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Glitz and tyrants

The admiration of the rich and famous for a left-wing tyrant: Critics assail Fidel Castro’s grip on Hollywood celebs. Why is mass-market entertainment and fashion left-wing? In part it’s because pop culture likes the exotic, miraculous and sexy—that’s what pleases the public—and a Caribbean Marxist paradise run by a personally magnetic strongman fits the bill. In part it’s because the world of entertainment and fashion is self-seeking and narcissistic. Those who inhabit it find a thousand reasons—from the short-lived sweetness of money and acclaim to the reality of lies and betrayal—to think human desire is the ultimate moral reality, and to be dissatisfied with the world the play of desire has so far produced. A moral and political outlook that aims to reconstruct the world by force, but still on the basis of real human desires, therefore attracts their interest.

Which suggests another reason. Celebrities follow the lead of their betters in the cultural elite, and a cultural elite that has rejected God naturally becomes left-wing. It is God who makes things what they are. Conversely, if there is no God then whoever defines what things are becomes God. The function of a cultural elite that has rejected God is to decide on its own—to construct through its cultural work—what the world really is. Such an elite gravitates toward political views that treat the human world as a human creation that requires conscious reconstruction. After all, if making culture constructs reality, then to become the minister of culture in a Marxist state, backed by despotic power, is to become divine. Who could turn that down?

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