Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The More Things Change and All That Jazz

I've been reading a huge book of George Orwell's essays. Besides being a great writer and thinker, he was a pretty good political analyst. He wasn't always right in his predictions, and as of 1943, where I am in the book, he's still a committed socialist, which colored both his political and literary analysis. Many of his essays are essential reading, but I just finished one called, "No, Not One", so that's the one I'm currently fixated on. It's actually a book review, but he uses the review as an attack on pacifism. He also regularly savages the Left and communists, which makes me wonder how he still could have been such a fan of a utopian worldwide socialism, especially since in another essay, he trashes utopias and utopian schemes.

But, getting back to his attack on pacifism,
The notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact. As I have said, it is only possible to people who have money and guns between themselves and reality. But why should they want to make this flight, in any case? Because, rightly hating violence, they do not wish to recognize that it is integral to modern society and that their own fine feelings and noble attitudes are all the fruit of injustice backed up by force. They do not want to learn where their incomes come from. Underneath this lies the hard fact, so difficult for many people to face, that individual salvation is not possible, that the choice before human beings is not, as a rule, between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world; that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war, which is also evil. There is no other choice before you, and whichever you choose you will not come out with clean hands. It seems to me that the text for our times is not “Woe to him through whom the evil cometh” but the one from which I took the title of this article, “There is not one that is righteous, no, not one”. We have all touched pitch, we are all perishing by the sword. We do not have the chance, in a time like this, to say “Tomorrow we can all start being good”. That is moonshine. We only have the chance of choosing the lesser evil and of working for the establishment of a new kind of society in which common decency will again be possible. There is no such thing as neutrality in this war.
How does this relate to today's clash of civilizations? Where the Nazis left off, Islam stepped in. And yes, I know that we're not supposed to accuse others that we disagree with of being Nazis, but if the Jew-hatred, and quest for world domination, and belief that you are the master race deserving and destined to rule over all others, and demands that the rest of the world bow to your constant demands of "sensitivity" as you rationalize the subjugation of your own women and all those who don't believe as you do shoe fits, then wear it. But were not supposed to look at Islam that way. We're supposed to reach out to the Taliban, Al-Queda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all of the other terrorist organizations and their offshoots so that they will want to live in peace with us. We're not supposed to point out that that tactic hasn't worked since the beginning of Islam, nor has it ever worked against any other totalitarian ideology. Tyrants and other power mongers welcome pacifists on the other side of course, as they are useful tools.

Just as Orwell had them pegged in 1943, he still has the pacifists pegged today.

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