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Lindsay Perigo: The Apologists for Evil

Published: Thu 20 Sep 2001 09:28 AM
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Lindsay Perigo: The Apologists for Evil
I have long since gotten used to the fact that no matter how despicable the overtly disreputable enemies of reason & freedom become, their more respectable apologists will still make excuses for them. The following excerpts from a letter to the editor of New Zealand's Dominion newspaper, in defence of the twin towers terrorists, are an example:
"What has happened is shocking & horrific, but one must appreciate the underside of the attacks. The people who did this have such a faith in their God & their sense of life [!!!] that they are willing to die for their cause. This is a faith most Westerners cannot even begin to perceive the depths of. And yet here we are promulgating our materialistic culture, our beliefs in terms of our version of human rights on the rest of the world. We increasingly define the world in which we live according to our own views. And we can do this because we have the resources to overpower those who resist. The non-Western world has been victim of this overpowering capitalist regime, with the United States playing leader. ... Finally, victims have stood up to the Western efforts of assimilation & non-tolerance that subvert many. It is just so sad that groups feel that to get their point across, they have to cause such destruction."
"Sad"? "Sad"??!! Oh my, how my heart bleeds for those poor victims of capitalist exploitation who, in the spirit of "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you" have "felt" that there is no other way to "get their point across" than the murder of 5000 capitalist running dogs.
This is as laughable as it is contemptible, & would not be fit for comment, were it not for one thing: it encapsulates so accurately so many widely-accepted bromides of our age. Prevalence by "promulgation" - a non-coercive process in which the promulgators of opposing ideas are free to participate - is "non-tolerance," to which mass murder is a "sad" but understandable response. "Human rights" are an arbitrary construct, any "version" of which (including the version that there are no such things) is as valid as any other - if the Taleban make slaves of women ... hey, that's cool, they just have a different "version of human rights" from ours! "Materialism" is evil, & the system that frees us to prosper materially is an oppressive imposition - notwithstanding that it leaves ascetics alone to starve & mortify themselves if they wish - to which a murder-suicide response, however "sad," is by implication informed by a noble spirituality whose depths we shallow materialists cannot begin to comprehend.
And so on. The point is, this is not one of the terrorists talking - it is a respectable, middle-class spiritual ally of theirs spewing forth the type of excrement that can be encountered in Parliament (see Keith Locke), among sandal-wearing "liberals" (see Aro Valley, whence this letter-writer hails) & in academia (see philosophy & sociology departments). While Afghanistan may turn out to be the physical battlefield against it, the ideological battlefield is within the borders of every civilised nation - & it's all around us.
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