A reader replies to Kleine-Hartlage

Timothy A. writes:

Mandred Kleine-Hartlage’s article, “From a German Point of View: A Reply to Lawrence Auster,” is based on two fundamental errors. First, he sees support for military opposition to Islamic terrorism and support for the Islamization of Europe (via calls for increased immigration and the integration of Turkey into the EU) as inextricably linked. Now the political establishment in the USA (as well as the UK) supports both of these but many (if not most) American conservatives see no difficulty in supporting the first while opposing the second. I suspect that even your average freeper would oppose the Islamization of Europe (though other conservatives, like Mark Steyn, are ready to, if not condone, at least accept it). Kleine-Hartlage’s assertion that Lawrence Auster wouldn’t stand by the side of Germans if they were to seriously oppose Islamization shows that he has not been paying attention. See for example the constant support for Geert Wilders and (more tellingly) the positive comments on the British National Party which have been published over the years at VFR.

The second major error in the article (and it is related to the first) derives from the view that the European New right has of the USA as the Enemy (in the Schmittian sense) of Europe. This leads many European rightists to adopt as the “conservative” European position on any given issue whatever is the opposite of the perceived American position. Thus, Kleine-Hartlage’s support for a solemn introspective attitude to be observed in regards the death of Bin Laden. This approach often leads European conservatives to adopt positions identical to those of the left, simply to oppose American opinion (the touchstone, in my opinion, is the attitude to capital punishment, and another is the attitude towards evangelical Christianity).

A more appropriate attitude for European conservatives (following Guilaume Faye) would be to see the USA as a rival to Europe, and not the “Enemy.” They could then adopt genuinely conservative positions, without the need for reflexive anti-Americanism and the U.S. and Europe could constructively cooperate on common values such as opposition to Islamic terrorism.

LA replies:

Thank you for this solid analysis. It’s just amazing to me how intellectually lost most Europeans are. They form some concept, and then they build up everything around that concept without regard to whether it accurately describes reality or not. Thus, for example, most Europeans believe it is an unquestionable truth that the principal or sole cause of Islamic terrorism is Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories. Any facts that do not fit that concept, they will not see. Similarly, Kleine-Hartlage seems to believe that I wouldn’t support Germany if it opposed Islamization. Where does he get such a bizarre notion? Apparently from observing that I favor military action against Islamic terrorists, and then fitting me into his pre-fabricated concept that American conservatives who support military action against Islamic terrorists also support the Islamization of the West through immigration. He evidently hasn’t read me at all.

Here’s my definition of a European intellectual: a person who builds his entire world view on fatally wrong-headed and never-examined prejudices. Whatever phenomenon occurs, he interprets it it according to his existing prejudices, which he calls “ideas.” Indeed, it is the very activity of fitting all phenomena into his unexamined and fatally wrong-headed conceptions that makes him an “intellectual.” He never tries to understand the world as it is. That would be too crude and beneath him, like expressing pleasure at the death of Osama bin Laden.

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James P. writes:

Timothy writes,

A more appropriate attitude for European conservatives (following Guilaume Faye) would be to see the USA as a rival to Europe, and not the “Enemy.”

European conservatives should be able to see that America contains a large group of conservative people writhing in the grip of a liberal elite and its non-elite political allies (i.e., racial minorities). This is the same situation European conservatives are in, too. They could justly perceive the American liberal state and its media and academic adjuncts as the enemy not merely of Europeans but of the American people. After all, many American conservatives also think the American liberal state, media, and academia are enemies of the American people. American and European conservatives alike should think of each other not as enemies or rivals, but as allies against the common enemy of liberalism. If conservatives gain power in Europe and America, then perhaps it will be time to speak of rivalry, but meanwhile, if not “No enemies on the Right” at least “Few enemies on the Right” should be our mutual slogan.

Christian P. writes:

I wanted to comment on your blog-article “A reader replies to Kleine-Hartlage.”

Kleine-Hartlage wrote:

.”..it isn’t hard to imagine what the reaction would be if Germany seriously fought against Islamization. Even (sic) conservatives like Mr. Auster, I suppose, wouldn’t stand by our side.”

He may not be right with regards to you personally. But the political and media establishment of the U.S. would definitely support the immigrants in a future conflict, not the native Europeans. See the treatment of Serbia, for example. How else could it be if they even support the balkanization of their own country.

The U.S. differs from other Western countries only insofar as, when push comes to shove, it is the enforcer of the system that Kleine-Hartlage described.

I agree that it was wrong to point to you as an example of anti-German resentment. I guess he wanted to show that the aforementioned mindset is so widespread in America that it is shared by otherwise reasonable people like you, also. But the basic analysis is correct. The critique of your reader does not refute it.

LA replies:

I have said in the past that if European peoples rose up against Islamization, the U.S. government would help the EU crush them.

And, yes, it is true that the American establishment is, insanely, pro “war on Islamic terrorism” and pro Islamic immigration. A handful of serious conservatives have been arguing against this for years.

In America, there are two acceptable mainstream views on Islam. The left view is that Islam is wonderful, and that if Islam does anything wrong it is the West’s fault. The “right” view is that Islam is wonderful, except for a tiny, untypical band of “Islamists.” Both left and “right” agree that Islam is wonderful.

The view that Islam is itself the problem is not allowed in the American mainstream. It exists only in blogs. It’s pretty astounding that Kleine-Hartlage, an anti-Jihadist, has so little knowledge of American Islam critics and of the huge differences within the “right” in America.

I have not been able yet to read Kleine-Hartlage carefully and reply to him. I will do so.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Send

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