Feb 14, 2007

The Lion and the Unicorn

In all honesty, I was caught a bit off guard at the critical reviews concerning Dinesh D'Souza's book "The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left & It's Responsibility for 9/11". D'Souza might have failed in articulating, but he was on to something.

While I have not read the book, I have read a few excerpts and am somewhat in agreement with D'Souza's some of D'Souza's conclusions. Namely that the decadence of the left has partially invited the wrath of our adversaries.

Andrew Stuttaford claims that D'Souza is more interested in fighting the culture war at home rather than facing up to the global ideological challenge posed by Islamic extremism. An interesting choice of words, Stuttaford might have easily used the term "Islamic fascism" instead of the politically correct term "Islamic extremism" which is meant to divide Islam into two camps namely the "peaceful aka moderate and the extreme" and subliminally remind us that Islam is a religion of peace. Stuttaford was not the only one that failed to make this distinction, D'Souza failed here as well.

While it might seem to some that I am nitpicking, the distinction is essential to being able to understand not only the mindset of our adversaries but also the challenge facing Western civilization with having to fillet the political aspects from the religious aspects of Islam. Islam is as much a political system as it is a religion, something that the West continuously fails to comprehend.

It is interesting to note though that some of the same observations made by Dinesh D'Souza were infact made by George Orwell in his 1941 essay entitled "The Lion and the Unicorn".

"In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were 'decadent' and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible."

"...During the past twenty years the negative, fainéant outlook which has been fashionable among English left-wingers, the sniggering of the intellectuals at patriotism and physical courage, the persistent effort to chip away English morale and spread a hedonistic, what-do-I-get-out-of-it attitude to life, has done nothing but harm. It would have been harmful even if we had been living in the squashy League of Nations universe that these people imagined. In an age of fuehrers and bombing planes it was a disaster. However little we may like it, toughness is the price of survival. A nation trained to think hedonistically cannot survive amid peoples who work like slaves and breed like rabbits, and whose chief national industry is war."

-- George Orwell, from THE LION AND THE UNICORN (1941)


  1. Anonymous2:46 AM

    George Orwell was a socialist and fought on the Communist side during the Spanish Civil War. Nice try, though. And if liberty and justice are decadence then I guess we are pissing off the world's Islamic extremists. (Funny, my Muslim neighbor downstairs hasn't offered to bomb me yet.) But you know something? I WANT to piss them off. And you can't have it both ways. Either you consider their views to be contrary to American values or you don't. If you consider them contrary to American values then you certainly wouldn't want to pacify Muslim extremists, now would you?

    By the way, Christianity is also a political system, of which this Pagan is continually reminded every time I read the damn paper or watch the news. A pox on all your houses.

  2. Anonymous2:40 AM

    But in reality, whatever may be true about democracy and totalitarianism, it is not true that they are the same. It would not be true, even if British democracy were incapable of evolving beyond its present stage. The whole conception of the militarized continental state, with its secret police, its censored literature and its conscript labour, is utterly different from that of the loose maritime democracy, with its slums and unemployment, its strikes and party politics. It is the difference between land power and sea power, between cruelty and inefficiency, between lying and self-deception, between the S.S. man and the rent-collector. And in choosing between them one chooses not so much on the strength of what they now are as of what they are capable of becoming. But in a sense it is irrelevant whether democracy, at its highest or at its lowest, is ‘better’ than totalitarianism. To decide that one would have to have access to absolute standards. The only question that matters is where one's real sympathies will lie when the pinch comes. The intellectuals who are so fond of balancing democracy against totalitarianism and ‘proving’ that one is as bad as the other are simply frivolous people who have never been shoved up against realities. They show the same shallow misunderstanding of Fascism now, when they are beginning to flirt with it, as a year or two ago, when they were squealing against it. The question is not, ‘Can you make out a debating-society “case” in favour of Hitler?’ The question is, ‘Do you genuinely accept that case? Are you willing to submit to Hitler's rule? Do you want to see England conquered, or don't you?’ It would be better to be sure on that point before frivolously siding with the enemy. For there is no such thing as neutrality in war; in practice one must help one side or the other.


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