Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What is the matter with Western pride?


At FrontPageMagazine is an article entitled, Western Survival Depends on Western Pride, by David J. Rusin.

Rusin implores that Westerners take care to protect and promote our core values. Not only have they improved humanity by their theory and practice, but they serve as our best weapon to defend ourselves and help the liberals and democrats living under illiberal systems.

It is absurd, yet necessary, to note that reading or citing FrontPage does NOT make one a (fill in blank). Actually, diverse sources help in the liberal search to understand the issues. Far too many ideologues from both sides adopt an echo chamber approach that requires conformity and examines sources as more determinative than the substance offered. I think that such an approach helps explain why there is so much demonization and corresponding inability both to hear what others actually say or to acknowledge one's own errors.

Rusin says:
Warraq declares that if their system is to endure, Westerners must acknowledge that “the great ideas of the West — rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy — are superior to any others devised by humankind.” Likewise, it is critical to compare Western ideals to those of the Islamists, which are antithetical to liberty and increasingly threaten it.

Many Progressives these days fail to adequately see that the very Western system they oppose, through Israel and the USA, is the one that in reality affords them the opportunities and freedoms that are limited or nonexistent elsewhere. What do they offer as a replacement to the Western model? A dream? Imagine their situations if they were in Egypt, Iran, China, if they opposed the state or system similarly.

Daniel Greenfield put the matter into perspective in the context of his article discussing the crisis of Jewish Leftists, when he said:
When Peter Beinart praises the Muslim Brotherhood as non-violent, does he imagine that when Qaradawi praises Hitler for doing Allah’s work and calls for Jewish genocide that the Brotherhood cleric means every Jew but Beinart?

I think this applies to these Progressives by analogy. When it's all said and done, they are also seen as the enemy by those who wish to impose their ideology over us all. Yet, they assert that to stand for Western values, under attack, is somehow to hate, when it is actually confronting a hatred and intolerance that no one should have to endure in a peaceful world that cares for human dignity.

(Crossposted at oldschooltwentysix)


  1. I think that we're on the right track, but this is going to be a tough sell on the progressive-left.

    The problem, of course, is the multicultural ideal that insists that every culture is basically equivalent to every other culture and, thus, claims of superiority based on Enlightenment values are not only spurious, but bigoted.

    In this way, the Enlightenment, itself, becomes threatened. If the values of Sharia are just as valuable as the values of the Enlightenment then why should we bother to stand up for the Enlightenment?

    They would essentially have you believe that "rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy"... which is to say, the very foundations of western culture since the 17th century... are basically worthless.

    This is why multiculturalism must be opposed.

    Western culture is better.

    Democracy is founded upon it.

    And I tell you something else, God Bless the United States.

    This country has been damn good to the Jewish people and will be equally as good to anyone willing to avail themselves of its potential and possibilities.

    Hokey, but true.

    1. Sometimes it takes leaving the country to get a better understanding that, with all its faults, the USA is still the melting pot of diversity where, generally, both tolerance and free expression are balanced valued.

    2. Y'know, I have a poker buddy who is a recent emigre from eastern Europe.

      He's a guy who caught a taste of the Soviet system and who, like a lot of these guys, is a huge fan of American freedom.

      Considering most of my friends are west coast American progressives, I find this guy to be a huge breath of fresh air.

      No PC moral equivalencies for this fellah.

  2. Impressive take on Beinart, and by association, Progressive/Leftist thinking re:Israel:

    Here, then, is the core problem with The Crisis of Zionism: It is not a work of political analysis. It is an act of moral solipsism. It shows no understanding that the essence of statesmanship is the weighing of various unpalatable alternatives. Instead, the book imagines that politics is merely a matter of weighing “right” against “wrong,” both words defined in exclusively moral terms, and always choosing “right.”

    "This is the greatest half-truth in which Beinart traffics: the notion that because politics has an ethical dimension, it is therefore a branch—a subordinate branch—of ethics. It isn’t. It is in the nature of political life that 1) its most decisive moments always involve a choice of evils; 2) that choosing the lesser evil still involves choosing an evil; and, 3) most important, that one can never know with certainty that the choice made was, in fact, the lesser evil. To imagine things otherwise is not only to misunderstand the nature of all politics. It is to completely miss the fundamental purpose of the Jewish state, which is to no longer be at the mercy of someone else’s choice of evils...."

    But then we always knew that here didn't we? Politics is NOT ethics, no matter how hard some try to insist and insinuate it is, or even can/should be. Of course, our critics will never see this, being so entrenched up in their dichotomous, either/or, Manichean world view.

    1. Great comment. The process of the entrenchment is well spelled out, but even to examine it is deemed morally offensive in the theoretical multicultural fantasy that must be imposed over others in reality to achieve final harmony.

    2. Exactly. No where is this more evident than in the recent SILENCE by the left re the Toulouse murders....except for a few limp bleatings about how it was ultimately
      the fault of social ills.

      "Faced with anti-Semitism, the left commentariat’s eerie silence


      Where was Seumas Milne? Where were Robert Fisk and Simon Jenkins? Not a dicky bird. Metaphorical tumbleweed blew through the left-leaning media following these shocking events.

      ... So the reaction of the left commentariat was a deafening silence. Anything but admit that a resurgence of anti-Semitism is a fact, and Islamism increasingly its root cause.

      Those few liberal-left commentators who did not keep their silence were reduced to Houdini-like contortions: for example, the Independent attempted to argue that it was indeed like the Brevik massacre, and was all the fault of the nasty racist French. In fact, Merah’s motivations were almost mundane in their predictability: hatred of the West, in the shape of France, combined with a vicious anti-Semitism. Not a 20th century European anti-Semitism, that of white Christians. No, this was taken directly from Islamism, that perversion of Islam which blights the 21st.

      And there is an uncomfortable truth in all of this: that something lies deep in the psyche of the European left, which still, despite all logical evidence to the contrary, wants to see these jihadists in Iraq, the Arabian peninsula or Palestine in some degree as freedom fighters. Sticking it to the man: the man in question being the West, the Establishment, the US.

      It is a dangerous fantasy, and one which ultimately puts in jeopardy everything we believe in, because those outside our narrow political club do not see things the same way. The disturbing thing is that we can’t see that this kind of coincidence, of a bunch of Jewish-related news stories since the start of the year in the national press, in a country where we’re talking about a tiny proportion of the population. It wasn’t happening ten years ago, or even five. We can’t see that anti-Semitism is back on the agenda in a big way, as I wrote in the New Statesman back in October, and the left is ignoring it. It is periodically linked with the far right, but more often with Islamism.

      As Alan A points out in a very fine post at Harry’s Place, we Europeans, particularly on the left, have developed a strange blind spot towards anti-Semitism:

      “…particularly but not exclusively among the “progressive” Left, there is a clear determination to ignore the legacy and present danger of anti-Semitism. So much so, that when a Jihadist murderer grabs a little 8 year old Jewish girl by her ponytail, and shoots her in the face, in front of her mother, few are prepared to acknowledge the role that conspiracism, pathological hatred, and murderous intents towards Jews, as Jews, played in that slaughter.”

      We can’t see it because we don’t want to. Because, in doing so, we hold a mirror up to ourselves, and the truth is so unpleasant we keep our eyes closed. But there is a choice: we choose either to condone Islamist extremism, or to reject it. There is no in-between, much as we might like there to be.

      So, there must still be those of us who don’t think anti-Semitism is a problem for us on the left. But we should also be asking ourselves: how much more evidence do we need?"

  3. Rob Marchant, huh?

    I never heard of the guy, but I like what I am seeing.

    Time to bookmark "The Centre Left."