Chris Regan brought my attention to this article by Mark Goldblatt and this report on the fallout from it. Goldblatt made the point that "America is the most benevolent world power in the history of the planet," a truth that is impossible for the blame America groups to even consider:
There's something more significant going on here than a profound lack of historical perspective or a skewed understanding of the scholarly record. Both of those are signs of ordinary ignorance. But this is willful ignorance � which is much more insidious. It's as if the very suggestion of America's fundamental benevolence triggers an intellectual gag reflex among hardcore leftists. It cannot be tolerated; the system rejects it whole, regardless of the mental contortions that follow, because allowing it to penetrate would gum up the entire works.This struck me as important in that it is the same kind of willful ignorance that characterizes the environmental movement, the same wilfull ignorance that many intellectuals associate with religion. It is the basis for my contention that laws like the Wilderness Act are in fact an establishment of religion, based on the idea that not just America, but all of mankind is evil.
Anyway, Goldblatt in the National Review piece describes the reactions to his NYPost Op-Ed column.
This deserves to be more widely discussed. I don't consider myself an intellectual, but it appears to me that the root of all of this rage is the fact that America is not socialist enough for these people, yet it is powerful and rich. That basic contradiction between their ideals for society and the fact that a capitalist system has produced such results causes cognitive dissonance, which they resolve by asserting that America has achieved its wealth on the backs of the poor and powerless. Naturally environmentalism appeals to them, because it provides another outrage to be attributed to America.
I had never before been really aware of this attachment to Marxism among educated people. It still amazes me, but it is reinforced over and over as current events reinforce the echoes on the left of "Animal Farm."
The strangest thing is that they can't see it. They revere John F. Kennedy, but denounce anyone who proposes to emulate his policies.