For the Left believes that its secular, materialistic, individualistic and utilitarian values represent not a point of view but virtue itself. No decent person can therefore oppose them. Anyone who does so is automatically "right-wing". In fact, such opponents may have no ideological position. But the Left cannot acknowledge such a possibility. In Manichean fashion it divides the world into two opposing and exclusive camps, good and evil; and so it creates as the sole alternative to itself a demonic political camp, to which everyone who challenges it is automatically consigned. Since anything that is not the Left is therefore "the Right", and since "the Right" is by definition evil, to challenge any left-wing shibboleth is to be labelled "right-wing" and put oneself totally beyond the moral pale.
So there can be no dissent or argument at all. Only one world-view is to be permitted and all other views are to be suppressed or destroyed. And because all that is evil is "right-wing" and all that is "right-wing" is evil, anyone who supports Israel or the Americans in Iraq, is sceptical of anthropogenic global warming, opposes multiculturalism or utilitarianism, supports capitalism or is a believing Christian is not only evil but also "right-wing".
In a follow-up to our "little green men" conversation, Richard Dawkins once again provided an example of what I'm talking about. In a lecture to the American Atheists' Association, which was mainly an attack upon a Christian professor of mathematics who is one of his fiercest critics, he also claimed — falsely — that I had selectively quoted him in order to misrepresent what he had said. In fact, since he was ascribing to me something that someone else altogether had written, it was he who had misquoted me. Nevertheless, the point of this anecdote is that, intent as he was on dramatising to the American Atheists' Association the full depth of my iniquity, he displayed on screen just three words to sum up what both I and the maths professor had done. Those words were "Lying for Jesus".
In other words, just as the Left assume that all evil people are "right-wing' and all "right-wing" people are evil, so Dawkins appears to think that everyone who opposes scientism and evangelical atheism is an evil Christian. Since I am actually a Jew, I'm not sure quite where that places me on the spectrum of infamy.
Dawkins's star may now be on the wane, since his extremism has begun to grate even among his erstwhile fans. But the witch-hunting of dissenters from the revealed truths of secular ideology continues to escalate.
For the millenarian, the high-minded belief in creating a perfect world requires the imperfect world to be purified by the true believers. From the French Revolutionary Committee of Public Safety to Iran's moral police, from Stalin's purges of dissidents to British and American "hate crime" laws, utopians of every stripe have instigated coercive or tyrannical regimes to save the world by ridding it of its perceived corruption.
The symmetry today is as obvious as it is striking. At a time when radical Islam is attempting to purify the world by conquering it for Islam and thus create the kingdom of God on earth, the West is also trying to purify the world in order to create a secular utopia in which war will become a thing of the past, prejudice, hatred and selfishness will be eradicated from the human heart, reason will replace superstition, humanity will live in harmony with the earth and all division will yield to the brotherhood of man.
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