Peretz on the Left

Yet another excellent article by The New Republic's Martin Peretz has been making the blogospheric rounds. Not Much Left has been picked up by Little Green Footballs, Free Republic, and elsewhere.

But The Belmont Club really does the article justice:
Paradoxically, dogmatism is rooted in relativism more than in the belief that real truth is discoverable. For as long as the truth is believed to be "out there"; it will be sought. When its existence is doubted none will venture into the dark.

Wretchard touches on something Peretz' TNR colleague Leon Wieseltier explored in his excellent piece on George Orwell, "Aspidistra":

Here is Orwell in 1942, in "Looking Back on the Spanish War," reflecting on the lies of wartime:

This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. ... I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written. In the past people deliberately lied, or they unconsciously colored what they wrote, or they struggled after the truth, well knowing that they must make many mistakes; but in each case they believed that 'the facts' existed and were more or less discoverable.

Orwell plainly regards the eclipse of objective truth as a decline and a danger.

That's just it: so many liberals have internalized the message "certainty=fascism" that they cannot indulge in certainty even in their opposition to fascism. (And yet, somehow, there is no room for doubt in their hostility toward President Bush.)

There's so much to like about Peretz' article, and Wretchard's commentary, but unfortunately I've got to close up shop for the night. Go and read.