We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I believe there is a societal motive behind our culture’s marginalization of “enmity,” and it should be discussed; but first let us give an example of enmity’s marginalization. As America has been targeted by Islamic forces, America’s political establishment refuses to see Islam as an enemy. In fact, today’s Western culture adroitly fends off the notion that traditional Islam signifies universal submission to the will of Allah. Regardless of the fact that nominal Muslims readily coexist with Westerners, the teachings of Islam are unequivocal. The only reason Europe is not under Islamic law today, is because Europe’s military power surpassed that of Islam in the sixteenth century. This point is lost on nearly everyone, and shows the extent to which enmity has been marginalized in the West.
In regard to Nygard's statement above that "America refuses to see Islam as a enemy ..." Not all of America refuses to understand this. Our armed forces understand this quite well. There ws an interesting thread on this subject on neptunus lex's blog last night, with one commenter, taking on a new commenter who expressed the usual liberal "oh, they're not so different from us meme. Commenter Zane, a regular on the board put up a list of five questions the young lady should be able to answer before she tried to join in the brisk free-for-all, and caused the members of our household to rush around, dig out hard-copy texts as well as Dr. Google, and try to answer the questions ourselves. One deceptively innocent question was "define kafir." I thought I knew, but had obviously not considered the implications. Google has several links which are enlightening, one of which pointed out that Islam is essentially divides the world's populations into two groups; Momins [Mohammedans, or real people] and kafirs [infidels, dhimmis or whatever] whose position in the world is roughly equivalent to serfs or chattels, with no rights except the right to duck when fired at. That's us, folks. Momins don't have to be good folk, as long as they say their prayers to Mecca five times a day. Kafirs, on the other hand, "don't get no respect" as Rodnay Dangerfield used to lament, no matter how brilliant, kind and civbilized they are.
I suggest going to Zane's comments on lex's blog for the other questions. We're still mulling them over here. They make a very sinister picture. The comments and the essay are entitled People of the Year, if you want to look them up.
P.S. Sorry, News Junkie, if I broke the unwritten blog rules and I'm not supposed to mention other blogs here, but you know I'm only semi-literate on computers and I don't know how to do the linking thingie. MM
"I believe there is a societal motive behind our culture’s marginalization of “enmity,” ..."
I agree with Nyquist on everything with the exception of his use of 'motive'. I don't think for a second that people there is motive behind our enmity. We simply feel it, acknowledge it on a visceral level when faced with the latest news, and then we move on. I'd call it Post Traumatic Ennui if I had to give a name to it. We are so surrounded by 'horror' via the media and endless pundits, and our own countrymen have cheapened politics to the point leadership is an abstract, and our own lives are chaotic because of sleazy leaders in the financial world - who in the world doesn't see human nature at work here trying in each of us through denial, avoidance, frustration, and worst - helplessness to keep us sane. Add to that what we find on the Internet about how the world is going to collapse in twelve different ways and you damn well better do something!
If we have any true societal motive, it is our own preservation in a world that is just a bit mad. We are truly that one man standing in Tianneman Square with his bag of groceries. Until we all join that brave man, we are the ones marginalized.
meta, did you read it right --that there is a societal motivation away from enmity --not toward it. Nyquist as usual is watching plate tectonics --what we see acting out here & now is the feeling that the USA exists in some sort of bulletproof bubble hovering just over --safely above --the seething earth-rabble below. So we're okay to keep on keeping haranging our own selves to distraction over our societal pimples and stubbed toes while "oh, the poor darlings below" about the the hungry morlocs abuilding ever longer ladders.
Yep, Buddy, I read it right. I just claim that 'motive' is not what causes this shift 'away'. I don't deny it's happening; I deny that 'we' are shifting because of an acknowledged motive. It is much larger than that.
P.S. I am not counting some of our leaders, as you notice, none of whom have the balls to stand in front of a tank.
The notion of disabling America's nuclear deterrence by 'non-military means' (what, a president who won't use it? Who may have already secretly agreed not to? --no i don't necessarily refer to current cast).
The observation that if nuclear war is unthinkable how come a plain old common everyday fella like Harry Truman has already used it?
Those two and several others literally shiver me timbers. I keep thinking about that Dec 07 1941 "This can't be happening!" event. Not to mention 9/11/01. We sure need to stay frosty.