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A Maoist in the White House

October 16th, 2009 - 11:35 am

N.B.: Anita Dunn is not just an Obama hanger-on. She is part of his inner circle, one of his top aides, along with David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel, and Robert Gibbs. What does it mean that someone in that position proffers one of the greatest monsters the world has ever seen for emulation?

Anita Dunn calls Mao a “political philosopher.” In fact, as a real philosopher, the late, great Leszek Kolakowski, understood, Mao’s real achievement was as “one of the greatest, if not the very greatest, manipulator of large masses of human beings in the twentieth century.” His violent peasant revolution mouthed Marxist slogans, but at its core was less Marxist than a particularly rebarbative form of anarchic and anti-intellectual tyranny. “The obfuscation of Western admirers of Chinese Communism,” Kolakowski observes toward the end of his magnum opus, Main Currents of Marxism, “is scarcely believable.” I wish he were still here for Anita Dunn.

In the 1960s and 1970s, many American universities, along with some other Western redoubts of privilege and irresponsibility, harbored a few deluded characters who declared themselves Maoists and were fond of toting around his pathetic compendium of absurdity, “The Little Red Book.” These creatures were the sorriest detritus of our own cultural revolution. Some destroyed themselves. Others grew up, in whole or part, and were absorbed by a rich and forgiving society into the tissues of American life. Only now is it clear that some of the most radical and benighted have subsisted long enough in the outer corridors of power to find themselves suddenly translated into its inner sanctum, the White House and other top agencies of the United States government. It is an eventuality that would be risible were it not repulsive and, indeed, frightening.

So, we have a self-professed admirer of Mao Tse-Tung in a top job at the White House. Where does it end? Where?

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