Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Why Dinesh D'Souza Hates America

On the subject of idiotic authoritarian-right thinking, you may recall an earlier post of mine in which I reported on a forthcoming tome by leading American conservative intellectual Dinesh D'Souza, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, in which he propounds the thesis that:

The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11. … In faulting the cultural left, I am not making the absurd accusation that this group blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world. The Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks were the product of this visceral rage—some of it based on legitimate concerns, some of it based on wrongful prejudice, but all of it fueled and encouraged by the cultural left. Thus without the cultural left, 9/11 would not have happened.
D'Souza claims "that this is a strong charge, one that no one has made before." Wrong: Jerry Falwell (whose hagiography D'Souza penned in the 1980s) and Pat Robertson made precisely that claim not two days after the attacks, which should tell you something. What should it tell you? That here we have a core tenet of authoritarian right thinking: in order to preserve our liberty, we must relinquish it. Ed Brayton puts it thus:
D'Souza is a right wing appeaser. He claims that the terrorists hate us because we have the freedom to do things they morally disapprove of, and therefore we should do away with that freedom.
Or, as a commenter at Dispatches--tongue firmly planted in cheek--remarks:

Of course, if the cultural left has caused this hatred among the terrorists, then that can only mean the terrorists are against the cultural left; and if the cultural right in the US are also against the cultural left -- so much so that they publish books fanning the flames of cultural-left-hatred -- that means that they are aligned with the terrorists -- in an [finger quote] axis of evil [close finger quote], if you will. Thus, we see that the cultural right and the terrorists are one and the same.

So when will Dinesh D'Souza and the mullahs at the Hoover Institution be named unlawful enemy combatants and rounded up?

I raise this in order to point you in the direction (via Brayton) of a devastating review by Vanity Fair's James Woolcott, who has received an advance copy of D'Souza's book (due for release in January 2007). Michael Berube has a great blog on this topic also.

(Note the evocation of the Strict Father metaphor in the book's title: The Enemy Within. Perhaps George Lakoff has a point!)