Saturday, 18 August 2012

The more I reflect on it, the more it occurs to me that the human political predicament is essentially the same the world over. What Muslims are experiencing within the Ummah is exactly what we are experiencing within Europe: the emotional, moral and political upheaval caused by irrational attachment to an ideology that no longer serves our interests or promotes our well-being, if it ever did.

It seems to me that all organised societies must develop frameworks of moral ideals as a way of managing chaos. Their ideals will be embodied in tangible symbols which thus acquire an aura of sacrality. The elite within that society will use its power to add lustre to the sacred symbols and to associate itself, and the maintenance of its own power, with them. Any questioning of the sacred symbols will be seen as a challenge to not only the established regime but to public order and decency. Dissidents will be viewed as not just wrong but evil. And because of that the elite will feel morally entitled to use all of its power to crush their dissent.

For Muslims, the sacred symbols are clearly those of Islam. For Americans, it might be their constitution, bill of rights and “Founding Fathers”. For Europeans, it is the complex of ideas surrounding Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust, with the ideology of human rights and its ideal of non-discrimination offering us a redemptive exit from the shadow of this demonic father figure.

These are the sources of the moral ideals that regulate our societies. Of course, because Muslims and Europeans experience equivalent moral and emotional distress when the sacred symbols of their respective societies are challenged does not imply that these symbols, or the moral principles attached to them, are of equal value. Clearly, the US constitution or the European Charter of Human Rights represent a significant step up from the ethical abyss of Islam.

But still, the emotional reactions provoked both internally when an individual person contemplates abandoning the moral ideals into which he or she has been indoctrinated; and externally, when the sacred symbols are challenged publicly, is identical. The instinctive indignation that would be felt in Iran if someone stood up and proclaimed that Mohammed was a monster and should no longer be regarded as an exemplar of moral conduct is not, in essence, any different from the indignation that would be felt in Europe if someone observed that “nigger and Muslim immigration has been a disaster for us” and that maybe prejudice, racism and discrimination actually served a useful purpose as societal defence mechanisms and should be reinstated.

To offer so radical a challenge to the consensus means exiting the warmth of the community hearth, breaking with friends, family and peer group and taking to the wilderness to fight a long guerrilla war against your own society in the hope of one day being able to change it; a war you may never win; and one that, win or lose, will warp your life forever. Because this breach with all you have been taught is so hard to make, many dissident thinkers are tempted to move in the opposite direction: challenge the establishment, not by countering its ideology, but by re-affirming and super-emphasising it. Accuse it of not practising its own ideology fully enough!

This is a psychological process known as "flight forward". It is what we see in Arab countries where nearly all opposition movements present themselves in Islamic terms; and this is what we see in the west where Counterjihadists present themselves as human rights activists. To the dispassionate eye, the problems of the Arab lands are, ultimately, the consequence of Islamic ideology; and the problems afflicting western Europe are, ultimately, the consequence of human rights ideology. But the people wrestling with those problems cannot see that. Or if, at some level, they dimly sense it, they cannot find the mental and moral strength within themselves to break with the ethical framework their upbringing instilled into them; to forge a new and better one; to exit the comfort zone and embrace the path of war.

We are now forced to contemplate the death of our civilisation, the greatest civilisation the world has ever known. Rather than just react to the symptoms of the disease that is devouring us, we have to ask why this is happening. It cannot just be that journalists and politicians haven’t read enough of Robert Spencer’s books. The answer cannot be that shallow. Nor will simple conspiratorial explanations suffice. I hear people advancing conspiracy theories, like the Communists are behind it all, or the Jews (sometimes both). While there is undoubtedly a self-hating strain of leftism that wishes to see Europe transformed to such a degree that it would be tantamount to destroying it, none of these allegedly sinister cliques has enough power on its own to bring about these changes in the teeth of mass opposition. At some level the people of Europe have consented to what is happening to them. They could, if they had really wanted to, have voted to stop it. If sinister conspiratorial cliques have had any significant influence on events, it can only have been by advancing ideas that have won widespread acceptance.

What, then, are those ideas? Any narrative account of the islamisation of Europe that does not include an explanation of what those ideas are is, at best, partial and inadequate. If the ideas are not those of human rights, then what are they? Where did this ideal of non-discrimination suddenly spring from? Where does the idea that all religions are good and essentially the same come from if not from the religion of equality, which finds its sacred texts in the charters of human rights?

Both Islam and human rights represent competing universalisms. The very idea of universalism enshrines a genocidal attempt at obliteration of human difference. As Guillaume Faye observes in his book "Why We Fight":
…Universalism is a political monotheism, the parent of all totalitarianisms. The individual for it is but ‘a citizen of the world’. All cultures are destined to fuse and no inequalities of nature or quality exist between them.

Universalism is the hypocritical weapon of the most diverse imperialisms, particularly those of Islam and Americanism, since it aims at imposing a single model – its model, supposedly, to federate all peoples – but actually in the interest of a single centre of power and interest. Humanity cannot conceive of itself – this will always be the case – except in terms of the organic juxtaposition of its particularisms – and not as a universalism encompassing and overarching (allegedly secondary) particularities.

Democracy works when people trust their instincts, exercise their judgement and learn from their experience. An ideology – like that of human rights - which delegitimises and disempowers the use of judgement has totalitarianism implicit in its very DNA. Democracy cannot survive it over the long run.


Anonymous said...

DP111 wrote..

In Europe, after 9/11, it was "Tolerance" which became the ruling paradigm, which then begat non-discrimination.

The idea that there should be no discrimination between the good and evil, is not just plain stupid, but suicidally stupid.

It must be plain to even the most blind, that non-discrimination against Islamic cultural norms is suicidal to the greatest civilisation ever known to man. But till another coherent replacement is provided, we will continue on the road to cultural suicide.

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