Saturday, September 28, 2019

UPDATED: Leninthink And Impeachment

The other day I did a brief post excerpted from Daniel Greenfield's fine article:

The Disturbing Reason Why the Dems Really Want to Impeach Trump

In the article Greenfield seeks to capture what we could call the animating spirit behind the Leftist drive for impeachment. He finds that spirit in the Left's Will to Power, to dominate, humiliate, and destroy all opposition to their power. Greenfield poses the question, what does the Left really want:

Post-gender bathrooms, banning cows, and paying reparations to drug dealers are just random policies. They’re not the endgame.

His answer (extensively edited) captures that spirit perfectly:

Impeachment is not just meant to be a trial of President Trump, but of the voters who chose him.  
But the real appeal of impeachment is more emotional than strategic.  
"Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship," O'Brien tells the hapless Winston Smith in the novel 1984. "The object of power is power." 
Marxist regimes love show trials because they allow them to destroy and humiliate their enemies. 
"How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?" O'Brien asks.
"By making him suffer," Winston replies. 
The Mueller investigation enraptured lefties with its spectacle of police state tactics, night raids, prolonged interrogations, eavesdropping, and then finally trials that bankrupted their opponents. 
Nothing else, not even winning in 2020, excites the Left as much as the prospect of more show trials. 
Impeaching Trump isn’t about him. It’s a Rorschach test that reveals the ugly inkblot of the leftist soul. Its real purpose is for an ugly totalitarian movement to live out its fantasy of casting aside the vestiges of democracy, divesting itself of the illusions of representative government and holding a show trial. 
Their vision of utopia isn’t equality or progress, it’s trial after trial, an endless series of proceedings against Trump and you and me. The nightmares of the French Revolution, the Soviet Union, Communist China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia weren’t accidental misfires: they’re the essential truth of what the Left is.
Terror is in the political DNA of every radical movement. And the arc of the Left is always radical. 
“Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever,” 1984’s O’Brien rhapsodizes. 
Impeachment is a feverish effort by the Left to live out this evil fantasy. It’s one of a million show trials that the radicals who are taking over the Democrats envision, not just for Trump, but for America.

But now I urge you to consider that in the context of Leninthink. This is an article that was sent to me by an emailer. The author, Gary Saul Morson, is a professor at Northwestern University, a self confessed "pink diaper baby" and recovering Marxist-Leninist. Morson finds in Lenin the roots of the modern Left's Will to Power--whether they've ever read Lenin (doubtful) or not. I ask you to compare Greenfield's description of the spirit that animates the Left and consider--Is there truly any difference between the Left in America and Leninthink. Consider the events of the past decade, the domination of public life by division and hatred, all ginned up by the Left in order to gain ... Justice? No, Power. Just like man and woman, words for the Left mean only what they want them to mean. And that changes depending on the needs of Power.

It's a long article, but I found it an absorbing read. Here's the concluding paragraph:

When I detect Leninist ways of thinking today, people respond: surely you don’t think all those social justice warriors are Leninists! Of course not. The whole point of Leninism is that only a few people must understand what is going on. That was the key insight of his tract What Is to Be Done? When Leninism is significant, there will always be a spectrum going from those who really understand, to those who just practice the appropriate responses, to those who are entirely innocent. The real questions are: Is there such a spectrum now, and how do we locate people on it? And if there is such a spectrum, what do we do about it?

And with that context in mind there's Angelo Codevilla's sobering article: Igniting Civil War. Never?

UPDATE: The article I'm about to link is quite lengthy and somewhat diffuse. The author is obviously suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, however his concerns are very much on point with Greenfield:

Meme Wars: How campus Title IX courts’ guilty-until-proven-innocent subversion of due process is a harbinger of a dangerous wider shift in liberalism 
By Wesley Yang
September 24, 2019

Here are two concluding paragraphs:

How the Harvard Law School faculty came to be seen as out on a perilous limb for defending “the most basic principles we teach” is a much larger part of the submerged history of our time than is generally understood. It is a story with which the rise of Donald Trump is fatally intertwined, but it is in fact a story that takes precedence—both temporal and logical—over the anarchic and pathological rise of the demagogue occupying the White House. 
The story, I will argue in this and subsequent columns, is about the rise and bid for hegemony of a new ideology. This ideology is a successor to liberalism. It brandishes terms that superficially resemble normative liberalism—terms like diversity and inclusion—but in fact seeks to supplant it. This new regime, in which administrative power has been fashioned into a blunt instrument of deterrence, marks off a crucial distinction—between the liberal rule of law, and the punitive system of surveillance rooted in identity politics known as “social justice.”

He wants us to believe that the rise of this "new" ideology is not to be blamed on liberalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The new ideology is simply following out the principles that are inherent in liberalism.


  1. I remember Morson! I audited a class of his at Northwestern when I was graduate student in Chemistry in the early 90s. The class was, of course, out of my field (and above my head, and I didn't want to have to pass a test in the subject matter either), but I have had a long interest in Russian literature that I picked up as an undergrad in the mid 80s.

  2. Yes, within the Democrat plantation there's a "spectrum" of devotion to anti-freedom. And "what do we do about it?" - My answer to that is simple: name the enemy.
    The enemy isn't "the Left". The enemy of freedom is “Democrats”. Yes, I mean EVERY Democrat. Even your brother or sister. (My sister, actually).
    You never see on any ballot anyone tagged "the Left", and "the Left" isn't imposing their will on you, because “the Left” is only a concept that can never go away.
    But every Democrat chooses to vote for Democrats whose purpose in life is to impose their will on you and me.
    So I skip what I consider rhetorical evasions and name the enemy – the Democrat Plantation.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe the Democrat Plantation is the root of evil in America. And I say that out load for Democrats, and swing-voters and Republicans to hear. I was actually surprised the first time friends heard me say that ("Democrat Plantation") and they smiled and nodded. The truth set me free.

    1. "EVERY Democrat"?

      How about NeverTrumps like one of my brothers, who supports Trump's removal while claiming to be a "principled conservative"?

    2. Call him a Democrat and watch him deny it.

      NeverTrumpers are Democrats just like Vichy French were Germans. Their uniforms are a disguise.

  3. "It is a story ... that takes precedence...over the anarchic and pathological rise of the demagogue occupying the White House".

    These guys have to say that about Trump or (i) the Left won't listen to anything they say, and (ii) they will lose their membership card in the Left.

    1. IOW, they have to speak untruth to feel respected.

  4. "Yes, I mean EVERY Democrat."

    One of our local city council-people is a Democrat who has asked for my support. She is a nice lady and we live in a place where it is very hard for a Republican to get elected.

    I had been inclined to endorse her, but the more I think about it I will decline. I will not support ANY Democrat.


    1. You can see that with the so-called "moderate" Dems. They end up supporting grotesque evil. I see that Tulsi Gabbard, after making a big show of wanting to avoid "division," has fallen into line.

  5. Paul Krugman gives away his own fantasies. But this is the Left:


    Starting to look like two possible outcomes: Trump and a number of others end up in jail, or thousands of journalists end up in prison camps

  6. Thanks for the Leninthink article.

    Now I know why they lie and lie some more. I had been wondering if they believed their own lies, or if they knew they were lying but lied anyway.

    What a job it will be to take back the culture. It can only end with force on both sides.

    1. Krugman does appear to be a true blue Leninist. A living, breathing example--just in case anyone thought that there can't possibly be people like that.

  7. While I agree with the sentiments of Jordan Peterson such that there are psychological profiles/traits characteristic of Liberals that make them value/act differently from Conservatives in terms of their respect for Law (vs 'social Justice').... I can in no way write off the full spectrum #Resistance of Trump to something as cartoonishly simple as "the Left's Will to Power, to dominate, humiliate, and destroy all opposition to their power."

    As Greenfield himself notes: "The Mueller investigation enraptured lefties with its spectacle of police state tactics, night raids, prolonged interrogations, eavesdropping, and then finally trials that bankrupted their opponents."

    Sure it enraptured 'Leftists', but those tactics were EXECUTED by SC Mueller. Where exactly pray tell does SC Mueller reside on the so-called Leftist-Leninist Spectrum? And if impeachment is a "Rorschach test that reveals the ugly inkblot of the leftist soul", then what the hell is revealed by the conductor of said test?

    Personally, I see CrossFire & its progeny (SCO) as an apolitical scourge even MORE FRIGHTENING than what we witnessed during Bush-Cheney, because the Security State has been unleashed unto ITSELF. The barbaric powers of the IC have always leveraged false-flags & dodgy-dossiers to exert power WITHOUT/externally, and now via Trump, the power is exerted WITHIN/internally. Unprecedented.

    1. "Sure it enraptured 'Leftists', but those tactics were EXECUTED by SC Mueller. Where exactly pray tell does SC Mueller reside on the so-called Leftist-Leninist Spectrum?"

      M America --

      I barely know what I'm about to talk about, but I would suggest that Mewler is a non-ideological tool of the true believers. Drawn to the culture and power of 'law enforcement' he was readily available to do the ideologues' bidding.

      Perhaps Lavrentiy Beria is a good, if extreme, prototypical example. Or Himmler.



    I have reread the Leninthink article you posted again this morning which has led me to another article by Morson titled 'How the great truth dawned'.

    Both are must reads for anybody seriously interested in what is going on and where we are headed.

    1. Yes, it's an interesting article. This quote from Feliks Dzerzhinsky is, shall we say, ironic:

      "We are not fighting against single individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. It is not necessary during the interrogation to look for evidence proving that the accused opposed the Soviets by word or action. The first question which you should ask him is what class does he belong to, what is his origin, his education and his profession."

      Dzerzhinksy himself, as it happens, was born into the Polish nobility.