Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ZenTiger We are giving up our freedom

It seems to me western society is dying. Like all major civilizations shortly before their collapse, life is generally good for the middle class and great for the ruling class. Taxes are high, but affordable. Whilst there is surplus, the incentive to revolt is low and the 'barbarians at the gates' can be contained. However, it is not the barbarian that is our real danger. Ultimately, they might be the ones that put us to the sword, but we will put the sword in their hands. That is the way of all fallen civilizations.

Increasingly, we are giving up our freedom in exchange for something the left wing believe are "rights", and rights trump freedom, and rights are constantly redefined and expanded to suit the ideology, rather than act as a yardstick to measure our morality. Indeed, we use them now as a tool to dispense with our morality. It is those thoughts churning through my mind that makes a post by Contra Celsum my "pick of the week": Western rights have become a sick joke

If any thought the Danish cartoons of Allah that so inflamed the Islamic world 4 years ago was merely passing history, they are proved wrong. Historic events have a way of repeating themselves, and once a new civilisation has risen, they'll look back and wonder why more people didn't see what they now so clearly see, even as they fail to notice what sits right in front of their noses.

11 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

Note: I use the term "barbarian" generically. As the Roman's discovered, the various barbarian's they conquered were often far less barbaric than they assume, and they extracted much wealth and technology from them.

As the Roman Empire collapsed, having run out of lands to conquer, barbarians were often welcomed by the populace as they brought with them a relief from high taxes and restricted freedoms. The endless persecution of Christians had just been a trial run for the Roman State to then start persecuting her own middle and upper class when tax revenue from conquests fell.

KG said...

That post by Contra Celsum is a beauty. A frightening illustration of how far down the roadto dhimmitude and abject surrender we've come.

ZenTiger said...

Indeed KG.

Psycho Milt said...

I was extremely un-chuffed at Western responses to the Danish cartoons bizzo myself, but Contra Selsum ignores a glaring difference when comparing it to the response to Khomeini's fatwa against Salman Rushdie: Rushdie didn't deliberately set out to provoke Muslims with calculated insults. The Jyllands Posten did, which unfortunately ruled out any chance of getting Western elites to circle the wagons for them.

He also has a basic error of fact in his description of a fatwa - it isn't an "official Islamic judgment," as no-one is in the position of being able to speak for Islam. Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie was binding on Khomeini's followers, anyone else supporting it was doing so through personal choice. Plenty of Muslims didn't support it and didn't give a rat's ass what Khomeini thought anyway. They didn't thereby stop being "conscientious" Muslims. If you want a point of comparison, consider whether a decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury is binding on "conscientious Christians" - nah, not so much.

ZenTiger said...

Rushdie didn't deliberately set out to provoke Muslims with calculated insults.

Hi PM. You view the cartoons as deliberately calculated insults, not a reflection on Radical Islam from the perspective of these cartoonists. Did you view the Mary/Joseph billboard and the South Park menstruating Mary as deliberate insults, or were they simply raising awareness or making a joke?

ZenTiger said...

If you want a point of comparison, consider whether a decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury is binding on "conscientious Christians" - nah, not so much.

But whatever the Archbishop says, and to a much greater extent, whatever the Pope says has a very very big impact on atheists. Go figure.

Also, the influence of the Fatwa can be considered substantial, if you consider the murder of a nun, the attacks on several churches and widespread protests, violence and vandalism to be substantial. I do.

Psycho Milt said...

You view the cartoons as deliberately calculated insults...

Yes, based on the Jyllands Posten editor's own statements that he'd commissioned the cartoons to teach Muslims that in the West, "one must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule." The results certainly demonstrated convincingly that a lot of Muslims are violent nutters, but it wasn't a project likely to win sympathy from liberals. Rushdie, on the other hand, didn't set out to teach Muslims anything, he just wrote a book they didn't like.

Did you view the Mary/Joseph billboard and the South Park menstruating Mary as deliberate insults, or were they simply raising awareness or making a joke?

I don't think either one was commissioned for the sole purpose of demonstrating to Christians that they must learn to live with ridicule, no.

ZenTiger said...

Ah yes, I had forgotten that. Although not quite "deliberately calculated insults", as there was a strong dose of "freedom to speak" included in that perspective.

To understand that point we need to go back one step: it was inspired by the ongoing self-censorship of many springing out of fear of Muslim extremists, after the author of a Children's book about Muhammed had to use an anonymous illustrator, and I think too, the fallout from the murder of dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh.

And I note that over 100 deaths were attributed to the response from enraged Muslims.

Boatie Jane said...

Yep, great for the ruling elite, with their perks, housing rorts, endless junkets, huge salaries (for doing what?), retirement funds, self-voted pay rises and most of all, for ignoring the will of the masses. How very Keysian.

Psycho Milt said...

I don't dispute any of that. I just disagree with Contra Celsus' view that the difference between the Western liberal response to the Rushdie fatwa and this one was due to liberals having become cowardly in the interim. The difference in response was actually due to the fact that unlike Rushdie, the Jyllands Posten deliberately set out to offend. Western liberals found that to be a much less worthy cause (and I exclude myself from the term "liberal" here, because I personally didn't think it made a scrap of difference whether it was a worthy cause or not - you either support freedom of speech or you don't).

ZenTiger said...

Perhaps, I think it possibly just one example of many that indicates a growing capitulation to important concepts such as Freedom, because they are being substituted with increasing state power in the name of "rights", and those rights built on a very weak philosophical framework.

Banning piggy banks in the UK, removing Crosses from Italian Schools, the list goes on. Whilst there may be differences between Rushdie and the cartoonists, they increasingly look like "excuses" to me. I suspect Rushdie got stronger support simply because his huge, ponderous book was "more arty" and pseudo intellectual than cartoons for the peasants.

At least the killer of Theo Van Gogh got life imprisonment for his deed of multiple stabbings, 8 shots to the head and being nearly decapitated by a small knife. Not sure about the rest of the group, or the Inman who allegedly incited the violence.

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