But with the fall of Communism, and the subsequent revelation that Islamists did not worry about the unfortunate direction of contemporary Western culture so much as they wished to destroy it, culpability then mostly fell to the Left.
Multiculturalism (no culture is worse than the West’s) and its twin of cultural relativism (those with power have no right or ability to judge others) gave a wide pass to radical Islam and its 7th-century primitivism. Apparently most Leftists thought the dearth of women in the clubhouse at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National was far worse than the Arab world’s honor killings, burqas, and coerced female circumcision.
Indeed, a radical Leftist always faces a dilemma when a fellow anti-American sounds fascistic. The usual course, as we have seen since September 11, is either to keep silent about such embarrassing kindred spirits, or to weasel out by suggesting our own hegemonic tendencies pushed a once reasonable “Other” in lamentable directions.
The result? Killers and terrorists have been able to operate openly in European capitals. Here in North America, in the 58 months after the Twin Towers fell, numerous cadres of terrorists still continue to be rounded up — without a peep of condemnation from mainstream Muslim groups, who have instead crafted an ingenious cult of victimization, predicated on sympathy from the Left. Ask yourself: In the fifth year since September 11, is it more likely that Islamic associations in Canada or the United States will condemn global Islamic extremism or complain about purported Islamophobia and the sins of “Zionism”?
I wrote in "A Pure and Perfect Poison" about this new alliance that has developed between the left and Islamofascism; and how the precepts of postmodernism have dovetailed nicely into the appeasement and enabling we see today from that side of the political spectrum:
[In the late 20th century, communism was exposed to the world for the lie and deception it was]... But, in the decades since that exposure, communism--indeed, all totalitarianistic systems including Islamofascism--have recruited a potent new ally in their attempts to control the minds of men.Thus, the new totalitarians of the right--the Islamofascists--and the old totalitarians of the left have combined forces to destroy western civilization (specifically, America) as the first step in establishing their respective global utopias.
These cults of tyranny cannot hope to remain viable in a world where human thought is free; therefore, the goal is nothing less than to undermine mankind's perception of reality itself.
If you can convince people that objective reality is an illusion; that A does not equal A; that black is white; and that good is bad; if you can make them accept that everything is subjective and relative; then you can breath new life into doctrines that by all objective measures and standards have led to the death and misery of millions of people. Through the manipulation of language, everything can be distorted, without the messy need to resort to facts, logic, or reason.
We see the results of this new alliance in the postmodern rhetoric and behavior that assaults us on a daily basis.
What matters is not truth or falsity--only the effectiveness of the language used. Lies, distortions, ad hominem attacks; attempts to silence opposing views--all are strategies that are perfectly satisfactory if they achieve the desired effect. Ideas and reason must make way for reification of feelings; and freedom is replaced by thought control.
The postmodern assault as it is used by the new totalitarians of the 21st century is a four-pronged attack to undermine
- Objective reality
- Reason and the rational debate of ideas
- Individual freedom and freedom of thought and speech
- Progress and capitalism
The strategies used are:
- The distortion of language and meaning to undermine the individual's perception of reality;
- The use of direct or threatened physical violence to suppress speech and individual freedom;
- Politically "correct" thought control and cultural relativism to undermine reason and rational debate;
- The promotion of environmental hysteria to undermine progress, industrialization and capitalism
These activities represent the most serious assault on reality, reason, and individual freedom since the twin beasts of communism and socialism rose up early in the 20th century. And, though seriously wounded, they are rising again in a new and more virulent form.
Radical Islamic ideology is itself an unexpected combination of several toxic memes that have merged in the last 30 years. One thread of this meme is Islam itself--a purportedly "peaceful" religion that is actually historically based on military conquest and coercion of belief through jihad-- entwined with the remnants of the totalitarian ideologies of the last century.
This is why there is an alliance between the totalitarians of the left-- who are the remaining outposts of communism and socialism that thrive in academic and "intellectual" circles in the West; and the Islamic fanatics of the world. Whether this alliance is a conscious or unconscious one (i.e., whether the specific component of the left actively and deliberately supports Islamic terrorism versus enabling and appeasing it) depends on the level of insight and personal depravity achieved by the true believer of today's left.
There are far too many women who see nothing wrong with Islam's suppression and infantilization of women and life under the burqa; but who scream in outrage if a scientific study suggests that there are real physiological differences between men and women. There are far too many Jews who overlook the pervasive anti-semitism of the groups they march in solidarity with. Much of this is a self-hatred that manifests itself in the suicidal and homicidal impulses that logically flow from the perverted postmodern view of the world; and part of it is the descent into emotionalism and hysteria that is encouraged by the rhetoric.
Because, even as freedom began to light up areas of the world that had laid in the dark for generations, a new evil was coalescing that combined the virulence of communism and socialism with the toxicity of a medieval, inflexible, intolerant, and oppressive religion.
This union of totalitarian thought from both left and right was itself an unexpected combination of memes; but when you add to that lethal mix the rhetorical and political strategies of postmodernism, the result is a pure and perfect poison that threatens to destroy all human values; all human decency and all human civilization.
There is much to ponder in Hanson's piece, which goes on to discuss other subtexts of the war on terror-- including oil; the mainstreaming of extremists like Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan; and the short-sighted Democrats, who cannot allow Bush to succeed in what they are determined will be a "futile" war. Read it all.