Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Curious Vacuum at Jihad Watch

In one of today’s articles at Jihad Watch, Hugh Fitzgerald lambastes the Bush Administration for its myopia to the problem of Islam. In doing so, Hugh once again ignores the wider sociopolitical reality in which Bush is simply going with the prevailing flow. It is that prevailing flow that is our exigent problem and which needs to be analyzed, addressed, critiqued and dismantled—not this or that political actor who is simply behaving in a normal political manner by avoiding the political suicide which going radically against the prevailing grain would likely entail.

That prevailing flow is, as we have iterated over and over again, a dominant and mainstream sociopolitical worldview which—for want of a better term—we call PC Multiculturalism. The sociopolitical hegemony which this worldview, PC Multiculturalism, enjoys throughout the West is a relatively recent phenomenon—taking broad root beginning in the 1950s with the reconfiguration of the West following WWII and the dismantling of Western Colonialism and increasing its hold progressively with each passing decade after that—though it has disparate precursors extending back as far as the 19th century, and even the 18th century.

While it is, of course, pertinent to criticize such a powerful political representative as Bush for his PC Multiculturalist policies vis-à-vis the problem of Islam, it begins to be surreal when the criticisms repeatedly display a peripheral blindness to the larger sociopolitical milieu surrounding Bush which not only explains his acquiescence to it, and not only makes his acquiescence possible, but also significantly informs his acquiescence. In thus delimiting his focus on the problem, Hugh Fitzgerald effectively assumes a vacuum in which this or that political or cultural actor operates: when those actors keep making their colossal mistakes vis-à-vis the problem of Islam, Hugh’s vacuum not only begs the question of causation, but even worse, implicitly forces a logical recourse to an equally delimited cause, which necessarily bifurcates into two theories: the “Dastardly Elites” theory, or the “Esdrujula Explanation” theory.

The “Dastardly Elites” theory explains the West’s blindness to the problem of Islam as a consequence of the evil actions of an elite class in key positions in the sociopolitically important spheres of Government, Business, Media and Academe. These elites would logically have to be evil, at least insofar as they know that they are colluding with evil enemies in order to advance their own power; and they would logically also have to have an unusual degree power, more characteristic of a dictatorship than a democracy
.indeed, this logically “Dastardly Elites” theory implies that the West is really in thrall to a crypto-dictatorship and that its democracy is a sham.

The “Esdrujula Explanation” theory is also based upon the notion of an elite class exerting influence throughout the spheres of Government, Business, Media and Academe, but it explains their disastrous behavior not on moral evil—or at least not on that paramount moral evil, the lèse majesté—, but on various personality disorders and character failings, which Hugh a little too neatly and cutely sums up with four words that all share the same grammatical feature of having four syllables with the accent on the antepenult: Timidity, Stupidity, Cupidity and Rigidity.

Usually, believers in the Vacuum (i.e., those who by their myopia to the larger systemic nature and dimensions of PC Multiculturalism force themselves to have recourse to delimited Bogeymen to explain the West’s inability to deal rationally with the problem of Islam) will effectively combine these two explanatory theories into an incoherent mishmash that might have the appearance of being sensitive to the complexities of the overall situation, but in reality seems to be dependent upon the necessities which the undue delimitation of focus forced upon them in the first place.

The problem with Theory #1 is that it assumes too much outrageous evil on the part of too many important and intelligent individuals of the West: and this assumption leads inexorably to the “by their fruits ye shall know them” logic, by which one would become hard pressed to salvage a good West out of the allegedly actual West that has been producing so much evil fruit
with, furthermore, so much effective power to diabolically exert that evilover such a long period of time and throughout such a wide variety of important spheres. I.e., purveyors and believers in Theory #1 begin to resemble, too closely for comfort, the neo-Gnostic conspiracy theorists of the polar Left and the polar Right in their existential and philodoxic alienation from their own West.

The problem with Theory #2 is that it begs the question of why there are so many Stupid, Greedy, Timid and Rigid individuals out there who enjoy the high degree of influence they do in our Western societies. Without a recognition of, and then analysis of, the wider sociopolitical matrix that makes the broad influence of these individuals possible, the theorist will tend to fall back on Theory #1 in his natural intellectual appetite for causation.

Again, to reiterate what I have said on previous occasions, I do not deny that there are quite a few individuals in the West whose disastrous behaviors vis-à-vis the problem of Islam are likely explainable through either of the two theories noted above, and whose higher degree of influence makes them a special problem. But at the end of the day, the larger and more pertinent point is that these individuals would enjoy little or no sociopolitical traction and influence in the West, were there not the broader and deeper phenomenon of a dominant and mainstream PC Multiculturalism in which these individuals operate, and from which they derive their unremarkably swallowed axioms.

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