Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Meeting on the Dark Side of the Moon

My friend Jeramayakovka wrote an interesting comment to my last post. Referring of the Islamist’s constant refrain of loving death more than life he wrote:
"In those Hamas remarks, I hear a strategic taunting based on raw willpower. The message is to win. And in order to win, to intimidate. A deathcult, if you will, but in service to a nuts-and-bolts strategy"
To which I replied:
"Very thought provoking comment. The way insecurity and weakness flip-flop with determination and desperation is a very unstable dynamic.
Bottom line, I think is that while they are destroying themselves we have to spend our energy on minimizing the damage and death they cause... Hitler, after all destroyed himself, but the rest of the world waited far too long to begin helping him do it.
Thanks for making me think"

While I still think there is some validity to both J’s comment and my reply, on reflection I have come to see that there is a deeper, more elegant and (in a way) simpler truth. I have come to see that, granting that this is a stratagem, consciously applied, it is also a compulsion- an irresistible impulse. As such, it is also a clear-cut, unambiguous, text-book diagnostic symptom of the presence of fascism.

No, the love of death is not just a ploy or bluff. It is the central argument of fascism in action. In my post on totalitarianism and why the Jihadists are truly fascists, I quoted Louis Menand writing in the New Yorker:
“The distinctive feature of totalitarian societies is that everyone, including (in theory, anyway) the dictator, can be sacrificed in the name of a superhuman law, a law of nature or a law of history.”

Menand went on to quote Hannah Arendt:
“Totalitarianism strives not toward despotic rule over men but toward a system in which men are superfluous,”

That is why they can (have to!) say they love death. That is what we are fighting- the meaninglessness and expendability of the individual.

Let's be clear. It is not just Sarah Philipps and 269 other innocent people on an airliner or three thousand people on a bright September morning, YOU do not matter in their system. No individual does- the concept of an individual with a life, possessions and any expectation of privacy is null and void.

That is why they disdain freedom and democracy, because under freedom and democracy you, the individual, matters the most. This also clears up a few questions that periodically plague us.

This is, for instance, what the far-left collectivist Progressives have in common with the Caliphate Islamists. It is precisely why, even though they are diametrically opposite each other on so many issues, they find common cause against those of us who love life and think we matter.

It is, maybe, even the ultimate explanation for Jew hatred among those groups. After all, the first assumption of Judaism is that God gives the individual the responsibility to behave as best we can. There is an expectation that what we do and how we do it matters- not just to God but to each other and the future of the universe. This is one of the wellsprings and strengths of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

It is as though, ill-equipped to compete intellectually, morally or economically with western democratic success, they have removed themselves from the planet of liberty and reason. There, on a close but barren moon they do a wary dance of cooperation. Unable to fully accept each other in the light of day, the Islamists went as far east as they could and the Leftists went as far west and they have met to form an alliance of ignorant conspiracy on the dark side of the moon. Agreeing to remain blinded to each other’s contradictions by the darkness there, they conspire against the free, green and hopeful world they envy and despise.

Please, don't forget my last post and that Sarah Philipps' Birthday is only two days away. I plan to place flowers and a copy of the signatures to the petitition on the monument in Newton Centre Park on her birthday and I would like it to be a lot bigger than it is now. So if you haven't yet signed this is you opportunity! Please, email this link to your friends and family too!


lgude said...

Well, that advances my understanding of the link between the Islamists and the progressives. To add another idea, Norm Geras observed a couple of years ago that George Galloway was assigning the traditional Marxist role of the proletariat to the Islamists when he said that they were "the last best hope" of socialism. I would say that the psychological equivalent of 'assign' is 'project' which as an unconscious process allows progressives to not see the contradictions raised by the Islamist treatment of women or their penchant for beheading videos. Another unconscious (dark side of the moon) connection between the two systems of thought is that they are both millennial. (Whatever Obama may be or do if he becomes president, much of the hope projected on him by progressives is just that millennial species of hope.)

For me politics arises from the tension between the individual and the group. I did not know (and thank you for helping me understand more) "the first assumption of Judaism is that God gives the individual the responsibility to behave as best we can." I have long accepted that responsibility and recognized that what individuals do or fail to do matters. I think it is by painfully folding and refolding our shortcomings, like a Japanese sword maker, back into our individual lives that the group progresses.

Dan Patterson said...

A mortal and spiritual pain accomponies the stories of innocent life taken by murder; and the human heart does not have room within it for the bottomless saddness of the survivors. The rationale of such acts is maddening, but to concentrate only on the fervor that propels the murderer, and the logic that convinces him to act, is also madness. It is the act that demands immediate attention; the motivation can be addressed afterward.

Hitler may have killed himself but only because he was forced. Left to his own devices the whole of Europe would have been under Nazi rule before 1942 and Hitler would have died peacefully of old age with the fruits of his demonic labor firmly underfoot. Human nature dictates that the strong will survive even if they have to eat the weak, but it also drives us to protect ourselves against deadly threats provided that we do not convince ourselves that the threat is only a "difference of opinion" or some other such blather.

To ignore any deadly and murderous threat standing ready to destroy innocent life is to place one's neck on a chopping block.

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel