Friday, August 17, 2007

Controversial Common Sense

Jens Tomas Anfindsen of the bilingual website Honest Thinking sends this reply to yesterday’s post about their manifesto:

Laurel and HardyIn response to some of the comments to this post, I would just like to underline how much I agree with those stating that the manifesto is using many words to convey something simple. We too, its authors, consider the manifesto as expressing plain, common sense; something which we consider a good thing.

To appreciate why we are setting out our case in such a formal style one has to consider who we are up against, and I will place this in a European context.

America is lucky to have so many Christian fundamentalists. Christian fundamentalists normally have a strong sense of conservative values and are, generally, far more aware of the dangers of Islam than most others. In Europe there are few Christians altogether, and most Christians of public influence adhere to some sort of watered-down, Marxist interpretation of it. Most fundamentalists around here are either Islamists or UN fundamentalists. In the liberal, secular European elites, most people are UN fundamentalists. Not by conscious reflection, of course, but through some kind of socially instilled, quasi-religious prejudice. When dealing with this segment of society, it is actually necessary to point out that it is philosophically possible to embrace the idea that all human beings are endowed with certain inalienable rights, on the one hand, while at the same time refusing to commit oneself to the belief that any specific formulation of those rights has managed to pin down their true essence, once and for all. Simpler and more specific put: It is possible to believe in the universal dignity of mankind while at the same time rejecting UN’s charter of human rights.
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Just stating the obvious? Well, yes. But in Europe, if you use the concept “human rights”, most people will not think of the humanist or Judeo-Christian principle that all men possess an inviolable dignity; they will think you mean those sentences dotted down in the UN charter of human rights. That is precisely how sick UN fundamentalism is.

So in a situation where unconditional adherence to the UN inspired scheme of banning just about any kind of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or religion is about to wreak havoc to the entire Western civilization and probably will plunge our societies into unprecedented depths of mayhem, Islam critics and immigration critics like ourselves have to employ all powers of conviction to enlighten the public of the philosophical possibility of maintaining a humanist stance on the inviolable dignity of man, while also claiming the right to subject our immigration policies to demographic measures, have the UN say what it will.

Just common sense? Yes, that’s what we think! Uncontroversial? No way!

— Jens Tomas Anfindsen

6 comments:

Profitsbeard said...

This was clearer than the verbiage of the "manifesto", but you guys need to read T. Jefferson, Voltaire, Epictetus, Mary Wollstonecraft and Winston Churchill to "pithy" up your phrasing.

Non-memorable "good thoughts" do not inspire the uninformed or stick in their already over-worded minds.

We're in this fight against theocratic despotism together.

But catchy polemical phrasing is essential.

You need something more in the vein of:

"We have sworn eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of men and women."

(We aren't filing legal briefs, but are fighting for the survival of our Civilization.)

And C.S. Lewis's:

"Of all tyrannies, that one sincerely exercised for the 'good' of its victims is the most oppressive."

is apt, too.

Keep up the good fight.

Europe is the birthplace of modern human liberty.

Let's not allow the cradle to be robbed to please a medieval pedophile.

Geraldo said...

Someone isnot understanding something.

And I also dont understand who is someone and what thing is something

""So in a situation where unconditional adherence to the UN inspired scheme of banning just about any kind of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or religion is about to wreak havoc to the entire Western civilization and probably will plunge our societies into unprecedented depths of mayhem, Islam critics and immigration critics like ourselves have to employ all powers of conviction to enlighten the public of the philosophical possibility of maintaining a humanist stance on the inviolable dignity of man, while also claiming the right to subject our immigration policies to demographic measures, have the UN say what it will.""

S said...

Geraldo, I think the point is that the UN is the source of much PC gobbledygook that it calls "human rights," and that if you really want to talk about true human rights in Europe, you have to explain yourself very carefully. It is unfortunate that language has become so badly corrupted that this is necessary, but since this seems to be the case, then it must be dealt with as the situation exists.

Geraldo said...

That piece of verbiage is hardly comprehensible.
This reminds me Orwell's 1984.
By controlling the words you control the thoughts.

Dymphna said...

geraldo--

Language must be precise, even when it is merely opprobrium.

Thus, when you say "that piece of verbiage," to which that are you referring? Do you mean the comment 'S' addresses to you, or do you mean the post itself?

The same question applies to your second sentence: to which this do you refer?

Finally, who is this "you" controling the language? I can present numerous counter-examples to this last contention that language control limits thought. The first example that springs to mind is China's brutal population control measures, complete with decades of propaganda and strict rules about criticism of this law. Despite millions upon millions of forced abortions rural families continue to grow beyond one child.

Government can certainly put in place penalties for action, but it cannot control what its people *think*.

Despite the Catholic Church's extreme efforts, Galileo's thought prevailed.

I would remind you of Peter Drucker's famous maxim: "communication is the act of the recipient." IOW, it doesn't matter what we say if our listener doesn't understand it.

I did not understand your comment.

Geraldo said...

You are right.
I was referring to that giant phrase I quoted from the post (I still dont understand it completely).

The phrase "By controlling the words you control the thoughts. " is suposely said by a character Orwell created to his famous "1984" novel.

I think it is dificult to have thoughts about something if we dont have a word for that thing.