Saturday, May 21, 2005

Our Two-Front Struggle for Freedom: Pre-modern Islam & Post-modern Decadence

A fine piece by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online: the strange alliance between anti-modern Islamic fundamentalists and decadent post-modern leftists in the West.

And especially in universities in the west.

A fair number of Marquette students, especially those taking courses in English, Education or Social Justice, will recognize the second of these maladies:
Almost all of the pathetic rhetoric of al Qaeda — “colonial exploitation,” “American hegemony,” or “blood for oil” — was as imported from the West as were the terrorists’ bombs and communications.

Some Western intellectuals, I think, need a bin Laden to illustrate and confirm their nihilistic ideas about their own postmodern society, just as he needs them to explain why his culture’s failure is not its own fault. So just as al Qaeda will always find an enabling Westerner to say, “You lashed out at us in frustration for your unfair treatment,” so too a guilty Westerner will always find a compliant terrorist to boast, “Yes, we kill you for your sins.” America was once a country that demolished Hitler and Tojo combined in less than four years and broke the nuclear Soviet Union — and now frets and whines that a few thousand deranged fascists want an apology.

Abroad, we battle Islamic fascists who hate us for our success and want to kill us with the tools of the modern world they despise. But at home, we are also at odds with our own privileged guilt-ridden aristocracy, whose very munificence has made them misunderstand why they are hated.

The Islamists insist, “We kill you for being soft.” Westerners in response feel, “We are killed because we are not being soft enough.”
The good news is that the Center appears to be holding and the post-modern leftists — who were, after all, on the losing side of the Cold War — are destined for increasing social irrelevance.

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