Thursday, August 30, 2007

Attention leftists and Ron Paul pod-people

A quote from Bruce Thornton’s review of Diana West’s latest book, 24 August 2007

Much of the jihadist picture of the West is distorted, a caricature based on superficial observation and selective evidence. Yet there remain troubling aspects of American culture that give traction to the Islamic critique. In her book The Death of the Grown-Up, Diana West, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Times, pulls together the various dysfunctions and discontents of American civilization by seeing them as the expression of a unique historical development, the “death of the grown-up.” The demise of the adult has led to the abandonment of adult virtues and mentalities, and their replacement by the instant gratification, impatience with the limits of reality, and the obsession with the self typical of the teen-ager.

[. . .]

One of West’s shrewdest ideas is to link multiculturalism’s self-loathing idealization of the “other” to the adolescent “identity crisis.” Our ignorance of the West’s unique goods enshrined in its history and traditions has led to a loss of cultural identity, which “would seem to be linked to the loss of maturity. At the very least, the easy retreat from history and tradition reveals the kind of callow inconstancy and lack of confidence that smacks of immaturity as much as anything else. It seems that just as we have stopped ‘growing up,’ we have forgotten ‘who’ it was we were supposed to grow up into.” At the same time, we give to non-Western cultures a groveling respect and timidly acquiesce in their dysfunctions. This bad habit, as West shows with numerous examples, is particularly dangerous for the struggle against Islamic jihad. That battle isn’t going to be won by calling Islamic terrorists “gunmen” or “activists,” or by ignoring the West’s long, unique tradition of tolerance for the “other” at the same time we indulge the myth of Islamic tolerance.

One of the reasons I got fed up with the Libertarian Party and left was the fact that any time someone would point out that the "all or nothing" attitude was counterproductive. There are grown-up libertarians who understand that the best way to bring about change is to align themselves with the Republican Party, which is the closest to the small government individualist philosophy of the libertarians, and work within it to advance attainable goals.

Suggestions like this are always shouted down by people who insist that they want what they want and they want it NOW and won't accept anything less. Even though that attitude guarantees that they will NEVER get it.

The Left is even worse. What libertarians want would be, for the most part, good for the country. What the Left wants would be the death of the country, culture and a great many of the people.