Most people do not like to think of themselves as cowards. Unfortunately, when a person is unable to defend himself, it is a natural tendency to back away from confrontation and to simultaneously invent reasons why backing down is not only the wisest choice, but the bravest choice. This is, of course, a rationalization, that is, the invention of logical and seemingly coherent explanations for behavior that hides the true, often partially or completely,unconscious reasons for the behavior.
An example of a rationalization would be our MSM refusal to print pictures of the Cartoons of Mohammed which have roiled the Islamic world, out of respect for the religious sensibilities of their Muslim readers. If the policy of the New York Times, et al, had been consistently to show sensitivity to the religious feelings of all their readers, this explanation would at least hold some plausibility, but the Times has shown no such compunction about showing anti-Christian pictures which tends to undercut their rationale.
The Times has been a predictable purveyor and determiner of the liberal point of view for a very long time. Now it is the triumph of liberalism which threatens to destroy the liberal society that it helped create.
One of the core beliefs of liberalism is gun control. In their lexicon, guns kill people and access to guns must be controlled so that murders, suicides, and accidental deaths from firearms can be minimized. The core fantasy is that once all gun ownership is strictly controlled, only the police will have guns and we will all be safe. The model for gun control has always been the Europeanized societies of old Europe and Canada, of which my home town of New York is a fine example, where the citizenry not only has an extremely limited right to firearms but has a very limited right to self-protection. If I am ever threatened, I am enjoined to call 911 and wait for the police to arrive. I do not think I need to point out that there are certain flaws in this line of reasoning. Perhaps if we had a police officer on every corner, we could have some confidence that the police could protect us in an emergency; however, to have a police officer on every corner would mean that we would be living in a totalitarian society, and then who would protect us from the storm troopers?
Once the idea of gun control had been firmly established in liberal political thought, the obvious next step was to work toward mental disarmament. Once the tools of aggression are controlled, the expression of (male) aggression became stigmatized. Vanderleun described this in his response to the vapid Joel Stein essay last week as The Voice of the Neuter is Heard Throughout the Land:
It is, as I have indicated above, the voice of the neutered. And in this I mean that of the transitive verb: To castrate or spay. The voice and the kids that carry it is the triumphant achievement of our halls of secondary and higher education. These children did not speak this way naturally, they were taught. And like good children seeking only to please their teachers and then their employers, they learned.
This is not to say that the new American Castrati of all genders live sexless lives. On the contrary, if reports are to be credited, they seem to have a good deal of sex, most often without the burden of love or the threat of chlldren, and in this they are condemned to the sex life of children.
No, it is only to say that this new voice that we hear throughout the land from so many of the young betokens a weaker and less certain brand of citizen than we have been used to in our history. Neither male nor female, neither gay nor straight, neither.... well, not anything substantive really. A generation finely tuned to irony and nothingness and tone deaf to duty and soul. If you can write in this tone, and Stein can, you can become a third level columnist for the Los Angeles Times. With a little luck, over time, you might even rise to the level of second string columnist for Vanity Fair. Should the country so lose its mind and elect another Clinton, you could even become a White House speech writer.
Terrence O. Moore described how the inculcation of "maleness" has failed us in recent years. As a result we have men who act like barbarians and men who act like wimps, all in the name of minimizing aggression in our culture. His article, Wimps and Barbarians, was published in the Claremont Review of Books: (HT: One Cosmos)
Manhood is not simply a matter of being male and reaching a certain age. These are acts of nature; manhood is a sustained act of character. It is no easier to become a man than it is to become virtuous. In fact, the two are the same. The root of our old-fashioned word "virtue" is the Latin word virtus, a derivative of vir, or man. To be virtuous is to be "manly." As Aristotle understood it, virtue is a "golden mean" between the extremes of excess and deficiency. Too often among today's young males, the extremes seem to predominate. One extreme suffers from an excess of manliness, or from misdirected and unrefined manly energies. The other suffers from a lack of manliness, a total want of manly spirit. Call them barbarians and wimps. So prevalent are these two errant types that the prescription for what ails our young males might be reduced to two simple injunctions: Don't be a barbarian. Don't be a wimp. What is left, ceteris paribus, will be a man.
The West is now reaping the benefits of disarming our young men, physically and mentally; now only barbarians have weapons and are willing to use them. There are plenty of barbarians ready to fight over a "diss" over a Cartoon or an accidental bump on the sidewalk; there are fewer "Real men" who are ready and able to fight for those things they believe in, in Europe and New York.
It was always easy for the liberal cognoscenti to applaud their own faux-courage in opposing freedom from barbarians for enslaved Iraqis; now they must either surrender their own freedom to the hyper-sensitivity of the barbarians or support the Men they have decried to protect them from the barbarians.
Those who have been neutered by our idealization of the femininization of the state and culture have traditioinally been rewarded. Academics earn six figure incomes; star reporters and anchors can make seven figure incomes. A dirty little secret of the liberal left is that they have always admired and aggrandized the barbarians; now their admiration is coalescing with their fears and producing appeasement and the rationalization of surrender of their core beliefs.
Enough! is a European blogger and suggests the Cartoon War will eventually be instructive his fellow Europeans:
I've known it for a long time... Yes, indeed, another 9/11 - one not to instill curiosity towards what islam really is, because that has already been set in motion by the first 9/11, but one to open our eyes, smash the covers that primarily the leftist bastards and politicians have chosen to set up so not to get confronted with reality.
THANK GOD FOR THE CARTOON AFFAIR !
Alexandra reminds us what true courage looks like. Her tribute to her father, The Virtue Of Courage is quite moving and inspirational and her post, Hirsi Ali 'The Real Heroine In The Fight Against Islam' is must reading for anyone who cares about what is going on around us:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the most sharp- tongued critics of political Islam - - and a target of radical fanatics. Her provocative film "Submission" led to the assassination of it's director Theo van Gogh in November 2004. The attacker, a 26-year-old extremist Muslim of Dutch-Moroccan descent, left a death threat against Hirsi Ali stuck to his corpse with a knife. After a brief period in hiding, the 36- year- old member of Dutch parliament from the neo-liberal VVD party has returned to parliament and is continuing her fight against Islamism. She recently published a book, "I Accuse," and is working on a sequel to "Submission."
It is not easy to have courage when you have spent the last 30 years disarming yourselves but we will need the courage to look at the world without blinders if we are to win this war.