FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE STARED into the soul-gnarling lies, generalized apathy, distortion, and social cannibalism the vast wasteland that Hollywood and its imperialist camps scattered across this once great nation prop up in celebration of diversity to mock purported failures of conservatism and its time-tested platform, and not its own bankrupt utopian visions (for others less talented than them), we can once again embrace a brief respite from the horrors of this cultural war. The turning tide now includes former lefty artist extraordinaire, David Mamet. Pulitzer Prize winner and Oscar nominee David Mamet, who in the eyes of many is America’s greatest living playwright as well as a successful screenwriter and movie director (his better known plays and films include Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, Speed the Plow, The Verdict and House of Games) has published an important book called The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, in which, in a no-holds barred approach, he expounds his political and cultural beliefs on the world in general and America in particular.
Mamet, like many in the US today, though probably less so among the usual Hollywood and Broadway types, has in recent years come full circle from starry-eyed liberal to determined conservative, giving short thrift to most of American liberals’ “sacred cows,” in particular ridiculing many of the programs and policies of the current administration with regard to education, economics, health-care, multiculturalism etc.
Liberalism is understood in the US in a very different way than in Europe (and Israel). While in the Old World liberalism is a political philosophy which argues for freedom of the individual in all his activities, including economics, religion, etc. and in particular espouses limited government – in America it is nearly the exact opposite, connoting, among other things, a major role for the state in most of the above. In effect, American liberalism has a much closer relationship with European-style socialism than with classical liberalism.
But while some of Mamet’s polemics about the American political and social scenes may, in the view of some, be debatable or exaggerated, what makes his new book especially important, certainly for Jews, and what sets him apart from some other Jewish intellectuals, is his straightforward, clear-headed and clear-eyed approach to all things Jewish and Israeli. A proud and committed Jew, he closely identifies with the State of Israel, referring to its enemies as “our opponents.”
Read it all in the Jerusalem Post.