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Bronislaw Wildstein



What has not been deconstructed, or Europe as the fulfilment of the left-wing utopia



When the Black Book of Communism appeared in France in 1997, it was rejected by the overwhelming majority of Western intellectual elites. They did not question the facts it set out about communist crimes, but most preferred not to dwell on them; and the preface, in which communist and Nazi crimes were compared, elicited howls of outrage. One reason for rejecting the comparison of these two totalitarian ideologies was the dogma about the uniqueness of the Holocaust. But this dogma has its own underlying ideology, and it has become an element in a political conflict. Nazism is considered as the extreme form of right-wingness, and thus the unique evil is considered to be a result of extreme right-wing positions. The refusal to compare the two systems is characteristic of the European Left, and flows from a refusal to analyse communism and admit its consequences. According to the Left's principles, Nazism represents metaphysical evil, while the evil of communism is merely a contingent, accidental phenomenon, which must be seen "in context". 

The collapse of communism freed Left-wing intellectuals of the burden of guilt, and as a result also of the need to condemn its concrete incarnations. A serious and honest analysis - such as Nazism has had - would have resulted in a radical shift of their position, the wholesale rejection of Marxism, of many accepted dogmas, and of most of 20th century left-wing thought. And this would have threatened their status and influence as the dominant establishment. 

In contrast, all the ideas underlying Nazism have been condemned. Not only nationalism, but also the virtue of patriotism, and all heroic virtues, along with the very idea of honour. This has led to a grotesque lack of symmetry, where, for instance, Haider and Le Pen provoke outrage, but it is accepted that communist party members hold important government posts.  The justifications given for the refusal to put the Nazi and communist totalitarian systems on an equal footing can be reduced to one simple claim: the Nazis wanted evil, while the communists meant well. 

The intellectual Left's response to the fall of communism was to question the fundamental cultural models on which western civilisation was built - and to reject rationality itself. This has been achieved by postmodernists such as Jean-François Lyotard, with his "end of great narratives", Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, with his "death of the subject". Postmodernism may seem a denial of the left-wing tradition: instead of the Marxist "totality", we now have contingency, diversity and deconstruction. But in fact there is a continuity, and it is most manifest in the critique of classical culture. Perhaps the most important continuity with Marxist ideology is the conviction that all belief systems are ideologies which serve to justify and protect the established order, to maintain the power of the dominant class.

The idea of political correctness is one manifestation of the ideology of the modern left. The egalitarian ideas which lie at its roots have been very broadly interpreted, which has led, for instance, to the condemnation of value-judgements about cultures (with the exception of Western culture, which is always condemned), for this would be discrimination, or even racism. Non-discrimination is a basic slogan of political correctness. But while before it consisted in allowing full rights to discriminated groups, now it consists in fully accepting their "cultural identity". This is called tolerance - another politically correct slogan, and, like many, one whose meaning has been inverted. Political correctness is also fundamentally concerned with defending minorities, including women and homosexuals, who are perceived as being essentially defined as such. One consequence of this is that society is seen not as a collection of individuals but as an aggregate of conflicting groups. This is also a consequence of another politically correct slogan - multiculturalism. This, if it is taken seriously, is an oxymoron, for its consequence is the break-up of genuine social links which make up culture.

Political correctness is an attempt to redefine culture. Its advocates want, with the help of the state (which they want to endow with far-reaching powers), to change traditional customs, and even language. The European Union may turn out to be an important tool in their revolution. The single European state is to be the realization of the new ideology, the aim of which is to liberate man from traditional culture. The European constitution has turned out to be a declaration of an ideological programme. Among the aims of the EU this document lists "social progress", "eliminating exclusion", the protection of various rights, in particular children's rights. Similar phrases appear in the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Human Rights, which says a great deal about banning discrimination, particularly with regard to sexual orientation. Such "fundamental rights" foreshadow far-reaching state intervention into private and family life.  Another ideological choice is the absence from the preamble to the constitution of any mention of Europe's Christian heritage. This, too, entails a radical redefinition of European culture and a denial of one of its vital and most basic elements. 

The building of a new civilisation involves liberating people from the clutches of the old, evil one. This is why enlightened philosophers fought against superstition, why the party thought it necessary to raise the consciousness of the working class, and it is why European intellectuals today, with the aid of political correctness, and in the name of tolerance and non-discrimination, are rebuilding traditional culture. And here they are in perfect alliance with European politicians - that growing political class which thinks that its mission is to rule Europe -  without the need for democratic processes or accountability.    

The EU ideological and propaganda industry is creating its own enormous bureaucracy, with more and more specialists, foundations and institutes to keep the EU propaganda machine going. It is a self-propelling and self-perpetuating structure, with the sole aim of benefiting itself. And it is becoming increasingly powerful and influential.

It was the refusal to acknowledge and think through the failure of communism that allowed a return to utopian thinking.  The aim is to reduce people to a herd of sheep by looking after their needs, feeding them and brainwashing them, so that they forget all other ideas of what a human being should be and aspire to. The persecution of all manly virtues, and the subsequent destruction of the culture of duties, discipline and responsibility, is the only heroic dimension of the post-modern revolution.

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