A Rage Against History

Turkish_troops_storming_Fort_Shefketil_(cropped)This article is by Clive Kessler, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of New South Wales. It’s very good, as it goes into some of the motivations of why we are seeing Islamic radical violence. I would recommend you get your coffee refilled as it’s also fairly long. Enjoy.

The Ottawa parliament, Café Lindt, Charlie Hebdo and so many others too: these are all separate incidents.  But they are all part of the same global phenomenon.

They are all expressions of a rage against history that lurks within modern Islam and animates Muslim militants worldwide today.

It is a rage that has its source within the wounded soul of contemporary Islamic civilisation, of the modern Muslim world generally.

The Islamic religion and its social world are an intensely political tradition.

It has always been so, going back to Muhammad’s dual role as both prophet and political leader in the original Islamic community in Madinah from 622 to 632 CE.

More, within a century of Muhammad’s death his small desert oasis polity had become a vast transcontinental empire.

And, in a succession of different forms or political frameworks (“caliphates”), the community of Muhammad’s faithful continued to live in the world on its own founding assumptions.

For a thousand years it was largely a continuing success story. Islamic civilisation, as it evolved upon its foundational political template provided by Muhammad, was able to live in the world on its own terms.

The central Islamic societies in which Islamic civilisation evolved were able to write and then “live out” the script of their own history.

Not only did Islam, and the Muslims of Islamic civilisation, live in the world on their own preferred terms, according to their own faith-based socio-political and legal blueprint.  They were able to set those terms to others who came within their orbit, under their influence and control. It was to be accepted by all, lovingly or in obligatory submission, induced or imposed.

How has the world of Islam always explained and justified this to itself?

Religiously, Islam sees itself as the successor to and the completion of the Abrahamic faith tradition of ethical and prophetic monotheism. To Judaism and then Christianity.

It sees itself as completing those two earlier faith communities: those of the “peoples of the book” or genuine scripture. Completing, but also repairing and then superseding, those earlier revelations, making good their limitations and deficiencies.

What deficiencies? First, those earlier revelations, so mainstream Islam holds, were incomplete, only partial. And second, in their human transmission, what God had revealed through them had been distorted and corrupted by its learned custodians, the rabbis and priests.

Islam sees itself as complete because it sees itself (or so its scholarly traditions assert), unlike Judaism and Christianity, as equipped with a fully developed social and political “blueprint”, a divinely prescribed plan for the organisation and political management of society.

For this reason, its mainstream scholars have long held, Islam incorporates and carries forward all that is right and good in Judaism and Christianity. And what is not good or authentic Islam rejects —— and what it has rejected is simply wrong.

So Islam supersedes, and in a sense also negates, its two predecessor Abrahamic faiths. They, or the best in them, live on in Islam. Once Islam succeeded and incorporated them in this fashion, Judaism and Christianity became, in effect, obsolete and irrelevant. Religiously superseded, they lived on in world history merely as relics from an earlier, pre-Islamic era of human spiritual and social evolution. This was not just religious doctrine; these ideas informed and even defined the historical civilisation founded upon that religious faith.

This attitude could continue, this faith-based civilisational outlook or worldview, could continue undisturbed so long as it was not evidently counterfactual. So long, that is, as Islam continued to live in the world on its own terms. So long as the worldly career of Islamic civilisation remained a success story.

It was, for a thousand years. Islam survived the challenge of its great trans-Mediterranean civilisational rival, the world of Christendom, withstanding even the era of the Crusades. But eventually it succumbed to what we might call “post-Christian Christendom”, or Europe and the Western world.

The long crisis that the Islamic world, in the form of the Ottoman Empire or Caliphate, entered was dramatically signalled and symbolised at the end of the eighteenth century by Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt.

Over the following century, the world of Islam was overwhelmed.

A rage against history.

Of course the classical Christian response to the claim that Islam is the completion of the Abrahamic religions is that it is simply another heretical schismatic cult. And it follows that current western governments have major problems dealing with it, simply because they believe in nothing (except self-enrichment, perhaps). And we all know that nothing cannot stand against anything, no matter how ill-conceived.

Hat tip to CPS

Concealed Carry and the Right of Self-Defense

Feb25We haven’t been talking a lot about this lately mostly because other than a few loonies like NYC’s mayor, few are pushing it. But as always, we need to pay attention.

One thing that struck me as we all watched the events in Paris, is how helpless Europeans have become, simply passive sheep awaiting slaughter. Nor was it the first time these thoughts were in my mind.

Most of you know that I have many friends in Britain, and a while back when Drummer Rigby was butchered in Woolwich, we talked about it both on the Watchtower and I expanded on those comments here. It was very interesting to see the differences in  the American viewpoint contrasted with the British, and I suspect continental Europeans are even more passive.

In fact, the passivity contained in the comment by a distinguished British educator chilled my blood.

We are entirely dependent upon the Police”

My response was as follows:

It’s true of course, most of us have read of British subjects sentenced to life in prison for defending themselves in their home from an armed assailant. And I’m certain I speak for most American when I say, with that system, you are not free. To me and most likely to my compatriots it brings to mind a phrase that Thomas Jefferson used.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.”

Which translates as,

“I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”

This was brought to mind this morning as I read from Dave “the Sage”, in his usual, calm rational style the case for the armed citizen, which is as true today as it was when the right was written into Magna Charta 800 years ago., thereby codifying an existing right. Here’s a piece  of it:

“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” 

–  Sigmund Freud

[…]

The truth is often very simple. The law-abiding, gun-owning citizen is not the problem but for some reason is often the target of those who seek to disarm the populace.

When I received my concealed handgun permit it required little more than having the right sheriff, taking a hunters safety course, filling out a questionnaire, not having a criminal record, and writing a check. They have since tightened the restrictions a bit, but not by much if you know the right NRA instructor. Seventy-five dollars can get you an afternoon of target practice, training, and your ticket to the coveted concealed-carry permit if you are willing to do your homework.

Think of the growing number of concealed handgun permit holders as thousands of walking safety bubbles moving throughout society and undoubtedly crossing your path while potentially protecting you and your family without you even knowing it. You can live as a victim subject to the whim of criminals and crazies or you can live as a free man and have the potential to protect yourself, your family, and your community. I choose the latter.

[…]

No one should insist on leaving entire sections of the community open and helpless to the predations of murderous psychopaths. It is important to attempt to help change a culture that has wandered hopelessly off the path of logic and common sense, and help to rectify the pathetically failed policies that cost some people their lives. I can think of nothing more important to address than that. People are dead because of others stupidity and continual striving for a utopian nanny state. That cannot be excused or allowed to continue anymore.

Free Americans should have the right to defend themselves from the more unsavory elements of society that attempt to prey upon or outright kill them.

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

— Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

Concealed Carry and the Right of Self-Defense ⋆ Dc Gazette.

It strikes me that the main problem with the Europeans, and with some segments in America as well, is that they have abdicated the right to be a free person, along with (or perhaps because of) the concomitant obligation to act in their own interest. And so they sold their freedom for a little temporary safety, and as always, they soon shall have neither.

Multicultural Suicide

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Victor Davis Hanson has some thoughts (with which I thoroughly agree) on the interplay between Radical Islam and multiculturalism. Some excerpts:

Fueling the Western paralysis in dealing with radical Islam is the late 20th century doctrine of multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism is one of those buzzwords that does not mean what it should. The ancient and generic Western study of many cultures is not multiculturalism. Rather, the trendy term promotes non-Western cultures to a status equal with or superior to Western culture largely to fulfill contemporary political agendas.

On college campuses, multiculturalism not so much manifests itself in the worthy interest in Chinese literature, Persian history, or hieroglyphics, but rather has become more a therapeutic exercise of exaggerating Western sins while ignoring non-Western pathologies to attract those who see themselves in some way as not part of the dominant culture.

It is a deductive ideology that starts with a premise of Western fault and then makes evidence fit the paradigm. It is ironic that only Western culture is self-critical and since antiquity far more interested than other civilizations in empirically investigating the culture of the other.  It is no accident that Europeans and Americans take on their own racism, sexism, and tribalism in a way that is not true of China, Nigeria or Mexico. Parody, satire, and caricature are not Chinese, African, or Arab words.

A multicultural approach to the conquest of Mexico usually does not investigate the tragedy of the collision between 16th-century imperial Spain and the Aztec Empire. More often it renders the conquest as melodrama between a mostly noble indigenous people slaughtered by a mostly toxic European Christian culture, acting true to its imperialistic and colonialist traditions and values.

In other words, there is little attention given to Aztec imperialism, colonialism, slavery, human sacrifice, and cannibalism, but rather a great deal of emphasis on Aztec sophisticated time-reckoning, monumental building skills, and social stratification. To explain the miraculous defeat of the huge Mexican empire by a few rag-tag, greedy conquistadors, discussion would not entail the innate savagery of the Aztecs that drove neighboring indigenous tribes to ally themselves with Cortés. Much less would multiculturalism dare ask why the Aztecs did not deploy an expeditionary force to Barcelona, or outfit their soldiers with metal breastplates, harquebuses, and steel swords, or at least equip their defenders with artillery, crossbows, and mines.

I really, really, really like that last paragraph, reality is rather like a bucket of ice water in the face, isn’t it?

What is the ultimate political purpose of multiculturalism? It certainly has contemporary utility, in bolstering the spirits of minority groups at home and the aggrieved abroad by stating that their own unhappiness, or failure to achieve what they think they deservedly should have, was due to some deep-seated Western racism, class bias, homophobia, or sexism otherwise not found in their own particular superior cultural pedigree that was unduly smothered by the West.

For the useful idiot, multiculturalism is supposedly aimed at ecumenicalism and hopes to diminish difference by inclusiveness and non-judgmentalism. But mostly it is a narcissistic fit, in which the multiculturalist offers a cheap rationalization of non-Western pathologies, and thereby anoints himself both the moral superior to his own less critical Western peers and, in condescending fashion, the self-appointed advocate of the mostly incapable non-Westerner.

Heh!

Radical Muslims both emigrate to the West and yet, once there, seek through Sharia law to destroy the very foundations of what made the West attractive to them in the first place. Clean water, advanced medicine, entitlement support and free speech ultimately cannot exist in a society that routinely assassinates the outspoken satirist. In a less dramatic sense, the entire open-border, La Raza movement is based on the anomaly that the United States is such an inhospitable and racist place, while Mexico is such a benevolent homeland, that 11 million risk their lives to reach the former and abandon the latter. […]

For Muslims of the Middle East, there is a clear pathway to economic prosperity and a secure lifestyle; countries as diverse as South Korea, Japan, and Chile are proof of it. Within wide parameters, success only asks adherence to a mostly free market, some sort of freedom of expression, religious tolerance, a separation of science from orthodoxy, the rule of law, and consensual constitutional government — along with a cultural ethos of rough parity between the sexes, merit-based evaluation instead of tribal favors, and tolerance for ethnic and religious minorities.

Fail that, and human misery follows of the now familiar Middle East sort, in turn followed by the tired blame that the Jews, the Americans, the Europeans, or the West caused these self-generated pathologies.

And that is the ground truth.

Do follow the link and read it all, it’s outstanding Radical Islam and Multicultural Suicide | Works and Days.

Much shorter form, without the documentation:

The West is Best;

And always has been!

Barbarians in the City

pic_giant2_011115_SM_Paris-JihadistKevin D. Williamson over at National Review has an excellent article up on the mess in Paris. he reminds us that the terrorists are not animals, simply because they are much worse. I doubt any of us have any sympathy for these spawn of the devil but, what they did is something only humans would do, kill for an idea (however evil or misguided it might be.

Animals are animals, they do what they do. When a dog urinates on a fire plug, it doesn’t mean he disrespects the fire department, he’s simply being a dog.

Here’s a bit of it:

[…]They have no philosophy or ideology beyond that of Ted Hughes’s “Hawk, Roosting”:

I kill where I please because it is all mine.

There is no sophistry in my body:

My manners are tearing off heads —

. . . No arguments assert my right.

But still, the Parisian jihadists were described as: “murderous animals,” “Muslim terrorist animals,” “animals who want to kill,” etc. The sentiment is understandable: that these sorts represent a danger, a mindless threat that must be dealt with lethally and pitilessly.

Even a rabid dog inspires a little sympathy — who blames the dog? But killing the brothers Kouachi pitilessly is not enough. We cannot kill them, and those like them, indifferently. We kill them with purpose — with judgment. We do not kill them because they are animals; we kill them because they are human beings.

and

The Ron Pauls of the world and most progressives believe that if we would just mind our own business and see to our own affairs, then we could more or less horse-trade our way to a peaceful modus vivendi – the Iranians, the takfiri, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Paris-born jihadists all must want something, if only we could figure out how to satisfy them. But there is no satisfying them – not in a world where a Jew lives, a Christian walks free, or a Hindu is his own master. Not while Oprah Winfrey is still awaiting her stoning and Neil Patrick Harris his public immolation.

Being Human | National Review Online.

Needless to say, I agree with him completely, I wish we could find that word as well.

Bravery and Cowardice; France and the World

150107223804-31-paris-reax-0107-large-169I was going to write this post about the despicable act yesterday in Paris but, I decided it wasn’t really an article in it. Why? Because it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Yes, those cartoonists were very brave men. But they shouldn’t have had to be. If Europe really believed in free speech those cartoons would have been published in every major paper, not in one brave lonely paper. I carry no brief for their cartoons, most of their work I’ve seen, I find disgusting. Free speech is like that. As I said yesterday, “Free speech is inherently the right to offend, otherwise it has no purpose.” So I didn’t follow their work, but I supported their right to publish it, just as Voltaire said.

And so right now Europe, and especially France, is all fired up about the Islamic threat, or at least its terrorist component. Even enough in a few cases to overcome its PC scruples. That’s good, if Europe is to survive, it needs to. But how long will it last? A week, a month, a year? I’m not optimistic. We (and the Anglosphere) have been actively engaged for more than fourteen years. Where are the French, the Spaniards, to a point the Germans, and the Italians?

Waiting, I guess for John Bull, and Uncle Sugar to save their rights (that we provided them, in the first place) once again. Well, if we learned (relearned, really) nothing else in Afghanistan, it’s that we can’t make people free, they have to do it themselves.

And that’s the one thing Europe can’t seem to do. It can’t seem to care about anything or anyone enough to guarantee anything, especially long-term.

There was an interesting article in Commentary magazine last week. It started with noting that Europe was having trouble deciding what to do with abandoned churches.

This lack of religious belief may well also be related to why Europeans are choosing to have so few children. According to the CIA world factbook EU countries have an average birth rate of just 1.55 children per woman, and in countries such as Italy, Germany, Greece, and Austria that goes down to about 1.42 births per woman. And these are figures which are undoubtedly inflated by the higher birth rate of immigrant groups; among native Europeans the numbers are still lower.

For Europeans, it seems the absence of belief extends beyond religion into the realms of other traditional identities. As Annika Hernroth-Rothstein explains in a recent piece for Israel Hayom, Europeans have been increasingly choosing against national identities in general. Rothstein writes of how in Europe in the wake of the Holocaust: “nation-states and national identity have been deemed the culprit and the key to the dark European history that brought on such unparalleled suffering. The old was replaced with the new; a cultural relativism where no tradition, belief or state should stake a claim on any moral high ground. All ideas and cultures became equally unimportant compared to the globalist, multicultural ideal.”

And that is pretty much a cultural suicide note.

In this Europe where there is nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for—and perhaps nothing worth living for, given the birth rate—it is little wonder that Europeans now take the view on foreign policy that they do.

Europe Is Losing Its Soul – Commentary Magazine Commentary Magazine.

Oh, you needn’t expect to be troubled by these cartoons–our so-called free press which endlessly brags about how brave they are, is too terrorized to show them to you. I’d laugh at them but I’m too busy crying at their perfidy.

It’s a pretty sad epitaph, isn’t it? Died of apathy. But for today, we can truly say, perhaps for the last time, in sympathy, “We are all French!” (Thanks to Sarah Churchwell for the reminder.)

 

The Man Comes Around

A friend of mine tweeted this yesterday, it is incredibly powerful.

Thanks, Siobhan

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