Should Auster be ostracized?

Erich/Hesperado—still smarting from his failed attempt at Dennis Mangan’s blog the other week to portray me as a gnostic who think that I alone possess the secret truth, or, at best, as a strangely convoluted, queerly paradoxical thinker—now asks whether certain individuals should be kicked out of the “anti-jihad” movement. Charles Johnson, he says, should be kicked out. Then he asks whether I also should be ostracized (or perhaps Austerized?). He ponders deeply, then judiciously concludes that while I am “a cantankerous, prickly, curmudgeonly eccentric,” I have “not behaved sufficiently egregiously to warrant being ostracized.”

Whew. I guess this means I’ll be allowed to sit at the same table with … Hesperado and his friends Tanstaafl, Awake, and Conservative Swede. Thank God!

- end of initial entry -

Gintas writes:

The anti-jihad movement? There’s a movement? With only about 11 men in this movement, now is probably a good time to start thinking about who needs to be purged.

Kidist writes:

I agree with Gintas! More like the anti-Jihad rant, or the anti-Jihad rhetoric. Spencer even seems to be going backwards by adding “radical” to Islam in the title of his newest book. (None of his other book titles qualified Islam or Muslims with radical).

I think the only comprehensive writing both explaining Islam and underscoring what to do about it is yours. Isn’t that what a movement should be—words and a call to action?

LA replies:

Kidist, I never thought about it in those terms, but you’re right. A movement is a view of a problem and a call to action to solve it, supported by some kind of group. When I wrote my article, “Separationism,” in which I showed the elements of a “separationist” view that various well-known Islam critics had in common, I was trying to move things in the direction of some kind of shared consensus on this issue, i.e., in the direction of a movement. But the writers I quoted did not welcome my efforts, and one in particular, Hugh Fitzgerald, treated me as though I was a bum who had walked up on to him on the street and given him a bear hug. However, a goodly number of bloggers and commenters have expressed agreement with, or at least a positive attitude toward, the separationist strategy.

The upshot is that if Separationism is to become an actual movement, and not just a collection of articles and manifestos, I have to make it happen. I’ve never been a leader or organizer, and have no particular talents in that direction—but the previous sentence remains true nevertheless.

November 25

Kidist replies:

I think that the burden or responsibility of making the movement happen needn’t rest on your shoulders alone.

On another note, I meant to say this earlier. I know of prominent Muslims in Toronto and Ottawa who read your site. I assume it is the same in the States.

I think you are holding two time-bombs in your hands. From my understanding of your fantastic deconstruction of liberalism, it is, like Islam, a deeply felt and practiced religion, with devout followers.

You are hitting the nails on the head, so to speak, more than other conservative ranters against liberalism and Islam, and your position is all the more dangerous to them.

Alan Roebuck writes:

I’m heartened to hear you say:

The upshot is that if Separationism is to become an actual movement, and not just a collection of articles and manifestos, I have to make it happen.

Right now, the Anti Islam Movement seems to be mostly a group of loose cannons who are in it mostly for the ego. But we have to persuade and inspire ordinary people (and ordinary intellectuals), and your writing skills are well suited for that task.

November 26

November 26

LA writes:

On one hand, Hesperado magnanimously declares that I am not as egregious as Charles Johnson and should not be kicked out of the “movement”; on the other hand, he turns my name into a synonym for dishonest debate tactics. Under the cover of saying I should not be ostracized, he continues his campaign against me.

Speaking of which, here’s another recent gem by Tanstaafl, one of Hesperado’s three companions in that campaign:

I would prefer Auster aim all his criticism and advice at the jewish [sic] community he obviously cares so much for, and stop issuing commands and attacking “the majority” that he obviously values only to the extent we serve jewish [sic] interests. [Emphasis added.]

I’m not attributing Tanstaafl’s anti-Semitism to Hesperado or to Dennis Mangan, at whose site Tanstaafl said this (though I do take both Hesperado and Mangan to task for allowing a loony anti-Semite to post at their sites). I’m just pointing to the sad and revealing irony that Erich/Hesperado, a student of Eric Voegelin’s who constantly drops specialized Voegelinian terminology into blog discussions where no one else will know what he’s talking about, has been, in his obsession with me, reduced to such companionship.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 24, 2008 09:07 PM | Send

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