The Corner

Men and Mascots

Several readers take exception to my saying that “socialists are supposed to care about the toiling masses.” What the Left really cares about, these readers tell me, is setting up a Vanguard Party — comprised of them, of course — which will tell the rest of us, including the t.m.s, how to live, and whack us if we don’t obey.

Well, sure. No disagreement from me. I did write “supposed to.” The affection a leftist feels for the toiling masses is abstract and theoretical, like the affection modern American liberals feel for minorities. The Common Man is, for old-line leftists, a mascot, not someone he wants in his dining room. (Lenin, according to Robert Conquest, never set foot inside a factory.)

Still, a socialist is expected to strike the right poses. From what I know of Lovecraft, he didn’t even pretend to like ordinary people. Well, perhaps I should read the big bio. (Which was beautifully reviewed, a friend tells me, by the late great Sam Francis. That review, I really must read.)