Left and Right United: Extreme Leftists and Islamists

October 4, 2012 12:45 pm 7 comments

An anti-Israel Occupy Wall Street poster.

Extremes meet.  The most irrational example may be the unofficial alliance between extreme leftists and Islamists.  Marxism and Islam have been de facto allies at least since the Bandung Conference of 1955, when Third World countries united with Marxist regimes in order to fight against freedom and Israel.  This alliance did not stop Marxists from persecuting Muslims in their own lands, nor did it prevent Islamists from suppressing Marxists in their theocratic states.  Leftists and Muslims disagree about everything—women’s rights, religion, the economy—you name it.  These differences did not prevent them from joining to fight democracy and Zionism, whom they defined as their enemies, for no good reason.

Who were the only two members of the House of Representatives to vote against a resolution calling upon the Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Geneva Convention?  They were ultra-rightist Ron Paul and ultra-leftist Dennis Kucinich.  Kucinich has lost a primary election, and so he won’t be in Congress next year.  Neither will Ron Paul, who has announced his retirement.  However, his son, Rand Paul, is now a member of the Senate.

The Tea Party and the Occupy Movement have no official positions on Israel.  Both, however, oppose the government of the United States.  Both talk about nothing but economics.  Rightists who oppose the government are called libertarians; Leftists who are anti-government are called anarchists.  The Libertarian magazine Reason, in its November 2012 issue, contains an article by Brian Doherty entitled “Ron Paul: Man of the Left.”  We would expect Ron Paul to support the Tea Party, and he does.  He and his son Rand  attended a Tea Party rally in Austin, Texas, on May 6.  It is hard to imagine how someone who supports the Tea Party could accept the ideas of the Occupy Movement.  Nevertheless, Doherty writes, “Ron Paul was the only prominent candidate who dared say anything good about the Occupy movement during the Republican primary season.”  He did so despite the fact that “in October 2011 an Occupy intruder broke into an unoccupied Paul booth in the middle of the night, stole literature and DVDs, and defecated into the middle of the Paulites’ space.”  Perhaps Paul felt that the actions of an individual don’t speak for the whole movement.  What is more likely is that he understood that anti-war activists agreed with his choice of ending America’s commitments abroad—an America with no foreign policy whatsoever.

If Reason, a magazine at the right end of the spectrum, is troubled by Paul because of his support of the Occupy Movement, it is surprising to learn that The New York Review of Books, a publication that is liberal and leftist, printed Michael Greenberg’s “New York: The Police and the Protesters” in its October 12, 2012, issue.

Greenberg’s sympathies are with the Occupiers as opposed to the police.  Nevertheless, he cites a damning quote by an Occupier: “We don’t talk to people with power, because to do so would acknowledge the legitimacy of their power.”  If the power of governing officials is illegitimate, it is not too much of a jump to say they should be overthrown.  Greenberg also tells us that Norman Siegel, a former executive of NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union), said, “There are ways to use the system to challenge the system.  Unfortunately, Occupy wasn’t willing or sophisticated enough to maneuver in this manner.”  But maybe Occupy was very sophisticated indeed about this matter.  Using the system to challenge the system would be acknowledging that the United States has freedom of speech.  The extremism of the Occupy Movement is shown by the fact that it has no demands, meaning its demands can never be met.  It can never compromise, and so it is hoping for revolution. It has chosen not to pursue its goals in a way that would recognize America as a free country.

Ron Paul and the Occupy Movement are so much on the extremes that their views have begun to coincide.  Brian Doherty and Michael Greenberg, on the other hand, represent opposite sides of the existing political culture.  And so both of them have reservations about those on their side who seem to want to step beyond the political culture.  Both Reason and The New York Review of Books are operating within the boundaries of a democratic society, unlike Ron Paul and the Occupy Movement.

Maurice H. Keen studied the destructive effects of a phenomenon called “honor,” as an obituary in the New York Times tells us.

Keen illustrated the strange values of chivalry by telling us of a knight who had committed rape arson, murder and kidnapping—after a truce had been declared.  “He was executed for violating the truce, not for murder and rape.  Murder and rape were accepted as the norm.”

Shakepeare’s Romeo and Juliet was rewritten as Leonard Berstein’s West Side Story.  The nobles of the Shakespeare play and the hooligans of Bernstein’s musical had the same value: “honor.”  Their idiotic commitment to their idea of “honor” leads to tragedy in both cases.  Aristocrats and hooligans share the same extremist ideas.  Their extremism is the same as the senseless hostility of Ahmadinejad, who wants to kill Israelis just as the Montagues wanted to kill the Capulets.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad too is obsessed with “honor.”  He has subjected his country to sanctions.  He has said Israel should be wiped off the map and is producing nuclear materials, thus provoking Israel to attack him.  Iran has no reason to be enemies with Israel.  Iran doesn’t really want to support the Palestinians, just to destroy Israel. Iranians don’t like Arabs and Shiites son’t like Sunnis. So why is Ahmadinejad risking the lives of his people and the future of his country.  “Honor.”  Extremes meet.

7 Comments

  • Fredric M. London

    First, I would like to point out the differences between extreme leftists and liberals; the right wing and conservatives. Extreme leftists tend to pursue doctrine. Everything that happens fits into their worldview and doctrine. Ideas which do not quite fit are deemed extraneous. The same with the right wing. First there is their belief systems, and then every incident falls into their worldview by their definitions.

    Liberals and conservatives are mainstream belief systems, which differ as to actions and methods, and both, at least by implication, validate the concept that their country is valid, and support this country.

    I have long viewed the so-called leftist governments, such as the eastern block during the cold war, as right wingers in sheep’s clothing. Their stated purposes may be different, but they still employ the dreaded secret police to eliminate public discourse which differs from that of the state. Communist regimes and fascist regimes acted, towards their people, in the same way. The individual is either a cog in their machinery or the enemy.

    Both sides subscribe enthusiastically to oppression. While the goals they pursue may be different, in reality they remain the same, holding onto power through any means necessary, and sometimes more than necessary. So, for Ron Paul, whose anti-Semitism has been well documented throughout his career, would be a natural ally to the Mullahs in Iran, though their aims may be different.

    • Stefan Sebastian

      Well intentioned but not a correct view of political extremes.

      What passes for the “extreme right” (ie Nazi types) is actually a leftist phenomenon in just about every way. It’s why they fight so much — they occupy the same space with tiny differences but the same bad results. They all want to take away your personal rights and responsibilities for all the best and hopeful reasons and replace it with a murderously corrupt, controlling government where winners are selected, most are ignored, and few outside the party have opportunity to prosper. Portions of this view are well addressed by Jonah Goldberg.

      By a more realistic scale, the “extreme right” resembles more of a hermit-like libertarianism but careless in its harm to others, uncaring in any inconvenience beyond the individual, and unable to mount any kind of common defense or write law.

      Hyper centralized control versus extreme individuality. Those are the modern political extremes.

  • This is proof that Ron Paul and his democratic twin are merely shills for Iran. When you oppose the military policy of the US and ally Israel, but support the military policies of Iran and Palestinean nationalism, it should be obvious what side they are on, but Iran is a master of deception and Americans are simply blind. Every web outlet that carries Iran’s PressTV bylines also looks paid Iran PR operations, such as Veterans Today and GlobalResearch.CA and neo-nazi Will Carto’s American Free Press.

    “Who were the only two members of the House of Representatives to vote against a resolution calling upon the Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Geneva Convention? They were ultra-rightist Ron Paul and ultra-leftist Dennis Kucinich”

  • This author dislikes that the United States isn’t spending more money protecting Israeli interests. Kucinich Rand and Ron favor non interventionist foreign policy which is clearly disliked by the author. The interests of citizens are ill served by spending outside of a nation unless provoked by a war commited by an outside force.

    Paul has advocated a policy platform that decreases federal spending on entitlements, foreign policy and a significant decrease in legislation infringing on liberty. The Occupy Movement is a conglomerate of people with poorly defined interests which is why they have no platform. I’m not sure how several people speak for the thousands involved with that movement.

    All participants in political life have commonalities with their political opponents. For example, most Democrats and Republicans accept the existence of entitlement programs even if they disagree on how much should be spent. Most Republicans and Democratic politicians have voted for significant millitary sending,domestic spending, curbing of civil liberties and social policies that think ill of individual liberty. This is an extreme of utilitarianism which is the curse of modern government.

    Honor is subjective to the moral values of those who judge. I value Ron Paul’s honor above any politician I’ve met. The author’s view of honor is limited by his distinction of friends and enemies and his friend is not on the side of individuals. His side is on behalf of interests which are extreme in the pursuit of their ends. Its called government authority.

    • OWS and its associates are simply antisemitic—–period. This could be Kristalnacht all over again.

  • Lefties, Liberals and progressive with their sharia koran masters enable the mohamedans political Islam expansion.

  • I agree with Prof Jochnowitz’s argument that honor might be an obsession with some, if not many, extremists. Honor, like many virtues, are good and acceptable if they form part of a whole spectrum of characteristics. Too much emphasis on one virtue and you see the results: extremism and an unforgiving nature.

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