Thursday, August 2, 2007
Note to Spencer: why people can be reasonable and wrong at the same time
In an article on Jihad Watch today, Spencer uncharacteristically vents his frustration. While he is, as usual, correct within a delimited focus of the issue, he is grievously purblind about the larger issue involved. In that article, Spencer takes to task one Joel Mowbray (who in a Front Page article defended Spencer against his recent defamation by CAIR representative Hooper):
“But the main reason why I am writing this, although I am grateful for Joel's taking the time to write this piece, is the business about ‘reasonable people’ who disagree with me.
“Really? Plenty of ‘reasonable people’? I wish Joel had taken the time to supply some names. Does he perhaps have in mind Dinesh D'Souza, with his relentless attributing to me of things I do not actually say, and his claim that I want Muslim countries to replace the Qur'an with the Torah? Is that ‘reasonable’? Or does Joel mean maybe Robert D. Crane, the former Nixon aide who called me demonic and falsely charged that I was misrepresenting the content of Islamic texts, when those texts actually clearly bore out my point?”
And so on.
Of course, Spencer is rhetorically speculating on what and who Mowbray meant by the ‘reasonable people’ who might disagree with Spencer in one way or another. In doing so, Spencer is ironically doing what he accuses Mowbray (and the others he lists) of doing: imputing to him things he has not in fact said. But this is a rather trivial miscalculation. Worse than this is the contextual assumption of Spencer’s frustration here—an assumption that perforce presumes the “vacuum” which I have mentioned many times before: the vacuum where a dominant, mainstream, sociologically systemic and historically long-standing PC Multiculturalism does not exist. When such a PC Multiculturalism—i.e., the actual PC Multiculturalism and not the shrunken and oddly stunted version Spencer and others tilt their lances at—does not exist, then certain factors and phenomena caused by it that impinge on Spencer (and Fitzgerald, et al.) become misdiagnosed—often seriously so.
Such is the case with these ‘reasonable people’ that Spencer assumes must in fact be the obviously—and verifiably—unreasonable Dinesh D’Souzas, Robert Cranes, Carl Ernsts, Omid Safis, etc., of the world. Spencer cannot imagine that ‘reasonable people’ could exist out there who would disagree with him. Indeed, they do exist—in the millions and millions. But these ‘reasonable people’ are not correct, even though they are ‘reasonable’: that is where Spencer errs. Spencer’s myopia to the profoundly systemic nature of PC Multiculturalism blinds him to the fact that the effectiveness (and sociopolitical dominance) of PC Multiculturalism, with respect to the problem of Islam specifically, operates by channeling good human qualities—such as intelligence, courage, patriotism, morality and reasonableness—away from any critical examination of Islam and always, rather, along certain axiomatic grooves or channels whereby Islam remains forever sanitized from anything substantively bad, and whereby the vast majority of Muslims remain forever harmless and good contributors to society (except, of course, insofar as any one of them may succumb to normal human imperfections totally unrelated to Islam, while any more glaring bad behaviors they may exhibit can always be chalked up to their being “oppressed” by the evil West in one way or another).
Thus, the problem of those millions of people in the West who really are more ‘reasonable’ than the Dinesh D’Souzas, etc., of the world is not that they are not ‘reasonable’. The problem is that their unremarkable reasonableness is stuck in a socio-politico-psychologico-cultural mechanism, the PC Multiculturalist paradigm, whereby its normal activity is re-routed to a conclusion that forever protects Islam and the vast majority of Muslims, and that forever remains suspicious of the Spencers of the world who try to present counter-evidence to the Box they are in.
As long as Spencer only concentrates on the falsely ‘reasonable’ Dinesh D’Souzas of the world, his methods will be excellent and appropriate. But with regard to those millions of actually reasonable people out there who are stuck in disagreement with Spencer, he has developed no counter-arguments that I can see, and he does not seem to care to do so, and has even arrogantly dismissed me (and banned me more than once from Jihad Watch) in the past for bringing up this most urgent problem in our ongoing War of Ideas.