Let me consider three people who have told some truths about the world:
1. John Mearsheimer,
2. Bernie Sanders, and
3. Kanye West.
Let me explain.
Kanye West is an artist. And yet people interpret his statements as factual assertions. How bizarre! It is like taking Homer’s epic poetry or Dante’s Inferno as literally true. And what is more, we all know Kanye is an artist. That is why he is famous. So when Kanye expresses his affinity with Judaism, saying he himself identifies as Jewish, and when he then criticises the way antisemitism has been weaponised and utilised to defend those in power, are we to take his word for it? Perhaps. But why? It is strange. Either he is right, and he should be congratulated for factual correctness on some issues (but certainly not all, including in this case); or he is wrong, and he should be debated on live television to examine the flaws in his argument. He should not be cancelled and his contracts dropped. That is called persecution. It is structurally indistinguishable from antisemitism, which scapegoats innocent individuals on the basis of their cultural self-identification. And I can’t believe I have to say this, but antisemitism is evil. Why does the media, which says Ye is antisemitic (again, why?), itself practise antisemitism in its treatment of him and countless others?
Indeed, Bernie Sanders, whose Jewish heritage is more direct and widely accepted than Ye’s, has himself been accused of fostering antisemitism in his left-wing movement of ‘Bernie bros’. But Bernie wants to overcome antisemitism by overcoming its root and stem: the capitalistic system of rapacious exploitation. Bernie wants to end antisemitism. And it was Obama who decided to call contenders to Biden to drop out of the race before Super Tuesday to allow Bernie to lose. This was akin to the Dreyfus Affair in which right-wing generals formed a conspiratorial cabal to expel Alfred Dreyfus because he was a threat to the establishment and he was Jewish (which have become synonyms in the modern antisemitic imaginary). Appalling! Disgraceful! Bernie Sanders was persecuted by powers aligned with capital and its antisemitic executioners, who act in the name of fighting antisemitism. There is only one word to describe this villainy: evil, plain and simple. Not evil as a characterful tyranny, but evil as a banal totalitarianism, as theorised by philosopher Hannah Arendt.
John Mearsheimer has also been accused of antisemitism with his book The Israel Lobby, despite this lobby comprising Evangelical capitalists. How strange that we take aim at those who diagnose our collective ailments, instead of the ailments themselves! Mearsheimer’s theory of international politics, that Russia is no threat compared to the might of China, is undoubtedly correct. It is grounded in Machiavelli’s tried and tested theory of power politics. Liberal idealism is an illusion. Marxian realism is illumination of the Darwinian reality we inhabit, by way of the Harringtonian method of finding in the material base the roots of the sociopolitical superstructure. Mearsheimer gives us a social science. What do his critics have but dreams and mysticism?
Indeed, actual dreamers and mystics have much more to say than the banal liberal tyrants who run this totalitarian show. Censorship of free speech goes under the sinister mandate of ‘no freedom from consequences’. This market Maoism/Stalinism reveals the brutality of our brave new world, a modern 1984. Ye speaks artistic truth, Sanders speaks political truth, and Mearsheimer speaks intellectual truth. Why must we condemn them because they are right in their respective disciplines? Why must we crucify the innocent and informed, and defer to the ignorant and exploitative? Oh that’s right, because we live in antisemitic imperialist capitalism. And this rampant market monopoly society is not going to end any time soon. If burn I must, then burn I will. Let there be light.
Disclaimer: Any similarity between names mentioned and actual individuals is purely accidental and largely theoretical. These are fun ideas to entertain but, as always, I may be mistaken. After all, what do I know?