I read a portion of Andy Divine’s essay of January 26, 2018: the usual shopworn narrative of his being the epitome of ‘Centrism’: that iteration of ‘Centrism’ being about the political rapprochement between the Neo-Liberals and the Neo-Conservatives. That marks the movement of our current politics, to the most reactionary form of ‘Right Wing’ radical political nostalgia, allied to an equally reactionary and destructive, manufactured Free Market Romanticism. As the only answer to the continual political/moral crisis of our present. It is beyond the ken of Mr. Divine that the collapse of the Neo-Liberal Mythology, and the failure of the metaphysic of the Self-Correcting Market to manifest itself in the present, might just be the key to that ineradicable mood of crisis.
First, Mr. Divine presents himself as the modern day Platonic Guardian, who can answer all questions political and moral, in sum, those pressing questions answered by a wan political conformity, with what remains of his personal evolution: from Thatcherite, to Neo-Conservative, to Neo-Liberal. Showing the persistence of the worst of these beliefs, of this misbegotten troika of immiserating conditions , not to speak of , being a collection of ignoble lies, while he vilifies the ‘social-justice left’ as the perpetual enemy. Using the strategy of rhetorical of displacement , as the-in-order-too of a serial denial, of responsibility for his demonstrably failed political advocacies in his past.
His propaganda precursors being Alan Bloom, of ‘The Closing of the American Mind’, Roger Kimball of ‘Tenured Radicals’ and Illiberal Education by Dinesh D’Souza. In its most contemporary expression of Straussian Mark Lilla’s The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics that attacks Identity Politics, that Mr. Divine dubs the ‘social-justice left’, and that in the political present moment threatens- the title of his essay tells the whole his story, in its essence: ‘The Gay Rights Movement Is Undoing Its Best Work’ under the malign influence of that ‘social justice left’s inherent nihilism. The last paragraph of this portion of his episodic melodrama, casts him in his favorite role of Wise Political Elder counseling the neophytes. As always, awash in Patriarchal Attitudes, the title of Eva Figes 1970 book. Mr. Divine counts on the fact that his readership is at least as historically ignorant as he is, or should I call it a cultivated ignorance on both their parts?
The Trump era is, I fear, not just about this hideous embarrassment of a president. It’s also fueled by a reaction of many ordinary people to the excesses of the social-justice left — on immigration, race, gender, and sexual orientation. If the gay-rights movement decides to throw in with this new leftism, and abandon the moderation and integrationism of the recent past, they risk turning gay equality from being about a win-win process for gays and straights into a war between “LGBT” people and the rest. That’s a battle none of us need to fight. Especially after the real war was won.
Nothing is clearer, than that Carl Schmitt’s plangent idea of the Friend/Enemy distinction, rules the politics of our benighted political present. That Neo-Conservative, Neo-Liberal rapprochement: how long can it survive the natural antagonisms of these two expressions of a vulgarized, if such is possible, Social Darwinism?