Monday, December 08, 2008

The “Great Brown Hope” springs eternal







I have long maintained that Spencer is an asymptotic analysti.e., that he falls within the range of analysis that abstains from condemning Islam as a systemic whole and that abstains from the logical conclusion of defining all Muslims as agents of that systemic whole. I have also long maintained that Spencers analysis has a unique, or at least singular, twist, in that he sustains a non-position within that range by which it is impossible to tell whether he is on the high end or near the low end: this twist has been, most often, manifested in his repeated calls on Muslims to reform, and not infrequently has been expressed by the oddly simplistic formula that, to paraphrase the gist of it, if Muslims would only renounce jihad and institute transparent measures to stop its propaganda, etc., then 'Islamophobia' would vanish. (The problems with that formula are self-evident: first, the flimsy hope upon which it is predicated; and second, the ludicrous implication that we should let down our guard if Muslims simply do those things, as though they couldnt do those things and continue to machinate Islamically all the while, merely a degree more stealthily.)

As some readers know, I spent a long time on my other blog, Jihad Watch Watch, writing many essays analyzing the particular type of asymptotic analysis formalized through the writings of Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald on Jihad Watch; and, after fairly well exhausting all the permutations of the problem, I retired that blog over seven months ago. Since that time, I have had occasion, here and there, on this blogwhose purview has always been broader than Jihad Watch Watchto reiterate one of my critiques of Spencer or to point out a new wrinkle to one or more of them. For the most part, however, I have focused my attentions on this blog elsewhere.

But the opening paragraph by Spencer of a particular story on Jihad Watch about the aftermath of the Mumbai razzia just took the cake:

Muslims in India denounce terrorism

A welcome gesture, and there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever. I hope the demonstrators follow this up by renouncing the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, and working to establish a basis upon which Muslims can coexist peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis, without seeking by any means to impose Sharia in whole or part upon those non-Muslims.

This egregiously counter-productive paragraph has two component parts, which we shall examine in reverse order:


1) A reiteration yet again by Spencer of the Great Brown Hopethe hope that Muslims will do some things that will help solve the problem they are causing.

2) The astonishingly naive assertion that, about this latest show of Muslims denouncing the terrorism of Mumbai, there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever.

As for #1, the reiteration of the Great Brown Hope by someone as influential as Spencer tends to serve the function of perpetuating the PC MC paradigm, when all our energies should rather be channelled toward the opposite vectori.e., toward utterly giving up hope that Muslims are going to reform sufficiently, and instead steeling ourselves for the coming conflict that will unfold as two epochal sea changes play out in the decades ahead: 1) the slow dissolution of the mainstream dominance of PC MC throughout the West; and 2) the not-so-slow and rather precipitous crystallization of an Islam Redivivus with its obvious corollary of world conquest both by hook and by crooki.e., both by violent jihad and by stealth jihad in intimate and necessary tandem.

These demonstrations of “denunciation of terrorism” by Muslims must be interpreted as in fact exertions of taqiyya by Muslims who know they are in a situation of disadvantage and thus cannot be as candid as their inveterately jingoistic pride would tempt them to be. As such, none of them are “welcome—and the very extension of “welcome” to them only reinforces the PC MC paradigm and only emboldens the Muslims to continue their grand strategy. We must see that this show of “denunciation of terrorism” by Indian Muslims is in fact playing out the Bad Cop / Good Cop tactic: the Bad Cops slaughter some Infidels, the Good Cops come out afterwards and say “we denounce this terrorism”. This tactic requires the naive ignorance of the person being hoodwinked—and today, Spencer is playing along like a dupe.

As for #2: there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever...” Au contraire: there is every reason to doubt its sincerity! This revealing rhetorical spasm by Spencer would seem to confirm that his long-standing reiteration of the Great Brown Hope has not been cleverly disingenuous after all (which might have redeemed it), nor analytically incoherent due to his singular typology of asymptotic analysis, but more or less as sincere as the Pipes Dream.

Update:

A few hours after the Jihad Watch article was published, I notice that among the 40-odd comments registered there so far, the overwhelming response is to contravene
Spencers opening sentiments. All but one of those commenters, however, are too timid to openly take Spencer to task—and that one is, lo and behold, Hugh Fitzgerald. . .!

Even though Fitzgerald
s demurrer is a bit on the soft side, it is, to quote Spencer, a “welcome gesture”.


24 comments:

Nobody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nobody said...

It's called attacking the argument instead of the person, which has the effect of leaving the person('s reputation) unscathed, while taking his arguments to shreds. Highly recommended for not getting into fights with the blog owner.

The comments section did a fine job of taking every one of the Mohammedan 'gestures', such as not demonstrating on Dec 6th, calling for a moratorium on cow slaughter, as well as picking up some of the finer points, such as the banners equating terrorism to communalism (Indian PC-speak for Islamophobia), the fact that Mohammedan casualities may have been what drove these protests in the first place, and so on. Stuff that for some reason, I was slow to pick up yesterday while reading that article.

Nobody said...

Incidentally, I also cited one of your past essays - Stealth Taquiyya - the article itself should have reminded me, but the good-Mo/bad-Mo post of 'Joseph of Carpentry' did.

Nobody said...

It's called attacking the argument instead of the person

I should have been clear: by 'it', I meant the 40-odd comments.

awake said...

Spencer wrote:
"I hope the demonstrators follow this up by renouncing the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, and working to establish a basis upon which Muslims can coexist peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis, without seeking by any means to impose Sharia in whole or part upon those non-Muslims."

I believe that was the more important part of the opening, and the first line was no more than a token gesture of acceptance.

I could agree with Spencer that there was no evidence to deem this denouncement as a form of taqiyya on its face, as I agree that not every Muslim in the pool of over a billion worldwide are aware of or subscribe to the jihadist principle and requisition for supremacy which is inherent in Islam.

For me the tone was simply, "OK, so we hear a denouncement by Muslims, that is good and heard far too infrequently, but it is a hollow gesture without the obvious correlation of the jihadist's actions to Islam, itself."

Am I way off-base here?

Erich said...

Nobody,

I noticed your quote of my "stealth taqiyya" article -- thanks for putting that in.

"It's called attacking the argument instead of the person"

When the person involved is a public figure of significant influence in the propagation of arguments in the context of our War of Ideas, then critiquing the argument AND the person are in order. (I wouldn't call even my essay an "attack" -- that word has a shrill and almost hysterical tonality to it when it is used to describe anything that is not a knife-wielding assault or, at least, an immature rant full of frothing invective and 4-letter words.)

Erich said...

Nobody,

How do I embed links here in my comments section? That's one basic function I haven't learned yet.

Erich said...

awake,

You quoted Spencer:
"I hope the demonstrators follow this up by renouncing the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, and working to establish a basis upon which Muslims can coexist peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis, without seeking by any means to impose Sharia in whole or part upon those non-Muslims."

I believe that was the more important part of the opening, and the first line was no more than a token gesture of acceptance.

My essay already examined that second sentence of his opening paragraph. My position is that we should stop hoping and start girding ourselves. Continuing to hope, continuing to express hope, only perpetuates and reinforces the myth of the "moderate" Muslim, and this myth is dangerous for us, because it will tend to help various forms of institutionalization, and inculcation of attitudes, that will foster the increasing infiltration of Muslims into the social fabric of our Western societies, where they need to be deeply ensconced in order to plot and plan horrific attacks on us in the future.

We (speaking in terms of the West collectively) are not anywhere near abandoning hope in the Muslim and beginning to gird ourselves for the grim, brute fact of the uniquely fanatical nature of this inveterate enemy. But I am convinced we need to get to that point, and we are not going to get there if our influential leaders of an already small and beleaguered Movement are driving our vehicle in the opposite direction.

I could agree with Spencer that there was no evidence to deem this denouncement as a form of taqiyya on its face

We need to move beyond giving Muslims any benefit of the doubt, and simply assuming they are all lying. Even though it is likely true that a certain number of Muslims will not be lying, the fact that we cannot sufficiently determine which Muslims are lying from the ones who might not be lying, coupled with the unique nature of the threat that comes from the lying Muslims, means that for our rational purposes of optimal self-defense, we must assume all Muslims are lying. There is no consideration, no sifting of evidence -- there is no evidence per se to sift, because we cannot sufficiently tell the difference between the lying Muslims and the truthful Muslims, between the dangerous Muslims and the harmless Muslims.

I have explained this to you more than once before when this same particular point came up, and you seem stuck on being unable to understand the logic of it, since you never actually refute it, you simply reiterate your position as though you haven't actually understood the logic of my position. If you can explain to me how we can magically tell the difference between the harmless Muslim and the dangerous Muslim; or if you can explain to me why being able to make such a distinction is not important for our safety, then we have the beginning of an actual engagement of discussion on this point. Otherwise, we are talking past each other.

as I agree that not every Muslim in the pool of over a billion worldwide are aware of or subscribe to the jihadist principle and requisition for supremacy which is inherent in Islam.

Knowing that there exist harmless Muslims is crucially different from being able to know sufficiently which ones are harmless. Since we cannot know the latter sufficiently, the former is WORTHLESS for our purposes of self-defense.

For me the tone was simply, "OK, so we hear a denouncement by Muslims, that is good and heard far too infrequently, but it is a hollow gesture without the obvious correlation of the jihadist's actions to Islam, itself."

You heard the tone right, at least a goodly part of it. But the tone rests on a faulty premise: the implication that the gesture could become substantial, and therefore useful to us, by the actions of Muslims. My point is that we have to re-orient our minds to stop expecting Muslims to do anything, because even if they do certain things, we cannot be sufficiently certain that they are sincere rather than simply doing taqiyya.

We have to stop hoping Muslims will do anything that will sufficiently solve, or even help to solve, the problem they are causing and have been causing for 1400 years. To continue to posit hope in Muslims in any way, shape or form is to sorely underestimate this uniquely fanatical enemy.

I haven't read the entire mountain of data about the danger and evil of Islam that comprises Jihad Watch -- a mountain that continues to grow. I have read enough of that mountain over the past 3 years to know that we should give up hope. As the actual main editor and publisher of that mountain, Robert Spencer is being irrational in my estimation, because of all people, he should know better.

awake said...

Yes, yes, Spencer uses the word "hope". So what? I "hope" you don't think that him using the word "hope" is supporting Auster's caricature of Spencer's position that we do nothing to defend ourselves , and simply sit and "hope" that Muslims will change, do you?

"Hope" can be used as a mild threat, as was shown above, which is what I believe Spencer intended it as, but I could be wrong. I understand your criticism of what you deem asymptotic analysis of Islam and your preference, but there is no empirical proof of which avenue is or will be more successful, so the continued debate on this point seems less than optimum at this point.

I am well aware of the impossibility to differentiate "good' Muslim from "bad" Muslim, as is Spencer, since he has documente4d that extensively, but your concession (of sorts) of the logical impossibility of all Muslims being monolithically "bad" is noted. I do concur with you that this as a focal belief prevents solutions to the problem of Islam, but I do not think the same as a token offering, merely given to appeal to a larger audience.

Some vital questions about Spencer are, do you believe that he does more harm than good? Do you believe he misleads people about Islam more than he enlightens them? Do you believe that the pedagogical value about the nature of Islamic doctrine that Spencer provides is outweighed by his asymptotic tendencies, even though there is nearly a complete lack of marketable holistical analysts at this point in time?

Nobody said...

Erich, the only tags that blogger lists below the comment box is b, i and a. I know for a fact that blockquote doesn't work, so for here, I almost use a Cornelius style of attribution - by italicizing what I'm quoting, as below.

awake: I believe that was the more important part of the opening, and the first line was no more than a token gesture of acceptance.

However, don't you think that the following clause in the first sentence 'there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever' would necessarily be predicated on the point you cited - 'I hope the demonstrators follow this up by renouncing the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, and working to establish a basis upon which Muslims can coexist peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis, without seeking by any means to impose Sharia in whole or part upon those non-Muslims'? i.e. if the latter hope of Spencer were actually to materialize (and that too wouldn't be sufficient), then the first clause could apply.

You translated Spencer's statement as: 'For me the tone was simply, "OK, so we hear a denouncement by Muslims, that is good and heard far too infrequently, but it is a hollow gesture without the obvious correlation of the jihadist's actions to Islam, itself." Am I way off-base here?'

Had Spencer been saying it's hollow, he wouldn't be saying that 'there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever.' As the comments in that page noted, it looks more like a CYA operation than a genuine expression of remorse, e.g. Desigyrl:

By the way, the latest cries by Muslim clerics to the faithful to not kill cows this Eid, are all good; just that its funny they're happening as India awakes to the real Islamic identity. Muslims have been killing cows in public, and fringing on tolerance demonstrated by Hindus over a thousand years; but now when they see that people are really going to shun them (as demonstrated by the many rallies that took place across India with several prominent banners that read "Terrorism has no religion - or does it?") - that is when the Muslim response comes in the form of refusal to bury the killers in their cemeteries and plea not to kill cows.

Erich: You heard the tone right, at least a goodly part of it. But the tone rests on a faulty premise: the implication that the gesture could become substantial, and therefore useful to us, by the actions of Muslims. My point is that we have to re-orient our minds to stop expecting Muslims to do anything, because even if they do certain things, we cannot be sufficiently certain that they are sincere rather than simply doing taqiyya.

Yeah, giving Mohammedans the benefit of doubt has only made it more difficult for us to formulate our arguments, when we compose one like 'even allowing for x, and even allowing for y, z remains a problem'. Instead, take the Debbie approach, and denounce them carte blanche, so that they are relentlessly on the defensive.

awake: I do concur with you that this as a focal belief prevents solutions to the problem of Islam, but I do not think the same as a token offering, merely given to appeal to a larger audience.

Somehow, I'm not following this.

Erich said...

Nobody,

About links here, I've seen you post an embedded link in one of your comments -- see

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=29566846&postID=6965696065098977633

where you embedded a link in the phrase "appreciates your allowance" (re Auster).

How do I do that?

Erich said...

awake,

I "hope" you don't think that him using the word "hope" is supporting Auster's caricature of Spencer's position that we do nothing to defend ourselves , and simply sit and "hope" that Muslims will change, do you?

I've already made clear several times in the past that I don't apply that caricature to Spencer.

"Hope" can be used as a mild threat, as was shown above, which is what I believe Spencer intended it as, but I could be wrong.

I realize that Spencer is seasoning his "hope" statement with a generous helping of skepticism. I've already been through this particular sub-topic more than once before, in a few essays on my Jihad Watch Watch blog. The problem is that, as an influential communicator, when he repeatedly makes such statements, he is communicating a viable possibility, however much it may be leavened with skepticism. My point is that we must assume there is no viable possibility. What is the point of communicating a viable possibility at all? All it does is perpetuate our posture of not treating Islam and Muslims with the appropriate Zero Tolerance, and all it does is tend to help forestall the process by which the Western public's mind must slowly readjust its perceptions of Islam and Muslims.

there is no empirical proof of which avenue is or will be more successful, so the continued debate on this point seems less than optimum at this point.

True. It's a matter of two positions, and the arguments they can use to persuade. It seems to me the ever-growing mountain of horrible data about Muslims that Spencer churns out daily -- and that's not even counting the even more horrible mountain range of data from the history of Islam -- as well as the unique nature of the threat from Islam, including fanaticism, supremacism, a super-tribal sense of Us vs. Them mentality, and taqiyya, is sufficiently persuasive for us to readjust our collective mind toward a ruthlessly prejudiced and holistic disposition in the face of this threat.

I am well aware of the impossibility to differentiate "good' Muslim from "bad" Muslim, as is Spencer, since he has documente4d that extensively, but your concession (of sorts) of the logical impossibility of all Muslims being monolithically "bad" is noted.

I never said it was impossible -- only likely that some harmless Muslims exist. That concession is merely a theoretical concession: it has no pragmatic value for our safety concerns. In fact, it is positively dangerous because it will tend to facilitate a certain number of Muslims to continue to infiltrate our societies to plan their terror attacks which take years, decades to plan.

I do concur with you that this as a focal belief prevents solutions to the problem of Islam, but I do not think the same as a token offering, merely given to appeal to a larger audience.

To appeal to them for what purpose? The only purpose (or, at least, effect) I can see from that is to perpetuate that larger audience's perpetual division of the problem into Islam and "radical extremism".

Some vital questions about Spencer are, do you believe that he does more harm than good?

That's a good question. It's kind of complex. On one level, he's doing enormous good, mainly by supervising, editing and publishing the growing mountain of damning data about Islam -- an activity that is increasing in influence as time goes along, due to his other industrious activities, such as book-writing and public appearances in lectures and debates. On another level, he keeps on perpetuating certain flaws in the analysis of the problem of Islam -- one of which is precisely asymptotically undercutting the screamingly obvious holistic implications of that growing mountain. In one sense, the cognitive dissonance between these two dynamics -- the good of Spencer's Reporter Hat and the "harm" of his Analyst hat -- can have an overall beneficial effect in the sense that I am noticing that most of his readers (at least those who comment) seem to be pedagogically formed to adopt a holistic posture, going against the stubborn vector Spencer maintains on this.

However, I worry that this dynamic can only continue this way as long as we are in the War of Ideas phase -- talking, venting, theorizing about the problem. But at some point we need to start engaging the gears as the rubber meets the road. And with the unique and unprecedented dangers of terrorist plots among us (in addition to the closely related dangers from increasing immigration of Muslims into the West and the possibility of various flavors of violence and intimidation resulting from this demographic change), we don't have all the time in the future to keep on pussyfooting around the grimly logical conclusion to this crystallizing clash of civilizations. I continue to believe in the merits of pushing our Western societies toward Zero Tolerance, which means also being uncompomisingly tough on our own people within the Movement who show signs of tending to help apply the brakes, thus helping to prevent us from getting to Zero Tolerance.

[To be continued]

Nobody said...

Oh, I misunderstood your question. You embed links by using the anchor tag - 'a' within HTML tag brackets. See my link above to see how it's done. Only thing, instead of href="resumepage.html" as shown in the linked example, use href="http://www.mypage.com" for your link.

Anonymous said...

Simply do the following:

<a href="http://hesperado.blogspot.com/">The Hesperado</a>

This will produce the following link:

The Hesperado.

awake said...

Nobody wrote;
"i.e. if the latter hope of Spencer were actually to materialize (and that too wouldn't be sufficient), then the first clause could apply."

I understand your point here. It was not Spencer's best offering, but the his intent was obvious to me in his, "That's great, BUT" tone.

Nobody;
"Somehow, I'm not following this."

I agree with you in that to focus, as a prime point, on the obvious fact that some Muslims are not "bad" as a foundation to put forth certain actions or inaction is not wise. I also do not believe in giving Muslims the benefit of the doubt for there is no doubt about Islam. I believe that is where Spencer earned the most criticism from the comments in that posting.

The "larger audience" does not pertain to Muslims at all as Erich has questioned, so I want to add that for clarity to him as well. The audience is those non-Muslims that have not accepted Islam for what it truly is either out of ignorance or mental resistence to the frightening prospect that any particular Muslim can transform into a physical enemy.

It is a gradual process that most people get to yet will not accept at the onset.

awake said...

Erich wrote:

"...in the sense that I am noticing that most of his readers (at least those who comment) seem to be pedagogically formed to adopt a holistic posture, going against the stubborn vector Spencer maintains on this."

This seems like a eureka moment to me. Spencer seems to drive people to a holistic approach towards Islam even though he appears to be supporting an asymptotic one. That is an odd effect from his causal approach.

Perhaps he is simply brilliant to get across his message without being accused of being totally anti-Islam and anti-Muslim?

Think about the brilliance of being able to convince his readers that Islam is entirely evil and that Muhammad was a false prophet, get people to comment as such on JW without repercussion or even correction, without ever having to say so himself?

Spencer could be losing people to a more holistic perception of Islam while remaining staunchly opposed to that position, but the mere fact (which you stated and that I concur with) that it appears that most commenters arrive at the holistic position mainly from his reports and commentary on Islam is definately worth exploring as an intersting end.

I honestly believe that Spencer holds a more holistic perception of Islam than he overtly reveals. I can all but guarantee that his positions, while not contradictory at all, have evolved somewhat and will continue to do so as the political climate and awareness of Islam evolves in kind.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, as far as I can see no one here (or on JihadWatch as far as I can see) seems to have considered the possibility that maybe Spencer was being sarcastic. I think the idea that it would be possible to know with absolute certainty (ie. "there is no reason to doubt its sincerity whatsoever") that these Muslims are sincere in their denouncement of terrorism is so outrageous that one thinks that Spencer could not have expected to be taken seriously if this is what he actually meant to say.

However, if Spencer was indeed being sarcastic, then it's pretty evident that his sarcasm wasn't working particularly well, so perhaps he should reconsider his approach.

(On the other hand, if Spencer was sincere, then I'd really like to know how Spencer is able to tell with absolute certainty that a Muslim is not practicing taqiyya.)

Nobody said...

Anonymous

Coming to think of it now, he might have been sarcastic, or even trying to be, but given that he never intervened and clarified that he was being sarcastic, it may well be that he was using certain contents in the story as trigger points for his endorsement. Unsatisfactory, I agree.

Awake: the mere fact (which you stated and that I concur with) that it appears that most commenters arrive at the holistic position mainly from his reports and commentary on Islam is definately worth exploring as an intersting end.

Awake

That brings up an interesting question: was it reading JW that brought you to where you are today re: Islam/Muslims, or were you somewhat there when you started reading JW (anywhere - asymptotic, holistic)? Same question could be asked of Erich, since I didn't follow him from the beginning when he was Dr Pepper.

In case you are wondering the same about me, I was already more or less anti-Muslim when I started reading JW, but I became anti-Islamic after reading JW. However, what attracted me to JW in the first place was hearing RS on radio echo sentiments that I've always held about Mohammedans.

Erich said...

Nobody, anonymous, thanks for the info on links.

Nobody, awake, anonymous:

I have gone through a slow progression (with occasional little leaps here and there) from asymptotic to holistic, as I mentioned in my previous essay here, The Learning Curve Revisited. JW has definitely been one key factor in moving me along in that progression. However, it has not been Spencer per se -- it certainly has not been his analytical statements along the way -- it has been predominately the "mountain of data" he is responsible for churning out on a daily basis.

As for awake's "eureka" moment, there are two problems with this: the people who go holistic are a tiny minority in the West at large; and indeed, it would be generous to estimate that they are even a slim majority in the anti-Islam movement itself. In fact, awake, you haven't seemed to have gone holistic yourself: so apparently this paradoxical Spencer effect hasn't worked on you, has it?

The second problem with this is highlighted by this observation of awake:

Perhaps he is simply brilliant to get across his message without being accused of being totally anti-Islam and anti-Muslim?

In fact, Spencer routinely gets smeared with charges that are tantamount to accusing him of being totally anti-Islam and anti-Muslim. I have noted this many times, most appositely in my essay here, No asymptotic deed goes unpunished. Even Pipes, who is markedly lower on the asymptotic scale than Spencer, gets routinely smeared with equivalent charges. The "brilliance" observed by awake is really only discernible to the choir. I don't think it would hurt Spencer's progress to at least knock off the asymptotic statements. He is easily intelligent, articulate and witted enough to be able to couch his various analytical and observational remarks -- whenever they relate to this specific issue -- in terms that do not allow such large spaces for asymptotic or even PC MC conclusions to waltz on in and park themselves there.

Nobody & anonymous,

yes it's telling that Spencer didn't correct the impression of that comment -- most acutely because Hugh himself took him directly to task in the comments section. We can safely assume that Spencer privately wrote something to Hugh on this, which makes the problem worse. Therefore, it is unlikely it was sarcastic rhetoric.

awake said...

Anonymous,

Indeed I took Spencer's statements as a form of sarcasm, as in stating that it was a token gesture without denouncing jihad, etc.

that being said, I agree it wasn't the clearest of writing as is evident with Hugh's critical comment in the thread itself.

Nobody,

I owe most if not all of my knowledge of Islam to Spencer, therfore his work is more than satisfactory to me, to date.

I see no contradictions in his analysis and through his exceptional writing and debating skills he is able to calmly and rationally elaborate his points without being labeled a fringe element and ultimately cast aside.

He certainly is no apologist for Islam, that is for sure. I feel that Erich and others, namely Auster, have made too much of what they deem as flaws in Spencer's writing and analysis. Auster does it to everyone, and quite unfairly i must add, but Erich seems inordinately focused on Spencer for more personal reasons.

What Erich said about commenters at JW being of a holistic flavor, I agree with, and the analysis of that conclusion is most interesting in my estimation.

awake said...

Erich,

I will remind you of your statement about regular commenters at JW seemingly being holistic in spite of Spencer, so the numbers are not that few in the movement. A purely holistical approach to Islam is illogical and not feasible in my estimation. It borders on philosophical purity and ignores obvious realities and ignores my point about even Spencer's publicly expressed positions evolving along with the terrain, over time.

That being said, you can name-call me all you want about being asymptotic , but the criticism is ineffectual. You will find no defense of Islam from me in all my comments on the net. Te eureka moment is the odd discrepency between the holistic students as being a product of the accused asymptotic teacher.

Erich wrote:
"In fact, Spencer routinely gets smeared with charges that are tantamount to accusing him of being totally anti-Islam and anti-Muslim."

While that is certainly true, it is not a good argument for abandoning the asymptotic approach in favor of a holistical one. Spencer would be smeared by Muslims and Islam apologists alike regardless of which approach he takes.

The heart of the matter is how can Spencer appeal to the common senses of non-Muslims, for that is all that matters, doesn't it? We are to be unconcerned about what Muslims may or may not do but rather alert non-Muslims to what we feel WE must do.

The nature versus nurture element of this debate between holistic versus asymptotic aside, Spencer does not undermine that vital component for non-Muslims in his analysis.

Erich said...

awake,

"I will remind you of your statement about regular commenters at JW seemingly being holistic in spite of Spencer, so the numbers are not that few in the movement."

As I said, that number may amount to a slim majority -- but a slim majority is unfortunately still negligible in terms of the wider West outside the Movement, since the Movement as a whole represents a tiny minority.

"A purely holistical approach to Islam is illogical and not feasible in my estimation. It borders on philosophical purity"

It has nothing to do with philosophical purity, and everything to do with pragmatism in the face of insufficient knowledge about how to tell the fucking difference between harmless Muslims and dangerous Muslims. How many times do I have to repeat that to get it through your thick head?

awake said...

If a solution is not possible, then it ceases to be a solution.

"Insufficient knowledge" is not a winning argument to convince the 3.5 billion plus non-Muslims in the world of the possible threat that every Muslim in the world may pose. On the contrary, overwhelming knowledge based on the continmued and repetative actions of Muslims and their correlation specifically to their ideological subscription to Islam, is the winning formula.

There are few who understand this issue that disagree that we must get to point Z from where we are at point A. The only differences is how to most efficiently arrive at point Z.

Erich wrote:
"As I said, that number may amount to a slim majority -- but a slim majority is unfortunately still negligible in terms of the wider West outside the Movement, since the Movement as a whole represents a tiny minority."

That may be true, but outside of the JW community there is an overwhelming majority of commentators that you would label as asymptotic. That implies that the holistical movement is less than negligible, but I fail to see a point you are trying to make there.

Specifically in my last comment, I was refuting the idea that Spencer believes any differently about the reality that it is nearly impossible to discern "good" Muslims from "bad" ones.

Most specifically, I was inquiring about your analysis of the fact that a "slim majority" of holistical approached commenters at JW have arrived at their conclusions knowing that the author of that site is asymptotic.

if you don't have any input on that, simply say so.

Erich said...

awake,

"If a solution is not possible, then it ceases to be a solution."

To quote Spencer: "Anything's possible".

"Insufficient knowledge" is not a winning argument to convince the 3.5 billion plus non-Muslims in the world of the possible threat that every Muslim in the world may pose. On the contrary, overwhelming knowledge based on the continmued and repetative actions of Muslims and their correlation specifically to their ideological subscription to Islam, is the winning formula.

They are two halves of the same thing. The "insufficient knowledge" refers to the opposite of the "overwhelming knowledge" you mention: we have insufficient knowledge of the viable, useful existence of HARMLESS Muslims. This insufficiency only makes the "overwhelming" knowledge of DANGEROUS Muslims worse. Without a grasp of the insufficiency, all our approaches are liable to loopholes you could fly a jet plane through on a clear, crisp, blue day in autumn, 2001.

What I DO have hope in is the capacity for Westerners to become educated and to come to use their civilizational reason. While it seems this is currently a massive and formidable problem, it is not beyond hope that Westerners will over time wake up to the fact that Islam is utterly beyond hope.

Metaphorically and analogically, Islam is a ship which we have to incapacitate using any means necessary including the extremest of measures. If individual Muslims here and there find the psychological wherewithal to jump ship and start swimming ashore to us to save themselves, fine and dandy: but we should do nothing to slow down our resolve to use any and all measures, including the most extreme, to incapacitate that ship -- with total disregard for all men, women and children aboard. We should on the contrary do everything we can to speed up that resolve.

Not only that, it's the eminent logical conclusion to the 1400-year-old threat whose unprecedented revival we face in our historical present. Just because the West will come to this logical conclusion too slowly, and probably only after a few million of us are slaughtered by Muslims, doesn't make it the wrong conclusion. Quite the contrary.

outside of the JW community there is an overwhelming majority of commentators that you would label as asymptotic.

No. To make this aspect clearer, I would stratify the approaches to the problem of Islam:

1. Holistic
2. Asymptotic
3. PC MC
4. Leftist
5. Revolutionary

To make a stab at quantifying these approaches, I would guesstimate their percentages at large throughout the West thusly:

1. 0.01%
2. 0.1%
3. 85%
4. 14%
5. less than 1%

That implies that the holistical movement is less than negligible

Less than negligible in strict numbers, but not in terms of the growing effect of the stillicide of ideas in the realm of communications.

"but I fail to see a point you are trying to make there."

My point was that I think you were inflating the numbers of people within the JW wing of the movement going holistic in order to magnify Spencer's achievement in this regard.

Specifically in my last comment, I was refuting the idea that Spencer believes any differently about the reality that it is nearly impossible to discern "good" Muslims from "bad" ones.

It's not "nearly" impossible. It is impossible in practical terms. It may be "nearly" impossible in theoretical terms, but in practical terms -- the only terms that matter for our actual self-defense -- it is impossible. And the constant reiteration and massaging of this "nearly" by Spencer in a thousand different ways over the years tends to set it in stone and reinforce the little crack that widens into loopholes.

Most specifically, I was inquiring about your analysis of the fact that a "slim majority" of holistical approached commenters at JW have arrived at their conclusions knowing that the author of that site is asymptotic.

I don't have any evidence of how many of the holistic readers of JW think Spencer is asymptotic. Some of the holistic readers seem holistic on a gut level, and have not thought it through. Combine that with a kind of hero-worship of Spencer and a sometimes irrational unwillingness to criticize him on substantive points, and you can generate quite a few holistic readers supporting Spencer with uncritical enthusiasm without experiencing any cognitive dissonance at all, even when Spencer publishes blatantly counter-holistic statements now and then. All the readers (except for one: Fitzgerald) of that particular article that forms the basis of this essay here at Hesperado expressed holistic protestations without at all identifying Spencer as the actual pertinent focal point of their protestations!

More broadly speaking, any sociopolitical movement seeking change of mind in society and change of policies reflecting that change of mind, tends to go through long processes of a "War of Ideas" that involves lots of resistance, attempts at persuasion, arguments, etc. I see the end game as the logical conclusion that Islam is Islam, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. Just because the West around me is not there yet, doesn't mean I should stop trying to alter the course of our ship going in the wrong direction.