2002 October 14 Monday
Why Ron Rosenbaum is no longer a Leftist

Ron Rosenbaum has written an essay in The New York Observer entitled Goodbye, All That: How Left Idiocies Drove Me to Flee:

Hereís the analogy: Heideggerís peculiar neutrality-slash-denial about Nazism and the Holocaust after the facts had come out, and the contemporary Leftís curious neutrality-slash-denial after the facts had come out about Marxist genocidesóin Russia, in China, in Cambodia, after 20 million, 50 million, who knows how many millions had been slaughtered. Not all of the Left; many were honorable opponents. But for many others, it just hasnít registered, it just hasnít been incorporated into their "analysis" of history and human nature; it just hasnít been factored in. America is still the one and only evil empire. The silence of the Left, or the exclusive focus of the Left, on Americaís alleged crimes over the past half-century, the disdainful sneering at Americaís deplorable "Cold War mentality"ónone of this has to be reassessed in light of the evidence of genocides that surpassed Hitlerís, all in the name of a Marxist ideology. An ideology that doesnít need to be reassessed. As if it was maybe just an accident that Marxist-Leninist regimes turned totalitarian and genocidal. No connection there. The judgment that McCarthyism was the chief crime of the Cold War era doesnít need a bit of a rethink, even when put up against the mass murder of dissidents by Marxist states.

Most of the modern left has turned away from empirical evidence and from reason because when faced with a choice between giving up their wrong beliefs or turning away from the evidence they decided that the rejection of relevant evidence was less emotionally painful. Its too humbling and humiliating to admit that one spent much of one's life fighting for the wrong side. Few people can do that once they get into middle age because they have too much invested in their beliefs.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 14 01:32 AM  Cultural Wars Western

Martin Gorda said at May 15, 2004 8:24 AM:

If you can get past the stylistic narcissism of his essays (the written equivalent of someone who likes to hear themselves talk), Rosenbaum has little to offer his readers.
He writes as though you are already party to his views; as though the simple act of Ron Rosenbaum trashing Gore Vidal or Pete Seeger, or extolling Chris Hitchens is enough. We don't need facts or reasoned arguments, just read a passage where Ron gives it to some whacko lefty.
And what about all those lefty whackos? I mean how can they possibly entertain ideas that are so far beyond the mainstream that even Ron Rosenbaum cannot countenance them. Oswald didn't kill JFK? Get outta here! You're joking right?
On the plus side, writers of Rosenbaum's caliber will only ever "preach to the choir." Rosenbaum is a literary Rush Limbaugh. Theirs is a style of polemic that compels neither thought nor reflection. Mind pap for the mindless wishing to remain that way.
I've read my last Rosenbaum piece. Life is too short to waste on bad logic and self-enamored writers.

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