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by Christopher Chantrill
August 21, 2005 at 10:36 am
SO THE HARD left and the Islamists have established a coordinating committee, according to Douglas Davis of the London Spectator. In Britain
The steering committee of the Marxist–Islamist alliance consists of 33 members 18 from myriad hard-Left groups, three from the radical wing of the Labour party, eight from the ranks of the radical Islamists and four leftist ecologists (also known as Watermelons green outside, red inside). The chairman is Andrew Murray, a leading light in the British Communist party; co-chair is Muhammad Aslam Ijaz, of the London Council of Mosques.
In other words, the war on terror is to be a continuation of the old war, the war between capitalism and its various discontents that was waged throughout most of the twentieth century. Norman Podhoretz is right. This is World War IV.
But few people want to admit it. Ever since the Enlightenment people have believed that war would soon become the aberration and peaceful cooperation the norm. Even though the Enlightenment culminated in the warlike and unpeaceful French Revolution, this idea seems to be dying a very slow death. And it is not just utopian socialists that believe in it. Conservatives, ancient and modern, believe in the power of the rule of law and right reason to corral the Bull of Heaven, and the left still believes in the revolution that will end all oppression and usher in an age of peace and justice. Surely, war is going out and peace is coming in.
That was what people thought at the turn of the twentieth century in the run-up to World War I, and again in the 1930s during the appeasement of Hitlers Germany. They believed it even as the titanic struggle between capitalism and communism that we call the Cold War raged around them. And they believed it during the Islamist raids of the 1990s: the first World Trade Center bombing, the Khobar Towers bombing, the USS Cole bombing, the East African embassy bombings, and, for the conspiracy-minded, the Oklahoma City bombing and Flight 800. The why do they hate us crowd are still at it. We all need to believe in a rosy future purged of struggle and strife.
When Lee Harris interpreted the war against terror as a moment in the confict between the western team and the eternal gang of ruthless men in Civilization and its Enemies his argument seemed overdrawn, for it scorned the idea of perpetual peace and interpreted the human condition as an eternal conflict. But events support his analysis. The punctuations of the terrorists in exhibitionist bombings, the bombastic declarations of the Daily Kos that we will be ruthless against George W. Bush, the now formalized coalition between the hard left and the Islamicist raiders are sending us a message. The war against the western team continues.
The team concept goes all the way back to the Greek farmers, the hoplites who first fought as disciplined heavy infantry in shock battle. When combined with Alexanders Companion heavy cavalry the team army routed the Persian Empire, and it has been just about unbeatable ever since. From time to time the eternal gang of ruthless men has succeeded in harnessing the western team to assist their ganglike predations, most notably when the Nazis used the German army, the team built up by Scharnhorst, Moltke, and Seekt, to lay waste to Europe. Fortunately the ruthless men fail to understand that the team army is but a part of the integrated western team concept. It is the relentless power of citified western teams measured against tribal gangsin economic, political, religious, and cultural affairsthat provides the motive power for the world-beating western team army.
Our western media do not understand the importance of the team concept either. They have been raised to a faith in creativity and a belief in the transforming power of the creative artist to break the constricting bonds of narrow middle-class conformity. They love the rebellious outrages of the terrorist gangs because they are directed against the same object as their own rage, the western middle-class team.
Still, the formal coalition between the hard left and the Islamists is a shock. It is difficult to believe that the secular left could really find common cause with religious fundamentalists of any stripe. But we should remember our history. In World War I, progressive souls sympathized with the German effort to humble the capitalist nation of shopkeepers. In World War II, progressives were indifferent to the fate of the European democracies until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. In World War III they actively cheered for the Soviets although they denied the right of anyone to complain about it.
It makes complete sense that the lefts first act in the twenty-first century should be to form a coalition with a new anti-western force. The war against democratic capitalism continues.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization