Douglas Rushkoff
Let Them Eat Myth:
How the Left May Finally Sell Out, p.3

So can’t the Left put its enlightenment principles to one side and sell a spiritual Leftism to get into office before turning around, as the Bush team has, and playing as it likes with the branches of secular government? Wouldn't it be better to develop a more benevolent religious narrative than the triumphalism currently passing for foreign policy? Don’t the ends justify the means?

Alas, no. Progressives can't pursue their values by abandoning them. The Right had only to adopt a few fundamentalist moralisms so that the neocons could grow their wealth while the Christian Right stops gays and abortionists. But the Left would have to contradict its very premises. Instead, Progressives must come to acknowledge and bolster the faith they do have - in reason, observed truth, and, most of all, in the innate ability of all human beings to make rational decisions. These values, not Christian fideism, are what have given us advanced medical technology, the Internet, telephones, and cars. Perhaps the Left never thought they had to be defended – but they do, and they should be. Sure, Progressives can mine the parables of Jesus for their basis in social justice and fair play. But they must not surrender the very foundation of an Enlightenment-inspired society to the expediencies of pandering to fear and superstition. Even if it wouldn’t undermine the Left’s self-respect and credibility, it just wouldn’t sell.

Progressives simply can't have it both ways. To peddle their agenda in a faux-religious package, without any real faith in its underlying premise, would be to install a regime even more cynically devoid of spirit than the one they mean to replace.

[1]       [2]       3

Douglas Rushkoff is the author, most recently of Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism and Club Zero-G, a graphic novel.

Email us your comments


Deconstructing Zell Miller Jay Michaelson
Reality and rhetoric in an election year
October, 2004

Bush the Exception Samuel Hayim Brody
Two new books on Bush, taxes, and lies
March, 2004

Carrying Light into Dark Times Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
October, 2003

The Sacred and the Profane Douglas Rushkoff and Jay Michaelson
Douglas Rushkoff talks with Zeek about the future of Judaism
July, 2003

Reinventing the Wheel Michael Shurkin
A review of Douglas Rushkoff's Nothing Sacred
July, 2003

They Gonna Crucify Me Ken Applebaum
A 'lapsed Jew' responds to Nothing Sacred
July, 2003

Some things have changed, some have stayed the same Jay Michaelson
Alienated politics in an age of ignorance
December, 2002

Manufacturing Dissent Chad Beck
For the Left's voice to be heard, it needs to play by the rules
November, 2002

Edward Weston and the "M" Word Michael Shurkin
What is modernism?
July, 2002

Counterculture and Democracy Jay Michaelson
The best guarantor of democracy is subversive, oppositional counterculture.
January, 2002

January 2005

Let them Eat Myth
Douglas Rushkoff

Hipster Antisemitism
Jennifer Blowdryer and Alvin Orloff

To Ohio and Back
Avi Steinberg

The Knowing
Jay Michaelson

Abba Kovner: The Warrior in Old Age
James Russell

Men who Laughed
Ari Belenkiy

Our 610 Back Pages

Zeek in Print
Fall/Winter 2004 issue now on sale

About Zeek

Mailing List

Contact Us


Tech Support



From previous issues:

Lag B'Omer: Sound and Vision
Andy Alpern and Shir Yaakov Feinstein-Feit

Josh Almost Gets Cancer Josh Ring

Abraham Mezrich