The Eternal Darkness of the Progressive Mind


o-LONE-SURVIVOR-TRAILER-570The attacks on Lone Survivor, the movie about 4 Navy Seals caught in an operation gone lethally wrong in Afghanistan, illustrate once again the fossilized orthodoxy of the left. The L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson called the movie a “jingoistic snuff film” that “bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue” and assumes “brown people bad, American people good.” Similarly, Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir called it a “jingoistic, pornographic work of war propaganda.” Such rhetoric reveals the anti-military, anti-American biases typical of progressives, a form of bigotry as stale as disco king Tony Manero’s white leisure suit.

The reference to 1977’s Saturday Night Fever isn’t random. The next year another movie debuted that goaded the left into a similar fit of anti-American high dudgeon. The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino’s sympathetic portrayal of 3 working-class steelworkers caught up in the inferno of the Viet Nam war, generated the same sort of stale, leftist anathemas we’re still hearing nearly 40 years later. An op-ed by New York Times war correspondent John Pilger thundered, “Hollywood sensed that a lot of money could be made with a movie that appealed directly to those racial instincts that cause wars and that allowed the Vietnam war to endure for so long.” That’s how 37 years ago a lefty said “brown people bad, American people good.” Viet Cong collaborator Jane Fonda, whose treacly Coming Home lost the best-picture Oscar to Deer Hunter, without bothering to see the movie whined that it was “racist” and that “our picture was better.”

Fashion in dance and dress changes and evolves, which is why these days no one dances or dresses like Tony Manero. But the progressive mind is permanently lost in its ideological darkness. It is still hostage to the left-wing catechism of American evil, a narrative already in its second century and obviously immune to historical change or logical coherence. You know how it goes: American foreign policy has always really been about advancing the capitalist interests of corporate overlords by violently appropriating the labor and resources of the Third World, no matter how much cultural or environmental destruction is wreaked. The American people are coopted into this nefarious neo-colonialism by a spurious patriotism about the “land of the free,” and ginned up threats to “our way of life.” Behind this cheerleading rhetoric, however, lies the “inordinate fear,” to quote Jimmy Carter, of alien ideologies like communism and now Islamism, which threaten the capitalist hegemony and white superiority. This “jingoism” thus plays on the racist fear of “brown people” and the need to validate white identity by contrasting it with an inferior “other.” Deeper insecurities––no doubt of a sexual nature––among lumpen Americans are likewise exploited and soothed by militaristic “propaganda” and macho fantasies in which noble white heroes slaughter evil “people of color” under the banner of justice and freedom.

Leftists have been taught by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Edward Said the deeper truths: that patriotism and “freedom” are just ways to con the oafish masses, racism is the cancer deep within the American psyche, and corporate profit and power are the prime movers of American foreign policy. This cartoonish melodrama is everywhere in American culture, from the movies of Oliver Stone to the obscure ruminations of university scholars.

Lest you think I exaggerate, here’s an example from 20 years ago, penned by a “cutting edge” academic from a prestigious university: “We too in our culture need to come to grips with our deep emotional investments in our own John Waynes, Charles Bronsons, Chuck Norrises, and Clint Eastwoods––with figures whose essential brutality, moral obtuseness, and gender-based emotional blockage we are constantly invited to forgive . . . And why? Perhaps because we are dimly aware that, as a society, our privileges derive from the genocide of Native Americans, from the crushing of Japan, the devastation of Korea and Vietnam, and––not least––the systematic brutal repression of the criminal element at home effected for us by our military and detective heroes.” Change the names of the actors, and this mash-up of Marx, Freud, and Germaine Greer would not be out of place in the reviews of Lone Survivor or The Deer Hunter, for these ideas have no grounding in historical reality, existing only as the free-floating jargon and clichés of the progressive rosary.

Indeed, the historical value of such comments is nil. Anyone who thinks that the “crushing of Japan” in World War II––the Japan of racist, imperialist Shintoism–– was anything other than a great service to the human race is morally and intellectually idiotic. Ask the 300,000 Chinese raped, tortured, and slaughtered in Nanking, ask the thousands of American and Philippine soldiers brutalized during the Bataan death march, ask the thousands of allied POWs routinely starved, tortured, worked to death, and beheaded. This same obtuseness persists today, as the left ignores or rationalizes the beheadings, torture, and massacres perpetrated by the Taliban, but patronizes and demonizes the American soldiers who not only put an end to such horrors, but risked their lives to rebuild Afghanistan and protect its people.

These pathologies of the progressive mind bespeak a cult-like mentality in which fact or consistent principle has no place. How else can one explain the deep and abiding affection of the left for some of history’s most brutal dictators? What else but terminal cognitive and moral dissonance can explain the creepy obsession with Che Guevara, a murderous thug whom lefties moon over like a teenybopper over Justin Bieber? What possible logical or moral reason could there be for the endless parade of celebrities and politicians––like New York’s new mayor–– making the pilgrimage to Havana to kiss Fidel Castro’s ring? Sure, fashion has a lot to do with it. But these thugs and killers are the saints of the left-wing cult, one that has always worshipped power and lusted to cut through the irreducible complexity of human identity and its conflicting goods in order to create their vision of heaven on earth, one in which they and their ilk will always call the shots.

As for those who reject the progressive gospel, they are heretics and sinners to be persecuted, scorned, and insulted, the “preterite,” as the old Puritans called them, cast aside by God to suffer eternal damnation while the “elect” enjoy eternal bliss in their tony bicoastal enclaves. That explains the smugness and self-righteousness of the typical progressive––the irony being that rather than enlightened, their minds have been darkened by stale clichés and ignorance of basic history, the furniture of the mediocre mind trained not in basic skills and critical thinking, but only to repeat by rote the progressive catechism.

Cults, however, can be dangerous. Right now a president marinated for decades in this rancid ideology of America’s foreign policy sins is ceding American influence in the Middle East to predators like Iran and Russia, leaving behind a world more violent and dangerous, and more hostile to America’s security and interests. And with his precipitate withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, he is squandering the sacrifices and heroism of better men like the Navy Seals of Lone Survivor.

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  • Bamaguje

    I never figured why leftists are called progressives, given that their agenda and policies do not lead to progress of society, but rather to retrogression and backwardness,

    • Simon

      The reason is because the lefties learned long ago that if you deliberately manipulate and distort language and the meanings of words, you can make disastrously ideas sound productive.

      • Softly Bob

        Exactly. In typical Orwellian fashion, their only talent is to mess around with words. Just look at what they’ve done over the decades.
        Gay = homosexual
        Liberal = tyrannical
        Left Wing = Right wing
        Freedom of speech = censorship of those who disagree with you
        Global cooling = global warming
        Islam = peace

        The list goes on and on.

        • WVBORN56

          fetus = baby
          tolerance = do as I please without consequences
          Arab spring = chaos
          One world government = anti-christ and the tribulation

      • DVult

        Maybe this is true for some of the leaders who are cynical liars. I think it is more than that for many of the sheep however and many of the leaders also. They think that words have priority over reality so that if you call something something then it becomes whatever you call it. This type of magical thinking is behind political correctness whereby you are not allowed to say certain things (lest they thereby become true). If you say for example that islam is a violent religion then the response must be to silence you rather than just (falsely) maintain that what you say is untrue. Needless to say the concept of truth is not well understood unless you first understand that reality takes precedence over words or ideas.

      • ColoursFed

        all political parties do that!

        • pupsncats

          True, but the Progressives/liberals (the same) have it down to a science.

    • Infidel4Ever

      It’s typical of the left. Remember, North Korea is The Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea, while East Germany was the German Democratic Republic. It’s all about covering up who they really are.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        na zis were – National SOCIALISTS – but that was True.

        That is why national SOCIALIST Germany forged a non-aggression pact with fellow Socialist Stalins Soviet SOCIALIST Union.

        A pact that lasted until SHlTler reneged on the pact and invaded Russia.

        • oiltrdr

          and that’s how Socialist Germany became right wing.

    • pupsncats

      The entire language of the left are words that are the opposite of their true meaning.

    • Richard

      Absolutely, I call them regressive statists. No more power to the people, like they used to holler back in the 60s. Its power to an ever growing and faceless beauracracy in Washington of leftists, who tell us how to live and what to think (control over the media) and who want to over regulate us.

  • bob smith

    You outdid yourself with this great summary of the leftist ilk and its incoherent direction and twisted logic.
    Well done Bruce.

    • pupsncats

      I agree. A very good description of the inconsistencies and dangers of the Progressive mind.

  • Thomas Medearis

    Great article – Thanks!

  • Tradecraft46

    The Left is a collectivist religion which has its own revelation.

    It is sly and murderous, needing hatred, its own, and the ability to spawn it in others as a mode of survival and self-definition.

    We don’t have to hate it: to kill it all we need is a rational indifference to its lies.

    • pupsncats

      “We don’t have to hate it: to kill it all we need is a rational indifference to its lies.”

      If that were only true. The problem is there aren’t enough rational people to be indifferent to its lies and that is why they not only have spread, but dominate the entire culture.

      • Tradecraft46

        It has to start somewhere. People think they have to choose: rather they should just say: “I will have neither” and walk away.

        • pupsncats

          But the walking away is and has been the problem. If people simply will not stand up for what they believe in, they will have to live under the rule of those who do which may or may not be a happy life.

  • Stephen C

    The Left maintains discursive control in most Western nations, notwithstanding conservative governments in Canada, UK, NZ, Australia & elsewhere. Leftism and its debt-fueled welfare state have become the norm. Any problems that emerge can usually be successfully offloaded onto conservative forces. Wait for it … ObamaCare will magically become the Republicans’ fault. So the destruction will continue b/c the Left is never held accountable. So they will just keep piling on with their destruction. The US especially will suffer this fate, as the Democrats have been 95% successful in dictating the terms of any & every debate. .

    • guest

      “The Left maintains discursive control”

      Rush Limbaugh says the left frames the debate and if you let them do so, you often lose.

      So while you assertion may seem stupid to some, it is in reality quite a gem and a keeper.

  • guest

    There is no inordinate fear of communism my spouse lived it in Communist China. Jimmy Carter and other leftists are FOOLS!

    “the “inordinate fear,” to quote Jimmy Carter, of alien ideologies like communism “

  • It’sAllAboutLiberty!

    Leftist cult? . . . Mega Dittos !!! . . . Now we’re talking !!!

    Though I do not agree with his ideology, Lyndon LaRouche identified the term Left-protofascist political cult which he classified in a context I am also not in agreement with: lyndonlarouche.org/fascism3.htm

    However, there is no question True Conservative [twitpic.com/d36v5e] liberty seekers must . . .

    STOP NATIONALIST (HITLER) + MARXIST (STALIN) GENETIC MUTATION INTO LEFT-PROTOFASCIST EURO-SOCIALISM FROM METASTASIZING IN EUROPE & USA.

    This mission is derived from hereditary Order of Virtuti Militari teacher @Night_Messenger:
    – “Put Hitler & Stalin on a scale they balance out.” He was living history having survived concentration camps under both.
    – “They will try to take over without firing a shot.” He meant evolution from Masstricht to Lisbon Treaty undemocratic @European_Union.
    – He didn’t fight for a FREE Poland only to see @PremierTusk & @SikorskiRadek go down #EU #EuroSocialism path, keenly using media in process.
    – He fought for a FREE Poland, not one under domination of the @European_Union imposing regulations restricting the best interests of people.
    – He was rooted in tradition, traditional culture, a true conservative for small government, self-empowerment & free enterprise.
    – The FREE Poland he fought for would be more autonomous & fiscally libertarian than the pro #EU course being taken by the current regime.
    ‏ – He would be against Poland giving up the zloty for the euro. It would mean big loss of national sovereignty, self-determination & free trade.
    – Flew against Germans in 39, captured by Soviets & survived POW camp, then 60 special duty missions, then captured again Nazi POW Black March.
    – Survived Stalag Luft IV 700 mile Black March early ’45 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_IV ending his epic WWII contribution http://www.flickr.com/photos/59979361@N02/8579704656/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    East Germany + West Germany = Left-protofascist German #EU Euro-socialism hegemony:
    – West German Kohl: “I acted like a dictator”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9981932/Helmut-Kohl-I-acted-like-a-dictator-to-bring-in-the-euro.html
    – East German Merkel: “I’ll do everything to keep UK in #EU”
    http://youtu.be/6HIdxify8E8 & railroaded through the Lisbon Treaty without promised democratic reform amendments.

    Why is NSA spying on European leaders important to @BarackObama?

    To conduct “monkey see, monkey do” Euro-socialism policymaking.
    Obama looks to the #EU for agenda guidance. He is unequipped, lacks leadership skills to create his own policies given his incompetent Leftist cult orientation:
    – Alinsky chaos community organizing radical disciple.
    – Weather Underground/SDS/Chicago7 revolutionary counter-culture terrorism #occupy anarchy protégé.
    And we wonder why Obama is so bent on making USA average among nations. It’s all part of @UN Agenda 21 globalism he and the #EU subscribe to.
    Support for the Eurosceptic movement is paramount to quell the Leftist cult in USA.

  • ltcdmward

    The Left: Always count on them to ignore the reality that “stuff” costs.

  • alericKong

    ‘and assumes “brown people bad, American people good.” ‘

    As opposed to the never overdone “brown people good, white people evil.” which automatically entitles the movie to awards.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    john pilger is another british ultra leftist – a perfect fit for the NY Slimes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

      Australian actually – although the people of Britain appear to be unable to kick the Communist swine back to Oz. He refuses to go – perhaps concerned that there are Australian veterans of the Vietnam war who want to discuss his lies about them.

      • Drakken

        Those vets really should make a point of having a really nice heart to heart with that commi filth and show him the error of his ways.

  • glpage

    Western culture, primarily through a long line of events that led up to and included the American revolution, begat something that was rare, if not unheard of, in the rest of the world, individual freedom. The left cannot stand the notion of individual freedom. They want everyone to be part of the collective and to adhere to the dictates of the collective. Unlike them some of us do not have to be part of the hive or herd.

  • barrycooper

    I will make one comment: the notion that brown people cannot be at war with brown people, that there are not good and bad brown people, is horrifically racist. We fought IN Vietnam FOR Vietnamese, to prevent the mass death, mass torture, mass dislocation, and incalculable suffering that attended our decision to abandon a close ally in a war we had already won. You know who conducted sincere, effective land reform? The South Vietnamese. You know who undid nearly instantly all that progress? The Fascist North.

  • Lanna

    The Progressives are not normal people, with normal plans to live, their world is twisted and messed up.

  • CaptObvious

    The commenters here do not seem to get out much, but I suppose it’s not uncommon for people to seek affirmation from the likeminded.

    I am a liberal. I watched the movie, which I thought was well-done and at some points unbearably intense. I mourn the loss of life; as a proud American, the needless deaths of so many patriotic young men is repugnant. I think the larger meaning of the movie is almost entirely in the eye of the beholder, a Roshach test. Me? I think it’s a modern cowboys and indians, an updated Zulu Dawn. The civilized white guys with the better weapons get overrun by the savages. I’m not sure there is or could be any moral there, except maybe “send a lot more white guys if you want to win” or “better technology & training doesn’t guarantee victory.”

  • Craig S. Maxwell

    Thornton at his best.