Friday, February 21, 2014

Leaving the Left

British journalist Melanie Phillips was a committed member of the ideological left in England, a writer for the Progressive British paper The Guardian, but she eventually realized that the left was not at all what it portrays itself as being. She left the left, so to speak, and has written a book about her experience titled Guardian Angel.

The book is essentially an unmasking of the left, its true nature and intentions. Ten excerpts from the book, in a piece by Brad Weinstein at The Blaze, give a good idea of Phillips' case against her former comrades.

Here are a few excerpts, but the reader interested in understanding the nature of the ideological struggle being waged in our culture today would do well to go to the original and read the whole thing. It'll be an eye-opener.

On Political Tactics:
”I always believed in the duty of a journalist to uphold truth over lies, follow the evidence where it led and fight abuses of power wherever they were to be found. I gradually realised, however, that the left was not on the side of truth, reason, and justice, but instead promoted ideology, malice, and oppression. Rather than fighting the abuse of power, it embodied it.Through demonising its enemies in this way, the left has undermined the possibility of finding common ground and all but destroyed rational discourse. This is because, as shown by its reaction to Lady Thatcher’s death, it substitutes insult and abuse for argument and reasoned disagreement.”

”More devastatingly still, by twisting the meaning of words such as liberal, compassion, justice and many others into their opposites, it has hijacked the centre-ground of politics. Left-wing ideology is now falsely said to constitute the moderate centre-ground, while the true centre-ground is now vilified as ‘the right’. This is as mind-bending as it is destructive, for it has introduced a fatal confusion into political debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Redefining the true middle ground of politics as ‘right-wing’ has served to besmirch and toxify the commitment to truth, reason, decency, and reality which characterises where most people happen to situate their thinking.
On Anti-Israeli Bias:
”In a leader conference one day, I asked why the Guardian appeared to be pursuing a double standard in its coverage of the Middle East. Why did it afford next-to-no coverage of Arab atrocities against other Arabs while devoting acres of space to attacking Israel for defending itself against terrorism? The answer I received from my colleagues that day stunned me. Of course there was a double standard, they said. How could there not be? The Third World did not subscribe to the same ethical beliefs as the West about the value of human life. The West therefore was not entitled to judge any mass killings in the Third World by its own standards. That would be racist.

I was most deeply shocked. The views they had just expressed amounted to pure racism. They were in effect saying that citizens of a Third World country were not entitled to the same assumptions of human rights, life, and liberty as those in the developed world. But how could this be? This was the Guardian, shrine of anti-racism, custodian of social conscience, embodiment of virtue. How then could they be guilty of racism – and moreover, dress it up as anti-racism? Of course, this is the core of what we now know today as ‘political correctness’ – where concepts are turned into their polar opposite in order to give miscreants a free pass if they belong to certain groups designated by the left as ‘victims’. They are thus deemed to be incapable of doing anything wrong, while groups designated as ‘oppressors’ can do no right.

According to this double-think it was simply impossible for the Guardian folk to be guilty of racism, since they championed the victims of the Third World against their Western capitalist oppressors. But when those Third World unfortunates became the victims of the Third World tyrants ruling over them, the left remained silent – since to criticise any Third World person was said to be ‘racism’. This twisted thinking is what now passes for ‘progressive’ thinking in Britain and America.
On Education:
”By now I had been looking for schools for my own children and I could see for myself that teaching had been hijacked by left-wing ideology. Instead of being taught to read and write, children were being left to play in various states of anarchy on the grounds that any exercise of adult authority was oppressive and would destroy the innate creativity of the child. Galvanised by the reaction which suggested that things were far worse than I had realised, I wrote more about education. I wrote about the refusal to teach Standard English on the grounds that this was ‘elitist’. How could this be? I had seen firsthand in my own under-educated family that an inability to control the language meant an inability to control their own lives. My Polish grandmother had not been able to fill in an official form without help; my father just didn’t have the words to express complicated thoughts, and would always lose out against those who looked down at him from their educated pedestal.

I also observed that those putting such pressure on these teachers from the education establishment were the supercilious upper middle classes, who had no personal experience whatsoever of what it was actually like to be poor and uneducated or an immigrant but were nevertheless imposing their own ideological fantasies onto the vulnerable – and harming them as a result. Teachers wrote to me in despair at the pressure not to impose Standard English on children on the grounds that this was discriminatory. They knew that, on the contrary, this was to abandon those children to permanent servitude and ignorance…Most teachers, I wrote, were unaware that they were the unwitting troops of a cultural revolution, being now taught to teach according to doctrines whose core aim was to subvert the fundamental tenets of Western society. A generation of activists had captured academia, and, in accordance with the strategy of cultural subversion advocated by Antonin Gramsci, had successfully suborned education to a far-left agenda.”
On The Family:
Rising numbers of people were abandoning their spouses and children, or breaking up other people’s families, or bringing children into the world without a father around at all. The left claimed that these activities made the women and children happy and were a refreshing change from the bad old days when simply everyone was miserable because marriage chained women to men who – as everyone with the correct view knew – were basically feckless wife-beaters and child abusers as well as being irrationally prejudiced against the opposite sex. Since marriage, by and large, was a protection for both children and adults, I thought the state should promote it as a social good. For this I was told I was reactionary, authoritarian and, of course, right-wing. Yet how could it be progressive to encourage deceit, betrayal of trust, breaking of promises and harm to children?

On issues such as education and family, I believed I was doing no more than stating the obvious. To my amazement, however, I found that I was now branded an extremist for doing so. Astoundingly, truth, evidence, and reason had become right-wing concepts. I was now deemed to have become ‘the right’ and even ‘the extreme right’. And when I started writing about family breakdown, I was also called an ‘Old Testament fundamentalist’. At the time, I shrugged this aside as merely a gratuitous bit of bigotry. Much later, however, I came to realise that it was actually a rather precise insult. My assailants had immediately understood something I did not myself at the time understand – that the destruction of the traditional family had as its real target the destruction of Biblical morality. I thought I was merely standing up for evidence, duty and the protection of the vulnerable. But they understood that the banner behind which I was actually marching was the Biblical moral law which put chains on people’s appetites.

I saw this as nothing less than outright nihilism which threatened to destroy the West. If all common bonds of tradition, custom, culture, morality, and so forth were destroyed, there would no social glue to keep society together. It would gradually fracture into a set of disparate tribes with competing agendas, and thus eventually would destroy itself. And as I was coming to realise, just about every issue on which I was so embattled – family, education, nation, and many more – were all salients on the great battleground of the culture wars, on which the defenders of the West were losing hands down.”
On The Islamic Challenge:
”Like most others, I had not seen 9/11 coming. Yet two days earlier, in a column about the decline of Christianity in Britain, I wrote, ‘Liberal values will be protected only if Christianity holds the line as our dominant culture. A society which professes neutrality between cultures would create a void which Islam, with its militant political creed, would attempt to fill’

[I]mmediately after the Twin Towers collapsed, I realised that what the West was facing was different from ordinary terrorism; and different again from war by one state on another. This was something more akin to a cancer in the global bloodstream which had to be fought with all the weapons, both military and cultural, at our disposal. And yet in that moment I also realised that the West would flinch from this fight, because it no longer recognised the difference between good and evil or the validity of preferring some cultures to others, but had decided instead that all such concepts were relative. And so it would most likely take the path of appeasement rather than the measures needed to defend itself from the attempt to destroy it. And so it has proved."
On Hope:
“All, however, is not lost. A culture can pull back from the brink if it tears off its suicidal blinders in time. This can still be achieved — but it requires a recognition above all of the paradox that so many fail to understand, that freedom only exists within clear boundaries, and that preserving the values of Western civilisation requires a robust reassertion of the Judeo-Christian principles on which its foundations rest. And that requires moral, political, and religious leadership of the highest order — and buckets of courage.”