Friday, February 15, 2013

Why the Perverse Fascination?

About ten years ago scholar Paul Berman wrote a book titled Terror and Liberalism in which he documented the sickening tendency of people on the left to make heroes out of murderers, at least those murderers driven by political motives that align with leftward political sentiments.

It really is a perverse phenomenon and it seems every generation has its own iteration of it. Mao, Che, Fidel, were all butchers but they were heroes to many on the left and still are today. Former Obama spokeswoman Anita Dunn even said publicly that Mao was one of her heroes.Why this horrid idolization of killers?

We've seen the phenomenon again this week with the celebration on Twitter and elsewhere on the left of Christopher Dorner by people regarding him as a "superhero," a "modern Django," and urging him, before he came to his incandescent demise, to keep up the fight. Consider what the man did: He killed several law enforcement officers, he shot a young woman and her fiance in cold blood, then taunted the girl's father, and did it because he felt offended by the LAPD's decision that he was psychologically unfit for the force.

This is the sort of man that some on the left see fit to lionize.

Nor is it just the nether regions of liberalism in which Dorner is seen as a mythic figure. Admiration for him is growing in the mainstream as well. Here's Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, a regular guest on liberal cable news, waxing enthusiastic about "Django" Dorner:
To get an idea of how odious this is imagine someone calling Timothy McVeigh - a man who murdered 168 people in Oklahoma City in 1995 as revenge for the federal government's massacre of innocent people at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas - a superhero. Imagine saying that, "Yes, what McVeigh did was bad and all that, but we really should pay attention to his grievances." Imagine saying that watching the death and destruction McVeigh caused was "kind of exciting." Imagine that McVeigh had written a manifesto in which he lauded Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh. Do you think any conservative who put on a big smile and said about McVeigh what Hill says about Dorner would ever be invited to appear on television again?

Professor Hill is not the only liberal to express such fascination with Mr. Dorner. Buzzfeed writes:
Alternet, the leftist online magazine, ran a story by Chauncey DeVega arguing that Dorner could "be transformed through popular culture and storytelling into a figure talked about for decades and centuries to come, with multiple versions of his tales and exploits, shaped by the griots and bards for their respective audiences."

"Christopher Dorner dared to tell his version of the truth regarding the LAPD's history of corruption and racism," DeVega writes. "They do not like tattle tales and 'snitches.' Dorner was a particularly noxious threat to the status quo both because of his violent actions, as well as the symbolic power of his words and deeds."

Salon's Natasha Lennard has written a couple of stories sympathetic to Dorner ("Ex-cops sympathize with Dorner's anger," "Were Dorner's complaints legitimate?"). Vice, in a story about whether or not Anonymous will retaliate after Dorner's death, implicitly compared Dorner to anti-establishment heroes like Bradley Manning and Aaron Swartz, while acknowledging that "a murderous ex-cop is a lot harder to defend than these nonviolent liberators of information."
Nor did Manning and Swartz deliberately target for murder the daughter of a man they didn't like. This sort of revolting travesty follows the same pattern as the liberal infatuation with Che Gueverra, a man who slaughtered thousands of innocent victims in cold blood. He did it, however, on behalf of some "progressive cause" so his face appeared on posters adorning dormitory rooms on every campus in America throughout the last three decades of the twentieth century.

These are the same people who condemn the Tea Party for violent proclivities for which absolutely no evidence is ever adduced but who talk about elevating a demented murderer to the status of a legend "whose exploits will be talked about for centuries to come."

Why is that? Well, I have a theory. When one no longer believes in a transcendent moral authority, a God, then one doesn't just believe in nothing. People who have rejected the Judeo-Christian God as a source of moral authority often make ideology their religion and pragmatism becomes their moral guide. Whatever promotes their ideology is right and good and whatever hinders it is bad. Dorner is seen as a martyr for left/progressivism, fighting the racists and bigots in the LAPD (and their families) and, in their twisted view, is therefore a hero. His methods are acknowledged by these people to be regrettable, of course, but given his grievance they're completely understandable, which is just a weaselly way of saying they're justified.

For the secular progressive pragmatist Lenin's words are truth: "If you want to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs." Any deed is redeemed by the cause it serves. The end justifies the means. People who agree with this will tolerate, indeed support, any horror, even the Ukrainian famine or the Nazi holocaust, as long as they agree with the goal.

This is where the secular view of man as a mere flesh and bone machine leads. It takes us ultimately to Auschwitz, the Cambodian killing fields, the Hunger Games, and to the glorification of sick souls like Christopher Dorner.