I just listened to this, an interview with Bernard Henri Levy regarding his book Left in Dark Times.
Levy points a stern finger at American leftist, who he says gage the suffering of the oppressed only in terms of whether it matches the leftist anti-american stance. He says that lefty types are all worked up over the suffering of the Palestinians–who are indeed suffering–but fairly indifferent to the suffering of the Chechens who are probably suffering more.
Why sympathy for the Palestinians and not for the Chechens? Shouldn’t suffering wherever it happens be a cause for sympathy and action?
He says that liberal americans are only motivated to sympathize when the suffering upholds their anti-american opinions. Chechnya’s suffering is not caused by america, so it’s not interesting.
Larry Mantle, the host, also points out and Levy agrees, that the left has a ‘cult of the underdog’ that gives importance to the oppressed people that does not require factual support.
I appreciate that this very passionate lefty liberal guy is willing to criticise his group. He seems willing to look at the man in the mirror, at the group he is part of, and say plainly that something is wrong.
I don’t agree with him, that the state has the responsibility to take care of all social problems. I think that individuals can come together and do it better than a big government entity. But we agree that social problems should be addressed.
It made it easier to listen to him with an open mind when he affirmed “Capitalism is a good thing. There is no better than capitalism, but not the jungle…”
And he dismissed the system of communism, declaring that no one can take it seriously except a few fringe crazies.
I wish that he could go talk with some college professors.
I like that he is willing to point to the self-destructive elements of the left. I think that a willingness to grapple with the present realities is a first step towards finding a path towards improvement.