Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Clash of Histories

The clash of civilizations is also a clash of histories. The Western view of history is progressive. A march upward from barbarism to greater phases of enlightenment. This view is fairly modern and fairly liberal, yet closely associated with the success of Western civilization. In progressive history, human techniques from the technological to the social can be used to improve life and make the world a better place.

The Islamic view of history is regressive. A lost golden age followed by unbelief and heresy, culminating in a struggle by the believers to restore Islamic dominance. Everything that humans do independently of Islam makes the world a worse place. The perfect touchstone of history was Mohammed. And the only way that history can be set right is by restoring the lost and corrupted caliphates.

Both the progressive and the regressive views of history have their limitations. The progressive views tends to unrealistically overestimate its own progress. It does this by dismissing 99 percent of what came before it as bunk and barbarism, and places itself at the pinnacle of history. Using the Dark Ages as a prop, history is divided between the medieval and the enlightenment, superstition and knowledge.

Overlooked is the knowledge that civilization and barbarism actually come in cycles. And that the ancients were not stupid or ignorant, often they were quite sophisticated. But they were unable to retain, integrate and build on what they had until it formed the core of a stable and self-sustaining civilization. Despite our technological sophistication, we are actually poorer than them in vital areas, and there is every sign that our own civilization will implode the way that theirs did. 

The surest sign of this may be that the intellectual elites of the West have begun to make the switch to a regressive model of history. The environmental movement and the postmodern left have become the champions of a regressive history which demands that we turn back the clock and learn to imitate the slums of the Third World in order to become a better society.

That the people doing this are some of the best and the brightest, the graduates of elite institutions and the thinkers and philosophers of the West, who have followed the dark road of social revolution into oblivion and have come away with no reason for their cultures and nations to go on living-- testifies to the peril that the West finds itself in.

The progressive model of history is on life support. In its pure form, it hardly exists outside of scientific circles, rationalist atheists and patriotic Americans. And the former two often incorporate it into a global admixture that depends on a Wellsian world-state through the United Nations. An organization founded on a progressive worldview, but that in the hands of the left and its Third World allies has become a regressive influence.

That just leaves the regressive model of history with its lost golden age and its distaste for a humanity whose petty faults are in the way of a full restoration.

We are most familiar with the Islamic version of regressive history, whether it is Osama bin Laden or an exhibit on Islamic science. Both depend on a heavily distorted and romanticized history. False history which must remain false in order to justify the pursuit of an impossible goal. A golden age.

Islamic reformers, unlike Western reformers, reform backward. Their goal is to reach back to the past. The Wahhabis with their purge of modern corruptions of Islam exemplify the hypocrisy of regressive history. Their embrace of modern techniques and ideas to force the restoration of a medieval tyranny is sophisticated and self-destructive. They seek to deny change, even while they ride it.

The biggest appeal of regressive history is purity. The romanticisation of the past is a universal impulse. Few Europeans really want to damage the mythology of chivalry with an accurate appraisal of what knights were really like. Every romantic image of the past, from King Arthur to the Vikings, is not improved by close scrutiny. But few Europeans also want to return to a feudal society. That is not the case in Islam.

Imagine what Europe would be like if some 90 percent of the population wanted to restore feudalism, theocracy and the ducking stool for women. There's no need to imagine it. It's called the Muslim world. And a rising percentage of the European population consists of Muslims who are implementing Sharia, Burqas and Jihad in its major cities.

But the Muslim Jihad is not irrational, it's arational. Muslims don't believe in reason as a solution to human problems. They believe in no human solution at all, only the abnegation of humanity to Allah through a clerical guardianship. This is their means of creating a perfect society.

Progressive history accepts human imperfection and builds on it. Regressive history rejects it as a force of evil. Instead it holds up a beacon of a golden past, the promise of absolute purity that rejecting and thereby transcends all human flaws. The daily submission of Muslims arises out a contempt for the individual as a moral actor, and replaces him with the collective Ummah, the receptacle for their transcendence under the guidance of the clerics. The Jihad abandons individual morality for collective bloodshed in the name of creating a perfect society through world domination.

The perfect society is impossible, and the pursuit of it is an excuse for never lifting yourself out of the mud. Its disdain for any society that is less than perfect makes reform seem pointless, and its extremism excuses all lesser crimes and abuses. Having no faith in the present or the future, it has no reason to live but the endless struggle to restore a perfect past. This is the pathology of Islam.

Working societies are built on a hope for the future. Islam has no hope for the future. It may use modern tools, but it never values them, let alone the gifts and sciences that brought them into being. Its gaze is hopelessly dingy, rimmed with disgust for anything that is less than perfect. The tools are inferior copies of what the Koran makes possible. The societies are corrupted and decadent. Even religion isn't right. Islam is striving, but always for the past.

Machiavelli is second nature to Muslims, but only as practice, not as understanding. Deceit is constant and the most overly complex plans are drawn up all the time. Everyone is practiced at manipulating everyone else and accordingly there is no real trust outside the family. And little trust even inside it. And all of this only goes to reinforce the essential Islamic message of human worthlessness. None of it is used to usher in reforms, because Islamic polarity views reforms as black and white. Driving out one group and putting the perfect people into power. Leader worship leads to disappointment, uprisings and a new leader to worship. The cycle repeats itself over and over again.

European expectations of Muslim integration were flawed from the start. Muslims may identify with countries, but their pessimistic worldview was never compatible with Western democracy. They lack the faith in humanity that is essential to the republican experiment. And instead became easy prey for itinerant preachers recording venomous sermons promising them a new bloody golden age, awful in its perfection. 

Rather than identifying with their new countries, Muslim immigrants instead decided to replace them. To remake them into the same Caliphate mirage under the guardianship of quarreling clerics and greedy uniformed thugs. And no amount of visits to mosques and Ramadan dinners thrown by Western leaders will change that. It only accelerates the process.

The Western fallacy is the failure to understand that there is no meeting point with Islam. That its numbers are large enough and its ambitions serious enough that it cannot be ignored, and that its orientation is so fundamentally different that it cannot be reconciled at any cost. Multiculturalism assumes that harmony can come by paying enough attention and respect to every culture. But tolerance and co-existence, the assumptions that lie at the heart of multiculturalism, are alien to the purity that is at the heart of Islam.

Islam's aim is unity. The absolute collectivism of the Ummah standing over the diminishing number of Dhimmis who have not yet been convinced to take the plunge into the Sharia pool. It views a society that is based on division as corrupt and confused. Multiculturalism is alien to its ideological DNA. It cannot accept the equality of those who are different. The very idea of it is blasphemous.

Pre-Mohammedan Arabia was multicultural and tolerant. Today it is a land of Muslim masters and imported non-Muslim slaves, funding the spread of that same social setup and worldview around the world through violent and non-violent means. And this Islamic feudalism is the closest that Muslims ever get to their perfect society. A setup that only works as long as there's enough loot to divide up among all the powerful families.

This Islamic dead end is not where Europe is headed. If a Eurabia ever comes into being, it will not be half as pleasant as that. Europe is filling up with Muslims, but with Muslims who often have little in common with each other, except their mutual hatred of the Jew and the Christian. Any region that they dominate will look like Lebanon or Iraq in Saddam's day. Either a permanent civil war broken by truces and agreements, or a tightly run dictatorship.

Lebanon is the likelier model for Eurabia, the remnants of a European influenced society devolved into countless factions and treacheries. A country where the government is weak and the factions are strong. Where every structure falls apart and every agreement falls apart into infighting. But even that is optimistic. The people of Lebanon have things in common that the people of Eurabia will not. And it will take a thousand years until European history has been as thoroughly eradicated as the pre-Mohammedan history of the peoples of Islam was.

All this is the inevitable outcome of a clash of histories. The progressive against the regressive.

If the West still believed in progress as a moral imperative, it would have no trouble holding the gates. And understanding why the gates need to be help. But the worldview that made that possible is in decline.

The left rejected commercial progress as capitalist, but continued to embrace technological progress and cultural development. Then it rejected technological progress as destructive, culture as perspective and stated that the highest moral principle was for the West to save the world by destroying itself. And under their leadership that is the way it has been ever since.

While the regressive history of Muslims at least embraces their own past, or that of their Arabian conquerors, the left's regressive history is not national, cultural, religion or even specific. Instead it is primitivism itself that it seeks out. The backward and the barbaric, the poor and the lacking, that is their new compass. Having lost all native religion, they are on a free floating quest for spirituality, in opposition to materialism. The content of that spirituality does not concern them, only the rejection of what little Western culture they have does.

And the sizable number of Muslim immigrants and the Islamic world is more than happy to step into this vacuum created by the willing abandonment of Western civilization. To take another shot at restoring their glory days in gory ways.

Behind the clash of civilizations is this clash of histories. The momentum of colliding declines. The barbarism that undoes civilization, but only once the civilization has undone itself.


mindRider said...

You may be very right in the idea's but what practical means do we in the west posses to stop the fall of our civilization. A fact is we can not wish a billion Muslims away. To nuke Mecca and other holy Islamic cities might be effective in creating such a gloom in Islamic society that Islam as a religion collapses but is hardly an "enlightened"action neither is the killing of all Western accommodators of importing Muslims into the western world as is clearly shown in Norway and deporting those Muslims already in our society is hardly feasible. So we wait for the inevitable cycle of life and history, birth, growing up and dying and growth, fulfillment and inevitably: decline. Any other idea Sultan?

Anonymous said...

Another great article.

Anonymous said...

mindRider: my solution will be to take a sailing boat and live in the middle of the ocean when the moment comes. More seriously, it might come the time when europe will not be a safe place for free people anymore.

Daniel, again your words can express my ideas so well. I am an academic myself and I guarantee you that my opinions are very unwelcome in my environment. What I see as progress everyone else sees it as regression, and vice-versa.


HermitLion said...

This article is so wonderful, that I can barely find words to describe it.

It is a culminated summary of many of the different points that you constantly speak of here, Daniel, and as such it is enlightening to read. By sharply defining the ill-beings of present societies, one can learn better what to aspire to, and what to avoid.

fsy said...

Mecca can be nuked without harming anyone. Just give them 3 days to get out of town.

Guy Macher said...

Wonderful article.

The muddled view the West now holds of the world can be laid at the door of moral relativity.

This is expressed by multi-kulturalism, of course, but a partial list includes the bewildering outcomes of criminal trials and civil actions,the rush of educators to inculcate students with L Ron Gore's globaloney warming lunacy, the turning of NASA into a Muslim outreach, and the election of an ineligible, unqualified and unknown man for the most important job in the world.

It's a long row to dig, for sure, and before we learn to call a spade a spade again, we must first acknowledge that a spade is a better digging tool than a sharpened stick, even if that offends most of our new immigrants

Daniel, please carry on writing these wonderfully written posts, even though most of them make me want to scream or cry.

gsw said...

mindRider said:
"A fact is we can not wish a billion Muslims away."

True, but for the next 5 -10 years there are still other possibilities, given a voting population willing to be firm.

Europe has a large number of muslim children in school, these are being coddled when it comes to integration.

Start insisting - and teaching - that European values are superior and devalue the cultural get-out-of-jail-free card.
When a child spits at its teacher - be on the teacher's side!
When a gang of children beat up a boy for being a kufir - arrest them all and make it stick.

We can still turn this around if we are willing to be consequent.
An islamic 'cultural' society complains that a young hairdresser is not allowed to cover her hair? Tell them that's the way it is here, and warn them that 'inciting to riot' will get them 10 years!
A young hairdresser resigns because she is not allowed to cover her hair? OK, no unemployment benefit.
A child does not go to school? No child allowance.
A parent encourages a boy to bully his sisters? No money!
ALL muslim females MUST take part in school sports - no exceptions. This should include self-defence lessons and swimming.

When we start teaching our way of life, we might find that they enjoy learning it.
Our refusal to teach the enlightenment to muslim children is one of the causes of our problems
How can young muslims appreciate our way of life when they are unable to fully experience it?
Oh yes, and this blocking the streets every week? Get out the water hoses.

cruft said...

Dan, One's world view must incorporate either a god from which authority is derived or no god and authority is found wherever you can. In reading your articles this authority can't be found. Would you mind addressing this?

T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper (tm) said...

When it comes to stealth jihadists in the U.S., there is such a thing as progress - in undermining it :)

Here's today's stealth jihad de jour:

Scope modern Muslims fast and master the facts with the Historyscoper's new Muslimscope:

Keep up on Islam's war on us daily with the Historyscoper's Blog of Blogs on Islam:

Anonymous said...

mindRider said
.." but what practical means do we in the west posses to stop the fall of our civilization".
The simplest mean is to call some barbaric acts by their real name. Cutting hands of thieves, murdering women for wanting some freedom etc. should not be protected by "freedom of religion" and such like western notions. The Islam exploits liberties that were won by minorities to protect human dignity, to promote its agenda of intimidation and enslavement.

TBS said...

Don't forget - something often elided in these sorts of pieces - is that while the powerbrokers talk the talk of stopping progress etc, what they're actually working on is keeping all the good stuff for themselves and thieving it from those they hate.

The only decline in society they believe in is for others, not for themselves.
Case bi point - Obama and his family, luxury trips, extended golf games...Not for him to donate his accumualted millions to alkleviate the Climater crisis or the US debt, no sirreee!!
That's for everyone else to pay!!

NEVER forget this - these people preach "change" for everyone else
and stash the "hope" for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I knew two Lebanese Christians who indicated to me that Lebanon has been ruined by Muslims and Islam. Beirut was once the Paris of the Mid-East.

One of these Christians related how the Christian village in which his family had lived and died for generations was taken over by Muslims
and the first thing done was to obliterate the church. There are now no Christians living in the village his great-grandparents lived and died in and he no longer lives in the country of his birth.

He said he had to move to the USA to be able to visit Israel -- because having an Israeli stamp on your passport in Lebanon could result in your disappearance at the hands of the Muslim authorities.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this all is old stuff I have heard hundred times. It is extremely easy to criticize Islam, it is like criticizing Stalin for his atrocities. Or like saying 2+2=4. Great, everybody agrees with you, you are right ... and what?

Anonymous said...

Muslims may embrace their own past, but they have made some significant historical revisions re Israel and Jerusalem, as well as co-opting Jewish history, beginning with Abraham. This suits their current interest in eliminating Israel in particular, and Jews in general.
Mountain Dane

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

they embrace a mythical past, they wiped out the past of those countries they took over

the pre-islamic past

look what's going on in Persia

Edward Cline said...

Daniel wrote: “The left rejected commercial progress as capitalist, but continued to embrace technological progress and cultural development. Then it rejected technological progress as destructive, culture as perspective and stated that the highest moral principle was for the West to save the world by destroying itself.”

I think he underestimates the purpose of the left, or the left that is at large in Western society today. The attitude of the left is ostensively paradoxical. But it is not the same left that founded the Soviet Union, Red China, or Cuba. Those leftists, at least on the surface, seem to value and promise human and material progress, and tried to achieve it by enslaving their populations and putting fetters on their slaves’ minds. With every bogus five-year plan and every pseudo-false scientific accomplishment, they fooled their populations and convinced themselves that the collectivist scam was workable and practical – until at some point even the most gullible dolts said, “Account overdrawn.” Communist nations are not naturally creative or innovative; they can only emulate their freer, more prosperous neighbors, or the ones they haven’t invaded and sacked.

Contemporary leftists, however, especially the environmentalists, are fundamentally nihilists. They do not want to preserve or discover new, beneficial values for man. They are against man. So they are against nuclear power, genetically-altered produce and livestock, medical research, housing developments, standard light bulbs, even “wind farms” and solar energy, because none of it is “natural.” It all violates Mother Earth, because man must take from the earth to produce those things. Like Islam, contemporary leftists do not want to “save the West.” They want to see it swamped and drowned by their opposite number, their fellow nihilists of Islam.

They see strength in Islam, which is why they side with it, knowing that should a global caliphate ever be realized, they, they, the leftists, will be the first to be told to convert, or else. And, being nihilists, the leftists do not care. They worship non-existence, and know that their best bet of achieving a living death is to destroy, or help to destroy, those who love existence. In that sense, they share the same end as the Islamists and seekers after that “golden age.”

jlevyellow said...

I stood at the gate in the International Arrivals at JFK yesterday watching everyone as I waited for friends. Muslims came as groups, but with the same hugs and kisses as everyone else. It was Europeans and Africans who seemed most likely to arrive as singles or couples. Children among the Muslims seemed as prized as among other groups. I am sure my sample was skewed, having only spent two hours there, but that was my experience.

I believe that what I saw was people unencumbered by political motive in a moment of ordinary life. However, I also believe the observations of Sultan Knish. Where is the fulcrum, the moment of change? When do the observations of Sultan overwhelm the ordinary humanness of most people? At the moment of tension, where judgments must be made, where beliefs intervene in the need to explain events. It happens when easygoing gets challenged by conflict.

The search for perfection is greatest among those who are most challenged by conflict. The search for perfection is the search for sameness so that life can be tension-free. When Muslims can say, "Live and let live", they will have already modified their Muslim beliefs to the point of inner peace in diversity. It will happen. We live in history. It is an unassailable truism that that the present is prologue to the future. It will happen! Muslims too will have their inner peace. "In our day", I hope, and not at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Edward Cline, I agree with you about the contemporary left nihilism and worship of non-existence. Apart from when they do enjoy iPhones and international flying. Like parasites they don't really contribute significantly to human progress but they ride on it to satisfy their little selfish hedonism. And not that having iPhones or flying easyjet makes you actually rich. As Daniel said, people are actually more poor than they used to be, in the Great Society (TM). They are indebted with banks, own very little real estate and contribute very little to sustainable production. But why would you do anything else than "service economy" when you have a PhD and you are too smart to sweat and actually do work.

jlevyellow, I also hope that one day Muslims will change. But there are 2 big obstacles here: their annoying little book and the western left. The western left needs dhimmies. Successful, free minded, ambitious, entrepreneur minded Muslims is the worst nightmare of the left: worse than the Jews, because of their number.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign just previous Anonymous post: Fed.

Anonymous said...

agree with all of your points, Daniel. Coming from the UK, I observe almost daily the odd schizophrenia of our Muslim inhabitants. They carry Iphones in their pockets; at the same time they profess hate for the individual rights that gives power to intellectual property - a foundation of technological culture. Their use of social media created by Jews is equally ironic, while at the same time
they denounce Jews as corrupters and usurpers. Even their 'Free Palestine' facebook groups carry pictures of Islamic warriors carrying AK-47's - the AK-47 itself being the product of atheist Soviet society. My only hope for the future is a wildcard event. I'm particularly heartened by the development of the private spaceflight industry in the US. If private companies can build, own and operate large rockets, then perhaps its only a matter of time before a colony can be established on Mars. Perhaps the West will be forced to migrate to a new planet and the opening of a new frontier along with the freedoms that frontier engenders, will serve to reinforce and override the slow decay. Wild speculation, I know, but there is always that hope...

cornholio said...

Muslims, like Nazis, can't be good people as long as they subscribe to the antisemitic, genocidal, supremacist, genocidal ideology vomited forth by MuhamMAD or Hitler. To confirm this, all you have to do is look at any Islamic state on the face of the earth today and realize freedom and liberty really doesn't exist in any of them.

The pipe dream of reforming Islam is just that, if it hasn't been reformed in 1400 years what kind of idiot would expect it'll be spontaneously reformed NOW?

Anonymous said...

Just a thought! The muslim non-acceptence of science has allowed them to believe that the earth is flat. Why? Because if you are a muslim in the Americas and you bow down facing Mecca, your are, at the same time, raising your ass* toward Mecca in the other direction. Same result with facing toilets away from Mecca. Guess what you are doing in the direction of Mecca. Just one of many failures of Islam

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cornholio said...

I believe Maimonides lived through the so-called "Golden Age" of Islam in Spain, at least until he and his family were given the choice to covert to Islam, die, or go into exile. During the Islamic "Golden Age" in Al Andalus, the Muslim caliph appointed a Jewish governor to govern a province -- at which point the Muslims went on a rampage that killed some 10,000 Jews.

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