It was, in a few brisk, unexpectedly engaging pages, a revelation, a unification of several disparate life threads, or what Dave Winer might call "closing a loop," when I read Adam Gopnik's "The Anti-Anti-Americans" yesterday. It might seem all too expedient to lump Berkeley leftists, French labor extremists, Anti-American protestors and Al Qaeda together in the same basket, but that is what we have. Nihilists all, this article seems to say, and they "have only the power to block, to destroy, and they use it."
Long ago I wrote something very similar about far-left candidates for Berkeley mayor, who "can offer no credible vision of the city's future -- indeed, their ideology was debunked by nearly two decades of metropolitan deterioration. So they are left to pick nits from [Mayor Shirley] Dean's plans."
Change is difficult, even when you have a government, as we do in America, built around the assumption it can and should happen, regularly and deeply. So we can discern a worldwide movement, in everything from Amelie to fundamentalist religion, to not just oppose change, which is as neccesary as inertia, but to force a nostalgic worldview, to insist on a fixed view toward the past.