Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tough anti-Communists reject "moral equivalence."

Walter Goodman reports in the NYT:

The use of the term ''moral equivalence'' is generally attributed to Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the former United States Delegate to the United Nations, in her sharp criticism of that point of view.... She traced the willingnss [sic] of some in the West to believe there is ''not a dime's worth of difference betwen the two regimes'' in part to ''semantic manipulation'' by the Russions [sic] designed to ''delegitimize Western democracies and to detach the allegiance of its citizens.''
Various prominent neoconservatives were there: Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, William J. Bennett, Michael Novak. There are so many typos in this article! Kristol's name is spelled "Kirstol." I think the neocons are making the NYT nervous. Attention is called to the fact that the meeting was sponsored by the State Department — AKA the "State Depratment"— which prohibited the use of the funds for ''publicity or propaganda." Does that mean conservatives must be balanced by liberals? That's a stretch. In any case, it seems that liberals — e.g. Noam Chomsky — turned them down.

But what really interests me here is Tom Wolfe, who gave the dinner talk, titled, as the Times writes it: ''The Intellegent coed's Guide to Socialism.'' (They're dum.) I'd love to get the text of this speech. Here's the summary — devoid of quotes that might convey Wolfe's hilarious, lively style:
[H]e suggested that intellectuals are attracted to socialism because it seems in ''good taste.'' In addition, he drew attention to what he called the ''secret promise'' of socialism, that intellectuals will wind up with power.
Sounds apt! This idea that people support the political theory that will bring them power... isn't it a political theory? Isn't it Marxism? But of course, Tom Wolfe must be a big right-winger or he wouldn't be speaking at that outrageous, State Depratment-funded, publicity-seeking propaganda fest.

THE YEAR THAT BLOG FORGOT IS: 1985.

4 comments:

Roger Sweeny said...

This idea that people support the political theory that will bring them power... isn't it a political theory? Isn't it Marxism?

Unfortunately, Marx wasn't very scientific about applying his own theory. But then he was a strange sort of "materialist." He thought Darwin and English science were going about it all wrong. He really wasn't very different from the Hegelian anti-materialist he started out as. In his own words, he "turned Hegel on his head" but he kept the same approach to the world.

jdeeripper said...

"The Intellegent coed's Guide to Socialism." - I'd love to get the text of this speech.

The Intelligent Coed's Guide to Socialism

halojones-fan said...

Thanks for the link!

willinvirginia said...

What about this typo in the first sentence: "About two dozen American, European and Latin American advocates of a >>though<< anti-Communist foreign policy..." And back then he couldn't blame it on the spell-checker!