Many years ago, I wrote a short story about the fading of the rational world, and its replacement with the mystical. It wasn’t very well written, and to some extent I still think I am lousy at writing fiction. But the premise was a fascinating one. I would like to revisit it someday.
Anyway, the concept was that, long after a nuclear war, knowledge of the rational world was failing, becoming piecemeal and quasi-mystical. And that the universe itself bent to this notion, that humanity’s collective experience was sufficient to change the natural laws of the universe. In simple terms, the Earth was becoming a magical place. The protagonists were on a mission to find the nearly-completed spacecraft from a pre-war colonization project.
They leave just in time, escaping a fantastical Earth into the “rational” universe. When their descendants return to Earth, generations later, they find no evidence humans had ever been there at all. The two worlds — the fantastical and the rational — had split off and become inaccessible to one another. It was a play on the nature of subjectivity versus objectivity, of Free Will and Fatalism.
In any event, the recent terror attacks reminded me of this old story, and a fundamental problem at the core of how we view Islam, terror, and the war we are fighting against both. This is a war in which you have already been drafted. The enemy always gets a vote…
People say “not all Muslims” and “Islam is a religion of peace.” They prattle on about the peaceful, moderate Muslims. They will tell you of Muslim friends, or Muslim coworkers, and how great they are. The fact is, they aren’t wrong. Such Muslims exist, presumably in large numbers, even. On the other side, we discuss how terror attacks are, almost invariably, perpetrated by Muslims. The question is not if another Muslim terror attack will happen, it is merely when, and how many bodies will be produced. We talk about history, how violent Jihad destroyed the old Roman world, how Islam has perpetually had bloody borders and genocidal madmen at the fore. The fact is, this is true too.
You see, the problem isn’t the deity. The problem is the priests.
Theoretically, Allah is one and the same with the God of Moses and the father of Jesus Christ. Oh, certainly there are differences (the divinity of Christ being a big one). But still, we are supposedly worshiping the same entity, right? Why, then, all the hate between the intellectual descendants of Abraham? For one, Mohammed as illustrated in the Quran and, more appropriately, the Hadiths, was a violent, megalomaniac of a warlord.
Robert Spencer, of course, wonders if a warlord named Mohammed even existed in the first place. The Hadiths are not attested before the beginning of the eighth century. The Quran only partially so, and with clear transcription errors. We cannot know with certainty who Mohammed was, what he did, or if anything written about him is true at all. In simple terms, the leaders of the Islamic world could have fabricated him out of whole cloth, or twisted him to fit an agenda of their own making. We wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Regardless of the existence or non-existence of Mohammed himself, the word of his priests, the religious leaders of Islam, is clear: conquest and subjugation in the name of Islam. This is not a religion of peace, as is assumed, but a religion of submission — the denial of the Thomist notion of Free Will.
Perhaps, if they chose to, the priesthood of Islam, such that it is, could interpret it differently. But it steadfastly refuses to do so. And when one or another rogue reformer in the Islamic world suggests they ought to (see the Bahais and the Ahmadis) the rest of Islam tries to murder them.
The problem isn’t the people. The problem is the priests.
Imagine if nearly every Christian churchman was an intellectual disciple of the Westboro Baptists. That’s the reality of the Islamic world. Whether or not the man herding goats in the Sudan is our enemy is irrelevant. He has no power. His opinion of us is meaningless. Moderate Islam, such that exists, has no voice, no power.
And in the Muslim world, like the fantastical setting of my short story, subjective experience is reality. When a warrior loses a battle, he thinks his loss is punishment. He was insufficiently devout. He must dedicate himself more to Allah, such that next time God will grant that his bullets fly true and smite the unbelievers. So the imam comes, and tells him to follow the example of Islam set forth in the Hadiths. Then the Great Satan will be beaten.
The Thomist notion of God, that of a being who set the universe into motion, willed it into being, and then left it to unfold, is completely foreign to Islam. There is no Free Will in Islam, save for the choice to submit or die.
Such peaceful, moderate Muslims that exist are Muslims who, like many Christians, are not particularly devout. They do not think about the Quran constantly, or follow the example of Mohammed in the Hadiths. But there is guilt for this, just as there is guilt for the Catholic who rarely attends mass, or the Jew who becomes a secularist. So, on occasion, a previously “moderate” Muslim will find his calling in the exhortations of a radical imam, telling him that he must be more Muslim.
The problem isn’t the prophet. The problem is the priests.
The war between Islam and everybody else predates the founding of the religion. It predates Christianity, Rome, and probably all of written history. The conflict is an ancient one, rooted in the battle between the Fatalists and those who believe in Free Will. It is Freedom against Slavery. Sovereignty versus Submission. Islam clothed itself in the uniform of the Fatalists. It was not the first to do so, and certainly not the last (Marxists wear the uniform, likewise).
From this, you can understand the underpinnings which bind the Social Justice Warriors and Militant Marxists with the Radical Islamists: all believe history has already been written. Everything is predetermined, and everything is predicated on devotion to the cause. The priests, of course, determine precisely what devotion means. They virtue signal, they “educate” their followers on what Allah — or the historical dialectic — desires of them, that they might find Paradise.
In the West, we have a priesthood, also. But this isn’t a priesthood who answers the call of Christ. The priesthood of Marx can be found in the media talking heads, in the ivory towers of academia. Remember, insufficient devotion to Marxism is cause for expulsion. You are a heretic. Or, if you are a right-wing Christian, you are an infidel. Like in Islam, it is permissible to do whatever they want to you.
The problem isn’t bigotry. The problem is the media.
Behind all of this, the Marxists and the Islamists both believe in a sort of subjective utopia, that their devotion is alone sufficient to change the world, to bend reality itself, to change the very laws of the universe. The Muslim fighter believes that Allah will bend the bullet’s path, and smite the infidel. The Social Justice Warrior believes that humanity contains an infinite number of genders, but that race doesn’t exist (it’s a social construct). The Dialectic shall change the very biological nature of mankind himself.
Neitzsche’s ubermensch was really just a fat genderqueer lesbian wolfkin with a cornucopia of mental illnesses. The worst mass murderers in ISIS-controlled Syria are paragons of devotion to Allah, model citizens of the new Caliphate. Both are freedom fighters against the terrifyingly bigoted Christian oppressors of the world.
The problem isn’t Free Will. The problem is Fatalism.
If Free Will doesn’t exist, then there is no point to anything. That is the path to Nihilism, the path to genocide, the path to every ill which humanity has ever conceived of. For, in the end, Fatalism tells you that nothing is really your fault. You have no will. You are a victim of history, a soldier of Allah, a vessel for another power that is not-you. And not-you did the thing.
It is the shifting of blame away from self, it is the destruction of self, the annihilation of purpose. And then, once this terrifying self-destruction has taken place, the priesthood of your Fatalistic belief system of choice will remake you in their chosen image. (How can you have chosen Allah or Marx if you have no Free Will? Answer that one SJWs).
The priests make of you what they will. You are now a vessel for someone else’s beliefs, a tool wiped clean for another’s purpose, a purpose that is not your own. The priest sleeps well at night saying to himself “I didn’t kill anybody, my slave did.” And the slave sleeps well at night thinking “I didn’t kill anybody, I followed my master’s orders.” Yet the killing happened.
That is how the person saying “not all Muslims” and the person saying “Islam is the problem” can be simultaneously correct. Everybody involved thinks there is no choice. The SJW thinks terrorism is just something that happens, like a natural disaster, an act of a God they don’t believe exists. Then they will light a candle and pray to a deity they don’t believe exists either. Hearts will be chalked onto sidewalks, messages of love and peace displayed in empty ritual, as if, like in my story, the very thought will somehow change the fabric of the universe. At least the Christian believes there is probably a God at the other end of the line. The SJW believes nothing exists, yet conducts the ritual anyway, filling some deep-seated human need.
This, in a world without choice, where oppressor and victim are preordained, where original sin is heaped upon a white baby, because somebody who looked vaguely similar once did something evil. But the chosen of God, or Marx, or whatever… they are free of sin. Paradise is for them.
Just as, half a world away, Muslims will cheer the deaths of infidels and those they see as sexual deviants. It will be seen, as with all such things, as the divine wrath of Allah. The terrorist was merely the vessel through which Allah’s will was carried to the Great Satan. The chickens come home to roost. Paradise is coming. The Caliphate will be real, merely because they think it so.
In the world of Fatalism, the problem is always the priests.
Of course, whether or not the priests believe their own material is another topic altogether.
Virtue signalling is a form of Progressive magic, the thought that wasting time chanting and drawing chalk art on the driveway like a 3 year old will somehow banish the demons that afflict your society back to the Hellfires from whence they came. It is a belief in the supernatural sans God, that merely thinking something changes your reality, that all of reality is subjective, bending to the whims of your personal feelings at this particular moment.
Terrorist attacks deserve more than a bunch of people drawing hearts on the sidewalk, or putting flowers on some street corner. But meaningless gestures are all that the Establishment, Ivory Tower elites have left to a society more or less banned from doing anything that is actually effective. Discussing Islam and Weaponized Empathy critically is, of course, racist (this despite the fact that Islam is a religion and political ideology, not a race). They spread this hashtag “#BXLove” as if the ISIS-sponsored terrorists give a rat’s ass whether some effeminate Belgians make heart symbols with their hands and offer “love and support” to whomever needs it. To me, love and support means, perhaps, loaning me some ammo when I’m low.
“We are one” they say. As if ISIS wants to be one with any of us. They want us dead, and our possessions and lands in the hands of a world Caliphate.
If a terrorist attack resulted in the death of one of my loved ones, I would not be looking for love and support of the magical Progressive variety. I would be digging for my rifle and ammo cans. I would desire justice, vengeance even (they aren’t the same thing, but nevermind that). I would want to even the score.
But these people just sit around and cry, or pat each other on the back for holding candlelight vigils and putting flags on their Facebook profile pictures. Je Suis Charlie, they say, except that two weeks later it is all forgotten and nobody cares anymore. Meanwhile, those of us with even a cursory understanding of history are just waiting for the next Islamic terrorist attack. The question is always when, where, and how many bodies. We never ask if another Islamic terrorist attack will happen. That is as certain as the rising sun, if rather less predictable and regular in its schedule.
HuffPo shows us violinists playing in the streets, sad songs dedicated to the memory of victims neither the player or the crowd knew or cared one whit about yesterday. People hold each other, crying their crocodile tears, because a journalist is nearby, his camera there to chronicle the sadness, the hope, the solidarity and peace-love-understanding of the virtue signalers.
Look at me, says the subject of the camera, I’m sad because I’m supposed to be, because the TV told me to be sad, and come here, and hold candles.
Of course, the talking heads of the media Establishment are there to tell us that the terrorists did not represent Islam, that Islam is a religion of love-peace-understanding, and that the massive influx of Islamic refugees, of course, has nothing to do with anything. All of us mean-people-racists are, of course, ignored as the Right-wing bigots we are tarred as. So nothing changes. Refugees will pile into Europe, America will refuse to secure its own borders, and Progressives will hold their candles, crying because somebody told them that was the right thing to do.
Orwell told us of the Two-Minutes Hate. Today we have a new variation: Two-Minutes Love. It’s supposed to make all the bad boogeymen go away, banished by the power of solidarity, hashtags, and heart symbols written in chalk.
Progressives are, in simple terms, believers in magic. Magical chalk dust will banish Islamic terror from their shores. Chants and candles will extinguish 1,500 years of conflict. Virtue signalling will effectively replace soldiers, bombs, and bullets as the chief defenders of Western civilization. Except that they don’t even believe in that anymore. At some level, Progressives believe the West deserves exactly what it’s getting. If only, says the Progressive, the anti-Islamic bigots weren’t around, this wouldn’t happen anymore.
One Turkish fellow I debated declared that the attacks were revenge for actions of Western countries in the Middle East. I suppose he meant the Iraq war, or perhaps the war in the Afghanistan. In any event, he wasn’t clear. I countered by pointing out that the Persian and Byzantine Empires didn’t do anything to the Muslims (indeed, the Byzantines may have actually sheltered them for a time). Yet the Muslims attacked and subjugated all of one, and most of the other.
Our intrepid Turkish gentleman explained that it was “a long time ago.” Sure it was. But the modern media still has a rage boner for the Crusades, so why not go back that far? There is an easier explanation for all of this, one that doesn’t require cherry-picking from history or religious texts: we can believe ISIS and other Islamic terror groups when they say they want to kill the infidel, or make him pay the jizya, take his women, and establish a global Caliphate.
Will lighting the Eiffel Tower in solidarity with Belgium accomplish anything effective against that sort of thing?
But doing nothing and pretending to be important is the hallmark of Progressivism. After all, magic chalk dust will solve everything, right? And war, as they say, never solved anything at all, right? Justin Trudeau explains this ass-backwards thinking for us:
Progressive thinking in a nutshell.
The corollary to this in Progressive parlance would be that if you hug random people in the streets in front of a television camera, you win. It doesn’t matter if the hugger, or the huggee, was in any way tied to the attack. Nobody on the nightly news needs to have lost anyone, or been affected in any way whatsoever. All that matters is if you stand in “solidarity” and chant the right words.
One particular graphic making the rounds on Instagram tells us that Belgians need to “be strong” in the face of the attacks.
Being strong might mean killing your enemies. But not for these people. For them it means crying, and hugging, and posing for pictures.
Progressives wouldn’t know strength even if it blew up in their faces. Which, of course, it actually did in this particular instance. Say what you will about Islamic terrorism, but its practitioners have more strength than its victims.
HuffPo tells us that all this activity on the part of Progressives is how to properly “fight back” against your enemies. If Hitler were alive today, and invading Europe, his panzer divisions would be met not with inept British and French forces, but with crowds holding signs denouncing bigotry, and the trifecta of racism-sexism-homophobia. Dive bombers would fly above crying Progressives standing in solidarity with the dead bodies surrounding them.
They would continue to chant their magical chants, draw their childish “art” on the streets in chalk, seeking to banish the demon Hitlerites back to the nether-realm from whence they came. “It’s time to fight back,” HuffPo would tell us, “mobilize the divisions of the gender-confused otherkin, the purple-haired manhaters, the effeminate men unable to even conceive of holding a weapon in defense of their own lives.”
And then when the Hitlerites conquered the Earth, the remains of the Progressive movement would gather in the ruined, bombed-out town square and hold their candles to mourn the dead, still hoping their magic would work, like the Native American Ghost Dance movement. Dance in the center as the armed Cavalry surrounds you, and chant until the White Man disappears forever. After all, it worked well for the Native Americans, right?
Just replace Hitler with Islamic terror above, and you’ll understand what’s really going on here. And just as the Ghost Dance failed to reverse the conquest of North America by European colonists, so will the Magical Vigils of the Progressives fail to slow the tide of Islamic conquest in Europe. To quote one of the few TV shows I’ve enjoyed in the last decade or so: “all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”
This post has been brewing for awhile, but the right words just weren’t coming to me. What I’m about to describe is nebulous, difficult to articulate, and likely to be highly controversial.
You see, I am one of those travelers on the Right who has, for the most part, been able to move freely among the various factions. Obviously, I do not agree with everyone in all of these factions — this is impossible without significant cognitive dissonance — but I did manage to understand why they arrived at the positions they did. And, most importantly, they understood how I arrived at mine.
Naturally, our common enemies among the Progressive Left meant that despite sometimes serious differences, we were able to get along. Common enemies bring people together. When Germany became powerful before both World Wars, long-time enemies Britain and France suddenly became the closest of friends. Threats can concentrate the mind wonderfully.
American politics has worked like this for a long time. Factions tended to unite into two loose party coalitions. In fact, world politics has operated this way for at least the last century or so. Grand coalitions formed. Axis against Allies. NATO vs. Warsaw Pact. I could go on, but you get the idea.
What we are seeing today is a reversal of this trend, both at the meta-level of global politics, and at the more local level with political parties. Nations are falling apart. Secession movements are everywhere, from Scotland to Catalonia. And you know the Texans are mulling it over, too. The Soviet Union broke apart along its ethnic and religious lines.
And now America is doing the same.
The National Review lobbed a salvo into the fray:
I feel like I’ve dropped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. A conservative publication has made its cover a weapon against a Republican candidate. Now, we all know that Trump is a divisive man. And on any kind of personal level, I don’t like him. He’s a celebrity, with all the baggage that entails.
At the same time, step back from Trump’s personal failings for a moment and look at this from a higher level. The Republican party is at war with itself. Any notion of Right-wing unity is shattered. Vox Day’s book Cuckservative was grenade thrown into the fray from the opposite side.
And what of me? The guy that could once travel among Libertarians, Religious Conservatives, and even Moderates with relative ease? Some of the moderates have taken to calling me a racist bigot because of my hardline stance on Islamic immigration and illegal amnesty. These people really are some kind of cuckold at this point. They are eager to take in as many illegals and Islamics as they can in order to prove that they are nice people, or something. Jeb Bush’s “they do it for love” illustrates how idiotic their rhetoric has become.
And there have been a few from the opposite end of the spectrum who referred to me as a “kike” because I have Armenian ancestry. What Armenia has to do with a Jewish slur, I cannot fathom, but there it is. My English ancestry is, of course, completely ignored. I’m impure, or something to that effect. There’s a whole spectrum of possible positions between “race doesn’t matter at all and if you disagree you’re a racist” and “if you have 1% non-German ancestry you’re not a proper Aryan.”
All of these insults don’t rustle my jimmies any, but I found the level of vitriol absolutely fascinating from a clinical perspective. And if you think some of these people hate me, you should see what they say to each other. Lob the SJWs and Progressives into this mix, and I see people defriending one another on Facebook almost every day. Every social media platform I participate in has been subject to mass-shunnings, vitriolic rhetoric, and outright hatred.
This ideological Civil War is everywhere, and there are dozens of factions in it. Libertarians are going after Moderates. Actual, real Nazis are showing up. SJWs are also going after Moderates (they get it from all sides). Religious Conservatives are going after Alt-Rightists. Garden variety Leftists are under assault from militant Bernie Sanders supporters.
Bernie, of course, is a sort of twisted mirror-inversion of Trump, a dark-horse candidate from far-Left field who promises the SJWs everything they could ever want, and no possible way to pay for it. Bernie supporters hate Hillary-ites as much as Rubio guys hate Trumpites.
I’ve never seen American politics this insane. Primary elections have been ugly in the past, but not at this level.
It goes beyond the election, though. TheRalph is a gentleman who I highly respect on Twitter. He says things no one else would say in an effort to uncover truth. Recently, he interviewed Ricky Vaughn, a hardline Trump supporter on Twitter and a member of the Alt-Right.
In his interview, Ricky Vaughn called Jeb Bush a Cuckservative Guac Bowl Merchant. I don’t always agree with Ricky, but he’s right about that, at least.
For this, and other sins against the cult of racism-sexism-homophobia, TheRalph has been subjected to attacks from fellow #GamerGate supporters. Yes, the people who hate SJW shunning and purges are trying to shun and purge TheRalph because he dares to talk to other people about their views. This, from supposed free speech activists. Then SJWs attacked him from the opposite end, getting his AdSense revoked. Finally, a frequent guest on his show was suspended from Twitter by reports originating from a Neo-Nazi, whose status as such can be discerned from his repeated pro-Hitler pictures. The Neo-Nazi took offense to the fact that this woman was not white (she was a convert FROM Islam).
Can you imagine being attacked by SJWs and Nazis simultaneously?
The trend of fracturing coalitions proceeds apace. This is the lunacy we live in.
The SJWs tried to purge one of their own, Brianna Wu, because like TheRalph, she deigned to talk to Brad Wardell, a prominent capitalist, developer, and GamerGate supporter. Far be it for me to say anything positive about Literally Wu, a degenerate spoiled rich kid, but it should serve to illustrate that the same tactics are being used on both the Left and the Right.
And even wherever the hell these Neo-Nazis are coming from.
Throw in BlackLivesMatter, burning down cities and demanding that the Oscars award more blacks, despite black awards for the last 20 years lining up with racial representation, as Allen West uncovered, and you can see how this powder keg is about to blow. This isn’t just in America, either. Mosques and Churches both are being defaced in Europe. Rape mobs showed up in Cologne, at the station I visited myself only a few short years ago. One Muslim man murdered a woman within two hours of showing up in Germany. If you think there isn’t going to be a response from German citizens, you are insane.
Two. Fucking. Hours. That’s all it took.
Everybody hates everybody. Coalitions are fracturing. Nation-states are falling apart as secessionist movements gain ground. The European Union is a joke, and it cannot last much longer. And, throughout it all, the elites are clamoring for more Muslims, more illegals, borders that are opened like a sieve.
The current level of divisiveness is insufficient for them. They want more!
Vote for whoever you like. At this point, I’m not sure it even matters. The West is headed for Civil War, and it’s coming a lot faster than I once thought.
Keep your ammo dry, folks. You’re going to need it soon.
A year ago or so, I wrote this post, a short history of why the Crusades happened, what the historical context was. In light of escalating Islamic violence, it bears repeating:
Vox.com is nearly as terrible a propaganda machine as Gawker, or the whole city government of Chicago. It is a machine, spewing lies for the benefit of its paymasters, filled with inane Social Justice Advocates. And they want you to know that Christians and Crusaders are as much a threat as militant Islamics.
Now, before I tear this pithy, oft-repeated argument a metaphorical orifice for the excretion of bodily waste, I will explain why this particular lie enrages me so. The Crusades touches upon a subject that has, in many ways, been my life’s work. The histories of the Byzantine Empire, the succeeding Ottoman Empire and the regional conflicts of Islam and Christianity have immense personal interest to me. In the interests of full disclosure, I will tell you that I am part Armenian by ancestry. Don’t let that influence you overmuch.
I can’t begin to impart what I have learned on this subject in one post. Forgive this brief summary, but also allow me to recommend some reading material if you want to dig deeper yourself: John Julius Norwich’s three volume series on Byzantium and Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy by Emmet Scott. I have dozens more I can give you if you want to read more than that. If it exists in English and it is a scholarly treatment on the subject, the odds are good I’ve read it.
Now, shall we see the best of Vox.com’s excuse for journalism?
Obama’s point was actually pretty simple. Let’s not pretend that Islam itself is to blame for ISIS or that Muslims are inherently more violent, he suggested, because the problem of religious violence is not exclusive to any one religion. In other words, don’t oversimplify the problem of ISIS to “Muslims are different from the rest of us.”
For an opening salvo in the ongoing Culture Wars, this is pathetic, worthy more of mocking than serious intellectual treatment. You see, Islam is different in this regard. Pew Research is widely regarded as Gospel by the Left. Let’s use their own data against them.
This study is oft-cited by them, because it shows that a majority of Muslims do not support the actions of terrorist groups and suicide bombers. Yet, look at the graphs. Double-digit percentages DO support these actions. In Palestine, support for suicide bombings is 46% (over 60% in Gaza). Even in moderate Turkey, it is 18%. Does anyone on God’s Green Earth think that 18% of Christians in America would support suicide bombings on Muslims? If so, that person is an unrecoverable addict to ignorance. And this is their data, not mine.
Many critics have described Obama’s assertion that Christians are equivalent to Muslims as insulting to Christians. Whether this is because they believe that Christians are inherently superior or that Muslims are inherently inferior is irrelevant. It is not so different from, say, 1960s white supremacists who called Martin Luther King an anti-white racist for asserting that white and black people are fundamentally the same.
Yes, it is different. Because we have data, right there, combined with common-sense understanding that terrorism is more likely to come from a specific source. A Muslim source. Think about it for a moment and chalk up all the terrorism to come from Christian extremist groups. Let’s be fair and include the Irish, quite possibly the only modern instance of organized Christian terrorism in recent memory. Islamic terrorism dwarfs it by orders of magnitude. Not only is identifying this not racist (as Vox.com implies here), but NOT identifying it is proof of a level of ignorance that should not be possible among anyone seriously claiming the title of journalist.
Amazingly, some have tried to dismiss Obama’s comparison altogether by arguing that, even during the Crusades, in fact Christians were the victims and Islam the aggressor.
And here comes the history lesson. It is true that Christians were not the aggressor. Your Social Studies teacher (why don’t they call that class history, I wonder?) lied to you. Your textbooks lied to you. Pop culture lied to you. President Obama is lying to you, right now. To understand the depths of lie, we must go back in history to a time before Mohammed, before Islam even existed, because this lie is so deep, so systemic, its tentacles reach into our entire understanding of European History. It hinges around a nation referred to repeatedly as the Byzantine Empire. Even now, some sense of the thing can be had in the phrase “byzantine politics”. That Empire is a black hole in history textbooks, and Leftists want to keep it that way, because any support for Islam in the West is likely to evaporate like a fart in a hurricane otherwise.
After the first Germanic invasion of the Roman Empire, in the Third Century, it became increasingly apparent that the Empire was too large to be ruled by Rome alone. The old classical civilization we know as “Roman” began to fall apart. Economic damage was great. Plagues and frontier wars increased. Sassanid Persia was a constant threat in the East. New religions (Christianity among them) sprung up all over the Empire. Much of the apocalyptic tone of early Christian writings serves as a dim cultural memory for what life in this time was like.
Christianity, in the person of Constantine, eventually reached the highest levels of State, and the Empire rapidly Christianized. The message of a better life in the next world reached receptive masses of people who knew their civilization was on the decline. Paganism hardly even put up a fight, and was extinguished in the Empire in a few generations. Rome’s syncretic meta-culture merged with Christianity to become what we now call “Western civilization.” Even as the second wave of German invaders entered the Empire, conquering vast territories, they were in turn converted by it.
There is an old quote that may or may not be apocryphal. But it captures the essence of how even the Germans felt about the situation: “An able Goth wants to be like a Roman; only a poor Roman would want to be like a Goth.” The height of the Germanic second wave captured approximately half the old Roman Empire.
500 AD. The classical configuration of the German successor kingdoms. The largest, most powerful realms were the East Roman Empire, the Ostrogothic Kingdom, the Vandal Kingdom, the Visigothic Kingdom and the Frankish Kingdom.
They were all Christian, by this point. Many had been for over a century. To see how pervasive the Roman influence was, look at a common Spanish surname: Rodriguez. This is a Latin pronunciation of a German name, Roderic (the Latinized variant would be Rodericus). The Germans were speaking Latin, by and large, within the old Empire. They embraced the culture, the language and the religion. Who knows what modern Europe might look like today if this had been allowed to continue? Even then, the Romans were not done.
Scratch two German Kingdoms, and part of a third.
What we call “Western” civilization was actually once Mediterranean civilization. The inner sea had produced a sort of united meta-culture over top the local polities, and the Romans brought them together into one Empire (often through violence, but also often enough through peaceful means). Christianity provided them with one religion. Greek and Latin with two languages. You see, Europe in those days really was a sort of union, not like the pathetic excuse for a modern European “Union”. Even the distant Franks considered themselves to be a part of it.
Islam brought an end to all of this. I cannot overstate the damage Islam did to Western civilization. In the 600s, even the semi-barbaric Lombards, who had established themselves in northern Italy, used gold coinage. The Carolingians, arguably the most powerful successor to the West Roman Empire, could only manage silver coinage, and even then not a whole lot of it. The inner sea became rife with Muslim pirates. Muslim invasions destroyed ancient monuments and wrecked ancient cities. Even after the devastating destruction Rome visited upon Carthage, that city had been rebuilt and repopulated within a few decades. It was even the capital of the Roman province and the Vandal Kingdom.
Carthage was completely destroyed by the Arabs, never to return. Islam flooded the Empire, licking its wounds from a freshly terrible war with Persia. In a century, two-thirds of the Roman Empire was in the hands of Islam. The connection between the Eastern and Western Roman worlds was severed. But, somehow, both survived. Charles Martel defeated the Muslims in France, and the Romans defeated them in two of history’s most brutal sieges at Constantinople.
But the economy was devastated. Literacy rates dropped through the floor, because subsistence farming became the norm. Trade was reduced by an order of magnitude, and it would be almost 600 years before the Italians brought it back. There was no time available for scholarly studies. Only the church could afford such extravagance, and even then only in moderation. Vox.com and the Social Justice crowd would have you believe Christianity is some backward, anti-science cult. The fact remains that the church was the only scholarly light in that age. Modern science would not exist without Christianity. This is how much damage Islam did.
Do you see what he’s working on? Yes. That’s a book. And Monks were pretty much the only ones who had them. Even Emperor Charlemagne was *barely* literate. Things were so bad, even Kings didn’t have time for books.
In modern politics, it is fashionable to think of an Islamic “Golden Age” of learning and prosperity. In reality, this was the final flowering of the conquered cultures. Most great Islamic philosophers and architects were converts to Islam. And Islam was serious about those conversions. Oh, “People of the Book” were periodically tolerated to some degree, but immense economic and social pressure was placed on them to convert. And convert they did. The Persians were also conquered by Islam. They practiced Zoroastrianism. Today, the only Zoroastrians you’ll find are in India, where some of them fled to escape Islam. The religion was equally effective in scouring the Middle East and North Africa of Christians and Jews. By 900 AD, the Islamic “Golden Age” had become a nightmare. The Arabs couldn’t run a whorehouse in port full of drunken sailors, much less a functioning multi-ethnic Empire.
Christianity seems to have done the same, some would say, except that when Christianity took over the Roman World, it did so largely peaceably. Christian nations functioned, and did so even after the population converted. Not so with Islam.
For nearly one thousand years, the rump state of the Roman Empire, which modern history contemptuously dismisses as the Byzantine Empire fought a life-or-death battle with Islam. And, in 1453 it lost. Istanbul, not Constantinople, as the song famously tells us. Anatolia, once one of the greatest bastions of Christianity would henceforth be Islamic. Can you imagine that titanic struggle? It is almost inconceivable to the modern historian, who has no contemporary basis for comparison.
Siege of Constantinople, 1453. You think the Alamo was a good last stand? This was history’s greatest siege, bar none. 7000 Christian militiamen and sailors against 100,000 Turkish soldiers for almost two months. Yet you will never see a movie about it — it would offend Muslims (even though Muslims WON).
Emperor Alexius asked Pope Urban II for help against the invaders. Even he could not have foreseen the response he got (he just wanted to borrow some knights). For a moment all of Europe and even the Byzantines themselves (Eastern Christians and Western Christians were not always very friendly) united against Islam. And Islam lost. Badly. Everywhere, Islam was on the defensive. They lost ground in Spain, the middle East, Anatolia and even Tunisia (where the Normans established an African kingdom in the 1100s). For a short time, it looked like Islam would be kicked out of the old territories of the Roman world, that 500 years of Islamic conquest would be reversed.
Alas, it was not to be. The Christians squabbled among themselves. The Fourth Crusade betrayed the Byzantines and gutted their strength. King Guy proved himself the worst ruler the Kingdom of Jerusalem would ever see, marching out to fight Saladin without even having a secured water supply, in the desert. Only in Spain would the reconquest become permanent, even then that war lasted 800 years. Elsewhere, it was all undone. Not only were the Crusades a defensive measure, a reaction to 500 years of Muslim conquest, they were an ultimately ineffective measure. Christians were their own worst enemies. Shortly after the Crusades were done, the Byzantine Empire would fall, and with it the last great defensive bulwark in the East. The Balkans would henceforth be the plaything of the Ottoman Sultans. The resulting cultural and religious mess (wherever Islam goes, chaos follows) would be directly responsible for World War I, and as a result, indirectly for the World War II. Bosnia still seethes with the aftermath of centuries of Islamic rule.
For some reason, most of this history is censored from public schools and universities. Disdain for the Byzantine Empire is evident going back even to Gibbon’s time. But it metastasized with the advent of Leftism. Analyzed by itself, the Crusades look pretty bad for Christians, but that’s only because modern Social Justice Warriors have expanded on this and censored the entire Muslim Jihad. A millennium of violence was excised from the high school textbooks. Go pick one of those Social Studies books up. See if you can find even a hint of any of this. This is deliberate on the part of Leftist intellectuals. They know this and desire for the West to be destroyed. With the end of the Soviet Union, their best hope for the destruction of the West is Islam. They will suppress the truth at every opportunity in pursuit of their totalitarian, apocalyptic goals.
Islam is a plague, worse than the locusts of Egypt. It destroys entire civilizations, erases history and replaces it all with a religion that hasn’t advanced in 1400 years, a religion whose people have double-digit support for outright terrorism and suicide bombing. Even in Nazi Germany, it’s hard to imagine support levels like that.
To be crystal clear: this is not a fight over the fine-grain imperfections of Obama’s historical analogy or over the implications for US foreign policy. It is a fight over whether it’s okay to hate Muslims, to apply sweeping and negative stereotypes to the one-fifth of humanity that follows a particular religion. A number of Americans, it seems, are clinging desperately to their anti-Muslim bigotry and are furious at Obama for trying to take that away from them.
Vox.com conflates hatred of a belief system (Islam) for hatred of a people. Does that mean all Muslims are evil? No. Not even a majority are evil. No totalitarian regime in the history of Earth, not even the Nazis, not even the worst Muslim regimes, have ever managed to excise all the good from people. It is not possible to do. But Islam tries anyway. And that’s the whole point. Christians have done great wrongs, same as any other people. But Islam encourages the wrongs. Islam desires the wrongs. It will not stop until the world is Muslim, until every other culture and belief system has been systematically eradicated, as it has already achieved in its own territories (see: ISIS). And then it will work on those people it deems as insufficiently Muslim. Many of the worst victims of Islamic violence are other Muslims. Go ahead and preach female equality in the Sudan. I dare you.
It must be stopped. The Crusaders tried and failed. Too much petty bickering. Too many bad men seeking only power got involved. But the idea remains.
So let me say what ought to be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain cell: WE NEED ANOTHER CRUSADE. Not some namby-pamby nation building exercise. I mean rapid, violent, and complete destruction whenever *any* Muslim nation dares attack the West. Take ten of them for every one of us. Blow up one of our schools? We blow up ten mosques. They blow up our office buildings? We blow up whole cities. Escalate until even the most pig-headed (pun) Islamic says enough and cries uncle. Imams should fear us. Muslim fathers should hush their children at the first mention of Allahu Ackbar in a public space. Then, perhaps, the moderate Muslims everyone talks about will overthrow their extremist brethren, for fear that we will kill them if they don’t.
Let’s work on reducing that double-digit approval rating for terrorism, shall we?
That was it for the original post.
But there is more to tell. A year ago, I saw very little mention of the Crusades, except the usual Leftist claptrap about how they prove that Christianity was just as bad (but they really mean worse) as Islam. It provided them with an excuse to dismiss Muslim violence: it’s all just payback for a few wars a thousand years ago.
Their point, of course, is that we deserve it, though they rarely say so openly. They’ll weasel out of the position if accused. But we know their hearts on this matter. If they could snap their fingers and make Christianity disappear, they would do so without hesitation.
But today, I see Christians waking up to the threat. I see dawning realization in people that Islam is not the religion of peace. It is the religion of submission, of conquest. And, lastly, I have seen those two famous words echoing within communities of Christians…
In light of how the American government has been caught tacitly supporting ISIS, the new Crusade I call for must begin here. The Reconquista begins at home, as it did for the Spanish centuries ago. And only then can we utter the words that, someday, must be repeated if we are to survive:
Lovecraftian horror has often fascinated me, for the notion that humanity is but a speck in the universe, the tiniest mote in a sea of things much greater than us. That, were God to reveal himself to human eyes, truly, and not in the form of His Son, we would not be able to comprehend him. The sight might drive us to insanity, might burn our flesh away.
God is beyond our universe, and our understanding of Him will always be limited.
So I know that God can, somehow, care for all of us. You. Me. The crazy suicidal Muslim couple that shot up San Bernardino. Everybody.
But, here’s the kicker. I cannot. I am human, and my caring has limits. My empathy does not extend across the width and breadth of the universe. I am not God. In essence, this is what Progressives claim they can do. They claim to care as much for their mother as for a nameless Somali child fighting in some warlord’s private little cesspit. Everyone is equal. Everyone is the same. Thus, we must care for all equally.
I don’t. And I’m not ashamed to say so. Were I asked to choose between the life of that nameless Somali child and that of my own son, I would choose my son every time. I would choose him over 10 Somalis. I would choose him over the entire nation of Somalia.
In essence, this is what the debate about Islamic immigration means to me. If Muslim immigration will result in more deaths, more terror attacks, disproportionate to their number, then the risk to my family, to my friends, to my neighbors and all those in my life increases accordingly. I have yet to see anyone convincingly argue that they won’t result in an increase in these things.
Given that, I would rather restrict their immigration than accept the risk to my people. The Syrian refugees (and the non-Syrians among them) are not my people. Don’t misunderstand me, I am capable of feeling something for them. If I were on a boat, and saw one drowning, I would try to save him in the interests of common humanity. But if my wife were drowning, also, and I could only save one… well, sorry, sir, but I love my wife and I don’t know you.
I am not God. I cannot save everyone, nor should I be held responsible for doing so. But Progressives do hold us responsible. When a Syrian boy dies, it is somehow our fault. When the Israelis shoot a Palestinian, or vice versa, it is somehow America’s fault. And then to pay for our guilt, we are required to take as many of them in as possible.
It’s all bullshit. Some people mean more to me than my own life, but not everyone does. There are limits to the reach of human empathy, and a soldier who is willing to die for his country is not necessarily willing to die for someone else’s country.
After the Peace of Westphalia, it became generally understood (as it once had been in ancient times), that the nation-state was about the highest level of common connection humans were able to meaningfully sustain. Honestly, I find it hard to even manage that. Tom Kratman kindly provided me with a piece to read that discussed amoral familism. It is a major theme in his Carerra series books (great series, by the way). I guess I’m guilty to some extent. I’m honestly not sure I would die for my country. For my child, certainly. But for the country that includes celebrity idiots like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton? I don’t know if I could do that absent some overriding threat to my family.
However, there are those who can stretch their empathy that far, somehow. People might die for the glory of Rome, or in the pursuit of American freedom. But, the point is, there are limits even for those brave souls. They are not God.
But Progressives demand God-like empathy from us, nonetheless, and accuse us Christians of hypocrisy when we fail to deliver. Since most of them scorn Christianity, they don’t seem to understand that the Bible tells us that man is a fallen creature. It explicitly tells us that we categorically cannot live up to the code, even for God and Christ himself. Christ, in essence, had to pay the debt for us, for we could never balance the scales on our own.
And if we cannot do it for Christ himself, how less likely are we to achieve it for Progressives and SJWs?
For me, political policy can be reduced to what is best for me, for my family, for my friends and neighbors. Most of the time, what is best is to be left alone. For most of those in my life share a common attribute with me: they are self-reliant, independent-minded folks. But, on occasion, we expect that a government fulfill that which we cannot do for ourselves.
For example, we could not repel an invasion on our own. So we have a military. We have a Congress to declare wars, and a President to lead them in such times. We also expect such a government to protect the borders in time of peace.
I’ve been accused of being anti-immigration, and I can assure my readers this is categorically not true.
But, immigration, like all things, has to pass the cost/benefit test. If a group of immigrants will increase our risk of death, or increase ethnic tensions, or even just consume a lot of entitlement money, the question must be asked: what do they give us in return for this? After all, I won’t let random people stay in my house for free. But I might rent a room to somebody in exchange for payment.
Is there something these Muslim immigrants can do that we cannot, some overriding reason to accept the costs in return for a payoff? If not, then why are we taking them in? Scott Adams and Vox Day debated the costs and benefits at length, so I won’t repeat them ad nauseam here. But the summary is, there is almost nothing the Muslims can give us in return for the increased risks we incur by taking them in.
So why are we doing it?
My father-in-law is of Cuban ancestry. So why was his family let in? Well, let’s analyze that. Fidel Castro exiled a great many middle and upper class Cubans, especially those who were staunch anti-Communists. This was during a time in which America was engaged in a Cold War with International Communism. The risk of Cuban terrorism was negligible (even laughable, compared to Islamic terror). We obtained a great many staunch anti-Communist allies. Many of them were highly educated people who, like my father-in-law, started businesses and contributed materially to the economy.
As anti-Communists, they were less likely to wind up on welfare or other entitlements on general principle, whereas the general consensus is that Muslim immigrants are more likely than the average to be entitlement recipients. There were costs, too, even for the Cuban anti-Communists. Language was a barrier for some, at least for awhile. There were cultural differences, too. But America and Cuba had common roots in Western civilization, and were not that far apart. Overall, the benefits of accepting the Cuban anti-Communists outweighed the costs, especially at the time.
But, interestingly enough, my father-in-law explained that the subsequent Cubans were different. At a later time, Castro opened up his jails and sent common criminals (not political criminals) our way. He sent us murderers, rapists, thieves and drug addicts. Eventually, Cubans who had grown up under the Castro regime began leaving for America because they believed they could get more welfare benefits from us, than from Castro’s government.
My father-in-law calls them the “New Cubans,” and he hates them as freeloading Communists. So, even from the same country, race, and culture, some groups of immigrants were desirable, and met the cost/benefit test. And other groups, categorically, were not and should not have been admitted.
So the question is, what do the Muslim immigrants propose to give us that compensates for the cost on our already-stretched entitlement programs, for the cultural and ethnic tension bound to happen, and for the likely increase in terrorism?
Or, in simple terms, is my family better off with the Syrian refugees next door, or 5000 miles away? My compassion for my family exceeds that for any number of refugees. I’m not going to apologize for that.
That is the question Americans must ask themselves, not just with Muslim immigration, but all immigration. And they must understand that some will pass the test, and some will not. We have no obligation whatsoever to admit those who do not.
We are not God. We are specks. Motes adrift in the universe.
There was once a splendid civilization, full of grandeur, the compiled knowledge of the ancient world, the economic hub of entire continents.
History calls it the Byzantine Empire, and, at least for me, it remains an object of intense curiosity. During the erroneously-named Dark Ages, the Byzantine world was the center of Christianity, the last remnant of the Roman Empire. For centuries, it was the medieval superpower of Europe and Asia, and the only nation to ever treat with the otherwise-invulnerable Caliphate as an equal.
It is gone, now, subsumed into the Islamic world and slowly erased over the course of centuries. Echoes of it remain in Eastern Europe, Russia, Armenia and Georgia, but they are just that: echoes.
People forget that Christianity was originally an Oriental religion, born out of the Roman near-east, and spread across Rome, the Middle East, and the Persian Empire. In some respects, it was the final culmination of Hellenism, as begun by Alexander the Great, the synthesis of the Mediterranean West and the Near-East.
All of that legacy is gone.
I speak of this because this legacy is, in some parts, my own. My grandfather spoke of it wistfully, from time to time. Oh, the Byzantine Empire was long gone even in the day of my great-grandfather, Ezra. But Ezra saw its ruins, and in that was intense beauty. He had a sense of living in the ruins of a world that was, in some ways, greater than the one in which he resided.
I will never see it. The legacy of the old Byzantine world is gone.
Islam destroyed it. Its institutions and learning were destroyed, its architecture destroyed or converted to the service of the mullahs. Its penultimate monument, the Hagia Sophia, remains covered in the calligraphy of the prophet.
Progressives often lament the conquest of North America by the British colonists and their successors. Yet, at the same time, the Ottomans were busying themselves lording over the conquered Byzantine world, destroy its culture, converting its people, and doing everything the colonists were accused of doing and more.
And then, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed, they annihilated as many of my own forebears as they possibly could, perhaps out of spite for the impending destruction of their own Empire.
It’s strange, but there are times I dream of it, a place I will never see, and a world I will never know.
This is a warning to the West. Islam is coming for you. Just as the Byzantines once thought themselves invincible, lording behind the impregnable Theodosian Walls, so does the West not understand the danger they face. And like the betrayers of the 4th Crusade, so does the threat to weaken the West lie within, in the form of the Progressives and Social Justice Warriors.
The Turk comes for you. He marches on Vienna, again. Will you fight, or surrender? Will the West join the Byzantine world in oblivion? Will its cathedrals blare the clarion call of Mohammed?