Why They Hate Us

I’ve never actually met Jamie Glazov, although we’ve filled many screens with our email correspondence, often in connection with his excellent discussions on Frontpagemag.com.  Now, having read his fine book United in Hate; The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror, I have a much better sense of who he is: a refugee from Communist tyranny, a serious thinker about the crisis we’re in, and a remarkably sensitive analyst who is one of the few to have put proper emphasis on the close relationship between our current jihadi enemies and the radical leftists who have worked for our destruction for such a long time.

United in Hate should be a basic text for students of modern mass movements, and of totalitarianism.  He’s got a keen eye for evil, and relentlessly goes to the black heart of the matter: “The believers worshiped Lenin not despite but because of the terror he inflicted.”  Man is indeed more inclined to do evil than to do good, which is the starting point for Machiavelli’s politics.   Glazov knows that well, and he despises those many politicians and intellectuals who have fallen into line for the tyrants; he hates tyranny and is driven to understand why it has so often succeeded.  In case after case, he documents the enthusiasm of tyranny’s followers.  From Lenin and Stalin to Mao and Castro and Pol Pot, he catalogues the adulation of their supporters in the free countries of the West.

This terrible history is not well understood by students of recent generations, and United in Hate would be invaluable for that reason alone.  But it is much more, because Jamie spends considerable time on a subject that seems at first blush to be totally out of place in such a book: love.  And why does he spend so much time on it?  Because he understands that human love is the antithesis of the total control that the tyrants of the Left, and their newfound allies in the armies of militant Islam, strive to impose on the world.  “The individual’s right to pursue happiness...interferes with the building of the perfect, unified social order; human joy and cheer are tacit endorsements of the present order that both leftist and Islamist utopians want to destroy.”  And the most subversive of all human passions is love.

As he points out in a wonderfully compact paragraph, the greatest novels about modern tyranny “all powerfully depict totalitarian society’s assault on...personal love.”  But as Huxley, Orwell and Zamyatin all remind us, total tyranny is impossible; subversion invariably sets in.  Erotic passion overcomes both the seduction of tyranny and the tyrant’s threat to annihilate all those who fight him.  “And that is why love presents such a threat to the totalitarian order: it dares to serve itself.”  Against the cult of death that underlies all modern dictatorships, love is the most powerful form of the life force.  As Freud intuited, modern politics in its most extreme form is a battle between Eros and Thanatos.

The compulsion to extinguish spontaneous love, as Jamie tells us, is the point of intersection between the ideologies of the Left and the jihadis.  Some of the most fascinating pages of United in Hate spell out the details.  Jamie reminds us of things we failed to appreciate at the time, as for example the details of the will of the leading 9/11 terrorist, Mohammed Atta.  No women were to be present at his funeral, and were to be banned from ever visiting his grave.  Moreover, his shame about his own body was spelled out: “He who washes my body around my genitals should wear gloves so that I am not touched there.”

Thus, an Islamist terrorist felt no shame about mass murder, but could not bear the thought of a woman at his grave.  I have often said that the grim rulers of contemporary Iran are devoted to extirpating fun, which bears out Jamie’s point.  If a boy and girl dare to touch each other in public, the wrath of the state comes down on them.  And of course the women are always blamed for any sign of sexual pleasure; throughout the Islamic world women are blanketed in clothing that obscures their bodies, and women are beaten by men from cradle to grave.

Some years ago I was asked by a Hollywood producer whether I thought it was safe for him to make a movie starring an Arab terrorist.  Why not?  I asked.  If he’s the hero of the movie, the terrorists will love it.  Well, he replied, the FBI thinks it’s dangerous.  Not at all, I argued; if you’re really afraid of getting them angry, stop making movies about sex.

Among the many benefits of reading United in Hate, once you’ve done it, you’ll understand what drives our enemies, whether secular Leftists or fanatical jihadis.  You’ll understand what makes them hate us, and what they intend for us.  It’s an important piece of work.  Read the whole thing, as they say...lots of folks are;  it's doing very well on Amazon, as it should.