Read an Excerpt from David Mamet's New Book

Sunday, 10 Jul 2011 06:00 PM

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In June, Newsmax published an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, who described his conversion to conservatism.

The following is an excerpt from chapter 15 of Mamet's new book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture."


***
Our American plane has been forced to land at some foreign airport, by the outbreak of World War III. It will not be allowed to depart. Two planes are leaving the airport; we must choose which we want to board. One plane is flying to Israel and one to Syria, and we must choose.

That’s where sympathy stops.

No one reading this book would get on the plane to Syria. Why? It is a despotism, opposed to the West, to women, to gays, to Jews, to David Mamet, Book Excerptfree speech. It is a heinous Arab version of National Socialism, dedicated to the murder of every person in Israel. And yet one may gain status or a feeling of solidarity by embracing the “Arab cause.”

But we embrace it only as an entertainment. In the free market, which is to say, when something is at stake, we will vote otherwise.

My interest in politics began when I noticed that I acted differently than I spoke, that I had seen “the government” commit sixty years of fairly unrelieved and catastrophic errors nationally and internationally, that I not only hated every wasted hard-earned cent I spent in taxes, but the trauma and misery they produced; and yet, I thought “the government” was good. What case could I point to to support my feelings? The Emancipation Proclamation and the Voting Rights Act. Then I would have to stop and think.

It was, of course, easier to worship my own capacity for “good thinking” than actually to think, which is to say to compare my actions with their results. But I tired of it. I tired of hearing Israel condemned by Americans, and hearing Americans condemned by Europeans.

I prefer the company of those who are proud of their country, and proud of their religion – the African-Americans have it right, the American Liberal Jews are wrong; there is neither beauty, utility nor safety in identification with one’s oppressors.

Liberalism is a religion. Its tenets cannot be proved, its capacity for waste and destruction demonstrated. But it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost. Central to this religion is the assertion that evil does not exist, all conflict being attributed to a lack of understanding between the opposed.

Well and good, but this does not accord with the experience of anyone.

People have differing needs. The notion that an honest exchange of views will solve all problems is an article of faith; which, like many another, is suspended in our daily lives.

It is fine for the uninvolved to say of everything, “The truth must lie somewhere in between,” but who on the Left says so, for example, of Abortion? The Israelis would like to live in peace within their borders; the Arabs would like to kill them all. I do not see where there is a middle ground.

The divorcing husband would like to retain some money and visiting rights to his children, the betrayed wife would like him dead; anyone ever involved in a fight or a lawsuit knows that some conflicts cannot be settled peaceably. The Liberal attitude to our war with Radical Islam is a preference for that action which would end the conflict immediately, and without rancor. That action, unfortunately, is surrender.

American Liberals do not wish to surrender their particular country, but many wish Israel to surrender hers; they wish to have someone else (the Israelis) pick up the cost of their own psychological upset: if the Victim is Always Right, and if the Arabs, being darker and poorer, must be the Victim, then Israel must be wrong; further, this being so, the Arab démarches of “land for peace” must be a legitimate attempt to solve the problem, for the victim is always right. It matters not that every Israeli swap of land for peace has resulted in increased Arab attacks. To the Liberal there must be a peaceable solution, and the good-willed (though not the Israelis) see that that solution must be further negotiation, which is to say further concessions from Israel.

The essence of socialism is for Party A to get Party B to give something to Party C.

The Liberal West would like the citizens of Israel to take the only course which would bring about the end of the disturbing “cycle of violence” which they hear of in the Liberal press. That course is abandoning their homes and country, leaving, with their lives, if possible, but leaving in any case.

Is this desire anti-Semitism?

You bet your life it is.

Editor’s note: To get David Mamet’s new book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” at a good price — Click Here Now.

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