Monday, June 18, 2007

Jim "D'Souza" Kalb

Lawrence Auster had quoted an excellent piece, by Jim Kalb, explaining better than I have seen before, how liberalism evolve, and must evolve, from something that is initially mainly good into the tyranny we have today. Read it, it's very good.

Anyway, inspired by this, I decided to read more of Jim Kalb, and the first thing I stumbled across was this. Where he writes:

Naturally, like other people I have views about which understandings are best. For example, I consider Islam better than contemporary advanced liberalism [my emphasis], the individualistic, nondoctrinal and moralistic Protestantism traditional in America better than Islam, and Catholicism better than Protestantism.
Islam is better than contemporary advanced liberalism... Suck on that!

In all his wisdom, Jim Kalb is completely clueless.

I have described on many occasions how much I respect Hans-Hermann Hoppe as a political philosopher, but consider him a political idiot, when it comes to real practical politics. Hoppe shows an excellent historical understanding and makes the perfect argument why monarchy is superior to democracy. The argument is simple, and actually based on libertarian thinking: Things will be better taken care of when privately owned, than if it's communal property. This applies to states too. And he shows by several historical examples that we were more free and better off before under monarchy than now under democracy. (More Hoppe articles here.)

Then he goes on to his Utopian fantasy about an anarcho-Capitalistic Natural Order without states, and with insurance companies taking care of police security and military defense. So he left, reason. Fair enough, most people do. After all, he's a paleo-libertarian. Then I stumbled across a speech he had given where he describes the Utopian paradise of his Natural Order. He explains how these insurance companies will create a world of Kumbaya, most notably by how they will contrive new and better weapons for warfare, that will reduce the collateral damage to an absolute minimum. Such is the pure goodness of these anarcho-Capitalistic insurance companies, according to Hoppe. Contrasted with the evil states, who obviously, according to Hoppe, have an interest in causing collateral damage, and therefore never would minimize it.

And it was at this it became all clear to me how paleo-libertarianism was rotten to the core. At this point, Hoppe had not only left reason, he had entered derangement. He had shown that deep inside emotionally he's nothing else but the very same Marxist , that he started as (with Habermas as his mentor). And I have always known that libertarianism is nothing else but inverted Marxism, where the state has taken the place of the Capital as the root of all evil. Just the two end points on the scale of the equal freedom of liberalism--one setting freedom to the max, the other setting equality to the max. The beauty of Hoppe's paleo-libertarianism had me fooled for a while, but I woke up from it. And needless to say, Hoppe--just as Jim Kalb--also shown to be a clueless idiot about Islam.

It was at this point, almost two years back, I found Lawrence Auster's site View From the Right. A site started by Jim Kalb. The theory here was traditionalist conservatism, from which I have found much inspiration. And now I stumbled across this essay by Jim Kalb where he clearly states that he considers "Islam better than contemporary advanced liberalism."

Islam cannot be compared to anything in the West! You can take anything of the West, from the most beautiful flower to the dirtiest filth, and there's no way Islam could ever enter anywhere into that hierarchy. Islam is what anti-matter is to matter. And the dirtiest filth of the West is infinitely better than Islam. People how do not have this understanding of Islam are useless to me. Jim Kalb is useless to me. Just as Hoppe he is a great political philosopher, but a political idiot (and I'm just noting for the record that he's a Catholic).

This further suggests to me that while traditional conservatism is an excellent political philosophy for criticizing liberalism, it is useless as a movement to stop the suicide of European civilization. The clarity and substance, of Lawrence Auster, in defending the the West does not come from his affiliation with traditionalist conservatism, but simply from who he is as a person. No more than the sense that is made by Ilana Mercer comes from her affiliation with paleo-libertarianism.

I had written to Lawrence Auster yesterday evening, in a vain hope that he would write back to say that this quote by Jim Kalb was a blunder and that he had fully repudiated it since. But no. Instead I can read at VFR how--while there are disagreements expressed--Jim Kalb's derangement is treated with respect, together with the willingness to explain for his position. All reminiscent of how the poor guys at Powerline continue to treat George W. Bush with respect. And VFR is never a site holding its fire otherwise. Jim Kalb is the Dinesh D'Souza of traditional conservatism, and any movement having such a person among its ranks is in deep trouble.

I have concluded that just as paleo-libertarianism, when expressed by Hoppe, serves as an excellent political philosophy, that can put forward insightful arguments, but is useless as a defense of European civilization. So is traditionalist conservatism. The excellent positions of clarity and substance held by Lawrence Auster comes from another source. An evidence of this is that otherwise him and me wouldn't have been in agreement so often.

I will have reason to come back to this whole thing. I'm starting to see things again from a new perspective. Among other things I start thinking that the idea of a conservative movement sounds as an oxymoron.


James Kalb said...

Not surprisingly, I find your comments somewhat puzzling.

The point of my comment about Islam isn't that it's nice to have a substantial Islamic presence in the West, or that Islam and the non-Islamic world can ever be other than opposed, but that Islam can actually support human life (as demonstrated by 1400 years experience) which I don't think advanced liberalism can in the long run.

I suppose I should add that by "Islam" and "advanced liberalism" I mean systems of principles along with their presuppositions and innate tendencies. I'm looking to the future. So I'm not saying that it's nicer to live in Iran than in the U.S. today, since after all the U.S. and every other actual Western country still retains a lot from its preliberal past, but that advanced liberalism, with its programmatic determination to eradicate all standards other than maximum equal satisfaction of desire, has it in it to create something worse than what we see in the Islamic world. It denies much too much of what makes us human and it's endlessly "progressive"--simple, logical and ultimately unlimited in its demands. The evils of Islam in contrast are subject to important limitations because it doesn't form such a logical system and it has more of a place for natural human inclinations.

Conservative Swede said...

Before I answer, let me say how much I appreciate you as a political philosopher, and that I'm honoured to have you commenting here in my blog.

About Islam, I find what you write truly shocking. Islam "has more of a place for natural human inclinations"...

To me conservatism means, among other things, getting things in perspective and proportion.

Your understanding of Islam is way out of proportion. You are up on the moon. And I start thinking your assessment of the contemporary West is way out of proportion too.

I haven't written much, at my blog, about the horrors and perversions of Islam, down to ever single aspect of life. Because I assumed my readers already know. But obviously it is not known.

Or maybe you do know and it's Islams reduction of women to breeding machines and the men into sex-crazed warriors, that you describe as "actually support human life"?

Sexual perversion is at the center of what makes Islam tick. Does your comment mean that when you assess the sexual perversion of a culture, that it is not how revolting, disgusting and brutally dehumanizing it is that counts, but whether it leads to many child births and territorial expansion?

How much do you know about Islam, really? Are you prepared to accept any amount of sexual perversion before a weak culture?

Obviously I will have to write more in my blog about the horrors and perversion of Islam.

Jason Pappas said...

Islam, like post-modernism (what we're calling liberalism) are both nihilistic if applied consistently. Islam is a supremacist warrior ideology of plunder and submission. It is anti-mind (dogmatic to the extreme) and thus anti-life. Post-modernism is explicitly anti-mind and consequently a cynical effete degeneration.

Sometimes dogmatic brutes appear sturdier than effete slobs. But it is only apparent; they are soul mates underneath. The only reason that Muslims have survived 14 centuries without annihilation is that the decaying modern societies can rely on fruits of science from a better time. Thus, Nazi and Soviet technology could magnify evil several orders of magnitudes beyond those who rely solely on the sword.