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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

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Klavan on the Culture -- of Pharisees
An interview with Andrew Klavan I found very interesting:http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/11/andrew-klavan-my-way-into-and-out-of-the-left-by-jamie-glazov/print/

I noted with particular interest this exchange:

Klavan: If I were still capable of being appalled by them, I’d be appalled, but as it is… well, I don’t know how you shrug in print but picture me shrugging. So desperate are they to display their tolerance, to claim virtue and open-mindedness for themselves, so secretly ashamed and guilt-ridden and self-hating are they, I guess, that they will give aid and comfort to a philosophy that turns everything they’re supposed to stand for on its head. Anti-female, anti-gay, anti-religious liberty, anti-humanity, radical Islam is a cancer on the face of the earth. Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t there, moral equivalence, relativism – all the various forms of false piety in which the left specializes – are as helpful with radical Islam as they are with other cancers. It’s like having your doctor say, “Yes, there’s a spot on your x-ray, but let’s not do anything about it, in case we make it angry or seem biased!” Academics, entertainers, wealthy elites like Michael Moore who think Islamists are going to like them, spare them and their limousines and their millions, because they’re such ever-so-good people… well, they’re like the intellectuals who lined the streets of Vienna to welcome Hitler. The next day, they were gone.


FP: You mentioned that leftists aresecretly ashamed and guilt-ridden and self-hating.” Can you expand a bit on this? What is it, in the end, that is at the core of the leftist mindset and belief system?

Klavan: Shame and guilt and self-hatred are universal. Whether you chalk it up to original sin or to Oedipus or call it Jewish guilt or Catholic guilt or white guilt or black guilt, every single one of us knows he is not the person he was made to be. There are honest ways to confront that. You can kneel before God and pray for forgiveness and live in the joy of his love. Or you can drink heavily and make sardonic remarks until you destroy everyone you care about and then keel over dead – that’s honest too. But what a lot of people do is try to escape their sense of shame dishonestly by constructing elaborate moral frameworks that allow them to parade their virtue and their lavish repentance without any real inconvenience to themselves while simultaneously indulging in self-righteousness by condemning others for their impenitent evil. That’s the bad version of religion – the sort of religion Jesus came to dismantle. And that’s exactly the sort of religion leftism is: an elaborate system for hiding shame behind a cheap mask of virtue. That’s why they demonize any opposition. To them, we’re not just disagreeing with them, we’re threatening to tear off the mask of their virtue and reveal them to themselves. Which, without God or sufficient whiskey, would be unbearable.

My comment: I had always thought that the reason why Leftist use the swearword "hypocrisy" as the catch-all phrase to accuse everyone they can accuse (those not accused of racism, that is) was merely that it was a nonjudgmental condemnation. "I do not and cannot live up to your standard, so I am fine: but you do not live up to your standard, so you are a HYPOCRITE!!"

This has several benefits:

One need not enter into a discussion of the merits or demerits of the standard -- that would require honest intellectual effort -- instead one wrenches the conversation into a discussion of the personality flaws of the opponent, and leaves the argument supporting one's opponent's position untouched.

Since hypocrisy is a hidden crime, one that takes place only in the heart, and since no one has firm evidence one way or the other about it, the argument about personality flaws can be expended endlessly: the accused can be accused of anything.

His protestations of innocence (should he be so naive as to make any) are merely taken as confirmation of his guilt. After all, hypocrites deny being hypocrites, do they not? So if a man denies an accusation of hypocrisy, that proves he is one!
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