Friday, December 29, 2017
The Leadership and the Readership (part 2)
In part 1, I introduced the topic and discussed the broad brush strokes, which I won't repeat here.
Overall, we can say about the distinction between these two groups of the Counter-Jihad is that the Leadership seems to be more activist and seems to be "getting it done", while the Readership are largely passive, reading about (or YouTubing) the alarmingly systemic and increasing news about Islam. As their Islamoliteracy grows year after year, to their increasing horror -- with a concomitant rise in their blood pressure in frustration (if not fury) at the ongoing myopia of our Western representatives in government, mass media, and academe -- the main measure of release the Readership seem to get comes in writing comments at various Internet websites and blogs (e.g., Gates of Vienna and Jihad Watch).
The alarming news about Islam which the Readership consumes is helpfully collated, organized, and often analyzed by the Leadership, since we cannot rely upon the mainstream media to do its job in this regard. Thus the two above-mentioned counter-jihad sites, Gates of Vienna and Jihad Watch (there are many others, but these seem to be the most famous), regularly perform this service. In addition, the Leadership, as I mentioned, is out "getting it done" -- making speeches, being interviewed by media (rarely mainstream), participating in round-table panels, debates & colloquia, writing books that are noticed by quasi-mainstream figures (and/or rise up high on the New York Times bestseller list), organizing counter-jihad demonstrations & protests, and so forth.
What is guiding the Leadership's motives for getting these things done, and what are their short-term and long-term goals? This remains unclear; there seems to be a vaguely "counter-jihad" sentiment, but little in the way of a concrete blueprint and specific details. Rather, what prevails seems to be much inconsistency based on a semi-willful denial of the magnitude of the problem with regard to Muslims in general. While most of the Leadership seem finally (after years of Daniel-Pipesian softness) to have evolved to a stance comprehensively critical of Islam itself (pace Robert Spencer's "I am not 'anti-Islam' " stance), they continue to indulge in an incoherent taxonomy of the problem of Muslims, always avoiding the crucial question of "how do we know a given Muslim is not part of the jihad against us?" and the logical response of rational prejudice against all Muslims that should ensue from our inability to answer such a question with any degree of comforting certitude.
One gets the sense that the Readership is more anti-Islam and more anti-Muslim than the Leadership; but they rarely express this in boldly explicit and clear terms; and when pressed on this (as I had done a thousand times over the years in comments threads at various counter-jihad forums, including the aforementioned two), more often than not they retreat and expose some kind of underlying nougaty softness which their normative bravado had been theretofore concealing. So I guess at best, one could say the Readership, compared with the Leadership, tend to express a seemingly tougher stance, but no less coherent -- if not actually more incoherent, since the tougher one's rhetoric against Islam becomes, the more incoherent becomes one's overall position to the degree one retains an underlying nougaty softness about Muslims (this is the phenomenon of the "asymptotic" which I have discussed and analyzed many times).
As far as an overall plan, one may be excused for the cynicism of summing it up this way: The Leadership, remaining confused and incoherent about what its "counter-jihad" is doing and should be doing, continues to cultivate an amorphously buzzing cottage industry of critiquing and analyzing the bad aspects of Islam, meanwhile poking critical fun at the mainstream for its dereliction of duty. Part and parcel of this amorphously buzzing cottage industry are humanly understandable endeavors to garner more fame & money -- taking advantage, so to say, of the frustration & fear of its Readership.
The bulk of the Readership does not only find release in commenting on websites & blogs, but also in cultivating an adulation, one might say, of some of the Leadership (particularly Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has developed an increasing fandom). By having a de facto Leader (or a Leader surrounded by, in league with, a pantheon of Leaders), the Readership can feel less impotent as they thrash amid the placid waters of the mainstream De Nile. It's more or less an amorphous feeling with little concrete definition, since the counter-jihad lacks a blueprint and a plan.
One would think, in this ongoing situation, the Leadership and the Readership would want to have a global Conversation, in the form of a virtual Town Hall Meeting, so to speak, facilitated by the Internet -- to take stock of the counter-jihad, see where we are, where we should be going, what we should be doing. But no; 16 years after 911, and neither demographic seems interested. Indeed, the idea doesn't seem to have even occurred to them. I'm the only Reader who has broached this subject, with repeated calls for same over the years -- with, naturally, zero response or signs of any notice at all.
Mostly, the Readership just proceeds on the same level, without a rudder, apparently hoping that if enough anti-Islam rhetoric is thrown against the mainstream wall by their motley Leaders, things will eventually stick there. Meanwhile, deep down inside, a black foreboding is growing as they realize, even if only semi-consciously in tension with their resistance to cultivating a rational prejudice against all Muslims, that nothing short of total deportation of all Muslims from the West is going to save the West from ruin at the hands of the global revival of Mohammedanism's perennial jihad.