Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mendacity and self-censorship on the left.

Self-censorship of in the interest of political expediency has long hobbled the left.  During the 1930s, James Burnham and George Orwell, who had had considerable relevant experience, exposed this pattern.  A particularly egregious example occurred after August 23, 1939, when the Communists of various nations, who had previously been in the forefront of the fight against fascism, agreed to mute their criticism of Nazi Germany.  This abstention was ordered by Stalin who had arranged the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, effectively allying the USSR with Germany.  This ban lasted for twenty months, until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.

After World War II, French fellow travelers widely discounted the evidence of the Gulags, until the publication of Solzhenitsin's three-volume work forced many of them to be silent--though not of course to recant.

Now a taboo prevails in many sectors of the left regarding Islam.  We frequently hear that Islam is diverse, being fragmented into various sections and groups.  Despite this purported diversity, the official position in virtually all Muslim-majority countries is that, when detected, homosexual conduct must be severely punished; and that the legal rights of women are on principle inferior to those of men.

Until recently gays and women had been defended by most responsible sectors on the left.  But when it comes to Muslim infractions in that sphere, a taboo takes over.  Why?  An Internet friend, an Englishman who regards himself as belonging to the far left states his silence this way: "I am not playing into Islamophobia, which is now a major way of attacking immigrant working class communities in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands."

He also suggests a similar abstention with regard to the beliefs and practices of Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism).  

Why not come full circle and abstain from attacking pedophilia in the Roman Catholic church because our Hispanic/Latino minorities are mostly Catholic?

The overall pattern is clear.  The further left an observer is, the less we can rely on the objectivity of his or her comments.  They are simply not reliable narrators.


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