03 November 2014

Liberals for Liberal Values: Thucydides and Sam Harris

The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.

It's on wikipedia as:
The State that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.

Sam Harris has been making public appearances and talking about liberals being for liberal values. What does that mean?

It means that if you are a liberal or a progressive or a 'do unto others' human being and you believe in things like equal rights for women, equal rights for LGBTQRSTUVWXZ*, education for all, preventing human trafficking and slavery, etc, etc then your views are not in alignment with traditional Islam. Get comfortable with that fact. 

The popular shorthand for Harris' position is that he is a racist. That is inaccurate. All he is doing is looking at Islam objectively. He says on his blog:

I genuinely believe that both Affleck and Kristof mean well. They are very worried about American xenophobia and the prospects of future military adventures. But they are confused about Islam. Like many secular liberals, they refuse to accept the abundant evidence that vast numbers of Muslims believe dangerous things about infidels, apostasy, blasphemy, jihad, and martyrdom. And they do not realize that these doctrines are about as controversial under Islam as the resurrection of Jesus is under Christianity.  

The litmus test for intellectual honesty on this point—which so many liberals fail—is to admit that one can draw a straight line from specific doctrines in Islam to the intolerance and violence we see in the Muslim world.

The problem seems to be that militant rejection of these core Islamic values sounds too neocon to the sensitive liberal ear. To which I respond: toughen up. When did liberals become a bunch of pussies?

People had to fight for liberal values for as long as there have been liberals. Do you think the battles between unions and strikebreakers were a big love in? People died by the hundreds and that was for workers rights IN THIS GODDAMN COUNTRY.

The good old US of A kicked the Nazis and Japanese in the dick because those fuckers were trying to put their boot on the neck of half the world. Liberal values right there. My grandfather was a die-hard borderline socialist and he would kick your ass like he did the Japs (his words) in 1941-45. He was a liberal before Reagan made that a dirty word and he was hard as nails.

Liberals fought for civil rights in the 50s, 60s and 70s and were beaten, tortured, and killed. Again, that was IN THIS GODDAMN COUNTRY. Those are your forbears. Stand up for your rights, and stand up for the rights of others. Be prepared to defend them, with force if necessary. Do it with pride.

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*Spelling possibly incorrect. I support gender equality in principle but in practice I leave the details to others. I'm busy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot "H" for "human."