If your daily digest of raw information consists primarily of the illiterati blog industry – because, y’know, you’re a rebel and you know everything else is a construct of Western patriarchal hegemony, weaving lies and illusions to prop up their shaky, unjust and corrupt machinery of oppression (aka the status quo) – then no doubt you will know Christopher Hitchens was an establishment loving, warmongering fascist1.
OTOH, those that can tie their own shoelaces may beg to disagree and point out that Hitchens possessed an intellect that was in a constant state of flux2 voraciously absorbing new information and updating the old on the fly and that to brand him with any fixed ideology or belief system (not to be confused with disbelief system) was quite simply not possible. And the more attentive will also point out that there was a time when Hitch was similarly painted as a card-carrying Trotskyite activist / pamphleteer / smash-the-state revolutionary.
The extract quoted below is taken from Hitch-22: A Memoir, Hitchen’s autobiography published the year before his death. It was at the point in time where the first chinks in his youthful socialist idealism began to appear. Hitch had just returned from what he derisively termed “revolution tourism” – a rather disillusioning trip to Fidel’s Cuba which was to be followed by a visit to the other socialist utopia of the time, Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, the latter was spoiled by Soviet tanks rolling in to contain a dangerous outbreak of liberalism –
As 1968 began to ebb into 1969, however, and as “anticlimax” began to become a real word in my lexicon, another term began to obtrude itself. People began to intone the words “The Personal Is Political.” At the instant I first heard this deadly expression, I knew as one does from the utterance of any sinister bullshit that it was — cliché is arguably forgivable here — very bad news. From now on, it would be enough to be a member of a sex or gender, or epidermal subdivision, or even erotic “preference,” to qualify as a revolutionary. In order to begin a speech or to ask a question from the floor, all that would be necessary by way of preface would be the words: “Speaking as a . . .” Then could follow any self-loving description. I will have to say this much for the old “hard” Left: we earned our claim to speak and intervene by right of experience and sacrifice and work. It would never have done for any of us to stand up and say that our sex or sexuality or pigmentation or disability were qualifications in themselves. There are many ways of dating the moment when the Left lost or — I would prefer to say — discarded its moral advantage, but this was the first time that I was to see the sellout conducted so cheaply.
What Hitch could not possibly have realised at the time was that not only was he witnessing the rot of what passed for “left” politics becoming terminal – he was also witnessing the genesis of the modern Social Justice Warrior. Indeed he probably died mercifully unaware of the full scale of SJW idiocy in the present setting – the well poisoners, character assassins and breeders of ill-will that have made it their duty to infest and undermine subcultures from atheism / skepticism to #gamergate to #metalgate to comics to Sci-Fi to anywhere else where there is enough of a critical mass of well meaning patsies to allow them to take root.
What Hitch witnessed was the coup de grâce delivered to alternative, genuinely progressive politics, a subversion from which it has never recovered. It was the original well poisoning and it was on a Pacific Ocean scale. And the result? Now, anything with even a hint of left-of-centre is more or less instantly dismissed with contemptuous sneers, treated as a stupid child forever locked out of grown-up conversations, the very term “liberal” reduced to a belittling insult.
Well done guys.
1 – This is the short fat prick from Morris, Minnesota, pissing on Hitchens’ grave before his corpse had even cooled, let alone been buried. Myers’ misrepresentations and smears neither need nor deserve any refutation.
2 – The same cannot be said of self-anointed “intellectuals” like PZ Myers who’s mind is the quintessence of a bug trapped in amber. I always loved Robert Anton Wilson’s theorisation of how a human brain calcifies – a theory that is now finding support with neuroplasticity advances using techniques such as fMRI. Myers is a textbook case. Either that, or he’s just another Sarkeesian like panhandling fraud milking “social justice” for what he can get away with. But that gravy train looks more and more like it’s derailing.