January 16, 2015

Mediæval crusaders, modern jihadis

To all those hurling the epithet “mediæval” at Western-trained and -provoked “jihadis”:

If only. During the middle age of Europe, after the collapse of the western Roman empire, muslim societies (and monasteries before Roman control was reasserted) were the refuge of learning, art, and relative tolerance.

The later middle ages were characterized by repeated attempts to unite christian Europe with the battle cry of expelling muslims and capturing Jerusalem (the Crusades).

Today’s Europe/US would seem to be the “mediæval” actor still, overthrowing stable secular governments in north Africa and west Asia that aren’t deferential enough to replace them with any brutality that properly genuflects. Or rather, create the vacuum in which violence and thievery thrive (along with weapons suppliers and their bankers). Learning, art, and tolerance are the victims at home as well.

Cloaking one’s solipsistic aggression in secularism is no different than cloaking it in religion.

And to all who raise the spectre of self-censorship: Grow up. From the age of 2, a child learns self-control in the process of socialization. It’s called civilization. A feral free-for-all benefits only the strongest and loudest, the worst of humanity, religious or secular. Even more effectively than any authoritarian state, the absence of self-censorship silences the voices of those less powerful.