"Why do they hate us?"

I think I know why.

Oh, but before I go any further, I should let readers know that by "they" I don't mean the Islamists. They're not even worth dignifying with reasoned analysis. Besides, we already know why they hate us.

(It's because of a thing called "freedom.")

No; my question refers to the Robert Knights and Jerry Falwells of this world -- that "conservative" portion (fortunately a very small portion of conservatives) of the Blame America crowd. The ones who (like Robert Fisk on the left) blame their favorite cultural targets for the excesses at Abu Ghraib. In the latest attack (as desperate and shrill as I've seen), they've blamed a "climate" (that word again) of military women, homos, porn, and Howard Stern for the death of Nick Berg.

That's a pretty large sized chunk of American climate they're taking on, and I've been thinking along the lines of "why now?" -- for their timing strikes me as idiotic in the extreme.

But now that I think about it, it all comes down to logic. Not my logic (which I touched on in an earlier post), but the logic of ordinary Americans, who are suddenly waking up to a very simple, very logical, realization:


It took Abu Ghraib to drive home this point, but the fact is, millions of Americans are now scratching their heads, and asking whether or not sex -- even sexual sadism -- is as bad as stuff like pulling out fingernails and branding with hot irons. Some are even cracking jokes like this:

Q. Why did the al Qaida terrorist surrender to the Americans?

A. He'd always wanted a woman to leash him and treat him like a dog!

This is an intolerable situation to those who believe that not only is sex far worse than violence, but that violence is acceptable to prevent all forms of sex of which they disapprove -- even consensual sex. I do not refer solely to kooks who believe in stoning adulterers, but people who believe in state violence (prison) as an appropriate way to deal with things like homosexuality and pornography.

Above all, they are worshippers of sexual shame.

My theory is that there's a real fear that once ordinary Americans have a chance to think these things over logically, sexual shame will suffer.

And that's one climate the enemies of freedom want inflicted upon us -- by any means necessary.

UPDATE: Justin Case reminds me that similar reasoning was once invoked to oppose German microbiologist Paul Ehlrich's legendary "magic bullet" cure for syphilis. (Justin also asks: Can nanotechnology be next?)

posted by Eric on 05.13.04 at 06:28 PM


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» Carnival of the Vanities #87 from Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. I thought about coming up with some really clever theme for this week's Carnival. I thought about doing it like a real carnival barker, telli... [Read More]
Tracked on May 19, 2004 10:56 AM
» Carnival of the Vanities #87 from Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. I thought about coming up with some really clever theme for this week's Carnival. I thought about doing it like a real carnival barker, telli... [Read More]
Tracked on May 19, 2004 10:57 AM


Quite right.

Ghost of a flea   ·  May 13, 2004 9:06 PM

Thanks Nicholas. I think the Nick Berg thing might have thrown Knight for a loop when he was already poised to launch a Culture War attack over the Abu Ghraib stuff. Blaming Berg's death on American freedoms he doesn't like is one of the most dishonest attacks I have seen, though, because the murderers hate us for having precisely these freedoms.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 13, 2004 9:40 PM

That is exactly right. They hate us for our freedoms. They hate our freedoms. And by "they" I don't mean merely some Muslims far away but also their exact equivalants here at home, i.e., Jerry Fartwell, Pat Robertscum, Robert Knight (I need to think up a new name for him!), and the rest of that ilk.

I know, I know, at this point, some concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment, kindergarten mentality will say "How dare you compare Robert Knight, Pat Robertson, et. al., to the Islamic terrorists? They're not Muslims, they don't speak Arabic or Farsi, they don't wear turbans or burnooses. They wear suits and speak English and call themselves Christians, and they're white. So you can't draw any parallel."

As I said: concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment, kindergarten mentality. As my brother once remarked: We have all this marvelous technology -- and people stupider than ever before.

(At this point, somebody will say I'm using an "ad hominem" argument. An "ad hominem" argument means attacking the person _instead_ of their argument. When they haven't made an argument or when their argument is dishonest, I think it's quite proper to point that out.)

Or: "How dare you compare Robert Knight, etc., to terrorists? They haven't done anything illegal!"

That's because they know they can't get away with it. Hitler and the Nazis didn't start murdering Jews, homosexuals, etc., until they had total control of the government and the full backing of their society. That's what the Robert Knights, etc., are presently working to get. If they take over America, there will be no Allied armies to liberate us.

"How dare you compare them to the Nazis? You're violating Godwin's Law!"

In that case, 99% of all historians since World War II have been violating this hoax called "Godwin's Law". Those who won't remember history are condemned to repeat it, as Santayana famously observed. The invokers of "Godwin's Law" trivialize the Holocaust by trying to make it irrelevant to our present situation. Leonard Peikoff wrote an excellent book on this subject, "The Ominous Parallels". I'm convinced that we are now living in what can only be called Weimar America. I love America and the West, and I believe that we can stop this movement to totalitarianism before it's too late. Compacency and despair are two sides of the same counterfeit coin and both will kill us.

O do stop whining.

The reason they hate you is that you promise so much and constantly let them down.

The only reason they don't just walk away and find a good woman to really love them and treat them right is that you're so damn desirable.

America. One day you mock trailer trash, the next you are one.

Andrew   ·  May 22, 2004 8:22 AM

G: What is this?

S: Appears to be a pop psychology analysis of our fellow Christians based on Freudian concepts.

G: From a distance?

S: indeed.

G: Like the Soviets did?

S: Indeed. At least these do not have the authority to commit the putative offenders to an asylum, which they clearly would do in an instant if they could.

G: What should we do? If we do not reply, we have failed our brothers. But if we do, we will merely be ignored, dismissed as prudes and uptights.

S: And that is to be feared?

G: Is not their favorable opinion important?

S: Only for those of true substance.

G: Pray tell, elucidate.

S: With pleasure, but not here. Our conversation would be lenghly, and take up too much of the host's bandwidth. You wish us to be regarded as Trolls?

G: Heaven forfend! Let us hie to the Campus server, where we can discuss this at our leisure.

Ptah   ·  May 24, 2004 8:50 PM

Dear S&G:

I just want you to know that you started a great tradition here in Classical Values. Thank you.

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