Wednesday, July 19, 2017
A sunbreak of sense "in the counter-jihad"
I've had my problems with the Gates of Vienna blog over the years. While I appreciate their diverse Eurocentric reportage & analysis of the problem of Islam (as I wrote back in 2011, "In defense of the Gates of Vienna blog"), I've noted with increasing dismay the tendency there, both among its readership and among most of their guest writers (if not also the man and wife who run the whole show, "Baron Bodissey" and "Dymphna"), to indulge what I call the "Real Problem" framework.
What I mean by such "Real Problemers" may best be gleaned from my article of the same name. In a nutshell, it is the tendency to allow one's vexation & frustration about the problem of Islam to lead one to divert attention away from Islam onto some supposedly deeper phenomenon, the "real problem" behind it all (and wouldn't you know it, that "real problem" invariably tends to indict one's own West in one way or another). More on point, one can consult my essay, "The Gates of Vienna Circle". For an array of other essays of mine touching on the subject, see this Google page.
My morning coffee cup yesterday was therefore rather taken aback when I chanced on a recent essay by Baron Bodissey: "The Core Problem". Weary and jaded from years of being disappointed by glaring flaws in counter-jihad analysis in this, that and the other essayist "in the counter jihad", I kept expecting to be bitterly unsurprised by his logic to flow naturally into the "Real Problem". But it didn't. Bodissey sensibly pursued his meditation to a conclusion left hanging in suspense, rather than find comfort in some scapegoat of a Dastardly Cabal of one sort or another. And as part of the sense & sensibility thereof, he pointedly by-stepped that common trap in the road, "Leftism". Even that old bugbear of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, the "Elites", were left uninvoked.
At the time I read it, yesterday morning, it was fresh off the presses, and had garnered only eleven comments. I had hoped it would attract a little more attention, but I knew from experience that Gates of Vienna's norm is to have very few comments, usually no more than 20, and often like 4 or 5. So it was a double surprise to click it open again this afternoon, some 24 hours later, and see a whopping 98 comments (update as of July 20: a whopping 124 comments). Evidently, Bodissey had struck a nerve. If I were a betting man, though, I'd bet all my savings on the prediction that all of those comments (save the few Bodissey himself may write) will be missing his point and will instead feverishly indulge various permutations of the "Real Problem".
I don't think Baron Bodissey's question admits of a simplex explanation; hence my stabs at answering it over the years here at Hesperado have been far-ranging, complex, and layered, widening the focus out in time by centuries, and expanding beyond such hackneyed terms as "Left" and "Right" (or "Elites" and "the Media"). Even if a reader were to read all of my essays I've written trying to analyze this massive phenomenon (a partial list of which I've collected here), he would not really come away with any "answer" per se. Because no one has really addressed this problem before to my knowledge, and because the current terminology seems hackneyed and limited, I've opted to call the phenomenon "PC MC" (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism), and in various essays to probe how deeply and broadly this runs in the West.
A few things about it can be said tentatively to be principles, if not axiomatic:
1) PC MC is a Western phenomenon; it did not come from Neptune, nor is it the province of one faction (Elites, the Left, the Jews, the Globalists, whatever) within the West whom we can scapegoat while ignoring the rest of the West.
2) PC MC, however, has not always been the mainstream fashion of thought ("worldview" may be too much of compliment) of the West, as it obviously has become in our time. The further back in our history one looks, the less of a hold it seems to have had on people's thoughts and feelings.
3) PC MC ought to be measured primarily by how ready, or how unwilling, one is to condemn Islam. While a whole galaxy of other sociopolitical & cultural issues, some indirectly related to the problem of Islam, others not related much at all to it, may be relevant, at some point in the logic of the analysis it is also important to see the oddity of their irrelevance -- to wit, to see how various types of people on all sides of the sociopolitical spectrum, many of whom may pride themselves on being oh so politically incorrect about other issues, will suddenly fall more or less in lockstep in their agreement to bend over backwards to respect Islam (and/or to respect Muslims -- the problem joined at the hip to Islam).
4) PC MC is not evil. It is an aberrant outgrowth or mutation out of the relatively healthy nutritive matrix of our Graeco-Roman Judaeo-Christian civilization. This makes the puzzle more paradoxical, but it helps us to resist the temptation to demonize and oversimplify the problem (not to mention to salvage a West worth saving at all).
See Part 2.