Saturday, April 16, 2011
Clean-up on aisle 9
Some of my readers might think my blog is transforming into an Auster Watch, given how many essays I've penned critiquing him. It's not so much that; it's just that I read his blog more than occasionally, and damned if I don't keep finding egregious slip-ups or aberrant ruminations of one sort or another there, amid otherwise interesting and productive insights and articulations. (Indeed, I have been exercising remarkable restraint in this regard, considering how much objectionable stuff I find there.)
Like the news, however, which doesn't ordinarily (or ever) report on elderly women who are not mugged in the street but who get home from the grocery store safely and uneventfully, my job isn't to sit here and praise Auster whenever he's not being so... Austerish.
So, we read Auster as he praises a public statement by Julia Gorin (one of the preeminent analysts on the problem of Islam in the Balkans -- of which the joint Muslim-Western war against the Serbs is the searing crux -- see for example her fine recent corrective of Robert Spencer's overly self-assured trigger-happy "Roland Shirk"); a statement which was either unintentionally sloppy through rhetorical glibness, or was a studied exercise in clever ambiguity.
"As the author of an article several years ago at FrontPage Magazine called “Why Jews Welcome Muslims,” I must say that in sheer psychological insight into the mindset of liberal Jews, Gorin’s line surpasses anything I had to say on the subject."
Here is Gorin's statement Auster is praising:
But you see, to a Jew there is no greater accomplishment than getting a black man into the White House. The thinking goes: “Our work is done. It’s OK if the Muslims come kill us now.”
Can anyone spot the spill on aisle 9?
I'll help the reader out: it is in the ever-so-slight sleight-of-hand where Gorin's indiscriminately generic "Jew" -- seconded at first by Auster's similarly indiscriminately generic "Jew" -- is suddenly delimited by Auster's subsequent "liberal Jew", slipped in near the end as though no one would notice and, one wonders, as though to subliminally reinforce the fungibility between "the Jew" in general and that importantly distinguished subcategory, "the liberal Jew".
It is a pain in the ass to have to remind people that this subcategory, "the liberal Jew", while it may possess certain interesting (but not significantly vital in sociopolitical terms) anthropological features, is not sufficiently different from "the liberal Christian", "the liberal Protestant", "the liberal Catholic", "the liberal Westerner who is sorta kinda religious mostly only on Easter and Christmas and when his or her daughter gets married in a nice wedding in a church", "the liberal agnostic", "the liberal atheist", "the liberal Hindu", "the liberal Buddhist", "the liberal New Ager of a thousand different flavors", "the liberal Democrat", "the liberal Republican", "the liberal apolitical average secular citizen who just wants to get through the day without thinking about politics or religion too much" -- or, for shorthand, simply "the liberal Westerner", who abounds all around us in the sunshine and air of the real world.
I.e., the problem to which Gorin and Auster are alluding is not a Jewish problem: it is a pan-Western phenomenon, reflecting a sea change in worldview that has occurred over the past 50-odd years (with historical roots going back further) during which the great virtues that have made the West great (virtues which the West through its four pillars of Judaeo-Christian and Graeco-Roman theology and philosophy uniquely created, nurtured and developed) have morphed into a PC MC that has become the mainstream and dominant Weltanschauung of the entire West, affecting the hearts and minds of the majority of Westerners sincerely from within -- not imposed from without by some sinister cabal: a majority of all types, whether "Elites" or ordinary people (along with a diverse sociological spectrum in between those glibly polarized opposites), and whether on the Left, in the Center, or on the Right. When certain Jews -- even if a majority among them -- support PC MC Progress (which includes voting for Obama and defending Muslims from the "broad brush" of "bigotry"), they are most importantly being normal Westerners.
The most that can be said about this tendency among certain Jews if one insists on Judaizing the phenomenon, is that Jewish culture tends to have an affinity for the good virtues of classical liberalism, and they have often been at the forefront of its progress. That they have mistook one particular, albeit massive, wave of that progress (PC MC) for its genuine advance, rather than for the grievously erroneous, tragically well-intentioned wrong turn it in fact is, does not sufficiently distinguish them from the millions of other pleasantly sincere, relatively decent and intelligent Western asses of all different stripes who have done the same.