Sunday, October 10, 2010
Still hazy after all these years
The comments field to a recent notice on Jihad Watch concerning the execution by Taliban Muslims of a female British aid worker in Afghanistan demonstrates a curious phenomenon of infirm articulations among the Jihad Watcher society (such as it is).
The curiousness and the infirmity both reflect principally one psycho-cultural dynamic, itself created by a tension from two opposing forces:
1) the growing sense of horror at the evil of Muslims and the growing sense of terror at the danger that evil poses
2) the growing sense of unease at what that horror and terror is leading us logically to think, and to think to do.
As #1 increases, so too does #2; and since #2 tends to put the brakes on #1, an inner tension is created -- to the extent, that is, that the Jihad Watcher is paying attention to the horrific mountain of data churned out by the Muslim world every day -- a tension that shows visible signs and symptoms in the emotionality of discourse, and in the incoherence of many if not most of the comments.
The source of #2 is PC MC -- or rather, the residues of the PC MC virus still resident in the heart and mind of the Jihad Watcher. I call this type of Jihad Watcher (who, unfortunately, seems to be the norm) the asymptotic. The resulting tension this causes is likely far worse than any comparable tension a PC MC might feel in this regard, since the asymptotic Jihad Watcher is not suppressing nor re-routing the damning data of Islam, but is allowing it to stream in and flood his dismayed and increasingly horrified senses and sensibilities. Naturally, then, the asymptotic residue of PC MC in his system creates a tension in reaction.
Indeed, one could say that in terms of semi-willful self-suppression (what someone once called the "selective conscience"), the asymptotic resembles as though in a mirror his counterpart, the PC MC: While the latter suppresses the horror of Islam and the terror of Muslims and concentrates his conscious energy on trying to solve the problem of Islam by continuing the project of constructing a fantasy Islam (the "religion of peace") but cannot quite completely eradicate his sense of foreboding about the horrible data he is suppressing, the former focuses on the horror of Islam and the terror of Muslims but to one degree or another suppresses his own PC MC inclinations which when externalized in others he otherwise tends to denigrate and despise, but nevertheless cannot quite completely eradicate his sense of ethical qualms -- qualms which he has imbibed over a lifetime as part of the general enculturation process of PC MC.
Over this past half century during which PC MC has become dominant and mainstream, many Westerners have enthusiastically drunk the Kool-Ade; others have become more or less true believers with some modifications in the paradigm; others (the "conservatives" among us) have tended to resist most of the paradigm yet persist in defending Muslims; while others, a small minority comparatively, have largely freed themselves from the box of PC MC -- or so they think: they continue to retain certain elements of PC MC, to one degree or another, that have the effect of interdicting thoughts of the hopelessness of Muslim nature, and the collective measures we must take in response to the grim reality of that hopelessness. Finally, there seems to be a teensy-weensy minority who seem to have broken free of the insidious tentacles of the ideological -- and therefore false -- conscience instilled by PC MC.
One popular safety valve for the asymptotic to relieve the pressure of this tension that builds up is the construct of a Muslim diaspora whereby many (or most?) Muslims are deemed to be "Muslim in name only" -- whether out of ignorance of their own Islam, or whether out of a natural inclination to gravitate toward secularism (the natural state of Man, according to the liberal template -- classical liberalism and its later permutations); or a combination of both. However many of these Muslims are supposed to exist, for the asymptotic they represent a number sufficiently high, and sufficiently dispersed around the world, to give them enormous hope that we, the West, will not have to resort to massive collective measures to defend our societies from Muslims as Muslims continue to attempt to revive their full-blooded Islam in the decades ahead. What will happen, in the incoherently rosy haze of their speculations, is something akin to when "the Wall fell" and Communism collapsed like a house of cards. Supposedly, a critical mass of Muslims over time in the decades ahead will facilitate this hopeful process. And this mass of Muslims is supposed to exist because, well, Muslims are human, after all, and the Natural State of Man is to be a "mom and pop like the rest of us".
But let us focus our attention on the less rosy mass portended by the Muslim world -- and on, consequently, the massive collective measures we will likely find it necessary to deploy to protect our societies in the near future. By "massive collective measures", of course, I do not refer to genocide, nor to ethnic cleansing, nor to widespread lynchings. The problem with PC MC -- a problem which perdures even in the asymptotic to one degree or another -- is that its sense of ethical squeamishness is calibrated on hypersensitivity, and additionally warped with an irrational vector of reverse racism.
Thus, any measures that would deal collectively with Muslims -- even on the level of mere surveillance, let alone more inconvenient policies including searches and seizures -- are treated, by the PC MC, as tantamount to genocide, ethnic cleansing, and widespread lynchings. Never mind even more aggressive measures, such as rounding up Muslims for interrogations, detentions, and limitations on immigration. The only difference in this regard between the PC MC and the asymptotic Jihad Watcher is that the latter has a higher sensitivity threshold and will at least think of limitations on immigration -- however too little, too late such a "solution" would turn out to be.
Notwithstanding this, there remains in the asymptotic's heart and mind an inner irrational censor inhibiting where he will allow himself to go in thinking this problem through. Time and time again, I have encountered this firewall in one asymptotic Jihad Watcher or another -- even the no-nonsense ones seemingly tough on Islam: and this firewall invariably seems to begin at the word "all".
I.e., whenever I begin to edge onto the territory of considering all Muslims as our enemy, and have broached the only logical conclusion -- total deportation of Muslims from the West -- I have encountered resistance in one way or another from the asymptotics. I suspect that, in putting up that field of resistance, they are showing that they are more afraid of themselves -- of "becoming like them" -- than they are coherently opposed to my line of thought.
At any rate, I was reminded of all of this again on reading through the comments field of the article mentioned at the beginning above: at this point nearly 80 comments, and all of them demonstrating that curious phenomenon of tension created by the impertinent exertion of a misplaced and mistaken conscience, in tandem with an open mind willing to process the horrible sewage of information bubbling, percolating, splashing, gushing, and flooding out of the Muslim world wherever in the world that alien world has permeated and continues to metastasize.
Perusing those comments, the reader can feel almost palpably the suppression of just how grim the problem is. One interesting development has been a commenter who claims to be a secularized Muslim-cum-apostate from Iran, (one "miriam rove") who injected here and there prickly demurrers about the tendency he perceived among other commenters to "paint all Muslims with a broad brush". The reactions by other commenters against him are fascinating to watch -- for they manifest an acute ambiguity between resenting his criticism and thus trying to defend the holistic view of the problem, while at the same time holding themselves back from that awful slippery slope they feel impelled to slide down if they think too much, and too logically, about the horror of Islam and the terror of Muslims.
The Jihad Watcher who comes closest to the proximity of touching the barrier of that force field is one named "Hard Rain". Aside from the refreshingly unsentimental response to this problem of hostage-taking by Muslim terrorists, reflected in the following comment --
...the primary goal of any hostage rescue operation should be the destruction of the enemy operatives, rather than, specifically, the freeing of any hostages. If we can get the hostages out, all the better, but the strategy should be to deter any future enemy operations. Finding them and storming their hideout will teach them that we will never accede to their demands, and that while they may get to kill their hostage, they will most assuredly all die as a result, having achieved precisely nothing. Once the lesson sinks in, that they'll never get what they want and will all just die in the attempt, then we can expect the kidnappings to tail off.
-- "Hard Rain" also wrote more ambivalently of the tension I have been analyzing here. First "Hard Rain" adverts to the likely torture and rape the female hostage endured before being blown up with a suicide-bomb:
God knows what foul abuses she'd already suffered, so maybe her death was a mercy after all. Forgive me for putting it so bluntly, but it's been in the back of my mind since I heard the news.
And then concludes:
I hate the enemy even more now, for turning me into the sort of person who has to think like that.
This represents an important step in the process of the steely determination we must cultivate to rid ourselves of misplaced sentimentalist humanism when struggling with the problem of Muslim terrorism. The key verb here that signals an advance, and not two steps back, is "has to".
"Hard Rain" may hate it, but she knows she has to do it.