So, Leo Strauss is now OUT as the brooding intellectual omnipresence lurking behind the puppet-masters who pull the strings on poor, unwitting Dubya. That rube. No, get this, Leon Trotsky is the true master-mind, ruling the 21st century from the grave, through his minions who have seized the commanding heights from within. Whoa.
Actually, this is probably truer than the stupid Strauss brouhaha. The intellectual background of many of the original Neocons of the ’70s (Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, et al.) was Trotskyist, just as many of the original circle at William F. Buckley’s National Review in the ’50s were former communists (James Burnham, Frank Meyer (I think), Whittaker Chambers). These guys retained some pretty hard-nosed notions about the use of force after their “conversions”, and they had no sentimentality about the nature of the enemy. So, Trotsky is certainly somewhere in the gene pool of modern conservatism. So, grandpa Leon, welcome to the war on terrorism.
Another thing, that article has this passage:
In 1933, while in exile in Turkey, Trotsky regrouped his supporters as the Fourth International. Never amounting to more than a few thousand individuals scattered across the globe, the Fourth International was constantly harassed by Stalin’s secret police, as well as by capitalist governments. The terrible purge trials that Stalin ordered in the late 1930s were designed in part to eliminate any remaining Trotskyists in the Soviet Union. Fleeing from country to country, Trotsky ended up in Mexico, where he was murdered by an ice-pick-wielding Stalinist assassin in 1940. Like Macbeth after the murder of Banquo, Stalin became even more obsessed with his great foe after killing him. Fearing a revival of Trotskyism, Stalin’s secret police continued to monitor the activities of Trotsky’s widow in Mexico, as well as the far-flung activities of the Fourth International.
There are some analogies here. It makes Trotsky sound like Osama and his Fourth International sound like Al Qaeda. Like Osama Trotsky was a man who proved himself on the battlefield, but was unable to seize political power in his own country, and was driven out of it, who relied on literary skills and charisma to attract a multinational gang of followers, who had sympathizers in many countries who supported and financed him, who was willing to use and advocate violence. The parallels are not that strong, but are still interesting. Critically, Osama will not manage to secure a sympathetic segment of public opinion in Europe or America.
Anyway, I just hope that if Osama is alive, that our Delta Force guys don’t use an ice pick on him when they find him. Too risky. Just shoot him like a rat at the dump.
(Via Arts and Letters Daily.)