The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Whither the American Left?

I read a very intersting article in the Nation Magazine by French writer Bernard-Henri Levy on the decline of the American left (read it here).

While this blog could be described as paleo-traditionalist in respect to Christianity (though not closed-minded), its politics lean very progressive. That is why I was impressed by these comments by a foreigner about our political scene.

To be blunt, the Left has become an elitist subculture within the broader society. Very faint are the days when progressive thought penetrated into all strata of society. Now, those who consider themselves left of center are seen as inhabitants of ivory towers who look on all of the peasants below with disdain. Trade unions are weak, student activism stagnant, and the masses are simply distracted by their cell-phones or other gadgets.

The orthodox Marxist will no doubt say that as the crisis in capitalism develops, so must the level of class consciousness. But are we in different circumstances? Have consumerism and individualism given people too much of a sense of autonomy when it comes to their personal interests? Isn't there some degree of altruism involved when it comes to "fighting for a cause" that is but a moral remnant of a Christian past now long forgotten?

I am at a loss to answer these questions.


At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you know who this is, I had a victory today I had an editorial published in the IDS condemning the Danish Cartoons; I will soon post it on my blog.
On the issue at hand. Yes, the American left has stagnated and I reek of decaying flesh myself. But this is attributed to the leftoid mantra that we have to copy the republicans who built a "so-called" grassroots base. Yeah, I wouldn't step foot in a megachurch (maybe if it had a strip-club, but that is the night before...) but I lay it at the feet of of the American left. Either they have retreated inward or they are trying to consolidate what little power they have obtained working the system. This means the chapaign gauche who prefere to maintain their positions in civil society. I would have to agree with Christopher Hitchens when he is talking out of his socialist alter-ego and not his Vanity Fair writing ass, that if you try to go against the system you have to be prepared to suffer for it.
Not that I am some sort of Contrarian, more of a leftist old-fogey going on thirty, toward scandrelhood. I am still hopeful that the revolution will happen somewhere in this world. There have been many of the what Trotsky called dual-power situations. When you have mine workers in Bolivia throwing dynamite against soldiers, you know something is happening.
We are in the situation where the people make history and the so-called great men take all the credit. When will there be a consistent Marxist revolution? Has bourgeois ideology taken hold in this shit-hole of a world. Even though I did grow up poor in this country, the American poor are not the poor. Much of the world is losing confidence in the capitalist system. I believe it is a matter of leadership which has to be forged through repression which must take the cake. Who will do that in this country? Who knows? The answer is coming soon.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

See, I thought I could get a rise out of you!

I agree: things are going to get interesting in the world in the next twenty years.


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