The Useful Idiots

Lenin supposedly coined the term "useful idiots” to describe the opponents of communism who inadvertently helped the communist cause, such as the intellectual “fellow travelers” in Europe and the capitalist businesspeople who sold wheat to the starving U.S.S.R. I believe this Leninist expression, when applied to the current context, can shed light on certain western reactions to the recent jihadist attacks.

Our politicians and social commentators have leapt into a display of aggressive, metaphorical one-upmanship, to the point that anyone would believe the West was engaged in some sort of World War III against Islamism. These practitioners of amphigory¹ are calling for a general stand against an elusive enemy. They condemn the “fifth column”, the domestic jihadists we should supposedly be able to identify by their features, or by the “burkinis” worn by their wives at the beach. If the new rules decreed by the mayors of some 20 French coastal towns are anything to go by, it is republican to bare your breasts, but a provocation — if not a quasi-act of war — to hide your body as the entire nation’s grandmothers once


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