The humorless, totalitarian, fundamentalist Left

The humorless, totalitarian, fundamentalist Left

Yaacov Ben Moshe, at the “Breath of the Beast” blog, has a thoughtful post entitled “The Emergence of the Agélaste Left”. The “agélaste” are people who do not laugh because they have no sense of humor and, according to Rabelais, “…are convinced that the truth is obvious, that all men necessarily think the same thing, and that they themselves are exactly what they think they are.” Moshe sees this tendency all the more frequently among so many liberals. If you want to see it illustrated, go to any of the major left-wing bloggers and see the hatred spewed out at their ideological opponents in both posts and comments. It is true that hatred is not confined to the left, but there it is mainstream and reaches its full fatal flowering.

The moderate and progressive left for all its claims of good intentions and intellectual righteousness has for some time been slipping into a form of totalitarian fundamentalism.


Eliminating humor is essential to the totalitarian system. In His novel The Joke, Kundera has a Communist sympathizer saying, “No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.” A sense of humor would allow people to see the irony in the internal contradictions and turn laughingly away from it. The modern Progressive, leftist and liberal movements lack any real humor. What passes for humor in those precincts is actually more accurately classified as ridicule and mockery. While driving the other day I saw an excellent example, bumper stickers that read, “So Many Right-Wing Christians So Few Lions”. This is not humor. It is, rather, a kind of puerile, jejune attempt to wrap a hate message in a clever phrase and hurl it through the windshield of any car that had the misfortune to be driving behind.

He also identifies the inconsistencies within the liberal left-wing movement, such as sympathy for totalitarian systems that would disdain them, such as Islamofascism, even as they hate those Liberal (in the classic sense) institutions you would think they would support, like a democratic Israeli state. The reason, he says, is because of the nature of totalitarian fundamentalist systems.

Totalitarian systems loath each other but they hate the individual human being, his sense of humor and his free thought much more. That is why the Totalitarian left and Caliphate Islam find common cause with each other. In each of them, it is the system not the people in it or the ideals they hold that are important; the individual is an object of suspicion and disdain. As Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism, “Totalitarianism strives not toward despotic rule over men but toward a system in which men are superfluous,” The devotion to a strict fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran and the seemingly opposed devotion to the total and complete adherence to the intellectualized principals of the western left differ in their content but not in their disregard for reality and the complex nature of humanity.

There’s much more there. You should read the rest.

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