Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barry Rubin: When Romanticism Trumps Reason You Get Radical Chic Catastrophes


Remember the war against Franco,
That’s the kind where each of us belongs
He may have won all the battles
But we had all the good songs!
–Tom Lehrer

By Barry Rubin

The radical is always the more glamorous. People wear Che Guevara tee-shirts. They don’t wear Samuel Gompers, A. Phillip Randolph, Edouard Bernstein, Karl Kautsky, or Jean Jaures tee-shirts, yet those largely forgotten social democratic and labor heroes achieved far more benefit for reform and workers without murdering a lot of people.

Rosa Luxembourg, the nastiest rich spoiled brat in Zamosc, is fondly remembered though her career was a disaster and helped create the conditions that eventually brought about Nazism. Who knows about Frances Perkins, who did far more to help workers and was the first woman ever to be in the cabinet of an American president?

Thus, two things are certain.

Continue reading When Romanticism Trumps Reason You Get Radical Chic Catastrophes
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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