quinta-feira, 26 de abril de 2007

Anti-Anti-Semitismo (reasons to be cheerful part...) II

Em "A STRATEGY FOR THE RIGHT", Essays of Murray N. Rothbard, 1992

"(...) And of course the first anti-Stalinists were the devotees of the martyred communist Leon Trotsky. And so the conservative movement, while purging itself of genuine right-wingers, was happy to embrace anyone, any variety of Marxist: Trotskyites, Schachtmanites, Mensheviks, social democrats (such as grouped around the magazine The New Leader), Lovestonite theoreticians of the American Federation of Labor, extreme right-wing Marxists like the incredibly beloved Sidney Hook, anyone who could present not anti-socialist but suitably anti-Soviet, anti-Stalinist credentials.

The way was then paved for the final, fateful influx: that of the ex-Trotskyite, right-wing social democrat, democrat capitalist, Truman-Humphrey-Scoop Jackson liberals, displaced from their home in the Democratic party by the loony left that we know so well: the feminist, deconstructing, quota-loving, advanced victimological left. And also, we should point out, at least a semi-isolationist, semi anti-war left. These displaced people are, of course, the famed neoconservatives, a tiny but ubiquitous group with Bill Buckley as their aging figurehead, now dominating the conservative movement. Of the 35 neoconservatives, 34 seem to be syndicated columnists.

And so the neocons have managed to establish themselves as the only right-wing alternative to the left. The neocons now constitute the right-wing end of the ideological spectrum. Of the respectable, responsible right wing, that is. For the neocons have managed to establish the notion that anyone who might be to the right of them is, by definition, a representative of the forces of darkness, of chaos, old night, racism, and anti-Semitism. At the very least.


The only other point worth noting on the purges is Buckley's own passage on exactly why he had found it necessary to excommunicate the John Birch Society (O'Sullivan said it was because they were "cranks"). In a footnote, Buckley admits that "the Birch society was never anti-Semitic," but "it was a dangerous distraction to right reasoning and had to be exiled. "National Review," Bill goes on, "accomplished exactly that."

Well, my, my! Exiled to outer Siberia! And for the high crime of "distracting" pope William from his habitual contemplation of pure reason, a distraction that he never seems to suffer while skiing, yachting, or communing with John Kenneth Galbraith or Abe Rosenthal! What a wondrous mind at work!

Merely to try to summarize Buckley's essay is to give it far too much credit for clarity. But, taking that risk, here's the best I can do:

1. His long-time disciple and NR editor Joe Sobran is (a) certainly not an anti-Semite, but (b) is "obsessed with" and "cuckoo about" Israel, and (c) is therefore "contextually anti-Semitic," whatever that may mean, and yet, worst of all, (d) he remains "unrepentant";

2. Pat Buchanan is not an anti-Semite, but he has said unacceptably anti-Semitic things, "probably" from an "iconoclastic temperament," yet, curiously, Buchanan too remains unrepentant;

3. Gore Vidal is an anti-Semite, and the Nation, by presuming to publish Vidal's article (by the way, a hilarious one) critical of Norman Podhoretz has revealed the left's increasing proclivity for anti-Semitism;

4. Buckley's bully-boy disciples at Dartmouth Review are not anti-Semitic at all, but wonderful kids put upon by vicious leftists; and

5. Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol are wonderful, brilliant people, and it is "unclear" why anyone should ever want to criticize them, except possibly for reasons of anti-Semitism.
Gore Vidal and the Nation, absurdly treated in Bill's article, can and do take care of themselves, in the Nation in a blistering counterattack in its January 6-13 issue.

On Buchanan and Sobran, there is nothing new, whether of fact or insight: it's the same thin old junk, tiresomely rehashed.

Something, however, should be said about Buckley's vicious treatment of Sobran, a personal and ideological disciple who has virtually worshipped his mentor for two decades. Lashing out at a friend and disciple in public in this fashion, in order to propitiate Podhoretz and the rest, is odious and repellent: at the very least, we can say it is extremely tacky.


[e nota final no artigo]

"One of the authors of the Daniel Bell volume says, in horror and astonishment, that the radical right intends to repeal the twentieth century. Heaven forfend! Who would want to repeal the twentieth century, the century of horror, the century of collectivism, the century of mass destruction and genocide, who would want to repeal that! Well, we propose to do just that.

With the inspiration of the death of the Soviet Union before us, we now know that it can be done. We shall break the clock of social democracy. We shall break the clock of the Great Society. We shall break the clock of the welfare state. We shall break the clock of the New Deal. We shall break the clock of Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom and perpetual war. We shall repeal the twentieth century."

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