The Discerning Texan
All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, August 03, 2007
The Logical Conclusion of Leftist Policy
Yaacov Ben Moshe has been very busy--among other things, tying an old relic of Czarist Russia to the modern day decline of Western Civilization, as ushered in by the Left's alliance with Radical Islam. Just an average day at Breath of the Beast... A few highlights:
This brings us to the threshold of a new understanding of what the left and Islam have as a common cause against America, Israel and The West. Up to this point I have concentrated on the similarities between The Left and the Islamists. As important as it is to understand those similarities, we cannot solve the dilemma they put us in without looking at the ways in which they differ. Ironically, the only way to highlight those differences is to point out one last, critical similarity. That is, that they are both afraid of and at war with the future.This is just a sampling; it is well worth your time to read the whole thing.
Now, it is true that to conceal this fear (even from themselves) both groups put up a brave front by claiming to be “the wave of the future”. Communists and socialists, of course, have always presented themselves as the avant-garde. From the theses of Marx, to the perpetual revolution rhetoric of the Russians and the Chinese, to the presumptive (and pathetically hopeful) appellation “Progressive” that much of today’s European and American left has adopted as its title, the left has always presumed that their ideas and practices would sweep away the “old order” and bring in a new and finer age of political, economic and social equality. But we have seen that whenever a leftist government has been in control, change has immediately become the enemy, a new, more exclusive ruling class has arisen and extraordinarily harsh measures have been used to repress individual initiative and thought. That same fear of the future is what turns liberal western politicians into “control freaks”. It fuels their desire to give the government control over all aspects of life. They want government health care, to make government the monitor of the balance of conservative and liberal conversation on the broadcast media, to call on government to become the enforcer of racial preferences on hiring and educational opportunity, it even (in Massachusetts, any way) wants the government to specify and police the fat content of perfectly edible foods. It is the atavistic fear of the future that desires the government to control the distribution of wealth and resources.
The left’s fear of the future results in paralysis. The logical extension of those creeping government controls is a soviet-like, centrally controlled economy, and history has shown that to be a failure. It was that very central management of the economy and the stagnation it created, not any internal political heresy or subversion, that caused the Soviet Union to fall apart. The leftists paralyze themselves politically with their cultural relativism and the illusion that they can create equality in an unequal world. They are unable to make value judgments on cultural cornerstones such as family, education, morality and ethics because they are mired in intellectualized, multicultural “non-judgementalism”. They have no way forward because they have prohibited themselves from favoring any one course over another- or even considering what the differences might be. Their ethos is one of an intellectually nomadic existence, wandering from one platitudinous, ineffectual idea to the next.
As long as the leftmost “progressives” are a tiny minority this might seem a harmless, if perverse, pastime. But they are never content with strangling and avoiding their own future. They are convinced that everyone must be forced to participate in their dystopian dream. The left is always attempting to force others to share their unproductive illusions. They take a particular interest in becoming educators and trying to bend, fold and mutilate the children of others into becoming the vanguard of the new social order of stagnancy they aspire to. My post about the “progressive” teachers who banned their classes from playing with Legos because, “the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive” shows how they take normal childhood behavior and turn its energy not into a productive learning experience but a pedantic inquisition into thought crimes.
The western left seems always to be behaving as if they want to tear down the government and the culture that supports it while not admitting to the knowledge that were there to be a change of regime, even a leftist one, the vast majority of them would be among the very first to be purged, imprisoned or marginalized by whatever autocratic or totalitarian regime arose in its place. They are literally sitting on the limb that they appear to be trying to saw off. Either they have supreme confidence that nothing they do will actually cause the bough to break they are simply so blinded and consumed by their fear of the future, they are blind to the kind of future they would bring down on themselves if they were successful. They clearly do not feel at home in their own culture and have no clear idea of what their new home might look like if they could move to one or build it themselves. They only know what they hate (Bush, capitalism, ownership, power, competitiveness, patriotism and meritocracy, etc...) about this one. They really seem to be happiest knowing that the culture they despise will not hurt them, nor will it expel them thereby forcing them to fend for themselves in other, less hospitable, societies. They are homeless, nomadic foreigners in their own homeland. Which, in a cultural sense, is the first definition of pilgrim (with a lower case “p”): one who journeys in foreign lands: nomadic
As for the Islamists, their primary goal is to restore the ancient Caliphate. They want a Caliphate, not just in the old local incarnation, they want to extend it world wide. They want the entire world to be ruled under Sharia Law. Sharia Law is, in fact, a system designed not just to petrify the present but to return the world to the illusory erstwhile glory of that bygone era. It is also a cannily designed system to thwart the evolution of new ideas about and interpretations of the Koran and other Islamic texts. It also attempts to curb social change by mandating bloody forms of capital punishment for moral and ethical decisions that express the powerful pull of personal liberty and choice such as, apostasy(a broadly defined catchall including merely disagreeing with the local Imam), marriage to a non-Muslim, pre-marital sex (or even the accidental appearance of the opportunity of having pre-marital sex), that are not even considered to be questionable behavior anymore in enlightened western countries. It especially seeks to control women. It proscribes their sexuality. It governs their child bearing. It forces them to dress and behave as will-less, personality-less ciphers. With laws decrees, customs, strictures and bans it mutilates them, holds them captive, demeans them and sanctions their murder but above all it denies them the ability to modernize and moderate the culture.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said
“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”
This is a profound observation. It captures the very essence of the problem with the left. Culture, you see, is the supra-organism that human beings have evolved in tandem with for the last four million years. It is the totality of the behavior, values, traditions, norms and technology of a group of humans by which it adapts to and changes in response to its environment. Culture changes organically when external conditions change or when the people within it develop new capabilities. Culture is the way that human societies survive in this constantly changing universe. Every cultural decision is in some sense critical because it affects the survivability of the culture. Law making in the American system is a messy but effective genius system. In it the conflicting factions of the nation meet in a contest to prove out what new direction or preservation of an old one is most healthy for the body politic. The danger is over-legislation in which unnecessary changes may be instituted to the detriment of all.
When liberals attempt to change culture with legislation there is a great danger that they are merely trying to hide from the future. I believe The fairness Doctrine is a perfect example of this defensive reaction in action. The manifest failure of liberal and leftist talk radio is discomforting to them but instead of learning from the fact that the flaccid, obfuscatory aversions of liberal talk shows cannot hold an audience and the cold logic, incisive wit and common sense conservative idea mongers on conservative radio have attracted large and loyal ones the are trying to institute mandatory boredom in the form of equal attention for liberal ideas. This, of course, will only result in turning frustrated listeners away from radio altogether and into the shelter of streaming audio on the web and satellite radio. They will become Intellectual Pilgrims. The liberal belief that the adaptive process of cultural change can be controlled and directed by making laws is no less short-sighted than the Caliphate’s belief in force.
I am going to presume to guess that if Mr. Moynihan were alive today, he might have added a third sentence to the above quote. I’d like to think that sentence would go something like this: “The central truth of Caliphate Islam is that culture comes from God, is prescribed in the Koran (as interpreted by whatever mullah or despot wields the most power) and must be conformed to that prescription by any means necessary including terror, intimidation and murder.”