The death of Fidel Castro has driven a stake into the heart of the Left, causing progressives worldwide to weep and moan at the loss of their secular deity. While North Korea and Raúl Castro have enforced days of mandatory mourning, leftists in the free world are beating their breasts and wailing with a voluntary and committed passion.
The examples are endless: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gushed about how he learned of Castro’s death with “deep sorrow” and went on to pay tribute to a “legendary revolutionary.” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) praised Castro and pleaded with everyone to “stop and pause and mourn.”
Other usual suspects did not disappoint. UK’s Labor opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, the U.S. Green Party’s presidential candidate Jill Stein, Rev. Jesse Jackson and former President Jimmy Carter all stepped forward, expressing their deep sadness, extolling Castro’s “heroism,” struggle for “social justice” and other expected feats of revolutionary valor. The list goes on and on.
What exactly is going on here?
To understand why leftists, especially of the Western variety, are weeping upon Castro’s death, it is first crucial to grasp the underlying foundation of the progressives’ belief system. The leftist is a believer in a political faith, a faith that envisions a classless utopia of perfect equality and “social justice.” This faith is interlinked with the leftist’s revulsion of his own democratic-capitalist host society, which he sees as oppressive and unjust – and which he seeks to destroy. And it is upon the ashes of this intended destruction that the leftist hopes to build, with his other self-appointed social redeemers, the secular socialist paradise.
From this ideological foundation grow many pathologies, including the obvious philosophy of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Indeed, by logic, anyone else who wants to destroy the leftist’s host society is seen as a helpful ally – and so it becomes completely obvious why, as David Horowitz has documented, the Left formed an Unholy Alliance with communism during the Cold War and why it continues that tradition with Islamic Supremacism in our terror war today.
The Unholy Alliance is, of course, also much deeper than just the ties that grow from having a common enemy. The leftist believer’s political faith comes with a veneration of the ideological enemy not only because he aids the destructive agenda, but because he is the symbolic receptor of the leftist’s most powerful political craving: to submit his whole being to a totalist entity. It is crucial to gauge here that, in believing in the socialist utopia, the leftist hates man for who and what he is. He loathes the reality of the individual and everything that comes with human nature. This is precisely why he held, and still desperately holds to, the notion of the New Soviet Man, believing that the human being is pliable like clay and can be remolded and reshaped.
The leftist, therefore, ultimately hates himself and lusts for his own self-extinction. And so he embarks on a totalitarian odyssey to shed himself of his own unwanted self and to relinquish and blur his individuality into a totalitarian collective and greater whole. My work, United in Hate, documents how this is precisely the tale of the fellow travelers – the political pilgrims who traveled (and continue to travel) to totalitarian communist and Islamic hells searching for their utopian paradises.
This phenomenon is also connected to the leftist’s own personal psychological and social handicaps and his resulting yearning to belong and fit in. Here we behold the process of negative identification, which the historian David Potter has succinctly crystallized, whereby a person who has failed to identify positively with his own environment subjugates his individuality to a powerful, authoritarian entity, through which he vicariously experiences a feeling of power and purpose. In other words, the leftist is desperately motivated by the will to power; he is searching for the power that will help him counteract the powerlessness that he feels in his own life.
For leftists, therefore, Castro represents the totalitarian display of power through which they can not only recapture a feeling of personal power, but can also vicariously express their own personal totalitarian urges.
And so, when Justin Trudeau and Barbara Lee are engulfed with deep sorrow on the occasion of a sadistic mass murderer’s death, we see that this is just a complete norm in the eerie and surreal world of the progressive believer. As members of the political faith, these leftists are simply enduring the agony of losing the killing machine that imbues them with an identity and a sense of belonging. They are suffering abandonment by the secular deity that provides them the self-gratification and the immense sense of moral superiority that they derive from seeing themselves as social redeemers who are building a perfect world. And most painfully of all, the death of Fidel represents to them the incineration, right in front of their eyes, of the symbol through which they envision their own imaginary power – and through which they can humiliate and torment the humans who remind them of their own unwanted selves.
Jamie Glazov is the editor of Frontpagemag.com. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of United in Hate, the host of the web-TV show, The Glazov Gang, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.