November 9, 2017
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The Strange “United Front” of the Marxist Left and the Neocon Right on Russia
A few days ago [November 6] I passed on several items about the evolving “Russians Did It!” canard, and I promised more details and additional information. As readers of these commentaries know, this particular question has been a topic of great interest for me, and not just recently but stretching back now for a number of years. For the question does not just involve purported Russian “involvement” in our 2016 elections but encompasses the widespread Russophobic narrative shared by both the American far Left and the Neoconservative “Right.”
How was it possible, I asked, that two supposedly ideological opposites in American political thinking could come together in a kind of (un)comfortable “united front” to denounce post-Communist Russia and its president? What brought these politicians, these pundits and their journals and foundations and think tanks, together against a perceived and common enemy?
To discover reasons for this concordance our first examination must be historical and has much to do with the common origin of the modern American Left and the dominant leadership cadres of the modern “conservative movement.” In one of those strange ironies and bizarre turns of history, both these intellectual forces inherited and share a legacy that has more to do with the vision and praxis of Leon Trotsky and his brand of internationalist Marxism, than with our traditional Cold War understanding of Right and Left.
For dominant Neconservatism, various historians have carefully documented this process. We need only to cite such authors as Paul Gottfried (The Strange Death of Marxism, After Liberalism, and Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt), Claes Ryn (The New Jacobinism and America the Virtuous), Gary Dorrien (The Neoconservative Mind), and the father of Neoconservatism, itself, Irving Kristol (Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea and Reflections of a Neoconservative). It still surprises some “movement” conservatives to discover the history of what I call “the great brain robbery” of the conservative movement, that is, the vicious struggle between an older, traditional conservatism and those intellectual refugees from the older Trotskyite Left who made their pilgrimage to the right in the 1970s and 1980s, and ended up in virtual control of the “movement.”
The Neocons brought their essential—and philo-Marxist—philosophical foundations with them. Thus, in opposition to earlier traditional conservative thought (as exemplified by the late Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, Mel Bradford, and Robert Nisbet), they incorporated as fundamental to “conservatism” a vision of liberal democracy, “universal human rights” and across-the-board equality as a basic human right, and those positions had profound consequences politically, socially and practically in their support for the burgeoning expansion of so-called “civil rights” and how they envisage the very concept of “rights.” Their ideology had significant impact, from their zealous belief in America’s unique destiny to impose democracy and equality, by force if necessary, across the face of the globe (cf. Allan Bloom), to their support for “moderate” feminism and acceptance of transgenderism and same sex marriage (which Neocon pundit Jonah Goldberg terms as a “conservative value”), to their tendency to support open borders, as well as their re-writing and radical revising of history to exclude older conservatives and the older conservative tradition that did not share their egalitarianism (and most recently the intellectually warped attempts by Goldberg and Dinesh D’Souza to paint the American Left as “fascist” and prove that it is the Neocons who are the real champions of equality and human rights).
I can think of no clearer example of this Marxist genealogy and its modern Neocon manifestation than an example cited by Dr. Paul Gottfried in an extremely revealing analysis authored ten years ago. His essay appeared via Takimag (“The New Face of National Review,” April 17, 2007). Gottfried cites Neocon writer, Stephen Schwartz, in a commentary for National Review Online, who offers a flattering depiction of onetime Soviet Marxist leader Leon Trotsky (1879-1940). Gottfried continues:
“The loser in a power struggle with Stalin after the death of Lenin in 1924, Trotsky in exile, first in Norway and later in Mexico, had warned against the rise and spread of ‘fascism.’ According to Schwartz…the democracies should have heeded the admonitions of the ‘antifascist’ Communist revolutionary Trotsky…. Hateful rightists are supposedly still blaming Trotsky for a Soviet dictatorship, to which, according to Schwartz, he had contributed only minimally. Were Trotsky still alive, we are told, he would be lending his considerable talents to fighting …. rightwing extremists. Schwartz ends his commentary by declaiming:
‘To my last breath, I will defend Trotsky who alone and pursued from country to country and finally laid low in his own blood in a hideously hot house in Mexico City, said no to Soviet coddling to Hitlerism, to the Moscow purges, and to the betrayal of the Spanish Republic, and who had the capacity to admit that he had been wrong about the imposition of a single-party state as well as about the fate of the Jewish people. To my last breath, and without apology. Let the neofascists and Stalinists in their second childhood make of it what they will’.”
Schwartz’s views are by no means isolated or singular amongst the Neoconservative punditry; there are other examples that, so to speak, equally let the cat out of the bag.…And what is fascinating is how such views increasingly appear essentially indistinct from views and opinions that can be commonly found in the pages of The New Republic, The Nation, and The New York Times, or via MSNBC and CNN—whose perspectives are representative of a more honest admission of their genealogical and philosophical origins on the Trotskyite Marxist Left.
In a very real sense, then, the opposition of both the American Left and the Neocon “Right” to Vladimir Putin has much to do with his perceived opposition to liberal democracy, “human rights,” globally-imposed equality, and, perhaps most importantly, his unwillingness to fall into line economically and politically with the advancing globalist panzers of the New World Order, whether directed from Bruxelles or from the board rooms on Wall Street or from smoke filled conference rooms in Washington. The fearful rise of nationalism and conservative populism, and the refusal to accept globalist tutelage and ultimate control, whether coming from Moscow or from Donald Trump, is what unites unlikely partners such as internationalist and Marxist George Soros with Neocons such as Bill Kristol and politicians like John McCain (who has received Soros pass-through funding).
The “Russians Did It!” canard is just the latest episode in this ongoing Kabuki dance between the Neocon-dominated “conservative movement” and its auxiliaries, who now suggest that the Russians wanted Hillary to win in 2016, and the openly Marxist Left and its auxiliaries, who continue their discredited narrative that the Russians colluded with Donald Trump and therefore “stole” the election away from the Deep State’s rightful heir apparent. Both have Russia in their cross hairs: for the Neocons it is as if nothing has changed since the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991 and we are still fighting a dictator just like Josef Stalin; for the cultural Marxists it is because they see a post-Communist, nationalist and religiously traditionalist Russia as a danger to their particular brand of socialist hegemony. The differences in their opposition are impressionistic, like a many-headed, serpentine Hydra which incarnates various aspects of globalism, egalitarianism and what they term “liberal democracy”: they take differing paths to reach their goals…but those objectives are fundamentally alike.