNAC & the 'New Pearl Harbour' in his discourse against 'incompetence' theory:

Contrary Notions

The Antagonist said...

DiaMat is so modernist, loud lefties daren't do it anymore.

More Parenti: The Assassination of Julius Caesar.