First, the Western liberal tradition is fragile and can still disappear. Just because we have sophisticated cell phones, CAT scanners and jets does not ensure that we are permanently civilized or safe. Technology used by the civilized for positive purposes can easily be manipulated by barbarians for destruction.
Second, the Enlightenment is not always lost on the battlefield. It can be surrendered through either fear or indifference as well. Westerners fearful of terrorist reprisals themselves shut down a production of a Mozart opera in Berlin deemed offensive to Muslims. Few came to the aid of a Salman Rushdie or Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh when their unpopular expression earned death threats from Islamists. Van Gogh, of course, was ultimately killed.
The Goths and Vandals did not sack Rome solely through the power of their hordes; they also relied on the paralysis of Roman elites who no longer knew what it was to be Roman — much less whether it was any better than the alternative. [The Romans were simply unable to find enough young men to man the legions]
Third, civilization is forfeited with a whimper, not a bang. Insidiously, we have allowed radical Islamists to redefine the primordial into the not-so-bad. Perhaps women in head-to-toe burkas in Europe prefer them? Maybe that crass German opera was just too over the top after all? Aren't both parties equally to blame in the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan wars?
Last night I watched for a few minutes Scott Ritter on CSPAN. He is a world class whimperer and shill for the Mad Mullahs. A sad case and a favorite of the Islamofascists.
Crossposted at The Dougout
Or, as historian Arnold Toynbee put it: "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder". Yes, they're now being murdered there in France, but they'd committed suicide there long ago. As has Britain.
By the way, I think we got a new slogan, from no less than the leader of the free world. Bush, quoted by Steyn, said:
"If it's not the Crusades, it's the cartoons."
That deserves to be made into a bumper sticker at the very least.
Our collective acts of suicide were our immigration policies, but suicide implies intentionality. Were immigration policies not more like a rat eating rat poison? Yes, anyone with the least understanding of math could figure out the result, but math phobia is everywhere. Perhaps, we are poisoned by fear of math?
& PC paralysis in the face of evil resembles more AIDS than suicide. Our body politic is no longer able to detect a deadly disease.
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