Commentary on Political Economy

Monday 23 October 2023

In the piece below, the author has the unfortunate and implausible penchant for equating democracy and capitalism. That aside, his railing at the pathetic apologies for the truculence of extremist Islam by US "progressive" useful idiots is entirely justified. Yes, let's put an end to Hamas - only, for "end" here read Quietus. Let us blow these animals to smithereens: we must not allow these monsters to share the earth with us.


War Destroys Leftist Orthodoxies

Those defending Hamas in the name of anticolonialism are being discredited.

Andy Kessler

Oct. 22, 2023 1:15 pm ET

Students rally in support of Palestine in the days after Hamas attacks on Israel at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., Oct. 12. PHOTO: IVY CEBALLO/ZUMA PRESS

Wars are times of transition, when old ideologies are discredited: slavery, isolationism, appeasement, socialism. Now, like the 1,200 health professionals who claimed during 2020’s protests and riots that racism was a bigger health concern than Covid, another set of progressives touting tired orthodoxies are being discredited before our eyes.

After Hamas’s attacks on Israeli civilians, a director of diversity and inclusion at Cornell’s business school glorified terrorism, writing about “the resistance being launched by Palestinians.” Remind me why we have DEI departments? At Harvard more than 30 students groups signed a letter claiming Israel was “the only one to blame.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is worried about “the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.” Twitter is littered with tweets saying “this is decolonization in action.” All these support an oppression narrative.

Where did these people get such ideas? The universities. Here’s an introductory-level EMR (Ethnicity, Migration, Rights) class at Harvard: “Global Rebellion: Race, Solidarity, and Decolonization.” The course discusses how “to rebel against global white supremacy.” I found similar courses at Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Duke and other top schools. Another Harvard colonialism course studies “decoloniality”—which sounds like a made-up academic term that turns out to involve “anti-oppression” and “de-Westernizing.” Notice how so many grievances mimic Marxist class struggles. Why does radicalizing and dividing students over identity take precedence over, well, real inclusion?

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The attacks were “in light of the orgy of occupation.” Those are the words of Mohammed Deif, military commander of Hamas. Iran’s (drone-stricken) Gen. Qassem Soleimani included Hamas in the “Axis of Resistance.” The United Nations has a Special Committee on Decolonization. Sound familiar? Occupation, resistance, decolonization—progressive talking points all.

The economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1947 that the Soviet’s agenda was aided by korisne budale—useful fools, which has since morphed into “useful idiots.” While an overused expression, it fits this time. Those speaking of occupation, resistance and decolonizing are pure and simple useful idiots for terrorism, running interference and providing a rationale for depraved behavior. These witless nitwits have also aided Iran’s attempt to stop Saudi Arabia from joining the Abraham Accords. While many university presidents have since come out against the barbaric attacks, the damage has been done. A Great Discrediting has begun.

Jon Huntsman Jr., a former ambassador to China, emailed the University of Pennsylvania’s president saying his family foundation will “close its checkbook” based on Penn’s “moral relativism” and “race to the bottom.” I’ve heard of alumni of Harvard and elsewhere mailing $1 bills to their alma maters—as in, “That is all you’re going to get.” Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman asked Harvard for the names of terrorist supporters so his firm could avoid hiring them. Boston University last month had an anti-antiracist backlash. “Defund the police” is becoming a distant memory.


Why, in a since deleted tweet, did Black Lives Matters Chicago promote a picture of a paraglider with a Palestinian flag? Probably because of the group’s misplaced belief in “intersectionality,” which means that progressives gleefully agree with everything seen through that Marxist oppressor lens. This includes phrases like “open-air prison” describing the Gaza Strip, forgetting that Hamas has run the place since 2007. This lens conveniently ignores real human-rights abuses around the world, including in many Mideast countries, and instead targets successful democratic capitalism.

You could cut the hypocrisy with a knife. Progressives use the technology produced by capitalism to call it evil. Feminists side with countries that force women to wear head coverings. Many Middle Eastern countries aren’t known for tolerance, and in some places gay people are tossed from rooftops. But intersectionality demands conformity of thought. Add to this that crypto enthusiasts have been silent on jihadists’ financing terror through $93 million in cryptocurrencies. Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren is upset about that. The intersectional cracks are widening.

The knee-jerk cheerleading of terrorist acts, along with the bankruptcy of many antidemocratic and anticapitalist beliefs, is why a progressive schism is growing. Long-held views are being questioned. Pompous progressive pieties are dying. It’s about time. This is how ideologies land on the ash heap of history.

I was on a Zoom call last week getting updates from a venture-capital friend in Israel. Halfway through, I saw an arm reach in and tap him. He stood up and hugged his son, who came to say goodbye because his reserve unit had been called up. I held it together long enough to tell the soldier to be safe. Is he part of the last line of defense against terrorism? Beyond railing against occupation, Hamas’s Mr. Deif also declared, “in light of American and Western support . . . we’ve decided to put an end to all this.” He may get his wish, though probably not as he intended.

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