Some months ago, I wrote an article for LRC where I discussed a new and uniquely subtle form of totalitarianism that has begun to develop in the Western world in recent decades and has found its way into the highest echelons of the modern democracies. For the sake of brevity, I will simply provide this link to my previous article rather than attempt to provide a comprehensive discussion of this alarming development once again. Suffice to say, the new totalitarianism that is alternately called by the names of "political correctness," "cultural Marxism," "multiculturalism," "totalitarian humanism" or (my preference) "liberal-nazism," continues to make inroads into Western, perhaps especially American, political and intellectual life. Exhibit A for my case might be the prominence of Rudolph Giuliani in the current presidential campaign. For there is no other national politician who is more thoroughly representative of this menace than Mr. Giuliani.
Mr. Giuliani’s character (or lack thereof) has been well documented by other writers. The always perceptive Paul Craig Roberts has provided a concise but penetrating summary of what he aptly describes as Giuliani’s "criminal career," particularly his efforts to advance his position as a federal prosecutor during the 1980s by conducting deliberate frame-up operations against entirely innocent persons. Slate’s Cintra Wilson has described the police state environment Giuliani attempted to create during his time as New York City’s Mayor:
"Giuliani, having destroyed what might have been the best management team in NYPD history, had to start from scratch. (Former Police Chief William) Bratton’s successors continued using the tactics of the men Rudy had canned, but twisted and distorted them. Giuliani…, in trying to one-up the strategic balance of the Bratton team’s approach to law enforcement, opted to jack up the ‘enforcement’ and not pay so much attention to the ‘law’.
…(A) corps of hyper-macho officers once described by the Village Voice’s Nat Hentoff as ‘a rogue police operation whose members make Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry look like Mahatma Gandhi.’ They were given leeway to enact ‘stop-and-frisks’ of ordinary citizens supposedly to discourage them from carrying guns…Go figure: members of the Street Crime Unit, Hentoff reported, delighted in wearing T-shirts emblazoned with such intimidating slogans as ‘We Own the Night!’ and the Hemingway quote, ‘There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it never care for anything else.’
…Giuliani officially adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward any and all criticism and satire aimed at himself. He had the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority remove an ad for New York magazine from city buses that joked that the magazine was ‘Possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn’t taken credit for.’ A U.S. District Court judge slapped Rudy down for his inability to take a joke or tolerate the First Amendment; the ban was lifted.
…Cops under Giuliani and Safir enforced, with excessive gusto, a heavy-handed crackdown on graffiti, subway turnstile jumping, street artists, jaywalking, public drinking, public urination, peaceful protest demonstrations and the squeegee men who washed windshields at stop lights…(E)veryone I knew at one point had either a first- or secondhand tale of police behaving in a Kafkaesque fashion, under the mayor many had nicknamed Il Duce or ‘a small man in search of a balcony,’ as newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin memorably called him…
…Giuliani’s strangest bedfellow was surely Bernard Kerik, the even less qualified successor to Howard Safir. Kerik, who during his undercover days dressed like Lorenzo Lamas and compared himself to Serpico, enjoyed a tendency to play fast and loose with law enforcement, using his detectives as virtual Praetorian Guard for resolving personal matters. Kerik’s autobiography was published by his own extramarital bedfellow, shameless publishing gorgon Judith Regan (who published Kerik’s book long before failing to publish O.J. Simpson’s ‘If I Did It’). Kerik allegedly sent detectives to search, SWAT-style, the homes of Fox TV employees after Regan claimed they had stolen her cell phone … he was also reprimanded for sending detectives, on the city’s dime, to do research for his book. But he had once been Giuliani’s personal bodyguard and thus was qualified to become New York’s police commissioner. When Giuliani recommended that Bush nominate Kerik (then his business partner) to head the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, Kerik’s life unraveled miserably under the scrutiny of the vetting process. He withdrew his name and eventually pleaded guilty to accepting such perks as apartment renovations and personal loans, while a public official, from businesses with alleged mob ties."
Whether attempting to legally silence his critics, framing innocent people, trampling private property rights, treating citizens as penitentiary inmates, hiring thugs as policemen or appointing criminals to head up law enforcement, Giuliani has exhibited a propensity for political authoritarianism and personal unscrupulousness far beyond even the disgraceful norm in modern American government. Mr. Giuliani himself made his philosophy of government very clear in a 1994 speech on the subject of crime and law enforcement:
"We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do…At the core the struggle is philosophical. There are many, many things that can be done in law enforcement to protect us better. There are many things that can done to create a government that is more responsive and more helpful."
If this statement concerning the synonymous nature of freedom and authority appears overly vague, Mr. Giuliani has graciously expounded on his "philosophical" approach in more recent times. As Glenn Greenwald explains:
"Over the weekend, it was revealed by National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru that Rudy Giuliani believes that, as President, he would have the power to imprison American citizens without any sort of review of any kind, and Giuliani stated he hoped to exercise that power only ‘infrequently’… Giuliani expressly believes that, as President, he can exercise (and apparently intends to exercise, though just ‘infrequently’) one of the most tyrannical and un-American powers there is…"
…Despite the minimal caveats, Giuliani made the claim three times in the same night first at the event itself, then in an interview with a local reporter afterwards, then with (National Review’s Rich) Lowry. Each time, he proclaimed that the President has the power to fund the war on his own even once Congress exercises its Constitutional power a power which, up until now, I have never heard anyone question to cut off funding for the war."
In other words, Giuliani believes that, if he is elected President of the United States, he will have the power to imprison anyone he wishes for any length of time he wishes without such burdens as due process and fair trials, appropriate public funds for whatever purpose he wishes without congressional oversight, and wage war on foreign nations whenever he wants and for whatever duration he wants, the "will of the people" who elected him and the directions of their elected representatives not withstanding. Mr. Giuliani is indeed correct when he says "at the core the struggle is philosophical." The "philosophical struggle" in question is the conflict between the principles of liberty and civilization accumulated over the centuries and enshrined in such institutions as the Magna Carta, English Common Law and the American Constitution, and the forces of tyranny and barbarism that have plagued other nations over the past century.
Giuliani and Cultural Marxism
One of the great ironies of our time is that most Americans have no awareness that the two primary intellectual factions of the present-day American elites are both derivatives of 1960s-era Marxist radicalism. The intellectual leadership of the right-wing of the establishment is, of course, provided by the increasingly notorious neoconservatives. Lesser known is that the neocons were, in the 1960s, the same people who were then called the "state department socialists," that is, Marxist radicals, mostly followers of the maverick Trotskyite Max Schactman, who positioned themselves on the far left end of the Johnson-era Democratic Party. This was a branch of Marxism that supported the Cold War and even the war in Vietnam (largely on typical Trotskyite anti-Stalinist grounds) and, perhaps more significantly, moved sharply rightward following the takeover of the Democratic Party by New Left radicals during the McGovern period. That the Schactmanites began calling themselves "conservative" and working their way into the upper strata of the Republican Party and the broader array of institutions of the Right does not mean that they changed their ideas, but only their terminology and their tactics. As the career Schactmanite and founding father of neoconservatism Irving Kristol remarks:
"Viewed in this way, one can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy…
…One of these policies, most visible and controversial, is cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady economic growth. This policy was not invented by neocons, and it was not the particularities of tax cuts that interested them, but rather the steady focus on economic growth. Neocons are familiar with intellectual history and aware that it is only in the last two centuries that democracy has become a respectable option among political thinkers. In earlier times, democracy meant an inherently turbulent political regime, with the "have-nots" and the "haves" engaged in a perpetual and utterly destructive class struggle. It was only the prospect of economic growth in which everyone prospered, if not equally or simultaneously, that gave modern democracies their legitimacy and durability…
…The cost of this emphasis on economic growth has been an attitude toward public finance that is far less risk averse than is the case among more traditional conservatives. Neocons would prefer not to have large budget deficits, but it is in the nature of democracy because it seems to be in the nature of human nature that political demagogy will frequently result in economic recklessness, so that one sometimes must shoulder budgetary deficits as the cost (temporary, one hopes) of pursuing economic growth…
…This leads to the issue of the role of the state. Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable…
…The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists. They are united on issues concerning the quality of education, the relations of church and state, the regulation of pornography, and the like, all of which they regard as proper candidates for the government’s attention. And since the Republican party now has a substantial base among the religious, this gives neocons a certain influence and even power…
…AND THEN, of course, there is foreign policy, the area of American politics where neoconservatism has recently been the focus of media attention. This is surprising since there is no set of neoconservative beliefs concerning foreign policy, only a set of attitudes derived from historical experience. (The favorite neoconservative text on foreign affairs, thanks to professors Leo Strauss of Chicago and Donald Kagan of Yale, is Thucydides on the Peloponnesian War.) These attitudes can be summarized in the following ‘theses’ (as a Marxist would say): First, patriotism is a natural and healthy sentiment and should be encouraged by both private and public institutions. Precisely because we are a nation of immigrants, this is a powerful American sentiment.
…Finally, for a great power, the ‘national interest’ is not a geographical term, except for fairly prosaic matters like trade and environmental regulation. A smaller nation might appropriately feel that its national interest begins and ends at its borders, so that its foreign policy is almost always in a defensive mode. A larger nation has more extensive interests. And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns…"
To summarize Mr. Kristol’s verbiage a bit, what he is really saying is that it has been the mission of neoconservatism to seize control of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, to use shallow jingoism and crass exploitation of traditional religious sentiments and an illusion of prosperity fueled by fiscal recklessness to marshal support for the true aim of the neocons, world domination in the name of a universalist ideology, i.e., the same essential foreign policy position of the former Soviet Union.
The principal rivals to the neoconservatives who now dominate the Republican Party are their long-time enemies, the New Left radicals who have dominated the Democratic Party since 1972. That these two variations of Marxist extremism from the far left end of American politics during the 1960s are now the two dominant political factions of the American ruling class graphically illustrates how far leftward the country has drifted over the past forty years, the persistent cries of some alleged "conservative backlash" by conventional left-liberals notwithstanding. George W. Bush, though himself a traditional Rockefeller Republican, has governed well to the left of the Johnson administration with his efforts to expand the welfare state, record budget deficits, sharp increases in foreign aid, amnesty for illegal aliens, increased federal control over public education and, above all, the doctrine of preventive war, a concept Otto von Bismarck described as akin to committing suicide to overcome one’s fear of death and which surpasses even the "domino theory"-inspired lunacy of LBJ and his cronies.
It is, of course, the variation of New Left radicalism that has emerged triumphant in the worlds of academia and media in recent decades that has also created the foundation of "political correctness." "Multiculturalism," as political correctness is formally called, is merely the application of Marxist theory, with its dualistic and conspiratorial view of history and social conflict, to the cultural realm. The holy war is not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between Western civilization with its evil hegemony of "straight white Christian males" and the by-definition virtuous groupings comprising the pantheon of the oppressed, usually racial minorities, feminists, homosexuals, transsexuals, environmentalists, Third World immigrants, endangered species, public school teachers, social service bureaucrats, leftwing professors, liberal clergy, "civil rights" race hustlers, and occasionally and perhaps as a token tribute to the Old Left, union bosses. The ultimate aim of multiculturalism is the creation of a totalitarian state ordered as a type of caste system where individual privilege is assigned on the basis of group identity and group privilege is assigned on the basis of the position of the group in the pantheon of the oppressed.
So what does this have to do with the presidential candidacy of Rudolph Giuliani? Simply put, more than any other contemporary national-level American politician, Giuliani represents a type of convergence, a bridge between these two dominate factions of now-in-power neo-Marxism. Furthermore, Mr. Giuliani epitomizes the emerging ideological paradigm of the intellectual, cultural and political elite. The essential elements of this paradigm include:
Militarism, Imperialism and Empire in the guise of "human rights," "democracy," modernity, universalism, feminism and other leftist shibboleths.
Corporate Mercantilism (or "state-capitalism") under the guise of "free trade."
In domestic policy, an all-encompassing and unaccountable bureaucracy that peers into every corner of society to make sure no one anywhere, anyplace, anytime ever practices ‘"racism, sexism, and homophobia," smoking, "sex abuse" or other such leftist sins.
In the realm of law, a police state ostensibly designed to protect everyone from terrorism, crime, drugs, guns, gangs or some other bogeyman of the month.
Given the abject failure of the neocons’ foreign policy endeavors, and the relatively small size of their movement, it is unlikely they will be able to maintain power for a substantial amount of time. Already, they are beginning to pass from the scene, as the criminal conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby and the recent career downturn of Paul Wolfowitz indicate. The demise of the neocons, however, does not mean a return to traditional conservatism or even old-guard corporate liberalism of the "vital center" species. Instead, the decline of the neocons essentially means the triumph of the overt cultural Marxism of the ossified New Left. Jack Ross has assessed the situation as follows:
""The meaning of this should be made absolutely clear-the new left is, therefore, but a variance, most accurately put a mere ‘left-deviationist’ tendency as the Marxists would call it, of neo-conservatism…it is not only an enabler of neoconservatism but seeks to impose a more radical form thereof. Thus it is also clear that the two major parties in America today are but the right and left wings of the sect of Max Shachtman, with the Republicans representing the neoconservative right and the Democrats representing new left liberalism."
More than any other prominent American politician, Mr. Giuliani represents a transitional phase between neoconservatism and the New Left. As Cintra Wilson observes:
"He also cashes big checks for speaking to adoring crowds of heartland voters whose names do not end in vowels. "America’s Mayor" seems to be convincing those crowds that he is one of them. Pundits have been speculating that Giuliani is too liberal and otherwise sullied to win the Republican presidential candidacy he may be anti-peep show, anti-blasphemy, and anti-ferret, but he is pro-gun control, pro-choice and pro-gay rights. But Giuliani appears to have been in a long, quiet process of sliding ever rightward. Among those now raising money for Giuliani’s presidential bid are Christopher Henick, former deputy assistant to Karl Rove, Bush fundraiser Anne Dickerson, and legendary Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens. America’s Mayor may be America’s next president, and America’s next Angry Daddy. There is no consolation in knowing ahead of time how wrong that could go."
Giuliani and the Religious Right
Giuliani’s image as a simultaneous crusader against crime, pornography, and sacrilegious "art" but staunch supporter of abortion, gay marriage, gun control and open borders is a curious one, but one that makes perfect sense once his role in American political life becomes more clearly understood. On one end, Giuliani is a continuation of the program of neoconservatism: the use of religion, nationalism, jingoism and a veneer of social or moral conservatism as a means of rallying support for a militarist foreign policy and an ever more obtrusive state domestically among heartland Republican voters, while clandestinely furthering the agenda of social leftism. On the other end, Giuliani symbolizes the continued drift of the Republican Party towards the cultural Marxism displayed in an even more uninhibited manner by the Democrats. As the paleoconservatives never tire of pointing out, the function of mainstream American conservatism is to legitimize, institutionalize and "conserve" the achievements of the previous wave of leftism. His conservative image and rhetoric notwithstanding, Ronald Reagan did not govern any further to the Right than John F. Kennedy. The function of the Nixon administration was to consolidate and expand the leaps in welfare statism of the Johnson era. As I stated earlier, George W. Bush governs to the left of LBJ. The day will come in America when the overt cultural leftism of the present-day Democrats will establish itself as the guiding ideology of the Republican Party and will come to be thought of as representing "conservatism." This will in turn open the door to even more extreme forms of cultural Marxism of the kind that now dominate the humanities departments in many American universities and further still as America continues to head further down the "road to serfdom" (or "into the twilight zone").
Some have argued that Giuliani’s social liberalism makes it improbable that he will acquire the nomination of the Republican Party. I suspect this assumption is a bit nave. After all, the socially conservative base of the Republicans has remained steadfastly loyal to President Bush in spite of his frequently strident liberal policies. A recent poll indicated that Giuliani is the favored candidate of conservative gun owners in spite of his pro-gun control positions. While some religious right leaders, such as Dr. James Dobson, have disavowed Giuliani because of his pro-abortion views, it needs to be understood that the religious right in particular and social conservatism in general is about much more than clichd right-wing opinions on the question of abortion and homosexuality. As America has continued to move leftward culturally, so has its evangelical Christian subculture. Stodgy figures like Dr. Dobson, the bizarre Rev. Pat Robertson or the late Dr. Jerry Falwell represent the religious right’s old-guard that is now in a state of decline. What will the new generation of religious rightists look like? Some clues are available as indicated by this report from MSNBC:
"Many conservative Christians active in politics today believe that the way Falwell confronted political foes made evangelicals seem hateful. The younger leaders also have been pressing for a broader policy agenda beyond abortion and traditional marriage by trying to include AIDS care, environmental protection and education.
‘It’s a very important debate about the future of the movement,’ said John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The divisions have been most apparent over the environment. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and 24 other Christian leaders this year tried to pressure the National Association of Evangelicals to silence its Washington director, the Rev. Rich Cizik, because Cizik is trying to convince evangelicals that global warming is real."
"Polls suggest that evangelicals under 30 are just as staunchly opposed to abortion, and almost as concerned about ‘moral standards’ in general, as their elders. But a February Pew survey found that younger evangelicals are more likely than their parents to worry about environmental issues; 59 percent of those under 30 said the United States was ‘losing ground’ on pollution, compared with 37 percent of those over 30. Acceptance of homosexuality is also greater among young evangelicals. One in three under 30 favors same-sex marriage, compared with one in 10 of their elders.
Redeem the Vote, a group formed in 2004 to register young evangelicals to vote, is campaigning with black churches in Alabama for capping the interest charges on short-term ‘payday’ loans, which can hit 400 percent a year. The group’s founder, physician Randy Brinson, said he finds that young evangelicals are intensely interested in practical ways to help their communities and are little swayed by issues such as same-sex marriage.
‘These kids have gone to school with people who happen to be gay, and they don’t see them as a direct threat. They may think that lifestyle is wrong, but they don’t see it as something that really affects their daily lives,’ Brinson said. ‘The groups that focus only on a narrow agenda, especially gay marriage and abortion, are going to decline."
In other words, even the religious right is becoming yet another branch of liberalism. Much journalistic criticism of the religious right represents the perspective of a doctrinaire secularism and cultural leftism that focuses on the supposed menace represented by the opposition of Christian fundamentalists to abortion, homosexuality, Darwinism and Supreme Court rulings concerning the application of the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment. Such criticism overlooks and fails to grasp what is really interesting (and dangerous) about the religious right. As Glenn Greenwald observes:
"There is a widespread assumption that within the Republican ‘base’ specifically among the party’s religious ‘conservatives’ there are two distinct categories of issues: (a) foreign policy issues (relating to terrorism, Iraq, etc.) and (b) issues of religion and morality (gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, etc.). Conventional wisdom holds that Giuliani’s views on the former are acceptable, even exciting, for the base, but his views on the latter are anathema to them, even fatal to his chances for attracting their support. But for the bulk of religious conservatives, foreign policy issues are not distinct from religious and moral issues. Our Middle East foreign policy is a critical, really the predominant, item on their moral and religious agenda. Among the Christian right, aggressive, war-seeking policies in the Middle East specifically against Muslim religiosity and Israel’s enemies are embraced on moral and theological grounds far more than on geopolitical grounds."
The religious right has lost the so-called "culture wars." The project of Rev. Falwell and his compatriots of turning back the clock to American society as it was in the 1950s has failed. To sustain their vitality, evangelical Christian political groupings will have to orient themselves towards other issues that are more marketable. Foreign policy and patriotism are foremost among these. Depicting the present conflict between America and the Islamic world as holy war between God’s American people and the heathen, infidel, misogynistic, terroristic ragheads has a certain psychological appeal to partisans of the religious right. This, I believe, explains better than anything else the brownshirt psychology of many Bush loyalists. As Lew Rockwell says:
"The reality is that today there are ever fewer conservatives alive who believe in true liberty as the old school believed in it. They have been ideologically compromised beyond repair. They have been so seduced by the Bush administration that they have become champions of an egregious war, ghastly bureaucracies like the Department of Homeland Security, and utterly unprincipled on the question of government growth. Granted, the corruption of conservatism dates way backto the Reagan administration, to the Nixon administration, and even to the advent of the Cold War, when conservatives signed on to become cheerleaders of the national security state. But its never been as bad as it is today. They sometimes invoke the names of genuinely radical thinkers such as F.A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. But their real heroes are talk-radio blabsters, television entertainers, and sexpot pundit quipsters. They have little intellectual curiosity at all. In many ways, todays conservatives are party men and women not unlike those we saw in totalitarian countries, people who spout the line and slay the enemy without a thought as to the principles involved. Yes, they hate the Left. But only because the Left is the other.
Rudolph Giuliani cleverly understands that the best way to appeal to the Republican base is with militarism rather than morality. Says Glenn Greenwald:
"Giuliani’s talent for expressing prosecutor-like righteous anger towards ‘bad people’ as well as his well-honed ability to communicate base-pleasing rhetoric towards Islamic extremists is underappreciated. I don’t think any candidate will be able to compete with his ability to convey a genuine hard-line against Middle Eastern Muslims and that is the issue that admittedly with some exceptions dominates the Christian conservative agenda more than gay marriage and abortion (concerns which he can and will minimize by promising to appoint more Antonin Scalias and Sam Alitos to the Supreme Court, something he emphasized… in a highly amicable interview with Sean Hannity).
The second issue typically used to argue that Giuliani cannot attract the necessary support from the party’s Christian conservative faction is the wreck of a personal life he has suffered the two broken marriages, the publicly documented adultery, his cohabitation with a gay couple, etc. But there are few things that are clearer than the fact that Christian conservatives care far less about a person’s actual conduct and behavior (and specifically whether it comports to claimed Christian morality standards) than they do about the person’s moral and political rhetoric, and even more so, a person’s ability to secure political power. Two of the most admired political figures among Christian conservatives Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have the most shameful, tawdry, and degenerate personal lives (using the claimed standards of that political faction). Yet the gross disparity between their personal conduct and the religious and moral values they espouse has not injured their standing in the slightest among the ‘values voters."
Rudy Giuliani is significant because, whether he is eventually elected to the Presidency or not, he symbolizes the American state of the future, a regime dominated by leftist ideologues with their roots in 1960s era radicalism, but who have long since sold out to the plutocracy and the military-industrial complex for the sake of advancing their radical social agenda. The ascension of the neocons to power during the Bush administration is only the first step. In the on-deck circle are those with an even more extremist agenda and even more authoritarian tendencies. A Giuliani administration would make the regimes of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush look libertarian by comparison. Nor would a regime headed by Mrs. Clinton offer any relief. The domestic American police state has continued to expand under every President since the era of Reagan’s "war on drugs." The consistent pattern for decades has been that the Right continually offers up more militarism and "law and order" fascism which the Left then seizes and uses for the implementation of its social agenda. It was the militarization of law enforcement resulting from the Right’s drug war that led directly to the atrocities at Waco and Ruby Ridge during the Clinton era. It was Clinton’s "anti-terrorism" legislation that served as the prototype for the Bush administration’s Patriot Act.
One can only imagine what will happen when the legal innovations of the Bush regime-suspension of habeas corpus, military commissions, detention without trial, the complete gutting of the Fourth Amendment, the legalization of torture, abrogation of the Geneva Convention, "signing statements" and much else-are in the hands of radical Leftists committed to the use of such weapons in the holy war against racism, sexism, homophobia, "hate" criminals, gun owners, the politically incorrect, the ecologically incorrect, smokers, homeschoolers, "cults," allegedly backward and unscientific religious superstitions, deadbeat dads, those who run afoul of so-called "child protective services," drug abusers, sex abusers, animal abusers, prostitutes, property owners and other left-wing demons. In some European countries, political dissidents and those who utter politically incorrect speech can be subject to fines and imprisonment. The actress Bridgette Bardot was prosecuted in France for criticizing Islamic animal husbandry practices. Christian clerics in the Scandinavian countries who criticize homosexuality can be subject to "hate speech" prosecutions. Great Britain’s Scotland Yard maintains a "Diversity Directorate," the purpose of which is explained by its name. Many with unfashionable or unpopular political views or interpretations of history, some of them elderly persons in their 80s, languish in European prisons. This is in spite of the fact that most of the European democracies are far less militaristic and maintain far less expansive domestic police states than the United States. One shudders to imagine a synthesis of European-style leftism and American-style fascism, but that’s where we are headed. And the viability of Mr. Giuliani’s presidential campaign is among the most evident symptoms of this malady.
(Note: This essay was completed before I had the chance to view Paul Gottfried’s excellent article on the popularity of Giuliani among the Christian Right in the June 4 issue of the American Conservative. I generally agree with Gottfried’s discussion of the issue, but with the exception that I think Gottfried underestimates the influence of apocalyptic theology on the religious right. Keep in mind, for example, the popularity of the Left Behind rapturist novels.
Gottfried also points out the interesting fact that neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol’s son William has called for a Rudy Giuliani-Joseph Lieberman ticket in 2008. Lieberman is second only to Giuliani in his espousal of the emerging synthesis of the militarist Right and cultural Marxist Left. The Jacobin democratic-imperialist zeal of these two combined with their incipient social leftism (not to mention their pro-Israel fanaticism) make them obvious candidates for neocon favoritism).
May 29, 2007