My "Idiotarianism: Exhibit #24,349" article earlier today generated some interesting commentary, and a worthy question.
Ross of Perfidity.org finds the term overused, and I'm seeing more discomfort with it these days from the left. To which I reply in French: tant pis (too bad). The term is very useful, precisely because it calls attention to the growing neo-fascist/neo-marxist/Islamist nexus of sympathy, mutual justification, and joint action so vividly demonstrated in that neo-nazi spam's URL collection.
Don't believe me? Then you need to read Belmont Club's "Decline and Fall" (of the European Left) right now - and not just for the T.S. Eliot poetry. Read it for his account of The European Left taking the first steps toward being hollowed out by Islamists, and for predictions of a takeover trend that has historical parallels and makes both political and demographic sense.
Which brings us to Robin Roberts' question: Why? Why all of them? Why now? What's the attraction in these supposedly incompatible visions? I think it's simple...
They're united by a desire to shoot the same messenger.
Staring at their shattered idols, they all blame the same set of demons for the destruction of their gods: capitalism, modernity, the bourgeois mentality. And what do you get when you cross all 3? Symbolically, you get Jews... and you get America.
If they could but kill their god's destroyers, perhaps their gods could live again and fulfill the glorious prophecies foretold. The prophecies they were cheated out of. As I said in an April 19, 2002 exchange with MuslimPundit:
"A culture that sees nothing new in the world beyond the idols of its doctrine can only lash out in rage when those idols are cracked. For those idols carry their very identity, and the loss of identity leads inexorably to violence. This characteristic is not unique to Islam, and can just as easily be seen on any "progressive" university campus.
Which brings up an interesting point. Until now, conservatives have seen the (one way) sympathy and winking between the university's radical left and Islamist jihadists as ideological in nature: a pinch of Marxism, 2 tablespoons of reflexive anti-colonialism, a quart of victimization politics as a sop to the failure of their doctrines to create anything but brutal slums and pest-holes.
Maybe we were wrong. Maybe the real bond is not ideological, but cultural in nature. Facing their cracked idols, lashing out at the common messenger of their failure, these two movements agree only to borrow what they can from each other in order to wound the common object of their hate. America is surely the most prominent messenger. Israel, with no oil but a per capita purchasing power twice that of Saudi Arabia, is another."
Instapundit notes that this may not be the wisest choice of enemies. To which I reply: neither wisdom nor rationality are part of this equation.
Trent Telenko notes, correctly, that the most reliable covariant around the world for unreasoning hatred of America is becoming anti-Semitism - and vice versa. And so we watch as fascism, the radical left, and Islamism all meld together in an ooze of apologetics for murder and rabid denunciation of their common enemy.
Hence, "idiotarianism." That its proponents are largely immune or even ideologically hostile to rational thought is demonstrated, clearly, every day.
Are you paying attention? You should be. Know thine enemy, and learn to recognize them. They certainly recognize their enemies, and in case y'all hadn't noticed, we're it. Worse, there's nothing we can do to change that, short of adopting their Marxist or Islamofacist theocracy. Nothing. Which leaves us with just one option: win.
Pointing this out hardly cheapens discourse. Indeed, it's essential to intelligent discussion of what we're seeing.
Besides which, I love the label. It fits. Especially after we've spent the last 70 years demonstrating and documenting the inevitable trail of futility and poverty, and the oceans of blood these ideologies have left are everywhere they've been tried. In the 1930s, one might (barely) have had ignorance as a valid defense. No longer.
As we've been reminded on 9/11 and since, these ideas have real-world consequences.
Defeating and discrediting these ideas and those who promulgate them, and winning what Armed Liberal calls "The War on Bad Philosophy," is as important as any military action in the War on Terror. Maybe more so, if you're thinking on a civilizational scale.
I know which side of that fight I'm on. How about you?
--- UPDATES ---
- Porphyrogenitus writes a similar post that provides additional backup and makes some very cogent points, as he shines a bright light on the pro-Palestinian movement. Since these groups featured so prominently in the neo-nazi spam of "Exxibit #24,349," it's a sort of double synchronicity.
- Inoperable Terran suggests the term "Axis of Dumbass." Objectively true, but insufficiently catchy.
- The Origins and Meaning of "Idiotarian" How did that word get started, anyway - and what does it really mean? Winds has answers.
- Activism's Onanist Fantasy Ideology. Committed leftists critique the current strain of "activism as ritual worship," disengaged from any connection to actual results. It's part of the cocktail, and the ritual worship parallels strengthen this post's thesis.
- Anti-Globalization, Anti-Semetic, Anti-American. Adds some chilling examples highlighting the reality of the sharing going on between Islamist theocrats, neo-Nazis, and neo-Marxists. The Democratic Party's Fred Siegel has noticed, and so has Michael Totten as he reads his AdBusters. It all builds on the core thesis in "Hating America, Hating Israel" - ever hear the one about the 2 waiters...?
- James C. Bennett, UPI (April 12/03) - Anglosphere: why do they hate us? "it is worth considering the possibility that the root source of anti-Americanism in the world lies in the deep-rooted anti-modern tradition of Continental Europe...." Also discusses the historic role of Jews in continental European culture, their status as a bellweather, and the effects of their current absence.