Why does an openly oppressive theocratic movement appeal to those who enjoy the benefits of freedom, especially to so many of the highly privileged adhering to an ideology which claims to oppose everything that religion represents? This book reveals an unholy alliance and the motives of westerners that hate their own society, often expressed in their own words.
Alain Besançon's seminal study of Communism, Nazism and the Holocaust is called A Century of Horrors. Jamie Glazov connects the dots between the totalitarian massacres of the 20th century, murder in the name of religion and the mutual attraction between the radical left and radical islamists. As Eric Hoffer has shown in The True Believer, movements are interchangeable to a surprising extent. Both the radical and the reactionary hate the present. The temperament, not the ideological content, is crucial: fanatics often move from one form of extremism to another: communism, fascism, xenophobic nationalism, religious intolerance.
Part 2, titled Romance With Tyranny, charts the love affair between western leftists and murderous regimes throughout the 20th century. Intellectuals and celebrities venerated monsters like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, & Ho Chi Minh. The New Left of the 1960s didn't have a change of heart, just a change of icons from Stalin to third world tyrants. The homicidal and sadistic Che Guevara is still held up as a hero whilst leftards never tire of Cuba's supposedly superior health system.
After the communist victory and resultant slaughter in Vietnam, few of Hanoi's western supporters expressed shock or regret. These true believers do not care about the victims who are merely eggs to be broken in order to create the perfect utopian omelet. The last communist hope in Nicaragua was shattered by Ronald Reagan. After that, the collapse of the Soviet Empire left the Left aimless. The ideological offspring of the 'progressives' that were hoping the West would lose the Cold War became the nihilist leftovers of today.
Hatred of the United States is one great attractor. Jihadists share a desire for cathartic violence with radical leftists; that's why the latter could not conceal their glee in the wake of 9/11. They blamed America and opposed the US campaign to oust the Taliban. The lust for sacrifice remains, expressed in loathing for Western culture, for capitalism, for the West's Judeo-Christian heritage and for Israel. Glazov shows how modern Islamism was incubated by both Nazism and Marxism. In the 1930s the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj al-Amin al-Husseini, became a supporter of Hitler, eventually settling in Berlin where he encouraged the annihilation of European Jewry, hoping to become the leader of the Arab world in expectation of an Axis victory.
The Mufti promoted Nazism amongst the Arabs, blending National Socialism with fundamentalist Islam. After the war he fled to Cairo where he accommodated fleeing Nazis and planned the destruction of Israel. Al-Husseini did not only targeted Jews but also moderate Arabs and the democratic West in general. Nazism was the spiritual and physical bridge bringing ideological extremism to the Arab world. When the Soviet Union became the champion of the Arab cause, hatred of Israel started migrating to the Left. Arab leaders like Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat were all influenced by the Mufti's ideas.
The impulse to create an earthly paradise through human sacrifice is common to both secular & religious totalitarianism. Suicidal & homicidal martyrdom is the favorite expression of the radical desire for utopia. The Dragons Of Expectation by Robert Conquest is most illuminating in this regard. Bloodlust & anti-Americanism go hand in hand with anti-Semitism. All totalitarian ideologies despise modernity, the rule of law and the sanctity of human life, notions that emerged from Judaism. In addition, Jews personify individual achievement and love of life.
Wearing different masks, the forces of evil are very similar in their methods and their madness. That's why the so-called `peace protests' of 2003 were organized and led by both the Far Right & Far Left as observed by Nick Cohen, Julie Burchill and Christopher Hitchens amongst others. Ayn Rand called them collectivists, Bruce Walker calls them sinisterists but these followers of totalitarian ideologies are all the same. They employ the lie in order to attain power over our minds & bodies. The political spectrum is not linear but circular; there is a spot where the Far Left, Far Right and Radical Islam converge. Their latest idol is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.
Bernard-Henri Levy's Left in Dark Times confirms much of what Glazov exposes here - a global convergence of totalitarians of all stripes, united by their hatred of capitalism, individual freedom, America & the Jewish State. United In Hate concludes with notes, a bibliography and index. It's a worthy contribution to the growing body of literature which includes Eurabia by Bat Ye'or, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Unholy Alliance by David Horowitz, While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer and Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism by Denis MacShane.