Jewish World Review Sept. 24, 2002 / 18 Tishrei, 5763

The Left's New Idea

By Daniel Pipes | The hard left, having failed to prevail through the democratic institutions of American life -- the executive branch, the Congress, the court system, state and local governments -- is doing a dangerous end-run via the United Nations and other international institutions.

One example: two years ago, Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, American Friends Service Committee, the ACLU, and NAACP issued a "call to action" to Mary Robinson, the then-U.N. Human Rights Commissioner. In it, these left-wingers asserted that "men and women of color [suffer] at the hands of the United States criminal justice system" and cannot get a fair deal. So, they announced, "In our frustration, we now turn to the United Nations and have asked the high commissioner ... to aid us in holding the United States accountable."

In other words, having failed to get their way through the usual methods of effecting change in the United States, they took their case to the United Nations. Their effort came to naught but, as John Fonte of the Hudson Institute shows in the current issue of "Orbis" magazine, this attempted end-run around American democracy represents a significant movement.

He dubs it "transnational progressivism," but I prefer the name "bureaucratic leftism." Whatever one calls it, Fonte establishes in his eye-opening article that, in the tradition of fascism and communism, this effort constitutes a significant "challenge to liberal democracy."

To fully absorb its threat requires reading Fonte's article in full. In summary, unable to achieve their goals through the ballot box, law professors, political activists, foundation officers, NGO bureaucrats, corporation executives, and practicing politicians now seek to achieve those goals by denigrating the two central pillars of modern liberal democracy, the individual citizen and the nation-state.

Bureaucratic leftism diminishes the role of the individual in many ways:

Only by recognizing bureaucratic leftism for what it is can it be stopped before its malign ideas have a chance to do real damage.

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JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Comment by clicking here.


© 2002, Daniel Pipes