This is what I’ve been putting off writing for the longest time now: a personal account of how things became the way they are now, at least ideologically speaking.
When I grew up and all the way well into my forties, I used to consider myself a reasonably “lefty” chap. Not a communist, mind, because from personal experience I knew that if socialism was supposed to be the answer then one had to think about the question again. From what I had gleaned when visiting relatives in the DDR, aka the German Democratic Republic, or simply East Germany to you and me, dear reader, yours truly was well aware that realexistierender Sozialismus, or “socialism as it really exists” was not what its utopia was made out to be.
But whenever doubts were nagging at the hearts of socialism’s true believers, they would try to excuse their theory’s many failings, shortcomings and contradictions by employing that portmanteau phrase about “socialism as it really exists”. Almost like a pseudo technical term to trick away themselves (but more importantly others) from realising what was the empirical case: that they lived pretty shitty lives, fenced in behind that 20” wall at gun point, in their workers’ paradise. And as if reality was somehow to blame for this.
That’s why communism never was a thing to me: because I knew real socialism and was acutely aware of its dire touch and feel as it were. Which nevertheless left me in love with its little sister: social kleptocrarcy, better known as Sozialdemokratie hither.
It might have been the case for some of its many naive followers (including yours truly) but social democracy was under no illusion that its end result would be socialism and later communism. Its activists are stating this quite clearly in their “scientific”, “theoretical” campaign literature down to their party manifestoes and leaflets. Because committed social kleptocrats of all stripes feel how very offensive, divisive and simply off-putting it’d be for most people if they knew what their true aims would be (i.e. Venezuela without the sunshine), they’re hiding themselves behind fanciful language. After all, semantic trickery is what the Left is mainly about.
So it’s never directly stated by theses deceitful con artists and clowns, but only discreetly implied that in the future, we would indeed all have to be living the communist dream when they state their want to bring down “gaps”, “barriers”, frontiers” and what not to make us all more “equal”, yet also more “diverse” at the same time. I’ve been wondering for the longest time now how they want to make us more identical, yet more individual but it probably isn’t a contradiction in their minds.
They use catchphrases to camouflage their true intent: to make the equal sharing of misery the norm. I like to call it shitholisation. Of which of course they, the small communist ruling elite, would like to exempt themselves. Case in point: a little village called Wandlitz on the outskirts of Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR, where the commie oligarchy kept themselves in the luxuries they felt entitled to. They also had the money to go shopping in then West-Berlin, with sweet, sweet cash extorted from people visiting their relatives, at the going rate of DM 25 per person per day.
So that’s socialism for you and me. Had I known then what I now know, I doubt whether I would have fallen for it, but I did. Largely aided and abetted by a left leaning education system that made sure we knew nothing about the world that is (and how it got that way) but everything about the world that was supposed to be according to the canonised texts of the Marxist saints.
That’s how I became a left-wing zombie. Fresh from common purpose parrot school on the outskirts on Hannover (in West Germany, mind), I was endowed with all the fashionable opinions du jour that would guarantee me a safe passage through life for as long as I kept parroting the party mantra. Its most important belief hinged on the assumption that equal sharing of misery was the best way to rid the world of its inadequacy and ensure the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting people to be happy. But the trouble usually starts when you start drinking the Kool-Aid and start believing that there really is no better, nay: no other way of achieving a just and fair society than by a smooth and orderly transition from the capitalist hell hole we are supposedly inhabiting today to those real-socialist uplands of the future, preferably under a benign and all-knowing social kleptocratic leadership. Whose aim – and it is clearly stated in the manifestos now – is to make capitalism pay for its own demise by grinding the bourgeoisie down by the twin millstones of taxation and inflation which pay for the welfare state and a host of other redistributive, socialist policies. Policies that now, in the first generation of “climate change”, would appear strangely bottom to top too.
It’s all very well wanting everyone to enjoy a free and prosperous life, mind, but considering its track record and the empirical evidence of the last one hundred years, I very much doubt socialist policies will get us there. So how did my love affair with socialism end? Astonishingly enough, the spell was broken when some lefty outfit or other intended to show a movie by that famous French cineaste some of us might actually have already heard of, Claude Lanzmann. The late Mr Lanzmann, he died in 2018, was living in Paris and was – as far as I know – a died in the wool commie. Which hasn’t kept him from making good documentary movies. Because Mr Lanzmann was from a generation when even the Left knew that nothing is quite as revolutionary as saying it as it is. Let that sink in for a moment, please, because that is exactly what fifty short years after the student protests of Paris, 1968, has become another “crime” lefties like to accuse their opponents of (people like Trump, Salvini and Orban). Bigotry, thy name is lefty.
Mr Lanzmann is best known for his opus magnus, Shoah, a chronicle documenting the Holocaust. This is not the movie the aforementioned activists wanted to show. They wanted to screen another of his documentary movies, one called “Pourquoi Israel”. That’s French for “Why Israel?”. A very good question indeed. Mr Lanzmann put it to Jews from all over the world why they had just made alyah. That’s Hebrew to say they immigrated to Israel. He did so in the 70s, when Israel was still a bit more socialist than today and before it had turned out that even the Jewish state couldn’t make socialism work. The reasons given are personal and political at times and glaringly obvious: apart from the sunshine, the food and the beaches Israel was (and is) the only country in the world single-mindedly committed to making sure, damn sure if need be, that Jewish life continues for future generations.
Back to the story. The endeavour to show “Pourquoi Israel” was deemed “problematic” by another faction of the lefty fold. And before you could say salaam aleikhum, there was a “Palestinian check-point” in front of the movie theatre intending to show a movie about why Jews immigrated to Israel. Which, in a way, had special poignancy as it was yet again some Krauts wanting to decide what people could an could not do, and – in extension – where Jews could and could not live. It was, in a nutshell, a brazen effort to keep “Palestine” judenrein. All in the name of socialism, mind, and without realising even a hint of the irony of the situation they were putting themselves into. Because wasn’t that just what their brethren from the national branch of socialism were once running the death camps for? International socialism, national socialism, two cheeks of the same arse, really.
Now, I didn’t care much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it were. Or at least I thought I didn’t. But I must tell you now that beneath the well kept façade of know-it-all leftism, it was nagging at me. To the point I too felt that if the Israelis didn’t behave themselves, they would have to leave “Palestine”, an imaginary country that in extremis reaches all the was from the river Jordan to the Hilton beach in Tel Aviv. Genocidal much? No, not a bit.
I thought I’d spare you the many historical, cultural and social intricacies of The Conflict, but some thorough reading up on the matter made me convinced of a few things. The most important of them being that if the much-fabled Palestinians really wanted their own country, they could have had it many times already. But in their heart of hearts, they do not want their own country because it is much easier for them living off the UN’s and EU’s largesse. And some Saudi and Iranian terror funding along the line.
Also considering the evidence, one would have to realise that the only Arabs living in freedom and prosperity were the ones living in Israel. But those dragged in front of the MSM lime lights, the heroes and poster boys of the left, were those living in a terror statelet which by now could have become the Arab Monte Carlo if it wasn’t run by Hamas. So yes, if you were truly interested in making life sweeter for the Pals, you’d have to admit that Israel was doing just that – within reason and considering the realities on the ground.
So, that’s why, Israel. Apart from being a jolly good place full of good food, great wine, lovely scenery and friendly people minding their own fucking business. A lovely place. Highly recommendable for a nice two-week trip. Lots of stuff to do and see. Not only the hills and the beaches but also its museums, art, theatre, music, opera – whatever. So there.
This opinion of course put me at unease with 95 to 98 per cent of all real-existing lefties. Who of course know how to make the politically correct noises when it comes to the Holocaust, and making teary-eyed trips to the closest Jewish cemetery, or nostalgic city walking tours along the “traces of Jewish life”. But how about the traces of real Jewish life existing today? Mention Israel, the one Jewish state intended to prevent another Shoah, and you’ll soon realise that lefties have no problem with dead Jews. It’s the living Jews they hate.
This zeitgeisty, postmodern, politically correct anti-Semitism, hiding behind the term “antizionism”, is the cornerstone holding the left’s political identity in place. Kick it away and the whole ideological edifice starts to unravel. Because all its inherent contradictions, all the cracks in its rhetorical framework, come apart. You realise you’ve been lied to, and how you’ve been lied to. And you realise other instances where you are being lied to once you understand the Left’s ideological modus operandi. And the Left’s anti-Semitism is the case in point. To the point that – for wanting to keep alive – it is fashionable now to equate Israel with Nazism. It’s one of the more prominent and quite frankly disgusting displays of double think the Lefty mind seems to be rather prone to. Or, in the words of George Orwell: there are some ideas which are so idiotic only an intellectual would believe them.
© Guardian Council 2019
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