Friday, August 22, 2008

Leftism and Iraq

It is clear that if one’s presuppositions are radically different from those of the person one is attempting to communicate with, communication, let alone agreement, will be difficult. At different times over several years, I attempted to get people from the Left to examine their presuppositions. I began by examining mine in order to show them how to do it, but none of them ever did. And the fact that they were unwilling to do so contributed to my present unwillingness to endure their insults. I won’t say, ‘endure their arguments,’ because they never mounted any.

I won’t say that I know beyond doubt what motivated each one of them, but I will admit that this subject has interested me over a long period of time. Since they have been uniformly inarticulate and obviously most comfortable with a single-sentence response containing an insult, I am forced to speculate about what motivates them, and about what their presuppositions are.

I’ve mentioned the Marxist-Leninist presuppositions. A Leftist may scoff and say that he isn’t a Marxist-Leninist, but to use the Barbara Boxer quote from an earlier note, she said that terror was the result of the war in Iraq and not the cause of it. In other words, as Lenin would say, the Capitalist nation oppresses the undeveloped nation until it finally revolts. The terrorism in Iraq as well as the 9/11 attacks are the result of America’s oppression of the Middle East.

If one is convinced of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, then he isn’t going to believe that the US is in Afghanistan and Iraq attempting to 1) thwart terrorist efforts, 2) promote forms of government approximating Liberal Democracy, or 3) liberate oppressed people. His presuppositions come from Marx and Lenin so he knows that the US is oppressing Afghanistan and Iraq in order to enrich American Capitalists. I have argued with such people. I accumulated a considerable amount of evidence opposing their positions, but what did my evidence weigh in the balance compared with Marxism/Leninism? Nothing.

We scoff at conspiracy theories in which Cheney and Bush are considered the tools of Big Business, especially big Oil Business, but such theories do not seem far-fetched to someone having a constellation of Marxist-Leninist presuppositions. Such a person knows in advance what the US will do because Marx and Lenin told him. Big business is sure to be controlling Middle-Eastern events; so the facts that Cheney once worked for a big business and Bush was once part owner of an oil company, be it ever so unprofitable and inconsequential, was all the evidence they needed.

Upon hearing such things in the past, I sought to get some Leftists to join me in investigating whether such assertions had any truth to them, but these Leftists were not interesting in investigation. Their response was the proverbial one-liner: e.g., can you really be so naïve as not to realize that . . .

Such Leftists have something in common with Dispensationalists. You cannot get either of them to examine his presuppositions. They are both “true believers” in the Eric Hoffer sense. For the Dispensationalist, his view of end times is an article of his faith. He can no more question the validity of his Hal Lindsey end-time scenario than he can question the existence of God. The Leftist is like that. The idea that America may have altruistic or defensive goals in the Middle East is utterly fantastic to him.

Lawrence Helm

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