People are weird. We do the craziest things, often fall in love with the most unsuitable people.
We can perhaps understand, often through bitter experience, how this can happen to normal, well adjusted people like us, and we know it hurts. But what about when it happens to significant masses of people?
How do we explain the bizarre behaviour of many well meaning, soft hearted liberals and progressives.
Eighty years ago millions of Germans, especially German women, threw flowers and themselves at the feet of one of the vilest men to have lived, Adolph Hitler. In 1953 when Stalin died the commonest reaction was not joyous relief that the vicious monster was dead, but genuine tears of sorrow.
They were brainwashed we respond, inundated with propaganda for years. We are too familiar with the techniques of mass persuasion to be fooled like that. We are sophisticated, educated, discerning people, up to the tricks and whiles of those who would manipulate us.
The aging adolescents of the Left may still idolise such ghastly creatures as the racist, misogynist Che Guevara; or still believe that last century’s greatest mass murderer Mao was misunderstood and had his good side. But we have learned the lessons of history. They may still pine for the days when they marched carrying Viet Cong flags and waved little red books, but we know better.
Yet we find today’s progressive Left marching arm in arm with anti-Semitic militants and pro-jihadis who threaten the destruction of western liberal democracy. Gay solidarity groups come out in support of the speeches of radical Muslim clerics, who if they were back home would not hesitate to stone any homosexual straying across their path. Feminists march alongside men who denigrate women and would put them into burqas and force FGM on them. Strident Socialists argue the case for people who would ban trade unions.
The progressive Left is, and always has been, largely populated with romantics, often of a racist hue.
18th century sentimentalism gave credence to the idea of the noble savage, the man and woman uncorrupted by civilisation with greater and deeper values than those of pressurised Western society. The French of course played a large part in this, though for once we can’t blame Rousseau. It was Cartier and Montaigne who wrote of le bon savauge. For them clearly the Fall had never occurred. If we ignore Scripture we always end up to our eyes in problems.
The English as usual were a wee bit more hard headed, at the same time as some were romanticising man in a state of nature Hobbes was writing of the state of nature being a ‘war of all against all’ in which lives were ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short’. Hardly rose-tinted but more accurate than the picture painted by the sentimental romantics of American Indians living in peaceful bliss, at one with nature and each other. A view assiduously perpetuated by Hollywood and media in films such as the multi-Oscar winning ‘Dances With Wolves’.
Our modern day romantics share the same sentimental bias. In the sixties wisdom was supposedly to be found in charlatans such as Guru Maharaji and Bhagwan Shree Rajnesh. The ideology which gave birth to the modern world was to be shunned in favour of the ideologies which kept huge swathes of the Third World in poverty, racked by disease and famine, and ruled by corrupt governments. As long as it came from the East and differed from what was known it got a free pass from questioning scrutiny.
Today the romantic revolutionaries give a free pass to the ‘freedom fighters’ of Hamas and Hizbullah, the ‘vibrant multi-cultural’ communities who live in the West whilst rejecting the West, and any expression of anti-Semitic bigotry. It is to such favoured groups that they apply the racism of lower expectations. Expecting lower standards of behaviour and discourse from non-Western ethnic groups and ideologies is deeply racist.
We even find well meaning liberal progressives such as George Monbiot and Prof Lisa Jardine comparing the young men and women from the West who go to Syria to join in jihad, sometimes with ISIS, with the men and women who travelled to Spain in the thirties to fight Franco. The volunteers with the International Brigades, and others who went to fight Franco, went to support a legitimate government in its struggle against a vicious fascist military junta. Our present day jihadists go to support a vicious fascist military junta in its struggle against established regimes.
Our romantics refuse to learn the lesson of history. In 1979 a coalition consisting of the Iranian Communist Party, the Marxist Fedayeen Organisation, and hardline Islamists led by Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah, killed his functionaries and established a new regime hailed by progressives as a huge step forward. The regime then began to imprison, torture, shoot and hang their one time comrades.
Our sentimental progressive romantics should learn the lesson of history. Love affairs with the unsuitable invariably end badly.