[lit-ideas] "Leftist" vs. "Counterculturalist"

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2006 14:59:49 -0400

Lawrence: Why is Leftism siding with Islamism? That is an interesting question and I have heard several theories about it. My own favorite is that the Leftists learned to hate America during the Cold war when they supported Soviet Russia and the Communists.

Maybe Carol, Mike, and Simon have a good point about "leftism." The term is amorphous and doesn't describe the reality of the sentiment, which is probably at heart not a strict ideology though it is a politics.

Let me suggest "counterculturalist" instead of "leftist."

Older members of my generation were weaned on Watergate and Nixon's resignation. At that time, the government WAS considered the enemy. To be cool, you had to be countercultural.

A lot of people are stuck back in that time. They haven't grown as people beyond those days. Watching Ward Churchill speak, I couldn't help smiling at my perception of the inner Ward Churchill as subtext--the guy who wishes he were still back at Columbia University occupying the administration building, the hippie who couldn't make his eco-sustainable, freelove commune work, the guy who just wants to recapture and maintain the passion of youth, the guy who still believes he can find love through his counterculturalism.

We think by feeling, as Roethke wrote. We move toward things we consider cool first. Then we dream up reasons why they are true.

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