Friday, May 15, 2015

Michael Walzer: Islamism And The Left

   You should read this at Dissent.
   I didn't realize this was Walzer until I'd finished it. I think it's just great and mostly right on the money. It's my impression that there is still some uncertainty about whether terrorism is driven by e.g. poverty, but the evidence I've seen is against that claim. Walzer does miss the opportunity to comment on the fact that the far left errs repeatedly by denying that ideas are powerful, and trying, in good Marxist fashion, to attribute all political action to socio-economic forces. He's also wrong to basically identify leftism with unmitigated political good. The far left is nuts--as irredeemably insane as the far right. Better to think in terms of liberals and/or centrists as opposed to extremists.
   It's instructive to note how much space Walzer has to take up genuflecting to shibboleths... He burns paragraph after paragraph trying to establish his progressive cred in a no-doubt futile effort to avoid being charged with islamophobia by the very leftists to whom he is speaking.
   Anyway, I say read it. It's good.


Anonymous cb said...

Overall, good piece, but this part, I don't like:
"Leftists will have to support (though many won’t) military efforts specifically aimed at stopping the massacre of infidels and heretics."

After the effects of our most recent Middle East wars, someone who seriously thinks radical beliefs can be destroyed by war, and claims that opposing fundamentalist zealotry requires supporting military action is not someone who has a lot of credibility with me. (I also wouldn't support military action against Buddhist nationalists, Jewish zealots, Zoroastrian suicide bombers, etc., barring an extremely credible threat to US national security)

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Response if you're interested:

12:28 AM  

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