Monday, November 05, 2007

A much deeper problem - part one

The sorry spectacle of Little Green Footballs had me thinking about a more serious issue I haven't covered previously. Wandering around the net I have seen quite a bit of disdain towards Europe and it's peoples by American mainstream right-wing commentators and some blogs, message boards and web sites deemed "conservative". It ranges from simple smug sense of superiority to nearly psychotic hatred(such as this article by Ralph Peters) What is the reason of such attitude and where are the roots of it? And what consequences will it have on the future?

While I am not old enough to testify to this, older people claim that this is a fairly recent phenomenon. 15 years ago such feelings were all but non-existant. How did it come to pass? The simple answer would be the natural arrogance of the only remaining super-power. Simple and simplicistic. Because there is much more to it then plain arrogance of someone who bore the brunt of a victorious battle. Anti-Europeanism manifests itself primarily not in the extensive glorification of American role but in the denigration of European identity history and culture.

There is quite a long prologue to his story. The American conservative movement has undergone significant changes in the past 20 years or so. Desperate to deem themselves likeable to the overwhelmingly liberal mainstream media they took a turn to the left. Some of the most fundamental principles of conservativism were gone such as national identity and culture along with border protection. People that had nothing to do with real conservativism had not only joined the movement but became it's most established figureheads. Mainstream conservativism in America was shaped into a new ideological mould, the liberal premise of absolute equality and multiculturalism has taken over. Debates over nation, ethnicity, traditional morals and religion became taboo. The belief in God as a Higher Power, a central pillar of conservativism in Europe and America since Thomas of Aquinas, was replaced with the worship of "democracy" and "equality" the way liberalism sees it and thus everything that came as a product of such "democracy" was beyond criticism. No thought was given about the culture that made the ideas of personal freedoms and equality before the law possible.

It is little wonder that establishment conservatives, by and large, in the wake of 9/11, bought the myth that it was done because the jihadists hate America's "freedoms" and "democracy" that "makes no discrimination among people"(literaly). And even less wonder that they immediately saw the spreading of the ideas of "democracy" as the solution to all the ills in the world. As an addition to the already significant watering-down of conservativism came the "liberals mugged by 9/11". Although largely still adhering to liberal premises of absolute non-discrimination and equality they bought the right to conservative prominence by giving blanket support to the "war on terror" and "spreading of democracy".

Europe had a different history then America and a different social order arose as a product of it's historical and cultural development. Over centuries different nations and countries developed, based largely on etnicity and cultural similarity. While someone may obtain a passport of a certain European country, that same person could not etnically belong to the nation that created that country. The establishment conservatives in America immediately siezed this as a fact that proves American superiority. "Anyone can become American" they boasted.

But what does it mean to be American? Or more importantly, what do the mainstream conservatives of today mean by "being American"? Are they talking about a piece of paper or adherence to certain culture, spiritual and moral principles?(*) As it has been shown a number of times mainstream conservativism in America(and in Europe, to an even larger extent, more on that in part 2) has purged itself from any rational debate on culture and has swallowed multiculturalist premise of absolute equality of all cultures and religions hook, line and sinker. God forbid that someone suggests that being American means respecting some spiritual Higher Good and that there are people not able to do something like that. That is racist, you see!

Knowing that more is needed then a passport to make somebody American, they immediately pulled the "freedom" card out of their sleeves and declared that it is "freedoms of the American system" and the celebration of it that is the quintessential defining tract of an American. The best explanation of the absurdity of such a position was given by David Yerushalmi, in his op-ed piece on the polemic between John Derbyshire and Robert Spencer about Spencer's new book. Yerushalmi, taking firmly Spencer's side, writes:

In truth and in short, Derbyshire and the secularists (not R. Spencer and the Christians) are in the dock to answer the question: if America is worth discriminating over, why? Without divine providence, what makes us a People and therefore worth discriminating against the OTHERS who demand the “human right” to work here at will or the “civil right” of free speech to preach and map out the destruction of our constitution? If the sole GOOD that is America is freedom and democracy, and not a transcendent value that makes our People unique and worth defending, then how do we deny freedom and democracy to the OTHERS who of course would come here to ruin what it is we are as a nation and People?

His answer necessarily boils down to either a nonsensical contradiction or a secular tyranny no different from tyranny simply. His answer will go something like this: we “worship” freedom and democracy but not to the point that we allow others to destroy our freedom and democracy. This is really the relativist moral argument articulated in a political context: “a freely consenting adult can do what ever he wants as long as it doesn’t impinge on the like freedom of another free adult”. The problem with this argument, aside from the many well known practical ones, is that it is based on the rejection of truth and its replacement with Process. Since there is no qualitative truth, there can only be a fair or just process (i.e., free choice, voting). Now, don’t misunderstand. Freedom and choice are wonderful things, but if the Process is the Highest Good, then there can be no defense to the use of the process to destroy the process. And that of course is what we see before us today in the embrace of tolerance and multi-culturalism to the point of suicide.

What I just described is the nonsensical contradiction in Derbyshire’s position. Now, since Derbyshire will claim not to be a relativist, I imagine, he will simply stop short of the contradiction and pronounce that he has the right to “preserve” his way of life against such assaults. But on what basis does a nation preserve itself against such assaults? Just because the majority are not Muslims today? What if the Muslims are content with simply coming here and quite peacefully converting Americans, generation by generation without any violence in order to overturn our constitutional republic by a two-thirds majority? On what basis then will he resist? If his Highest Good is a Process, he loses. Understanding this, he must rely on his simple “secularist” argument that today we are the majority and must vote to preserve that majority. But that again is placing the process of democracy in the position of the Highest Good. The quality and nature of the American People as a Christian nation is of no value for him. He has only to rely on quantity; on numbers.

By deeming everyone paying lip service to the "democratic process" worthy of American citizenship, regardless of whether they cherish the historical roots of a nation, mainstream US conservatives sow the seeds of it's destruction. While most realize this subconsciously, they are unable to shake off the fundamental beliefs of leftist liberalism, in order to reverse the trend. As a rationalization for this inability, they proclaim such views racist and nazi-like and as a consequence all those that seek the protection of ethnic makeup and traditional nationhood are labeled as such.

(to be continued)

(*) This question is a paraphrase of a line from "Hitler - The Rise of Evil". In it, Robert Carlyle playing the main protagonist during the Munich coup trial responds to a question by the judge "Are you German?" with "Are you talking about a piece of paper or the blood in my veins?". I have repeatedly proven with my previous posts that in no way do I endorse the views and ideology of Hitler and the NSDAP. But, taken completely out of context, the line does show that there is more to nationality then a passport.

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