21 June 2010

Israel and the surrender of the West

The above is the title of a good article by the Hoover Institution's Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal on the current 'progressive' scapegoating of the Israelis for the Arabs' inability to govern themselves, which willfully overlooks for how long the entire Muslim world was economically, socially and culturally stagnant before the first Jewish settler arrived in Palestine.
. . . the Palestinians - and for that matter much of the Middle East - are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want - a sovereign nation and even, let's say, a nuclear weapon - they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority. For better or for worse, modernity is now the measure of man.

And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity - no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority, while my enemy's wealth proves his inhumanity.
Unfortunately Steele buys into the usual explanation for the the abject behaviour of Western 'progressives' in the face of this raw hatred: 
. . . the entire Western world has suffered from a deficit of moral authority for decades now. Today we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past - racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on.
Racism (and its blood brother sectarianism), economic exploitation and imperialism have been common features in human history across the globe. One must look elsewhere for an explanation.

What the West has lost and shows no signs of wishing to regain is moral courage. We are largely governed by bureaucratic oligarchies, the EU unequivocally so, and common features of all bureaucrats are timidity and resentment at those who, unlike themselves, have accepted the risks of failure in the pursuit of fulfilling lives.

Like any organism, they seek to shape their environment to their own advantage, while at the psychological level they can relate very well to the deserved sense of inferiority that powers the Islamofascist phenomenon.       

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