I should begin this by saying that Hitchens was one of my main intellectual inspirations as a young man, but as the saying goes, when I was a child...
Hitchens is the logical realization of what Bourgeois culture produces in the form of intellectuals; people who believe that American Republicanism and Representative Democracy are “radical” ideas. Ideas that supposedly still have sting or bite to them simply because they are rejected by Islamic fundamentalists among others. This is the man who rejected Socialism and voted for the Republican Party so America would bomb Iraq, and was a supposed Materialist who thought that killing Muslims was the only thing of primary concern for either America or the world in his own mind and ultimately the only concern for himself asides from speaking the obvious (that God doesn’t exist) and masturbating in-front of the crowd with the exact same stale jokes as if he was a stand-up comedian on tour. Of course Hitchens and the rest of the New Atheists (though Harris and Dawkins are exceptions to this in some ways) are blatant Idealists, as I argued in my essay A Scientifically Socialist and Marxist Approach to Atheist Politics and Tactics written fifteen months ago, so I won’t go far into detail on that point, which is the main point I wish to make on the psychology and tactics of the New Atheists.
However, Hitchens seems in particular the encapsulation of intellectual bourgeois culture: erudite, snobbish, conservative on all the issues that matter (being Pro-Capitalist, Pro-War and in the case of Hitchens even Anti-Abortion and arguably Anti-Healthcare) and progressive on matters with little to no real significance to most people’s everyday lives (being Pro-Gay for example, which yes, is nice to hear but is another “filler” issue that the bourgeois use to distract simple-minded Liberals and keep the focus on things that will never harm the Capitalists’ bottom line; if cereal boxes, Oreos and various other products produced by very-likely very-conservative businessmen broadcast a Pro-Gay message, something tells me that like Representative Democracy or women having the right to vote, you’ve lost the revolutionary aspect and should continue to move forward lest ye become another status-quo Republican or Democrat). Hitchens is ultimately the material perfection of the intellectual devoid from reality – as the New Atheists are as a whole asides from Harris’ discussion of Compassion/Materialism vs. Free Will/Judgment which have immediate real-world ramifications in the West. The New Atheists actually believe they’re doing something radical and “edgy” by damning God. And though this might be the case for senile seventy year olds, for the rest of the population with two brain cells to rub together (IE Scientific Socialists) they are merely the new propagandists of an ideology that creates no large increase of well-being for the masses, for it does not speak out against the class-based distinctions of our society and therefore is essentially meaningless.
The perfect example of this is when a woman asked a question (or rather posed an idea to be more accurate) about having a social system based on a type of Technocratic Ethic of artists and scientists running things. She posed it in a very intelligent way and is something that both I think we should examine and I would expect people to expect Hitchens to have a very interesting, nuanced, well-worded response to. But nope, he (of course as I actually predicted) just have a snarky response about how he loves Representative Democracy (the fact he holds it as a legitimate form of Democracy shows how bourgeois and stupid he is despite all his intellectualism) and if memory serves how she should be grateful to have the system of Government she does among other things. Which makes me snicker even now.
I don’t have much more to say frankly. I just wanted to get that out. I love Harris and like that he’s talking about philosophical matters in a unique and insightful way, rather than just pick out the worst bits in Christianity and be the other end of the no-complexity equation of whether Muslims are violent because they’re Muslims or because of political, economic and psychological factors (the obvious answer being all of them are involved and impact the material make-up of people and our world – which is more significant depends on the case), but overall the New Atheists are like Punk Anarchists, a group that’s perfectly fine to be going through when you’re a teenager, but if you’re twenty-five and still wear t-shirts that say LOGIC on them or have one of those stupid Darwin fishes on your car (because broadcasting your opinion will really show the moronic Christians who you’re copying right?) then you’re essentially someone who will never do anything fundamentally impactful for society in the long run, or to alter a phrase of Marx’s, just another of the Bourgeoisie’s useful intellectuals.
These are people with enough brains to realize there is no Santa Claus, but not enough brains to realize you don’t make dumb kids stop believing in him by yelling at them, or that in a world where child-labor still exists, whether or not they do believe in flying reindeer is not the main concern to have. But why do anything with any efficacy when it’s a lot easier and more entertaining for jack-offs to masturbate poorly while incessantly making Republican jokes – while you support the same Capitalist assholes who’ll rape the poor. But y’know science, and logic, and shit.