Johnson’s nemesis

(Note: see N.’s interesting comparison between Johnson and the Cartoon Jihadists.)

Man’s expansive conceit, as the Greeks saw, produces insolent excess (hybris) and this begets blindness (ate) which in turn brings on Nemesis. Expansive conceit tempered by Nemesis—this is a definition of an essential aspect of human nature that finds considerable support in the facts of history.—Irving Babbitt, Democracy and Leadership

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has gone so over the top in his bully-boy smear campaign against Vlaams Belang that now even mainstream conservatives are turning against him. Johnson quotes journalist Richard Miniter, a frequent Wall Street Journal contributor, who, in an extremely rare attack of one establishment conservative on another, savages Johnson at Pajamas Media:

I suspect that Charles Johnson has not met any of the Vlaams Belang leadership or even interviewed them. He is simply following a left-wing link. He does not offer evidence, based not on his own experience, reporting or careful deliberation, but simply links to web sites of virulent critics—virtually all of whom have not interviewed party leaders or spent any time understanding the nuances of Belgian politics. The blind leading the blind.

In his usual way, Johnson responds by showing … photographs. They are photos of a Vlaams Belang member in the early 1990s posing in a friendly way with a septuagenarian former SS member, who died in 1994. Johnson provides no evidence that this means what he suggests it means (namely that VB is a neo-Nazi party) and he presents no information on what Vlaams Belang actually stands for. The only arrow in Johnson’s little quiver is guilt by association, established through photographs and cartoons.

A commenter named marwan’s daughter then said:

It looks like the majority of the conservative blogosphere actually supports the side defending Vlaams Belang. I hope Charles isn’t the one booted off the anti-jihad wagon.

To which Johnson replied:

They can’t boot me off something I never jumped on.

Amazing. The egomaniacal Johnson, backed by his mindless LGF worshippers (“Wow, Charles stirring up the sh*t!”, “Charles, you da man!”), has gone so far out on a limb with his tactic of guilt by association that not only are establishment conservatives rejecting him, but Johnson himself appears to be pulling away from the conservatives by dissociating himself from anti-jihadism, a cause that has been central to his website. Where then will he end up? If, as seems to be happening, he becomes convinced that most jihad opponents are Nazi types (either because they themselves are Nazis, as he thinks Vlaams Belang is, or because like Paul Belien and Richard Miniter they defend Vlaams Belang, which Johnson seems to thinks is almost as bad), then I think there’s a good chance he will leave the conservative movement and openly join the left.

The determining factor in Johnson’s evolution is the liberal principle of non-discrimination. If that principle is one’s highest principle, as is the case with Johnson, then one must ultimately reject—as Nazi-like hatred—any attempt to defend one’s society against unassimilable or hostile cultural aliens.

- end of initial entry -

James W. writes:

First, I do not read LGF, so my understandings are second hand through many posts about his blog and excerpts from it of both Johnson and his posters. Nonetheless.

It would appear his forum has become a cult of small minds thinking alike. When all think alike, no one is thinking very much.

People who read and post on your blog do so because they like what they see, yet those who do not are not rejected, but challenged. And we see continually that those who agree with your opinions are no less quick to take issue when something strikes them otherwise.

Seeking truth is not necessarily seeking what is desirable, and more so because the road to truth is and must be littered with error.

Johnson, believing he has shut the door to error, has closed his mind to truth.

To borrow from Lincoln, most men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man, give him adoration.

LA replies:

“The road to truth is and must be littered with error…. Johnson, believing he has shut the door to error, has closed his mind to truth.”

James, you just hit it out of the park.

Also, I never saw that Lincoln quote before. I’ve looked it up, and apparently the original quote is:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

However, I think James has improved on it. Adoration in its own way has to be a greater test than power.

N. writes:

It is interesting that Charles Johnson of LGF ascribes such weighty significance to a cartoon and a small paperweight or desk ornament. It is more than a little bit similar to the “cartoon rage” that many Moslems displayed after the Aftenposten’s printing of images of Mohammed. In both cases we see individuals flying into a rage over an image, rather than action, a petty symbol rather than anything of significance.

It is a bit curious that in a way, Johnson appears to be reacting rather more like an offended member of some mob in Pakistan, and much less like a rational, “reality based” post-Enlightenment Westerner. I wonder if I’m seeing more than is there, or not?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 09, 2007 12:43 AM | Send

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