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Things You Are Not Allowed to Say After Clinton or Obama, Woman-centered Conservatism

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The Wages of Appeasement

by Christopher Chantrill
December 12, 2007 at 1:53 pm

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FOR CONSERVATIVES the story of the recent National Intelligence Estimate is unbelievable. What would possess the analysts in the federal intelligence bureaucracy to issue a finding that Iran has abandoned its military nuclear weapons program?

Given the secrecy that surrounds all government ventures into nuclear weaponry we wonder how anyone can presume to know with “high confidence” whether Iran or any other nation has or has not a nuclear weapons program. And why would anyone so blatantly try to appease a revolutionary regime like the Islamic Republic of Iran?

The answer is simpler than you might think. In the view of the western educated middle class, appeasement works every time it is tried.

There is more. The policy of appeasement, consistently applied by the educated middle class throughout the past century, has proved to be the royal road to political power and influence—for the educated middle class.

First they appeased the struggling working man, arguing that “people have needs.” They built a welfare state and put themselves in charge. Then they moved the American Negro, condemned to second-class citizenship by discrimination and racism, from the southern plantation to the liberal plantation. Then it was traditionally marginalized women and gays.

So it is not surprising that the western educated middle class believes that the way to deal with Muslims in general and Iran in particular is through appeasement.

Appeasement may be the “rational” policy for Iran but it is not appropriate for western critics of the educated middle class. For them the appropriate tactic is ruthless shaming.

You can see how the shaming works by examining the recent problems of two writers, Mark Steyn and Martin Amis.

In October 2006 Maclean’s published an excerpt from Steyn’s America Alone. In response the Canada Islamic Council is filing human rights complaints in Canada arguing that Steyn’s Maclean’s article subjected “Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt.” Now lefty commentators are piling on. Blogger Jim Henley writes “I knew Steyn was a bigot,” and Steyn has to respond.

British author Martin Amis is in similar trouble. In an interview in 2006 after the foiling of a plan to blow up several passenger jets in flight he said:

There’s a definite urge - don’t you have it? - to say, ’The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.’

Lefty professor Terry Eagleton saw an opening and accused Amis of opinions like a “British National Party thug.” Then author Rowan Bennett weighed in:

Amis’s views are symptomatic of a much wider and deeper hostility to Islam and intolerance of otherness.

You can get a full rundown on the Martin Amis flap from the New York Times blog. Martin Amis was last heard of in the Guardian pleading “No, I Am Not A Racist.”

Really, what’s not to like? In order to show support for helpless victims of otherness intolerance you shame the neocon theocrats by putting them through the human rights meat grinder or by calling them racists.

It’s easy to assume that all this NIE nonsense and literary name-calling is pure cynicism. But we should give our liberal friends the benefit of the doubt and allow that they actually believe that their policy of appeasing the enemies of the West is moral and just. There are people who really think that the problem is a deep “hostility to Islam and intolerance of otherness.”

(What about liberals, their deep hostility to Christianity and their intolerance of Christian otherness?)

But wait, you say! Islam is different. Its doctrine of jihad is completely different from the militant working class of 1845 or the African American rioters of 1965. These people want to take over the world!

Maybe so. But you cannot expect your average progressive to abandon a political tactic that has worked so well for over a century on the say-so of a bunch of neocon theocrat bigots.

Our liberal friends want a world free from injustice and otherness; they believe that the right and just thing to do is always to appease the latest group that declares itself a victim.

So we should expect them to oppose the Bush forward strategy for the foreseeable future. They may back off a bit when a Democrat is in the White House. But Republican presidents can expect nothing but trouble.

Facing down the revolutionary thugs and boldly outdaring the dangers of the time is the conservative thing to do. We look at the world and want to make it safe for democratic capitalism. We believe that in a federal budget with two trillion dollars of pensions and social programs there ought to be $0.7 trillion for defense.

What will it take to change the minds of America’s liberal intelligence community? Probably nothing short of electoral disaster.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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