Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'll Be Back

Dear Readers: I have been working on a new Cyrus Skeen novel (no. 13) and so I have been absent from Rule of Reason the last two or so weeks. There is of course a lot going on, most especially the invasion of Europe by the Islamic and Third World hordes hell-bent on subduing Europe, an invasion by invitation by ex-Soviet Socialist Angela Merkel, who believes that Germany's guilt over the Holocaust and WW2 can be expiated by setting loose rapists, murderers, ISIS fighters, and other predators on the German population. That within a decade there will be no more "Germany," just a fiefdom of Pax Islamia concerns her not. Sweden, again, is as wussy as ever in the face of the hordes swarming into that country. In Germany now calling the macho Muslims Nazis can get you arrested, or at best, beaten up by a Muslim gang (Muslims don't like to fight one-on-one, never heard of it). So, the way to make up for having killed six million Jews is to let in hundreds of thousands of Jew-hating Muslims so they can take a turn at exterminating them, too. Anyway, I'll be back in about two weeks.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Philosophy and Anger Management

My first article on the European immigration/invasion crisis, “’Just Do it!’ Kant and the Immigration Crisis,” elicited some very hostile responses from readers on Facebook, a response I was not aware of until alerted to the cacophony by a friend. In the name of protecting the identities of the perpetrators, I will not provide the link to that particular Facebook account nor name names of those who called me “obnoxious,” an “amateur critic” of Kant, or just plain but uncivilly and unjustifiably angry. I’m not sure if any of them has yet read “Part Two.”

After reading all of the comments on this particular Facebook page, I left my own, not thinking I’d need to return with more words to the wise. My Facebook comments here are edited for style and ease of reading:

To all the talking heads here who think I’m obnoxious, or who don’t like my “manner” of commentary, or who think I’m an “amateur critic" of Islam and of Obama and of Third World immigration and invasion and of all the other plagues that threaten Western civilization, or who question my grasp of Immanuel Kant:

When you’ve written four successful fiction series, including Sparrowhawk, the Skeen novels, the Hanrahan novels, and the Fury novels, and a handful of nonfiction works, plus about 1,400,000 words of commentary on Rule of Reason in over 750 columns, which do not include numerous reviews in the Wall Street Journal and various encyclopedias and other print publications over the years, risked your life by speaking your mind in a public forum and possibly earning an Islamic fatwa or the unwanted attention of our own government – then you may presume to judge my “manner” and any other offensive faux pas you wish to accuse me of committing.

As Howard Roark, the hero of Rand’s The Fountainhead, did not discuss the merits of his work with members of the Architectural Guild, I don’t discuss the merits of my work with people who don’t seem to have anything else to do but nitpick (and when there are not nits to pick). This is why I haven’t participated in your discussions here. I can only thank those few who came to my defense on the matter of the Kant/Immigration column of mine. And that is all I have to say.

But, the thread went on and on. I finally felt it necessary to leave another comment.

Mr. K, on whose Facebook page this session of the Star Chamber is occurring, wrote in answer to another commentator’s remarks: 

Peter: I have not read Mr. Cline's fiction, but I have heard good things from those who have. Mr. Cline's position on immigration, like his position on LGTB people, plays right into the hands of the left. Leftists are forever saying: capitalism is for straight white American men to get rich by oppressing everyone else who is different. By saying foreigners and people with atypical sexual desires are grave threats to civilization--as opposed to irrationality and altruism--is to make their case for them, intentionally or not.

My reply was:

Mr. K:  You could just as well claim that Rand’s fiction “plays into the hands of the left” and “makes their case for them, intentionally or not” regarding capitalism and LGTBs and foreigners and any other current topic one might wish to raise. As Rand didn’t write her fiction unintentionally to “play into” anyone’s hands, so I do. I can’t control what others “intend” my fiction to be or to represent.  She didn’t write her fiction to raise the hackles of conservative William F. Buckley or to cause indigestion in any leftist critic or intellectual.

You seem to be looking at fiction through a counter-Marxist lens – the Marxist position being that fiction represents an expression of class, or of race, or of gender.  Well, let the Marxists make their “let’s give his texts a close reading so we can see what are his subtexts and his encoded racial and gender messages” claims, but you shouldn’t dignify their “deconstruction” of fiction by saying that my or Rand’s fiction is somehow guilty of bolstering their arguments against capitalism (or freedom of speech, etc.). 

Moreover, if I recall correctly, Leonard Peikoff once received a proposal to produce Rand’s novel “Anthem” as a play with the stipulation that it feature a multi-racial cast. He turned it down. I don’t know his reasons, but I gather it was because there are no homosexual or lesbian or black or other ethnic characters in any of her fiction.  There are some “ethnic” characters in my fiction, particularly and necessarily in the Sparrowhawk series, and in some in the Skeen detective series; the homosexual ones are pathetic, the lesbian ones vicious, and in China Basin there’s particularly brutal bisexual, but in all the titles reason trumps their race or gender. 

 I suggest you sample my fiction and judge for yourself. But don’t approach it with a “deconstructive” motive in mind, that is, expecting to find my intentional, unintentional, or subliminal “subtexts.”  I don’t “do” subtexts. You won’t need a secret decoding ring to get something out of my fiction. You won’t need to subject it to cryptanalysis. There are no “signifiers” or “signifieds” in my fiction. Should a deconstructionist claim to find any, then he’s seeing things that aren’t there.

I half expect someone to reply to that by pointing to my “White Literary Privilege,” that is, my making all my characters “white” with few ethnic characters. No, I’m not being fair now. I would expect that from the harpies of Academe. I will confess that I have one Chinese character in An August Interlude.

And then there's that "anger" issue. So what if I'm "angry"? How many of Rand's columns were written from "anger"? Plenty. Hell hath no fury like a philosopher scorned. But it's not okay for an "amateur critic” of Kant to write from "anger"?

Mr. P left this suggestion:

What would interest me much more would be to know if Mr Cline is open to having the basis of his ideas challenged (not so much the principles, which I agree with) if they were based on facts, on correct observations about current events in immigration and refugees. I had a similar try with Mr Mazlish, who holds views similar to his, and got nowhere with simply showing that many of his facts were not real, but manipulated by his sources. Often they are conflations of truth and fiction.

The truth is that, sadly today's Internet and today's radio and TV shows are sadly totally unreliable to use as sources to build ideas upon. They are 80% fabrications and only 20 % truth.

No, Mr. P, I'm not interested in debating my position. I don't need to validate it. Read what I have to say, take or leave it. I've already done the heavy lifting. I'm guessing also that because I'm not speaking from a position of "authority," everything I have to say can be challenged. Challenge away. Although Mr. P is right about the bias in today’s news reportage on the “refugee” and “asylum seekers” investing Europe. But I don’t get my news from the MSM anymore. I get it from Jihad Watch, Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs, Gatestone, The Gates of Vienna, Steve Emerson’s IPT, FrontPage, and Sultan Knish, among many other sources. Those are all sources I trust to tell the truth. If I read the MSM’s version of the news, it is with a jaundiced eye and a developed skill of reading behind the lines, as I’ve read the New York Times for decades.

Here I end this column, my anger having been spent, to turn to other, more pressing matters.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

“Just Do It!”—Part Two

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” Immanuel Kant, in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 1785

Or, to put Kant’s categorical imperative in contemporary language: “Do the right thing!

See my article, “Just Do It!” – Kant and the Immigration ‘Crisis’” for an explanation of today’s title.

On September 11th, I responded to Diane West’s foreshadowing article, “Strangers in Your Own Land,” in which she details the inexplicable behavior of European leaders in wanting to “redistribute” the invasion of the Continent by raggedy hordes of Muslims and other “asylum seekers” or “refugees.” In her article she expresses some bafflement about why German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others are inviting the demise of their countries as Western countries committed to Western values and civilization:

I wonder about the wielders of power, the redistributors, seated in their elegant conference rooms, sipping sparkling water, pronouncing on the fate of millions of citizens across Europe. German Chancellor Merkel. Swedish Prime Minister Lofven. European Commission President Juncker, and the rest. Either they have no understanding of the plight of their peoples; or, they have full understanding of it. That is, either they are insulated to a point of numbness to what actually happens to Europe's people – their churches and remaining synagogues, their schools and languages, their marketplaces and streets, their customs and their lore – when a town or neighborhood is engulfed by an alien and predatory culture such as Islam; or, they sadistically relish the prospect in the name of something they like to call "European values."

Well, an alleged “European value” that contains the kernel of its own destruction is nihilistic and no longer anything, least of all “European.” In point of fact, an ethical “value” that prescribes the suicide of the person who holds it is Eastern in nature, rooted in the anti-life mysticism of various such systems that originated and thrived in the Far East. It neither European nor Western.

And, you can bet that neither Merkel nor her cohorts in treason will need to experience first-hand the inundation of Muslim barbarians in their homes or neighborhoods. They will be living safely and undisturbed in their gated or fortified communities, away from the chaos they have birthed in the name of altruism and repudiating genuine, life-affirming Western values.

I wrote Miss West this comment, edited for the occasion:
Just read your “Strangers in Your Own Land” column via Ruth King. Great piece. You are, however, one who also is baffled by Angela Merkel’s actions and those of the EU privileged class (that non-elected gang of bureaucrats you briefly mention) in deciding to allow tens of thousands of innately hostile Muslims to change the character and demographics of Germany and other European countries.
 I think Merkel’s actions are particularly vicious; seeing the hesitation and often the resistance of Germans to allowing even more rapists, killers, and welfare parasites into the country, she deliberately dumps batches of them amidst the “foot draggers” with a “get used to it” or “eat it” attitude.
Now, one reason I wrote the “Just Do It!” piece was to underscore the Kantian premises of European leaders. Ideas do have consequences, and Germany in particular has never entirely shaken off the influence of Kant (and, implicitly, of Nazism).
One of Kant’s categorical imperatives, as I illustrate in my piece, is that you must “do your duty” even if it means your death – even when you know it will mean your death. Merkel and Company are saying to their underlings in Germany and Sweden and elsewhere: “We, the powerful, are doing our duty by welcoming hordes of Muslims into our countries; you, the hoi polloi, must do no less; it is your duty to tolerate Muslims even though they may beat you up on the street, pursue your Jewish neighbors, prey on your daughters and wives, demand more and better welfare benefits which you will pay for, and enjoy more freedom of speech than we allow indigenous Europeans; that is, they are free to spew hate speech against you, but you may not criticize them or answer them in any way without incurring penalties.”
Merkel harks back to the bad old days of Nazi Germany:
“If you thought the scale of Russian rape in Germany once the Soviets occupied it was awful and once that not very nice man Hitler was gone, you ain’t seen nothing yet! (‘Sie ist noch gar nichts gesehen!‘) Just look at Sweden, the rape capital of Europe. But then, we deserve a sharp rise in crime rates among Muslims. Don’t we? We are all guilty for having killed so many Jews. Muslims hate Jews, and would like to kill them all, but I’m sure some accommodation can be reached between Muslims and Jews, so that fewer Jews are victimized. Why are you laughing, Blöd?
“You may not ‘provoke’ or ‘incite’ Muslims to violent behavior by wearing short skirts or giving a Muslim a dirty look or refusing to serve halal food exclusively in all European restaurants and schools. If physically attacked by Muslim youth,  you may not defend yourselves without the risk of arrest or enduring other penalties. Muslims may do as they please. Yes, we will prosecute Muslims who commit really, really, really awful crimes; but, for the most part, we must grant them a free hand to conquer you and subject you to their peculiar barbarism and harassment and being beaten up by gangs of ‘asylum seekers.’
“Unfortunately, many of our citizens must learn the hard way that they must correct their ‘White European Privilege’ and not flaunt it provocatively in front of our Muslim brother citizens.
“Resign yourselves to the inevitable!

“We know, from experience, that Muslims already here and this new wave of Muslims – mostly adult males between 25 and 35 years old, and ready to rumble, jihadist style, if you will – will not assimilate into German or Swedish or Dutch or French culture; to avoid conflict, you, the hoi polloi, must assimilate into Muslim culture. You must accommodate their customs and practices; it is the height of imperialistic hubris to expect them to adopt our 'superior' ways. It is your duty. Just do it, no questions permitted.

“We have done our duty, by opening wide our borders so that you may prove your moral worth by submitting to Islam; now it is time for you to do yours. It is the altruistic thing to do, even if it means suicide. Do you question altruism? Do you question our motives? It is the multicultural thing to do, even if it means the submersion and more likely the drowning of Western culture! You don’t think multiculturalism is working? Off with your head!

“If you won’t comply with our edict, then we can only conclude that you are racists, or bigots, or Islamophobes. You are common lickspittle!   Dare we call Muslims racists, or bigots, or Europhobes – even though most Muslims have amply demonstrated those character flaws, intrinsic and prescribed in their ‘creed’? No. However, you will not be permitted to point that out publically without incurring penalties. Europe oppressed Islam and Muslims for fourteen centuries. Now it’s pay-back time. We must do our duty and submit to Islamic justice! Submitting to Islamic justice is our moral duty! If we don’t, we are immoral!”

Anyway, Diane, I don’t know how else to better demonstrate the poisonous influence of Kantian ethics that is governing European behavior. There’s really nowhere else to look for a reason why Merkel and Company are behaving as they are. It’s a philosophical issue first, a moral one second.

Merkel and Company say: We must do our duty – it is categorically imperative! – even if it means soaking and choking Europe in the swirling sewage waters of Islam!

Glug, glug. The sound you hear is Europe drowning.

Back home, Obama, heeding Rahm Emanuel’s advice to never let a serious crisis go to waste, has jumped on the Syrian refugee bandwagon and announced that he wants to bring in at least 10,000 alleged Syrians. These will be in addition to the tens of thousands of Somalians and other Muslims he’s welcomed into various American towns and cities. Don’t get me started on his open borders invitation to countless Mexicans and other South Americans who have no cultural affinity with the U.S., but rather a cultural hostility.

Syrians? Columnist Daniel Greenfield remarked recently that Syrian passports are as cheap to buy as a European Union bureaucrat’s honor. In his FrontPage article of September 11th, “Get Ready: Obama Bringing 10,000 Syrian Refugees to U.S,” Robert Spencer wrote:

The Reuters headline was “Obama wants U.S. to prepare for 10,000 Syrian refugees next year: White House.”

Prepare? How can we prepare? Bomb shelters? Underground bunkers? Metal detectors at shopping malls? Funeral arrangements? Exactly what preparations does the President expect us to make?

I know what you’re thinking: there you go again, Spencer, you racist, bigoted Islamophobe. Here is Barack Obama magnanimously opening America’s doors to a desperate population in crisis, and you’re demanding that our nation’s hospitality not be tendered to these poor people – and why not? Just because they are “brown”?

Nope. That’s not the problem at all, although as always, charges of “racism” will be used to drown out any dissenting voices. The real problem is that last February, the Islamic State promised to flood Europe in the near future with as many as 500,000 refugees. That future is upon us, and it is important to note that the Islamic State was not simply talking about engulfing the continent in a humanitarian crisis that would strain its resources to the breaking point. The jihadis were also planning to cross into Europe among those refugees, and now they’re boasting that they have done so.

An Islamic State operative boasted last week that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had entered Europe. “They are going like refugees,” he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, “Just wait.” He explained: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all  the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.”

And now Barack Obama is bringing 10,000 of these refugees to the United States. How many Islamic State jihadis will be among them? No one can say, but what jihadi would pass up a chance to go to the Great Satan itself, and win his share of virgins by destroying an American landmark or mass murdering American infidels wholesale?

And what about those Syrian passports? Daniel Greenfield provides the lowdown on just how “Syrian”  most of those “refugees” are in his September 12th column, “Syria Happy to Help ‘Refugees’ Fake Their Way into Europe.”

The official story is that all those poor refugees are fleeing Assad's oppression. But Assad seems eager to help them go.

Lax new rules handed down from Damascus allows passports to be issued abroad with virtually no checks for just £250.
Why is Assad doing this?

1. Obviously money - Refugee smuggling is big business and his regime is happy to take a cut. 10,000 passports being issued in August in Jordan adds up to 4 million dollars or so. Keep multiplying and you end up with half a billion dollars.

2. Russia  - Assad is an Iranian/Russian client and Moscow is obsessed with destroying Europe, particularly the big three players, the UK, France and Germany. A flood of Muslim migrants will eventually get that job done. Muslim migration will also destroy Russia, but it's not like anyone is thinking rationally here. Instead the various Western nations keep using Muslims as weapons against each other.

But that was also true back in the Gates of Vienna days.

3. Refugees as a Terror Weapon - There's quite a history of countries using refugee dumping to destabilize and damage other countries. Gaddafi is a famous regional example. Assad is warning Europe that the alternative is a flood of refugees and so it ought to meet his demands. Since Europe can't actually shut down the Syrian civil war, it's a little pointless, but European leaders aren't known for having any understanding of the situation anyway.

4. Mainly this benefits Iran, which can once again claim that it can stabilize everything as long as its demands are met. Again, all it can do is prolong the conflict, but that is what it wants anyway.

The Washington Post ran an article on September 12th, “Protests in support of migrants expected throughout Europe” about the “hardships” of these “refugees,” complete with the standard tear-jerker photograph of a little girl screaming her head off. No photographs or videos, however, showing the overwhelming number of physically fit Muslim men rioting and throwing food and water back at their benefactors in Hungary and Greece and Austria and trashing the hostels they’ve been billeted in. It’s not the poor women and children – an infinitesimal percentage of the Mongolian horde sweeping into Europe – that anyone is worried about. It’s all those “asylum seekers” in their prime ready to go on welfare and ready to wage jihad. They’re escaping  the “war torn” Middle East and North Africa, you see, so they can wage the same war in Europe itself.

Of course, with Obama, it’s not an issue of his being captive to one of Kant’s categorical imperatives. He’s just a hateful nihilist who wishes to subject this country to the same chaos that Europe is now experiencing. He wants to beat down “whitey” by surrounding him with Muslim brown and Mexican brown. But, don’t call him a racist. Or an ally of La Raza or the Muslim Brotherhood or of #BlackLivesMatter.

That would be “racist.”