Saturday, 20 January 2007

3:1 The need for intolerance and hate

The battle against the Empire of Evil is ultimately about winning hearts and minds. It is a bitter fight against a deadly and cunning foe who will try to undermine and seduce your peoples. So you must give a great deal of careful thought as to how you are going to make them aware of what you know – the great danger they face and their need to trust in you.

You are entering a new phase of civilization. For most of the last five hundred years your governments and educators assumed it was part of their task to whip up hatred of your enemies. The Holy Roman Church thundered constantly against the threats of Satan and his Evil Empire and the terrors of sin and damnation . The art systems of the world portrayed the Devil and the terrors of Hell. The ideology taught all right-minded citizens that the world was divided into the Godly (us) and the heathens and idolaters (them). It was your mission to either convert or destroy them.

Unfortunately, after the Second World War, a rapid weakening of this black and white vision occurred. You were encouraged to tolerate, even to like, people of other races and creeds. Multi-culturalism, cultural relativism, artistic and intellectual exchanges, even inter-racial marriages and mixing of blood were encouraged. All this confused the simple message.

All was not lost, however. Your schools, sporting contests, national histories, the media, all portrayed the enemy (then the Soviet Union) as Evil and malicious. You should fight them in your war games, your sports competitions, your arms races and, if necessary, with real bullets and bombs. ‘Better dead than red’ was a popular motto, and a good one since red is the colour not only of Communism, but of the Devil. Yet gradually standards have slipped and you seemed to be on the brink of ‘going soft’ on the enemy. So you need to bring back a proper educational and training system for the emergency of your times.

You should instruct all your schools to use text-books which do not prevaricate about this issue. They should praise the glories of your civilization, the great role of your religion, the major victories which your forces have won, the inventions you have made. If information has to be given about other countries, those who are currently your enemies should be portrayed in a negative light.

In your sports you should teach children fervently to support your own teams. We heard of a major British politician who suggested that those who did not support the British cricket or football teams were unpatriotic and should, perhaps, be repatriated to their country of origins since their hearts were not wholly with us. We applaud this frank and logical approach, which might be applied more widely to support for local food, music, religion and other parts of culture. We are glad to hear that ‘oaths of allegiance’ and a ‘nationalist ceremony’ are being introduced for foreigners in some of your countries. Also that training courses in your local traditions are becoming compulsory. It is a pity you cannot change the colour of the skins of immigrants, but at least you can change their hearts and minds.

1 comment:

Gabriel Andrade said...

Two comments:
1)The history of the Devil is indeed an interesting one. Most historians would agree that it was born in Persia and it is perhaps the most enduring legacy of Zoroastrian dualism. But, sometimes I wonder if it is at all possible to avoid black-and-white pictures of the world. Such dualisms do not seem to be exclsuively Persian or Western. After all, structural anthropology claims binary pairs make up most mental activities universally.
2) I wholly agree intolerance is a key tool in the new fight against the Devil, and in Voltaire's words, only intolerance against intolerance is desirable. But, I refuse to be a cultural relativist in extreme. I do believe some societies are superior to others, and many times I see a logical inconsistency in multi-culturalism taken to its extreme. Some institutions simply can not co-exist in the same society, and this is a fact we must acknowledge. I have no problem with someone praying five times a day, but I do have a problem with Shariah legislations. When the Ontario courts turn down requests for Shariah legislations, are they being too un-relativistic? Indeed, it is a difficult question. Is it possible to rescue great Western institutions without enforcing Western "local traditions" (as in Dr. Macfarlane's words)? Perhaps, perhaps not. Does allowing hijabs (veils) in public French schools eventually motivates Muslim French citizens to pressure for Shariah in Mulsim Parisian quarters?
The paradox, as I see it, is that most multiculturalists pretend to open doors to every other culture that comes up, taking little notice that the West is perhaps the most multi-cultural of all cultures, and that by opening the way to Islam (perhaps the civilization the least sympatheic to multi-culturalism) within the West, multi-culturalism itself becomes threatened by a civilization that accepts nothing but its own.
Let us asume that, indeed, in a multi-culturalist spirit, European Muslims are not required to learn about "local traditions". In that case, Muslims will retain their own identity untroubled by Western influence. What is this identity like? Just folklore? No; Islam is a way of life: it is not just rituals, it is also political life. Eventually, these Muslims will demand Shariah.
Is it possible to have "more camels and elephants and less terror", as the famous phrase goes (I think the phrase comes from Malinowski's political writings on English indirect rule)? Perhaps. But certainly, in Islam, camels go along with totalitarianism. If you allow too much of one, the other will eventually come up.
It is a difficult balance to keep, and, it seems to me, it is the greatest challenge Europeans have ahead of them. How to allow non-Western customs without endengering great Western institutions? How to allow hijabs and refuse Shariah and protect democracy?
Part of the answer, I believe, could be found in the model of Pauline Christianity. In as much as he extends his monotheistic message to the gentiles, Saint Paul becomes intolerant of polytheism in toher cultures. But, he is willing to allow gentiles to keep whatever custom that does not interfere with the elementary basis of Christianity. Along with the Pentecostal mandate, saint Paul promoted preaching to every nation in its own language. As is well known, language is the core of cultural identity. Today, Christians worlwide pray in thousands of languages. Islam, on the other hand, preaches monotheism, but, unlike Pauline Christianity, IS NOT WILLING to respect local langauges: the eternal and divine Qur'an is in Arabic, and Arabic is employed for religious purposes.
Thus, I would urge multi-culturalists to take the model of that great pioneer of multi-culturalism, saint Paul. Some things would not be negotiable (democarcy, human rights, etc., as Christianity was for Saint Paul), but those things that do not interfere with those non-negotiable things would be allowed, even encouraged.