First, draw an imaginary political line from right to left. Now decide where you place yourself on that line, and why.
I’d suggest that, wherever it is, you’ve arrived at your political convictions by an amalgam of reason and feeling, ratiocination and intuition, judgement and prejudice (when I use this word, it’s free of pejorative connotations).
Those who claim their political beliefs are totally rational are deceiving themselves. Ratio is only one ingredient in a complex mix. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there’s no rationalisation in politics, only post-rationalisation – thinking through something already felt intuitively.
However, the farther left one goes along our imaginary line, the smaller does the rational component become. Feelings, some noble, most despicable, no longer get the benefit of post-rationalisation. By the time we’ve traced the line to the extreme left end, feelings are all that remains.
That’s why I oversimplify when saying that left-wingers aren’t just misguided but actually stupid. They may not be. They may have an IQ breaking through the ceiling of the scale. It’s just that whatever intelligence they possess isn’t involved in their politics.
This brings us to Sally Rooney, the Marxist author of several soft-porn bestsellers with a communist dimension. I’m sure that no one capable of selling books by the million can be stupid, in the IQ sense of the word, but that may be envy talking.
One way or the other, whenever Sally delivers herself of a political statement, it’s clear that her mind took no part in formulating it. Her inspiration in politics, as well as in her art, comes from a different part of herself, one located halfway between her hairline and her toes.
In that spirit, Sally has denied the Israelis the guilty pleasure of enjoying her latest novel in ways that literature isn’t really supposed to be enjoyed. Israel’s hard line on the Palestinians is incompatible with Sally’s soft porn.
“I simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people,” explained Sally, a prominent member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Descartes teaches that all knowledge comes from comparing two or more things. Applying that Cartesian wisdom to Sally’s statement, one wonders if she even knows the meaning of the words she uses. She certainly hasn’t arrived at accusations of apartheid by comparing the situation of Arabs in Israel with that of Jews in Arab countries.
Let’s help her out, shall we?
Large numbers of Jews always lived everywhere in the Middle East for many centuries. Yet now Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, the UAE and Qatar have Jewish populations of under 100. Iraq, whose capital was for millennia one of the world’s Jewish centres, now tolerates a mere four Jews. Not four hundred. Not four thousand. Four, as in one small family.
That makes Iraq a Judeophile country compared to Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan. None of them has any Jews at all.
By contrast, Israel is home to 1.9 million Arabs, almost 20 per cent of the population. And they enjoy the kind of civil rights no Arab countries grant even to true-green Muslims.
My point is that it doesn’t even matter whether or not Sally knows these statistics. Her Marxist (which is to say West-hating) viscera demand that Israel be branded as an apartheid state. (I suspect old-fashioned antisemitism also may have a role to play. In politics, this is mostly evinced these days by various socialist, especially Marxist, parties.)
On the other hand, all Arab countries, and especially those wild-eyed Palestinian terrorists, are fighters for universal justice.
Hatred is the main ingredient in the cocktail of Marxist feelings, and in that sense Marxism is no different from Nazism. Hence it’s important to remember that Sally is inspired not by loving Muslims but by hating the West, of which Israel is the sole Middle Eastern bulwark.
For she has no problem with her soft porn being translated into Chinese. She must know that her Chinese comrades are throwing Muslims, the lucky ones, into concentration camps, while killing the unlucky ones out of hand. Not a problem for our Sally.
Nor is she objecting to her books being published in Russia, where more Muslims have been killed in the past 20 years than Israel has managed in the 70 years of defending itself against those who seek its annihilation.
And Marxists, whose faithful comrade Sally is, murdered in one century, the 20th, more people than had died violently in the previous 5,000 years of recorded history.
I can just hear Sally say that Marxism is a sublime idea unfortunately perverted by the excessive zeal of its practitioners.
I wish I had 10 quid for every time I’ve heard this idiocy, and I always reply the same way: “Read The Communist Manifesto and any writings by the founders of the sublime idea, Marx, Engels, Lenin et al. Then tell me which of their aspirations appeal to you.”
Confiscation of all private property? Taking all children from their parents to raise them as wards of the state? Murdering millions of people by category, either race or class? Concentration camps for those who disagree? Complete state control over people’s lives? Conscripting the whole population into labour armies?
All those ideas, and then some, are to be found in the works of Marx and his co-conspirators. If the Bolsheviks perverted their teaching, it’s only in the direction of softening it.
When I say those things, I too speak from emotions, not thought. I go against my own conviction that Marxists don’t think even if they can. They emote, and no rational argument can ever hold sway over visceral feelings. So why bother? One reason only.
Lefties aren’t individuals; they are case studies. That’s why I only talk to or about them when they are typical cases. And Sally is as typical as they come.