Saturday, July 26, 2014

For every action there is an equal and opposite inaction

A lot of ugly things are happening in the world right now. In what used to be Syria and Iraq, an army of Muslim men have carved out their own homeland and are giving Christians three choices: flight, fight or assimilate. As I've mentioned, I thought it was a pretty big deal when two fairly large nation-states fell apart and some obscure Muslim radical just decides to carve out his own country, complete with oil wells. But everybody pretends not to notice. People like being comfortable; they don't like thinking hard about uncomfortable things so they pretend they don't exist. Libertarians are a good example. The fact is a lot of people are incapable of civilized, cooperative existence. If you don't lock them up or keep them out, they'll take all your stuff. If you don't feed them, they'll starve. So instead, libertarians just go on and on about the awful State and how great it would be if all the nice, smart people had their own society. (Actually, we did have that. It was called the West.) Liberals have this characteristic in spades. Liberals don't talk about how appallingly promiscuous homosexual men really are, or that an 87 IQ white is going to have obvious physical and communicative limitations but an 87 IQ black is going to be verbally fluent and comparatively more functional. Conservatives are pretending not to notice that they're outnumbered and it's too late to change anything by voting.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State are a clear demonstration of the paralysis of Western Christians with their intellectual abstractions in the face of men with guns and the will to use them. The only way you are going to stop ISIS is by killing ISIS fighters. Western governments aren’t going to do it; Western Christians aren’t going to do it. We have become too prosperous and comfortable.

This paralysis is playing out in a lot of different areas. Immigration is a good example. Mass movements of people across national borders used to be called ‘invasion,’ and it was repelled by men killing the invaders. Fighting, dying, being permanently maimed or disabled is ugly stuff, so after two world wars, Westerners built this civilization of legal abstractions: the rule of law, the proposition nation. In reality, we're just dressing up the same old conflict that’s always been around: people and territory. Or, more poetically, blood and soil. Even 'gentrification' is really 'ethnic cleansing,' just without the rifles and the camps. As Vox Popoli and Kakistocracy point out, it's just the Law of Rule, and always has been. "Rule of Law" just means the more intelligent and civilized people have the guns.

But as we see in the Middle East, every now and then that elaborate construct we've erected to pretend biology doesn't exist slips, and decidedly less abstract thinkers are able to exert their will. The Middle East is the reality where a lot of beloved Western abstractions just blow away like smoke. So even as people wring their hands and talk about these terrible events, nobody does anything or even thinks too hard about them.

We’re nice, comfortable people who don’t want to recognize that a lot of phenomenon will not cease unless we do some very ugly things. We won’t, so they won’t.


Kakistocracy said...

Great title and outstanding piece. It would be nice if it weren't all so true.

Bob Wallace said...

Ultimately it comes down to violence or the threat of violence. "Libertarians" think their misunderstanding of the "free market" trumps that.