Friday, November 06, 2009

The West's cult of human sacrifice

(Update: welcome Steyn/NRO readers; feel free to join the discussion in the comments...)

If you ever doubted that the political correctness of the West is a cult of human sacrifice, one that needs a continual stream of victims to sustain its reality-denying pieties, now is the time to watch the MSM. Wretchard, as he so often does, provides some great analysis of the problem, as he responds to MSM reports that the Fort Hood killer, Hassan, was somehow a victim of Muslim baiting, traumatic stress, and "compassion fatigue" (quotes are from comments 47, 110, 132, and 155):
I wonder whether we as a society kept saying “it’s OK” even when it really wasn’t OK. So a guy like Hasan follows the breadcrumbs without apparent consequence. Political correctness denies him any real negative feedback until one day the breadcrumbs lead him over the edge and society comes at him like Gangbusters. The negative feedback comes all at once all in the shape of the SWAT team.

Even after the Fort Hood incident polite society may still be sort of sending the message “it’s OK” by dancing around the jihad issue. This disincentivizes the Muslims who hate what Hasan did by making them invisible men. Society has built a kind of closet for peaceable Muslims to go an hide in. If any of them wanted to come out and call Hasan an SOB they’d be like little kids looking around them in a haunted wood surrounded by thousands of glowing wolf eyes.

I sometimes wonder whether half the guys who decide to go and become jihadis aren’t carried along three quarters of the way by polite approval and reflexive anti-Americanism until all some imam has to do was pick them up and carry them across the finish line. While it’s true Hasan crossed the line all on his own it may be because he had the guts to put some of the toxic points some people only talk about into action. The things he espoused are old hat. You can get any edgy radical to say them. It was the action that was new.
[...]
All democratic struggles, whether in secular society or in a religious context, are between the region +/- 2 sigma from the mean and the tails. In other words, it’s a battle that the ordinary Joe — or Mehmet as the case may be — must wage to preserve daily life against the brilliant kooks on the right hand tail of the distribution and the moron kooks on the left hand tail. It’s between the people who are content to wait for Jesus — or the 13th imam — and those who for reasons of their own, think they are the Messiah — or Mahdi — himself.

One of the reasons political correctness is so damaging is that it shuts everybody up. It creates inaction, and therefore prevents the implementation of small, relatively painless corrections until a huge head of steam is built up; like a boiler at 2,000 psi, just waiting to blow. It constipates every politician; turns public discourse into codespeak, creates a climate of suspicion, enables fruitcakes and in general turns the whole friggin political arena into a funny farm.
[...]
I don’t think it is right to wish for the death of hundreds of millions of people or to hope for mass deportations. But it is precisely for that reason that it is important to restore a rational process that prosecutes the guilty and protects the innocent. When you think about it there is little to choose from between a system of political correctness which treats everyone, regardless of guilt, as innocent and one that treats everyone, regardless of innocence, as guilty. Both have the same net outcome: the goats have no incentive to separate themselves from the sheep.

Political correctness is lynch mob mentality in another guise. The eventual effects are the same. Group innocence flips to group guilt. Eventually anyway. It just delays the lynching until everyone can be hanged. So everything tootles along in a kind of fake normalcy with everyone smiling fakely at everyone else with gritted teeth until the desired and long awaited Der Tag comes along and then it is open season. The beast gets turned loose and look out below.

Now it is precisely because we must avoid nuking this place and that place in response to a nuke in this American city or that American city that a legitimate war on terror must be fought. That UN rapporteur who thinks using Predators is a violation of international law has everything backwards. If you don’t get them terrorists the day will come when it won’t be Predators but B1s and B2s that will be in action. It’s like the national security equivalent of the subprime crisis. Keep kicking the can down the road until you kick it over a precipice and then follow after it. It’s crazy.

What the subprime crisis — and the deficit spending of today — has convinced me of is that many politicians have absolutely no regard for long term consequences. they couldn’t care less. What matters is now. Ahora. En este momento. What happens tomorrow is none of their concern. Sayonara buddy. Been nice knowing you. You’d think it impossible, but we just saw it happen to the economy. Now we think: but surely the politicians can’t be crazy enough to set up a powderkeg that blow up in our faces. I wouldn’t bet on it.

But I think the real enemy — in the sense of the most important enemy — isn’t a bunch of flea-bitten jihadis sitting in a cave somewhere. It’s Western civilization’s craziness. We are setting our hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer.
[...]
What I’m really scared of, especially after watching the self-flagellating clips on TV talk shows, is that the elite are finally on the road to giving the Openly Ridiculous Order. Hasan created a terrible dilemma for the politically correct. If they recognize his existence their whole house collapses; and rather than bend slightly and allow for the fact that America might just be facing an enemy, they’ve doubled down. It’s incredible, but a lot of them are upping the ante on a patently ludicrous proposition. ‘Hasan was just too compassionate. Hasan was just another victim of George Bush’s failed policy’.

And the net result of this, if the PC clowns can get away with their campaign of inversion they will practically ensure two things happen simultaneously. A: they will make any rational inquiry into traitors in the military impossible and B: they will put all Muslims, however patriotic, however brave under a cloud of suspicion from which they can never emerge. It will be like affirmative action in its worst sense all over again. Rather than promote integration it will promote fractionalization. If America doesn’t have a Muslim problem now it soon will — courtesy of political correctness.

But there’s worse.

Eventually you will have situations in which people who are actually not trusted may be put in formal positions of authority simply because they can’t be questioned. This when the Openly Ridiculous Order situation comes in. When an elite starts to issue lunatic directives a certain something snaps. They lose legitimacy. People obey, but they do not comply. In other words, they start to obey only when the bosses are around. The moment the super leaves the room, they all start to laugh at him.

The really perverse thing about political correctness isn’t that they give you slops to eat; it’s that they give you slops to eat and expect you to smile and ask for seconds. The entire exercise is pointless except as an exercise and confirmation of power over you.

Societies don’t last long when their leaders become ridiculous. It’s a dangerous moment. In many ways the damage that Hasan created in Fort Hood, bad though it was, will be as nothing to the cannons he’s untied that are now rolling unsecured around the deck.

40 comments:

Dag said...

Brilliant as always, but this time I agree with your points, which you even more brilliant. I hope this piece gets the recognition it deserves.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Graet stuff. Let's hope it gets out there.

Dag said...

I left a link to this piece at Jihad Watch, where most readers will likely get the significance of it straight away. If the MSM had work like this, they'd be soaring.

The Phantom said...

I entirely agree with the entire thing. Its basic common sense, IMHO.

Anyone still wondering why ammo and firearms are selling at record rates in the USA, you've expressed it perfectly.

truepeers said...

The credit goes to Richard Fernandez.

More on this theme from another Pajama's blogger, RLS.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Cross posted at Jay Curries.

Dag said...

I saw the earlier Robert Louis Stevenson piece, and it was not this or even close to you scarlet letter.

I've been thinking about the issue of Muslim madness and permission as well as Kuhn's paradigms since... today while I had coffee. Sort of.

I thought of Heidegger's "Truth Horizons" that give one a limited vision of truth within which one can know, but within which one cannot know other truths, a rehash, as it were, of some of your ideas. I conclude, roughly, that if one is within the Truth Horizon of, for example, Science, of mathematics and mechanics, an exclusionary holism, then one will find it a matter of serious concern to find oneself also within the violence-advocating holistic Truth Horizon of Islam: "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Q, 9:5;29. How does one deal with the cognitive dissonance of two contradictory paradigms?

If one is a Modernist, one relies on some innate manliness and socially induced Stoicism; but if one is a Muslim in Modernity, then one is given to preferring the violent Islamic paradigm because, I argue, one has, within Modernity's realm, permission to attack Modernity and it's residents. To paraphrase J. Barzun, the probable losers become certain losers when they face no social deterrence, no boundaries, and in fact, encouragement through "empathy."

Given the choice between accepting that one paradigm will win out over another, if it comes to such, then one must weigh the rewards of choosing one over the losses. If the cheerleaders of Left dhimmi fascism laud the Muslim murderer, then he is encouraged to go postal in a jihadi kind of way. And why not? He's lauded on two sides: by Muslims and by the fascists he hopes to kill. Even those who condemn him will actually never say so, except those few who are branded by the actual victims of jihad, i.e. the survivors of jihad, as racists, fascists, and so on. It's an all round win for the jihadi. He has permission from everyone but those evil types like me. That would encourage him further, I think. but I don't lose sleep over that: he has a huge cheering section already and needs no help from me.

truepeers said...

Dag,

But the PC white guilter does not so much laud or cheer the Jihadi as "understand" and excuse him. He is the victim of the Great and little Satans, Bushitler, etc. When the Jihadi kills and kills himself, the guilty white worldview is confirmed but the guilty don't exactly cheer the killing, except perhaps for the most sociopathic among them.

In other words, the postmodern left condescends (they would even "understand" their own murders, should it ever come to that, not that they will go out of their way to offer themselves to the killer) in what might appear a rather maternal and hence emasculating way. Does this constitute, for the Jihadi, permission, or just a further source of resentment? Does it free him from doubts that a rather self-appointed, i.e. fatherless, Jihadi is not himself being Satanic?

The problem with locating the terrorist in a paradigm is that modern terrorism is all about breaking boundaries, and not just physically. You, for example, might want to believe in some essential difference between Muslim and Modernity, Jihadi and American, but the figure of Hassan is really about denying such easy categories, some ready way of distinguishing us and them, inside and outside, knowing as he does that he does not actually represent any serious institution of Islam, let alone a tribe or state - he is an American officer - and knowing that you cannot declare a war on all Muslims, or even all American Muslims, without destroying your own values and hopes for a global modernity. The terrorist does not stand for liberation of some oppressed or colonized group, as some on the left still romanticize - he is a middle-class postmodern man with few specific loyalties (he likely need not fear your revenge on his tribe) - but stands rather for chaos of a kind that will be most effectively dealt with, after some dark night of mass death, by a return to Sharia and Caliphate. Billions will first have to die in the ongoing destruction of modern life and the global economy if a return to some vaguely-dreamed medievalism is to be achieved. Accordingly, it is the means of the terrorist, not his almost impossible, dreamed, ends and not his preferred medieval ethic or religion, that really define him. And in that, I fear he is much a part of the modernist nightmare. He is as much the descendant of the fascist or communist revolutionary as of Mohammed.

Anonymous said...

In a weird way, the so-called critics of Islam pay that religion a lot more respect - excuse the word - than its politically correct supporters and apologists. The PC types don't seem to take it seriously or realize its effect on people. There is an intense strain of anti-western, anti-Christian sentiment in Islam; it's obvious and growing stronger.

Historyscoper said...

It's sad that the govts. of the West are full of Islam history ignoramuses, as are the pops. After the Ft. Hood Massacre, to remain an ignoramus about Islam is getting dangerous. Where can you learn the key facts of the rise, spread and doctrines of Islam fast free and accurate online? Try the Historyscoper. Click http://go.to/islamhistory

Dag said...

Peers, when you refer to "the most sociopathic among them," I assume you mean Ward Churchill, et al, who are a definite minority among Leftists, I admit. Few Leftists actually encourage terrorism directly by lauding it as a moral imperative. However, it's a distinction without a difference when the Leftist colludes in terrorism by defending those who have committed a terrorist act, after the fact rather than before it. To "rationalise" terrorism after the fact is to condone the next act of terrorism.

America is the prime Modernist nation, and when the intelligentsia/elite, e.g. Sean Penn, at a minimum, exculpate terrorism, it sets a pattern, not written in stone of course, that the terrorist can believe in good faith will be the case next time as well. If the elite of the most Modernist nation excuse terrorist jihadis, the latter, looking to the American elite as world elite, even if kafirs, do very much take it seriously as justification of terrorist jihad. The jihadi and his frinds, no matter that they hate the likes of Sean Penn, realise that they will never be "Sean Penn" in themselves, but like a waiter at a fancy diner, they can claim to their friends that they served Sean Penn, and that therefore, the waiter is interesting. If the jihadi is even mentioned by a Sean Penn, the jihadi has "bragging rights." "Recognition," as we know from Hegel, validates the master/slave relationship and keeps it going. Both need it to keep the game moving. So, it matters not what jihadis think of Penn, it only matters that some important Modernist recognizes them. Thus, the jihadi has "permission."

Dag said...

"In other words, the postmodern left condescends (they would even "understand" their own murders, should it ever come to that, not that they will go out of their way to offer themselves to the killer) in what might appear a rather maternal and hence emasculating way."

We can see this in Yvonne Ridley, the fool of a "journalist" who converted to Taliban jihadi Islam after she was kidnapped in Afghanistan, who now promotes jihad; or we can look at the fool "journalist" from West Vancouver, Beverly Geisbretch. It becomes a case of "moralistic one-upmanship."It's not about the jihadis, its about showing up ones own moralism in the face of ones friends, i.e. Modernists. Its a public display of moralistic and intellectual superiority directed t ones fellows. It has little or nothing to do with jihadis themselves. To maintain this recognition, the jihadi has to play the fool as well: He has to play Step n Fetchit, the goofy "house nigger" others can smile at condescendingly, saying to themselves, that yes, they too would treat him well because he's so "cool" and harmless or perhaps so violent and outrageous but understandably so because others, never us, have made him so. the public moralism of "I can make it all better, while you have only made it bad," is the hubris of the dhimmi masochist.We then get the sadist/jihadi looking over his shoulder for a wink and a nod from the masochist dhimmi for approval.

Dag said...

"Does this constitute, for the Jihadi, permission, or just a further source of resentment? Does it free him from doubts that a rather self-appointed, i.e. fatherless, Jihadi is not himself being Satanic?"

When you use "Satanic" to mean "the Tempter" we can see some sense in the term if we apply it to the Left dhimmi fascist. It would be analogous to the enabler who pours drinks for the drunk who then,as usual, bets her, at which point she claims he's a nice guy whom the system has tormented and only she, the saintly, can redeem. Who wouldn't want to strangle such a poseur? The fisrt on the list of stranglers would be the sadist hooked on the masochist's approval.

I'm not clear that the "modern terrorism is all about breaking boundaries"

"You, for example, might want to believe in some essential difference between Muslim and Modernity, Jihadi and American, but the figure of Hassan is really about denying such easy categories, some ready way of distinguishing us and them, inside and outside, knowing as he does that he does not actually represent any serious institution of Islam, let alone a tribe or state - he is an American officer - and knowing that you cannot declare a war on all Muslims, or even all American Muslims, without destroying your own values and hopes for a global modernity."

I see this as exactly the kind of clash of paradigms that drives the jihadi to violence. The temptations of the Modern in the face of the purity of Islam, the will to power in the face of the temptation to live a private life, must be maddening. To want to break out of the Modernist paradigm of personal being, a self-loathed self, in favour of a pure and strong collective self, i.e. a member of the ummah, unseen though it might be, imaginary as it is, while knowing one needs the validation of the greatness of Modernity and ones own lack of personal validity within it, is to want to destroy oneself and Modernity as a mockery of ones being, at the same time knowing that one must die rather than wake up to the hang-over of reality that there is no Paradise and 72 translucent virgins.

Self-destruction for the theatre of jihad, like holding ones breath till one turns blue, is an attention getter, with the benefit of thinking how sorely one will be missed and how guilty others will feel about the loss of the otherwise mediocre failure. This fascist "Grand Gesture" is the best validation for the loser to be "someone." At last. And since one is no longer among the living, there is no hang-over to deal with, no room for later doubts and fears of having to face ones own failure as a person qua person. The final, impressive bow, and the grand exit that leaves the audience breathless, the big act concluded spectacularly, never to be repeated. This actor will not have to return to his shabby apartment again to face himself as a nobody after the applause of the cheering dhimmi crowd. He's gone out on his highest note.

Dag said...

You write below of the importance of the means as opposed to the message of jihadi homicide.

"The terrorist does not stand for liberation of some oppressed or colonized group, as some on the left still romanticize - he is a middle-class postmodern man with few specific loyalties (he likely need not fear your revenge on his tribe) - but stands rather for chaos of a kind that will be most effectively dealt with, after some dark night of mass death, by a return to Sharia and Caliphate. Billions will first have to die in the ongoing destruction of modern life and the global economy if a return to some vaguely-dreamed medievalism is to be achieved. Accordingly, it is the means of the terrorist, not his almost impossible, dreamed, ends and not his preferred medieval ethic or religion, that really define him. And in that, I fear he is much a part of the modernist nightmare. He is as much the descendant of the fascist or communist revolutionary as of Mohammed."

It's because of this that I refer to Left dhimmi fascism. I write of the continuous nature of universal fascism, the fasces of communitarianism, i.e of the binding of the strand to the power.

"He is as much the descendant of the fascist or communist revolutionary as of Mohammed."

Buruma and Margolit address this in Occidentalism, as a reaction to the Modern. I think of Post Modernism as a continuation of the universal fasces, which I refer to as "The German Revolution," the Smerdyakov of the triune revolution, the bastard son of our family of Modernity. If we look at Islam as a Prussian reactionary movement, then we can see the reasons jihadis are adored by the Left: they are as one, though more "colourful," and more "authentic" than the urbanised and alienated Post-Modernist sentimentalist enabler. The jihadi is a plaything for the poseur dhimmi masochist. Without the jihadi, the dhimmi masochist would have to find another prop to play with for now, it's the time of the jihadi. That time will pass and some other thing/group identity will replace it. So, I don't see jihadis as our problem: I see our own as our enemies.

truepeers said...

Thanks Dag, I enjoyed reading that.

I've come in late and will ponder this to see if I can add anything tomorrow.

"The German Revolution," the Smerdyakov of the triune revolution, the bastard son of our family of Modernity.

-ha! But do you really think of Islam today as Prussian Reactionary or just these vaguely Westernized Jihadi blowhards? Also has me wondering what you think of the significant Jewish contributions/responses to the "German Revolution"... any possible comparison to the secular American Jewish leftist for whom being a fraternal universal leftist is much higher than being a lover of Israel?

Dag said...

Well, now I have to spend some time thinking. As always, a challenging mind you have.

Anonymous said...

Maj. Hasan shouted "Allah Akbar" before murdering 13 soldiers according to eye witness accounts. Maj. Hasan posted comments about how suicide bombers were the same as soldiers who threw themselves on grenades to protect their fellow soldiers. Maj. Hasan said that Muslims should rise up against American aggressors. Maj. Hasan praised the murder of two US soldiers in Little Rock.

Maj. Hasan's spiritual mentor for ten years was Iman Faizul Khan of the Silver Springs mosque. The mosque was built with Saudi money. Mr. Khan is also a director of the Islamic Society of North America, a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood. The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood is "God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations."

This does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists. It does mean that Saudi are using our oil money to spread Wahhabi/Salafist totalitarian theocracy around the world.

The US has not been spared; many of the US mosques are staffed by people trained in Saudi Arabia; US military chaplains and prison chaplains are chosen by an organization established by the Muslim Brotherhood, organizations like CAIR and the Muslim Students Association were also organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. These organizations do not engage in terrorism; they do create the mindset that allows some members to progress to the next stage and act upon the beliefs they have been taught.

Faizul Khan taught Maj. Hasan. Maj. Hasan is an Islamic terrorist. It is the way that Wahabbi's wage war.

truepeers said...

Anonymous, 17

I don't disagree with you. When I noted that the Islamic terrorist today doesn't represent a present or potential tribe or state, but kills only on behalf of a chaos that will then become the best hope of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, i was noting what i think is new and distinctively modern in this "Islam". Jihad in the past, as I understand it, was always a more direct and realistic road to worldly power/confused with the law of God. One fought for the ascendancy of one's tribe or Caliph, along with your claim on the renewal of Islam.

But now we have this fascist-Islamic ideology that can't readily distinguish between its fascist (Utopian and nihilistic) elements and its Islamic (nothing but Sharia). The fascist represents a claim on some fundamental "morality"; the Islamic on a particular set of worldly ethical arrangements - the Sharia. Islamo-terrorism can't readily distinguish the two because a move to worldwide Sharia is so far away unless first they can take us through a dark night of mass death that can only be accepted if one belongs to some Utopian-nihilist-destructive call for a return to some fundamental morality. If the Muslim Brotherhood is a political party it is not simply ready and willing to play a part in a democratic polity where it will win some, lose some, negotiate differences and slowly adapt to the demands of a democratic state. In this sense, I don't think we can say it fights to control any actually existing state. It remains a Utopian-fascist movement, even as it holds to the call of 7thC. Sharia.

Where that leaves me in regard to the Saudis I'm not sure. I see the Saudis as divided between a realistic state/tribe and Islamofascists though I admit the lines are awful blurred.

Walker Morrow said...

Dude: Steyn linked to you over at NRO's The Corner: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTg2NjkyOGE1OTY2YjhhOTI0NWU3MjA5OWU0YTI4ZDg=

Congrats, guys.

truepeers said...

Thanks Walker,

But if it isn't clear already, this post is just a selection of quotes from Wretchard/Richard at Belmont Club.

Dag said...

It's not that the comments are wonderful, and they are, it's that you nail it by putting them together so well. It's brilliant. Yes, of course, major congrats to Wretchard for having such commentators.

We do well, too.

Hello, Walker.

Walker Morrow said...

Hey Dag, how's it going?

Truepeers: I agree with Dag. You're the one who put the comments together. You deserve your fair share of credit for that.

truepeers said...

On the theme of comparing the Utopian Nazis to the Islamists who seek Nazi means to achieve specific Sharia ends, see the B'nai Brith ad in today's National Post.

SenatorMark4 said...

I've never been here before and am really impressed. Great thoughts! But...that's about it isn't it? Where are the policy suggestions we might argue to our benefit, hopefully. We're all fiddling as the house falls. How about a military officer sworn to defend the Constitutions who supports the overthrow of the Constitution can be shot at the moment it is discovered? How about people that arrive from countries that don't support the First and Second Amendments to our Constitution canNOT be in the military? What can we do?

The Phantom said...

trupeers, I've been following along with the comments here. Richard Fernandez's bits in the post were good, but I have to say this discussion after is really exceptional.

I can't match you and Dag for philosophical clueitude (clueosity?) but you did say this which rings the bell a little:

"But now we have this fascist-Islamic ideology that can't readily distinguish between its fascist (Utopian and nihilistic) elements and its Islamic (nothing but Sharia). The fascist represents a claim on some fundamental "morality"; the Islamic on a particular set of worldly ethical arrangements - the Sharia."

It really is the same basic scam as fascism, or communism for that matter. The details differ slightly, but really the major difference I see is that the Germans and the Russians were actually -good- at this type of thing.
What we face is not really the jihadis. The only reason they ever get anywhere in Canada, Europe or the USA is because police and military agencies are not connecting the dots.

Example Major Hassan, zero dot connection there even though the guy was practically screaming allah akbar out his window every morning. His dots were day-glo orange with neon trim, everybody is looking the other way and whistling.

Hassan himself gives every evidence of being an intelligent, over educated sad sack desperately in search of a club to belong to. The Army wouldn't have him, medicine wouldn't have him, but the jihad club had an opening so he applied for his decoder ring and membership card.

What makes the sad sacks of the world dangerous is not that they are armed and unpredictable, it is that the rest of us are DIS-armed and in a straight jacket of PC.

I expect the whole of Al Qaeda is like that. Misfit nerdlings wanting to be in the cool club, but too wanky to be able to march in step like the real totalitarians.

Their means are not justified by their ends, the ends are chosen at random to be a fig leaf for the means.

A little incoherent perhaps, but I haven't had time to knit it all together properly. Carry on.

truepeers said...

SenatorMark,

I certainly hope he will be shot, or better hung, after a fair trial. I think one cannot really defend shooting on first discovery, absent a deep crisis situation. The problem is the slippery slope. Once you start doing that, where do you draw the line? We have to fight this conflict in ways that advance the values of a free society, and that means minimizing our capacity for scapegoating, not that in this instance there is any doubt: Hassan is not our scapegoat.

Immigration policy and military enlistment definitely does need to come to terms with political Islam. There needs to be a renewed openness to intelligent forms of discrimination. But saying that reminds us that this is not just a policy debate but more profoundly a deep cultural debate given that the very idea of discrimination has become anathema in the schools and media of your nation and ours (Canada).

In general, I don't favour policies that would suppose a "war against Islam". I think we need to discriminate between those who want to live in a free society of individuals and those who don't and judge prospective immigrants and responsible job holders accordingly. Another way of saying this is we need policies that help us to engage people and find out (and help them find out) what they really believe and value: we need ways for "moderates" come to terms with what they really believe and what they think their religion really is or can no longer be.

We need to give people active choices that allow/ask them to choose renewed forms of national covenants by which we work to expand and guarantee each other's individual freedom. We need to work against the instituionalization of all group identities. So, I'm not against all Muslim immigration; but I think in the current world, given the obviously totalitarian trend of much political Islam, we need admit only immigrants who can give us signs/actions that show they want to live in a free soceity, want to work and keep the peace, etc. And through all regions of our society we need to think about how we advance those who show a preference for the values of freedom. We need to think of how we can constantly expose and marginalize those, especially in institutions like the schools/public universities, who favour the totalitarian over the free individual.

truepeers said...

Phantom, Mark, thanks.

Phantom: Their means are not justified by their ends, the ends are chosen at random to be a fig leaf for the means.

- I tend to think the same way that these guys really value and need to be judged by the means they worship; but I cannot entirely discount their ends and that's what makes them a little different from the nazis and communists who really didn't have any realistic, specifiable ends because they were motivated by some great need to overcome reality and the humiliations of the past, and could only promise some more perfect world (writing off the past as a humiliation and making a Utopian promise of the future is to narrow the possibilities of the present, which is what the totalitarian impulse really wants to do). The Sharia, fwiw, has existed as part of stable socieities, more or less, and could again if the modern world that has no room for 7th century medievalism were destroyed. But it's really more a hatred of the modern world than a love of Sharia that, I'd guess, motivates guys like Hassan. They don't know how to fit in and thrive in the modern world, as you suggest.

I'm not sure the problem of the military, etc., is connecting the dots. I'm sure a lot of people saw him for what he is. But they were too scared to make a fuss about it. They knew that the official, PC, line of their insitution was that you had to make room for "diversity" and not "discriminate". You had to give a free ride to people from groups with victim status. In other words, the problem comes from the top, from the values of politicians and the top bureaucrats they appoint. In a democracy, this reflects a wide body of opinion. This means our struggle is not just to connect the dots but to win a cultural war against the reigning ideology of our time, one that would excuse our murderers if they have correct credentials as victims of modern, successful, "hegemonic", "racist", etc. societies. If Dag and I go on with our little intellectual debates it is only because we want to improve ourselves and help other advance in the intellectual wars we have to fight here at home.

truepeers said...

Let's see if I can add anything to Dag's comments from last night:

If the jihadi is even mentioned by a Sean Penn, the jihadi has "bragging rights." "Recognition," as we know from Hegel, validates the master/slave relationship and keeps it going. Both need it to keep the game moving. So, it matters not what jihadis think of Penn, it only matters that some important Modernist recognizes them. Thus, the jihadi has "permission."

-The Jihadi (and the extreme leftist) sees the modern world - its forms of economic and ethical rationality - in terms of a master/slave dialectic (like the Marxist interpreted "capitalism); and that is why he is actively trying to destroy it. So to what extent he wants to "keep the game moving" until the day of victory when the modern world is destroyed constitutes an unavoidable paradox, it seems to me. Of course he has to keep playing in the modern world, he has to keep playing with the Sean Penns, until that day of victory. And so it is just his continuing dependence on the world he wishes to destroy that infuriates him (and in the extreme instance leads to the only "pure" way out: the murder-suicide). They brag about using the infidel's weapons (technology) against him; but they are at heart probably a little sore they can't just fight with the scimitar.

Sean Penn might encourage the man riven by the paradox of his dependence on that he would destroy, but couldn't he be taken over the edge by many things less personal (if these were well articulated in "third world" preaching - like say an internet porn addiction, or an inability to work according to the ways of a modern office place.

So, I'm a little cautious about the conclusion that it is ultimately just the sociopathic Western left we have to defeat. Yes, they constitute a huge security threat with their endless excuses for murderers, but I'm not sure they are the larger threat. The "third world" in its ongoing interdependence with the "first world", will, i think, become increasingly capable of producing new forms of excuses and "non-negotiable" opposition to the global economic order. Blackmail/extortion/murder-suicide will be an ongoing temptation for many, and we will always be tempted to pay to avoid great conflicts. We are going to have to learn how to make any payments conditional on honest membership in more or less democratic forms of negotiation. We cannot completely deny our left its insane ideas if they are willing to play by democratic rules. An Obama, fwiw, has to be given some respect as long as he respects the constitution of his democracy. But a man with the same "ends" as Obama, but who would use non-democratic means, has to be opposed. I am still more comfortable killing terrorists than the fools who romanticize them. If we treat our sympathizing fools as terrorists, where are we going to stop? Publicly humiliate them, yes, but we have to know where to draw the line if we are to build together a future worth living.

Rebekah said...

Linkback from MissMarprelate.blogspot.com

When Society is Standing Up Inside "Please read the whole post at Covenant Zone, it is well worth reading and I am not ashamed to say gave me the basis for this post."

Dag said...

I easily make my argument at absurd length, (on-going,) so lets see if I can make it briefly: Human ferality is not sustainable; therefore, man combines his energies with others for mutual survival, interdependent and communal. Nomads and pastoralists can't own more than they and their beasts carry. The ergs, or energy units, they can use in a day are limited to what they and their beasts can do. When people settle, they can keep a surplus. Part of that surplus, I think, is slaves, outside ergs that contribute to the commune while taking little or nothing. there are energy producers and energy consumers; thus, one must know who is to be whom, giving rise to the in-group and the out-group, on top of the internal chicken-like pecking order. I guess, given that I don't know this are of Anthropology at all, that man is driven to accumulate more energy than another for his use and to another's disadvantage. The more energy, the more chance of life for oneself and ones own. We get families, clans, tribes, and nations from it. We get the, as I term it, eternal fasces, the binding. It's the only social relationship I can see that is constant in Humanness. The individual groups himself with is own kind around a central power for both protection and identity.

Eric Fromm, whom I take a [very] few ideas from writes on the individuation of singles. But this leads to a fear of loneliness in the cosmos; thus, he flees from his freedom to the fasces, the binding that gives him safety and identity. There's little practicable choice in a primitive economy, oikos. Being within the bounds of his fasces means he is resentful of his position as not-free, and he is also afraid of the freedom he knows he can have. He then plays out a game of sado-masochism, kicking those below as he is kicked from above. He curries favour from above by aping his betters, and gains selfhood by dominating those below him. But all of it is unreal because he knows he is alone, the aloneness he fled from, i.e. his freedom to be individuated. That's not exactly Fromm.

I turn as well to another Eric, Hoffer, who writes of the self-loathing individual who, in his state of self-hatred, regardless of the cause, hates his identity qua self; therefore he turns to the safety of the fasces as well: to the power of the greater being, whether it be a man or a movement or both, e.g. Nazi-ism or Communism or Islam; and in this flight from his loathed being, he sheds himself as individual and regains an identity he can love and die for, his group identity. Such an identity can only be valid in the future: the man himself must hate the present because it is the now that has tormented his previous self into flight from himself, the reason being that if the world of now were right, he wouldn't have had to flee: he would have been the man he should be and would have been if only the world could appreciate his wonders. The world can only be right after he and his group have made it so, which they cannot ever do because they would then have to be themselves as themselves in the now. of course, they in the now will still be themselves, the very creatures they fled from, unchanged even in a perfect world. So, they commit what I call the fascist "Grand Gesture," dying spectacularly and theatrically, as did Roman gladiators in the arena, as a validation of their lives. Death proves to themselves that they are "too good" for this world, that they hold it in contempt, and that they can't stand the daily mediocrity of themselves anyway.

Dag said...

Modernity, a very recent phenomenon, c. 1750 by my watch, begins to force the masses from the devastated cities of Western Europe,commerce, and thus the reason and life of cities, destroyed after the closing of the Mediterranean Sea by the Muslim Conquest, c. 625-800, from a state of appanage, "bread welfare," into cities where man is no longer in the state of his natural fasces, his "community." Man is forcibly "individuated." This is much against his will, and he is susceptible to the concept of "alienation." For those who truly do not get modern living, there is the Golden Age of the future/past to return to. Alienated, self-loathing man can find peace within and a great way out by committing homicide/suicide against the world.

Because the eternal fasces is the natural state of man, and because Modernity is alienating even for the most well-adjusted among us, the "probable failure becomes the certain failure," as J. Barzun puts it so nicely. when I write about "permission, " I mean that the maladjusted man in Modernity has permission to act out his longing for the nostalgic charade so many Modernists sentimentalise. The sentimentalist would like to think he longs for the purity of a Rousseauesque "natural and authentic" existence, but of course, even he knows this is theatre. Like any performer, he needs an audience, and when he can find one to be a prop in his play, his pretence to romantic purity, he gives permission to the one who will act out for him on his behalf. When Leftists longing for a philobarbarist display of purity find a man willing to die to prove the validity of the nostalgic play, then they give him permission, and they go further by, post facto, lauding his behaviour as justifying their public presentations of philobarbarism. We get, in short, urban Modernists who play at being "Indians" to the inauthentic "Cowboys," celebrating when they've driven a real Indian to suicide, him proving the validity of their statement that they too would live like him if only they didn't have to go to work in the morning, the very reason I have to stop here for tonight.

Anonymous said...

The writer of this piece is either naive or pretending to be dumb. Islam is like HIV. Not AIDS yet, but can turn into AIDS at any minute, without warning. What other long-term option is there besides mass deportations? Live with people in our midst who can suddenly turn murderous? Not only is there no way to tell the good from the bad, the good can become the bad in a split second. The only thing that surprises me is that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.

The Phantom said...

What other long-term option is there besides mass deportations? I dunno, how about we look after ourselves instead of whining for Big Brother to do it? Big Brother's pretty much useless, as we've noticed at Ft. Hood. And 9/11. And etc.

The Israelis have this problem too you know, they solve it by all walking around with Uzis. Worked so well for them that the Palies had to resort to suicide bombing just to get a shot at them. Contrary to the received wisdom of the noble Left in this country, Israelis don't usually shoot each other, they pretty much only shoot terrorists.

Mass deportation is a commie/fascist thing. Free men armed for self defense is a Western civilization thing.

truepeers said...

What other long-term option is there besides mass deportations? Live with people in our midst who can suddenly turn murderous

-the problem exists, no doubt, to some degree. But consider that anyone can convert and become a Muslim, at any time, and take certain passages of the Koran literally. In other words, there is always some chance that some innocents will be killed in the name of Allah in a free society where resentful people are free to discover bad ideas for themselves. But that cannot be a license for us to end our experiment with a free society and put everyone under 24hr surveillance (though I am not against surveillance on mosques and preachers and punishing those calling for overthrow of oour constitution and freedoms).

We cannot be free and have any absolute guarantees. It is for me a question of reasonable apprehension of reality and risk and possibilities. But it's also a question of working to construct the reality in which we want to live and not being passive "multiculturalists" who just demand conformity to a mindless cultural relativism and victim ideology. In constructing that reality we need to think of how to put daily the choice to our fellows that allow them to show us that they want to share with us a free society, and to learn and change accordingly. We must all learn to discriminate in various ways we cannot yet even imagine.

I cannot be against the presence of all Muslims in the West because thinking the world will be safer without an attempt to provide a place where people, born into Islam, nonetheless find a way - however contradictory it might seem to one or another theory of Islam - to live and work in the modern global economy, in democratic nations, seems wrong to me; thinking the world will be safer if we just leave all Muslims to some Muslim Brotherhood prison in the "Muslim lands" where they all stew in resentful juices seems unrealistic and more dangerous, for reasons we could get into.

We live in a small world now with threats we cannot hide from but have to variously fight. We have a huge problem that cannot be neatly contained unless we are truly willing to live with the mass murder/starvation/desperate vioence, which would result if we really quarantined Islam. And what would such events do to the already guilt-ridden, self-destructive, postmodern "culture" of the West? I don't think we can hide anymore, whether in a leftist multiculti fantasy, or a rightist "quarantine". We have to engage Muslims, and hopefully in ways that won't destroy our values and free soceities.

I like to argue that Islam has never provide a very realistic model for worldly living, as the would-be martyrs no doubt implicity concur. Truly Sharia-bound societies have never long survived the resentments and inadequacies they engender. Actual Muslim societies are always "corrupt" from the point of view of fundamentalists. The attempts to re-establish orthodoxy tend to last about as long as the present Iranian republic seems to be lasting. Islam is one thing. But Muslims are humans first of all and there are certain anthropological truths that must be considered as well as "Islam" in engaging with them. Some dogmatic interpretation of Islam need not have the final world. We have to push people to reveal what they really believe, how they really want to live, and treat them accordingly. BUt to do that we have to admit the possibility of individual freedom and choice. If a Muslim really wants to live as a free Canadian, if he really wants to interpret Islam as a private religion and not an fascist political religion, he cannot be denied his citizenship or rights by any society that wants to remain free. And besides, Canada and the West is stronger by providing a place where some Islamic dissidents and reformers can be heard.

BUt having said that, Canada needs a serious review of immigration policy, numbers, and stricter observation of people from Islamic regions of the world.

truepeers said...

Dag writes: there are energy producers and energy consumers; thus, one must know who is to be whom, giving rise to the in-group and the out-group, on top of the internal chicken-like pecking order... We get the, as I term it, eternal fasces, the binding. It's the only social relationship I can see that is constant in Humanness. The individual groups himself with is own kind around a central power for both protection and identity.

-as you intuit, something that is eternal cannot have just begun with hierarchical society which is a relatively late happening in human history (hierarchical, agricultural socieites emerge only after tens of thousands of years of hunter-gatherer existence). Thus we have to relocate the origin of some of the distinctions you are making. The distinction between inside and outside is surely far older than slavery. Not only was it there at the beginning of humanity, but it is something that is even older than our species, since warfare, competition over scarce resources, is an animal pack behaviour. Every animal group "knows" the difference between us and them, though only humans, with language, can conceptualize it in these terms.

To give off any linguistic sign, not least the first sign given off by the first humans in the first event, is to realize a form of communion, a group bound by a common centre of sacred attention, a group thus knowing itself for the first time and by extension those who do not share in this event of communion that then becomes the basis for a bounded group's shared, communal ritual and myth.

At the beginning this communion was not hierarchical beyond the bare necessity for their to be a sequence of gestures in the shared event, or later ritual. Someone had to go first in making a difference before the others signed off in their own ways to acknowledge the sign, and the shared sacred thing that the sign makes sacred, and thus complete the event. But in a primitive society, the different clans take turns leading the rituals. There is no permanent hierarchy.

cont...

truepeers said...

cont...


I'm simply saying, we need an anthropology that does not confuse basic human communion, the core necessity of any shared centre of attention and authority, and of any act of communication, with serious hierarchy and fascism, which are but specific historical forms of communion.

And then, with modernity, we don't simply become "alienated" and "individuated" and, potentially, free ourselves from all communion, as the romantic figures. Yes, we become more individuated and perhaps more "alienated", but to some degree there has been individuation and alienation (i.e. resentment at one'd distance from the sacred centre, from divine power) from the very beginning of humanity. And it is possible to minimize or mediate one's sense of alienation/resentment with spiritual disciplines appropriate to modernity.

Modernity is a process of living in less compact communities, to use Eric Voegelin's term. Fascism and Islamism are desires to return to more compact communities. But it would be a mistake to say this is because the fascist can't accept that now we must live without communion. Yes, our forms of communion need to become, if we are to keep the peace, ever less centralized with less need for wide conformity to a single central presence. But there is no communication possible without some minimal communion around a shared centre of attention. Even here on the internet, we are aware of how a blog conversation among people who may never meet, a conversation that we rarely share with even close friends and family, nonetheless requires some sense of a shared presence or focus for our attention. We still worship a communal being, a common humanity, in minimized form.

The romantic who thinks he can kill the communal being and therefore declare a stoic embrace of his unique individuation fails to see that he can only perform this act for an audience that has not become maximally individuated, that has not minimized its sense of a shared central presence to the degree is now possible in our world of decentralized communications. The more we remain focussed on killing the fascist father, the more we remain under his spell, which is why the postmodern left in the academy for all their claims of deconstructing invidious authority remain themselves a kind of invidious centralized authority.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

For some reason, this seems the appropriate moment to relay what a blogger called Celestial Junk tells his followers on the home page:

"But then, there is the 'progressive' class ... that aimless mass of Western humanity so burdened by cultural self-loathing that it is to Islam, as ungulates are to lions."

Hucbald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hucbald said...

(Typing and watching a comedy is hard).

It's telling that the authorities are worried about a, "backlash" against Muslims: Any backlash against Muslims will be a backlash against them, because they have allowed this societal cancer to metastasize. No civilization under law for as long as the west wants to abandon that, so it will have to reach a tipping point. When it does, no deportations will be necessary, because violence will solve the problem, and the, "leaders" who were too timid to defend their countries will be swept away in it too.

The second American revolution will have a French accent, if it comes to that.

Dag said...

Truepeers posted at Obama's election that they would party like it's 1789. I'm still laughing. Cause the joke is on them.