Tuesday, March 02, 2004

"Suddenly they disgust me. What is this simulacrum of a country inhabited by characters pretending to be actors out of a 1950’s French comedy? Is it any wonder that they conduct their foreign relations like village bumpkins? But of course I’m faking, too, forcing myself not to like what I liked and to like what I still have misgivings about, breaking loose from my moorings and sending myself into orbit. Because I don’t want to leave France and I can’t stay."

A Jewish leftist expat struggling with a suddenly alien France. Eloquent, and expressive of what I've seen in a lot of aging leftists, torn violently from the political habits of decades. David Horowitz is perhaps the most extreme example of this syndrome. The temptation of a total reversal, an inversion, a revulsion towards all the aspects and elements of true belief betrayed. The causes of the alienation are varied - for some 9/11, for some the al-Aqsa war, for some a long-forgotten, squalid crime remembered solely as part of that person's biography. But the patterns of conversion is still the same.

I don't think I'll ever experience it myself, because my political philosophy from childhood has always been a hostility towards any sort of pure idealism. You can't betray a pragmatist, you can only disappoint him.

Via Roger L. Simon, another alienated leftist, who demonstrates many of the characteristics of the ex-leftist conversion experience himself.

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