Yesterday I focused my post on the tendency of many on the far left to demand perfection of their political opponents. Although I did not extend the discussion to the manner in which political orthodoxy (political correctness) is enforced and demanded among their allies on the left, this is certainly a derivative of the demand for perfection I noted. It appears that a similar intolerance of dissent is brewing on the Conservative side of the Blogosphere and this is troubling.
Little Green Footballs was one of the first blogs I began to follow with any regularity when I first entered the Blogosphere. Charles Johnson is first and foremost a Philosemite and his work has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource bringing to people the actual words, thoughts, and deeds of the enemies of Jews and the Judeo-Christian West that our MSM have consistently and conspicuously missed.
Gates of Vienna is another of the earliest blogs that I found and I have been an admirer and blogfriend of Dymphna and the Baron for many years. Recently GoV was dropped form LGF's blogroll. In addition, the noted blogger Fjordman, who has written cogently and passionately about the devolution of Europe amid the ongoing onslaught of Islamism, has now become estranged from LGF:
I recently announced my intention to take a long break from posting at the website Little Green Footballs due to the ongoing controversy regarding the participants in the counter-Jihad in Europe. Shortly after, Charles Johnson announced that Fjordman was “taking a permanent break. After the misrepresentations he’s posted about me and my views, despite being corrected many times, he’s not welcome at LGF.” Just out of curiosity, and with no intention of posting anything, I tried to log in to my account at LGF and discovered that it was blocked. I’ve now been officially banned from LGF, after having posted comments there at irregular intervals for several years.
The core of the dispute is Charles Johnson's discomfort with founding members of European parties opposed to the policies of unlimited unintegrated Muslim immigration to Europe which is causing so many of the continent's problems. The parties involved, Vlaams Belang and Sverigedemokraterna, are anti-immigrant and have come to their position from the Right. After initially being welcomed, Charles was informed that many of the founders has Nazi and/or neo-Nazi roots. I do not want to get into the arcana of the dispute. Many of Charles Jonson's arguments can be found here and the Baron has collected his arguments here and here.
These kinds of familial disputes are unavoidable and ubiquitous but deserve an attempt at amelioration.
First, one must understand that history has generally rewarded Jewish paranoia. Where and when subtle anti-Semitic remarks and policies have been tolerated, full blown anti-Semitism has traditionally followed. This is especially true in cultures and societies under great stress where the tendency to regress to a Manichean good and bad and the easy and ready availability of Jews to scapegoat has led to many travails for the Jewish people. Charles is correct to be extremely sensitive to hints of such tendencies; the Jewish people and their friends have the very best of historical reasons to be super-sensitive to hints of anti-Semitism; when the hints include overt Nazi and neo-Nazi sympathies, more than a little caution is an absolute necessity.
However, at the same time, such sensitivity can lead one to fail to recognize one's friends. I discussed American Jewry's myopic failure to recognize the hand of friendship and amity in my posts on David Brog's Standing With Israel. American Jews who grew up in a world of genteel (and occassionally overt) Christian animus have been very slow to notice that that world is no longer with us. (My discussion can be found here: Part I, Part II, Part III.)
I have not carefully studied either side's arguments because we have long since left the realm where any facts can resolve the differences. As with most familial disputes, the dispute has now devolved to an irresolvable question of whose judgment is more right than whose. As far as I can tell, no one is claiming that Vlaams Belang and Sverigedemokraterna are currently proposing anti-Semitic responses to the current Islamist-Leftist assault on Western civilization. The question of whether or not there is a hidden anti-Semitic core to some of the allies in the struggle for Europe's future is impossible to resolve; ultimately it comes down to one side claiming the other is crypto-fascist and the other side denying it. Only time and overt behavior can resolve such a dispute.
In Charles's response to Takuan Deiyo's Brussels Journal piece, he highlights a passage of concern which he feels raises questions of racism:
In this society, everyone has grown up on lies that few are equipped to challenge. The older ones have grown up with plastic called leatherette, with cigarettes as symbols of sex appeal, and with Negroes in the front line in the Army but in the back line at the bus stop. And the younger ones have grown up in a world where a short coffee is “tall” and a medium one is “grande,” and one’s life is ruined for pointing out that the American blacks’ mean IQ of 85, and not racism, is the cause of their underepresentation in the upper echelons of government, business and the professions.
The emphasis is Charles. It is worth noting that charges of racism have become traditional conversation stoppers in the West and both sides have a particular duty to avoid inflammatory remarks that can be easily interpreted to support the charge. Questions of the contribution of IQ, racial and ethnic IQ differences, and the cause of existing IQ disparities remain the third rail of Psychometric research. Takuan Deiyo offers an unnecessary entree for Charles to question racial attitudes which are the most egregious legacy of the far right, while Charles unnecessarily takes the opportunity in support of his position on a question that is impossible to resolve. This is unfortunate on both parts.
Perhaps it is not too late to step back from the brink. If "egos" have not yet been so bruised as to make reconciliation impossible, it should be possible for all parties to recognize that our commonality is greater than our differences. None can doubt that there exist neo-Nazis (primarily inhabiting precincts on the Left) but it is equally true that there exist reformed neo-Nazis who are the equivalent of the apostate leftists who have become neo-cons and the apostate Muslims who have joined us in the struggle to preserve Judeo-Christian Western civilization.
It may be most useful at this point to provisionally accept that Vlaams Belang and Sverigedemokraterna are potential allies, maintaining the vigilance requisite to ensure that no signs of slippage into regressive anti-Semitism pass unnoticed. The alternative, to start on the slippery slope of purity among one's allies and potential allies, is to follow a road well traveled by political coalitions that have been torn asunder and rendered impotent by their fractional differences between friends. If we allow the Narcissism of small differences to damage our interests we will merely make our adversaries' victory that much more certain.
It is worth noting again that the people involved in this difficult situation experience themselves as being under significant duress. The elites of Europe and, to an only slightly lesser extent in America, have appropriated the liberal language of freedom and equality in the service of deeply illiberal and covert policies which has the effect of undermining Western conceptions of freedom. Under such pressure it is not a surprise that many of us easily and unwittingly adopt similar language and the attitudes the words convey. This is all the more reason for people to re-consider their own contributions to misunderstandings and avoid the risk of alienating friends and allies.
(Christine at the Center for Vigilant Freedom has a long summary of the dispute from the European point of view and Dissecting Leftism and Atlas Shrugs, among others, have weighed in on the quarrel, as well.)