Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Spencer employs Hugh’s Elves

In a Jihad Watch article today, Spencer appropriately mocks a Western “expert” (Bob Ayres, a former U.S. intelligence officer now at London’s Chatham House think tank) for his outrageously belated awareness that there must be a “common ideology” motivating the terrorists. Wrote Spencer, his pen dripping with juicy sarcasm:

Gee, what a coincidence! I wonder what ideology they all held in common. Were they all committed Quakers, maybe? Devout Presbyterians? Serious Libertarians? Raw food vegan zealots? Come on, Ayres, you're the expert. Give us a hint!

However, yet again, while Spencer is spot on in his delimited focus, he is woefully inadequate in his rhetorical stab at a wider analysis:

An example of what passes for serious analysis in these days when the best and the brightest are too cowed, too compromised, too lazy, or too bored to find out what's behind all this jihad business. . .

Readers who have read my previous essay, Hugh’s Esdrujula Elves, will recognize at least two of those elves under grammatically looser forms: timidity (too cowed) and cupidity (too compromised). One could, perhaps, subsume “too lazy” and “too bored” under Hugh’s elf stupidity (though not under his elf rigidity), but if not, the principle is the same: Robert and Hugh themselves are being lazy in offering up as the only explanation for the single most important and disastrous climate of opinion dominant today—a climate that perpetuates a suicidal myopia and inertia to the deadly problem of Islam—such piddling and unremarkable character flaws as fear, greed, stupidity, rigidity, laziness, and boredom.

Of course, as I have said time and time again (including in the essay linked above), the whitewashing of Islam as purveyed by many of our influential pundits is attended by one or more of these character flaws—but not caused by them. The fact that people with these character flaws have any sociopolitical traction at all for their ideas and policies is due to a much larger, broader, deeper phenomenon: PC Multiculturalism, a massive sociological worldview that rode in on a sea change in Western consciousness over the past 50-odd years (with roots going much further back in history).

But Spencer and Hugh, apparently, are just too lazy, or too set in their ways, or too unimaginative to bother themselves about a sorely needed analysis of it.

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