Monday, February 02, 2015

Not Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is a handbook for pursuing and achieving political power over an institution, city or country or a manipulatable group of people. Takuan Seiyo’s own “Rules for Radicals” is all about maintaining that power, once it has been seized by groups who are no longer “radicals,” but represent the establishment.

Seiyo’s essays can be found on the always-informative Gates of Vienna site, here for Part I, and here for Part II. They are engrossing in the literal sense: Once read, they are etched into one’s mind, as when one signed or “engrossed” a petition to the Crown to repeal the Stamp Act and signed by American colonials in 1765.

Together, the essays are called “Oppression Instead of Admission.” I suspect that “Takuan Seiyo” is the pseudonym or pen name of a native Californian, now living in Tokyo, who doesn’t want to be identified and found. I doubt he ever will be found in a city of 27 million. He would be as impossible to find as a needle in a haystack the height of Mt. Fuji.

Seiyo extrapolates his formulae of liberal/left dominance in Western political society from Lawrence Auster’s “First Law of Majority-Minority Relations,” found on the View From the Right site, posted in November 2002, a year and change after 9/11:

Having read Ann Coulter’s column on the media’s amazing attempts to downplay the fact that John Muhammad is … um, a Muhammadan, I think it may be time to re-state Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society:

[Auster’s embedded link to Coulter’s column is to her bio and Townhall credits, not to the cited article itself, “Media Muslim Makeovers!” I had to search for the article, in which Coulter dwells on the complicated mental and verbal gymnastics of the mainstream media to avoid identifying Islam as the motive for the Maryland-Virginia shootings in 2001.]

The worse any designated minority or alien group behaves in a liberal society, the bigger become the lies of Political Correctness in covering up for that group. Thus, instead of the revelation over the last 14 months of Islam’s dangerous and savage character leading (as would happen in a rational world) to a major discrediting of Muslims, or at least to a more skeptical attitude toward them, it has led to their being more favored, more coddled and more protected from criticism than ever before. They now get a whole new level of solicitous, sycophantic treatment, ranging from PBS “histories” of Islam that are more full of uncritical celebration of their subject than a tourist travelogue, to the media’s constant attacks on the rest of us for indulging in an anti-Muslim backlash which has somehow never occurred.

Except in the form of the written and spoken word, which the Liberal establishment wishes to suppress without calling it censorship, for “sensitivity,” “defamation,” or “victimization” reasons.

That last point leads us to the first corollary of Auster’s First Law of Majority/Minority Relations in Liberal Society: The more egregiously any non-Western or non-white group behaves, the more evil whites are made to appear for noticing and drawing rational conclusions about that group’s bad behavior.

The First Law and its corollary are intrinsic to liberalism. Once the equality of all human groups is accepted as a given, any facts that make a minority or foreign group seem worse than the majority native group must be either covered up or blamed on the majority.

Islamic spokesmen, in the battlefield of ISIS or from the safe confines of CAIR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., are insensitive to the feelings of members of other faiths, regularly defame those other faiths and their iconic “prophets,” and play a variety of “victimhood” cards while raping Yazidi women or beheading foreign journalists or preying on native Jews and infidels in so many Western countries.

In Part II, Seiyo offers his own “Rules (or Habits) for the Liberal Elite,” or, Takuan’s “Laws of Designated Minorities’ role in Liberal Society,” which are:

1. Liberal Society approaches all majority-minority issues with a quadruple blindfold.

Presentism is the first blindfold. All past attitudes and deeds relative to any minority are judged by present standards.

Relativism is the second blindfold. All judgments relative to past or current attitudes and deeds toward any minority are applied to White society alone.

Outlyism is the third blindfold. Any negative statistical fact relative to the mean or majority characteristics of any designated minority is shouted down by quoting the far-outlying exceptions to that statistical fact.

Sentimentalism is the fourth blindfold. All negative hard or statistical facts relative to any minority group are shouted down in preference to cuddly feelings about that group or implanted feelings of guilt relative to it.

Before moving on, let’s tackle the four blindfolds, that is, translate them into recognizable instances.

An example of Presentism is not judging the behavior of a group – say, Muslims – by their actions and those of their predecessors. The actions of past Muslims may have been bad, even murderous, but that doesn’t mean living Muslims are capable of murder, rape, destruction – evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand called the conscious omission or evasion of a truth “blanking out.” With regard to discussing in public Islam’s horrific record of conquest and death, this could be called “enforced blanking out.” Muslims who wage jihad against Westerners, such as in recent incidents of  “car jihad,”  and “knife or machete jihad,” or random “knockdown” attacks against Jews and other infidels, are regrettable instances of “violent extremism,’ or were committed by “mental patients,” or have nothing to do with Islam, even when the perpetrators say it has everything to do with Islam.

An example of Relativism is turning a “negative” accusation or truth about a minority group back against the accuser. If Islam is said by a critic to be a “patriarchal” ethical or political system that oppresses women and treats them as chattel, then the same could be said about Western society with its “glass ceilings” that oppress women (a la The Stepford Wives), and “White privilege” that allegedly favors a “Caucasian” or European viewpoint over that of “people of color,” who are invariably portrayed as “victims” of cultural “imperialism.” That reason, logic, and an adherence to truth are not the monopoly of “whites” is an argument summarily dismissed.

In an example of Outlyism is when a critic of Islam cites the history of Islam as one of fourteen centuries of religious persecution and slavery and cruel punishments for heresy or leaving Islam, the counter-argument by Western liberal apologists for Islam (with a little assist from organizations like taqiyya-ready CAIR) will be that the West practiced slavery and had the Inquisition and burned heretics at the stake for being witches or sorcerers or for bad-mouthing God, that is, for blasphemy. 

This diversionary tactic saves the apologists in politics, in the MSM, in academia (and their taxi squad of Islamic spokesmen) from having to observe and acknowledge the embarrassing fact that the West eventually separated church and state in its politics, while Islam went through no such evolution, and refuses to undergo it. Islam isn’t even reluctant to take the first steps to “moderation.” It would rather adhere to the literal meaning of its sacred texts, the violent verses together with the banal, which sanction jihad, conquest, slavery, compulsory mental stasis under the threat of death and every other criminal act imaginable than concede that its creed is psychotic and homicidal and inculcates passivity in its believers from date of birth to date of death.

An example of the Sentimentalism blindfold is, instead of stressing Islam’s long “rap sheet” and excoriating Islam as a dangerous, recidivist totalitarian ideology dressed in primitive religious garb, to “reach out” to Muslims and embrace them as lovers of peace dedicated to interfaith amity and tolerance for all. After all, goes the standard spiel that could have been lifted from the “Officer Krupke” number in West Side Story, it is a symptom of racism and bigotry to look askance at Muslims just because their home-grown and foreign-born  brethren are “misreading” the Koran and forming rape gangs in Britain and Europe, attacking magazines with assault weapons, non-Muslims by the score in Nigeria.  Muslims and Islam are merely “misunderstood” and there is “good” deep down in them. The number of actual and publically proclaimed excuses for why “violent extremist” Muslims are so “misbehaved” is more than the Jets’ mere four conceived of by Stephen Sondheim.  

Sondheim was mocking the Liberal philosophy that was gaining ground in 1957, when West Side Story debuted on Broadway; Islam, Muslims, and terrorism were too likely the furthest things in his mind in that era. But his concretes as dramatized in “Officer Krupke” were easily transferable to the Liberal establishment’s bag of rationalizations from that time forward to the present.

Seiyo’s laws are presented as abstractions. I have no argument with them except for their unfamiliar nomenclature. It has been my philosophy of political and cultural commentary to prefer the concrete over the abstract. All abstract hypotheses are founded on concretes, arguing from the particulars to the general. I think that is the best way to communicate the power of ideas. If there are no concretes or particulars to instance, then no matter how broad the abstraction, there is no idea to communicate, and no abstraction to contemplate or reach. Seiyo provides concretes in Part I as an overture to Part II.  

A watched pot never boils, especially not when there is no flame beneath it.

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