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Fighting for Kids in Utah Call Me Mary not Maricruz

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Putting the MoveOn.orgers on the Couch

by Christopher Chantrill
September 14, 2007 at 1:22 pm

ALL ANIMALS live by killing.  That’s the awful truth that we spend our lives avoiding.  Even your average cow does nothing but kill innocent living grasses all day.

Some people believe that they know a higher truth than the instinctive need to live and the instinctive desire to protect your own.  They believe that we can break the “cycle of violence.”  And that leads them away from loyalty to their community or nation.  As William Hawkins puts it:

Only an intense belief in a "higher truth" can lead people to turn against their own country during a war. The flowering of this strain of liberal doctrine goes back to the decades following the Napoleonic Wars.

Actually it goes back before that.  Christianity views all selfish action—let alone violent action—in a questionable light. And we can regard the tension between church and state in the Christian era as a healthy response to the problematic both of untrammeled selfishness and unrestrained unselfishness.

So the liberal reaction to 9/11 was predictable.

Liberals warned against "overreacting" to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Katrina vanden Heuvel, in the misnomered journal the Nation, argued, "The most promising and effective way to halt terrorism lies in bringing those responsible to justice through nonmilitary actions in cooperation with the global community and within the framework of domestic and international law."

Maybe so.  But the 20th century’s foremost theorist of thuggery, V.I. Lenin, had another idea.  He called people like Heuvel “useful idiots.”  And after 9/11 the useful idiots knew what to do.

The patriotic unity felt by Americans in all walks of life when the Pentagon and World Trade Center were attacked by al Qaeda had to be torn asunder as quickly as possible to conform with liberal-left ideology. Thus, groups like Moveon.org cranked up their partisan hate speech.

For the left believes not in the nation state but in “class division and hyper-individuality.”  It’s a curious combination.  People are only allowed to form communities based on class.  For the rest, we are individuals.

But sometimes reality has a way of breaking through.

The French philosopher Ernest Renan started out as a classical liberal but after his country lost its 1870 war with Prussia became an eloquent exponent of nationalism. He argued, "A nation is a living principle, a spiritual principle. ... To have common glories in the past, a common will in the present, to have done great things together, the will to do the like again — such are the essential conditions for the making of a people."

There’s nothing like having foreign soldiers in your country to concentrate the mind.

In Iraq, of course, there are foreign soldiers not just from the US, but from Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran.  And that is not counting the non-state actors like Al Qaeda.

No, history is not over, Virginia.  Not for a while.  Not in your lifetime.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill