Are we doomed?
Subject: We ARE doomed
On the subject of Mark Steyn’s defeatism, the root of the problem with Islam is that liberals have created the civil rights prism for viewing all things. Beginning in the ’60s, not only could minorities not be discriminated against, nothing could be permitted that might lead to discrimination. So minorities can’t be criticized, they must be helped along, their crimes and deficiencies must be overlooked, and they must be actively praised and the majority denigrated in comparison.
Moslems—a minority in the West—can claim this protection, and our entire legal, political, and cultural system gives it to them. The anti-Islam strategy is to portray Islam as a primitive, oppressive belief system, or fascist—and everybody hates fascism! We are taught to hate fascism, sexism, racism, and homophobia as soon as we can sit up. Islam does indeed include all these things.
But it doesn’t matter. Third World minority status overrides all this, because we are also taught that it is racist to expect these people to be like us, in this case enlightened multiculturalists.
Fighting Islam can only succeed if the taboo against criticizing minorities is lifted. But this is a structural part of our culture and society. To breach it is to become a pariah. Can Moslems be peeled off from blacks, women, and gays as a victim group that can be criticized? Maybe somebody smarter than me can figure it out, explain it, and do it, but I’m stumped.
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“Fighting Islam can only succeed if the taboo against criticizing minorities is lifted. But this is a structural part of our culture and society. To breach it is to become a pariah.”
That’s very well said. But you’re not saying anything new. You are pointing to the fundamental dilemma and the fundamental challenge which is the constant theme of this website. We already know that if liberalism stays in the saddle we are doomed. We already know that the only chance of survival is if the rule of liberalism is overthrown or substantially weakened. So instead of saying, “We are doomed,” how about saying, “I believe in life and truth and our civilization. Therefore I don’t believe that this false suicidal ideology of liberalism will remain in control of us forever. I believe liberalism can be toppled.”
And if, in the end, despite all our efforts, we lose anyway, our struggle against liberalism will not have been wasted. The understanding of the falsity and evil of liberalism that we have gained will have become part of the wisdom of the human race, and will help guide men in the future.
Alan Roebuck writes:
Here’s a response to the latest from James H.:
An Open Letter to Those Who Say “We’re Doomed!” or “We’re Probably Doomed!”
Yes, restoring a properly-ordered (or even an adequately-ordered) America will be very difficult, and possibly impossible.
But if you’re a proper conservative, that’s not the main point. The main point is to retain your spirit.
You retain your spirit by gaining the understanding that the ruling worldview of liberalism is false and destructive. You retain your spirit by vowing inwardly to disagree with and to oppose liberalism at all times, even if occasionally you are forced outwardly to go along with it. You retain your spirit by never missing an opportunity to say what our leaders ought to be doing, as opposed to what they actually are doing. You retain your spirit by doing what you can to fight back, small though the effort may be.
And you most certainly do not retain your spirit by arguing there’s no hope.
Yes, we’re facing long odds. That’s a given. There’s no point in pointing this out, unless you’re speaking to a neophyte. If you’re a proper conservative, your primary goal when speaking on sociopolitical subjects is to strengthen your spirit, and the spirits of your comrades. For even if the odds are long, you can always fight.
Standing O! Magnificent statement. And you know what? Everything you’re saying is the diametrical opposite of what the paleocons (and the various variations on the paleocons) constantly do, which is INDULGE in a sense of hopeless loss and defeat, and imagine REVENGE on the people who have supposedly taken the paleocons’ world away from them.
James H. replies to LA:
OK, but how? I’m not trying to be a smart a**, I just really don’t see how this can be done.
Moldbug goes into great detail on this, but liberals control institutions that control society that can’t be countered by any popular action. Most importantly, they control the courts, which override any elected official and any referendum. The man or woman in the black robe says “no,” and that’s it, as with Prop 187 in California and the Arizona immigration law. More generally they control the media, public schools, and universities and set the boundaries of not only speech but thought.
Should we elect conservative legislators and executives? They will be overruled by judges. Should we appoint better judges? The ones in now have to mostly die off, so we need decades of conservative legislators and executives, which is virtually impossible. Should we put people of a conservative bent in the media and universities? The people already there decide who to hire, and they hire people who think like them.
One great futility of conservative rhetoric is that it takes the form of arguing with liberalism, which is pointless. Conservative influence has to aimed at people in the middle, who can be persuaded. 20 or 30 years of this might make a difference.
The conservative counterrevolution has been going strong for almost 50 years, and all it has done is slow things down a bit. The Tea Party folks are thinking they’re going to get a grip on things, but I think they’re in for a rude awakening.
But like you said, I’m not saying anything new. You knew this, I knew this, everybody knows this. If you’ve got any concrete ideas, seriously, I’m listening.
It’s not about overthrowing it by action. Liberalism is in constant crisis because of the way it blocks out important parts of reality and because of the disasters it keeps bringing, its evident incompetence. As the crisis keeps developing, liberalism will lose its authority, people will continue moving away from its false ideas and look for true ideas.
I am not predicting that this will happen. It may not happen, or may not happen until it’s too late. But it could happen, and it is eminently worth working toward.
People who keep talking about how liberals control everything are just not contributing anything useful to the discussion. It’s just boring. Really, if that’s all that someone has to say, he should be silent and not talk about politics. Of course liberals control everything. This is liberal society. But when millions of people start seeing, e.g., liberalism handing us over to jihadists, the respect in which liberalism is held will keep slipping more and more.
Re the Tea Party, you really show your defeatism. Twenty months ago everyone thought that the left had America by the throat. Now the left is collapsing before us, this unprecedented Tea Party movement is rising, there is a real prospect of the most leftist law in American history being repealed, and all you can do is be defeatist and ask me for a concrete agenda. Listen: repealing the Obama agenda is the concrete agenda that’s before us right now, plus the real prospect of confronting the structural overspending built into the American system. How about outlawing public sector unions for a start? Wouldn’t that be a battle worth fighting? But you want something else, something much more, than the already titanic events that are going on, and you’re glum because you don’t see it. If you want to hang out with paleocon defeatists or Steynean defeatists and sing the blues, go ahead. But that’s not what I’m into and it’s not what I encourage at this site.
Alan Roebuck writes:
And regarding James H.’s reply “OK, but how? I’m not trying to be a smart a**, I just really don’t see how this can be done.”
James, unless you’re omniscient, not seeing how it can be done is not the same as knowing for sure that it can’t be done. Since you’re not omniscient, stop thinking that you’re certain the situation is hopeless. You’re not certain.
In other words, Mr. H., the burden of proof not not on us to prove we have a foolproof plan. The burden of proof is on you to prove that it really is impossible for us to win. And you can’t prove it. So stop the complaining.
Mark Jaws writes:
A cheerfully engaged, educated, and activist conservative knows that the Kumbayaland of the Left is built on the most shallow and shifting of sand. There is nothing real about it, and when conservatives BAND TOGETHER and stare down the Left, its members always run. Their intellectual guns are empty.
I am a local Tea Party activist in Stafford County, VA, about 40 miles south of DC. This past Friday a dozen of us Tea Partyers stood on Route 610 for 75 minutes (it was really hot) with five signs and three Gadsden flags inviting people to register for our statewide Tea Party convention or to join our ranks. Even though people typically have going home on their minds, no less than 22 cars stopped by our little tent to see what we are all about. Join a local branch of the Tea Party, conservatives. Get involved. You can make a difference. We can defeat the Left by confronting its fallacies publicly and then defunding it.
Rick Darby writes:
Your replies to James H. are an example of why you are the most important voice for traditional conservatism. The blogosphere is full of “woe is me” whingeing about what’s wrong, how everything is controlled by liberals, the kids are brainwashed in government-run schools, etc. I’ve probably been guilty of negativism myself. But one of the qualities of a leader is to convey convincingly the message that despite appearances, a focused opposition grounded in truth has an advantage over those motivated by self-serving and based on a deluded picture of reality. Inspiration is half the battle won; believing that the odds can be overcome may be the single most important political driver.
These are frightening times to live through, but I see signs that a reaction to the liberal agenda is building up steam. The response to liberalism is messy, still somewhat scattered and uncertain of its ground, but the Tea Party—while it might not fill the bill in some ways—is at least a nucleus that conservatives of various species can attach themselves to while they are gaining strength and, I hope, thinking through what the counter-liberal movement means. But it’s equally important that commenters like you offer an overview that isn’t bound to any party or candidate, instead dealing with principles.
Jeff W. writes:
I would first like to praise James H. for his succinct observation: “Beginning in the ’60s, not only could minorities not be discriminated against, nothing could be permitted that might lead to discrimination. So minorities can’t be criticized, they must be helped along, their crimes and deficiencies must be overlooked, and they must be actively praised and the majority denigrated in comparison.” That description explains our current predicament well.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 28, 2010 03:02 PM | Send
I would observe that the minorities who may not be criticized, taken together, are a majority, because one of those “minorities” is women. The Democratic party is the vehicle through which these minorities band together to rule the U.S. That party has acted tyrannically to ostracize any critics of the identity groups that constitute its power base.
Another observation is that when white women ally themselves with white men, rather than with blacks, Hispanics, Jews, homosexuals, Muslims, etc., then the Democrats no longer have a majority. Catholics are another group that sometimes think of themselves as a persecuted minority, and the majority of Catholics voted for Obama in 2008. Obama will not get a majority of Catholic votes again.
I do not know the answer to how to restore Western Civilization among a population that doesn’t care anything about it. But I do have confidence that Obama’s anti-white agenda will no longer get any traction after he loses the votes of white women and Catholics.