Thursday, July 31, 2008

Auster against properly defeating Islam

It's tiresome with the usual swarm of Austerisms aimed at me, such as"deliberate lies", "crazed attacks", etc., but I will just continue ignoring it. So if we could leave Auster's lamenting about how he is unfairly attacked aside for a moment and look at the factual content of the differing positions.

In his answer to me (here and here) Auster pretends that he doesn't know what I mean by defeating Islam. I speak of a total defeat, and have been doing so all the time, not about a temporary or partial defeat. I guess in the eyes of Truman himself he saw it as having won the Korean war, but it was truly just half a victory. And Truman dismissed MacArthur for wanting to properly defeat the Korean Communists. In a similar manner Auster dismiss the idea of properly defeating Islam and and render it terminally harmless. Auster's idea of "defeating" is rather the Cold War concept of limited war. Which surely means defeating the enemy in several battles and holding him back (like in Korea). But Auster is against the idea of a total war and a total victory over Islam.

Surely he's against the idea of destroying Mecca, but he hasn't even suggested the idea of invading Mecca. How could Islam possibly be defeated without invading Mecca? Of course we could speak in terms of having defeated Islam here and there (quite as America can speak of having defeated Communism in... I can't think of a country right now... Afghanistan?), but not in terms of having defeated Islam as such (the Islamic empire), with less than invading Mecca. Islam won't see itself as defeated with less than that Mecca is invaded. That's a minimum. And if we learned anything in 1400 years it is that what is needed here is a Carthaginian peace, that is the destruction of Islam.

But Auster is an outspoken opponent against a total war against Islam as such and Carthaginian peace. He writes:

For us to aim at literally destroying the entire religion of Islam, as some people advocate, would put us in an insane position. No. We must do what is doable, and what will render us and the rest of the non-Islamic world reasonably safe. To aim at eradicating Islam from the earth is like aiming at eradicating evil from the earth. It is a form of hubristic madness, which the Western tradition has repeatedly warned us against. [My emphasis]
And below Auster even describes crushing Islam as "cultural genocide". I guess he wants to imply that there's something morally wrong with it:
Moreover, this containment of the Muslim peoples can be accomplished without violating their dignity and essence as Muslims. If we sought literally to suppress and destroy Islam, we could be justly accused of practicing cultural genocide. But if we simply contain the Muslims in their historic lands where they can have no power over us, that would not be harming them, even under the terms of their own religion.
But the essence of Auster's plan is described here:
It is no shame for a Muslim to accept defeat, because he views it as temporary, and so he waits patiently for future jihadist opportunities to arise. The wait can be very long--centuries, in fact. And that should be just fine with us.
Auster knows that his plan won't be seen as a proper defeat of Islam by the Muslims themselves. So how could a defeat be a proper one, if the enemy does not see it so himself? It can't of course.

Finally regarding how Auster uses the word "monstrous". He complains about what I had written before. He correctly points out that he only used the word to describe the idea of killing all Muslims. But I already had that covered in my qualifier "in some cases". However, the interesting thing is that in the very same answer he says "I don't think we can destroy Islam, short of killing all Muslims on earth or raining total destruction on every Muslim country on earth." So, indeed there seems to be a strong connection in his mind between monstrous and destroying Islam.

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Social paradigms shift, e.g. our view on race before and after 1945

The “What Can We Do?” thread at Gates of Vienna is one of the most comprehensive anti-jihad discussion held, both in terms of what has been discussed and in terms of the broad range of people who's been involved. It's been a virtual anti-jihad mini-conference.

The discussion is being furthered in the thread The Quiet Game, where Zenster brings up the question of which has to be defeated first, Islam or political correctness / multiculturalism / etc.?

Armance answers to this is that it will happen simultaneously: "I think Islam, immigration and the multi-culti ideology will vanish as a whole. Once we acknowledge that there is an Other who can be harmful to ourselves, the idea of the sacred minorities and the myth of the good savage will perish at the same time."

And I agree with Armance. This is how historical changes usually take place. And all the people who feel despair and cannot imagine such a change have not read any history, or haven't paid attention while reading it. Only last century we had a couple of shifts of this magnitude. When you live in the middle of a paradigm it looks impossible to change it (because all the aspects of it support each other). But if you study history you will find that such changes happened fairly often, and how it works.

To illustrate what I talk about. Louis Armstrong visited Sweden in 1933. In all the news papers he was describe as something monkey-like let loose from the jungle. All across the line! And in the reviews by the most serious music critics.

Who would have imagined in 1933, that twelve years later Western Europe would undergo an America-led cultural revolution which would lead to the common belief that there are no differences between races?

Translation of two of the quotes:

Knut Bäck in Göteborgs-Posten, November 1933:
"This world is strange... No protests are raised against how the jungle is let loose into the society. Armstrong and his band are allowed to freely wreak destruction."

Sten Broman in Sydsvenskan, November 1933:
"Dare I say that he at times had something monkey-like about him and sometimes reminded of, according to our perceptions, a mentally disturbed person, when he pouted with his mouth or gaped it to its widest open and roared like a hoarse animal from a primeval forest."

The third quote compares the concert with a natural disaster, and Armstrong's trumpet with a hell machine. The only good thing coming out of it, he says, is that it solves to old dispute of whether monkeys have a language.

This is what Europe looked like, up until 1945. And since some people will live under the misconception that this was a phenomenon of the '30s, I here provide a quote from the Swedish Encyclopedia, Nordisk Familjebok, the 1876-1899 edition (here and here).

"Psychologically the negro can be said be on the level of a child, with vivid fantasy, lack of endurance, ... can be said to lack morality rather than being immoral ... etc."

Even though the point here has been to illustrate how social paradigms can shift completely in short time (and this is just one out of numerous examples), let me add how up until 1945 all the focus was put on the differences between races, and after that all the focus has been put on what is equal (while ignoring differences). Let's see if the next shift means a synthesis of the two extremes. Will people be able to keep two thoughts in their minds at the same time?

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Auster explained

There is a distinctive pattern to Lawrence Auster's behaviour in relation to Islam, liberalism and other anti-Jihadists. Yesterday I wrote a comment at Gates of Vienna that captures it succinctly.

In a thread at Gates of Vienna where essayist Westerner suggests that Islam must be defeated and destroyed, Auster enters to counter the approach of Baron Bodissey and many others. According to Auster the whole case has to be presented at once, and according to him that's the only way to convince people. Presenting the whole case involves suggesting the deportation of Muslims from our lands. But it also involves stating that liberalism must be defeated (in the world of traditionalist conservatism liberalism is sufficient to frame everything that is wrong with the West today). Baron Bodissey instead suggests that our goal is reached in many smaller steps from A to Z.

Lawrence Auster had written: "we can and should make the whole case right now, including the diagnosis, the cure, and the rejection of liberalism that prohibits a cure." To which I respond:

Isn't the real reason for your approach, that your real goal is to defeat liberalism? That's why you want to jump directly to step P. The steps before interest you little, since they do not specify the terminal ending of liberalism. But neither are the steps after of much interest to you, since you are not interested in defeating Islam. It's liberalism that you see as the real enemy. Islam you see as more benevolent and therefore worthy of surviving; a grace that you are not willing to give to liberalism.

Furthermore, you spend a disproportionate amount of time attacking (and often fiercely) conuterjihad people working on steps A, B and C. Why? For the same reason. People walking up this staircase like 1,2,3 are not seen as having proven their anti-liberal credentials in your eyes. The usage of liberal arguments against Islam is seen as a way of promoting liberalism by you, and is therefore attacked by you. It goes along with your declared agenda. Defeating liberalism--our prime and only real enemy according to you--is your focus.
I think this summarizes succinctly Auster's posture, and the many sides of it, in these debates. It's all derived from the nature of traditionalist conservatism to which Auster adheres. The conclusion is solely based on the nature of traditionalist conservatism, yet it explains all sides of Auster attitude and behaviour in these debates. Auster hasn't answered to this comment yet.

There are many aspects of the collective mental wall that we are up against when presenting our case to the general public: political correctness, people being lulled into false sense of security after so long time under prosperity and peace, fear of change, the decay of Christianity, effects of the industrial age, the bourgeoisification of the entire population, the post-modern distancing from reality, ignorance about Islam and about history in general, etc. In the book of traditionalist conservatism this can all be captured as liberalism. And in the book of traditionalist conservatism no case is worth presenting if it does not include the rejection of liberalism as a whole.

Let's start with what traditionalist conservatism has gotten right. It's true that the whole thing is bigger than just political correctness and the failure to see the true face of Islam. It's also true that the current ruling elites have to be entirely rejected, however this does not necessarily imply the complete rejection of liberalism.

According to traditionalist conservatism liberalism is both a necessary and sufficient criterion to set the whole diagnosis. But while it can serve as a good enough approximation in many contexts it's neither necessary nor sufficient as a criterion. It's not sufficient since liberalism didn't come from out of the blue, but is rooted in deeper structures of our culture. Christian ethics, with it's egalitarianism, universalism and inversion of values is the root of liberalism. And we find how Christianity has weaknesses towards Islam, that has nothing to do with what Christianity has in common with liberalism, but is based on the Abrahamic connection that many Christians feel towards Islam.

But at the same time it's not a necessary criterion. In spite of my criticism of Christianity, I cannot know that Christianity will be rejected as a solution to our problems. This is very much an open question, and a very likely development is that Christianity will be calibrated, such as to mend the suicidal weaknesses of Christianity sufficiently for our civilizational survival (I'm speaking in a century long perspective here). The same with liberalism (which overlaps the case of Christianity predominantly). Already a national liberalism that is rejecting universalism and calibrating its egalitarianism would take us far. Actually this is a good way to describe the new political stance of Denmark today. Denmark has not abandoned liberalism, they have calibrated it, changed it's character to make it stronger for national defence.

The same with my criticism of democracy. It's very much an open question what will happen on that front, in a century long perspective. We might end up with a calibrated version where only the ones paying taxes will have the right to vote. We might end up with a traditional republic. Or we might end up with a more truly mixed constitution. or with a despot or a tyrant.

These are all open questions. What will work will work. And one thing is for sure, we will end up with mishmash solutions full of paradoxes. Social paradigms never change properly into something that is intellectually stringent. Social institutions and concepts are the result of evolution, and will therefore always hold inner contradictions.

Polticial views that are heavily ideologized infallibly fall into becoming permanent opponents to our civilization. Communists see our civilization as Capitalistic, and are therefore enemies of it. They will always be enemies of it since no matter what is its real character, they will always see it as Capitalistic. Libertarians see our civilization as oppression by evil states, and are therefore enemies of it. They will always be enemies of it since no matter what is its real character, they will always see it as oppression by evil states. Traditionalist conservatives see our civilization as liberal, and are therefore enemies of it. They will always be enemies of it since it will never be un-liberal enough for them. This is the reason why traditionalist conservatives will often operate in a similar manner as Communist sectarians within any specific movement. They have an agenda of their own and that's the one they are driving.

Islam is a very real enemy, that has declared total war upon us. The problem of the West though, that is often referred to as "liberalism", is a set of demons that need to be exorcised. These demons are based on fears, which are based on myths; the strongest of which (the hardest nuts to crack) are rooted in WWII, but the roots of these myths go far back.

Lawrence Auster simply cannot make himself say that we are in a total war with Islam, that Islam is wicked, and that Islam needs to be defeated and destroyed. But when it comes to "liberalism" he has no problem in saying that it is wicked and must be defeated.

Auster has gotten it all upside down. First of all his term "liberalism" is just a construction, quite as the term "Islamism" is. The purpose of this construction is to catch a wide-ranging phenomenon of the West that surely is in need of a common characterization and name. So far I'm with him. But when he takes this construction into being the ultimate evil and our ultimate enemy, he has taken this approximate term so far out on so thin ice that it won't carry. And the whole thing becomes as Quixotic as when the neocons declare war on "Islamism".

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Monday, July 21, 2008

On black culture, Islam and "moral thinking"

For some time I had a side job in the entertainment business, and with reference to this I wrote "and while I'm at it I'd like to affirm my recognition to black culture for their wonderful and essential contributions to music and dancing".

Apparently Lawrence Auster took this recognition of a positive contribution by black culture as being offensive and wrote at his blog about me: "Entertainment? Recognition of black culture and dancing? Isn't this the guy who just the other day was expressing his total disillusionment with American conservative Christians because they lack the steel to send the nonwhite hordes packing? Intellectual vagabond indeed."

Apparently Auster sees a contradiction in stressing the value of and need of self-affirmation of white culture, and at the same time applauding black culture for their positive achievements. I see no contradiction at all. It's just how things are. Black people, as a group, can e.g. be failures in creating a good civilized society, while at the same time excelling in rhythmical music and dancing. This is what a very consistent historical record tells us. Is it really so hard to see both sides at the same time? Human life is a wonder. There's no example of it leading to plain junk.

And regarding the "send[ing] the nonwhite hordes packing". Well, that's the usual Auster misrepresentation. I have never suggested that all "nonwhite hordes" should be sent packing. Is he suggesting so himself?

And later on Auster appears even more warped by my fair description of black culture, and describe me as "getting into black culture". Well, I was not into black culture. It's just that a lot of music have roots in black culture. How is that offensive?

I think the mistake of Auster here, regarding black culture, is what I refer to as the fallacy of "moral thinking". What I mean by that is the use of the concepts of good and bad as prime categories of thinking. If things are immediately seen in terms of good/bad, pure thinking gets inhibited. Instead in the first phase of our thinking we should look at the nature of things: the nature of black culture, the nature of Christianity, the nature of Islam. And only in the second phase sort out what is good or bad.

People who are inclined towards moral thinking tend to see contradictions where there are none. E.g. statement A about X which is considered as bad, and then statement B about X which is considered as good. A moral thinker might end up seeing them as contradictory, while in fact they are not. A moral thinker might see it as jumping between extremes, while it is nothing but a lining up of facts.

Another example of how moral thinking leads wrong is Auster's and Kalb's reaction vis-a-vis Islam. Auster and Kalb simply cannot take in all aspects of Islam, such as e.g. anal rape of young boys. Auster objected strongly to my description in the article Islam—perverted parasitical psychopathy. To Auster this made Islam become reduced to just a cult, while he himself takes a Abrahamic position of how "Islam is indeed a religion devoted to a transcendent God".

A main argument by Auster and Kalb is that Islam wouldn't have been able to sustain that long if it had been so inherently bad. Here I think these two fellows are in urgent need of reading some Machiavelli. Things do not work well based on whether they, from a standpoint of Christian ethics, are judged as good or bad. Things work well if they take social and other realities well in account, "the mechanics of life" if you wish. Once again it's the fallacy of moral thinking in operation here.

Another aspect of how moral thinking inhibits Auster's ability to see a clear view, is in how he shuns the idea of seeing Islam as a cult. This since he thinks it must lead to a position urging the physical destruction of Islam. So he looks first at what he sees as the moral consequences, instead of just looking disinterestedly at the evidence at hand. He see his perceived moral consequence as forbidden area, and therefore he backs away from the conclusion about the nature of Islam. Thereby it hampers his thinking.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Auster wants to publish private emails

With reference to my comment at Atlas Shurgs, Auster writes:
"Notice how Swede, without garnishing a single fact to back up the charge, equates me with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, saying that Auster, just like Johnson, does not "have any shame or any limits in how deeply [he] will degenerate into dirty games."

But the way Auster is prepared to go all the way down in dirty games is a well-known fact. And it supports the comparison with Charles Johnson. But there is more to that comparison. In spite of the stark differences between Auster and Johnson and their respective followers, they have several interesting features in common. I will have to write an essay about it.

Auster continues:
"And notice how, in the manner of the Big Lie, he is doing to me what he falsely accuses me of doing: observing no limits on how low he will go in order to tear down a former colleague."

First of all, my major point here is in the part of that quote that Auster cut out: "They [Auster and Johnson] both regularly attack any and all other anti-Jihadist of importance. They are both destroying for the movement (each in their different way and from different directions), and thereby isolating themselves. OK, Johnson still accepts Spencer, and Auster still accepts Fjordman, but let's see for how long. In the end they can only accept themselves as the only prophet. They each have their respective sort of purism that by the end of the day will make them fall out with everybody."

I keep friendly relations with other anti-Jihadists (Auster and Johnson are the exceptions). The notable thing with Auster and Johnson is that they generally don't. The vast majority of anti-Jihadists are "former colleagues" to them. So yes, this time around I'm prepared to go all the way down with Auster. But that is only for the common good. And I'm not the one here setting the rules of the game.

Then Auster announces:
"Perhaps the only way to put this particular lie of Swede's to rest will be to quote the e-mail exchange which led up to my saying that I would not speak to him any more."

Sure. Go ahead! I have nothing to hide. And we should make sure to publish all emails relevant to this, and not just some convenient cherry-picking. But even so it's hard to see how what I wrote could be described as personally hostile. I never wrote a single hostile word. The exchange consists of Auster using threatening language, because I had written blog posts critical of him, while I'm expressing regret that we did not get along and ask if we couldn't just continue the discussion.

Whatever Auster considers an hostile act, a personal attack on him and the whole of his work, etc., is found in my blog posts of June 2007. Apparently the worst personal attack on him was when I wrote: "I've been forced, by his way of acting, to criticize Auster strongly here. But I should add that in spite of Auster's serious flaws at display here, he's still at the overall level a person that encourages debate, and wants to play it fair, and is open to differing opinions. This has not changed. But I think Lawrence has been a bit shocked and shaken by some of the things I have said. So this whole thing might take some time."

Anyway, this way of Auster--which is so characteristic of him--to take the thing into publishing private email exchanges, is a perfect example of what I mean with having no shame or any limits in how deeply he will degenerate into dirty games. While I don't mind it in this particular instance, most people do not view this favourably, to say the least. They see it as a serious breach of good manners, and as a personally hostile act. Auster of course, fails to understand this. He's got his special double standard when it comes to good manners.

A final note. When I wrote my last post referring to John Savage and Vanishing American as two friends of VFR who, a year ago, were then easily led into seeing chimeras of how rude I was, just because Auster had declared so, I had overlooked the fact that since then Auster has made sure to ravage those good relations and burned the bridges to them. (Yet another similarity between VFR and LGF, btw.)

Auster ravaging a personal relation, coming soon to you too! And watch what you write in emails to him! Probably best to not write any emails at all.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Now I'm Hamas!

Lawrence Auster wrote: Calling [Conservative] Swede merely my "critic" is like calling the leader of Hamas a "critic" of Israel.

For someone who likes to dish out so much criticism to so many people, he sure can't take much criticism back.

The quote is hilarious of course, but also tragic. The man is unreliable. But still, many VFR readers really have a problem in seeing that Auster can be fully sensible in his articles, but equally haywire in his interaction with other people, and in his description of those interactions. If you have a critic that is asking you questions you are unable to answer, creating a scene and then breaking the communication is of course a way to escape the embarrassment. By labeling me "Hamas", Auster wants to declare me as not being a critic and that my questions therefore need not be answered. I wonder how many people buy that. It surely does not give the impression of being open for debate and willing to turn every stone.

In the same thread Sir Henry Morgan suggested to Auster:

Can't you [Auster and Spencer] just agree to differ, shake on it--metaphorically if necessary, physically if possible; and publicly (that's important)--and get back to the common cause? You have more important things to spend your time and effort on, and so does he.
But Auster does not have more important things to do, and here he explains why:
So, to repeat, when a screaming mob has falsely accused a man of lying, misrepresentation, character assassination, pursuing a personal vendetta, ignoring evidence because he's not interested in facts but rather is driven by unsavory, dishonest, or sick personal motives to demonize another person for the sake of demonizing him, to conclude that these accusations are nothing more than meaningless "bickering" and that the man should ignore it all and say, "peace, peace," is not realistic.
This is how Auster honestly and genuinely view the situation. And, mind you, this is Auster in the mode of getting the Spencer controversy in perspective, intending to put it behind him, as he says.

Nobody's describing Auster's intentions as he claims above. The disasters he creates do not stem from bad intentions, but serious flaws in his personality. There is certainly important and constructive criticism of Spencer to bring forward (an ongoing dialog within the anti-Jihad movement is key to our success). But the way Auster is conducting it, he messes up the whole thing. And he doesn't even understand it.

The quote above reveals a man who interprets disagreements in terms of personal dramas centered around himself; the poor victim. And a man who is simply devoid of the ability to back off. Many times this has a good outcome, such as when it is important to stand firm for a claim he has made. But Auster doesn't know the difference between being brave and when it's lunacy to continue. He's just literally unable to back off, the concept is unknown to him. He's not a normal person.

Earlier Auster wrote about me:
But Swede is the most extreme case by far. Other situations were not ongoing. Swede has been in psycho mode about me now for a whole year, and no one gainsays him.
He really has a problem with sticking to the simple truth, doesn't he? As I have already pointed out, there's not been anything "ongoing" for a "whole year". For the whole year that he's referring to I have simply ignored him (as so many other people do). I have not written about him in my blog or anywhere else. I have not sent him any emails. Nothing, nada, zilch. Exactly the opposite of what he claims!

But I think we have learned enough about Auster's emotional life by now, to understand that when I criticize him now, it feels to him as if it has been going on for a whole year. And it feels like "Hamas" and "psycho mode" and all those things he writes. But why doesn't he just drop this self-pity and noise-making and just address the questions I posed to him?

And the reason why "no one gainsays [me]", well go figure!

I have written elsewhere that Auster is a phenomenon in need of being explained (which is an interesting intellectual challenge). Another phenomenon in need of explanation is how otherwise intelligent people are prepared to accept his insane descriptions of his brawls with other people. What makes them buy Auster's premises entirely uncritically? (He surely doesn't foster the attitude of wanting to turn every stone.)

One example is from a year ago, after Auster had excommunicated me and declared to the VFR readers that I'm "rude" (along with a string of other adjectives). And some of them bought it to the degree when they started seeing things, imagining things (quite as Auster himself with his "Hamas" and "psycho mode").

So Vanishing American wrote to John Savage and complained about how rude I had been to her:
[Conservative Swede] visited my blog once and left a sort of snarky comment mentioning Christianity negatively; I don't remember the substance of it.
To which John Savage replies:
VA, I'm sorry that CS was rude to you. I understand why he probably would be, and I won't be surprised if he ends up doing the same to me
But let's have a look at what I actually wrote at Vanishing American's site. VA had published Fjordman's article "A Christian Background for Political Correctness?", where I was mentioned. And I made the following comment, and VA answered.
Conservative Swede:
For those interested in the discussions I had with Fjordman, about the role of Christian ethics, I invite you to read my blog: Conservative Swede. Is Christian ethics truly a major force behind the suicide of our civilization?

Vanishing American:
Conservative Swede, interesting blog. I agree with much of what you say.
However I think the problem is not Christianity per se but the modern, liberalized variation of it, [...]
Well, we sorted the whole thing out. But it still serves as a good example of how easily led people are, and how easily they are made to start imagining things. Also otherwise intelligent people.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

La Mer

In the summer I like to go to the ocean. So much, the ocean.

La Mer. Charles Trénet

(Hat tip: Every Kinda People)

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

If I were Robert Spencer...

If I were Robert Spencer I would just ignore Lawrence Auster, quite as most other people of importance do. But since he's e-mailing, or rather cc-ing, him anyway, I have to say that what he writes is very good and to the point.

Here's what Spencer wrote to Erich, most of which applies to Auster too. Erich is the author of the site Jihadwatch Watch, and Auster describes him as someone that everybody "knows that he is rational and analytical in his writings and avoids personal attacks". This is VFR code language for saying that he does not criticize Auster. Here's Spencer e-mail (as presented at VFR):

Fact is, my boy, is that I said, many times, "Muslim immigration should be stopped." You charge me with unclarity on that, unjustly and falsely.

Fact is, my boy, that you started a website dedicated to showing that what I was doing was wrong, inadequate, misguided, whatever, without proposing a coherent alternative. That you would dedicate a whole website to this, when our movement is so small and embattled as it is, is to me a breathtaking display of poor judgment, sour grapes, and worse.

Fact is, my boy, that the list of people whom Auster has alienated would fill several phone books. That you dispute this contention only means that you haven't done adequate research, or are willfully blind, or both. And the fact is that I have not alienated anything like that number. I may be a far worse jerk than he is, that I will grant you, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and it is he who has the (well-deserved) reputation as someone who savages people on his side.

Of course, given your record, I can see why that would not seem like a big thing to you.

You are NOT on my side. You are NOT my ally. You are a HINDRANCE to the anti-jihad effort in general. You are a TOOL of those who would destroy us.

Face the facts.

Yes indeed, such are the facts. And the fact that Spencer refers to Erich as "my boy" and Auster as "honey", in e-mails, just show refreshing signs of humanity (not understood at VFR).

Auster is able to go on forever about the personal dramas he creates and the little details of them (and the past is always so much more important than the future, or even the present, to him). And when he says he's going to leave aside his attacks on Spencer, it just means that he's going to increase and magnify them, as we can see. Sure, Spencer didn't call for ending Muslim immigration two and a half years ago. But now he does. The question is how long it is constructive to whine about what happened two and a half years ago, in the context of this brawl created by Auster.

Auster misses the big picture. Spencer is down there fighting in the open hostile fields, spreading his message where it's most needed, among the uninitiated. While Auster is sitting safely in his tower philosophizing. And while it's true that we need both kinds, how come then that Auster is spending so much of his time throwing stones from his tower at Spencer, while he's taking the good fight in the battlefield? We surely do not need this kind of backstabbers.

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It's really hard to take this seriously

It's hard to find any substance in Auster's reply to the criticism of him. It's mostly about how I'm a madman, how Atlas is an idiot, etc. But let's have a closer look at this long sentence:

Conservative Swede, of course, is the person who posted regularly at VFR for a couple of years and was very friendly to me, and then, on the basis of single point I made about Islam that he didn't like, suddenly became personally hostile to me and began launching a series of deranged attacks which have continued for the last year, culminating in the below comment, which he concludes by calling me an egomaniacal cult leader and wishing for my intellectual extinction.

Well, that's quite a load -- a stink bomb, should we say?

Let's start with "which have continued for the last year". Well, for the past year I have not mentioned Lawrence Auster at all in my blog. I have ignored him. That's quite the opposite of what Auster claims. The last time I mentioned him was in this post: The clash of the cleavage. And that one was rather making fun of Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Then about "on the basis of single point I made about Islam that he didn't like, suddenly became personally hostile to me". Well, what happened is that Lawrence Auster had enough of my questions to him that he couldn't answer and decided to "excommunicate" me. For the sake of the theater, to make it look "valid", he decided to make a lot of noise and hurl a long string of adjectives at me. I was simply left watching this, while trying to continuing in constructive dialog.

So much for a year ago. And indeed up until then we had had a good and very interesting dialog for a year and a half (most of it by email and never published). We had chosen to focus on our similarities rather than on our differences, and we indeed had many views in common. I had also chosen to overlook the negative sides of Auster, such as his obsessive attacks on Spencer, which were going on already then. In any given situation there are always compromises that you are prepared to make.

But after the noisy personal drama the Auster decided to create in relation to me, it was no longer possible (as well as pretty pointless) to overlook to what extent that he distorts and manipulates his accounts of his interaction with different other pundits. And after his latest excessive, unfair and disrespectful attacks on Robert Spencer, I had enough and decided to speak out. Auster gets away with a lot -- at least in the eyes of his small circle of most devoted readers -- since other pundits do not have the time or the energy to go as far in these brawls, in correcting the distortions of Auster in every single detail, in using his method of bringing up private email conversations, etc. They have more important things to do. So on his little stage, Auster will be declaring himself the winner, as well as the only one being rational, fair and respectful, etc. It's not so hard really considering the methods Auster use. The key is in being devoted, i.e. investing a lot of time and energy into it, while making sure most of the world ignores him.

Auster does not take criticism well. And he hurts the anti-Jihad movement with his excessive behaviour. Take the example of David Yerushalmi of SANE. When he used words as "failure" and "irrational" about certain aspects of Auster's position, Auster takes it as an "aggressive and personal attack". This is not the way to conduct a debate, Lawrence. Just to exemplify what Auster's standard means. He described my theory of the origin of religion as "terribly defective". With Auster's own view, I should see this as an openly hostile and personal attack on me. That's ridiculous.

Auster's standard is, and will always be, a double standard. And you will have to be a VFR devotee in order not to see that. Auster's skin is too thin; he's too good at creating schisms, and at the same time unable to put them aside.

In the case of the brawl with me, the whole affair was a one man show by Auster. I had not done much more than passively watching the different stages of his act of breaking up with me. Part of his act was to claim that it was me who made the decision to "break decisively" with him. This never happened. I've been sitting in the audience, all while Auster has been on the stage, throwing himself on the floor, rolling around as if in pain, then standing up launching an attack, and finally breaking up with me. All of it quite surprising to me. The words he used to describe the situation was all part of this exaggerated theater: such as "aggressive and personal attack" and "openly hostile", his descriptions about "insulting language" in e-mails, me denouncing him as a groupie of a “fifth columnist”, me by implication declaring all of his work as mistaken, etc.; all equally false.

It's really hard to take this seriously.

And regarding how I'm supposedly wishing for his "intellectual extinction". Well, that's the usual Auster exaggeration. I just said that, quite as with Charles Johnson, we do not need him anymore. Quite frankly I do not think we do.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Geza answers Kristor about Austerian Separationism

So Kristor has answered Geza at VFR. And here comes a reply to that from Geza.

Auster's only contribution this time has been to twist the title--of what is otherwise an interesting general discussion--into an attack on Spencer. Of course, the title does not at all describe the content. So let my only contribution here be to say: How very characteristic of Auster.

Here's Geza's reply to Kristor:

By Geza:

Regarding the two paragraphs where Kristor discusses my comments, I think the "argument" between us is based on a misunderstanding.

On Separationism. I was critiquing the Austerian version of Separationism and Kristor endorsing it as a logical conclusion. I do not think it is a logical conclusion because Austerian Separationism does not go far enough and its primary focus is devising methods to remove the Muslim population from the West and keep them out. Auster states that he wants to have as little to do with Muslim countries as possible but he is still open to the possibility of military strikes whenever a Muslim dictator poses a threat. That is fine but Fitzgerald's version also focuses on reducing the political and economic power of the ummah as well. Auster's version of Separationism does not address this in any meaningful way. Fitzgerald also advocates promoting apostasy. Granted, Auster has flirted with this idea himself but it is not part of the major flank of Austerian Separationism much like it is with Fitzgerald's policy suggestions. I would like to add that I do not fully agree with all of Hugh Fitzgerald's proposals such as intervening in Darfur because it serves no purpose. I also do not agree with Fitzgerald in forming an alliance with the Arab Christians because I know that the majority of them are like James Zogby and not like Brigitte Gabriel. Auster's policy suggestions focus almost entirely on immigration reform whereas Fitzgerald's suggestions focus on immigration reform and so much more.

I was under the impression that Kristor fully endorsed Austerian Separationism without any qualifications based on that single sentence. As for the comment where Kristor was called a "Mongol general coolly prepared to wipe out millions of people" by Auster for his policy proposals, well... he was all over the place in that post and speaking mostly in hypotheticals. But I do remember that post, however I had forgotten that it was Kristor who wrote it. So yes, Kristor wants to go beyond Austerian Separationism. That's great, but it is not the point. The point is that is not what Auster wants, based on his articles. I think Conservative Swede is correct in arguing that Auster is not the standard bearer for anti-jihadist thought because he is mostly focused on ending Muslim immigration, not beating back Islam. Open borders and liberalism is the enemy of the West, not Islam. Auster has stated himself that we cannot hate Islam because it's in its nature to act the way it does but he sure hates liberalism. Anti-jihadism only happens to coincide with Auster's traditionalist ideology, mostly immigration restrictionism, and that is why he doesn't propose doing anything more than that. That is also why he calls any anti-jihadist who doesn't write an article on Why We Must Stop All Muslim Immigration Now! a Usual Suspect. For Auster, it's all about traditionalism, not anti-jihadism.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Geza: Does this man have no idea of how rude he is?

Lawrence Auster has answered to the criticism of his obsessive attacks on Spencer. Here's Geza's comment to that:

By Geza:

Auster is becoming a parody of himself. It seems that he has decided to flail around wildly attacking anyone who dares criticize his attacks on Spencer. It really makes me wonder how this man acts in public. What does he do when he loses an argument in real life? Pamela becomes an idiot, you are a madman, and Fjordman who was both defending Auster and criticizing his ridiculous behaviour is lumped in with both of you "crazies". Every single time he supposedly analyzes a pundit whom he disagrees with, he always has to dredge up the personal drama with said pundit and how nobody has criticized that pundit for the ad hominems directed against poor Larry Auster. He has done this to everybody, simply because they don't tow his narrow traditionalist line. Some of his targets are smart about it like Steve Sailer who doesn't respond to his personal attacks and John Derbyshire who simply laughs it off. And he wonders why only his most devoted followers stick around. Does this man have no idea of how rude he is? I also find it ironic how he is shocked that you just wished he would disappear from the scene. This coming from the man that demanded that the National Review fire John Derbyshire because he is an atheist.

I am thinking of writing an answer too. But after a first reading I'm lost since there is no substance in the article. So where should I start? And it's amazing since there are lies and distortions in every second sentence, even about small peripheral things. Is he such a compulsory manipulator that he just cannot stick to the simple truth?

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Geza on Kristor's comment

Lawrence Auster has published a comment by Kristor, "comparing the Auster/Spencer brawl to the Arian controversy" (also Paul Belien has linked to it).

The second writer on this blog, Geza, my one and only guest columnist, has read it and analyzed it. I will add my comments later, but this is an excellent starting point for a good debate:

By Geza:

Kristor has submitted an interesting comment to Auster and Auster misses the point again.

Although, I do agree with Kristor that Spencer has not really given a 10 point plan to deal with the Muslim problem but he has given suggestions here and there and Hugh Fitzgerald has given a very detailed plan in his articles, and I would say, it is a better approach than Auster's Separationism policy. But what Kristor fails to realize is that Auster's Separationism itself is only a starting point because he only vaguely states what we would do to weaken Islam such as a few surgical strikes here and there i.e. more rubble, less trouble. Fitzgerald is better in this regard because he has given many suggestions on how to weaken Islam abroad without the use of Wilsonian style intervention, such as a propaganda war through sattelite TV. Spencer, like Arius, may not see the logical conclusions of his scholarship because of his commitment to egalitarianism & individual rights but Auster has the same problem due to his traditionalist bias. Spencer cannot condemn Islam as wicked because he would be condemning individual Muslims and Auster cannot condemn Islam because he would be condemning an organic culture. The only thing Austerian and Kalbian traditionalism is capable of condemning is liberalism and its offshoots like socialism, "Darwinism", communism, etc.

Spencer has seen that jihad is the fundamental bone of contention in world history...He has not seen that if he is correct about Islam, then like it or not we are at war with more than a billion people; a war to the death. He has not taken the deeply shocking leap from a world essentially at peace to a world essentially at war.

This is probably one of the most important comments ever posted at VFR. Auster has not made this life-or-death struggle argument about Islam, though he has made it about liberalism. Until Auster writes an entire article articulating why we are in a real war against Islam, then I will only consider him a Usual Suspect.

If we are at war, then our policies must be shaped, not to support our enemies, not to welcome them, but to destroy them (-ed). In that case, all sorts of policies that would have seemed outrageous in time of peace become mere common sense; as Japanese internment during WWII was mere common sense; as Austerian separation is now mere common sense.

"Destroy them" is the key phrase. It doesn't necessarily mean destroying all Muslims, even though there is a possibility that many would die, but it would mean weakening Islam to a point to where it would either be dealt a crushing blow and have no relevance to world affairs. Auster's Separationism if executed perfectly, which is really doubtful, will only remove Muslims and weaken their ability to come here. It will not stop the oil sheiks from buying more assets in the West, it will not stop nuclear proliferation among Muslim countries, it will not stop Muslims from overbreeding, etc. There is more to this struggle against Islam than immigration policy but since that is the major plank of Austerian traditionalism he cannot see that if we remove them, they still won't leave us alone.

But Islam has not been "hijacked" by jihad. Jihad is essential to Muslims. They define themselves as utterly Other to us. And since the Muslim Other--unlike, say, the Inuit or Samoan Other--is inimical to our essential civilization, it forces an abandonment of Western liberality. We cannot afford to be liberal to Islam, or to Muslim nations, as we are liberal to Inuits, or as we were liberal to the Germans after WWII. The only long-run alternatives open to the West in respect to Islam are to convert Muslims to some apostasy or other, or to destroy them. Indeed, these are the very terms in which Mohammed framed Islam's long-run alternatives with respect to us. Thus they give us no option: they force us to the realization that one way or another, sooner or later, either Islam will be eliminated from history, or we will. It is a war of civilizations, and the only way it will ever end is if one of them dies.

Kristor then goes on to blame liberalism for our problems with Islam. Liberalism does prevent us from defending ourselves from Islam, but the problem with the West is much deeper than that. The war against Islam should have never stopped even if Islam seemed too weak to threaten Europe and colonialism against the Muslims should have been much harsher than it actually was e.g. conversion to Christianity should have been mandatory to all occupied Muslim nations. Europe was too busy fighting/competing against itself and felt pity for its rival. It was a combination of many things that made Europe forget the danger of Islam and liberalism was tertiary at best. This is the one problem with Austerian traditionalism; it sees liberalism as the root of all evil that is destroying the West. It's much more complicated than that and if anything, liberalism is only a by-product of Europe's fratercide, cultural malaise, technological advancement, Christianity, and even arrogance. This is why Auster cannot understand the reason why we are losing to Islam is not because liberals won't let us change our immigration policy but because the West (which includes most conservatives) does not have the heart to fight for itself anymore.

Here's my take on it:

Regarding Spencer and Auster. My overall point here is that the product "Spencer" keeps what it promises, while the product "Auster" does not. Spencer is a specialist, an Islam scholar and critique, and does not claim to have an overall solution. Auster on the other hand does. But as I have shown in previous articles, his position is seriously flawed. As Geza said, he is patently unable to condemn Islam as evil, or to speak in terms of a life-or-death war on Islam. He even degenerates into ugly Islam apologism (something Spencer would never do).

From this swampy position Auster imagines that he's entitled to take the high road and take everyone else to task for their failures (and the Auster way of doing this is to tear them down in the dirtiest sort of way), even if the criticism does not even apply (tone deaf, remember?). Auster imagines that Spencer must show his anti-Jihadist credentials by writing a full length article on Muslim immigration (only Auster and his acolytes think so, no one else has got that idea). But Spencer does not profess to be an expert on immigration policy. How exciting, and more importantly, convincing would an article on Muslim immigration be if the only two points made were: we must stop further immigration from Muslim countries and we must convince the Muslims already here to leave. It's ridiculous, of course. Instead, Spencer provides the platform for Hugh Fitzgerald to write about these things (and about overall solutions) at his site. And with solutions that are more solid than Auster's. But what does that matter to Auster, who's got tunnel vision and is obsessed by attacking and tearing down Spencer.

All in all, Spencer is better aware of how we are in a total war with Islam, simply because he knows Islam better than Auster. And of course since Auster doesn't even have the focus on Islam as the main enemy.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Auster's moral dilemma

I was going to make a compilation of Lawrence Auster's Islam apologism. But there is so much, and each case is so good that it deserves a post of its own. I think the funniest one is in how he presented as a difficult moral dilemma, a hypothetical case of a society where the churches had been forced to marry homosexuals (the true evil according to Auster), and the Muslims waiting outside the city gate to attack. Should one let the Muslims in? A very difficult moral dilemma according to Auster. After all it's liberalism and not Islam that is the true evil to Auster.

Here's how he presents it:

Jim Kalb's position certainly raises interesting considerations, and even possible plots for a futuristic movie that may well happen some day. Let us imagine a community of Christians living in a city in a Europe in which Christianity has been effectively banned. This Europe has homosexual marriage, and requires churches to perform homosexual marriages, so that the still-believing, orthodox churches have officially shut their doors to escape this requirement. Meanwhile the Moslems are outside the city gates, trying to take over. They promise the Christians within the walls dhimmi status, freedom to follow their religion (with of course, all the dhimmi restrictions such as not being allowed to ring church bells, not being allowed to repair churches, having to pay jizya and get slapped on the face while paying it, and so on and so on), if the Christians will open the gates and help the Moslems take over. What should the Christians do? If Jim Kalb were their leader, what would he do? If I or David G. were their leader, what would we do?
Gee, gay marriage vs. stoning to death for adultery, pedophile marriage, anal rape of young boys, and all the "complex truths" we get through Sharia. It's so hard to decide really. Truly a moral dilemma, isn't it? In addition the Hadiths recommend cutting the clitorises off young women, regulate things as the shaving of Muslima pussies, and say that it's OK to sodomize an infant and to mix animal excrements in food.

Auster thinks is a tough shot -- after all it's modern liberalism that is the true evil; Islam is not exactly evil. It's almost a toss up, but he might decide for not opening the gates for the Muslims after all. But he sees it as a genuine moral dilemma, so he wouldn't think of holding it against anyone else if they did open the city gates for the Muslim attackers.

Also, Auster has got a naive idea of the dhimmi status of Christians after and Islamic conquest (including the jizya and the slap on the face). His mentor Jim Kalb has told him that Islam has "a theoretical place for Christian communities" (unlike liberalism). But everything is "theoretical" with Jim Kalb, isn't it. Let's have a look at the real world. Recent conquests by Islam have been Kosovo and Libanon. In Kosovo there are soon not any churches left that has not been desecrated in the most vile ways and burned down (but I guess it's still modern liberalism that is the true evil and threat against Christianty).

And regarding the "place" of the Christian community in Lebanon, Brigitte Gabriel has written about it in Frontpage:
They started massacring the Christians, city after city. Horrific events the western media seldom reported. One of the most ghastly acts was the massacre in the of Damour where thousands of Christians were slaughtered like sheep. The Muslims would enter a bomb shelter, see a mother and a father hiding with a little baby. They would tie one leg of the baby to the mother and one leg to the father and pulled the parents apart splitting the child in half. A close friend of mine was mentally disturbed because they made her slaughter her own son in a chair. They tied her to a chair, tied a knife to her hand and holding her hand forcing her to cut her own son's throat. They would urinate and defecate on the altars of churches using the pages of the bible as toilet paper. They did so many things I don't need to go into any more detail. You get the picture
So much for the "theoretical place" for the Christians. Does Auster still think it is a difficult moral dilemma whether the Muslim attackers should be let in through the city gates?

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Pamela and Fjordman weigh in on Auster

Pamela Geller posted today and weighs in regarding Auster's tone deaf attacks on Spencer:

Spencer vs Auster: Smoke out the Imposters, I say

The post includes a comment by Fjordman. Read the post, it's very good.

I have also added a comment to it, debunking the idea that Auster is willing to turn every stone. And with a comparison between Lawrence Auster and Charles Johnson. I will have reason to come back to this, because there's quite a lot to be said on that theme.

In the meantime, Auster, after having read my first post, decided to weasel out of his attacks on Spencer. But we have seen him playing these sort of games before, and then soon be back again with his obsessive and deranged attacks on Spencer. So we don't buy that anymore. First he stirs up his readers so they get agitated against Robert Spencer, and then he steps in and plays the role of the Man of Moderation. It's all a theater. He's systematically playing everyone around him.

For an odyssey of Auster's failure to turn every stone, his liberal style dirty tricks, and his Vatican II style Islam apologism, I refer first to the comments I made to my previous article, and then to the articles I wrote about it a year ago:

Jim "D'Souza" Kalb
Islam—perverted parasitical psychopathy
Jim Kalb and Islamic perversion
Lawrence Auster, Kalb and Islam
Geza1 on Kalb and Islam
Answer to Auster's comment
More questions for Lawrence Auster
Auster shuns the idea of Islam as a cult
Like Night and Day
Geza responds to Auster's post
Appreciating Auster while criticizing him

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Auster's tone deaf attacks on Spencer

I hate it when people are overly obsessed by a too simplistic concept, like IQ. Any intelligent person knows that intelligence is far more complex and diverse than that. Psychologist Howard Gardner suggest that we should speak in terms of seven different intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal.

Lawrence Auster is extremely talented in some of them, while failing miserably in others. This explains for the fact of how he in one situation will appear as brilliant and in the other as utterly tone deaf. His obsessive attacks on Robert Spencer is such a case of Auster being totally tone deaf.

The fact that a person with such comparatively high mainstream profile, as Robert Spencer, speaks out clearly for ending all Muslim immigration to the U.S., should be applauded. But how does Auster decide to play that ball? He makes it into a pretext for the goriest sort of attacks, ending up on the lowest sort of personal level.

While there is definitely a point in criticizing fellow counter-Jihadists, when they haven't rooted out liberalism or political correctness sufficiently from their minds, the way that Auster completely torpedoes every personal relation with every anti-Jihadist there is, is a sign of (should we say) as serious lack of intelligence, in an important respect.

I know what I'm talking about here, because if there is something that is typical of me it is how I use most of my time in criticizing fellow counter-Jihadists and pointing out any poisonous sign of liberalism or political correctness I find with them. I'm an exorcist, but I'm a friendly sort of priest. My aim is to encourage people to better themselves. Yes, exorcism hurts, but the purpose is good. And if I find that I'm about to lose the contact with the subject, I stop the treatment for a while. I never burn any bridges (well, the bridge to Lawrence Auster is burned down, but guess who burnt it?). My relations with people such as Baron Bodissey, Paul Belien and Robert Spencer have at times been tense, but never lead to a complete break. Instead the dialog over strong disagreements rather intensify the relation and the trust. The talent here is not so much in me as in people as the ones I mentioned above, but at least I'm wise enough not to close the window (or smash it apart) to the opportunity of a continued constructive dialog.

I do not think that Robert Spencer should be the least worried about Auster's obsessive tirades. There's not a single anti-Jihadist of importance on this planet that takes it seriously. Everybody knows that Auster falls out with everybody. I might as well ask Auster himself, since I know he will be reading this (he always searches for his own name at other blogs): Can you name a single anti-Jihadist of any significance that takes your attacks on Robert Spencer seriously?

Lawrence Auster is as isolated from the rest of the anti-Jihad movement as Charles Johnson. While Robert Spencer is one of the most important front soldiers of it. People like Robert Spencer and Melanie Phillips are waging the battle in the hostile open fields, proselytizing among the uninitiated, while Auster is sitting philosophizing in his castle. Auster is clearly completely tone deaf to the fact of how you have to weigh your words if you want an article published in e.g. the Daily Mail. Auster should try to get something published in the Daily Mail himself. But he seems to think that it is preferable not to publish in such mainstream papers. He seems to think it is superior to just write at a small blog, while pondering upon what he consider to be the "objective truth" (he seems to think that he thereby, somehow, would find a transcendent key to reach all people). In this respect he reminds me of the all-or-nothing attitude among liberals (in how, if they cannot get metaphysically unconstrained freedom, they rather not have it at all).

An important, and impressive, quality of Lawrence Auster is in how early he saw through the PC/liberal charade and spoke out against it (under his real name). But it is only interesting for so long to repeat how he certainly said so first and long before the person he's currently attacking. When it ends up being his main argument against that person, it's only childish. Auster with his pioneering brilliant analyses, had the potential of becoming an important intellectual leader. But due to the deficiencies of other sides of his personality, he seriously blew that possibility. And now he's dug himself too deep into the trenches to get out. But there is a way out even for Lawrence Auster, and that way goes through Christianity. Christianity offers the concepts of regret and forgiveness that offers a way out even from the trenches that Auster has dug himself down into. He should try it. He would find that there are many people who are willing to welcome him back into the crowd.

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