Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Prominent conservative wants alliance with Islamists against the West.

How morally bankrupt has the modern American conservative movement become? More than I ever dreamed. Since the rise of shrill, non-intellectuals like Ann Coulter the American Right has become shriller and shriller and ever more incoherent. The love for liberty that one found in Goldwater and Reagan has vanished. Today’s Right is inspired more by an intense hatred for “the Left” even on those few issues where the Left is pro-freedom.

The American Right has become the caricature that the far Left painted of them. If the Left is for something then they are against it. Certainly the Left has used this insulting reactionary label for decades and most of the time it was false. Now it is true. And one of the best cases for it is the insanity of Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza wasn’t always insane. In fact some of his early writing was fairly good and worthwhile. But he has also penned some crap. But the pile of crap got much bigger and deeper with his newest book The Enemy Within.

Now imagine a Leftist arguing the following case in 1955. “The Communists hate America. They hate America because of economic inequality, poverty, etc.” Fairly typical Left-wing rhetoric. But if they then said: “The best response to these attacks on America is for us to abandon economic freedom and impose socialist redistribution of wealth. If what offends the communists is economic freedom then we can end this Cold War easily. All we have to do is give up economic freedom” Well you can imagine what the Right would have to say about that.

They would attack this as pure insanity. It would be deemed treasonous and surrendering to the worst aspects of the Communists. But that would appear to be the D’Souza strategy.

What I mean is that in his newest Coulteresque book (they supposedly used to date so perhaps she infected him) D’Souza says that America can defeat Islamic extremism by giving up social freedom. And he thinks we ought to do this since Christian conservatives don’t like social freedom anyway.

D’Souza gave an interview to National Review Online where he outlined his theory of surrendering to Islamic fundamentalism. He first dismisses what he calls “illusions” such as “radical Muslims are against modernity and science and democracy” or that they “are upset because of colonialism and the Crusades.” These views, says D’Souza, are “all rubbish”. See they aren’t upset about American support for Israel -- what upsets them is that we don’t stone homosexuals to death.

American social freedom means, “Muslims must rise up in a defensive jihad against America because their religion and their values are under attack.” What does he mean by “under attack”. He means that the Western countries don’t embrace fundamentalist Islamic moral values, values shared by the fundamentalist Christians for the most part. But how is that an attack?

To D’Souza the fact that films, books, and American culture embrace social freedom is the same thing as attacking Muslims. I eat pork. Orthodox Jews don’t eat pork. Am I attacking their values because I eat a ham sandwich? By D’Souza’s insane logic I would be. Now most orthodox Jews recognize I’m not a Jew. I’m not forcing them to eat ham and they won’t force me to shun ham. We respect one another’s rights. The Islamist fundamentalists however does not embrace that central Western value -- tolerance for the equal liberty and rights of others. So he is offended when I don’t follow his moral code.

Because our women wear bathing suits on the beach, we let homosexuals live together, we don’t burn books (or heretics), outlaw alcohol, etc. we are “attacking” Islam. This is a complete distortion of the concept. Leaving them alone is not attacking them. If we are socially free that is some sort of cultural imperialism but if we give in to their moral values that isn’t. Do American films promote American social values? Of course. But I’ve not heard of anyone dragged into a cinema and forced to watch Brokeback Mountain. No one is imprisoning Muslims and making them listen to Western music or imposing Playboy on them at the point of the gun. If they listen to the music it is because they choose to do so. If they go to our movies or read Playboy or the Bible it is because they make that choice. It's called freedom.

This is the core hoax of D’Souza entire demand for America to join jihad. What upsets the Islamists is that many Muslims are adopting Western values. Hollywood can’t force cinemas to show their films. D’Souza and other theocrats might hate Will and Grace but no Islamic televisions station is forced at gunpoint to air the show. No one is forcing American books on Muslims. What upsets the Islamists is that Muslims around the world have been embracing Western values -- and with good reason. Like it or not Western values are better values. (You’d think that I wouldn’t have to preach that message to conservatives but then today’s conservatives are a rather disgusting lot at war with conservative history.) It is this voluntary acceptance of Western values among Muslims that upset Islamists.

D’Souza says he is not attacking classical liberalism. Rubbish, he is doing precisely that. He wants to form an alliance to strip people of the freedom to choose their own values. He thinks the old Tribal values should be imposed from the top down. He calls that freedom. Real freedom he calls force. Things are really distorted on the Right these days.

D’Souza wants us to surrender to the worst aspects of Islam. It is our fault, he says, that the Islamists hate America. We do terrible things. We don’t generally impose censorship so things get published which offend Muslims. We don’t jail homosexuals but give them rights. They can hold hands. That offends the Muslims. Our women are “loose” and immoral and that offends the Muslims. By being free we attack the Muslims. It’s our fault. If we had just embraced the Christianists values of Jerry Falwell then 9/11 would never have happened. We insulted Muslims by being socially liberal so we started the problem. We ought to surrender to the Islamists and stamp out social freedom.

D’Souza says that the Islamists “see the dimension of America that in their view corrupts the innocence of children, and undermines the family, and promotes homosexuality as a normal way of life. In fact this is the America of the cultural Left. What the Left considers ‘liberating,’ much of the world considers a scandalous assault on modesty and decency.”

Rhetorical overkill. In fact it’s bullshit. The Islamist world may feel this way. But throughout much of the world the same socially liberal views are being adopted. America is still having epileptic fits over gay marriage. But recently two regions of Mexico adopted civil unions for gays, South Africa legalized gay marriage and most of the rest of Western nations are not on an anti-gay jihad. In Asia the trends are all in a socially liberal direction for the most part. Western freedom, social and economic, has been embraced because people want the right to control their own lives.

The fundamentalists, Christian and Islamic, want to control the lives of people for them. They are socialists of the soul. The believe that man’s private morals belong to the collective and the State must intervene to punish sins as a well as crimes. All D’Souza is doing is advocating a form of Statism -- he wants a moralistic Big Brother regulating the private lives of everyone.

The hold outs on social freedom are Islamic nations and the core supporters of George Bush -- the American fundamentalist. Most the world is not scandalized by American social values. Only Theopublicans and Islamists. Even the British Conservative Party endorses civil unions for gays. D’Souza is wrong.

D’Souza wants the Christian Right in America to forge an alliance with the Islamists. “Our concerns should be the traditional Muslims, who are the majority in the Muslim world. These people are also religious and socially conservative, and they are our natural allies. ...we as conservatives have no choice but to ally with the traditional Muslims. ...Our values are quite similar to those of traditional Muslims. ...The traditional Muslims are our best bet.”

If that doesn’t make you want to throw up what will? Here is a prominent conservative in the American Right (though D’Souza is an immigrant from India) literally arguing that Islamism and the Bushite conservatives are natural allies and ought to gang up to stamp out social freedom and those damn homosexuals. When people argue that allowing immigration dilutes American values I generally think they are wrong. But thinking of D’Souza I have to wonder if they weren’t right -- at least in this one case.

D’Souza claims that all the Muslims want is for “us not to attack their religion... They’re asking us not force secularism and separation of church and state on their society, another foolish cause to which some conservatives subscribe.” Separation of church and state, something Thomas Jefferson championed, is “a foolish cause” according to D’Souza.

Some years ago I wrote a university paper defending free markets. My professor was a Marxist who hated my views. He scribbled across the front page: “You just want to force people to be free.” D’Souza is even more daft than that. In his mind we are forcing Muslims to adopt secular, liberal values because we are not adopting their values.

The only person I know of who has attempted to force any sort of American values on Muslims is George Bush who invaded two Muslim nations in order to impose our “values” on them. No one has launched an armed attack on a Muslim state forcing them to respect freedom of the press, freedom of religion, honor the rights of gays, emancipate women or act in a civilzed way. They have been crticized and rightfully so. But criticism is not force. They are still free to act like barbaric tribalists and D’Souza is free to drool over their “traditional morality” when they do.

D’Souza says he wants “American conservatives [to] join the Muslims and others in condemning the global moral degeneracy that is produced by liberal values.” Liberal values? Those would be things like freedom of speech, freedom of association, equal rights before the law, respecting the rights of others, leaving people alone. Those values go right back to Jefferson and the Founding Fathers. What D’Souza wants is to dewesternize the West and instead adopt the value system of primitive Middle Eastern tribal cults.

D’Souza wants is a Christianist society. And he is using the Islamic terrorist threat to try to create it. He basically says that most Muslims are not terrorists they just hate Western social freedom. It is this intense hatred for such values which gets so many of them to blow up buildings and kill people. Therefore social freedom causes terrorism.

If we abandon social freedom and adopt Right-wing moral values, i.e. use the coercive powers of the state to force them on the American people, then the terrorists would not be able to recruit the typical Muslim. So if Theopublicans form an alliance with Muslims and destroy Western social freedom the terrorists won’t be able to recruit most Muslims and the West will win!

See, when we surrender our long held values of social freedom and adopt the values of Muslim tribalists then they won’t bomb us. So we win! What D’Souza is advocating is appeasement and surrender not victory. The American voters wisely turned their backs on the Theopublicans. They are getting sick of the theocrats and moral busybodies, the socialists of the soul. D’Souza is a walking case for abandoning the Republicans. Many libertarians and classical liberals are already disgusted by the authoritarianism of the Republicans but are unhappy with the Nanny-statism and socialism of the Democrats. D’Souza is a walking promotion for why libertarians have to totally abandon their alliance with the American conservative movement.

I will admit I appreciate what D'Souza has done. I've been arguing that libertarians need to end their alliance with conservatives immediately and completely. D'Souza's views will make that far more likely. I've been hoping that Americans will continue to turn away from the extremism that has gripped the Republican Party. D'Souza's call for jihad in America will speed up the decay of the Republican Party. If I didn't know better I'd almost think he was paid to write this sort of rubbish by the Democrats as a means of destorying the Republican Party. But then the Democrats don't have to destroy the Republicans. The Republicans are destroying themselves.

Imagine the Pied Piper playing his tune. But instead of rats the elephants start marching to his music. And the plays his song and leads them to a cliff where in some mass suicide the elephants dance off the edge to their oblivion. The Pied Piper leading the suicide march of Republicans is D'Souza. Dinesh: Keep up the good work.

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