Quel Fromage!

When last I was paying any attention, Ronald Radosh had just published one of the less memorable specimens of the "disillusioned radical turns right" memoir. I have rather a taste for that sort of thing. The psychology of the genre is fascinating, if not full of infinite variety.

But Radosh was no Whitaker Chambers. He wasn't even Ben Gitlow after he'd been doing the schtick for a few years and turned into a bore. Then again, the fault may not have been with the author; at least not entirely. It could be that I have grown jaded.
In any event, Radosh has again imposed himself upon my eyeballs, after almost eight years, via Pajamas Media, which comes as a surprise because at last report PM (hey, now, how did that coincidence go unnoticed?) was about to go under.

The article in question by Radosh is of interest -- to the degree that it is -- mainly for the following:

I received a lengthy communication a few days ago on Obama's program from a historian who considers himself a man of the Left, who believes that what is currently called the Left is in reality a "sectarian proto-Fascist" group, for whom Obama is a willing instrument. This historian  puts his conclusion this way: Obama, he thinks, is playing the crisis angle not just for New Deal reform, "but to advance a state-command agenda, leading to a party-state regime...=fascism American style." All who hold "liberal democracy dear," he writes, "across left and right need urgently to coalesce...and realign for a political movement to rejuvenate American Liberal Democracy."
What a coincidence! I have heard precisely the same thoughts expressed in my own neighborhood by an unkempt figure who occasionally announces that he is a cheese omlet, inviting passers-by to sprinkle him with paprika.

Now, I'm no breakfast chef, so won't get into an argument about that, nor have I asked if this fellow "considers himself a man of the Left."  But it's a small world, and you do have to wonder if they might be the same person.

March 6, 2009 12:24 PM | | Comments (4)



Actually, having grown to loathe the term the "left' with all my heart, I'm rather happy that it has fallen into the hands of the bottomfeeders like Radosh, Hitchens, Nik Cohen. Stomp it to death, baby! The only time I ever read someone solemnly invoke the Left - invariably this person presents himself as a man of the Left (which should mean that you were a bitplayer in a Bond movie as a SMERSH flunky) - is when he is about to come out with boilerplate rightwing talking points.

I want to restore left and right to handedness. Lets have a politics of vertigo, of eustachian tubes, of up and down, of anything but that worn and useless duality.

Hey, speaking of which, I want you to join the International Anti-servility league I founded last week. It is just up your ally, Scott! Has a manifesto and a handful of unwilling members and everything!
Get in on the ground floor. Bring the omlette guy.
Here's the facebook page for it.

Hmmmm. How odd. Jonah Goldberg -- along with many other conservative pundits -- has repeatedly accused Obama of being (fearful hush) a socialist. Now for Radosh, he's a secret fascist.

I must concede that at least in the case of the argumentatively challenged Goldberg, he did manage to make his charge without creating some imaginary socialist-buddy-mouthpiece to lend thin credence to his own thoughts.

Well, Goldberg is just being the superclever dialectician. For, after all, he discovered that liberalism is fascism, you'll remember. Once you understand this, the rest of the world makes so much sense! i'm not saying that you won't do a little damage to your brain thinking this way, but it soon becomes natural, even pleasant.

Gee, Scott, if you haven't been aware of Radosh since his book, you've missed his interactions with Pete Seeger, including an appearance in Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.

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