Of Bitter Wheat, collective guilt, and willful blindness.

Malkovich as Fein

Famous, fabulous playwright David Mamet almost always gets rave reviews for his plays from “theater critics.” His latest, Bitter Wheat, did not fare well with these same TC’s. Has he lost his touch? No, according to Andrew Mahon, a Canadian-British writer whose work has been published in the Spectator, New English Review and Catholic Journal, among other publications. This new play is a pisser for the left-leaning TC “community.” How so?

The central character, Barney Fein, is modeled after Harvey Weinstein. He’s a left-wing saint. In the play, Fein supports a charity for immigrants, passionately rejecting the term “illegal immigrant,” and lauds the bravery of migrants seeking a better life. He expresses his corporate leftist virtue most directly when he’s trying to persuade the reluctant young actress, played by Ioanna Kimbook, to sleep with him, commenting with dismay, “I’m not sure you realize just how much money I give to the Democrat Party.” The audience exploded with laughter; the critics….not so much. The next three paragraphs are from Mahon’s review.

“Barney Fein’s function is to illustrate that one can subscribe to all the corporate morality that liberals pontificate about and still be a despicable human being. Left-wing dogma — from global warming, to social welfare, to family planning, to extremism prevention, to unconscious bias — is all about collective guilt. The left-wing belief is that all wrongdoing is a consequence of the collective failings of society as a whole, and for this they will happily flagellate themselves and us, preach, act, and donate to liberal causes, to the adulation of their fellow progressives. Racism and sexism aren’t about one individual considering another individual to be of less intrinsic value as a human being because of race or sex; no, they are systemic problems that society is infected with, which must be eradicated by re-balancing the system with positive discrimination and affirmative action.

“It’s easy to trumpet collective virtue and to take collective responsibility for collective sins. It’s doubly easy to criticize those who don’t accept this ideology — in left-wing eyes, conservatives are evil because they don’t acknowledge their share of the collective responsibility for society’s systemic problems. (Perhaps because they’re too busy dealing with their personal failings as individuals, but no matter.) There is no personal guilt and therefore no personal responsibility in any of the leftist catechism. There’s no understanding of personal sacrifice. There’s no love. It’s a philosophy that denies personal sovereignty altogether, which can only lead to contradiction because no matter how much they deny the fact, we have to live in the world as individuals. And so by the standards of the Left, Weinstein is a great humanitarian, but he’s also a despicable man. How do they reconcile this?

“Fein, himself, resists facing the contradiction, to comic effect. When an Islamic terrorist kills his mother, crying “death to the Jew,” Fein is at pains to explain how society has let this poor man down in ways that induced his violent outburst. It’s a logical corollary of left-wing dogma that terrorists can’t be responsible for their own actions, because the root cause is society’s oppression of them. Fein wants to meet this terrorist, not to forgive him, but to ask his forgiveness. It is “we” who are the problem, not any one individual — not the terrorist, and by extension, not Fein either. Only by excusing all individual sins, including the murder of his own mother, can he escape culpability for his own sins and go one living the leftist delusion.”

During the peaceful protest outside of Mitch McConnell’s home, a protester is heard saying she wished McConnell had “broken his little, raggedy, wrinkled-ass neck” and that someone should “just stab the motherf—er in the heart.” What was she inveighing against? He isn’t agitating for even more gun restrictions than the ones currently not being enforced. You see, she is passionately in favor of saving lives while wanting to stab in the heart someone who doesn’t agree with her superficial “solution”. MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” contributor and legal blog editor Elie Mystal had some fiery words for Equinox and SoulCycle chairman Stephen Ross, who hosted a fundraiser for President Trump: “I want pitchforks and torches outside this man’s house in the Hamptons.

Those are only two examples of the blindness that the “collective-guilt” mentality engenders. My question is, “is this moral blindness willful, or unconscious?” I think of Cindy, who worked for AT&T before their “breakup” in an antitrust action. She was in management, was very well paid, and by day helped one of the biggest true monopolies extend their reach. When work time was over, she became super-communist Cindy, turning out anti-capitalism leaflets and getting into Antifa-like scuffles with police and counter protesters. She was a terrible manager, treating those under her with disdain while being obsequious to those over her in the hierarchy. She was the embodiment of Winston Churchill’s description of “the Hun.” He said, “the Hun is either at your feet or at your throat.” I asked her many times, “what motivates you to pursue all these communist activities?” Her answer was always the same. “I love the people, and want to free them.” She embodied that great contradiction of leftism: she loved the concept of “the people” but hated individual people. It’s the issue that Mr. Mahon raised in his play review: How do you resolve the paradox of a great humanitarian being a despicable person? Enter the concept, Collective Guilt.

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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