Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mickey Mouse Must Die

In posts below-- heart-rending stories of murdered civilians in India; reasoned and sensitive responses to unhinged violence and hatred; highly analytical thoughts on the gnostic Grand Narrative vision of teleology, [my paraphrase, of course]; and yet even more painful explorations of inhumanness-- in those posts below we see intelligent minds at work, sensitive people thinking, careful critics writing. Then there is this from our Muslim opposition:

Islamic scholar: Mickey Mouse must die


"According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature," al-Munajid said, adding that he was concerned that popular culture had given mice an undeserved positive image.

"How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry?" he asked.

"Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice. Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases."

Full story at link:

Islam is a Grand Narrative. Marxism and post-modernism are Grand Narratives. So too is The Constitution of the United States of America.

When two or more Grand Narratives share the same stage, one must give way to the other in a coherent universe. How does that come about? That is a question we debate weekly. It's so-far unresolved among us.


truepeers said...

Thanks for the kind words, Dag.

I'm pondering your claim that the US constitution is a grand narrative...

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"

-There's a massive unfolding story in that (great beginning, but no closure yet); however, the story becomes what the constitution does, through its division of powers, and that is allow for a continual renewal and re-presentation of the nation's narratives in potentially endless ways. Is that grand? Yes. Grand narrative? not so sure. Anyway, I think you're right that constitutionalism is incompatible with Marxism, Sharia, Jihad, and much else.

Anonymous said...

T'would seem to me that the question surrounding the Grand Narratives is one of Philosophical supremacy verses Physical supremacy.

Such things -and I'll go into what I've thought of more intimately on this- as freedom and responsibility, as democracy, and by (theoretical ) extention, the US constitution are basically true Grand Narratives, while such things as Islamic Imperialism are basically false. So such things as the US constitution must hold at least a philosophical/moral supremacy.

But I guess the question is whether or not which one will survive/conquer the other, and for that, I suppose, all that is really required is Will.

And for Will, I'm almost afraid I must look to those following the false GM as the ultimate victors, if we continue down our current paths and trends.

Dag said...

I find I can't write more at this time about America without writing things better left unwritten at this time.

For now, all I will write is that America is what I defend and what I support in defense of those who defend it. For me there is no question of America being what it is and must be; and that is to defend it against those who would harm or even destroy it. There is simply no question of what is right here for me.

But if I continue I become strange. So enough of that for now.

And to be a little clearer than usual, Walker, I have some serious misgivings about Will qua Will. It's dangerous stuff of the mind. Looking at the pieces Charles posted below show that clearly.

truepeers said...

Raw will to power is self-destructive, sooner or later. What ultimately wins in history, in the long run, is the will to love, that we may devote our lives to productive ends. What ethical system can best maintain and renew our desire and love in the kind of world in which we presently live and must next become? Some loves are more liberating and productive than others, some desires more destructive.

America is the most powerful nation not because of simple will to power but because, on balance, it has unleashed highly productive forms of desire and love.

Islam, as we presently know it, can't win without most of us, including most Muslims, first dieing. This is because it simply has not yet found a way to support the science and productivity on which the present population of the world depends. (How many followers of Islam would die in weeks if grain shipments from a few productive Western countries were halted? Many millions...) For this reason, I think Islam will only survive in the long run if it can develop new forms of love, along the lines of science-friendly liberal democracy. Dag would argue that such a change would mean that the outcome wasn't Islam? I would accent how freedom to change emerges from sheer necessity.

Of course a lot of people can die in human folly before such lessons really ring home. And it is not inconceivable that the terrorists will succeed in killing off enough of the world's population that we could turn to love for some Sharia-dominated medievalism, as the best way to survive amidst the ruins. But I doubt it.

Dag said...

That is beautifully put.

However, I am not of the mind that love is an answer for all occasions: We must live with hatred as a motivating force in history, a necessary one that motivates, at least for the time being, those who would otherwise remain neutral in battle. Hatred isn't acceptable in normal conditions, and these are not normal times we live in other than that all times are abnormal.

To live on hate without end, as a means to power, is to live in a permanent Hell of the Gaza type, which no sane person can endure, and there are likely few sane people left there. We in the West, on our little islands of sanity, are blessed with a simple vision of reality as Modernity and security that most do not share and cannot comprehend. If and when it is appropriate to hate them for the things they do, not only to us but to each other and themselves, then we must honestly act from hatred. But hatred as an end in itself, that obviously is to be avoided. And it is obvious only to us in Modernity's bosom.

Hate the sin but not the sinner; but hate him anyway, at least long enough to kill him and carry on with whatever peace and security we can manage from the aftermath. Humanism is agonism. We can temper it through Reason. We can accept hatred as a temporary and reasonable state of Man. We cannot stand it as a permanent neighbour.

Hatred is Love when it is directed at evil. I argue that Islam is evil, though I argue that Muslims are not. We can only erase slowly the Grand Narrative of Islam by pencilling in a new Grand Narrative, which I suggest is Americanism. America is the Mind, and that is Will to Americanism of the Mind. Everyone can have, and all should have that right to choose it if they wish to. That requires the tearing out of some pretty awful pages of history. If hatred of evil motivates that Love, then count me in.

truepeers said...

Yes, the kind of "hate" you are talking about Dag is premised on the priority of a love for transcendent truth and the civilization that articulates those truths. So is it really hate?

I tend to think of "hate" as something largely irrational, an extreme form of resentment. Resentment is a necessary part of our humanity; everyone suffers it; and yet it is always deluding to some degree. Anyway, it too is premised on a prior love for some conception of the sacred; we feel resentful to the degree we feel someone is alienating us from what is sacred. And the more resentful we are the more we approach the point where we either create anew or self-destruct. Love is renewed because we resent. We resent because we love. History progresses, in the long run, because in the long run love is more powerful than resentment.

The men who defeated the totalitarian systems of the 20thC often hated those systems. But that hatred did not overwhelm them. More often than not they remained in touch with what they loved and this gave them the discipline to do the ugly business of war without completely degrading themselves.

So, talk about "hate", or better, resentment. It is a necessary and inevitable thing. But spend more time thinking about how to articulate your love for America. That will be more motivational for most of our people today than will talking like some tribal chief invoking a dark god of war.

In any case, I would remind about the value of learning some Generative Anthropology: it helps us understand why humanity begins with a moment of love, why love has priority over resentment, even as we acknowledge the necessity of the latter. New signs of language can only emerge in acts of love. Resentful violence is an expression of alienation from something transcendent that already exists. Resentment is necessary, because our desires cannot be entirely satisfied, and they can never be put to rest; resentment is thus a kind of motivation; but it is not itself the key to new productivity, to creativity. A soldier who largely hates will not be tactically or strategically smart. He has to know what he loves in order to have a productive "hate".