Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Primacy of Politics

The author Douglas Murray wrote the book on neoconservatism. In his 2006 illumination "Neoconservatism, why we need it" he writes that the intellectual father of this philosophy, Leo Strauss posited in his work "On Tyranny" - a commentary on Xenophon's Hiero (or Tyrannicus) - that he (Strauss) ...

"maintains that in his own time, 'when we were brought face to face with tyranny - with a kind of tyranny that surpassed the boldest imagination of the most powerful thinkers of the past - our political science failed to recognize it', (...) one of the clearest allusions (...) to the early lessons observed by the philosopher in Weimar Germany."
Political scientists may not have been particularly observant, neither is humanity as a whole. After having past a century of great wars and tribulations resulting in the deaths of over 100 million lives sacrificed upon the altars of relativist ideologies, they still appear not to have learnt the lesson that Murray puts forward: that relativism is democracy's disintegrating component..

But then, the result of relativism is invariably a (deliberate) confusion of ideas and definitions, imprecision and fallacies against reason; revisionism and the erasure from the collective memory of pre World War II history, coupled with the debilitating influence emanating from generations of people rendered permanent wards-of-state: they would not recognize an ukase if they were to fall over one.

As a consequence we fail to see the ominous signs that are taking place before our very eyes: people being made subservient to ideas, legislation casting surrogate morality into law at the expense of freedom and true equality, resulting in the criminalization of the most unlikely categories of persons: grannies taking an offence at bare gay posteriors, clergy refusing to perform same sex marriages with an appeal on the freedom of conscience, which is increasingly seen as second class liberty, the list goes on.

Groups of people are emerging whose ends are so vile they must be stopped whatever the means, justifying even violence against them. To be specific, against rightists of various hue: neocons, Classical Libertarians, neo Nazis, nationalists (often no more than good patriots), Stop Islamization activists, what have you, they are equivalenced to the same subhuman level. Where did we hear that again?

Good intent producing bad results, the absurdity and injustice of it all, nothing sets off the alarms bells! This is happening while bullying and intimidation, repeated threats and (minor) acts of terrorism against private citizens, officials and scholars go with impunity. The police seem to be unwilling or unable to guarantee safety. The result is toleration of the intolerant: a message that in Strauss' book equals nihilism. Indeed cynicism and nihilism are enshrined today. The mad man never recognizes his own folly.

The political Left have reverted to the radical mode, only selectively defending freedoms and rights when at the expense of the 'Power Structure': the classical Marxist dialectic expressed in repressive tolerance. Just in the nick of time they've restored contact with their totalitarian memes, triggering the realisation of the roots they share with a theist branch of relativist thinking, Islam; timely bringing to semi subconsciousness the recollection that the unremittant promotion of permissiveness and self-indulgence was just part of the same strategy to undermine Western civilization's hegemony.

Through the remarkable rationale that is the Left's pecking order of victimhood, they have managed to throw overboard without hesitation or any cognitive dissonance the former position of serving the minority interests of women, blacks and gays. That is because the victimhood detection apparatus is minutely fine-tuned to recognize the superior social mileage that can be sqeezed out of the new gays: Muslims. Every prior held conviction and moral highground has by now been jilted in favour of furthering the causes of the intolerant.

That it is proving increasingly difficult to distinguish the well-willing innocents from the radical bullies is through another pernicious peculiarity that calls relativism home. On the basis that it isn't fair to lump the innocents with the radicals, the moral choice between the two has been abdicated: the terrorists have now become lumped with the innocent. As a consequence they don't get the support they need to distance themselves from Islamist influence: not a gratuit process by any means, but one wrought with personal danger and hard choices. They are left behind, caught in the multicultural ghetto. Perhaps even more importantly, any chance there is of reforming Islam from within may hence been forfeited.

The refusal to make the moral choice for the good has the effect of getting the radicals a free pass: the Left's abdication of passing judgment even extents to blatant evil. In fact, all things being equivalent evil isn't even recognized when at stares them in the face, let alone that it is condemned for what it is! And so we are left defenseless in the face of present danger. At this point the hammer on moral bankruptcy finally falls.

Westerners who take an opposing stance, taking up their duty to defend the values of liberal democracy against encroaching Sharia type laws and Muslim privileges, are harassed by the radical elements as well as criminalised by their own political representatives. In Europe the pernicious peculiarity has been cast into law, thus insulating terrorists and radicals even from verbal critique. Like innocent Muslims lumped with the radical camp, the defenders of Western values are cast into the Right-wing asylum for the ultimately vile.

The current tendency is blaming the victim. The reasoning goes along lines like "as it is well known that Muslims are a temperamental lot, why speak your mind and offend them?" The next position will be that freedom of expression must be punitively curtailed to prevent provocation! From the looks of it, far from conducting a war on terrorists, Europe has unleashed a wave of repression on the critics of the Third Jihad!

The theme of this assignment is, why should we care about politics and involve ourselves in the political process. I would say that the preservation of the state of liberty is about as good as it gets. We must realise that freedom isn't free, that ideas have consequences (especially bad ones), and that liberty requires a permanent state of vigilance against forced and unforced error.

America waits a difficult task. On her shoulders rests the responsibility to choose a new leader of the free world. His is not an ordinary job. It takes a person of outstanding character to perform this task with dignity, wisdom and courage. The world is facing some tough choices. He may be facing crises of importance and magnitude not seen since 1962. Please choose wisely.

- This article was first published on All American Blogger on 17th January 2008, and picked up on even date by 2nd Amendment blogger Concealed. It was seeded by Daweb on Newsvine. -

- Filed on Articles in "Postmoderism", cat. Philosophy


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