Thursday, November 8, 2007

This is a joke, right?

Via Brian Doherty, from an article written by Justin Logan (an interesting read), comes this zinger about Norman Poderhetz:

Podhoretz penned a meandering essay in Harper's in 1977 titled "The Culture of Appeasement" which likened antiwar sentiment in post-Vietnam America to the wariness of war in Britain after World War I, and then linked the latter to a homosexual yearning for relations with all the young men who perished in the Great War. In Podhoretz's view, "the best people looked to other men for sex and romance," and as a result, didn't much like them being killed by the score on the Continent. "Anyone familiar with homosexual apologetics today will recognize these attitudes."

Tying things back into the 1970s, Podhoretz pointed to the "parallels with England in 1937" and warned that "this revival of the culture of appeasement ought to be troubling our sleep." (A correspondent in a subsequent issue of Harper's would admit that he "had not previously realized that Winston Churchill fought the Battle of Britain almost singlehandedly while England's ubiquitous faggotry sneered and jeered from below.")


I suppose I should feel comforted that my anti-war position has called only my patriotism into question and not my masculinity. I guess this is what we call progress? Wow.

Not uncoincidentally, this little "thesis" reminded me of something Murray Rothbard wrote in his review of Poderhetz's Breaking Ranks, a Political Memoir. Fans of Poderhetz would do best not to read it:


In fact, there is a still greater irony in the Podhoretz saga. He jabs at Arendt’s concept of the "banality of evil," but his very own life demonstrates that Arendt was right. For Norman Podhoretz has not only fostered evil by his corrosion of true intellectual standards, his ethnic narcissism, and his promotion of the statist status quo; he also represents banality through and through. Were this a just society, Podhoretz would be spending his years as a writer for some AFL-CIO sheet, trotted out at union conventions as one of their resident intellectuals. As it is, we all have to put up with the continuing infliction of this schmendrick upon our consciousness, and we will have to begin to brace ourselves for the inevitable next installment of the living legend of Norman Podhoretz.

Ouch.

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