Donald Douglas

Anti-Intellectualism and the Marxist Idea

Posted on September 20 2010 12:47 pm

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I had a brief exchange the other day with Brendan of BJKeefe blog. I don’t normally go over there, but his link showed up in my Sitemeter and I found a post suggesting that someone should “take the shovel away from Donald Douglas.” Brendan apparently thinks leftist demonization is a barrel of monkeys, and as I disabled comments to avoid the abuse, Brenden writes:

“Nothing like the wingnutosphere’s love for the frank and open exchange of ideas!”

Check the post for what follows. Actually, it turns out Brendan’s not so intellectually prepared for the “open exchange of ideas.” For starters, I left one of the Sadly No! sample comments from my blog:

“… you’re nothing but a bag of meat and your thoughts and desires are meaningless and you are a worthless piece of s–.”

Sure. And I guess that’s quality high-octane exchange for lefties. So I respond to Brendan, “So you wanna debate, bonejobkeefe? Bring it on.” And what’s he do? Runs from debate!

Thanks also for the invitation to debate. Perhaps someday we shall. I do not think it likely in this case, however. Take whatever admiration you have for David Horowitz and multiply it by -100, and that will approximate how I feel about him. On this matter, to borrow from someone whose name I have forgotten, sorry, but our views of reality do not overlap sufficiently to make discussion possible.

For the record, my own sense of Horowitz is this: If in the past decade he’s said anything beyond “Yes, waitress, I’ll have some more coffee, please” that isn’t utter lunacy, it’s escaped my notice. One does not engage with so determined a conspiracy theorist. One simply abandons him to his milk crate at Speakers’ Corner and seeks more worthwhile voices elsewhere.

I would say in particular that this phrase from your blurb of his book — “the freakish nihilism of the radical left” — doesn’t even make sense in light of what this book of his is supposed to be about: “the Left has continued to advance its socialist schemes …” Stipulating for the moment that We have such an Agenda, it can hardly be said to be nihilist to have one — to seek to advance a different social order (or to foist one upon you, if you insist) is not at all the same thing as wanting to do away with any and every social order, just for the sake of destruction.

Two things of interest right away: (1) The complete dismissal of David Horowitz’s ideals as sheer lunacy, and (2) the rejection of my use of the phrase “freakish nihilism” to describe the ideological agenda of the left. There’s a word for this: Anti-intellectualism. And that stance marinates in a devilish sauce of hard left-wing hubris and deceit. It’s further soaked in hatred, for to hate one’s enemies is to categorize them as beyond the pale of reason and civilization.

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