Friday, April 21, 2017

Why She Left the Left

It reads like an indictment. Dr.Danusha V. Goska, a schoolteacher in Paterson, NJ has explained, in excruciating detail, why she has left the left. That is, why she abandoned her adherence to leftist thinking to become something of  a rightist.

Goska was a denizen of the radical, not the moderate left, but her experience draws our attention. She makes the case against the left as only someone who lived its transformation from a liberal or progressive movement into a radical movement, purveying hate and violence can.

She speaks with the authority that comes from experience, and she writes clearly and well.

Goska’s first point involves the way the left imposes a narrative on human experience, casting everyone in a role in a world historical fiction.

She writes:

We rushed to cast everyone in one of three roles: victim, victimizer, or champion of the oppressed. We lived our lives in a constant state of outraged indignation. I did not want to live that way anymore. I wanted to cultivate a disposition of gratitude. I wanted to see others, not as victims or victimizers, but as potential friends, as loved creations of God. I wanted to understand the point of view of people with whom I disagreed without immediately demonizing them as enemy oppressors.

From the outrage flows a constant feeling of hate. I suspect that this makes weak people feel strong, but, whatever the reason, it is emotionally exhausting. It does not allow you to care about other people and thus turns your life into a constant struggle, a constant need to distinguish friends from foes.

The hate extends especially to Judeo-Christianity:

Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a “dead Jew on a stick” or a “zombie” and any belief is an arbitrary sham, the equivalent of a recently invented “flying spaghetti monster.” You will discover historical revisionism that posits Nazism as a Christian denomination. You will discover a rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization and American concepts of individual rights and law. You will discover a nihilist void, the kind of vacuum of meaning that nature abhors and that, all too often, history fills with the worst totalitarian nightmares, the rough beast that slouches toward Bethlehem.

When she joined an online leftist discussion forum,  Goska was overwhelmed by the hate and destructiveness. If you think that people learned nothing from deconstruction—which means pogrom—and which was invented by a Nazi—you are wrong.

She discovered this:

Those posting messages in this left-wing forum publicly announced that they did what they did every day, from voting to attending a rally to planning a life, because they wanted to destroy something, and because they hated someone, rather than because they wanted to build something, or because they loved someone. You went to an anti-war rally because you hated Bush, not because you loved peace. Thus, when Obama bombed, you didn’t hold any anti-war rally, because you didn’t hate Obama.

It’s all emotion and no rational thought. Even when easy moral issue arose leftists were so wedded to multiculturalism that they could not even denounce appalling brutality visited on women.

Goska had heard this from the time she was in college:

I was an active leftist for decades. I never witnessed significant leftist outrage over clitoredectomy, child marriage, honor killing, sharia-inspired rape laws, stoning, or acid attacks. Nothing. Zip. Crickets. I’m not saying that that outrage does not exist. I’m saying I never saw it.

The left’s selective outrage convinced me that much canonical, left-wing feminism is not so much support for women, as it is a protest against Western, heterosexual men. It’s an “I hate” phenomenon, rather than an “I love” phenomenon.

Her latter point is well taken. Left wing feminism is not about supporting women or even finding what is best for women or even respecting the choices women make. It’s male bashing, especially straight white male bashing, but it is also an ideology. As such it is more about loving ideals than it is about caring for people.

When she was in the Peace Corps Goska discovered that it had no real concern for what the volunteers would accomplish in underdeveloped nations. It cared about their beliefs, their ideals, their states of mind or even their souls. It did not care about what they would be doing to help the disadvantaged.

In her words:

Before our deployment overseas, Peace Corps vetted us for our idealism and “tolerance,” not for our competence or accomplishments. We all wanted to save the world. What depressingly little we did accomplish was often erased with the next drought, landslide, or insurrection.

It did not help to discover that the left had come to hate people like her. It hated working class white people.

She continues:

I’m a working-class Bohunk. A hundred years ago, leftists loved us. We worked lousy jobs, company thugs shot us when we went on strike, and leftists saw our discontent as fuel for their fire.

And, of course, it disrespected them:

In 2004, What’s the Matter with Kansas? spent eighteen weeks on the bestseller lists. The premise of the book: working people are too stupid to know what’s good for them, and so they vote conservative when they should be voting left.

The academic left, the media left, the guardian class that knows what best for all of us, despises average working people-- because they are not intellectuals:

We became the left’s boogeyman: Joe Six-pack, Joe Hardhat. Though we’d been in the U.S. for a few short decades when the demonization began, leftists, in the academy, in media, and in casual speech, blamed working-class ethnics for American crimes, including racism and the “imperialist” war in Vietnam.

In particular, the left controls the nation’s inner cities. It has used these places as laboratories in which to try out its zanier ideas. How is that working out? How is it working out for the children of America’s inner cities?

Goska speaks from her own experience:

I live in Paterson. I teach its young. My students are hogtied by ignorance. I find myself speaking to young people born in the U.S. in a truncated pidgin I would use with a train station chai wallah in Calcutta.

Children are learning despair. They are learning that they cannot make it. They are learning that the forces of oppression are so strong that they, poor children from the inner cities, do not have a chance. They are learning that they need to organize and protest, the better to struggle against their oppressors and to rage against the machine… and also to give their lives over to a mindless cause. Their lives are being sacrificed for the Revolution:

My students do know — because they have been taught this — that America is run by all-powerful racists who will never let them win. My students know — because they have been drilled in this — that the only way they can get ahead is to locate and cultivate those few white liberals who will pity them and scatter crumbs on their supplicant, bowed heads and into their outstretched palms. My students have learned to focus on the worst thing that ever happened to them, assume that it happened because America is unjust, and to recite that story, dirge-like, to whomever is in charge, from the welfare board to college professors, and to await receipt of largesse.

The only surprise is that more leftists have not left the left.


ted said...

I recall reading a book by David Gelernter, who phrased the term PORGI's - Post-Religious Globalist Intellectuals. I see how Dr. Goska talks about the left these days in the same terms Gelernter does where he says, “If you are torn out of history, unplanted and uprooted, your natural loyalties to your nation and religious community disappear. You can float free and easy like a helium balloon above ordinary people and their little loyalties. You can live for the moment, flying high, having fun and drifting comfortably with all the other helium balloons… PORGI Airheads see America as a mere multicultural grab bag with no more unity or purpose than the “gorgeous mosaic” inside a box of assorted cookies. And every other nation is assumed to be the same.”

Sam L. said...

"I wanted to see others, not as victims or victimizers, but as potential friends, as loved creations of God." Leftists don't believe in God, so they don't see people as loved creations of God, and they don't love people. Generally, it seems they hate people.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Today's left is emotionally driven by a hierarchical understanding of pity. They have a class system based on who deserves more victim status than another, and it drives the degree of hate or pity they feel toward them. With themselves exempt, of course -- they are different, they are special, they are the morally magnificent.

As Sam said, they hate humanity -- theirs and yours. All while claiming to love and tolerate and be open-minded, and, and, and...

Ares Olympus said...

Sure, welcome back to humanity ex-leftist. But overall I'm not instantly impressed by "reform leftists". Sure, people like to believe in causes, and you join a club and in that club it can become fashionable to scapegoat another group as the source of all the bad in the world. Perhaps 90% of what we do in life is defining our identity in the negative, in opposition to another identity and that's a deep trap that takes time to get out from.

It sort of reminds me of the Groucho Marx quote "I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member"

At least that quote helps remind me after I leave a group of scoundrels that maybe I was the scoundrel who helped bring that group down to its depths of depravity.

Being a "true believer" is pretty easy for idealists - trust in the virtue of your side, and condemn the strawman vices of another side sure only a good way to avoid what you don't want to know about yourself.

And so once you discover that hating strangers isn't really helping the world, you can stop and find a new tribe, but the urge to conform to a new hatred isn't necessarily any weaker. But it is nice when your old rivals embrace your new hatred of who you used to be.

The real problem is how to believe anything, without going off the deep end, and somehow we need to believe there's a path of wisdom, after you've discovered how many different ways you can go wrong in bad thinking.

I also recall of C.S. Lewis's "Screwtape letters." Once you find out how easily those ear-demons can whisper sweet nothings into your ear, you can almost become paranoid about your own perceptions on anything. And then you try to abandon all belief, and fall for a different sweet nothing.

Anonymous said...

Heard Frank on NPR the other day. W/piteous empathy he described the Deplorables' many woes.

Left Elites don't say "False Consciousness" now, but use similar terms.

I dislike current "Capitalism" too. Adam Smith himself said given a chance, tycoons will rob society blind.

... Anybody else sense a more strident Leftism/ Trump Hatred/ Muslim Sympathetic/ "Refugee" Welcoming tone on NPR? I can't think of any on the other side. -- Rich Lara