Sunday, July 01, 2007
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 6 Comments
The fundamental basis of any moral society is individual accountability. When you remove individual accountability from the equation you wind up with either anarchy at one end or totalitarian collectivization on the other end.
No free society can exist for long unless it assumes that individuals have the free will to choose their actions and deal with the consequences. Yet liberals and the left across the West have insisted on precisely this formulation. They spent decades excusing criminals of their crimes by arguing that they had no choice. Their class, their history of abuse, their race or their circumstances had robbed them of the ability to make decisions and be responsible for their actions. The results of this philosophy gave us corrupted justice systems and nanny states. It transformed millions of people from individuals to helpless victims. And that was only the beginning.
From the very beginning, liberal thinkers and pundits have argued that terrorists do not hate us because of their beliefs or ours but because of the circumstances. If there were not so much poverty, surely the terrorism would stop. If only Israel withdrew from Palestinian areas, they would be no need for terrorism. At every turn liberals have swallowed the terrorist's excuses for what they do and refused to hold them accountable when their rosy predictions failed to come true.
Religion, authentic religion, is premised on individual responsibility for your own actions before G-d. Secularism has replaced with a variety of fuzzy philosophies that increasingly verged on collectivism. Class warfare, the great obsession of the left for well over two centuries insisted on a division of humanity into those who have wealth and free will and those who are poor and have none. Long after those gaps no longer meant what they once did, liberals insisted on applying them across racial lines and then across international lines, blaming the "Haves" of America and the West and Israel for forcing the helpless murderous masses of the Muslim world into homicidal outbreaks of violence.
When religion was displaced, the center of the left's ideology became society as a whole. Rather than liberating the individual, as they claimed, they instead enslaved the individual to a belief in his own helplessness. People's actions were no longer the product of a moral choice but the outcome of social forces beyond their control. The murderer killed because of his class and the vast mechanism of social and psychological force that used him as a puppet. You could no longer fight crime or improve people at the individual level, only at the social level by changing social conditions. That is the ideology that liberals continue to insist on when it comes to the War on Terror. That is the mistaken ideology which has led to the attempt to democratize the Middle East.
When free will is denied, responsibility vanishes. Without a party to hold responsible, liberals turn on those in power and blame them for everything, recreating the trial of Native Son over and over again. Unable to place the blame where it lies, the definition of evil instead becomes those with the most power, rather than those perpetrating the crimes and their definition of evil becomes narrowed down to Dick Cheney rather than Osama Bin Laden.