Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fanatics, Seers, and the Sane.

"Radical Chic is only radical in style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions."
Tom Wolfe,
Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers.

"Pin the convert's badge on them first and sort them out later."
V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution.
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What are we about? Are we involved at the front of a war against primitivism and reaction, against a neo-feudalist wave of philobarbarist collectivists determined to destroy our Modernity? Our governments seem not to understand what to us is the obvious, and we stand outside the corridors of power, frustrated and demanding and angry. Are we smarter than those elected to represent us as our governors? Are we better informed and more concerned that the average person with whom we share our right to vote? Where is the line between activism and fanatical presumption? Lee Harris picks up part of our concern. There is a great deal more to look at and think about.
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This is the thing we must remember about fanaticism. If you are living under an orderly government, like the United States, there is a single man in charge, and he is the causal force that sets everything else in motion. The President gives an order, and everyone down the hierarchy of command obeys it without thinking whether he should obey it. It's his job to obey. Furthermore, no one at the lower levels feels at liberty to act on his own initiative -- that is not his job.

Fanatics, on the other hand, do not have jobs; they have missions. Fanatics do not sit and quietly wait for orders to come down to them from on high -- being fanatics, they take matters into their own hands, and carry out their own missions, with or without the stamp of approval of higher ups in the bureaucracy, because, among fanatics, there is no bureaucracy, and there are no higher ups. To have the authority to act, it is enough simply to be a fanatic. What more does a fanatic need to prove himself than to display his willingness to kill and to die for the cause? The fanatic does not need to take standardized tests, or to score high on merit exams. He just needs to be a fanatic.

Finally, because there is nothing more contagious than fanaticism, al-Zarqawi may well feel that he had accomplished his mission already. He did his part to sow the suspicion and distrust among neighbors that is an essential element in the spread of fanaticism. Unless we can come to understand the logic of fanaticism, despite all its alien and repugnant qualities in our eyes, we will continue to see rays of hope in the Middle East where there are none. You can kill the fanatic; but you cannot kill his fanaticism. It has a life of its own, and a will to match. Worse, what is enough to make sober and prudent men change their minds works exactly the opposite on the fanatic -- it gives him renewed conviction.

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=060906A
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When the vanguard of a new understanding comes to the fray and sees the great majority lingering in a fog it is frustrating at least. We see clearly what we know others will see in time, and our impatience makes us more determined than ever to move the mass ahead. Is it fanaticism or a clear assessment of reality? Do we have a right to go beyond shouting "Fire" to the point of shoving people out the door to safety? At what point do our majority of fellows endanger our minoirty lives by posing and posturing? And do we convert those we will and toss off the rest as worthless? How far ahead of our own can we go? At what point do we rightly forego our fellows as ignorant and apathetic while we are in danger? Are we fanatics? Must we go down in defeat due to those of ours who just don't get it? Or are we extremists?

5 comments:

Stogie said...

"Is it fanaticism or a clear assessment of reality? Do we have a right to go beyond shouting "Fire" to the point of shoving people out the door to safety? At what point do our majority of fellows endanger our minoirty lives by posing and posturing? And do we convert those we will and toss off the rest as worthless? How far ahead of our own can we go? At what point do we rightly forego our fellows as ignorant and apathetic while we are in danger? Are we fanatics? Must we go down in defeat due to those of ours who just don't get it? Or are we extremists?"

Good questions Dag. When Muslims continue to attempt acts of terrorism against Western nations, as they did last week against Canada and the UK, then obviously our sounding the alarm is more "a clear assessment of reality" than fanaticism.

Take those current events and examine them in the light of history, 14 centuries of Islamic aggression, mass murder, rape, plunder and dhimmitude, and only a fool would suggest that our concern with Islam is fanaticism.

I think we need a better analogy than shoving people out of a burning building while shouting fire. We are locked in the building and the dhimmi-fascists are setting fire to it. Since we are facing death due to their self-destrucive posing, we aren't likely to be overly polite when we yell "drop that match you damn fool."

The arsonists don't really use matches. Instead they lobby for greater Islamic immigration, forbid anyone to expose the Muslims' history and tendencies under the premise that any criticism of any ethnic or religious group (except Catholics and Jews) is racism and can't be allowed.

They arrest 17 terrorists and never mention that the 17 are all Muslims. They make excuses for the terrorism, find moral equivalencies (oh yeah, but look what we did in the Crusades)and generally create a rationalizing mindset that says, no matter how much the Muslims hate us and want to kill us, we can't do anything about it, and we probably deserve it anyway (and if anyone gets frustrated and breaks mosque windows, it is kritalnacht and proves we are just as bad as the Muslim terrorists).

These modern arsonists also welcome more Muslim immigrants, help them build mosques, make sure they have a free Qur'an even while in jail for plotting mass murder, create speech codes that eliminate any perjorative descriptors like "terrorist" and "jihad," suppress their own flag and cultural icons from public view to avoid offending the aliens in our midst, and after every Muslim terrorist bombing or attempted bombing bray like asses about the "religion of peace."

Yeah,I'm frustrated. That's why I ripped those Canadian liberals a new asshole last week. I should learn to be more tactful: sometimes a fly swatter works just as well as a flame thrower. In any case, I know that you and Charles Henry are not of the same ilk and if Canada is saved it will be because of good men like you. Believe me it is comforting to know you are there. John McCrae would be proud.

dag said...

Frustration comes from a rational person when the way of things is so obviously wrecked by the irrational. As Charles points out above, one can see the obvious lies of the media and our intelligentsia, and yet here we are, stuck with smiling as we wipe the blood away and say "nice" things about those who harm us.

To ignore evil is to encourage more of it. I'm deeply concerned about the point at which our representatives are no longer representative of the people, the minority of people in a democracy who might not have the voice of reason behind them in our leaders but who nonetheless have a right to life that the intelligentsia is claiming we do not have.

A democracy respects the rights of its minorities against eh whims and wishes of the majority. If our own stand back as a majority and allow us to be murdered, then the majority is illegitimate regardless. But I do hesitate to condemn the majority of voters and our elected leaders at this point. We still have time to vote for sane leaders.It strikes me as obvious that our media and general intelligentsia are lying to us blatantly and maliciously, but I do not like the idea of vigilantism and private counter-terror.

I wonder if I'm a rational person seeing reality clearly or if I'm a fanatic. My answer if in my favor, of course, but I weigh my fellows' opinions agianst mine and feel at a loss as to how to act further.

Jane said...

I chuckled when I read Stogie's comments because he described a conversation I had with my leftie friend Dave, who is involved with 'End Legislated Poverty', just a few days ago:

"They...find moral equivalencies (oh yeah, but look what we did in the Crusades)...." Those are almost the exact words Dave used while speaking to me, the stuff about the Crusades.

"...and generally create a rationalizing mindset that says, no matter how much the Muslims hate us and want to kill us, we can't do anything about it, and we probably deserve it anyway...." Dave told me that since we are a "liberal country", it is up to us to accomondate Muslims, not up to them to accomodate us. He explained that since they don't pretend to be liberal, it is not up to them to adjust to us. I repeated this argument to Dag and he asked me what mental hospital this argument would fly in.

I'm surrounded by people with these views. I was yelled at this evening by a very westernized woman from Pakistan who is a supporter of the "Nobody's Illegal" movement. I had not actually said anything to provoke her but she recalled me being 'dagmatic' a few weeks ago and she has a long memory and a committment to re-educating me about everything. This evening her lecture was on how every dollar made by a rich person is food stolen from the mouths of the poor, including of course the "nouveau poor" like herself.

Jane said...

UPDATE
To be fair, I must report that the Pakistani-Canadian woman I mentioned above, apologized today. She told me that she looked the term "dogmatic" -- not to be confused with dagmatic -- up in the dictionary and realized that she was that.

dag said...

Thr root of dogma in in religion, and I see some fine irony in the dogmatic fanaticism of so many so-called atheists who claim to hate religion while in practice they are the worst coton mathers one finds this side of the Salem Witch Trials.

To have a woman change her mind on the strength of looking in a dictionary to find a personal epiphany leads me to think this woman is so steeped in conformity to attitude that anything will change her attitude if only someone presents it to her, she seemingly having no ground in hier personality to begin with.

I mean that this person and those like her do not consider anything critically but only at the shallowest level, finding things here and there that inform how they will attitudinise on the basis of furhter emotional input. One might easily manipulate this kind of person to the point that she veers from dogmatic Leftist to dogmatic Right reactionary if only one has a good dictionary, pulling out words at random till this poor creature is so bewildered by new concepts that she is helpless in the face of ideas slyly presented.

I argue that it is the task of the intelligentsia to think for the public. People generally do not have the personal time or ability to think deeply about public issues, and they rely on the honesty of the intelligentsia to think and present ideas publicly for them. Thinking is a profession no different from plumbing or auto mechanics: one is either a professional or one is not. And one is either honest or one is not. those today who are on the Left are dishonest, and the wool falls from the public eye till they see clearly that our public intellectuals are gnostics and charlatans. We who attmpt honesty in our public discourse must work hard to reinform our public world, not by manipulating the gulliible and stupid but by presenting the truth as we find it as honestly as possible. Some will cling to anything that comes out as if it were dogma from the Paters even though it is an on-going pursuit with no end possible. To that we must react by shrugging and hope that many if not most will know better than they do today.

It is that line of reasoning that begins to lead me to the idea that I might well find myself calling for the movement of "Atheists for Jesus."

Some many people will likely always take an intuitive and emotional approach to thinking, and by rercreating a Christian standard of morality and social code we might find ourselves in better form if those who are today religiously motivated by socialist gnostics find themselves automatically attached to honest and legitimate Christianity.

Without looking up the exact number, I will venture to suggest that I have written 100 times that "most people believe what most people believe." That is socially essential for a proper and functioning society. Most people are dogmatic in their beleifs, whether they know the word dogmatic or not, and whether they understand their attitudes. It is for the public intellectuals to work honestly and professionally to provide the working public with the best of possible ideas so those who do take them up as dogam will have the best chance of making a better choice for all of society when it comes to collective social living as free iindividuals, regardless of their personal abilities as thinkers.

The uncritical are better off, as are we all, if they are uncritical about the postive rather than the nihilistic.

Yeah, Atheists for Jesus. Count me in.