“ Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [English socialism], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.” – George Orwell
“[The Left is] obliged to stand behind… facts that are totally beyond credibility.” - Michele Foucault
“You are aware that ‘jihad’ means struggle and as such does not imply violence. All people are equal in Islam." - Esther Angel (Hope Not Hate)
During the last few years I have heard things from Leftists (e.g., from Hope Note Hate, SWP-UAF and, to a slightly lesser degree, from those Leftists and Muslims writing for the Guardian, etc.) which, quite simply, you wouldn’t believe. And all primarily – but not exclusively - when they talk or write about Islam and/or Muslims.
Their level of defence of Islam and the behaviour of Muslims (as Muslims) is literally absolute. It is complete or ‘unconditional’. This isn’t in the least a surprise and for many reasons. In many respects it replicates the Leftist defence of all sorts of terrorist, violent and insane groups and causes in the past. (E.g., take the SWP’s ‘unconditional but critical support’ of the IRA. – * See the note at the end of this post.)
Following one from all that, it’s no surprise that we have standpoints like the following coming from the Left:
1a) Hope Not Hate says: Islam is the religion of peace.
1b) Winston Smith (from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four) said: 'The Party says the earth is flat.’
2a) SWP-UAF says: All criticism of Islam and Muslims is racist and fascist.
2b) Winston Smith also said: ‘The Party says that ice is heavier than water.’
These Leftists, in other words, have trained themselves not to understand or see any arguments which contradict what they already believe.
All this is partly - or mainly - because Leftists, specifically Trotskyists, put ‘the Cause’ first. What I mean by that is that saying and believing things which are way beyond plausibility or justification is acceptable to these people as long as it advances the cause. This can be manifested in the phrase - used by Leftists themselves - ‘lying for justice’. That is, they believe that they can lie, or simply distort or exaggerate, if so doing benefits the cause. (This is very similar to Islamic taqiyya in which lying, dissimulation, etc. are absolutely acceptable in order to defend and/or advance Islam or Muslims.)
That cause is primarily the fight against racism and fascism.
Because Leftists deem racism and fascism to be so bad (as most people do - including most of the Right!), they deem lying, violence, cynical alliances, opportunism, etc. as acceptable. Part of the fight against racism and fascism includes accusing all of their enemies and opponents of being 'racist'/'Islamophobic' and/or 'fascist'. That too furthers the fight against fascism and racism. Thus, although a small minority of Leftists will know full well than many of their opponents aren’t racists or fascists, fighting racism and fascism demands that all their enemies must be accused of being so because only that level of absolutism will successfully help the fight against such things. In other words, accusing all opponents of being ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ helps that fight against racism and fascism; or so these Leftist believe. (I believe it works against that fight.)
This fight against racism/Islamophobia and/or fascism (as well as the advancement of revolutionary socialism or whatever) is so all-encompassing that part of that fight involves what Leftists actually thinks to themselves about these issues. Just as Leftists lie and distort when discussing racism, Islamophobia or whatever when talking to others, so too will they often lie to themselves. In other words, Leftists will often indulge in what is called ‘Crimestop’ (as found in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four).
Leftist members of Hope Not Hate, SWP-UAF, etc. will not only attempt to stop all others from saying - and even thinking - things which they disagree with, they will also stop themselves from thinking ideologically/politically incorrect things. Many Leftists, virtually all Far Leftists, will stop themselves thinking anything heretical or unorthodox (vis-à-vis their chosen ideological positions or chosen political group/party). And they do this so often and so systematically that this thought-stopping process soon becomes automatic or even instinctive. This process shows itself when it comes to Leftists defending Islamic misogyny, jihad, stoning, riots, sex-grooming, terrorism, ghettos, Shia blood rituals, polygamy, etc. (I’ve often heard Leftists defend all these things.) But of course Leftists don’t just indulge in Crimestop when it comes to thinking and talking about Islam and Muslims; they do it across the board. After all, Leftists, especially Trotskyists, believe that politics directly impinges on everything; not just on attitudes to Islam and Muslims. (At SWP-UAF conferences, for example, they offer you ‘Marxist perspectives’ on everything from opera to quantum mechanics.)
More specifically, Leftist Crimestop will result in the Leftist deliberately misunderstanding your analogies and metaphors. It will involve him or her focussing on irrelevant detail (e.g. the 'bad structure' of the article or post). They may even claim to become bored by an argument that goes against what they already believe. Basically, they will do anything to stop genuine debate - after all, all their opponents are racists and/or fascists and therefore evil (though 'evil' is not a word which Leftists actually use).
It’s also important to realise that not all Leftists are stupid in the traditional sense of that word (though many student novitiates of revolutionary Leftism are). It’s more correct to say that they indulge in deliberate or willed stupidity. That is, just as many religious zealots or fundamentalists are often educated but still (deliberately) obtuse; so too are many Leftists. This is not surprising because many Leftists are also fundamentalists and zealots. Indeed Leftism, especially Marxist Leftism, is basically a religion.
To sum all this up. It can be said that Leftists indulge in ‘doublethink’. And if you realise this, you will no longer be surprised the next time a Leftist says or believes something ‘which goes beyond the realms of credibility’. Or, as Winston Smith puts it, you will soon realise that most Leftists are obliged to 'develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presents itself'.
*) In fact in the days of the IRA, Leftists, in this case the SWP, enunciated a catechism which went like this:
“The SWP offers unconditional but critical support of the IRA.”
So let’s rewrite that in contemporary terms:
The SWP-UAF/Hope Not Hate offers unconditional but critical support of Islam and Muslims.
You can of course note what is (almost?) a logical contradiction here. That is, if that 'support' is ‘unconditional’, then there’s little point of any criticism if at the end of the day that criticism will still end up in a support which is unconditional (or absolute/complete).
There's another problem with this. I have hardly ever – or literally never – seen any of this criticism of Islam or Muslims on Facebook or the Internet generally from Hope Not Hate/SWP-UAF, etc. (Though no doubt such things exist in academic Leftist journals.) I do recall seeing at least a little criticism of the IRA - but not much. But that wasn't moral or even political criticism; just the SWP saying things like 'terrorism is an example of infantile leftism’, or that it is ‘individualistic’ or ‘counterproductive’. In other words, the SWP wasn't against the IRA's use of violence and its murder of civilians; it was against its politically incorrect (i.e., non-revolutionary) beliefs and its politically counterproductive methods.