Selasa, 28 April 2015

Stealth Communism

Aside from the usual sense of this term, Stealth Communism -- espionage during the Cold War, and Socialism (a kind of "Communism Lite" or the Communist version of a "Moderate Islam") -- there could well be a type which, as far as I know, has not been analyzed much (let alone investigated):  the deeper infiltration behind enemy lines by pretending to be anti-Communist.

Being a deeper cover, of course, necessitates more pretense, more deceit.  And being pseudo-anti-Communist, it would necessitate, as well, throwing bones to the genuine anti-Communists, in order to win their approval and earn one's anti-Communist bonafides.

Sure, it sounds like a conspiracy theory -- but as Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and his colleague Pavel Stroilov put it, in their robustly substantive defense of Diana West against her calumniators David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh:

It is dishonest to attack anything as a "conspiracy theory." So long as there are conspiracies in the world, a conspiracy theory may be perfectly true. It is a conspiracy theory that Al Qaeda organized the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and yet, it happens to be true. It was a conspiracy theory that the Nazi leaders plotted aggressive wars and genocide, but it was proven, and the conspirators went to the gallows. Unlike "academic consensus," conspiracy is a concept with a clear definition; so much so that prosecutors can prove conspiracy theories beyond reasonable doubt in court. Moreover, the criminal law concepts of conspiracy and complicity are not very far apart. Almost anything we say about communist crimes against humanity can be attacked as a conspiracy theory--and, as a rule, is attacked in these terms by Radosh & Co.

It is high time to stop dismissing things as conspiracy theories or accepting things as being consistent with the academic consensus. Some of us here are talking about truth and lies. And this, perhaps, is precisely what annoys the academics, whose monopoly on writing history depend upon the half-truths of the "consensus."

And speaking of Radosh and Horowitz, Diana West has meanwhile penned a new essay in which she formally announces that the "war of words" they have fomented is now "over".  While she may be right on one level (insofar as her meticulous and lengthy Rebuttal not too long ago, and now the weighing in by Bukovsky and Stroilov, definitively destroy the flimsy yet complex tissue of half-truths woven with lies concocted by Radosh and Horowitz), on another level, much needs to be done still.  This other important level concerns uncovering why Radosh and Horowitz have behaved the way they have. Their tactics of distortion, obfuscation and disinformation about West's book go beyond normal ego or turf-protecting habits, because they involve blatant errors, falsehoods and elementary hypocrisy.  

One example of the latter I just came across in a helpful comment at the Gates of Vienna blog, where a reader quotes from a David Horowitz book written a few years ago in which Horowitz analyzes the sly and influential tactics of anti-McCarthyite baiting and demonization -- and yet Horowitz has done just that to West.  As that reader notes, for example:  

On [Horowitz's] FrontPage Magazine, Ms. West ‘s book was denigrated as “McCarthyism on Steroids.” It is also noticeable that the picture on FrontPage Mag of September 28, 2013, under the headline “Another Personal Attack Inspired By West,” shows McCarthy pictured next to Stalin.

It defies credulity to think that Horowitz is so stupid, and so obtusely hypocritical, that he cannot see what he is doing.  The more plausible explanation is that he is deliberately using this tactic, among many others from the Alinskyite playbook -- both because he thinks he can get away with it, and because he has been driven to this desperate measure because West's book is just that threatening to what he wants to protect (the stealth Communism hidden beneath the pseudo-anti-Communism he has been publicly promoting).  

Thus, broadly speaking, the more plausible explanation is that Horowitz and Radosh found West's book -- particularly the exposé of Harry Hopkins, the vindication of McCarthy, and the disquieting implications these and other facts have for the grand project of FDR's America and our conduct in WW2 -- to be 1) singularly threatening, yet 2) impossible to refute.

Thus their only recourse was to foment a strategy of disinformation straight out of the Alinskyite playbook (if not Pravda and Cominform).

What, therefore, is not yet over and which needs to be further uncovered is the question, Why? Conventional explanations do not suffice. The most plausible explanation is that they found West's book threatening because it casts a light on the stealthy nooks and crannies of the propaganda industry of pseudo-anti-Communism which has, in many ways, over the decades taken over the only sector of our society capable of keeping the flame of truth about Communism alive -- the Conservative sector.

I.e., over the decades, stealth Communists realized that in order to keep their flame alive (of the Revolution, which is not going to go away with the Fall of the Wall), they needed to infiltrate the opposition -- the anti-Communist movement.

Radosh and Horowitz would be two influential soldiers in that stealth movement.

No other explanation does justice to the surreal way they have behaved in reaction to West's book.

And the fact that they took this daring risk of outing themselves (not that risky, as it turns out, since no one but me, and perhaps Andrew Bostom, apparently, suspects them of being stealth Communists, and in fact every time I bring it up, I get gently shot down by West defenders), indicates just how powerfully revelatory West's book is, and ipso facto how threatening to their mission they perceive it to be.

PC MC from P McC

I've been a big fan of Paul McCartney's music, in his Beatles days and in most of his solo career.  But as with most post-modern artists, he has PC MC instincts, even if a couple of times he showed good reflexes -- as when he flew to New York City while the smoke was still figuratively clearing after 911 to participate in a massive benefit concert and show his solidarity for, as his song extemporaneously composed for the occasion put it, "Freedom".  And as when he refused to cancel his concert in Israel even when the usual Lefties bandied the usual vilifications of an "apartheid" Israel "oppressing" the "Palestinian" people.

However, that doesn't mean he's not PC MC.  The glib remark he makes in the video above was made in 1991 (in a video of his rehearsals for a production of a classical work he wrote for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra called "Liverpool Oratorio"); but to those who would equally glibly assume Paul has "changed his mind" since then, unless I see direct evidence controverting it, I reasonably assume he still believes it (particularly as he has been an activist supporter of Obama).  Not only does he get the God of Islam wrong in his reflexive granting of normative respect to it, but he also amusingly gets Buddhism wrong, which has no "God" per se.

One more example of what should be an adage of the age:  

Artists and celebrities, if you can't condemn Islam as it should be, please keep your yaps shut about the subject altogether and go back to your art and celebrity.

Jumat, 24 April 2015

The Mutation of the "Moderate Muslim"

The mutation of the Moderate Muslim not only proves convenient for the asymptotic in the Counter-Jihad; it seems to have been created within the ambit of the Counter-Jihad.  At least, that's where I have seen it most.  

For the asymptotic in the Counter-Jihad, whose ethical conscience has been nagging at him, semi-consciously anxious about what would seem to portend were we to follow our reasonable prejudice based upon bloody fiery mountain ranges of inferential evidence leading us to condemn all Muslims, he cannot simply abandon the Moderate Muslim.  The function it provides proves too important to him after all.

This poses a dilemma for the asymptotic in the Counter-Jihad, however, because being in the Counter-Jihad, he knows too much about Muslims to so glibly dismiss the concerns about them.  And he has come to learn (if he doesn’t remain at the Daniel Pipes stage of retardation, that is) that the “Moderate Muslim” demographic is laughably specious.

What to do? Luckily, there comes along a way to save vast swaths of Muslims from our condemnation (and, more importantly, to save ourselves from the ethical anxiety we may feel at being condemners of so many hundreds of millions of Brown People)—by simply repackaging the Moderate Muslim demographic as something else (while having the gall to pat oneself on the back as a no-nonsense hardliner): thus, the Lax Muslims will do; and the Muslims Who Don’t Know Their Own Islam also come in handy; as well as the Muslims Who Are Too Afraid To Come Out of the Secularist Closet -- or more recently comes along the MINO ("Muslim In Name Only", echoing the RINO, the "Republican In Name Only" or false Conservative).


I'm sure there are many other permutations where these came from, and asymptotics will generate new ones in order to continue to indulge their De Nile.

Senin, 20 April 2015

Asymptote Watch: Frank Gaffney

I've been impressed by Frank Gaffney on a number of accounts:  his unstinting support of Diana West during the attacks by David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh on her new book (American Betrayal); his ongoing project (at the Center for Security Policy) of galvanzing various analysts mostly in the form of podcast discussions and interviews which shine lights on various aspects of the problem of Islam; and his calm and reasoned manner which helps maintain an admirable decorum especially in the Blogospheric context where hot tempers and boorish manners often seem to become too readily the norm.

The reader is probably wondering about now where my Big However is going to rear itself.  Right about now:  However, I have become increasingly disappointed by certain asymptotic signs and symptoms in Gaffney's Islamanschauung.

Two glaring ones:  Gaffney prompts the pseudo-no-nonsense anti-Islam analyst Erick Stakelbeck to distinguish "Islamism" from Muslims following their Islam -- and, of course, Stakelbeck earnestly complies, since he's also asymptotic, providing as usual a sweeping generalization about the minds of untold millions of Muslims he can magically mind-read.

The second occurred when Gaffney had the slick Moderate Muslim Juhdi Zasser on his show, introducing him as the greatest thing since sliced cheese, in addition to being "a great friend".  If a stealth Muslim wanted to make sure that those influential people suspicious of the more obvious "Islamists" such as the Muslim Brotherhood could be hoodwinked by a deeper infiltration of Muslims, he could not do classically better than to whisper into Frank Gaffney's ear exactly what Gaffney needs to hear to make himself feel ethically better about the horrible prospect of damning all Muslims -- which, to the Gaffneys of the Counter-Jihad, must be avoided at all cost.

Would Frank Gaffney be willing to submit his "great friend" Zuhdi Jasser to a polite yet assertive and thorough disquisition on the Islam he continues to follow?  If not, why not?  And if not, would Gaffney not be (ironically) behaving approximately the same as those who refused to investigate the loyalty of Huma Abedin?

Selasa, 07 April 2015

Any term in political science is useful if it is denoting, or describing, something in reality. That doesn’t mean it is, or has to be, perfect. All descriptive terms (particularly in a field as potentially complex as political science) have flaws; the question is whether the flaws outweigh the usefulness.

On the one subject of the problem of Islam, the terms Left and Right in my estimation do denote real political and cultural phenomena, where we do see a trend whereby more individuals who can be approximately categorized as on the Left tend to whitewash Islam and to denigrate condemners and warners of Islam, while comparatively fewer on the Right do so.

However, there has come to my notice over the past decade an important wrinkle to this seemingly simple formula: the unusually, and discomfittingly high number of individuals one could approximately categorize as on the Right who nevertheless tend to do with regard to the problem of Islam pretty much just what Leftists do—perhaps not with quite the self-righteous zest by which Leftists tend to add insult to injury; but still, the damage continues to be done.

We cannot call these people on the Right who behave this way “Leftists”.

Hence my development of the term “PC MC” to denote precisely non-Leftists who nevertheless tend to defend Muslims from “bigotry”, and in the process, either implicitly or explicitly tend to chill, or even vilifythose who warn of the dangers of Islam.  The Republicans who betrayed Michelle Bachmann not too long ago when she reasonably broached the topic of the possibility of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into American politics is a good, and alas not uncommon, example. My intermittent and still incomplete series on Voegelinians is another case in point: These "Voegelinians" are mostly academics dedicated to continuing scholarship inspired by their mentor, 20th century philosopher Eric Voegelin, who on most issues could not be remotely categorized as “Leftist” (and indeed was branded sometimes as a right wing demagogue for his firm anti-Communism); but who, nevertheless, when it comes to the one issue of the problem of Islam, suddenly begin conforming to the PC MC paradigm. Obviously, such otherwise classic conservatives cannot be said to be doing this for “Leftist” reasons. 

Thus “PC MC” denotes a broader, and deeper civilizational process that must have been occurring under our feet all along—a massive paradigm shift that has grown throughout the 20th century, a sea change in the sociopolitical and cultural public conscious that brings with it a whole constellation of axioms, shibboleths, mantras and memes—including the only one I really care about: the reflexive need to defend Muslims from “bigotry” and its obverse side of the coin, the reflexive need to vilify those who condemn Islam and who logically condemn all Muslims who enable Islam (and what Muslims don’t...?).


So, the above has been my long-winded way of saying that we should adopt “PC MC” as the key term, and it would be defined somewhat circularly:

Anyone is PC MC to the extent that they defend Islam and Muslims.

And yes, unlike pregnancy, one can be “a little PC MC”. The crucial question in that regard is whether one is sufficiently compromised by PC MC as to be part of the Problem, rather than part of the Solution.