Monday, October 19, 2009

Love letters and traditional morality.

One of the fringe people who inhabit the internet dropped by the site and left a little hate note earlier today. I found it amusing to no end, mainly because he got so many things completely wrong. I immediately shared it with numerous people.

What particularly amused me was that he bitched that I call those who disagree with me, "'bigoted,' 'racist,' homophobic,' 'Nazi, anti-Semitic,' and 'xenophobic" and ascribe (sic) their views to 'hate.'" Yet, in the same comment our writer (at IP address attacks gays, immigrants, blacks, and interracial marriage. He did not attack Jews, but I'm sure it was oversight.

I have used the term "security Nazis" and "health Nazis" and I have called people who are actually propose Nazism Nazis, but I've never branded someone a Nazi for disagreeing with me. And I've only used "anti-Semitic" to refer to people who actually hate Jews. I think the people I have called bigots have pretty much proven themselves to be bigots. And the author of the love letter, certainly didn't do his cause much good by immediately launching in bigoted diatribes about gays, immigrants and blacks. I was tempted, when I saw that obvious contradiction, to assume it was hoax by someone who agreed with me and was supporting my views through satire. But I think this "love letter" was quite genuine.

The author claimed I "supported the disaster of black rule in Africa." Well, that's hard to answer because to say I did, or I didn't .would both be wrong. I just never supported rule by anyone on account of race. I never supported a government merely because it was run by whites or because it was run by blacks. I've supported and opposed black candidates and supported and opposed white candidates. Race just was never a factor, policies were. I have openly criticized the policies of Mugabe, in Zimbabwe, and of the African National Congress, in South Africa. How I supported "black rule" I don't know. But then neither did I oppose it. My support, or opposition, is not connected to race.

The author claims I "agitate for dispossession of whites through mass immigration." Dispossession of whites? He also claims I "fanatically" support interracial marriage. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of articles I've posted here I believe that only two have touched on the subject. Apparently that is enough to be accused of "fanatically support[ing] interracial marriage." In truth, I don't support interracial marriage, but neither do I oppose it. I have no position on who other people ought to marry, only that they ought to be free to marry the partner of their choice. [And for the crazed individuals lurking in the background, I am talking about adults and humans so don't try to drag kids or sheep into the discussion.]

It simply is none of my business who another rational adult chooses to marry. So I literally have no opinion on it. If someone told me they were marrying I would congratulate them because it means something important to them. I wouldn't urge them to seek a partner of a different race, a partner of the same race, a partner of the opposite sex, or a partner of the same sex. It is just not my business. I wish them well regardless.

Our poison pen writer claimed that I want to "tear down the world our ancestors built" and that I'm "motivated by hatred" for European civilization and western culture. I supposedly also don't "care at all about the white children who will have to suffer the consequences of the death of the West." I do care about white children, and brown children and black children. I don't actually limit my concern for children to one race, as apparently my critic does.

For the record, I don't think the West is dying, nor do I think it ought to die. I am an advocate of the values of the Western Enlightenment, the great tradition of classical liberals that arose in the West. I happen to think that many values that dominated in the West are right and proper and are superior to other values. But they are not superior merely because they dominated the West, but because they work and are right. Nor are they good merely because they are part of our tradition.

I was also accused of being an opponent of "traditional morality." Again, this is wholly besides the point. I am a moralist, in that I have a firm code of morality about how people should act toward one another. Only a complete non-thinker supports a moral principle solely because it is traditional. It was traditional to enslave people. It was traditional to rape women during war. It was traditional to burn people at the stake. Are these the traditions that the author of this "love letter" wishes to support? Well, given his general tone, they might be.

That a "value" or "moral principle" is "traditional" neither says anything in favor of it, or against it. There are traditional values, that are long-standing values, that I support strongly—such as property rights. But there are others, such as racism, which go back centuries, which I oppose.

The "traditionalist" is the non-thinker. He is bound by the thoughts of dead people because he is unable to think for himself. The advocate of "traditional" morality is not an advocate of moraity at all. In fact, they advocate nothing but the past. Which past? Whose past? Would our writer, if born in Saudi Arabia, be an advocate of stoning women to death? Would he support the burka? Would he say the Koran is true merely because it is the tradition of his tribe?

There is no position more sterile than supporting the "traditional" since it is entirely relative to where you live and controlled by what era you are living in. The traditional morality of a native in a land of cannibals is vastly different from the "traditional" morality of someone living in Iraq in 1500. or in Chicago in 2009. To say you support "traditional" morality says you have abrogated the right to think for yourself and rely on whatever ancient dead people preferred. It's not even clear which dead people one must cling to. Is it those of the last 100 years, 200 years, 500 years, or can we go back to our ancestors in the African bush and cling to their values—it would be interesting to see conservatives try that.

I'd like to know if I should cling to the tradition of Luther, or maybe Calvin, or maybe the Pope? How about the tradition of the Greeks who preceded the rise of Christianity? Can I cling to their traditions? Would my nemesis have supported Greek, traditional pederasty merely because it was traditional? It seems to me that advocates of "traditional morality" answer no questions at all but raise plenty.

I can understand being a "traditionalist" if one is incapable of thinking, but anyone with an IQ higher than the typical houseplant ought to be able to think for himself. Apparently the author of the poison pen letter to me does not see it the same way. Either way, I must thank him for the amusement he gave me.

Illustration: A traditional practice, burning Protestants at the stake.

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