I won't have much time today to write about anything, including the anniversary of 9/11. I believe this will be the first time the Covenant Zone bloggers meet for their weekly Thursday meeting on 9/11.
We have now had well over a hundred meetings and it seems one pervading impression of them is that we are still fighting for a wider recognition in our national and global conversations that the event of 9/11 marked a necessary turning point in how we see ourselves, our Western history, and our role in the world. We are still fighting against the postmodern culture that matured in the post-cold war 1990s, came to dominate the world's universities and mainstream media, and that seeks to understand the world through the lens of an undiluted victimary thinking - one that ceaselessly blames America, the West, Israel, the successful, the intellectually and culturally accomplished - for the resentment of the many who contest the necessity of joining, and being transformed by, the global economy and modernity.
It is those who see moral truth as residing primarily with more or less failed cultures - those who romanticize tribal and pre-modern life, and communitarian and authoritarian politics - and who have sought to appease and/or encourage the resentful voices of those yet marginal to modernity, among whom Islamists, or political Muslims, have taken the global lead - who have actively denied that the "root causes" of 9/11 were such as to throw into doubt their 1990s postmodern, victim-worshiping religion. They continue to advocate varieties of moral and cultural relativism, championing tolerance for the intolerable, ignoring all the many internal and external victims of the tribal world, such as abused women. And, despite often calling themselves "progressives", they offer no real vision of how we might go about ushering in a new era in how we represent the West and our highest values. It is really an opposition to risk-taking and real change that motivates these for whom all the old Utopian ideologies have been condensed into a meaningless politics of pretending to be for "change", while having little to offer but recycled ideas from past heroes of left-liberal politics.
For the die-hard "progressives", America was largely to blame for the violence that came to its shores seven years ago today. The event, as we at Covenant Zone see it, did not really happen.
And so our weekly conversations have often been about how we must suffer in witness to the seemingly endless sewer of conspiracy theories, the Bush Derangement Syndrome, the unrealistic apologists for orthodox Islam, that have in various ways striven to deny the centrality of the 9/11 event for how we should now see the world and the fight to preserve and expand our modernity and freedom.
Are we winning that struggle? I see many hopeful signs - it is becoming increasingly clear to many people which side of the 9/11 event has the better conversation with reason and decency, which has more real love for our common humanity, and for individual freedom - and yet we know the outcome of the contest is far from certain. So we meet again, and every Thursday, 7-9 pm, in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, in front of Blenz Coffee, with blue scarves, to help build up the conversation of a truly post-9/11 world, lest we forget. Join us if you can, here or wherever you are.