Conservatives who still imagine that we can make Muslims be like us
A poster at Free Republic made several assertions about the future of the Muslim lands, and I replied. His statements are in italics, my responses are interspersed.
There are a number of reforms that Middle East countries must or should adopt and chief among these are giving women equal rights.
It is remarkable how deluded “conservatives” remain about the consequences of their universalism. There is no evidence that the people of the Ummah, male and female, are not largely content with their social arrangements and customs. The project of converting them to Western social arrangements and customs is a massive imperial venture and there is no reason to suppose, even granting our willingness to part with the blood and the treasure required, that it would be successful.
Who’s gonna make ‘em? You? A world government?
In order for these reforms to take place, there must first be in place stable governments, security and sovereignty and free from those that disdain such principles namely jihadists, Muslim terrorists, radical Islamists, Islamofascists and religious extremists.
In other words, the people of that region must give up that which is most important to them and replace it with that which they regard as degenerate.
I’m sure you recognize that this will require conquest of these regions and subjugation of their peoples for generations.
How do you propose that this be accomplished?
[FR section ends.]
It would be much better to leave them alone—and to require them to leave us alone, as well.
Imperialist assumptions are very deeply built into the minds of many Americans. The universal-imperial mindset (which as Eric Voegelin shows is a recurrent pattern going back to the earliest civilizations) is that “our” way and truth is the only way and truth. Other peoples and cultures don’t have any subjective existence for themselves. They are simply incomplete humans who have not yet been brought into our way and truth, which is the only way and truth.
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Of course the Muslims also have the imperialist mindset. For Muslims, non-Muslims do not have any subjective existence of their own that needs to be considered. Non-Muslims are simply incomplete or sinful humans who have yet to be brought into the Islamic sphere.
Two empires confronting each other, such as Islam and America (I’m speaking here of the conservatives’ America of universal democracy), cannot understand each other, because for each empire, there can only be one, universal empire—itself.
Bjorn Larsen writes:
Isn’t it just diabolical, that the universalist vision of the foreign societies—they want what we have and we should help them become like us—completely collapses when the foreigners arrive on our shores. At that point, the “become like us” immediately becomes “they are our equals, there is nothing about us or our culture that is better than theirs, we must accommodate their needs.” No contradiction here, move right along.
The assertion of universal human sameness—i.e., sameness to us and to our standards—collapses the moment that the foreigners arrive and show their actual differences. Then, suddenly, their differences from us become the ruling idea. But how is it, as you point out, that the liberals/neoconservatives never have to acknowledge the contradiction? Because in both stages of the process, “equality” remains the ruling slogan:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 12, 2011 12:04 PM | Send
The appeal to “equality” covers over the fact that “equality” in stage one and “equality” in stage two have two different and opposed meanings.
- In the first stage, the immigrants are allowed to immigrate on the basis of “equality”—namely the “equality” of all individuals having the same rights and being fundamentally the same so that we can all be members of the same democratic society, and therefore all peoples must be allowed and encouraged to immigrate.
- In the second stage, the immigrants, once here, are allowed to express their cultural differences on the basis of “equality”—namely the “equality” of all cultures, the “equality” which says that notwithstanding our cultural diversity we are all equal and all the same as Americans or Canadians, and therefore all peoples (except for whites of course) must be allowed and encouraged to express their cultural differences.
At the same time, though the meanings are different and opposed, they also exist along the same continuum, which is liberalism. It is only by stepping outside the liberal continuum, in all its stages, that the West will become able to stop and reverse this suicidal process.