February 28, 2007

A Marxist Courts “Public Opinion”

Perhaps, dear reader, you have heard of Tariq Ali. If not, allow us to ruin your blessed state of ignorance. Mr. Ali is a member of the “editorial collective” at New Left Review, a chi-chi neo-Marxist publication. In addition, Mr. Ali serves as one of Britain’s stalwart denunciators of capitalism, Zionism, and—more generally—Western civilization.

To this end, Mr. Ali wrote a book published shortly after 9/11 called The Clash of Fundamentalisms. Its cover infamously offered pictures of Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush dressed up as one another. To Mr. Ali, you see, like to Eric Foner, it’s really difficult to tell the two men apart. After all, they’re both miserable terrorists.

Frankly, dear reader, we can hardly stomach Mr. Ali’s witless rants. He presents ridiculously one-sided polemics—the sorts of intellectually dubious works that incessantly blame America, capitalism, and Israel for all the world’s sins. If Mr. Ali were a teen-aged boy, perhaps his puerile prattling could be countenanced.

But apparently his ravings delight the smart set—those hard-left folks in the West who for some reason pine for an Islamist victory over their home countries. Gee: That should really work out for them. We’ll see how the Caliphate will treat the Left’s hungering for gay marriage.

The latest sign of Mr. Ali’s senseless palaver comes from—mirabile dictu—The Guardian, Britain’s foremost newspaper of eternal capitulation. Just dig the title of this wretched exercise in left-wing polemic: “Official Politics in the West Ignores Public Opinion at Will.”

The piece, dear reader, amounts to a gripe about the vicissitudes of contemporary Italian politics—and, more generally, contemporary politics in the West. And, just in case you missed it, the title is patently ridiculous: “Official Politics in the West Ignores Public Opinion at Will.”

Ah, so do “official politics in the Middle East”—Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt &c.—demonstrate greater deference to public opinion? Why, then, does Mr. Ali champion their leaders’ views, though he castigates the likes of Prodi, Blair, et al.? Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Actually, it’s very odd: Tariq Ali, a man who steadfastly opposes democratization in the Middle East, castigates the West for its failure to heed public opinion. And he feels all warm and tingly about the former Soviet Union, even though, last we checked, it didn’t show too much regard for the will of the people.

One wonders why people take a joker like Ali seriously.

Posted at February 28, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack