radicalism and philosophy

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Ron Chusid notes differences between Left and Right in associations with violent fringe, pointing out that "a key difference between the left and right [is that] The right is dominated far more by their more radical elements as compared to the left, with many on the right willing to ignore the problem of right wing violence:"

Occupy Wall Street is to the left of the Democratic Party and many liberal groups but has not shown the degree of extremism seen on the right. As noted above, the local Occupy group immediately repudiated the use of violence and did not try to defend those who promoted violence.

"In contrast," he notes, "it has been common for many in the conservative movement to show reluctance to dissociate themselves from those who promote violence:"

We saw this in the reaction of conservative bloggers to a report from the Department of Homeland Security on far right extremists. We were reminded of the frequent use of violent rhetoric by the conservative movement following the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. Ron Paul has pandered to neo-Nazis and white supremacists to raise money, bringing in elements to the conservative movement which would have been ostracized in past years before the move by the conservative movement to the extreme right.

Their attempts at political philosophy are just as unflattering. A Chronicle piece on right-wing political philosophy looks at Mark Levin's best seller, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America and asks, "What gives? How can so bad a book, on so serious a topic, sell so well?" After rebutting the claim of mainstream-media blacklisting, the author snarks that "Ameritopia is really Ameritastrophe. It's disastrously bad from beginning to end:"

Levin's tone throughout is alarmist--undoubtedly the chief lure of such books to angry readers bent on demonizing their political opponents. And he is nothing if not a name-caller. Ameritopia, like many polemical bad books in political philosophy, teems with misused abstractions and contains few empirical examples. [...]

When Fox Business News anchor Neil Cavuto asked him if Obama was a socialist, Levin replied that the president is "a Marxist." Only a benighted, philosophically illiterate ideologue could hang the sign of "utopian" on Obama, whose pragmatist bent, exhibited in endless compromise and readjustment of hoped-for goals, makes the judgment ludicrous.

Speaking of alarmist utopian ideologues, in Ayn Rand or Jesus, Mike Lux examines Paul Ryan's sudden disavowal of his former devotion to Rand:

This is the ultimate irony in American political life right now, the conservatives who swear on a stack of Bibles that they worship Jesus Christ when they really bow down to the philosophy of Ayn Rand and the golden idol of the free market to be placed at the center of all other things. They preach of an American exceptionalism blessed by a Christian God, and call for America to be a shining city on a hill which can be an example to the entire world.

Their vision of exceptionalism is a nightmare of Social Darwinism, with Supply-Side Jesus the object of official veneration--and they want to paint liberals as radicals preaching a discredited ideology with violent consequences.

Talk about projection.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 4, 2012 1:34 PM.

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