Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Courage to Blaspheme: Marx, Muslim immigrants & Euro-socialists.

This conservative secular (yes, such thinkers exist although you'd never know it in most media) perspective on Danish leftists' alliance with Muslims to consolidate their shrinking power base I found intriguing. I read today that 20% of my L.A. County's ten million neighbors now get government assistance, and about that amount have been recently denied; our state taxes will soar to stave off California's bankruptcy. As our nation moves further in its desperate efforts to print trillions more to stave off economic collapse, we lurch towards corporate socialism and capitalist oligarchy. Obama revives FDR's New Deal while he revamps a retro-European post-war welfare state. Not so much populist as plutocrat, for to me we've rewarded so far those in power and those who profited from bankers with Ponzi schemes.

Denmark-- according to the journalist below-- exemplifies a counter-strategy for Euro-socialist reversals. Here, Marxists or fellow travellers sidle towards promotion of extremism. They follow their fascist rivals last century who elevated the tribal totem. Democratic socialists scrabble to save the European welfare state at the expense of free speech as they capitulate to demands for sharia.

I was sent this from my American friend living in Ireland, who shares my eclectic interest in such permutations within what Oriana Fallaci popularized and Bat Yeor coined as "Eurabia." The combination of leftist intolerance towards Western secularism and coddling of reactionary ideology shows how post-modern we've become once we let multicultural priorities off of the short "dead white males"' leash. By such tanglings the West enters a labyrinth, the only trace back not a thread but a Gordian knot. I wonder how the identity politics of ethnic and religious blocs will create similar, or disparate, twists on social constructions (to borrow a P.C. term) in our own U.S.?

I excerpt most of this below. The February 2009 article in full: "Once Again It's the Economy, Stupid". Dutch MP Geert Wilders, like Pim Fortuyn, may have earned most of his attention from his unconventional coiffure, but whatever one may think of his platform, his ideas deserve a hearing. The fate of Theo van Gogh also reminds us of the dangers that free speech carries in Holland today. Sad that such a sentence has to be written. The site: The International Free Press Society, based in Copenhagen. Censoring cartoons against those who'd kill infidels for a Prophet of Peace lures us down a slippery slope-- if we capitulate here, what's next? You may disagree with some IFPS perspectives, but as that Voltaire remark we've all heard reminds us: that's the whole point, right?

Once Again It’s the Economy, Stupid
The Left is only too happy to suppress free speech. It doesn’t know what it’s getting itself into
By Lars Hedegaard

One thing in particular struck me last week when I was in London for the showing of Geert Wilders’ Fitna in the House of Lords. Well, apart from the fact that Mr. Wilders was banned from entering the country.

It was the press’ uniform designation of the Dutch politician as “right-wing” or even “extreme right-wing”.

What precisely has Geert Wilders done or said that makes him deserving of this epithet? For make no mistake: whereas “left-wing” is considered an accolade and smacks of loving kindness towards green forests, stray dogs in need of a warm place to sleep and undernourished children in Africa, “right-wing” denotes a misanthrope who hates all good people and will eat innocent babies for breakfast.

If one has committed the ultimate sin of criticizing religion, particularly if it is murderous and retrograde, there is no way to wash off the brand of Cain. Politically you may be a socialist, a liberal or a conservative. You may be a staunch supporter of the welfare state, socialized medicine, gay marriage, preferential treatment of women and 75 percent taxation of all private income. It won’t help you if you have distanced yourself from the teachings of the prophet.

This is curious. Irreverent criticism of religion used to be a specialty of the Left. Today such criticism proves that one is a semi-fascist to be shunned in polite company.

The forgotten prophet

There are still a few grizzled post-socialists around that will remember what their old prophet, Karl Marx, had to say about religion in the very first sentence of his Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right from 1843: ". . .criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism”.

Criticism of religion is not only the starting point of all criticism. It is the prerequisite of any kind of criticism. In a society where religion cannot be criticized, everything becomes religion --- from the length of your beard to what hand to use when wiping your backside.

Where there is no criticism of religion, life and society in their entirety become religious and the littleest squeak against the existing order is eo ipso an act of blasphemy to be rooted out by cutting off the offender’s head.

The courage to blaspheme is consequently the sine qua non of civilization and of social, intellectual and scientific progress. It is also the premise of the separation between church and state, as Jesus Christ was well aware of.

But what passes for the Left these days has long since given up on socialism’s founding fathers -- particularly when they were right -- and is groveling at the feet of a bloodthirsty moon-god from far Araby.

We know what has happened. But how and why did it come about?

A new worldview

We know that the broad Left -- which in Europe would include various shades of the hard, Communist or Marxist Left, the New Left, which has now transformed itself into tree huggers, and the traditional Social Democratic parties -- has vacated its traditional ideological positions in order to preach ideologies that used to be hallmarks of the far right. Positions such as the need for censorship, kissing up to demands that “religions” (i.e. Islam) must not be criticized or ridiculed, the institution of ethnic or tribal special privileges and inequality before the law -- depending on what ethnic, tribal or clan chief or holy man can ingratiate himself to the top of the totem pole as most aggrieved victim.

This new weltanschauung takes us back to a legal order -- or rather lack of order -- the like of which we haven’t seen in the civilized world since -- when? The democratic revolutions of the 19th century, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, England’s Glorious Revolution, John Milton’s Areopagitica, Magna Carta?

Take your pick. Any one of the above is true.

The road chosen by the parties on the Left permits no return. Having alienated -- not to say discarded -- large chunks of their traditional working class voters, they are now increasingly dependent on the Muslim vote, which they hope will guarantee them a perpetual foothold at least in the major populations centers.[. . . .]

The new proletariat

With the fundamental shift from industrial to knowledge society it also became clear that socialism in the shape of the nationalization of the means of production was no longer achievable. The traditional working class was disappearing and the downtrodden masses, which the Marxists had identified as the “revolutionary subject”, became too bourgeois for comfort. They left the socialist parties in droves and began voting for center-right parties that promised them a share of the wealth created by private enterprise. A house, a car, a color tv and such. In other words the kind of amenities that the leftist intelligentsia had come to consider as indispensable for its own lifestyle.

This presented the socialist ideologues with a major problem. From their reading of Lenin, Trotsky and Gramsci they knew that they were destined to remain the vanguard of the masses. The proletariat was unable to reach the required level of political consciousness without the constant goading of their far-sighted betters.

Socialism was no longer in the cards. Still the socialist intelligentsia was unwilling to let go of its claim to power. So it had to find a new revolutionary subject -- a class of people that would never allow itself to be bought off by the allure of a bourgeois life but was guaranteed to remain at the edge of society.

And they found the Muslim immigrants. This socialist-Muslim nexus turned out to be a marriage made in heaven. The swelling ranks of the Muslim immigrants could deliver the votes to fill the void left by the disappearing native working classes, and the socialist parties could reciprocate by delivering welfare benefits, cultural concessions and free immigration to their to non-working Muslim charges.

The tiger’s tail

This well-functioning political arrangement, however, is on the verge of making the welfare state unsustainable. It is crumbling all over Europe, but there is no way back for the Left. There is no option but to cling ever tighter to the tiger’s tail. Otherwise the beast will turn around and bite them. We have already seen intifadas in England, France, Denmark and Norway. If the “youths” don’t have their way, they will burn the town down, smash up the cars and brutalize the indigenous population.

To keep this bizarre road show running, it has become necessary for the leftist rulers to crush free speech. However much they may privately deplore it, there is nothing else to do if they want to retain the Muslim vote that keeps them in power.

A poll conducted by the official Statistics Denmark and published on February 10, 2009, shows that 50 percent of the Muslim immigrants and their descendants want to make attacks on religion a criminal offense. 36 percent of the immigrants and 40 percent of their descendants disagree.

The corresponding figures for ethnic Danes are 79 percent against and only 15 percent in favor[. . . .]

The economy strikes back

There is, however, one fact of life that our power holders have left out of their political equation. That is -- as Bill Clinton has so aptly expressed it -- the economy, stupid.

In the near future the economy will strike back. Censorship and persecution of the unruly will not save the welfare state. How will the native populations react when they find out that their kids are not being educated, that they are not receiving adequate treatment in the hospitals, that their pensions and other welfare benefits are dwindling and that they cannot rely on the police to protect them? In a situation where they cannot themselves pay for such services because the state continues to suck up most of their income?[. . . .]
Image: Everybody used to read "1984" in school. There's multiple symbolism here.


Anonymous said...

The "new proletariat" as you put it is not of left wing origin at all. It's thoroughly capitalist, and rightwing, and all to do with undercutting wages, and finding a non-unionised workforce.

The real racists, of course, are those who think cheap and unpleasant labour should always be done by "furriners".

Fionnchú said...

I did not put "the new proleteriat" as such but Lars Hedegaard, the author of "It's the Economy, Stupid," did. And, reading him carefully one can discern his distrust of the exploitation of the immigrants by the capitalist system. Hedegaard argues that the Muslim proles are not of the left-wing by origin, but by the Euro-socialists' exploitation of them. They are cheap labor-- on the books or off, and if not laboring than living off of the welfare state-- that late capitalism thrives on enmeshing.