Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The grievances of nihilism

I need to read my favorite Trotskyite every day, not weekly. Great immediate response to the London bombings from Christopher Hitchens.
SOMEWHERE around London at about a quarter to nine yesterday morning, there must have been people turning on their TV and radio sets with a look of wolfish expectation.

I hope and believe that they were disappointed in what they got. There just wasn't quite enough giggle-value for the psychopath.

It must have been infernal underneath King's Cross, but above ground no panic, no screaming, no wailing and beating the air, no yells for vengeance.
...unlike what you would have seen in any Arab country if the same thing had happened where an Arab capitial was bombed by Christian terrorists. Just think about what the scene would look like in that scenario.
When we use the weak and vague word "terrorism" we imply indiscriminate cruelty directed at civilians.

"Sadism" or "fascism" or "nihilism" would do just as nicely: all the venom that lurks just on the sub-human level of the human species.
People are afraid of plane crashes and of heights: in that sense 9/11 was the perfect strike on the collective unconscious. People are likewise afraid of fire and of crowded or subterranean conditions: the mind of the fascist is naturally attuned to exploit such dreads.
That is one reason I like to use the term "Islamofascism." It simply fits.
Random and "senseless" though such violence may appear, we also all know it expresses a deadly ideology; indeed that in some ways it is that ideology.

The preachers of this faith have taken care to warn us that they love death more than we love life. Their wager is that this makes them unstoppable. Well, we shall have to see. They certainly cannot prove their point unless we assist them in doing so.

My American friends have been impressed by the composure of the Londoners they have seen on the screen: I bet London Transport runs again rather sooner than US airlines resumed flying after 9/11.
He is right. They had the Blitz and the IRA in their history. We don't have anything like that in living memory here. Some in the left feel a need for us to "understand the root causes" et cetera. Christopher has a word about that.
We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

FOR a few moments yesterday, Londoners received a taste of what life is like for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, whose Muslim faith does not protect them from slaughter at the hands of those who think they are not Muslim enough, or are the wrong Muslim.

It is a big mistake to believe this is an assault on "our" values or "our" way of life. It is, rather, an assault on all civilisation.
In his nice English-English spelling, he is right on target. This is the war of cultures, the war of ideas. The war of progress over a retrograde force pushing back.
They demand the impossible - the cessation of all life in favour of prostration before a totalitarian vision. Plainly, we cannot surrender. There is no one with whom to negotiate, let alone capitulate.

We shall track down those responsible. States that shelter them will know no peace. Communities that shelter them do not take forever to discover their mistake. And their sordid love of death is as nothing compared to our love of London, which we will defend as always, and which will survive this with ease.
Yea, what he said.

(BTW, this was written the day after the London bombings.)

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