by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
June 22, 2010

The United States, of course, is the Great Satan, accused of hoarding disproportionate resources. Its military oppresses the poor so its corporations can exploit them. Its government promotes the pretend-danger of terrorism to aggress abroad and repress at home.

And Israel is the Little Satan, serving as Empire’s sinister ally – or maybe the Jewish state is really the master? From World Social Forum meetings in Brazil to the United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban and from mainline churches to NGOs, Zionism is represented as absolute evil. Why Israel? Beyond not-so-subtle antisemitism, it alone of Western countries lives under a barrage of constant threats, which in turn compel it to engage in constant wars. “Stripped of all context,” Sternberg notes, “Israel’s actions fit the needed image of aggressor.”

To fight Empire’s superior resources, the Left needs to ally with anyone else opposing it – notably Islamists. Islamist goals contradict the Left’s, but no matter; so long as Islamists help fight Empire, they have a valued place in the coalition.

What the Left seeks: One catchword is authenticity: Empire’s artificiality makes indigenous culture analogous to endangered species. Culture should be indigenous, organic, and sheltered from Empire’s crass commercialism (e.g., Hollywood), its bogus rationalism, and its false concepts of freedom.

A second catchword is democracy: The Left rejects the distant and formalistic structure of a mature republic and instead celebrates grassroots, non-hegemonic democracy that offers a more direct voice. The democratic process, Sternberg explains, ” will proceed through meetings freed from the manipulative reins of law, procedure, precedent, and hierarchy.” These high-flying words, however, disguise a recipe for despotism; those laws, procedures, precedents, and hierarchy serve a very real purpose.

History, apparently, has not ended.

History, apparently, has not ended.

A third is sustainability. To integrate economies into the earth’s ecosystem, the new order “will run on alternative energy, organic farming, local food markets, and closed-loop recyclable industry, if any industry is needed. People will travel on public transit, or ride cars that tread lightly on the earth, or even better, ride bicycles. They will occupy green buildings constructed of local materials and inhabit cities growing organically within bioregions. Life will be liberated from carbon emanations. It will be a permanent, placid way of life.”

Socialism definitely forms part of this picture but economics no longer dominates, as once it did. The new leftist goal is more complex than mere anti-capitalism, constituting an entire way of life. Sternberg dubs this movement world purificationism, but I prefer left-fascism.

He then asks the vital question: Will the Left’s latest incarnation once again turn totalitarian? He finds it too early to answer definitely but points to several “totalitarian warning signs,” including the dehumanizing of enemies and accusations of mass murder. He warns of an inflection point when left-fascists “stand true to their cataclysmic rhetoric and strap on suicide belts or take up arms to become martyrs.” In other words, the dangers are real and present.

So much for those fashionable theories of two decades ago, trumpeted as the Berlin Wall fell, about the end of ideology. The Left retrenched after the fall of Leninism and now threatens humanity with a new version of its anti-Western, anti-rational, anti-liberty, anti-individualist ideology.

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

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