The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 July 2005

Contrast and compare

First, Jeff:

[I]dentity-based cultural philosophies that encourage or coerce one identity group to speak of another only on its own terms... leads to the kind of PC nonsense that prevents us from clearly identifying and articulating a specific problem, should it happen that that problem falls within the protected space of the Other.

Remember that the next time you hear someone extoling the virtues of the "diversity" movement here in the states — a movement whose very essence undermines appeals to individualism in favor of a shallow, often strictly cosmetic appeal to group identity.

Now, Bruce:

[I]n order to protect ourselves from terror/Islam we need to rid "our" culture of all diverse elements. As a multicultural society we accept a wide mix of different cultures. Renouncing that means reverting to a monoculture. You can guess what kind of culture the assholes at Townhall think we should have — white, christian and republican. All others should be cleansed from society for "our" own protection.

I will say only this: I am under no obligation, from God or from anyone else, to accept any culture which wants me dead, and I will resist any suggestion to the contrary.

(Update: Bruce responds.)

Posted at 5:21 PM to Political Science Fiction

hey chaz, first off, now I realize you only link to my posts when I call someone an asshole. Duly noted, more to come...

Secondly, for the sake of self defense we should take issue with any cultural movement that accepts killing innocent people. That's not what I take issue with, and there I agree with you (somewhat). What Diana West does is take a small sample of fundamentalists and just assumes that Islam is the problem. Ignoring the fact that there are 1.5 practicing muslims, and we'd be in a world of hurt if all those people were terrorists. That's clearly not the case. The problem as I see it is not Islam, or Christianity, or any other religion, its fundamentalism; the belief that you and you alone are right in the interpretation of the divine will. This invariably leads to the conclusion that all others deserve to die, as they are lower in the eyes of God.

Embracing a multicultural society does not mean that we should accept the murdering of innocent people. That's a strawman arguement coming from the right; that the left wants to let killers exist among us in some wroingheaded notion that we should do so to preserve diversity.


At no point should we ignore the laws; that killing people is wrong to embrace some cultrual idealism.

What we should do is condem people that want to paint innocent people as supporters of terrorism and begin to suggest that we would be better off if we just got rid of them. That is what I meant with my post. Do you disagree with me? Or do you think Diana West was right in suggesting that all of Islam is responsible for terrorism?

Posted by: bruce at 7:45 PM on 18 July 2005

(correction) 1.5 billion practicing muslims.

Posted by: bruce at 7:56 PM on 18 July 2005

To amplify, the following from Francis W. Porretto:

If "ordinary Muslims" want the situation to change in their favor, they'll have to either edit the calls to violence out of their doctrines and holy books, or get lots better at deceiving us about what their "religion" obligates them to do to "infidels" (taqiyya). At this point, even the most tolerant of us "infidels" can only be relieved at the exclusion of a Muslim "scholar" from these shores. Our experiences with the species have not been good.

To the extent that "all" of Islam doesn't do its damnedest to disassociate itself from the extremists, to renounce everything that even hints at jihad, then yes, they share in the responsibility, and they will share in the consequences. The small hit in "diversity" will be more than offset by the large gain in security.

And spare me "innocent until proven guilty"; that's a legal construction. Nor do I give a flying fish about the "fairness" of it all; it's not like we're being threatened by, say, transgendered Inuit who use wheelchairs. If it's Us vs Them, and the Islamists have already made it clear that it is, I have one specific bias: I prefer to see as many of Us survive as possible, and am indifferent to the survival of Them. (This is not to say that I want to wipe them off the face of the earth, mind you, but....)

If this be insensitivity, and I hope to God it is, make the most of it.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:10 PM on 18 July 2005

And, well, it could be worse; they could also be arguing over the date of Creation. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:11 PM on 18 July 2005

Bruce, you're right about the fundamentalists. I mean look at the Christian Identity Movement and the other wackos that are our "own" (McVeigh, Rudolph, Snell, and the likes)... granted they kill in dribs and drabs a couple here , 4-5 there, in the case of McVeigh 168 ... nothing like the thousands the fundamentalist Islamics kill ... but they are fundamentalist killers nontheless. And you hit it right on the head about their belief system: "This invariably leads to the conclusion that all others deserve to die, as they are lower in the eyes of God." Their supposed righteousness drives them to despicable acts because we are the "infidel".

BUT I think what most folks are getting at on this thread is that this being said we owe it to ourselves to recognize the main enemy of our very existence at this moment is Islamic fundamentalism (and to a lesser degree other radical fundamentalists of various stripes) and we must work to expose it and oppose it. If the mainstream Christian religion was coopted by the extreme fundamentalists (ones who kill in the name of God) we would and have opposed them.

That's where it gets nasty. We have to be willing to confront it wherever it appears and condemn it and in some cases physically block or destroy it (Im in the military and that is our job) ... But in any case we cannot embrace the larger, more homogenous culture until they eradicate this cancerous growth that has attached itself to the very brain (and essence) of Islam. The vast majority of Islam has been paralyzed by this parasitic fundamentalism and it is running the body. We have been able to control our own brand of crazies and have kept them for the most part from controlling the main portions of our collective conciousness. If mainstream Islam is powerless to excise this growth what are we to do ... let this mindless zombie roam the earth turning the rest of us into the same (Sorry Mr. Romero)?

Accepting or aquescing to a group culture that this is part of could be the death of us ... as individuals and as a culture ourselves.

Posted by: Ron at 8:32 AM on 19 July 2005

But in the original article she goes beyond saying that the enemy is fundamentalism, or extremism, but says that the enemy here is in fact Islam.

"How strange, though, that even as we devise new ways to see inside ourselves to our most elemental components, we also prevent ourselves from looking full-face at the danger to our way of life posed by Islam." - Diana West

That's taking a next step in my opinion.

Personally I think we are fighting our own battle to keep extremism, and reactionary bloodlust from becoming commonplace in our own society. Many people are using fear of what is still very minor threat to our individual lives as an excuse to act out in aggresive ways that affect our liberties.

Posted by: bruce at 9:51 AM on 19 July 2005

Right. It's always back to "keep[ing] extremism, and reactionary bloodlust from becoming commonplace in our own society", never mind the fact that there's been precious little of that and what there has been has been roundly condemned by everyone else. It's never the fault of anyone else, it's always our fault. Well I tell you what. You let me know when Muslim critics of Muslim violence upon non-Muslims starts coming from anywhere in Muslim society but its Westernized fringes, and I'll agree with you that we can relax as regards the Muslim mainstream. Until then, I'll keep my guard up thanxsomuch.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 10:02 AM on 19 July 2005

Um yeah, so, the simple little fact that you have so little exposure to the opinions from muslim countries compared to english speaking western countries has nothing to do with your perception?

Posted by: bruce at 8:19 PM on 19 July 2005

Um yeah, so, the simple little fact that you have so little exposure to the opinions from muslim countries compared to english speaking western countries has nothing to do with your perception?

Bruce, I think you're actually making the opposite point to what you think you're making.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:32 AM on 20 July 2005