Somewhere on A1A...

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Present-day Romantics

Here's Martin Peretz describing the "fellow travellers" of history's failed revolutions, people in the US and the west who have sympathised and worked for one failed revolution after another, still with a need to move on to the next cause:

But move on they would, armed as always — as author David Caute put it — with their usual arsenal of "bifocal lenses, double standards, a myopic romanticism."

Of course, there is now no world revolution into which these deluded folk can vest their ardors, as yesteryear's fellow travelers did when extolling the nonexistent — but exemplary — democratic virtues of Stalin's Russia or of some other transformatory idyll. Only certified kooks are in the business these days of changing the nature of man.

So the present-day romantics, who at home typically despise the idea of the nation-state and the realities of national interest, are left with often contrived and almost always murderous nationalisms to adore. The nationalism du jour is Palestinian nationalism.


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