August 20, 2007

WHAT THEY RESENT MOST IS THAT IT TOOK THEM 400 YEARS TO RECOGNIZE THE END OF HISTORY:

It must be the end of secularism (Spengler, 8/21/07, Asia Times)

Secular liberalism stands helpless before a new century of religious wars, Columbia University Professor Mark Lilla concedes in "The politics of God", a despairing vision of the political future published in the August 19 New York Times Magazine. It is one of those important statements, like the "end of history", that will repeat on us indefinitely, like a bad curry. It comprises most of the Times weekend magazine, presented with all the pomposity the newspaper can summon.

For the few of us who asked not how to avoid religious war, but rather how best to fight it, Lilla's essay provides double validation. Not only does he admit that the foundation has crumbled beneath the secular-liberal position but, even better, he lays bare the rank hypocrisy that infected this position from the beginning. Lilla does not love Reason; he merely hates Christianity. He is beaten, and knows he is beaten, but cannot bear to surrender to Western Christians; instead, he proposes to surrender to the Muslims, particularly to Professor Tariq Ramadan. If that sounds strange, it is not my fault. [...]

Never mind that the United States, which defined the modern democratic state, was founded by radical Protestant refugees from Europe who set out to build a New Jerusalem, and that impassioned religious faith has characterized American discourse from its founding. Lilla desires us to believe that an elite of political scientists much like himself managed to re-engineer the social order during the 18th century, before those awful fanatics came back. He reminds one of the scientists on the flying island of Laputa in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, who wander with their noses in the air and must be hit on the nose with inflated pig's bladders to prevent them falling over the edge.


Such, of course, is a main source of the intellectuals particular hatred of America and estrangement from the Anglosphere generally, that we never made the Rationalist error in the first place. Because we rejected their ideas grom the git-go, and held them in contempt throughout, they can't pretend that no one could have known better.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2007 8:38 AM
Comments

Spengler's in rare form in this one.

"It is as if the High Priest of Reason had ascended its Temple to offer himself as a sacrifice to the Goat God."

Yowza.

For those more educated in these things than I, is there a classification for this sort of internal enemy who would surrender to an alien annihilator rather than support his compatriots? This isn't just the enemy simpathizer, but seems something more evil. I'd be interested in some sort of historical study on this phenomenom.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 20, 2007 2:26 PM
« TOO BAD HOLLYWOOD NEVER LISTENS: | Main | YOU MEAN NANCY DOESN'T WANT THEM IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD?: »