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stand against

Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism

Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism is 2008 book by Bernard-Henri Lévy scheduled for publication on September 16, 2008.

Premise

According to Adam Kirsch, Lévy compares the left to a decomposing body that releases dangerous pathogens as it decays. Levy argues that in the wake of the failure of Communism the left has lost its ideals. It now fails to uphold universal ideas of justice, fails to sympathize with the oppressed, and has lost its commitment to truth. The left, according to Levy, has replaced those ideals with a pathological hatred of America, of Jews and Israel, and of freedom and liberty itself.

According to The Economist, Levy debunks the six chief claims of the contemporary European and American left. Liberalism is not merely the free market, it is also about democracy and human rights. Europe is about more than capitalism. America is not a fascist nation. Humanitarian intervention is humanitarian, not an imperialist ploy. Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Islamism is homegrown, it is not caused by the West, and it threatens the West just as seriously as fascism once did.

The contemporary left, according to Levy, is driven by hatred and enraptured American capitalism is the root of all evil, therefore progressives believe that any opponent America or of capitalism is good by definition. It is this reasoning that has led the left to support the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic and the "fascist" dictator of Saddam Hussein; to turn the World Conference against Racism 2001 into a forum for anti-Semitic hatred, and to the Sudanese government's attacks first on southern sudan and now on the people of Darfur because that government is anti-American and no anti-American government is to be criticized.

Adam Kirsch calles Left in the Dark, "best summary I have seen of that worldview," and concludes that the left is "is now a danger to truly liberal values."

Genesis

Levy told The Australian that the book grew out of a phone call he received from Nicholas Sarkozy on January 23, 2007 asking for his support in the Presidential campaign. Levy responded that, "no matter how much I like and respect you, the Left is my family." to which Sarkozy replied, "These people who've spent 30 years telling you to go (expletive) yourself? Do you really believe what you're saying, that these people are your family?"

The phone call set Levy thinking, and he concluded that his abiding commitment to the left is rooted in his "adherence to the freedom and dignity of the individual, anti-fascism, anti-colonialism and 'the anti-totalitarianism that is the legacy of May '68 '."

References

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