Gordon Fitch gcf at
Wed Aug 23 19:53:57 PDT 2000

John Gulick wrote:
> > Going out on a limb -- especially given my paltry knowledge of the topic --
> > I wonder if any scholar of "politics and culture" (especially in the
> > psychoanalytic Marxist tradition) has tried to explore homologies between
> > the worldview of animal rights and envrionmental ultras and certain varieties
> > of early Twentieth Century French anarcho-syndicalism which shaded into fascism.
> > Namely, I'm thinking of Sorel.

Carrol Cox:
> There must exist someplace a more or less systematic account of the tendency of most
> moralistic radical politics to tend towards some sort of caudillismo and
> authoritarianism. The anarchist or the radical populist (a) operates from a position
> of philosophical individualism and (b) is possessed with a vision of what should be
> (rather than with the potential or material necessity of the present to transform
> itself) -- and when individuals fail to measure up and reject the vision, one (not
> the only but I think the most common) result is as you describe above. I don't think
> one needs to invoke psychology of any kind.

In considering "animal rights" or environmentalism (as with, say, the abolition of slavery not so long ago) one is confronted with the problem of the logic, which leads to extremely inconvenient conclusions in practical life. On discovering this, most people will abandon the logic, or at least blur it. The fanatics who persist shall be convicted of _excessive_ or _premature_ morality, plus other defects (see above).

It is a difficult problem to know when one is being _too_ logical, _too_ moral. No doubt there is a higher metamoral realm somewhere in which these things become clear.


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