Thursday, November 03, 2011

The death throes of the new New Left

Yeah, they thought they would change the world. Now they find out they're just a side show, so what do they do? Why, riot, of course. Some things never change.

The last New Left took to the barricades in cities around the globe in the late '60s, and came astoundingly close to tipping the world into chaos. When that failed to happen, we witnessed the movement's death throes: more riots and destruction; the true believers increasingly turned to terror.

We had the inept Weather Underground, but Europe had the deadly Red Brigades, Action Directe and the Red Army Faction (which began as the Baader-Meinhof Group), while Japan had the Red Army. Most of these groups were filled with middle and upper class students and young adults protesting the banality of their life and the diminished prospects they felt they faced.

Sound familiar? Sure they put a revolutionary gloss on their actions, and liked to view themselves as the vanguard of the coming revolution and as the "redeemer class" prophesied in their revolutionary tracts, but in the end they were just morons playing at being revolutionaries.

Which is what we're witnessing again -- only on a smaller scale. This time around the morons are present, their image of themselves as vanguard revolutionaries is the same, even the barricades are back, but their movement's end won't be as spectacular or as violent. A few statement riots and marches, and then they'll disperse back to their jobs and woman's studies classes. Winter will demonstrate the hollowness of their claims of revolutionary fervor, and an improving economy will increasingly have the rest of America viewing them as spoiled brats unwilling to do an honest days work.

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