Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Friday, April 04, 2003

Are Jews Rethinking the Left?

Meryl Yourish no longer trusts the left—mainly as a result of the left abandoning Jews. I think there are more reasons than that. We should also look at the content of leftist ideas.

Jews are rethinking their relation to the left partly as a result of Palestinians pushing left-wing buttons. There's the Kent-State button (rock-throwing goons must never be shot at), the anti-SDI button (if someone claims that defensive measures are “destabilizing” he must be believed), the multicultural button (any random bunch of loons who call themselves an ethnic group have legitimate aspirations), the egalitarian button (relative poverty is proof of oppression), the economic paranoia button (an economic decline following the withdrawal of capitalists must be blamed on the capitalists), the content-free racism accusation button (anybody who is called a racist automatically is one), the idiotic tolerance button (try to understand the other guys point of view while being mugged), the anti-religion button (any claim based on the Judeo-Christian Bible is illegitimate), and the weird oscillation button (yes, we're just peaceful protestors; no, we hate you and will stop at nothing; and we insist on the favorable treatment of the first and the serious treatment of the second). We're rethinking the stories that made us leftists in the first place. If we can see the same rhetoric being used today nonsensically, maybe yesterday's leftist legends were also nonsense.

I suspect that current events may also limit Jewish support for legalized abortion. Abortion was legalized in the first place because of the supposed damage done by “back-alley butchers.” There may be a decreasing amount of sympathy for their alleged victims among Jews. Women who die from illegal abortions are analogous to suicide bombers. Someone else's death is more important than their own lives. We also see the same excuses: People who risk their lives must be treated seriously; they are going to kill anyway so we should make it possible for them to do it safely; any opposition is motivated by mere prejudice; etc. It's time to rethink those ideas.

Besides, it's easier to identify anti-Jewish opinions on the right. (I refuse to use the term “antisemitism.” It was invented by Jew haters so that their opinions would look like an ideology instead of a pathology.) A leftist might be anti-Jewish when you least expect it. There are two allegedly conservative opinions that make anti-Jewishness easier to spot on the right. 1) In the US, frothing at the mouth about Abraham Lincoln goes along with anti-Jewish nonsense. (I don't know if they think Abraham is a Jewish name or if they think Jews are a kind of d@mn Yankee.) 2) Opposition to immigration—especially “second-generation” immigration. There are real reasons to decrease the number of people moving here (although I think they're exaggerated in some quarters), but expelling the next generation goes along expelling Jews. (Apparently, Jews are always considered second-generation immigrants.)


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