Monday, July 30, 2007

Useless Battles over “Liberal” and “Conservative”

‘On the Barricades on Rue Soufflot’ Paris 1848 by W.J.HeineThis morning we received an email from someone name Beverly Hills — not, one suspects, her real name — who took us to task for writing liberals out of the Counterjihad narrative.

The entire email is reproduced without alteration below, followed by my response.

And no, I don’t know what the “Holger Dansk” blog is, so don’t ask.

Dear Dymphnia and Baron,

I very much enjoy your work and writing with this blog. It’s a great service to thos world — no exaggeration. I frequently visit it as well as Brussels Journal, Dhimmi Watch, Jihad Watch, LGF, Fjordman, Holger Dansk. You all do GREAT work.

One V-E-R-Y B-I-G PROBLEM, however. EVERY time you identify this movement of fighting the Islamicization of the West and the related demographic suicide of the West as something only “conservatives” see or something that is based in “the right” or “conservatism” — YOU ALIENATE H-U-G-E numbers of people who otherwise share the same ideas and beliefs as you do.

I myself am a LIBERAL. Does it matter? Absolutely NOT. The criticisms (e.g. “political correctness” and dhimmitude and lack of understanding of Islam AND their own Western culture…) you level at so-called “liberals” and the “left” are FULLY valid. But, you know what? Most people who consider themselves to be Conservatives in this world are also hindered by exactly those same things (e.g. “political correctness” and dhimmitude and lack of understanding of Islam AND their own Western culture…).

The Brussels Journal, for example, identifies its site as “The Voice of Conservatism in Europe”. See this google search.

And I’ve seen many bloggers on sites who go fully unchallanged (not my job…I already spend enough of my time writing about these issues. I don’t need to spend it in a useless battle over “liberal” “conservative”. Anyway, as a “liberal” myself, any “conservative” is far more likely to listen to another “conservative” or the editor of one of these otherwise EXCELLENT blogs when that “conservative” tells them this is N-O-T “conervative” or “liberal” issue.)

Take this September 11th meeting EU protest coming up in Brussels. Read the website and they understand that people involved and concerned about these things come from ALL stripes — politically, nationally, religiously, etc. The time now in Europe and the US is critical. We are A-L-L going over the edge. If you and the core group that met in Denmark actually want to do something to gather critical mass you need to do two (2) things: 1) you need to stop (and revise or remove…) your comments in you websites that identify any of this as some exclusively “conservative” movement; 2) you need to relabel and change the way you address the left and “liberals” — instead of using “liberals” or “left” use the words “Marxist” or “Socialist” or “Communists”.

The problem here is “political correctness” and ALL of the ways that “political correctness” pervades ALL of our entire decision making processes — whether for “conservatives” or for “liberals”. The problem here is the indoctrination we have all received over our Western lives that causes us to put away “freedom of expression” whenever it concerns someone not like us and offers economic reasons for lack of development and poverty (as opposed to RELIGIOUS and the cultures that arise from each religion…) and then which, at the same time, is also hostile to religion…most specifically Christianity. Yes, those “economic reasons” arise in the left in Marxism, but, NO, after 150 years, these ideas even determine how an average “conservative” thinks.

Europe, the West, and the Anglo-American countries are truly about finished. I just spent two hours reading Swedish newspapers and press releases. They’ve taken in 95,500 immigrants this year. It’s a record. You read the articles and there is ABSOLUTELY NO DFEBATE…and NONE ALLOWED in Sweden. Everything in the papes is ROSY stories that are self-imposed propaganda. That country is really lost. Meanwhile the average person there (as anywhere) is fed up with immigration…yet the politicians and human services people call anyone who gives their opinion a “racist” or “xenophobe”. It’s really horrible. That country — along with many others — are LOST.
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So the point is this. We who care about these things come from ALL stripes. Hell, there are even immigrants who are saying SHUT the damn doors. All of the sites I named above REALLY MUST remove things and also challenge bloggers who want to paint “liberals” and the “left” as idiots. Personally, I’m not offended, because I know what you are trying to say; but I can say most “liberals” would NOT take the same view. You need us. We need you. We ALL need each other if we are to even COME CLOSE to closing the door. Remove the language in your headers and titles that claim things like the “voice of Conservatism”. When bloggers on your page hammer “liberals” or the “left” take them to taks ALWAYS and point out that there are many liberals (like me) who visit and write on your websites — and teach them to focus their blasting of “liberals” instead on “Marxists”, “Socialists”, “Communists”, etc. Use those words instead. If you don’t, 50% of people out there will never take your websites or writing …OR THIS IMMENSELY IMPORTANT ISSUE… seriously. You M-U-S-T quit characterizing “conservatives” as the people who have all the answers or who are the only people “in the right” on this. If you can’t do that simple thing…and make sure it is reflected in your blog and your responses to bloggers’ comments, well, what we all know and see is happening right now…is, in fact, far, far worse than done.

Please make sure to pass this on to your colleagues at all of the above named websites. This really has to be addressed in an organized and methodical fashion and be paid attention to EVERY day. Otherwise, as I said, it is TRULY finished. People who call themselves “conservative” CAN NOT and WILL NOT be able to do this alone. Merely by playing the “convervative”/”liberal” and “right”/”left” cards you IMMEDIATELY discredit EVERY issue of concern here AND then alientate the support of HALF of the people we A-L-L WILL AND DO NEED. Thank you.

B. Hills

Here is my response:

Ms. Hills,

I think that you may not have been reading Gates of Vienna very long. There are some peculiar factual errors in your note — for instance, nowhere on our blog do we say that we are the “voice of Conservatism”. I presume you’re confusing us with one of the other blogs you mention.

Putting such inaccuracies aside, however, I’ll address your objections.

Even though we ridicule the left and take it to task, we don’t view it as a monolith. Although I am a conservative, I have often said that the Counterjihad is not — or shouldn’t be — solely a conservative project.

Take, for example, a Gates of Vienna post from last December, in which I featured the anti-jihad comments of an Anarchist. After quoting my Anarchist colleague, I wrote this:

I’ve been saying for a while now that it’s wrong — and counterproductive — to write off the entire Left. Christopher Hitchens and Nat Hentoff are not the only ones who understand what’s important.

Anti-jihad leftists are in the same bind as “moderate” Muslims — they are vilified, ostracized, and threatened because of their heresy. A heretical leftist may get to keep his head, but he will likely find his property destroyed and his career ruined because of his apostasy.

So it’s important to extend a hand to anyone who — without any socialist taqiyyah — genuinely wants to defeat the Great Islamic Jihad.

Knock-down drag-out fightThe problem for the Left is not that it is reviled by conservatives — which it is, often with good reason — but what it does to itself. The core of the Left has made opposition to Islamism a heresy. This is not something that conservatives made them do; they chose to do it themselves. Look at Joe Lieberman if you want an object lesson in how the Left treats its apostates.

And I’ll remind you that if you work for the media, or in education, or in Social Services, and if you want to keep your job and your friends, it would be a good idea to keep your Counterjihad opinions to yourself.

And that is the fault of the Left, not the Right.

“Liberalism” has lost its original meaning, and modern conservatism is what used to be known as “classical liberalism”.

Modern liberalism — the ideology that calls itself “liberalism” in the United States today — supports separate and unequal rights for women under Islam in the name of Multiculturalism. This liberalism is now undercutting our support for democracies overseas, arguing against supporting resistance movements in Iran, for example.

Again, liberalism supports fascism as long as it is Islamic.

This isn’t Marxism or Communism then that is masked as liberalism; it is the fascism of the Left.

When today’s “liberalism” cut its moorings with classical liberalism and became relativistic (not on religion, but on the rights of the individual), it lost its intellectual foundation.

And this makes it vulnerable to any tyranny, masked as the rights of oppressed people, that opposes the United States.

But it seems that you’re becoming a conservative, and we like you for that.

Fortunately, an individual moral revulsion against the fascism of Islam is having the same effect around the world.


xlbrl said...

Regrettably, this is indeed most certainly a conservative and liberal divide. The lady is looking for an excuse to oppose the forces pointedly trying to put her into submission, without going to the trouble of leaving the reservation of those who have opened the door for them.
Beverly does not wish to leave all her friendships and associations, which is the exile awaiting her. That is a problem she will have to work out for herself.
When we offer a hand or a compromise to dysfunction, we only become dysfunctional ourselves. That is why Robert Conquest gave us to understand that anything not expicitly right-wing, sooner or later becomes left-wing.
The Islamists know where to pry, Beverly, as a dog knows fear. He sees you as clearly as we do.

lgude said...

As a former American liberal who has paid the price - almost all of the friends I had have gone - I have to agree based on experience. The position I've taken as an American is that if there is no room in the Democratic party for Joe Lieberman, there is no room for me. I'm not much of a Republican at heart, but I wont vote for the Democrats as long as they keep failing to do what Harry Truman did - his best to defend the country. I wouldn't jeer at Beverly Hills as the previous commenter does - as neo-neocon says it takes a lot to change a mind and she is changing. She is becoming very conscious of her fear - unlike those on the left who project their fear onto those who defend them and identify with the enemy out of Stockholm syndrome. Beverly is doin' OK.

Ypp said...

The most important political issue, and also the main means of ruining the civilization, has changed from social justice to islamization. Therefore, many people have to change their sides with respect to the new division. Personally, I never thought that the Left were all evil, but their ideological or other affiliations made them ally with evil. Same can be said about Germans during WW2 or Jews during Russian revolution or muslims now. The world has changed and I believe our words should change too, in order to better reflect current reality.

Birkebeinr said...

"You read the articles and there is ABSOLUTELY NO DFEBATE…and NONE ALLOWED in Sweden. Everything in the papes is ROSY stories that are self-imposed propaganda. That country is really lost."

There was a poll in one of the major swedish papers recently concerning immigration. A huge majority showed that the papers readers where sceptical on the nations immigration policies.

The ruling class in sweden knows they are facing a wind of change.

xlbrl said...

Well, Igude, as Abe might have said, if it would remove the Beverlys of our world from the grips of their self-delusion more effectively, I would cheer her progress, or sharpen her fear, or remain silent also, if that were best. Yet it is our experience that civility in fires or wars has its limitations. Perhaps that was not the case in your conversion, and you understand Beverly better than I.
As a rule, I have not seen this work well. And, it may also be more efective to speak the truth for the sake of defending those that know it than it is in convincing those who do not. Then we are better able to lead by example. We do not so easily lose ourselves in extending and twisting the rhetoric of reason attemping to bring over those who have renounced its use.

Jason Pappas said...

I'm sure Beverly will notice a warm welcome by almost everyone who understands the jiahdi threat. There are many liberals who are welcomed speakers by conservative groups -- take Tammy Bruce or Bernard Goldberg or Bruce Bawer. You don't see such tolerance on the left. However, I sympathize with Beverly and often speak hopefully of the moderate Democrats and "common sense" liberals (to use a term coined by Mayor Koch) joining the cause.

What we don't see is a major liberal figure talking about the Islamic threat. Paul Berman comes closest. But there is no Robert Spencer or Serge Trifkovic on the left. Where's the left's Daniel Pipes, Tony Blankley, etc. Why isn't the left inviting Ayaan Hirsi Ali to their think tanks?

If the "common sense" liberals want to take center stage, I'll be the first to cheer. We need a competitive two party system. As a life-long Republican I wouldn't mind so much losing to Zell Miller.

Unknown said...

When I started visiting gatesofvienna there was some words of John Stuart Mill about people like "Beverly Hills".

Vol-in-Law said...

"“Liberalism” has lost its original meaning, and modern conservatism is what used to be known as “classical liberalism”."

Hm, in the USA classical liberalism is usually termed 'centrism' - would you consider The Economist magazine 'Conservative'? Mainstream US Conservatism combines economic classical-liberalism with gestures towards social conservatism, and in recent years a degree of neocon inspired militarism & big-government conservatism that can veer towards proto-fascism.

There are also traditionalist & paleocon conservatives - Pat Buchanan, Larry Auster, Christopher's brother Peter Hitchens - who are clearly conservatives, not classical liberals.

Whiskey said...

Liberalism is not about economics as much as elitism. That's why the anti-average person anti-populism policies including submission to Jihad that liberals practice.

Beverly will only come to terms with what she perceives when she understands what Liberalism is all about: a privileged elite who wishes to rule the people.

I might or might not fit the Conservative profile, I imagine my views on any number of topics might cause discomfort to many conservatives.

But I made a fundamental choice between the people and the elites and never regretted it, all the other things fit in afterwards.

Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, all are pale shadows of what we are really talking about which is elitism.

R. Hartman said...

"Beverly Hills" does not seem to be that liberal at all; at least not in the anglo-saxon meaning. But your response is right on the money, Baron.

On April 29, this year, I wrote an article on Dutch blog Het Vrije Volk, that tells the story of a 'illegalenhoedster', a keeper of illegal aliens, protecting them from being arrested by the governement, giving them shelter, and providing legal advise on how to start yet another legal procedure paid for by the taxpayers in vain attempts to be allowed to stay permanently. Even after all procedures are exhausted, they keep these people here, instead of helping them leave the country.

These are typical lefties, who feel great for being so compassionate and altruistic, while taking away all dignity from their victims by making them fully dependent on these organisations, which are being funded by Dutch government, hence by the taxpayer, even while many taxpayers don't agree.

Maybe I should put up a reworked translation on Dutch Concerns, once I find the time.

Vol-in-Law said...

From a UK perspective, US 'Liberals' are a mix of social democrats, crypto-Marxists, a few Whiggish centrist classical-liberals (Lieberman), and some populists on the blue-dog fringe (Webb). The dominant ideology though is Frankfurt school cultural Marxism, which in recent years has even begun to infect nominal conservatives.