Wednesday, December 26, 2012
In answer to Farhad: Why I consider myself a "right winger" and not a "progressive"
I identify myself as a "right winger" I prefer that term to conservative because the latter term is far too closely linked to specifically American issues that have no parallel anywhere else in the world and I have lived outside the US for many years now. The reason I claim to be a man of the "right" and not the "left" is the fact that I support traditional societies in opposition to revolutionary violence. The use of political violence to enforce "progressive" change was a hallmark of the international left during the 20th century. It was the main motivator behind Stalinism, the ethnic cleansing of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe, and Zionism. The traditional societies of the Crimean Tatars, Sudeten Germans, and Palestinians just to name a few politically incorrect peoples were all considered to be reactionary obstacles to "progress" and hence subjected to violent dispersion aimed at destroying them as viable national entities. With very few exceptions the people who opposed these atrocities in the 1940s and 50s and even beyond were all identified as being on the "extreme right." The international "left" for the most part enthusiastically endorsed the brutal ethnic cleansing of these peoples as a just collective punishment for the crimes of collaborating with the Nazis and opposing the "progressive" Soviet and Israeli states. I do not believe that revolutionary violence against traditional societies is justified in the name of "progress" or punishing "Nazi collaborators." I reject the ideas of collective punishment and forcibly destroying ethnic communities that continue to hold on to "reactionary" beliefs and practices. It does not matter to me that in some cases these groups really did posses odious opinions. Obviously the traditional anti-semitism of many ethnic Germans in East Central Europe and the USSR was totally unacceptable in US "liberal" society. But, I find the support of "liberals" for ethnically cleansing these people because of this prejudice to be a far worse form of racism. I continue to see this type of support for collective punishment among a number of "progressives" regarding the Palestinians. The constant reference to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem's collaboration with the Nazis, the consistent pointing to Israeli support of gay rights versus the opinions of Hamas on this issue, and the branding of the Palestinians as "anti-semites", as justifications for Israeli crimes all follow a similar pattern to that already established regarding ethnic Germans, Crimean Tatars, and other "enemies of progress" in the mid 1940s. I can not identify myself with the "progressives" endorsing collective punishment and ethnic cleansing. Instead I find myself on the same side as the "extreme right" during the 1950s in opposing these crimes.