The River

Monday, July 19, 2004

America’s Vichy Left vs. Michael Moore
By Mark Ames, The eXile, a Moscow-based alternative newspaper
Much has been said over the past week about the final collapse of the Russian Left-opposition. Even a neo-con like Michael McFaul publicly lamented (through crocodile tears) the weekend split of the Russian Communist Party opposition, charging that "democracy as a result has suffered."

But the fact is that the Russian Left died a long time ago -- in the mid-1990s, when they agreed to collaborate with the powers-that-be, and to destroy anyone within their ranks who tried breaking free from their sleazy arrangement with Yeltsin and the oligarchy. The Communists didn't want to win power, in fact they were terrified of taking power -- they were safer, and better-off, as a toothless, fake opposition, which served Yeltsin well because he could whip up Return of the Red Scare fever any time he needed more IMF funds or any time Clinton's people threatened to make a stink about the corruption and genocide that Yeltsin was responsible for.

This is roughly the same wretched story of the American Left ever since Reagan quashed it. For years now, America's Leftists have been flogging themselves to death wondering why it is that they remain so weak and disenfranchised. Most Leftists agree that it's all the fault of the right-wing dominated media, and the Republican-infested corporate conglomerates that control the major media outlets. Others blame religion, or advertising, or popular culture, or something inherently base within the genus americanus. Sometimes they even blame themselves, though only in a safe, disingenuous, fake-self-loathing way: we're out-of-touch, too serious, too high-fallutin', we need to get with the times, etc.

In fact, the main cause for the demise of the American Left is much more sinister than that. The American Left is responsible for destroying the American Left. I don't mean that metaphorically. I mean quite literally that anytime the Left starts to get somewhere, you can be sure that a vigilante mob of other Leftists will rise to the occasion to crush it, to make sure they stay as marginalized and ineffective as always. It's a kind of ghetto envy endemic to the Left - the Right is always rooting for its heroes to succeed. Not the Left. The key for them is to sound Virtuous - and oftentimes that means eating their own in order to promote themselves.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the American Left's envy-fueled lynching of Michael Moore, the only Leftist to make it out of the ghetto. I cannot think of a single American Leftist in my lifetime as effective as Michael Moore, and if Fahrenheit 9/11 is objectively anything at all, it is objectively effective. Bravery is fairly cheap on the Left exchange -- you have to be brave to be Left in this Reptilian Age -- but to actually get out of the Left's ghetto, into the debate, and to strike and strike hard...only one managed that, without going soft or becoming "balanced" and "realistic."

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