Wednesday, January 07, 2009
The problem: the problem of the problem, the problem of the problem of the problem—and the problem of the problem of the problem of the problem.
Introduction: The are four problems concerning Islam: the primary problem, the secondary problem, the tertiary problem, and the quaternary problem.
I. The problem:
The primary problem, of course, is the problem of Islam itself.
This problem, in a nutshell, is that:
1. Islam has a blueprint for world conquest.
2. In the pursuit of this objective of world conquest, Islam possesses and deploys unique degrees and qualities of fanaticism involving a tightly woven complex of: religious literalism, slavish devotion, totalitarian psychology, militant resolve, ultra-violence, criminal and anarchist behavior, supremacism, intolerance of others, rejection of indefinite compromise with alternative belief-systems, unlimited territorial expansionism, paranoia about enemies, and eschatological fervor.
3. Innumerable Muslims around the world are following the blueprint of #1 and the complex of #2 in various ways—ranging from passive enablement, to indirect support, to direct support, to propaganda including deceit, to various forms of violence and threats of violence—in a current bout of global Islamic revival representing the latest phase in a long history of waxing and waning of Islamic revivals.
4. Since we cannot sufficiently distinguish those Muslims who might be harmless and not engaging in #1-3 from those who are in fact engaging in #1-3, we are rationally forced to assume that all Muslims are engaging in #1-3—and this ratchets up the problem to the formidable dimensions of a global movement comprising over one billion people.
II. The problem of the problem:
The secondary problem is termed PC MC (politically correct multi-culturalism): it is the widespread inability, throughout most of the world, to recognize the primary problem, to analyze it rationally, and to begin to take appropriate actions accordingly.
The features of this secondary problem in a nutshell:
1. It is mainstream and dominant, affecting the hearts and minds of the majority of individuals on all social levels and on all points of the political spectrum.
2. It is the result of a sea change in public consciousness that has a long pre-history, but has manifested mainstream dominance for approximately the last 60 years, increasing in its influence as each decade approaches our present, and showing few signs of reversal.
3. It is predominantly a Western phenomenon, and has become a world phenomenon to the extent that the West has come to rule the world socio-politico-culturally.
4. It is centrally based on a twin axiom:
a) an irrationally excessive denigration of the white West
b) an irrationally excessive elevation of the non-white non-West.
5. The twin axiom of #4 takes many interlocking forms, has a complex historical and ideological derivation, and manifests itself in varying degrees: the principal mutation of this axiom for our purposes here is that it has resulted in this secondary problem as formulated above in the main definition of II: it tends to protect Islam from substantive criticism and furthermore deflects and projects all substantive criticism of Islam onto the West in one way or another. Thus, the secondary problem is problematic in that it tends to deny the primary problem, and in addition, in that it tends to penalize (if not demonize) in one way or another those who try to call attention to both problems.
III. The problem of the problem of the problem:
The tertiary problem is that most of those who belong to the still inchoate Anti-Islam Movement
a) continue to misapprehend the proper nature and dimensions of the secondary problem,
b) to some extent also continue to misapprehend the full magnitude of the primary problem.
In terms of (a), this tertiary problem manifests the following features:
1. It tends to think the secondary problem is mostly a “liberal” or Leftist problem, and thus tends to be myopic to its entrenchment among the vast majority of those on the Right, as well as those who inhabit various points along the “Centrist” spectrum.
2. Closely related to #1, though not always reducible to “liberals” or “Leftists”, it tends to limit the secondary problem to the dastardly (and strangely effective) work of a more or less loosely organized cabal of “Elites”.
3. And closely related to both #1 and #2 in turn, but more broadly sweeping, it tends to lend itself to conspiracy-theory explanations to explain the secondary problem, proferring Macchiavellian explanations for why the West is so massively ignoring the problem of Islam and even tending to defend Islam. This #3 feature is basically a more sophisticated attempt at coherently explaining what #1 and #2 only loosely attempt. Since the overall analysis characteristic of this tertiary problem contains an explanatory vacuum which is myopic to the nature and dimensions of PC MC as an explanation, that vacuum must be filled by something.
In response to this vacuum, the #3 feature tends to claim (as all conspiracy-theories do) a quasi-Gnostic key to the “true reality” supposedly hidden beneath the ostensible reality of a sociopolitical recalcitrance whose broad-based nature is not amenable to the dastardly cabal theory of causation—a “true reality” ever elusive to proof, of course, since the requirements for proof itself, according to the conspiracy-theorist, are being actively and cleverly frustrated by the cabal du jour which, ipso facto, has the power to do so. The very lack of evidence becomes, in the warped logic of the conspiracy-theorist, evidence of the conspiracy!
While it would be safe to say that probably only a minority of those beholden to the tertiary problem subscribe to the conspiracy-theory mentality of #3, the majority do seem to be easily susceptible to the “conspiracy-theory Lite” types of thinking characterized by #1 and #2—which basically means that they sacrifice the increased coherency (and therefore lunacy) of #3 for an increased incoherency that, while appreciably less fanatical and less impervious to new data, nevertheless tends to solidify certain blind spots to the proper analysis of the secondary problem.
One result of tertiary thinking is a tendency to over-estimate the numbers of ordinary folks who are supposedly waking up to the primary problem. The flip side of this is the tendency to over-estimate the power and influence of the cabal du jour who must perforce function as though the West is “really” a crypto-dictatorship with only a facade of democracy. These two results set up a false, and potentially dangerous, tension between “the People” and “the Elites”, whereby an exaggerated alienation of the former to extant sociopolitical structures is fostered, which the latter must, logically, control—in turn redirecting the pressure for sociopolitical and moral expression into more radical and revolutionary outlets. This alienated view tends to be myopic to the sociopolitico-cultural and institutional porousness between the two categories of “the People” and “the Elites” where in fact there is, in Western democracies most of all, a broad and finely gradational spectrum of interpenetration between them, and this tends to rigidify an exaggerated barrier between them—which reflects, and in turn perpetuates, the exaggerated claim of the existence of a broad-based anti-Islamic consciousness among “ordinary folks”.In terms of (b), this tertiary problem manifests the following features:
1. It tends to recoil from the rational position that logically flows from holistic analysis—namely, that, because we cannot sufficiently distinguish harmless Muslims from dangerous Muslims, and because of certain unique features of the threat which Islam poses to us, we must therefore treat all Muslims under equal suspicion as enemies. The (b) form of the tertiary problem shies away from the rational position of holistic analysis by taking refuge in a rather labile, because incoherent, area of non-position between the PC MC position and the holistic position. On the low end of this area, individuals in the Anti-Islam Movement may tend to dip down into and partake of PC MC without often realizing it. At the high end, their refusal to go all the way to the logical conclusion of the holistic analysis paradoxically results in an acute exacerbation of their illogical incoherence of persisting in maintaining statements and implicit (if not sometimes explicit) positions that simultaneously support and controvert the holistic logical conclusion. An example of the former is Daniel Pipes; while an example of the latter is Robert Spencer (and Spencer’s continuing support of Pipes only tends to demonstrate the increased pressure of torque of his gymnastic non-positioning).
2. It tends also to indulge in somewhat subsidiary canards, such as:
a) insisting that Islam is “not a religion”—as though the category of religion necessarily exempts a sociocultural movement from being dangerous and evil (and also ignoring the enormous roadblock obstructing such a major reversal of centuries of categorization of Islam by the West and others): the obsession with purity and eschatology which are central motivators of Islamic psychology become incomprehensible factors when the religious aspect of Islam are so cavalierly swept away in the name of a cynical reductionism;
b) perpetuating the Myth of the Moderate Persian Majority who must be on our side because they don’t like the 1979 Revolution and subsequent regime in Iran;
c) disconnecting the intimate and necessary link between “stealth jihad” and violent jihad, thus botching the symbiosis between the two—which disconnection ironically is one tactic of stealth jihad itself;
d) parroting the “Islam is not a race” mantra which ignores the massive fact of Islam’s demographic complexion which, in turn, facilitates the charge of “racism” whenever Muslims are targeted for criticism or defensive policies, since most of the time, by sheer statistical averages because of that demographic complexion, the Muslims involved will be non-white and non-Western;
e) over-estimating our short-term success against Islamic violence, while simultaneously under-estimating our long-term success against both stealth jihad and violent jihad.
This last point is based on some of the features we noted above in (a)3 and (b)1—notably the exaggeration of the numbers of “ordinary folks” who are sufficiently awake to the primary problem (with some local nationalistic pride thrown in, particularly from Americans—“if those Muzzies try that here in Texas, they’ll be in for a rude surprise”, etc.); coupled with an apparently contradictory exaggeration of the expansionist capabilities of Muslims combined with a dismal lack of faith in the health of the West in its capability of eventually waking up and turning around its currently entrenched PC irrationality. (This particular paradox would be resolved, of course, by a revolution of the “ordinary folks” who, through a violent civil war, overthrow the governments controlled by the aforementioned “Elites”.) The more realistic scenario is one that reverses this curious paradox of short-term optimism with long-term pessimism: rather, we should be steeling ourselves for the likelihood of horrific casualties incurred in losses of life and damage to infrastructure in the near future (the coming few decades); while at the same time, looking ahead to the eventual victory of the West, light years ahead of Islam on all levels, as Muslims increasingly attempt to interpenetrate the West—thus ultimately over-ambitiously forcing the rubber to meet the road.
IV. The problem of the problem of the problem of the problem:
The quaternary problem is the evidentiary difficulty of marshalling sufficiently “smoking gun” evidence for demonstrating the cogency and urgency of the primary problem.
This quaternary problem is largely independent of the secondary and tertiary problems, though it does become complicated by the secondary problem most often. While the secondary problem represents a massive impediment to the persuasive education of the majority around us, the traction for this impediment—the PC MC paradigm—is to an important extent enabled by the evidentiary problems we in the Anti-Islam Movement have. For the most part, these evidentiary problems partake of the nature of the phenomenon, Islam.
The features of this quaternary problem:
1) A lack of sufficient evidence to demonstrate the transition from “some Muslims are dangerous” to “too many Muslims are dangerous”—where “too many” would persuasively warrant policies of self-defense that treat Muslims collectively, such that the moral objections to collateral damage (whereby an indeterminate number of harmless, innocent Muslims would be of necessity included in the self-defense actions of those policies) no longer constitute a counter-argument to those policies. This deficiency, however, is subject to some degree of relativism and subjective perception, since the deficiency pertains to the realm of data; and thus is amenable to moving the project of persuasion up to the level of interpretations of data. Needless to say, this area of interpretations of data is susceptible to subjective perception, and here the mainstream dominance of PC MC presents an enormous force resisting the transition from “some Muslims are dangerous” to “too many Muslims are dangerous”. The point here is that were there sufficient evidence to demonstrate the transition—where “sufficient”, of course, means beyond the factors of relativism and subjective perception—, then the ability for PC MC to exert this resistance would be significantly impaired, and the balance would have been tipped much more quickly than we have seen to date toward the West recovering its essential rationality with regard to the primary problem.
2) Closely related to #1, a lack of sufficient evidence to demonstrate the link between
a) textual/historical evidence of the primary problem
b) fanatical belief in, and support of, what is contained in the textual/historical evidence, on a sufficiently widespread basis among Muslims worldwide.
3) Closely related to #2 are the complex difficulties in even establishing 2a—i.e., the textual/historical evidence of the primary problem—in the first place. It is by no means impossible to establish many facets of the primary problem from the textual/historical evidence, but on the other hand, it is usually not a simplex matter of presenting facts to which anybody and everybody will immediately assent: rather, there exist complexities sufficient to allow wiggle room and fudge factors for sophists to exploit—which exploitation gains more traction, the more that PC MC affects the person who is the object of persuasion.
This quartenary problem needs to be ameliorated by the production of an Anti-Islam Manual, which would address and refute all the relevant defenses used in pro-Islam apologetics both by Muslims, and by their useful idiots the politically correct multi-culturalists. While most of the refutations in even the best Manual possible would never be able to contain simplex facts to which most everyone would immediately assent by their sheer presentation, it would still be of utmost and urgent value to the ongoing Anti-Islam Movement to have in one reference, simply yet comprehensively articulated, a compendium of all the necessary responses to pro-Islam apologetics which currently form the formidable bulwark of the propaganda war which Muslims, with the help of PC MC, are winning. Unfortunately, virtually nobody in the Anti-Islam Movement seems to have even noticed this urgency, much less seems to care to do anything about it.
1. The primary problem of Islam is complicated by three further problems:
2. the secondary problem of politically correct multi-culturalism which obstructs rational management of the problem of Islam;
3. the tertiary problem of asymptotic myopia within the Anti-Islam Movement which tends to impede a productive assessment of the problem of politically correct multi-culturalism and also tends to undermine the reasonably ruthless orientation we need to cultivate in the face of the problem of Islam; and
4. the quaternary problem of the inherent limitations that pertain to the evidentiary pedagogy by which we are trying to remedy the secondary and tertiary problems so that we can optimize our ability to solve the primary problem.