Like all cancers, it grows and spreads to other areas unrelated to its source - carrying away and corrupting all that it gains a hold on.
It makes otherwise smart, insightful, and intellectually sound professionals wander down darkened halls to the degraded performance booth at the (D)iversity glory-hole video production house.
Well, it seems to have infected another.
Of course, since last last Sunday I know everyone either caught live or downloaded the archive of the interview we did with LCDR BJ Armstrong, USN about his book, 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era. If not, well shame on you; get 'ye to the Midrats' archive and give it a listen - then buy the book.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that someone who I am not unfamiliar with, CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, USN, reviewed the book. Youssef has written a few books himself, so I figured I was in for a good review from someone who might have a different insight than I had in reading it.
Oops; my bad. Having read the review a few times, I have come to the conclusion that it sounds like from what he focused on Youssef at best read the first 1/2 of the intro and the table of contents, if that.
Worse ... for some reason he seemed to feel the need to bring in this. Youssef blew any credibility he had with anyone who actually read the book with this line,
"I believe it is fair to highlight the bankrupt ideology of racial social Darwinism that was prevalent among Mahan and his peers."Where the frack did that come from?
I'm sorry Youssef, nothing personal - but that cannot stand. Let me do something radical and actually quote from the book.
Go to page 116 in the section "Training of Officers and Sailors,"
I do not myself attach importance to the nationality of the lad, excepting in so far as the national termperament is or is not adapted to a naval life. Other things being equal, I would reject an Irish or French lad in favor of an English, or one of the Scandinavian race; but an objection to a foreigner as such seems to me misplaced in a country so many of whose citizens are foreigners; the more so as a seaman will commonly lose sight of home ties and attach himself to the flag under which he sails.Yep, that sure is "bankrupt ideology of racial social Darwinism" there Youssef. Good googly moogly man - go read Bannister if you insist on playing this game. Love you like a brother Shipmate - but I'm going to have to slap you around a little more. It's DivThu and you've wandered in to my swamp.
Let's back up a bit to the larger issue and let Youssef catch his breath; his comment has nothing to do with the book or what Mahan was even remotely about.
What is does say is a lot about Youssef's academic background and how it has impacted his world view. There is a certain academic theory - one that I banged my head against constantly back in the 80s and I know it has gotten worse in most places since - that everything must in some way reference racism, sexism, and Western Imperialism. If you can throw homophobia in, even better. They usually throw them at you in a group anyway.
At major public institutions, students and scholars have it thrown in their face in the History, English, and "soft science" areas especially. Even in the business schools and economics seminars. It can drive you nuts, "Ungh, I don't want 1/3 of my final Federal Reserve Policy exam to be about South African Apartheid, are there other options?"
Directly and indirectly; intentionally or by cant habit, they use that angle and its fellow traveler, the intellectually narcissistic and lazy habit of judging people in one period of time by modern standards. This is done to marginalize the past and therefore dismiss what it has to say. As a result one only has to use thinkers of this generation and what was experienced in their own lifetime. "All is new" - sound familiar?
Very disappointed with Youssef. With the modern academic critical theory that Youssef's comments seems to be coming from, he is putting BJ on report, suggesting that BJ committed a huge sin of not in some way denouncing Mahan as a racist, sexist, homophobic imperialist. That isn't just insulting - it is anti-intellectual in the extreme.
It completely nullifies what was otherwise a positive review - but one that goes off the rail by accusing a non-political author for not being properly political. In a clear "dog-whistle" for a reader of the review familiar with critical theory, Youssef is also calling BJ out as condoning and accepting racism by the omission of a denunciation of Mahan being a racist, sexist, homophobic imperialists somewhere in the book.
Is BJ now supposed to make a tearful apology on youtube blaming it on his blindness due to white skin privilege, and vowing to join Paula Dean in crawling through the path of the Underground Railroad in a hairshirt?
Better yet - let's look at Youssef's formulation again;
"I believe it is fair to highlight the bankrupt ideology of racial social Darwinism that was prevalent among Mahan and his peers."When he comes up to a reference somewhere to Moses, will he say;
"I believe it is fair to highlight the support of abortion rights as outlined in Numbers 5:12-28 that was prevalent among Moses and his peers."Sun Tsu at the NDU? Heavens to Betsy, no - not unless ...
"I believe it is fair to highlight the sexism, trafficking in persons, violation of human and legal rights, insubordination, militarism and general authoritarianism that was prevalent among Sun Tsu and his peers."President Lincoln's ideas on the civilian control of the military? Interesting idea ... but ...
"I believe it is fair to highlight the racism that was prevalent among Lincoln and his peers."... and finally - yes - I will go there. Will he ever mention this when the topic of the Arab conquests of the 7th Century come up - or Islam in general?
"I believe it is fair to highlight the p3doph1li@ that was prevalent among the Prophet Mohammed and his peers."No, no, and no to all of the above - he shouldn't and neither should anyone else in this context; it is silly.
Sigh. Such are the wages of the popular culture not standing up to the (D)iversity cult and the rest of the Cultural Marxist offspring - it does this to bright minds.
Do yourself a favor - get 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era yourself and then write a review. The bottom as been set by a smart guy nonetheless - nowhere to go but up.