Friday, May 21, 2010

Who Does This Sound Like?

Who said this?

History is bigger than you are. Politics and governing are much more like sailing than they are like operating a powerboat. You're at the whim of tides and of winds and of things that are so much bigger than you. You've got to take advantage every morning as best you can.

The answer is Newt Gingrich. But doesn't it sound like a line from The Battle of Algiers or some Marxist tract? The conservative movement has had a reverse-Marxism to it ever since the 1960s. Particularly when listening to the people who grew up during the 60s, they are taking the language and tactics of the leftist 60s and applying them to radical right-wing causes. The neoconservatives are the classic example of this. With several of their leaders coming out of New Left movements and most of the others, including Gingrich, from the tumult of the 60s, I guess this isn't surprising. 

The idea of History (capitalized because in their view it is a THING) as a propellant force with inevitable phases that we can shape and control to a certain extent but that which ultimately shapes and controls us more comes straight from Marxist vocabulary.