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Well, just so long as they don’t flaunt it

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April 23, 2002

Why I am not a peace protestor Writing about this weekend’s protests in Washington, DC, James Lileks—a man who is indubitably to the right of me, but in whose veins runs the warm blood of common sense—nails it:
They preach an end to war, but include in their number people who wish to destroy, violently, a democratic nation. They agitate against racism, but include in their number people who wish to exterminate the Jews of Israel. They rage against globalism, but support the work of terrorists who operate in every hemisphere. They are the useful fools who end up on the wrong side of concertina wire a year after the revolution; besotted by their communal self-regard, enchanted by the allure of the flame, they have thrown in their lot with the enemies of civilization. And this will be the death of their cause.
It’s a commonplace in these circles that we’re all complicit in some kind of wickedness for being members of broadly-defined classes who, you know, benefit from the hidden evil of the system. If individuals among us happen to get killed by terrorists, well, you “have to see their deaths in the broader context. You have to learn that no one is innocent any more.” You hear this kind of thing a lot from college-age anti-globos. (I overheard a lengthy example of it on the subway the other day. I felt like Woody Allen longing for his large sock full of horse manure.)

Like a sharp-minded dialectician from the heroic age of the Left, Lileks points out who benefits: “This is the apotheosis of the notion that the personal is the political: it gives the fascists a rationale for killing anyone.” [01:08 PM]

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