Category Archives: Leftism

The Leftist desecrators

Selfridges, Birmingham: arguably the ugliest building in the English midlands

Dalrymple points out that people who have been brought up among beauty—natural and man-made—are more likely to value it, whereas Leftists are

likely to see in it only manifestations of past injustice. That is, perhaps, one reason why social democracy, so called, has so little valued the preservation of beauty in the past, or rather has worked so hard to destroy it, for if not everyone can live in beauty, no one shall.

Nothing that has been built under social democracy’s régime

has any æsthetic merit, rather the contrary. Our architecture breathes resentment and spite.

Failure and feeble-mindedness of the Left

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-22-57-00Dalrymple writes that whenever the Left see

a foreign enemy of their own country whom they can usefully co-opt as an ally in their disputes with their own domestic enemies, they resort to nihilistic relativism and multiculturalism, thus explaining away the vileness of their new ally’s atrocities as being the expression of his sacrosanct cultural tradition.

The Left

has comprehensively lost the economic argument that was once its raison d’être, and is reduced to the work of cultural destruction and the balkanisation of society into little communities of ideological monomaniacs—the feminists, homosexual and animal liberationists, and so forth. The Left lost its soul when it lost the economic argument.

So complete has been the defeat of socialism

that anyone who now avowed a belief in the superior efficiency of state-run industry would be more a candidate for the lunatic asylum (supposing that any remained open) than for high political office.

All that the Left can nowadays propose is

social policy so destructive that it allegedly necessitates a vast state apparatus to repair the damage it does.

Of the domestic policy prescriptions of the Left,

multiculturalism is among the most destructive. It was once the honourable goal of the Left, at least in Britain, to spread higher culture to the working class, and to immigrants, so that every person capable by inclination and natural endowment of enjoying, participating in, or contributing to that higher culture would do so. More recently, however, the Left has devoted its energies to denying that there is any higher or lower, better or worse in cultural matters. Not coincidentally, this betrayal allows Leftist intellectuals to preen themselves on the broadness of their minds while they maintain their membership of a social élite. They rarely educate their own children as if their theoretical pronouncements were true.

With regard to the Vietnam War,

it was one thing to oppose it because you thought it was futile and ethically worse than not fighting it (not necessarily true, but at least an honest opinion); quite another because you thought that Uncle Ho was a good man who was leading his people to freedom and prosperity, something that you could believe only by employing all the human mind’s capacity for special pleading and self-deception.

Jail and the Left

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 08.17.07The Left, writes Dalrymple,

has never been easy with the idea of prison because the majority of those imprisoned are not only poor, but guilty of property crimes; and in its heart of hearts, the Left still thinks of property as theft and crime as a kind of spontaneous redistributive justice. To imprison anyone, therefore, in the name of property is to commit injustice.

The time of optimism

The optimists

The optimists

Dalrymple comes across a reference in the Guardian to Maoist groups in the West during the late 1960s, a time when, the newspaper says approvingly, many young people

threw themselves wholeheartedly into the leftwing politics of optimism.

This was, Dalrymple points out,

during that great time of optimism for the Chinese people that lasted several years,

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.40.43namely the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in the course of which, Dalrymple points out,

unknown numbers of people were killed, but certainly hundreds of thousands at the least.

During the time of optimism many millions of people in China, Dalrymple reminds us, were

  • persecuted
  • publicly humiliated
  • tortured
  • Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.34.11hounded from their jobs
  • separated from their spouses
  • exiled
  • subjected to forced labour.

All this occurred

to the cheering sound of smashed cultural artifacts, demolished monuments,

and the

hosannas

of large sections of the Western Left.

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.33.37

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.34.50Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.41.07 Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.41.45 Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.37.05 Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.37.33 Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 08.35.48

Corbyn is eminently electable

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 08.59.16If the rumours are true, writes Dalrymple, that certain Tories (i.e. adherents of the British centre-Right ruling party the Conservatives) have

signed up to vote for Mr Corbyn because, if chosen, he would make Labour unelectable, nothing would better illustrate the idiocy to which certain Tories are prone.

In Europe’s

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 08.48.59present precarious circumstances, no one is unelectable. A crisis, not necessarily of the government’s making, could easily swell popular discontent so that it would prefer any alternative; and that is without counting the fact that all governments tend to become very unpopular with time, whether they deserve it or not. Time for a change: and Mr Corbyn would certainly be a change.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 08.54.01Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 08.45.56Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 09.12.25

 

Every ad agency’s dream

With Gerry Adams at the Bobby Sands and James Connolly commemorationSome observations on the next prime minister of Great Britain

Jeremy Corbyn, writes Dalrymple, has throughout his years in the House of Commons

voted for his beliefs, not for his career,

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.34.30refusing to join

the majority of the MPs at the trough of expenses.

While Tony Blair, for instance, is a public egalitarian in search of a private fortune, Corbyn is no hypocrite. He

lives his ideals. He is a man of grinding and unnerving integrity, a man of such probity that he would let the heavens fall so long as his version of social justice was done.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.40.08There is, says Dalrymple,

not a bien pensant cause in sight to which Corbyn does not wholeheartedly subscribe with the uncritical belief of an apostle, and for which he would be unprepared to go to the stake.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.28.50A point in his favour is that he does not appear to be

a man of erudition, culture or literary talent.

Another plus is

his evident authenticity by comparison with other politicians, most of whom are as synthetic as the toys that used to be put in cereal packets.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.39.09This dour monomaniac dresses

like a social worker from the 1970s, but at least it is from his own choice, not that of a public relations firm. He is genuine. He is not the product of an advertising agency, and by self-evidently not being such a product he is an advertising agency’s dream.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.49.21Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.47.52Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.46.24 Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 15.48.16

Le vice anglais

Vote Conservative

Vicious Tory (right)

The secret vice of voting Conservative

Dalrymple writes that people are reluctant to admit to third parties that they are going to vote for Britain’s Conservative party, because to do so is to admit to

a secret vice

or to being

actuated only by the most selfish motives.

The reluctance

is an indication of how far the Left has won the battle for the hearts and minds of at least a large section of the population, who do not believe that there can be any respectable arguments for conservatism. Not, of course, that the British Conservatives are genuinely conservative.

The Hellenic People’s Republic, hope of a new world

Marxist miracle worker

Marxist miracle worker

This glorious European spring

Leftists descended on Athens as student revolutionaries once descended on Havana

After, writes Dalrymple,

we were all Charlie for a day, we all became Greek for a night. Out came all the hopeful young people with shiny joyful faces, lighting candles in the dark and punching the air.

It was spring in Europe, like the Arab spring,

though perhaps the moment was not indisputably auspicious to make the analogy: on the day Greeks were voting for their spring, the Egyptian police were shooting dead 17 people who were commemorating the fourth anniversary of theirs. In Greece, it may yet come to that.

Grand socialist dream

The leftists

dreamed — there was much talk of dreams, which is always a bad sign — of a world in which there were no economic realities, nothing had to be paid for, and prosperity could be decreed, though with satisfying vengeance on the rich and prosperous.

Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, made

the monument to the memory of the Greek resistance to the Nazis his first port of call, just to remind his people how awful the German chancellor, and the German chancellor’s countrymen, still are.

Prosperity by decree

He then promised to decree Greeks back to prosperity. He

  • pledged many thousands of them free electricity, not noticing that he thereby turned electricity bills for the rest of the population into a form of income tax as well as a payment for services received
  • promised to create jobs, both in the private and public sector, more or less by command, jobs that would have a minimum salary paid in a currency whose emission he could not control and which Greece cannot possibly earn in sufficient quantities to pay for the fulfilment of these promises

How the socialist miracle was to be achieved,

no one knew: but, as all left-leaning commentators agreed, it is permitted to hope and to dream.

Gaucherie, or lack of it

As far as can be discerned from what he has written, Dalrymple does not appear to have taken a left turn, even as a teenager. He may have been helped in this by having a communist father. Rebellion is part of youth.

So far as can be discerned from what he has written, Dalrymple does not appear ever to have taken a Left turn, even in the callowness, gullibility and conformism of youth (by which I mean youth in general). Having a communist father against whom to rebel may have helped, but it is unusual, nay, preternatural, to have seen through the murderous rot and humbug of Marxism so early in life, at a time when, despite the by then well documented genocidal horrors of Stalin’s Russia, Leninism or its Trotskyist variant remained deeply fashionable, even de rigeur. Dalrymple was 18-and-a-half in May 1968

 

 

Metamorphosis

Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 01.43.07From Viscount Stansgate to Tony Benn (via the pupal stage of Anthony Wedgwood-Benn)

Benn, writes Dalrymple, was an early avatar of the rejection of the traditions of British high culture, this rejection being considered by the weak-minded to be a meritorious political act, a sign of solidarity with those whom history had oppressed and exploited.

He was obliged to forgo his hereditary peerage to continue to sit in the House of Commons, but the plebeian contraction of his family name was his own invention.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 10.02.10Left-wing in everything but his finances

Benn sent his children in well-publicised fashion to the local state school, omitting to mention the extensive private tutoring they received.

In this way Benn came up with the perfect solution to the moral dilemma facing every Left-leaning parent of the upper and middle classes (the Jeremy Cardhouse incarnation Michael Gove, for instance, or Harriet Harman):

The moral high ground of having self-denyingly rejected private education, while simultaneously having avoided the disastrously low educational standards in the state system that have left at least a quarter of the British population virtually illiterate.