Friday, July 23, 2004

Elites, Pacifism and the End of Western Civ


One should always quote Orwell with trepidation. He spent an almost equal portion of his life working each side of the fence. A young, fiercely anti-colonial colonial administrator in his early years, and later a patriot deeply concerned with the true motives of all governments. It was the latter period that gave us Animal Farm and 1984.

But Terrence's last post brought to mind something of his I was reading a few days ago - Notes on Nationalism (May, 1945) - where Orwell neatly skewers those who would have us believe that their side is completely righteous and above reproach. What is most interesting is that he accomplishes this while also maintaining that Moral Relativism is evil as well. A neat trick.

The most salient part of his piece is the portion that deals with modern pacifism. It rings as true today as I'm sure it did in 1945. He also reminds us that while we see that era through the lens of The Good War and The Greatest Generation, they were also struggling with their Chomsky's, Moore's and Buchanan's as well as Fascism and Communism. Another neat trick.

I'm just going to paraphrase the portion on Modern Pacifism - but I highly recommend d/l'ing and reading the piece in it's entirety. It is better then 90% of what I read getting a Poli Sci degree.
The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defense of western countries. The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China. [ . . . ] After the fall of France, the French pacifists, faced by a real choice which their English colleagues have not had to make, mostly went over to the Nazis, and in England there appears to have been some small overlap of membership between the Peace Pledge Union and the Blackshirts.

I believe that it was Stalin who used to remark that "we will hang the last capitalist with the rope he sold us." I am beginning to believe that Radical Islam will nuke us with material that we allowed him to get rather than risk looking like knuckle dragging racists - And Moore, et al will cheer the fallout as proof that we finally got what was coming to us.
No snark. Just download and read the damn thing.

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