Monday, August 28, 2006
Sympathy for the Devil
Mind you, I disagree with most of their program. Though I cannot see how the world is going to end if the age of consent is being turned back to twelve - the Netherlands did fine with that for decades, and Spain still does. For me, it's mostly their standpoint on immigration, if you believe it. In this as well as in the rest of their program is well, the PNVD are the true heirs of Dutch Libertine - cum - Anti-immigrationist Pim Fortuyn, as opposed to the hopeless political flotsam that carries his name.
But they do have a point about an out-of-control hysteria against anything even faintly connected with sex and children. A civilization which does not respond with outrage - utter, blind anger and outrage - against a 200-year prison sentence for possessing 20 (twenty) kiddie porn pics can be said to be slightly out of whack on this particular issue. The outcry that the PNVD has caused in the Netherlands and abroad - when what they want is basically to turn the clock back to the 1980s in as far as sex legislation goes - is part and parcel of this hysteria.
Moreover, I cannot have but respect and admiration for the sheer guts of the three-man leadership of the PNVD. To go straight against the populist mainstream like that, at a time when most politicians attempt to score over the lives of pedophiles by exploiting fear and mass hysteria - that takes considerable courage. One of them already lost his job through the actions of some small-brained vigilante, and another is appealing being booted from his study place.
Policy issues aside, if the PNVD somehow succeeds in creating enough of an opening in the current self-sustaining climate of fear, hysteria, and grievous injustice, that, in the Netherlands and hopefully internationally as well, pedophiles can at least be public about their orientation without having lynch mobs descend on their homes - then I would finally be proud of my country again.
Real political courage and uncompromising intellectual honesty - as opposed to opportunism or risk-free idealism - is all to rarely seen in Western politics nowadays. Glory to the PNVD.
Merlijn de Smit
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Anti-Semitism and the Left
All the while I'm rationalizing why I left the Left. To what extent my own ideas have become such a confused mixture of traditional leftism, conservatism and libertarianism. But in the end, I didn't leave the Left. The Left did the Left. It was hijacked first in the 1960s by the radical students and the Maoist crazies. I know all about how odious student radicals are. I was one. Then in the 1970s came the Angry Wimmin, the Male Lesbians, the moonbat Radical Feminists and their "the personal is the political crap". Egocentric navel-staring substituted for political action. Then in the 80s the radical Greens, the New Agers, and finally the Postmodern relativists resurrecting nationalism, misogynism, religious fascism under the guise of supporting and understanding oppressed cultures.
And now, this:
(For more loveliness, see here.
So the whole thing has come full circle, hasn't it? From Socialism to what Bebel dubbed the "Socialism of Fools" to National Socialism. From Fanon to supporting totalitarian, religious Fascists. And all that just about sixty years after Cable Street.
If a Cable Street Communist were to meet a supporter of ANSWER, a front for the ultra-Stalinist Workers' World Party, they would be on opposite sides of the barricades.
And I'm pretty disgusted to see how far things have come. To see for example a respected Norwegian writer as Jostein Gaarder suddenly implode in a bombastic piece of anti-semitic rhetoric lifted straight from the 1930s. This blogger (in Norwegian) has got things nailed, and writes that Jostein Gaarder and modern-day anti-semites don't necessarily want to see Jews killed, but believe that "the only good Jew is one who doesn't defend himself, one who willingly goes to the gas chambers, one who will take incoming Zelza-rockets without shooting back, who will embrace suicide bombers without striking back at the terrorist networks. The result will be the same."
The odd hatred for Israel amongst the Left - which is singled out in no proportion to its actual crimes, which bear no comparison to, say, the Russian near-genocidal war in Chechnya, the Turkish campaigns in Kurdistan, etc. - points, I think, to some kind of parasitical relationship of the Left with regards to Israel, or Jewry. (Quoting myself from some other forum) For the modern European anti-semitic Left, the aim is not so much for Jews to be killed or exterminated (as it was for the Nazis and their spiritual heirs, Hamas and Hezbollah), but for the Jews to be noble, innocent victims whom we can empathize with without actually being noble, innocent victims ourselves. There's the whole pathology in a nutshell. Nazis like their Jews dead - Anti-Zionists like them defenseless, so they can show that they are not anti-semitic at all - so Gaarder and his ilk may show their magnanimity once again, and give him shelter or at least not kill him when he's being chased by the pogromist Cossacks or the SS. The existence of a state of Israel is a constant reminder that the Jews have taken their fate in their own hands. That the cliché of the "Wandering Jew" has been consigned to history. They will no longer rely on the good Samaritans that Gaarder and his ilk would fantasize about being.
For as far as I am concerned, the State of Israel - the most democratic and secular State in the region, and thereby a bastion of the Enlightenment values that the Left is supposed to defend - deserve the Left's full support in defending itself from religious terrorists.