Utopia and its enemies

Utopianism is unhealthy, destructive and dangerous. Utopians claim to want a better world; they certainly want a world in which they and their ideas are in charge. Utopians deny or seek to do violence to timeless verities of human nature in favor of cockamamie theories; the New Soviet Man, the modern feminized American male, and radical non-judgmentalism are but three examples. Perhaps most dangerous of all, because Utopians think they are better people than everyone else, more caring and loving and sensitive, they have to project their hostile and aggressive impulses onto others; hence these passive-aggressive types see conservatives as evil, militaristic, and domineering.

The utopian fantasy continues to this day in the minds of the image makers of the mass media. (It is obviously no accident that Utopians would be drawn to a business whose very mission is the creation of unreal worlds.) In the declining fortunes of Hollywood, wars take place against cyborgs or psychopathic US military men, or anything other than our real enemy that we kill daily (see Michael Yon). That which is not about war is often propaganda of a similar sort (Cinderella just has to go to Princeton; the HS football captain has to renounce achievement stereotypes to get the girl; who, unchallenged, traipses through the crowded boy’s locker room; the relentless prosletyzing in the form of the ubiquitous sympathetic gay character, etc.) These men and women who make the images almost all hate George Bush, and as one of their own noted recently, many of them hate America.

Their hatred is not hard to understand, for theirs is a mighty psychological task, requiring huge amounts of denial. Naturally they would hate whoever threatens to pierce the bubble of the Utopian fantasy. In their infantile way, the image makers insist that their bubble is reality, though the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Their dogged insistence on the reality of their fantasy is not that surprising, since many of the image makers were Commies in the bad old days (see Ron Radosh’s work). The church of the USSR may be dead, but its communicants still haunt its bare, runied choirs.

One of the characteristics of the bubble is that you can’t really see it while you are inside. That is why we read so many stories of former Leftists who, often after decades of working the pebble in their shoe, find themselves on the outside looking in. Christopher Hitchens in in many ways still a man of the Left, but he exited the bubble quite a while ago; he initially opposed removing Saddam from Kuwait in 1990, but changed his mind. Here are some of his comments on Utopia from the Weekly Standard:

I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal Utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, or the death of Nicolae Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet (or indeed from the publication of Francis Fukuyama’s book about the “end of history” and the unarguable triumph of market liberal pluralism), it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began.

By the middle of 1990, Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to erase the identity and the existence of Bosnia. It turned out that we had not by any means escaped the reach of atavistic, aggressive, expansionist, and totalitarian ideology. Proving the same point in another way, and within approximately the same period, the theocratic dictator of Iran had publicly claimed the right to offer money in his own name for the suborning of the murder of a novelist living in London, and the génocidaire faction in Rwanda had decided that it could probably get away with putting its long-fantasized plan of mass murder into operation…..

It was to be noticed in all cases that the aggressors, whether they were killing Muslims, or exalting Islam, or just killing their neighbors, shared a deep and abiding hatred of the United States.

Many of the American image makers hate the United States too. But in their narcissitic project they love a Utopian United States where their ideas and values are in charge. They are empowered in their strange and infantile beliefs by tremendous amounts of money, power and prestige — the usufructs of the mass media machine. And, strangest of all, they make common cause with far-away enemies who, were they up close and personal, would be happy to slit their throats.

Thus we experience today a phenomenon of surpassing oddness: our domestic Left has become apologists for Baathists and terrorists. So Hitchens takes the time in his piece to describe a few of the things that old FDR liberals, as well as the rest of us, should view as accomplishments:

(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi’s Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction–a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.

(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.

(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.

(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)

(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.

(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region–the Kurds–and the spread of this example to other states.

(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.

(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.

(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.

There is much to be proud of. But it won’t be broadly reported, or celebrated in films or on TV. The current image makers are not going to change, or change only slowly, even though ratings decline for them in every category. Yet this is not all bad news: it is in fact a market opportunity even greater in size than the one Rush Limbaugh exploited 17 years ago to make his fortune. Jayson from Polipundit talks about part of the opportunity:

[J]ust imagine what the political landscape of this country would look like if we had a real media, as opposed to a partisan mouthpiece for the left-wing of the Democrat Party. If, for example, the Washington Times was the Associated Press, Reuters, and Knight Ridder. If U.S. News & World Report was Time and Newsweek. If Fox News (2 million viewers on cable) was CBS, NBC, and ABC (25 million viewers, on free networks). If over nine out of every 10 regional newspapers (e.g., L.A. Times, Boston Globe, WaPo, Seattle Times, Minneapolis “Strib,” Kansas City “Red” Star, Philly Inquirer, Miami Herald, Hartford Courant, Detroit Free Press) were conservative or simply moderate, as opposed to being quite liberal.

Imagine a movie called The Battle of Fallujah that without irony celebrated the United States military. Imagine the box office that would do. We’re not being Utopian — just optimistic.

7 Responses to “Utopia and its enemies”

  1. DL Says:

    Excellent obsevation of this crowd. As I was reading the part where they hate America but so love their utopian version of it, I came to suddenly see some sense in their contradictory position:they’re suffering from the battered wife syndrone! They are the ones who stick with a situation they hate because they hope to make it over their way someday. That also explains their being unable to see why others don’t agree with them -after all-they have the best of intentions!

  2. larwyn Says:

    It is our own fault. We conservative, patriotic and sensible grandparents and parents have been discouraging our children from getting into “artsy-fartsy”
    and certainly “pro-left” professions.

    We want them to have “day jobs” to fall back on, for we see that if they hold
    our values and ideals, they will have very difficult time making it in the fields
    you identify. “Out of the closet” Republicans, who have already proven track
    records, are objects now of backlash. And in Academia, they never get any chance at all.

    So time to put up, to gather other venture capitalists and produce some great
    films. Michael Yon just wrote you a script, online “Gates of Fire” and “24″ has
    dipped toe in the water.

    My grandson is one blessed with that functioning Right and Left sides of brain.
    We have encouraged him to find profession that will challenge both sides and
    just last week, I was upset that he was taking a “film” class as 1st semester
    sophomore at Princeton vs other science, math or econ classes.

    Would bet that I am not the exception in this steering. Just hope that those of
    us that can make it possible for “us” to work in these fields the Left now controls, will put up the investment. That is a challenge.

  3. DL Says:

    larwyn

    You make a good point , however, penetrating both, the academic and the media professions, would have to be done in a stealth manner as you won’t be allowed as an open conservative to be hired or receive passing grades in most leftist controlled places.- It is interesting to note that no less than the Catholic Church during Vatican II recognized the serious need for the “good guys ” to become heavily involved in the “arts and media” – to counter the imbalance in those areas!
    It is no accident that the left dominates the media – academia – the courts – government and bureaucratic domains.

  4. larwyn Says:

    Well, DL, we need an action plan.

    Real action by Alumni of the elite Universities to either hold back funds or
    to create special chairs and funding of alternatives to the left’s control
    of the social “sciences”.

    Hope you saw Charles Murray’s commentary that was linked by RealClear
    Politics yesterday, and I also saw reference on another blog to a study by
    UK researchers re Male/Female I.Q. (I am a female that does not appreciate
    the feminization of the American male) So leaks are appearing in the P.C.
    Multicultural, Moral Relativity dike of the Left. But to quote Prof Ledeen,
    “Faster, Please Faster”.

    Mel Gibson proved some things can be done, we just need to take this
    seriously and make the investments and take the risks. I think that there
    are enought of us out here that would be happy to snap up the IPO for
    a new film company that would produce the kinds of films our studios
    made during the Second World War. And if for a time, the Muslims are
    upset that the villians are so portrayed, they will have to deal with reality.
    Perhaps that would stir them to clean up their house of worship and schools.
    Pretending it doesn’t exist only aids them. Pacino said ” The greatest trick
    the devil played on man was convincing him he does not exist” (can’t remember
    movie)

    If you want to see what Hollywood has in store for you, please read this:
    Hollywood’s New War Effort: Terrorism Chic
    Jason Apuzzo (archive)
    August 10, 2005 |
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/GuestColumns/Apuzzo20050810.shtml

    We need some people to take the reigns here. Don’t think that a politician can
    do it, especially while running for office. It will be spun into “Talibanism”.
    No, it has to be private investment by private citizens that are fed up with
    the take over of our culture. So let’s get a plan.

  5. Michael Hammer Says:

    Early Sunday morning; it has just finishing raining and the air is fresh and cool. My coffee is steaming and it is time to slide over to Roger L. Simon. He mentions Hitchens so I must read the comments. I read a comment by a fellow that I had not heard of before named Jack Risko. Who is this guy? I follow the link. Read a very thoughtful essay and thoughtful comments on this essay.

    What a veritable gold mine of intelligence this internet is. What a great way to start the day, being reminded that there is Jack Risko out there and many like him who are serious thinkers and are willing to do battle with the forces of ignorance.

    Thanks, Jack. I’ll be back.

    Michael Hammer

  6. larwyn Says:

    Jack has already linked to NYT’s in 8/28 posts.

    I am placing the excerpt here to again ask “Why is there no plan by the
    Conservative Alumni of these institutions to earmark donations or
    to hold donations,a fund that would build to an amount to
    endow new chairs, new departments and at the same time begin
    lawsuits against these same schools. We have to be willing to meet them
    on their “field of battle”.

    And what about all the parents writing the tuition checks. Would be great
    if they knew the worst offenders and refuse to pay for that course.
    This would take great effort and sure that “loving, bleeding heart” left would
    make the student suffer, if done on individual basis. But if a large group of
    parents targeted one course, or one particular fee, I am sure they would
    get support from the Blogs and that local media would have to cover.
    If same process going on at several universities next Fall, the MSM would
    have to pick up.

    Again, this is difficult for a politician to take lead. “Talibanism” would be left’s
    label. Private citizens must stand up.

    Today’s New York Times Week in Review previews the study of the political tilt of law professors by Norhtwestern University Law School Professor John McGinnis: Adam Liptak writes:

    81 percent who contributed $200 or more gave wholly or mostly to Democrats; 15 percent gave wholly or mostly to Republicans.

    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011488.php

  7. DL Says:

    An additional thought:the diabolical cleverness of the left’s control of academia is, because we have morphed into a society where a “degree equals employment.” Lack of a degree means menial occupation. (not evil, but also not desirable) Since most desire meaningful empoyment , we must successfully pass though the left’s indoctrination system or not get employed. We agree to get indoctrinated (or pretend to), or we don’t pass, hence the good guys are never allowed get into the “control “professions! I apoligize for the rambling. Simply put: they own the gates!

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