I should have seen it coming. If America is turning into a second Israel, then we who oppose U.S. imperialism as well as Zionist imperialism are sure to be labeled anti-American as well as anti-Semitic. And we're going to be "anti-American" with a difference. It's not going to be like the old days (i.e., pre-911), when the established media automatically and instantly lavished their love and reverence on any slob who could stumble in front of them and spew out genuine anti-Americanism by which I mean not principled anti-United Statism but instead real hatred of America the Beautiful, hatred of the historic core of her people and their ways.
No, it's going to be a lot different. If the Ministry of Truth has its way, the new "anti-Americanism" will carry the same consequences as "anti-Semitism." Like "anti-Semites" now, the new "anti-Americans" will be considered delusional madmen and accorded the same caring, humanitarian therapy that Soviet psychiatrists taught modern regimes to administer unto all ideological madmen. That is to say, they will be punished, and punished severely. However, in characteristic Polite Totalitarian style which is so much more deft than the Soviet style most of the punishment will be inflicted not by the official Ministry of Love but rather by the informal Ministry of Truth itself (and by those who consume its propaganda).
Some proponents of empire, oblivious to irony, are instructing us that "we're all Israelis now." There is much truth in that, thanks to their wise, cautious, and benevolent leadership. But we opponents of empire will also be able to say, of ourselves, that "we're all Joe Sobrans now."
What I'm interpreting (incorrectly, I pray) as the first glimmer of the headlight of the locomotive bearing down on us is a piece written by one Bernard Wasserstein, a history professor in Scotland, titled "Anti-Semitism and Anti-Americanism." Wasserstein's national affiliation is obscure: he works in Scotland but is also identified as "president of the Jewish Historical Society of England"; and, of course, his name is neither English nor Scottish in origin. I received my copy of his article on the Net, but the piece seems to have first appeared in the September 28 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Writing, I believe, in the aftermath of 911, Wasserstein starts by telling us that
a century ago, anti-Semitism was called "the socialism of fools." Now something similar threatens to become rampant: anti-Americanism.
Psychologically, it fulfills some of the same functions as anti-Semitism. It gives vent to a hatred of the successful, and is fueled by envy and frustration. It attributes responsibility for all the ills of the world to one primary source. It ascribes to a supposed ruling clique of the despised group an ambition to control and exploit humanity. This new conspiracy theory has been embraced by large sections of the thinking classes in many countries. Like historical anti-Semitism, it transcends ideological boundaries and brings together economic, social, religious, and national animosities in a murderous brew.
Wasserstein is not condemning only Bin Laden and his Mouseketeers: "Americans are advised by many abroad (and by some at home): 'Ask yourselves why you are so hated.' It might be worth remembering that similar questions were put to Jews in the 1930s."
Clearly, all of that hatred, both at home and abroad, is the product of unreason of personal demons swirling about in the heads of the deluded. It can have nothing to do with the way the world is run. After all, as the politically sane among us understand, the folks who run the world are good people who have our best interests at heart, including the interests of the vast majority of us who lie powerless under their gentle, compassionate heel.
Wasserstein is right on top of things, in a predictably twisted way:
The parallel between anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism is more than just an analogy. The two paranoias are linked, and the nodal point of connection is the American-Israeli alliance. To some, the Israeli/Jewish hand is detected behind, controlling, the American leviathan.
In a similarly twisted way, he's correct in writing that there is an unreasoning element to the hatred, but it's a form of irrationality that he's unlikely to be able to identify. It's collectivism. Further on I'll have a little more to say about that.
In what follows as in what precedes, and as always unless otherwise stipulated I speak for myself only, and not for any of my co-conspirators and fellow victims of "murderous" delusion.
People whom I once ventured to call Power Jews are undeniably and disproportionately prominent in the imperial ruling class, especially in such crucial "commanding heights" as the financial and communication industries. That is so obvious and so well-established by respected Jewish writers among others that I challenge anyone who disagrees to suspend all sloganeering, eschew all slipping and sliding, and demonstrate to me with plain facts and figures how it is not the case.
However, I don't believe that the "Israeli/Jewish hand" controls the U.S. Empire in any straightforward way not yet, anyway. For now it's better to think in terms of a New York-Tel Aviv-Washington axis. That's somewhat cloudier, certainly, but it's also closer to being accurate. Even so, I expect that for Wasserstein my approach still qualifies as dissent that is not only irrational but also "murderous," and cries out for appropriate punitive therapy. (It is funny, though: here I am a libertarian who abjures the initiation of force, and I'm lumped in with murderers by the very statists who continually celebrate the initiation of force. I guess there's something I'm not seeing because of my delusions, no doubt.)
Even more "murderous," I'm sure, is my belief that the relationship between the two empires the great one headquartered in New York/Washington and the smaller one headquartered in Tel Aviv is the linchpin of U.S. imperialism. If that relationship were abandoned, it would amount to the renunciation of empire by the current U.S. ruling class and would constitute its suicide.
If that be "anti-Americanism," then let us make the most of it.
The history of popular language is a fascinating study, especially in these times when Americans have to learn an updated form of Kremlinology to decode what our homegrown Pravdas and Izvestias are trying to tell us.
"Anti-government" may be taken as something of a precursor of the now-mutating adjective "anti-American." Before Sgt. McVeigh and his commando team blew up the Murrah building, you rarely heard the word "anti-government" outside, well, genuinely anti-government circles. The established media actually did all they could to conceal the fact that Americans of a thoroughly anti-statist bent even existed!
After April 19, 1995, the Ministry of Truth once again proved it has a turn radius no larger than a dime. Before long, anyone including conservatives who even criticized the transitory Clinton apparat risked being tarred and feathered as generally and irredeemably "anti-government." On May 5, 1995, Bill Clinton himself told an audience at Michigan State University that "there is nothing patriotic about ... pretending that you can love your country but despise your government." (In the next edition of The Last Ditch, I ran that quote in a box headlined "Totalitarianism 101.")
Contrary to Clinton and other collectivists, the distinction between one's country and the government (overt or covert) that controls it is all-important. In fact, on September 11 it was a matter of life and death for at least 5,000 Americans. If the Muslims who perpetrated 911 had understood the distinction, they could not have flown airliners filled with civilians into buildings filled with civilians with the expectation that they would then be welcomed into Paradise. Old Hersh down at the corner deli is not a Power Jew; the United State is not America; and, for God's sake, the government is not the country.
The other night one of cable news's top two bullies, either Chris Matthews or Bill O'Reilly can't remember which used the word "anti-government" in its post-1995 sense while interviewing Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was amused to hear Schwarzenegger, a self-described conservative, reject the word as a tool of demonization on the ground that many conservatives could be termed "anti-government" because they want (so he said) to restrict overweening government power.
The interviewer didn't have much to say to that it would require some actual courage to bully Arnold Schwarzenegger in person but I'd still advise Arnold to watch out. A few years ago he was planning to make a movie about a "good soldier" of the Wehrmacht in which he would play the leading role. Naturally, the film was not going to be a vehicle for Nazi propaganda quite the contrary. Nevertheless, all of Schwarzenegger's wealth and influence and even his link with the Kennedys were insufficient to prevent those who are really in control of Hollywood from deep-sixing that project.
That's not all. Merely proposing to make the film seems to have damaged the actor's career. Now the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger needs to refine his mastery of Modern English, and quickly. If he doesn't get with the program soon, we may never again see a program with him on it.
I must close with a personal word about the new blood libel being crafted by our adversaries, because if I may reverse Michael Corleone's formulation it's rapidly becoming "personal, not business." I worship America the Beautiful, and every day I mourn her long, tortured passing. So here's a warning to anyone who may be inclined to call me anti-American to my face. My ancestors first came to this lovely land no less than 200 years ago, but before arriving on these shores the Scotch-Irish among them, like the outlaw Josey Wales, "lived by the feud." Nota bene.
Or if they prefer that in American English: Don't tread on me.
September 28, 2001
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