Sunday, February 22, 2015

The PC MC Structure: Still Standing, With No Legs To Stand On



The PC MC structure (or template, or paradigm) is remarkable for its longevity.  Not that it has lasted that long, in the long view of history (in mainstream dominance only a little more than a half century thus far); but considering its untenable incoherence cobbled together out of a complex mechanism of every logical fallacy in the book, it should not have lasted more than a couple of years -- particularly considering that it thrives hooked up on artificial life support in the greatest most advanced civilization in all history.

Over the years on The Hesperado (I started this blog nearly a decade ago, in the summer of '06), I've taken various stabs at describing and explaining PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism).  Out of my total of 974 essays so far, perhaps several hundred delve into the problem of PC MC -- what I have termed "the Problem of the Problem" (where the primary problem, of course, is Islam, and the secondary problem is the West's persistent myopia about that primary problem).  What I'll do in this essay here may well have been repeated in various ways, from various angles, in some of those past essays. My intent here is to begin to lay out the nuts and bolts of this monstrous contraption I call PC MC, in order to show how Alice-in-Wonderlandishly logical its complexity is and how, in turn, that complexity serves its primary function -- to continue to immunize Muslims and Islam from all substantive criticism (let alone the condemnation they so richly deserve).

To begin, as we look at the object under consideration, it's difficult to figure out where to start.  Any given nut, bolt, spring or sprocket of the whole seems pivotal, and seems to function in a tightly woven web to engage all the other gears (if I may mix metaphors; and one must mix them, madly, to match the madness of the phenomenon under study). 

My instinct is to focus first on what I have come to conclude, over the years, is the very heart of the whole enterprise:  Reverse Racism.  Perhaps if we latch on to this, the rest will fall into place -- in terms of deconstructing the full catastrophe.

The obverse of reverse racism is excessive self-criticism of our own West. If my theory is correct, that this is the crux of the construct, it might explain the other behaviors of the PC MC, insofar as everything is said and done ultimately in service of protecting the non-Western non-white "Other".  Protect from what, one may ask?  Why, to protect them from us, of course.  Being Western and white, we are naturally predisposed to be racist bigots who want to hate Muslims, lynch them, round them up and put them in camps in order to genocide them -- or so goes the implicit narrative operating as the underlying engine, so to speak, of the entire PC MC machine. 

And it is richly ironic that this PC MC paradigm is Western through and through.  Is the modern West the first culture or civilization in all world history to develop such a rich and massive worldview of morbid self-criticism coupled with an irrationally excessive admiration for the Other?  It certainly seems so.  This particular facet of the paradigm I have examined at length and in detail in several essays, perhaps most extensively in my study of Montaigne.

My tentative conclusion as to its origin is that it simply derives from what's good about the West, its philosophical and cultural health.  It may seem paradoxical that health can produce disease -- which is essentially what I argue here -- but I think that is not so outlandish an idea.  The logic of it becomes clearer when we examine which healthy virtues have morphed into their diseased mutations.

The one that most readily comes to mind:

A respect for the Other. 

Only actual racists and xenophobes (e.g., Muslims) would oppose this idea as a matter of universal principle.  The point, and the problem, is when this idea becomes distorted and followed dogmatically, no matter what evidence is presented.  I.e., the rational form of this idea would cultivate it as far as feasible, as a good idea, but would modify it whenever any particular Other shows signs of no longer being tolerable.  Now, some in the Counter-Jihad would counter-argue that there must be something wrong with the idea itself, making it liable to morph into its diseased form.  This probably cannot be proven or disproven; and since it can't, we should not err on the side of an explanation that would lead to darker indictments of the West.  For, if we conclude that this excessive respect and deference for Islam cannot derive from a good virtue taken to irrational excess, how do we explain its rather rampant and massive manifestation in our time, other than to imply, or impute, conspiracy-theorish explanations to fill that vacuum? 

At any rate, if we follow the logic that does not succumb to the conspiracy theory, and if we agree that a respect for the Other is essentially a virtue, it is not inconceivable, and it is plausible, that a culture that cultivates that virtue in a matrix of other virtues (such as, for example, the virtue of reasonable self-criticism) consonant with it, and continues to progress robustly in the context of this civilizational health, may well take that virtue to an irrational extreme, whereby that culture develops an unwillingness to criticize any and all Others -- even when an Other comes along that threatens the West's core values (not to mention threatens its people's lives).

If this were the only factors of this particular dynamic, I agree that such mass irrationality might seem to stretch plausibility; but it's more complicated, involving centuries of development whereby this respect for the Other has become enmeshed with other ideas and virtues. My aforementioned essay on the 16th century thinker Montaigne, along with my series on When Did PC MC Begin? -- indicating that in fact it seems to have a long provenance in Western history -- supposes how organically this process grew over time.  Furthermore, my series on Voegelinians (academic philosophers who study the writings and lectures of eminently conservative philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901-1985)) -- showing them to evince discomfittingly significant spasms and tics of PC MC -- indicates that we cannot delimit the Problem of the Problem to mere "Leftists".

Not only is the process organic and longstanding, but it has a tendency to rigidify over time (a feature perhaps of most ideas).

Muslims are not the only Other.  There are plenty of other Others out there.  Why then does the PC MC West seem to treat them so specially?  This brings up another ingredient that has to be included in the explanation: Muslims are the only Other who use violence to a remarkable degree -- not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively in terms both of grotesque extremism and of a broader, systemic strategy of expansionist supremacism.  Thus is revealed another crucial mechanism in the complex:  Auster's First Law of Majority-Minority Relations.  In a nutshell, this Law articulates the curious dynamic prevalent in the PC MC West whereby:

The worse any designated minority or alien group behaves in a liberal society, the bigger become the lies of Political Correctness in covering up for that group.

Every machine has a center, even one as monstrous as PC MC.  And let us not forget the dismal, dismaying fact that it works all too efficiently.  I think it's safe to say that this is its very heart: the coin whose two sides are, to put it bluntly, Self-Hatred/Other-Dotage.*

All the other complications we notice in its monumentally incoherent deployment, I maintain, are the logical cogs and levers that radiate out from that center, not central themselves, but pivotal in their diverse roles all calculated to protect that center, and to deflect any cogent challenges to it that, once fairly received and intelligently assimilated, would bring the whole house of cards, this "fabulous invalid", crashing down.

Afternote:

In subsequent posts, hopefully, I will adduce & adumbrate as many of these annoying cogs and levers as come to mind (I should keep notes on this from all the occasions I have had to butt heads with various PC MCs, for when they react to any criticisms of Islam, they invariably generate a multitude of permutations of them).

* Dotage:  "3. Excessive fondness; weak and foolish affection."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

When the details bedevil...

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Thanks to Diana West, I've known about M. Stanton Evans for quite a while now, chiefly as a historian who has taken the trouble to try to rectify the historical narrative about anti-Communism during the Cold War, and in the process to restore a proper history of it by disentangling what truth can be salvaged from the elaborate (yet simplistic) myth that has grown to obscure it over the past half century.  (As Diana West is careful to point out, this mythic obfuscation is not merely the result of an accidental impairment or loss of reason in culture, but at the very least has also been "helped along" at various times by calculated propaganda and disinformation promoted by Communist saboteurs and enabled by their starry-eyed liberal Useful Idiots.  Where West edges over toward the ballpark of an unfortunate inclination, however, is in her inability or unwillingness to at least take a stab at working out how the two contexts -- of sincere naivete passively enabling, on the one hand, and more malevolent machinations trying to orchestrate, the various phases & episodes of "American Betrayal" the nation has gone through from the years entre deux guerres to the present -- have dovetailed, and have diverged.  Because of this, her locutions have an unfortunate tendency and effect of fostering a view that seems to conflate the two and hence can have a conspiracy-theorish ring.  The Horowitz-Radosh lynch gang took advantage of this with unseemly relish and seemed to have exploited it for a protracted smear campaign against her; and while needless to say their tissue of slander was an incoherent mess of specious bullshit, nonetheless, the reality of it independent of their strawman remains an important problem she has yet to address.) 

Part of the above-mentioned calculated propaganda and disinformation promoted by Communist saboteurs and enabled by their starry-eyed liberal Useful Idiots involves a rather subtle ploy:  fomenting confusion in the form of a jungle of details so complex, most have no patience for sustaining the attention necessary to keep the point (or points) in mind.  As important as this climate of confusion is for discouraging any general interest in the issue at hand, there is another advantage for the saboteur in this, perhaps a more important one: namely, the implication slyly generated by the mere circumstance of the complexity -- that the person taking the painstaking trouble to unravel all the myriad details and their complex interconnections is himself, by very virtue of the activity he has to undertake to clarify the mess of the complexity, "obsessed" and probably a "conspiracy theorist" (and certainly an eccentric individual without much consensus or support).  The Horowitz-Radosh lynch gang, thus, for example, implied as much about Diana West.  Now, we are not saying the entire dynamic in this regard is caused by a devious machination fomenting the confusion: i.e., it's not as though the whole confusion of the issue in question had been manufactured out of thin air and sustained only by virtue of some dastardly cabal -- for that precisely would be the conspiracy theory being insinuated as a smear against the person pointing out the devil in the details.  One has to maintain a balance between either extreme:  it is neither a conspiracy theory, nor is there no problem of attempted sabotage.

At any rate, I was struck by an example of this complexity as I read the Prologue ("The Search for Joe McCarthy" available for free by clicking on the book cover to "read inside") to the 2007 book by M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies -- a complexity that is important to unearth, even though it causes the reader's eyes to glaze over and one fears, alas, that even if it saw the light of day in the public eye, it would probably sink into the burial of oblivion amid the clashing, sloshing currents of a sea of sexier news stories that pullulate and ebulliate weekly. 

The example M. Stanton Evans recounts in his Prologue concerns certain important documents he knows from independent evidence exist, but which in the normal (and thorough) course of his historiographic research and investigation, he found were ostensibly missing from the physical locations in the records where they should have been found.  Being the sober and diligent scholar that he is, Evans does not recount his experience in hyperventilated rhetoric or in lurid terms; but always in a patient, dry, just-the-facts-ma'am presentation.  In a way, such a seemingly banal and mechanical presentation almost serves to enhance the effect of stunning the reader (at least the attentive reader) with the full import of what he is describing.  I'll turn it over to Evans now and quote the passages in full -- first with regard to a particular memo (the "Klaus memo") which Senator McCarthy was concerned to enter into Congressional records, a memo Evans describes as "one of the most revealing documents ever put together about Red infiltration of the U.S. government".  As Evans goes on to say, it was supplied to Congress, but thereafter would "mysteriously vanish":

In the National Archives of the United States there are at least two places where this report should be on offer.  One is the legislative archives of the Tydings panel, which was weighing McCarthy's charges of State Department security breakdown and which unquestionably got a copy.  This is reflected in the department's letter of transmittal, which survives and is included in the subcommittee records.  So the memo should also be in the files, but isn't.

The other place where this memo ought to be is in the papers of Sam Klaus, held in another section of the archives.  In the index to the Klaus papers, the document is listed, under its proper official heading.  However, when the file was examined by this writer [that would be M. Stanton Evans himself] it turned out the report again was missing.  In this case, at least, we know what happened to it.  The file contained a notice where the memo had been, saying it was withdrawn from the Archives in March 1993 -- not quite half a century after it was written.  So this important document is twice over absent from the nation's official records.  

This isn't the only important document to turn up missing from official Washington records, Evans tells us:

Unfortunately for researchers of such matters, this elusive memo is but one of many Cold War papers that have gone AWOL.  Some two dozen other documents from the State Department relating to security issues were likewise supplied to Tydings and should be in the Archives also.  In these cases handsomely embossed cover sheets, signed by Dean Acheson, Secretary of State in 1950, are still there in the folders.  In every case as well, however, the material once enclosed has been stripped from the cover sheet, leaving small wads of paper beneath the staples that held the documents together.  

If that isn't bad enough, Evans goes on to tell us about a list of 80 suspects of Communist infiltration-cum-sabotage at the State Department and elsewhere, along with a letter by McCarthy to Tydings referring to the list and another letter from the head of the C.I.A. concerning one of the 80 -- and at that same time, a second list of two dozen other potential suspects.  All these, Evans notes, should be in the Tydings archive; but:

Again, however, so far as diligent search reveals, all of them are missing, with no explanation of what happened to them, no hint that they were ever there, and no withdrawal notice.  They are simply gone.  Since they were documents central to any assessment of McCarthy's charges, their absence is a critical gap in the archival record. 

This potentially has had consequences far beyond a mere footnote in the history of "McCarthyism".  As Evans reminds us, this gap -- or deep gash -- in the record:

...affects more than our understanding of Joe McCarthy.  It affects our knowledge of the issue he was addressing, and thus our comprehension of the Cold War era.

Only briefly, in an asterisked footnote at this juncture in the text, does Evans gently speculate in the direction of a plausible explanation -- pointing out, it should be noted, that in his lengthy experience as a historian familiar with government records over the years, archivists are meticulous in their record-keeping and wouldn't likely misplace such important documents out of sloppy disregard:  i.e., that the likelier explanation is that these documents were intentionally removed.  Though Evans, being the conscientious and judicious historian he is, doesn't conjecture about who might have done such sabotage, the reasonable presumption to make is that it was likely precisely the same type(s) of person(s) about whom the documents themselves were documenting -- viz., Communist infiltrators in the State Department and related governmental institutions.  Why their absence all these decades has remained unmentioned all these decades until Evans came along looking them up and noticed they were gone (let alone why they have remained un-investigated), however, may not be as easily explainable; unless it is plausible to incorporate into the explanation some rather significant degrees of innocent incompetence that have entered into the process at later stages.

Summary:

The point is, what Evans is reporting here in his dry and sober manner is a startling fact that could well provide fodder for conspiracy theorists; but, rather than recoil from the CT phrase, we should perhaps readjust the parameters of what defines "conspiracy" rather than succumb to a propagandistic usage of the term.  The research of historians like Evans, and more recently Diana West's book American Betrayal, which meticulously collects and weaves together a rich compendium of sources on the subject, indicates that something terribly wrong has been amiss in American government for decades, ever since Communists began to seek to subvert our society in order to destroy us -- and a good deal of this disturbing data points not only to the subversion and sabotage by Communists, but also to the cover-ups of that subversion and sabotage.  As I intimated far above, however, an important question that (to my knowledge) remains unaddressed by West and Evans is an explanation for how and why American government remains relatively free and uncorrupted by Communist subversion and sabotage, even given all the disturbing data they have marshalled.  How do they explain the fact that they can continue to publish what they do and go on book tours and write articles about it and participate in forums and debates and round-table discussions in various venues?  Evidently, this indicates that the situation is ambiguous and contains a mixture of infiltration and freedom from infiltration.  But the analysts who propose this problem have, it seems to me, an obligation to proffer a plausible theory explaining why the situation is ambiguous, and then to what extent such an ambiguity offers hope.  I only say this because sometimes the rhetoric of Diana West seems to border on hyperbole where the logic would lead to hopelessness or some civil war scenario; and, needless to say, a civil war that wasn't necessary would be quite a tragedy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Billy Graham of Islam

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Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, to hear a Friday sermon from Sheikh Qaradawi, after he returned to Egypt following its "Arab Spring"

I refer to the rampantly popular (in the Muslim world, that is) Sheikh Qaradawi of Egypt (though he was exiled for years by the prudent dictator, Mubarak, whom the fanatical Egyptian people in recent times overthrew in a coup d'jihad (otherwise known as the "Arab Spring").

And, needless to say (to those in the West with their heads screwed on straight, that is, unlike our clueless President), the comparison with Billy Graham is apt only in terms of religious popularity -- not in terms of the content of the two respective religions (for the Muslim cleric has advocated, among other hideous things, genocide of the Jews and suicide attacks on the "enemy of Islam").

I've written about Qaradawi in previous essays, such as Islamic conferences, and Shaikh Your Booty. More information on Qaradawi can be gleaned from among this Google search of Jihad Watch articles over the years, as well as this helpful summary report on MEMRI.org (a website chock-full over the years with juicy Qaradawi tidbits). The one thing missing -- at least from my awareness -- is a handy summation specifically demonstrating the popularity per se of Qaradawi (if any reader knows of such, I'd appreciate a link).

At any rate, today's posting refers only to a datum or two in this regard I recently learned.  Apropos of a recent debate the French political analyst Alexandre Del Valle had with Jean Luc Mélenchon (whom Del Valle describes as a "leader of the extreme Left" and whom French blogger Pierre Renversez describes as someone who "has never once uttered the words 'Islam' or 'Islamism' but who never ceases to criticize the Catholic church"), Del Valle provided some interesting information about this Mohammedan evangelist, whom he even calls a "televangelist" (le téléprédicateur).

“...no Minister of the Interior [of France] since Charles Pasqua (1986-1988) has ever interdicted the works of the spiritual mentor of Tariq Ramadan [don't get me started on Tariq Ramadan!], Youssouf al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood preacher infamous around the world for his pro-suicide-bombing, anti-homosexual and anti-Infidel fatwas.”

Del Valle goes on to remind us of Qaradawi's best-selling book (best-selling in the Muslim world, that is), The Permitted and the Forbidden, “used among European Muslims and freely sold even though it explicitly incites the killing of female adulterers, blasphermers, and apostates.”

Del Valle further describes Qaradawi as an "Al Jazeera star" (vedette d’Al Jazira; he has for years hosted a show beamed out to millions in the Muslim world), who directs an institute for the formation of European imams, co-presides over the European chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been a member of a convocation at the United Nations overseeing the "dialogue of civilizations". Also, Del Valle informs us, the good Sheikh often has been a featured participant of an annual Islamic congress held in Le Bourget (a suburb a few miles northeast of Paris) which draws thousands of Muslims from all over France and other European countries. Significantly, Del Valle notes that Qaradawi is a popular participant also of Socialist-Leftist "anti-globalization" forums.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Telltale (R) having heart (and brain) trouble...


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A recent Jihad Watch report is headlined:

"Iowa caucus: 53% of Republicans, 81% of Democrats think Islam is peaceful"

And Robert Spencer editorialized:

"This shows the effectiveness of the constant barrage of media propaganda, the never-ending avalanche of articles and learned talking heads assuring us that when we see Muslims brandishing Qur’ans and screaming “Allahu akbar” as they kill Infidels, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Islam..."

Is that all it shows?  I thought Spencer may have been being a tad rhetorically loose in his locution there, until I read further to see this:

"In other words, 53% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats have been brainwashed to deny what is painfully obvious..."

That implies a rather dim & cynical view of millions of Americans, that they could be so easily brainwashed about such an important matter.  I realize it's been fashionable for quite some time to play fast and loose with such a dim and cynical glibness about our society (if not more broadly about human nature), but one must not allow oneself to succumb to that; one must shake it off, sit up straight, and think more reasonably and carefully about a matter of such weight and moment.   

First of all, one reasonably factors in the relative greatness and richness -- for all its faults & foibles -- of one's own West (particularly when anti-Americanism has become so deeply ingrained in the modern West's own reckless & irresponsible politically correct habit of self-hatred); and one embarks on one's speculation with the reasonable premise that such depressing statistics as are featured in this latest study reported here by Spencer cannot lead us by the nose to the most ungenerous conclusion that all those millions of relatively decent and intelligent Americans are such brainless sheep as to allow themselves to be "brainwashed" about such an important matter.  

One pauses to consider other possible, plausible explanations, surely, without reaching with such breathtaking alacrity to such a bleakly black imputation about one's own fellow man (particularly one's fellow Western, and American, man).  It seems far more reasonable (and generous -- for, the greatness of our society deserves the minimal respect we would grant it to accord it such generosity, for Christ’s sake, I say, without taking the Lord’s name in vain) to assume that such a depressing statistic reflects a broad sociological -- even sociocultural -- phenomenon that has, moreover, been going on for quite some time – years, yea decades.  Beyond this naked assumption, if we would be, or would try to be, well read, in literature and history, we would have noticed by now that such habits of an amorphous civilizational & cultural self-criticism in the West, oftentimes lurching into excessive expression almost irrational if not morbidly so, are a prominent feature of the modern West, and longstanding.  

I know that Spencer is well read in a variety of levels of Western culture and history; so it strikes me as odd that he reaches for such a specious & facile manner of expressing the, apparently, only explanation for such a deeply depressing & dismaying statistic. 

P.S.:  The other thing this statistic shows is (as I have discussed in earlier essays here) that while the slim majority of Republicans remain unconscionably remiss in their civic duty to learn about this most pressing international danger (Islam), they do seem to have a higher degree of rationality in their sociopolitical culture than Democrats.  I.e., the Leftist deformation through its aerosol percolation in the form of the "Leftism Lite" of PC MC has not penetrated Republican culture as deeply and broadly as it has the culture of Democrats.  It's a glass half full/half empty situation; and we need to maintain reasonable perspective whereby we do not unduly emphasize one over the other, but keep the opposing significances of both in mind.