“The real revolution was taking place not in Cuba, but in California”

by Hesperado on April 28, 2012

in 1389 Blog, California, counterjihad, Hesperado (team member), Islam, PC MC, September 11, 2001, the left

The title of my essay was the expression of the epiphany which the Leftist French philosopher, Jean-Francois Revel (1924-2006), experienced after visiting the U.S.A. in the 1960s.

That is, after actually seeing what America was like, he woke up to the real dynamism and greatness of her freedom, as opposed to the caricature from all the anti-American propaganda he had, until then, taken for granted.

Years later, after 911 and after seeing anti-Americanism rear its ugly head yet again around the world, blaming 911 on American foreign policy as some kind of deserved “blowback”, he published a book in 2003, Anti-Americanism, bringing together all the various threads of his reawakening.

As a former Leftist, he had lauded Communism and Socialism as the agents of righteous change for the 20th century. But after his epiphany in America, he saw that the real revolution was happening in America — that the real revolution is, in fact, America herself.

I now quote more extensively from Revel from a paragraph that ends with the titular sentence above:

“As I stressed in my book Without Marx or Jesus, what I meant by “revolution” in the context of America was less a political phenomenon at the highest levels of power than a series of transformations spontaneously occurring within society at a deep level. These radical changes had been born, were evolving and would continue to evolve independently of political transitions at the national level. You can change the government without changing society; conversely, you can change society without changing the government. The American Free Speech Movement sprang forth and continued to grow as vigorously under Republican presidents as under Democrats; it was able to do so largely because it never–or very rarely–regressed into the backward ideologies of the nineteenth century or the Marxist pseudo-revolutionary theoretical straitjackets of the twentieth. In my book, I argued that a revolution in this sense is a phenomenon that had hitherto never taken place, an event that would develop along lines other than the known historical ones and that could not be thought about–or even perceived–in terms of the old categories. It was obvious to me that the real revolution was taking place not in Cuba, but in California.”

While Revel is right to revel in this American achievement of becoming the global driving force of a powerful “liberal democracy”, his enthusiasm seems a bit one-dimensional and vulnerable to a simplistic optimism.

I.e., the very same revolution Revel champions also carried with it the pathogen, so to speak, of PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism) — a pathogen that would be far more successful than Leftism or its more radical forms of Communism, Marxism or Fascism in influencing the hearts and minds of millions of Westerners. On all sides of the political spectrum — Left, Right, Center and that nougaty center, the Comfortably Apolitical — and on all levels of sociological existence — whether rich, poor or middle class — PC MC has had enormous effect.

Certainly, many people on the Right may resist the pathogen of PC MC with respect to some sociopolitical issues. With regard to one issue, however, the majority of Westerners agree to see it through the lens of PC MC. And that one issue is the problem of Islam. The majority of the West persists — sincerely and obtusely — in resisting the only conclusion which a reasonable mind can draw after assessing the mountains and oceans of dots of data about Islam and about Muslims. When those dots are connected, they lead to the following conclusions:

1) Islam is a deadly seditious ideology, deadly to all cultures and nations

2) All Muslims who enable Islam are therefore deadly seditionists

3) While there may exist a certain number of Muslims who do not wish to advance the deadly sedition of their Islam, our problem is that we cannot tell the difference between them and the millions of Muslims who do — and so, if we want to honor our #1 priority, the safety of our societies, we are forced to treat all Muslims as equally deadly.

Because of the effects of PC MC on millions of Westerners, they cannot think the three propositions listed above. They positively recoil from them, and fear that if they even thought this thought crime, they would be guilty of “bigotry” and “racism” — and that sooner or later they would be unable to stop themselves from going down the slippery slope toward concentration camps and genocide against Muslims.

And the reason for this massively successful mainstream dominance of the PC MC mindset throughout the West is, precisely, this shift in worldview that occurred in the 20th century, given a tremendous boost by the “cultural revolution” of America in the 1960s.

Along with the waves of genuinely good social change which Jean-Francois Revel rightly celebrates, unfortunately also came surf-riding the axioms and givens of PC MC.

Let’s hope we can separate these two currents of the modern West reasonably, and see — before it’s too late — that Islam is the worst enemy of liberal democracy and of classical freedom the world has ever known; and that PC MC, in enabling Islam, is only shooting itself, and its own West, in the foot.

Further Reading:

Anti-Americanism since 911 (the essay by Jean-Francois Revel, published in 2003 on the Front Page website)

PC MC: Neither Left nor Right, but Ambidextrous

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 plemmen April 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

You hit it out of the park! Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism is a deadly parasite on western societies and, like an infestation of brain worms, will consume the sanity of our societies and leave a mindless hulk in it’s wake!

2 Hesperado April 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

What you’re describing in my estimation is not PC MC, but rather Leftism. I do not identify the two as the same. See my second linked article under “Further Reading” in my essay for more.

3 Etobicoke Gladiator April 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Excellent article, 1389. I must read this book by Revel.

4 1389 April 29, 2012 at 12:14 am

@Etobicoke Gladiator,
This article wasn’t by me, but by blog team member Hesperado.

5 Hesperado April 29, 2012 at 2:25 am

Thanks 1389.

No problem Etobicoke. It’s a very interesting book. Revel first caught my attention with his other book, published way back in 1970 (I didn’t see it on the shelves until the late 70s), with the arresting title — “Without Marx or Jesus”. As the title indicates, he was already having doubts about his devotion to Communism (having come of age in the late 30s) — but he chose a path of agnosticism.

6 Etobicoke Gladiator April 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Hesperado. Since I have a Robarts Library account, I will likely check Revel out in the next month or so, but only once I finish the two Bernard Lewis books I’m presently reading.

7 Hesperado April 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

There is the Problem — the Problem of Islam — and then there is the “Problem of the Problem” — the Problem of the West not waking up to the first Problem.

In my estimation, there is such a thing as describing the “problem of the problem” in rhetoric that is too intense — not because I don’t like intensity, but simply because I don’t think the reality is that dire. So, to say that PC MC is “killing the West” is right on the edge of being hyperbole. It’s a very fine line here, but the bottom line is that we don’t want to demonize our own West; nor do we want to ascribe conspiracy-theory powers to some nefarious Cabal of Elites that is supposedly pulling all the strings. Neither tendency is healthy and neither one is realistic.

The truth I think is more analogous to a good man making a series of mistakes that have put him in a dangerous situation, and he needs to remember himself and recollect his senses before it’s too late.

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