Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism

Douglas Murray who reported from a conference in the memory of Pim Fortuyn, which was about freedom of speech, Islam and Europe, (and needed his OWN security and pseudonym) tells us the TRUTH

Every word of this needs to be digested.

But american papers and media continue to fail to stand up for freedoms.

The event was scholarly, incisive and wide-ranging. There were no ranters or rabble-rousers, just an invited audience of academics, writers, politicians and sombre party members. As yet another example of Islam’s violent confrontation with the West (this time caused by cartoons) swept across the globe, we tried to discuss Islam as openly as we could. The Dutch security service in the Hague was among those who considered the threat to us for doing this as particularly high. The security status of the event was put at just one level below “national emergency”.
Are we coming through? What american media has reported on this?

All across Europe, debate on Islam is being stopped. Italy’s greatest living writer, Oriana Fallaci, soon comes up for trial in her home country, and in Britain the government seems intent on pushing through laws that would make truths about Islam and the conduct of its followers impossible to voice.

Those of us who write and talk on Islam thus get caught between those on our own side who are increasingly keen to prosecute and increasing numbers of militants threatening murder. In this situation, not only is free speech being shut down, but our nation’s security is being compromised.

Where is Tom Brokaw? Where is the great Dan Rather? Where is Cronkite? Where are those to whom the ability to voice dissidence is the pre eminent virtue of freedom... Katrina Van Den Heuvel? Where are Schumer and Clinton? Where are the philosophical descendents of FDR?
Why don't we hear McCain? Where are Bush and Condi?

This transcends politics
Even university professors are under protection.

Europe is shuffling into darkness. It is proving incapable of standing up to its enemies, and in an effort to accommodate the peripheral rights of a minority is failing to protect the most basic rights of its own people.



Kiddo said...

The LPF may be a rudderless ship without a Captain (see my pic!) but at least they are doing one thing right in holding this conference at all.

Too much factionalism right now in Dutch politics. These people need to stop being at each others' throats and get behind the politicians who really matter, IMHO.

Kiddo said...

The LPF may be a rudderless ship without a Captain (see my pic!) but at least they are doing one thing right in holding this conference at all.

Too much factionalism right now in Dutch politics. These people need to stop being at each others' throats and get behind the politicians who really matter, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

It gets worse. Some Left wing party in Holland has suggested separate subway cars for men and women, to protect immigrant women.

von Schlichtningen said...


Excellent as usually!

This does transcend politics - it is an attack on everything we stand for.

I keep on thinking on the people who here in Europe have go into their hiding with their families - maybe for the rest of their lives.

Some of them just drew a cartoon - others decided not to back down in the defense of our freedom.


Cubed © said...

"Where is Tom Brokaw... Dan Rather... Cronkite... Where are those to whom the ability to voice dissidence is the pre eminent virtue of freedom... Schumer and Clinton... the philosophical descendents of FDR... McCain... Bush and Condi?"

Wow. I wish I had better news, but every one of these people, not excluding Bush and Condi, have been sacrificed on the altar of dhimmitude that was created in the U.S. in the mid-1800s.

FDR was a philosophical descendent of Plato, as are all the others. The big problem with that Islam was heavily influenced by Plato too, and because of this, the people you mentioned share many of Islam's values.

Despite superficial differences, postmodernists, Leftists, socialists, communists, Nazis, Fascists and Islam are far more alike in fundamental ways than they are different.

They share many values, but not all. It is precisely these mixed premises that are causing our leaders and so many citizens to be confused, and our attempts at self-preservation to be so flawed.

The most consistent side wins; reality always wins in the end.

Right now, Islam is the more consistent side. We have the benefit of many people who respect reality, but until these represent a significant majority, especially in policy-making positions, we will be fighting a long, slow battle.

von Schlichtningen said...

Sorry. Bad writing, should be: ...who here in Europe have to go into hiding ...

Cubed © said...

von Schlichtningen said...

"This does transcend politics. . ."

Oh boy, von, I sure wish I could I could agree, but politics (the fifth of the five major branches of philosophy), is more than trading favors and making back-r00m deals and the like, which is how a lot of us think about it.

Politics is the application of ethics (the first of five major branches of philosophy) to social behavior. Because of the relationship of politics to ethics, and because so many of our people - especially those in policy-making positions - can't identify what makes something "good" and what makes it "bad," we keep making lousy political decisions.

The most consistent side wins; right now, even though it is evil, Islam is very consistent.

When we correctly identify what is good, then we can be consistent too, and we will win.

Epaminondas said...

Politics is a subset of Existance.
Existance trumps it.
If political considerations are more important than existance, then I hate to tell you but we are doing EXACTLY and PRECISELY what the Byzantines were doing on the other side of the wall one night in 1453, and we are going to shortly...not exist.

Islam will always be more consistent. Fascism is more consistent than the barely organized chaos of freedom.

Just like Wellington said...'it was a near run thing'. The nature of free societies is always to to do just what is required. How can it be other?

Cubed © said...


I had just written out a VERY LONG response to your comment, and I pushed the WRONG DAMNED KEY and it ALL DISAPPEARED...Groan...

I'll try again. Sh*8!#&!!


You recognized something very important when you in essence stated that "existence is all that there is" by saying, almost, that it (existence) trumps (wins over) it (a political effort that is not consistent with the demands of reality).

Let me gather my thoughts - again.

To begin with, and I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I have to get this off my chest:

There are two fundamental metaphysical states, and by saying that we are doing politically what the Byzantines did in 1453, which is approaching a state of not existing, I know that you know what they are - existence vs. non-existence.

Hamlet was probably the first to ask the question in its simplest, clearest form: "To be (to exist) or not to be (not to exist), THAT is the (basic metaphysical) question!"

As most of us know, existence exists; it can sometimes change form, as from matter to energy, but it can't actually, fundamentally cease to exist.

Well. . . there actually is ONE little entity that can actually, really, no-kidding, "cease to exist," as they used to say on Star Trek.

A LIVING ENTITY can cease to exist. A living entity can die, and ka-boom, the life is gone! It ceases to exist.

This is the crux of the whole matter.

Ethics is an evaluative science; it's the branch of philosophy that studies just what it is that makes something good or not good. That means, it identifies values.

For a long time, we humans wondered just what the heck was it that made something good? And for a long time, we didn't know; it was a sort of "I know it when I see it" kind of thing.

But when we found out about existence existing and all that, and we realized that "life" was the only thing in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, in ALL REALITY that could actually experience the fundamental alternative to existing - e.g. not existing - we suddenly realized that we had hit on something really important!

We thought about it a little more, and finally figured out that something can be of "value" ONLY to a living organism.

Here's why: A "value" is something that one acts to gain or keep, and acting to gain or keep something is something that only a living organism can do. A chair doesn't act to gain or keep a cushion, water doesn't act to gain or keep salt, a moon doesn't act to gain or keep an astronaut, a dead flower doesn't. . . Well. You understand.

BUT a living organism DOES act to gain and keep things that help him maintain its life. And it's the only entity in existence that can perform that little trick. No non-living entity acts to gain or keep something in order to remain in existence. It just rolls around, doing what gravity or heat or whatever does to it.

In short, a "value" is something that applies only to a living organism.

But what is valuable to a blade of grass is not necessarily valuable to a lion. And why is that? It's because the nature of blades of grass is different from the nature of lions, so their requirements for life - their values - are different.

For us humans, it's different. We survive by evaluating the potential of things around us for the good they can do us. In short, we make value judgments all the time.

The thing that helps us make the value-judgements is called a moral code. It is a set of values that we choose to guide our thoughts and behavior.

Note here the term "choose." We can, and sometimes do, make HUGE evaluative errors and bad value choices. Blades of grass and lions don't have the luxury of our kind of cognition (the capacity for reason), and so they don't have to make evaluative choices in order to survive. They just do what they do, and it either works or it doesn't.

But we do evaluate things, and making a mistake can cost us big time.

In our ethics, our moral code, if we should inadvertantly choose to value something that, instead of tending to SUPPORT life tends to THREATEN it instead, we are in deep doo-doo. If we maintain the bad choice, eventually we will lose. Reality - existence - is a tough teacher, and she NEVER LOSES! We can fool her over the short haul, but not forever. If our values are inconsistent with the requirements reality places on us to support our lives, then we eventually CEASE TO EXIST!

An example of this happened (at a very concrete level) when, during the so-called "Little Ice Age" people thought potatoes were ugly, and so they wouldn't eat them, even though conditions (reality) didn't permit cereal crops such as wheat to survive. So people died by the millions.

So there really does exist an absolute value out there in existence that can function as a valid "standard of the good" for a valid moral code, and it's "life." That which tends to support it is GOOD. Anything else is either optional or, if it threatens it, it's BAD.

Hang on, we're almost there.

Since politics, the fifth branch of philosophy, is "the application of ethics (the first branch of philosophy) to social relationships," the two entities are closely related.

You said that politics is a subset of existence. That is true. Philosophy is - or at least in ancient times was - "the study of existence," and politics was indeed a subset - a part of - existence.

Reality always wins in the end. If the ethics applied to social relationships is invalid, then the resultant politics is NOT supportive of life, and can cause us to cease to exist. That's bad.

That's what happened in Byzantium; bad ethics = bad politics = defeat at the hands of the Muslims.

Islam's values are totally invalid and they stink, but since the most consistent side always wins IN THE SHORT RUN, Islam is winning right now.

Our values are mixed; some are valid, some are not, and that mixture, NOT the valid values that produce freedom (which is a requirement for the proper existence of human beings), is what is producing chaos.

Once we can achieve consistency in understanding and applying values that are required to support life, we will win without so much as a how-do-you-do.

But as you suggest, we are not consistent in this understanding, and we are in a state of chaos.

My guess is that eventually, PC, which is based on a rotten moral code, will eventually be thrown out. We'll say "to hell with all this, we're going to behave in a way required by reality for our existence."

Then we won't try to tell each other stupid things like "Islam is the religion of peace" and we won't let Muslims come anywhere near our ports or borders.