Monday, May 28, 2007

Memo to Spencer: Remember and Be Mindful

Today’s Memorial Day essay by Spencer on Jihad Watch is titled “In memoriam”. I remind the reader that our words “memory” and “remember” used to have a double meaning: both commemorate and keep in mind.

The best way Spencer can commemorate our soldiers of the past is to keep in mind the single most serious obstacle to their present efforts: Political Correctness.

Unfortunately, Spencer has shown over the years of his writings that, while he does advert to the problem of political correctness in general, he is not keeping that obstacle appropriately in mind. Consider his remarks today:

“ of the reasons why the popular culture does not honor our fighting forces today or in general is that the politically correct mindset assumes that we have moved beyond all that. Conflicts don't ever need to be solved with wars, you see.”

So far so good. Spencer adverts to the “politically correct mindset”. So far, he is not delimiting the phenomenon unduly.

“...Unfortunately, in the real world..., despite all the hand-holding and Kumbaya singing, still want to kill or subjugate for reasons of one’s own, that don't proceed from the Kumbaya-singer’s actions at all. This is a point that all too many in Washington, at the highest levels, stubbornly refuse to grasp. It is axiomatic in the State Department, and in Europe, and at the UN, that all conflicts can be solved through negotiated concessions.”

Oh-oh. I see delimitation. Let us read on:

“This is so much a part of the air they all breathe that it would be unthinkable even to question it.”

Ah, that’s better. Spencer helpfully adverts to a wider phenomenon outside the Beltway and outside the incrementally larger circle of dastardly “Elites”—to wit, with the metaphor of “the air they all breathe” (a metaphor I employed repeatedly during my many offensive expressions of my “hobbyhorse” on various comments fields on Jihad Watch, for which I was banned three times: hm, I wonder if Spencer was more or less consciously influenced by this phrase of mine, among others? If he was, I’m glad, although banning me was not a nice way to show his appreciation).

Let us read further:

“The non-Western man is just a reactor, not an actor. He has no imperatives of his own that might set him against us. He is, ultimately, at our mercy, and it is up to us and us alone to pacify him. The unconscious paternalism of this is ironic, coming as it does from the most besotted of relativist multiculturalists...”

Darn it! With his recourse to agents (“-ists”) as culprits, Spencer seems to particularize the problem unduly again. He may not be doing so; this may merely be a rhetorically useful locution at this juncture in his presentation.

However, Spencer’s overall derelection of duty in putting forth, front and center, the exigency of an analysis of the sociological and systemic problem of Political Correctness would lead one to conclude that his recourse to agents suggests less of a systemic problem, and more of a problem of individuals. His earlier employment of “the air” of Political Correctness, then, would not necessarily suggest his mindfulness of its systemic and sociological nature and dimensions, but only its degree of prevalence due to the effects which “Elites”, with their power over our Western societies, exert. This would place the source of the problem within the subculture of those “Elites” and would effectively bracket out recognition of the wider sociopolitical sea or atmosphere from which those “Elites” derive not only their effectiveness but also their axioms. It is, again, my contention that this reversal of the problem represents a grievous misapprehension of it, and will effectively inhibit any meaningful and fruitful analysis of it—without which analysis its deconstruction is all the less likely in the near and dear future when we will need it most, since it presents the single most formidable hindrance to the West’s ability to deal rationally and effectively against the problem of Islam.

Spencer concludes his essay thusly:

“Our fight is not just military... It is a matter of will. Of remembering that there is in Judeo-Christian civilization, and in all civilizations that are threatened by the jihadist imperative of Islamic supremacism, something worth fighting and dying for.”

But it is not a matter of will. As I have argued
elsewhere, we have the will, we have the guts, and we have the brains. We—the entire West—have everything we need to handily defeat this present enemy. The only thing that stands in our way is the politically correct multiculturalist paradigm which has, through a complex sociopolitical sea change in the West, become woven into the sociopolitical fabric of Western societies over the past 50-odd years. It is thus not a matter of will, guts or brains: it is a matter of a dominant and mainstream paradigm which redirects our already existing and healthy will, guts and brains.

As long as this paradigm stands dominant and mainstream, we will not be able to show our fallen soldiers the respect they deserve, for we will—as Martin Luther King, Jr., so perspicaciously put it—continue to “do the right thing for the wrong reason.” Indeed, come to think of it, we might have to stand MLK on his head: For, what we the West collectively are doing is actually doing the wrong thing for the right reason! The
wrong thing being unduly respecting Islam with irrational deference; the right reason being our continually evolving ethics of multi-cultural respect and universalism.

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