Thursday, March 15, 2007

 

When you treat them like children

And yet contemporary democracies, she says, accommodate the incitement of such behavior: "The multiculturalism theology, like all theologies, is cruel, is wrongheaded, and is unarguable because it is an utter dogmatism. . . . Minorities are exempted from the obligations of the rest of society, so they don't improve. . . . With this theory you limit them, you freeze their culture, you keep them in place." [Emphasis added.]

The most grievous failing of the West is self-congratulatory passivity: We face "an external enemy that to a degree has become an internal enemy, that has infiltrated the system and wants to destroy it." She believes a more drastic reaction is required: "It's easy," she says, "to weigh liberties against the damage that can be done to society and decide to deny liberties. As it should be. A free society should be prepared to recognize the patterns in front of it, and do something about them."

She says the West must begin to think long term about its relationship with Islam--because the Islamists are. Ms. Hirsi Ali notes Muslim birth rates are vastly outstripping those elsewhere (particularly in Western Europe) and believes this is a conscious attempt to extend the faith. Muslims, she says, treat women as "these baby-machines, these son-factories. . . . We need to compete with this," she goes on. "It is a totalitarian method. The Nazis tried it using women as incubators, literally to give birth to soldiers. Islam is now doing it. . . . It is a very effective and very frightening way of dealing with human beings."

The effect of totalitarianism upon the psyche of the populace is the primary reason we are having trouble dragging the Iraqis into the modern world. They want to live in this world but it is so easy for them to fall back on tribalism and sectarism. Give the left some credit for finally being cynical enough to see the problem. Often I was accused of utopian fantasies when I debated the effort to bring democracy to Iraq.

The quote from Ms. Hirsi Ali is not about the US and its racial and ethnic minorities but it might as well be. Expect great things and you will be rewarded with them. But treat adults as children/victims and they will revert to that role. The story of the 21st century will be about bringing the rest of humanity up to the living standards of the Western world. Integral to that effort is the common acceptance of democratic values and a large part of that is putting the burden of upholding those values on the people of the Middle East. My utopian side believes that they will rise to the challenge just as American minorities who seize the American dream have succeeded.

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