[lit-ideas] Re: WSJ -- Ode to Oil -- thoughts?

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2008 02:15:48 -0500

Simon: There are many independent thinkers in the world that would argue for the US as the one malevolent threat combining oil resources and military might, that may well invoke child indoctrination (if the religious fundamentalists have their way), but which doesn't need to be sold anything.

Indeed there are some "independent" thinkers who argue that it's the US Dragon against the Saint George of Iran and Venezuela. Bernard-Henri Levy has a discussion on Google Talks that seems quite apropos of the view.

Levy argues -- and I agree with him -- that the Left has betrayed its basic values in the arguments of such independent thinkers. Among the examples of ideological vertigo Levy cites:

(a) It is generally wrong to favor a seemingly-benign totalitarianism over a fumbling or errant democracy. Bush, no matter how bad he was, is out of here come January. Chavez, whether fit, aging, insane, or suddenly violent, will remain in power forever.

(b) The Left has allowed its core values to be trumped by multiculturalism. For example, a core value of the Left is the universal rights of all women to be treated with equality and dignity. However, when it comes to discussing the treatment of women in Arab states or in Pakistan, the Left seems unusually quiet. "The West cannot impose its values on these cultures" is the usual academic response, Levy maintains, and argues that this privileging of multiculturalism over the core Leftist value of equality is a betrayal and a bankruptcy.

The talk is from last September. Seems worth the time. You can find it here:

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