Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Soft Intellectuals

 

In her essay “Stop Being Shocked” published October 14 on Tablet, Bari Weiss listed troubling anti-Semitic trends taking place in the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. She brings up multiple true-life examples reinforcing her assertion. She then goes on to say that she, like the majority of American Jews, is “disgusted by Trump and Trumpism”; a movement which in her words “normalized bigotry and cruelty in ways that have crippled American society.”

In his book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, published in 2009, Jonah Goldberg highlights penetrating methods and tools used by progressive Democrats to vilify their opponents. Nevertheless, today, Goldberg is a member of the #NeverTrumper community. He finds members of the American Left like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris less offensive than the intrepid, braggadocious, and proud American patriot Donald J. Trump.

I suppose mainstream media provide many Americans with necessary reasons to generate feelings of “disgust” toward Trump. “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses,” wrote Vladimir Lenin 100 years ago. He continued: “He who now talks about the freedom of the press goes backward and halts our headlong course toward socialism.” Mainstream media omit Trump’s administration efforts to improve the lives of low and middle-income Americans with newly designed trade agreements; they don’t discuss policies that revived crippled economy. Nor do they highlight the tremendous success of the Trump administration in the Middle East.

In my book Socialism and Capitalism through the Eyes of a Soviet Émigré, I provide parallels between the ideology of Soviet Communists and American progressives. The resemblance is unquestionable. Ms. Weiss and Mr. Goldberg superbly analyze modern Democratic Party trends, yet they stay loyal to socially acceptable political Kabuki dancers of moderate Democrats and many craven Republicans; the same ones who allowed destructive anti-American forces to ravage American schools and culture.

In 1919 Russian revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky described soft intellectuals: “Intellectual doesn’t like risk. He is just a little bit reddish.” Lenin and Stalin used the term “rotten intelligentsia,” soft intellectual’s core principles can be easily smashed with just a bit of pressure. They do not represent any danger to the revolutionary forces.

A few years ago, Republicans like Romney and Paul Ryan folded like straws in the face of brazenly deceptive attacks by their opponents. Today, President Trump is the only force that is standing between the freedom-loving American people and America-hating socialist-democrats, control-hungry corrupt politicians, anti-Semites, and liberal fascists. Most happen to be modules of the Democratic Party.

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  1. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Svetlana: Miss. Weiss and Mr. Goldberg superbly analyze modern Democratic Party trends, yet they stay loyal to socially acceptable political Kabuki dancers of moderate Democrats and many craven Republicans; the same ones who allowed destructive anti-American forces to ravage American schools and culture.

    Svetlana,

    Completely true and perfectly stated. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They recognize quite correctly the absurd fallacies these woke Marxists are peddling but then they can’t abide by any political force that would be a true antidote to this poison.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
    • October 28, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses,” wrote Vladimir Lenin 100 years ago. He continued: “He who now talks about the freedom of the press goes backward and halts our headlong course toward socialism.” Mainstream media omit Trump’s administration efforts to improve life of low and middle-income Americans with newly designed Trade agreements; they don’t discuss policies that revived crippled economy. Nor do they highlight tremendous success of Trump administration in the Middle East.

    This is the first I have been aware of your book. I have a number of friends who emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1990s. I wish more of the public at large would pay more attention to could hear their stories and yours.

    • #2
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I would love to have Jonah interview you about the current situation but it will never happen.

    • #3
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Jim Beck Member

    Morning James and Svetlana,

    Many of us have read Jonah’s books and enjoyed them, we have read George Will and seen his presentations on youtube, and seen Bill Kristol’s interviews and enjoyed them, and now we see that there is a rather large gulf between them and us. What they prize and what we prize seem to be quite far apart. What explains this gulf? It is observed that many liberals do not suffer the consequences of the policies they make, are our “conservative” intellectuals simlarly shielded from consequences? I was a fan of Paul Ryan, was I fooled, and how did that happen? One benefit of Trump, is that he exposed those who were not really my allies. I am wondering how I was fooled, and how to avoid being fooled in the future.

    • #4
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:18 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Morning James and Svetlana,

    Many of us have read Jonah’s books and enjoyed them, we have read George Will and seen his presentations on youtube, and seen Bill Kristol’s interviews and enjoyed them, and now we see that there is a rather large gulf between them and us. What they prize and what we prize seem to be quite far apart. What explains this gulf? It is observed that many liberals do not suffer the consequences of the policies they make, are our “conservative” intellectuals simlarly shielded from consequences? I was a fan of Paul Ryan, was I fooled, and how did that happen? One benefit of Trump, is that he exposed those who were not really my allies. I am wondering how I was fooled, and how to avoid being fooled in the future.

    JimB,

    I guess the only way not to get fooled is to exercise your own judgement and not take things for granted. I could recommend a question to ask yourself when consuming presumably conservative content. “Is this guy actually a conservative or is he just playing one on TV (internet, movies, the news, …etc.)?”

    If you are watching some guy from central casting just playing a conservative stop watching.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:27 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Svetlana: Today President Trump is the only force that is standing between freedom loving American people, and America-hating socialist-democrats, control-hungry corrupt politicians, anti-Semites, and liberal fascists.

    Fortunately, Trump was backed by lots of voters in 2016, and I think the same thing will happen again in 2020. Joe “Mr. Nowhere Man” Biden’s supporters lack enthusiasm, and Kamala Harris had no supporters, hence her early withdrawal from the Democrat primaries.

    • #6
    • October 28, 2020, at 8:18 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Svetlana Member
    Svetlana

    JoelB (View Comment):

    “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses,” wrote Vladimir Lenin 100 years ago. He continued: “He who now talks about the freedom of the press goes backward and halts our headlong course toward socialism.” Mainstream media omit Trump’s administration efforts to improve life of low and middle-income Americans with newly designed Trade agreements; they don’t discuss policies that revived crippled economy. Nor do they highlight tremendous success of Trump administration in the Middle East.

    This is the first I have been aware of your book. I have a number of friends who emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1990s. I wish more of the public at large would pay more attention to could hear their stories and yours.

    Dear @JoelB, my book “Socialism and Capitalism through the Eyes of a Soviet Émigré” was recently published and is available on Amazon.

    • #7
    • October 28, 2020, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Svetlana (View Comment):
    Dear @JoelB, my book “Socialism and Capitalism through the Eyes of a Soviet Émigré” was recently published and is available on Amazon.

    Can you message a link to me? I have always enjoyed learning in this way. I have grown up in a community that celebrates defectors and freedom fighters. I know it sounds cliche, but during the Provo Freedom Festival, we had (still have) people from all over the world who have escaped. It has always been an inspiration to me.

    • #8
    • October 28, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Svetlana Member
    Svetlana

    ShaunaHunt (View Comment):

    Svetlana (View Comment):
    Dear @JoelB, my book “Socialism and Capitalism through the Eyes of a Soviet Émigré” was recently published and is available on Amazon.

    Can you message a link to me? I have always enjoyed learning in this way. I have grown up in a community that celebrates defectors and freedom fighters. I know it sounds cliche, but during the Provo Freedom Festival, we had (still have) people from all over the world who have escaped. It has always been an inspiration to me.

    https://www.svetlanakunin.com/

     

     

    • #9
    • October 28, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent post, Svetlana. Many writers, professors, media types, etc tend to judge politicians by the degree to which they speak in a certain faux-academic style (think Barack Obama)….a lot of the extreme dislike directed at Sarah Palin was because she does *not* speak in this style, as is the case today with Trump.

    In the late 1930s, a young French army captain named Andre Beafre was chosen to serve with the French General Staff. Although he was originally thrilled to be placed in this elevated company:

    I saw very quickly that our seniors were primarily concerned with forms of drafting. Every memorandum had to be perfect, written in a concise, impersonal style, and conforming to a logical and faultless plan–but so abstract that it had to be read several times before one could find out what it was about…”I have the honour to inform you that I have decided…I envisage…I attach some importance to the fact that…” Actually no one decided more than the barest minimum, and what indeed was decided was pretty trivial.

    There is a lot of this in certain ‘elite’ circles in America today. 

    • #10
    • October 28, 2020, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. FloppyDisk90 Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    Fortunately, Trump was backed by lots of voters in 2016, and I think the same thing will happen again in 2020. Joe “Mr. Nowhere Man” Biden’s supporters lack enthusiasm, and Kamala Harris had no supporters, hence her early withdrawal from the Democrat primaries.

    If by “lots of voters” you mean “narrowly squeaked out an Electoral College win while losing the popular vote” then, yes, you are correct. Unless a miracle happens in the next 5 or so days, Trump is going to lose to a senile sock puppet by a fairly large margin. When that happens he will be a “loser” just like the hated Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

    • #11
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member

    Solzhenitsyn has a sentence at the end of “In the First Circle” to the effect that the ideas of the losers seem to reappear among the victors, and potentially can prevail. In that single sentence he virtually prophesied the victory of the West in the Cold War, and the rise of Soviet ideology in the West thereafter. That was in the early 1950s. How did he see this? His prescience seems prophetic. Even then he understood the perversity and weakness of the Soviet System and the perversity and weakness of the West. 

    • #12
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    I found this paragraph of interest:

    In my book Socialism and Capitalism through the Eyes of a Soviet Émigré, I provide parallels between the ideology of Soviet Communists and American progressives. The resemblance is unquestionable. Ms. Weiss and Mr. Goldberg superbly analyze modern Democratic Party trends, yet they stay loyal to socially acceptable political Kabuki dancers of moderate Democrats and many craven Republicans; the same ones who allowed destructive anti-American forces to ravage American schools and culture.

    The hypocrisy of those on The Left is above and beyond imagining.

    The fact that this hypocrisy is combined with overwhelming glibness and overwhelming idiocy proves the Left cannot govern in any way other than that offered by the failed game plans of various Communistic movements we have seen crash and burn so many times before.

    The Left will point to the socialism of the Scandinavian nations as proof that socialism can work.

    What they fail to take into account is this important distinction: The Scandinavian nations created a hybrid mode of governing, that employed some of the more sensible facets of Family Capitalism and united those with social programs that would make any socialist blush.

    What I mean by that is for example: In the mid-1970’s, when the people of Norway found out that they had a vast resource of high quality oil sitting along their shores and in their ocean waters, they did not decide to hire oil rig workers and oil company managers based on their adherence to party slogans. Rather than that, the industry hired oil industry professionals who were either skilled at engineering, drilling or decent business practices. (And in some cases the hirees were skilled at all three.)

    Then with their oil industry flourishing, Norway could handle the costs of the social programs that had been devised with regards to education, health and other needs.

    Meanwhile circa 2017-2018, the Dems in control of our various Fed government agencies spent so much time bastardizing the hiring practices of the Air Traffic Control situation that Tucker Carlson spent one whole summer bringing that matter to the public’s attention. Carlson pointed out job applicants were given extra credits for Not speaking English very well. They were given extra credit for Not having taken any course work related to air traffic control. They were given extra credit for Not having taken any engineering classes, or any other classes that might show an ability to guide fleets of planes into safe landings and take offs at our nation’s airports.

    The one remaining thing that could point to these hiring practices not being all out communism is that at that time, the job applicants did not have to show any approval by the DNC or the CCP. But if Biden is elected, that is most likely how jobs will be assigned.

    Anyone who still flies should offer Tucker Carlson thanks if they have a safe flight. As he was a major reason why this situation was rectified.

    • #13
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Very good post.

    I think we have at least two different things going on here.

    The first is within the GOP where we have the “good losers” like Romney, McCain, Ryan and the pundits like George Will. They either have no clue about, or no interest in fighting, the huge cultural shifts that make any dissenter from the Progressive line subject to censorship, ostracism, loss of job/career etc. Give them tax cuts, globalization, and immigration “reform” delivered by well-mannered politicians and they’re happy. They persist in believing that if only Trump were gone we could go back to the good old days.

    The second are liberals/progressives who fully understand the danger the Woke pose to liberal democracy and have been among the most eloquent and forceful voices against them, yet when pressed on the bottom line, still default to how awful Trump is and will vote for Biden, or, at least, not for Trump, somehow believing it will still stem the tide – these include Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, Bret Weinstein and many others.

    To his credit, the leading, most unrelenting, and earliest vocal opponent of the Woke, James Lindsay, a self-identified progressive and supporter of Obama, has announced he will be voting for Trump because the ascension of the Woke (and he has no doubt the Biden administration will be dominated by them) means the end for everyone else.

    • #14
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Flicker Coolidge

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Morning James and Svetlana,

    Many of us have read Jonah’s books and enjoyed them, we have read George Will and seen his presentations on youtube, and seen Bill Kristol’s interviews and enjoyed them, and now we see that there is a rather large gulf between them and us. What they prize and what we prize seem to be quite far apart. What explains this gulf? It is observed that many liberals do not suffer the consequences of the policies they make, are our “conservative” intellectuals simlarly shielded from consequences? I was a fan of Paul Ryan, was I fooled, and how did that happen? One benefit of Trump, is that he exposed those who were not really my allies. I am wondering how I was fooled, and how to avoid being fooled in the future.

    JimB,

    I guess the only way not to get fooled is to exercise your own judgement and not take things for granted. I could recommend a question to ask yourself when consuming presumably conservative content. “Is this guy actually a conservative or is he just playing one on TV (internet, movies, the news, …etc.)?”

    If you are watching some guy from central casting just playing a conservative stop watching.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Mu uninformed take on Paul Ryan is that he was a true — if naive — believer in economic reform. And when he was made Speaker, he was told that this was never going to happen and to play along or get out. And he got out — but a little late. 

    • #15
    • October 28, 2020, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. TBA Coolidge

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Svetlana: Miss. Weiss and Mr. Goldberg superbly analyze modern Democratic Party trends, yet they stay loyal to socially acceptable political Kabuki dancers of moderate Democrats and many craven Republicans; the same ones who allowed destructive anti-American forces to ravage American schools and culture.

    Svetlana,

    Completely true and perfectly stated. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They recognize quite correctly the absurd fallacies these woke Marxists are peddling but then they can’t abide by any political force that would be a true antidote to this poison.

    Regards,

    Jim

    “The ship may be sinking but the important thing is to not make waves.” 

    • #16
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    Svetlana: Today President Trump is the only force that is standing between freedom loving American people, and America-hating socialist-democrats, control-hungry corrupt politicians, anti-Semites, and liberal fascists.

    Fortunately, Trump was backed by lots of voters in 2016, and I think the same thing will happen again in 2020. Joe “Mr. Nowhere Man” Biden’s supporters lack enthusiasm, and Kamala Harris had no supporters, hence her early withdrawal from the Democrat primaries.

    I live in a liberal college town in LA County and I saw a total of two Harris bumper stickers when she was running in the primary. She may be more popular up north, but I wouldn’t bet on it. 

    • #17
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Very good post.

    I think we have at least two different things going on here.

    The first is within the GOP where we have the “good losers” like Romney, McCain, Ryan and the pundits like George Will. They either have no clue about, or no interest in fighting, the huge cultural shifts that make any dissenter from the Progressive line subject to censorship, ostracism, loss of job/career etc. Give them tax cuts, globalization, and immigration “reform” delivered by well-mannered politicians and they’re happy. They persist in believing that if only Trump were gone we could go back to the good old days.

    The second are liberals/progressives who fully understand the danger the Woke pose to liberal democracy and have been among the most eloquent and forceful voices against them, yet when pressed on the bottom line, still default to how awful Trump is and will vote for Biden, or, at least, not for Trump, somehow believing it will still stem the tide – these include Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, Bret Weinstein and many others.

    To his credit, the leading, most unrelenting, and earliest vocal opponent of the Woke, James Lindsay, a self-identified progressive and supporter of Obama, has announced he will be voting for Trump because the ascension of the Woke (and he has no doubt the Biden administration will be dominated by them) means the end for everyone else.

    What an excellent comment. Being a newly molded Republican, I am not all that familiar with the “good losers” you mention. But some of the many nebulous ideas I could not quite put into words yet were able to crystalize as I read your statements.

    • #18
    • October 28, 2020, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Stad Thatcher

    FloppyDisk90 (View Comment):
    “narrowly squeaked out an Electoral College win while losing the popular vote”

    There’s no legitimacy in referring to “the popular vote”. Besides, 304-227 is hardly a “squeaked out” win. If you want that, go back to the 271-266 win for George W. Bush . . .

    • #19
    • October 29, 2020, at 6:56 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    Does your book have an audio version?

    • #20
    • November 1, 2020, at 9:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes