Why the Left Loathes Western Civilization

Dennis Prager writes: This month Stanford University students voted on a campus resolution that would have had their college require a course on Western civilization — as it did until the 1980s.

Stanford students rejected the proposal 1,992 to 347. A columnist in the Stanford Daily explained why: Teaching Western civilization means “upholding white supremacy, capitalism, and colonialism, and all other oppressive systems that flow from Western civilizations.”

The vote and the column encapsulated the Left’s view of Western civilization: In Europe, Latin America, and America, the Left loathes Western civilization. Wherever there is conflict between the West — identified as white, capitalist, or of European roots — and the non-West, the Left portrays the West as the villain…

Today, the Left would revile any Westerner who used such language as xenophobic, racist, and Fascist. The Left similarly describes any suggestion that anything Western is superior to anything non-Western. Likewise, the Left dismisses virtually all Western achievements, but regards criticism of anything non-Western as racist, chauvinistic, imperialist, colonialist, xenophobic, etc.

That is why the Left is so protective of Islam. America’s first left-wing president, Barack Obama, will not use, or allow the government to use, the words “Islamic terrorism”; and all criticism of Islam is labeled “Islamophobic,” thereby morally equating any such criticism with racism. It is not that the Left is sympathetic to Islam; the Left has contempt for all religions. It is that many Muslims loathe the West, and the enemies of my enemy (the West) must be protected.

That is why the Left loathes Israel. If the Left actually cared about human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, or freedom of speech, religion, and the press, it would be wildly pro-Israel. But Israel, in the Left’s view, is white, European, and colonialist; in other words, Western. And the Palestinians are non-Western.

So, then, the Big Question is, Why? Why is the Left hostile to Western civilization? After decades of considering this question, the answer, I have concluded, is: standards. The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and has excelled in all three.

…the protection of Islam on the Left is so thorough that one cannot even say such obvious truths as that the status of women has been far superior in the Judeo-Christian West than in the Islamic world. The veil, for example, is dehumanizing; yet, in a speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a rabbi, at the time the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said that the veil “deserves our respect.”

Read on.

Posted in Dennis Prager | Comments Off on Why the Left Loathes Western Civilization

Whither The Shiksa?

Los Angeles Review of Books: The point of all this is that the pejorative of shiksa has been hollowed out: “shiksa” today is used as often as not in winking self-reference. Drew Barrymore, wife of Will Kopelman, recently called herself a shiksa on national television. “The Shiksa” is a popular cooking blog authored by a convert. Shiksa, by Christine Benvenuto, is a book about the difficulties of intermarried and converted wives and girlfriends. Boy Vey!: The Shiksa’s Guide to Dating Jewish Men is exactly what you fear it is.
If the shiksa is the one chasing Jewish men, and not the other way around, then the shiksa has defeated her own purpose, has run her course. Jewish men need a new romantic aspiration. In The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin submits a candidate. “I’m developing an algorithm to define the connection between Jewish guys and Asian girls,” says one Jewish nerd to another in the 2010 film. “I don’t think it’s that complicated,” the second Jewish nerd answers. “They’re hot, they’re smart, they’re not Jewish and they can’t dance.”
The question, then, isn’t whether shiksa is a pejorative; it’s whether she’s even relevant. As a mere aesthetic description, “shiksa” delivers none of the thrill of the forbidden, is no longer the go-to object of lust, is someone your mother would just as likely approve of as not. It may be that she’s become perfectly harmless, despite what the Toronto Police would have you think.

Posted in Jews | Comments Off on Whither The Shiksa?

If God Is Dead, Can America Survive?

Patrick Buchanan writes: In a recent column, Dennis Prager made an acute observation.

“The vast majority of leading conservative writers … have a secular outlook on life. … They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.”

These secular conservatives may think that “America can survive the death of God and religion,” writes Prager, but they are wrong.

And, indeed, the last half-century seems to bear him out.

A people’s religion, their faith, creates their culture, and their culture creates their civilization. And when faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people begin to die.

Is this not the recent history of the West?

Today, no great Western nation has a birthrate that will prevent the extinction of its native-born. By century’s end, other peoples and other cultures will have largely repopulated the Old Continent.

European Man seems destined to end like the 10 lost tribes of Israel—overrun, assimilated and disappeared.

And while the European peoples—Russians, Germans, Brits, Balts—shrink in number, the U.N. estimates that the population of Africa will double in 34 years to well over 2 billion people.

What happened to the West?

As G. K. Chesterton wrote, when men cease to believe in God, they do not then believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

As European elites ceased to believe in Christianity, they began to convert to ideologies, to what Dr. Russell Kirk called “secular religions.”

For a time, these secular religions—Marxism-Leninism, fascism, Nazism—captured the hearts and minds of millions. But almost all were among the gods that failed in the 20th century.

Now Western Man embraces the newer religions: egalitarianism, democratism, capitalism, feminism, One Worldism, environmentalism.

These, too, give meaning to the lives of millions, but these, too, are inadequate substitutes for the faith that created the West.

For they lack what Christianity gave man—a cause not only to live for, and die for, but a moral code to live by, with the promise that, at the end a life so lived, would come eternal life. Islam, too, holds out that promise.

Secularism, however, has nothing on offer to match that hope.

Looking back over the centuries, we see what faith has meant.

When, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the West embraced Christianity as a faith superior to all others, as its founder was the Son of God, the West went on to create modern civilization, and then went out and conquered most of the known world.

The truths America has taught the world, of an inherent human dignity and worth, and inviolable human rights, are traceable to a Christianity that teaches that every person is a child of God.

Today, however, with Christianity virtually dead in Europe and slowly dying in America, Western culture grows debased and decadent, and Western civilization is in visible decline.

Rudyard Kipling prophesied all this in “Recessional“:

“Far-called our navies melt away;

On dune and headland sinks the fire:

Lo, all our pomp of yesterday

Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!”

All the Western empires are gone, and the children of once-subject peoples cross the Mediterranean to repopulate the mother countries, whose native-born have begun to age, shrink and die.

Since 1975, only two European nations, Muslim Albania and Iceland have maintained a birthrate sufficient to keep their peoples alive.

Given the shrinking populations inside Europe and the waves of immigrants rolling in from Africa and the Middle and Near East, an Islamic Europe seems to be in the cards before the end of the century.

Vladimir Putin, who witnessed the death of Marxism-Leninism up close, appears to understand the cruciality of Christianity to Mother Russia, and seeks to revive the Orthodox Church and write its moral code back into Russian law.

And what of America, “God’s country”?

With Christianity excommunicated from her schools and public life for two generations, and Old and New Testament teachings rejected as a basis of law, we have witnessed a startlingly steep social decline.

Since the 1960s, America has set new records for abortions, violent crimes, incarcerations, drug consumption. While HIV/AIDS did not appear until the 1980s, hundreds of thousands have perished from it, and millions now suffer from it and related diseases.

Forty percent of U.S. births are out of wedlock. For Hispanics, the illegitimacy rate is over 50 percent; for African-Americans, it’s over 70 percent.

Test scores of U.S. high school students fall annually and approach parity with Third World countries.

Suicide is a rising cause of death for middle-aged whites.

Secularism seems to have no answer to the question, “Why not?”

“How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure,” wrote Samuel Johnson.

Secular conservatives may have remedies for some of America’s maladies. But, as Johnson observed, no secular politics can cure the sickness of the soul of the West—a lost faith that appears irretrievable.

Posted in America | Comments Off on If God Is Dead, Can America Survive?

The Chinese Security Threat

This story reminds me of America’s tortured relationship with Israel. Some Jews such as Jonathan Pollard have stolen America’s secrets for Israel.

John Derbyshire writes:

Chinese espionage, both online and old-fashioned, represents a serious threat to American security and prosperity, as Washington, DC, has stated many times. Cyber theft and online pilfering of American intellectual property was castigated as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” by the director of the National Security Agency back in 2012, and things have only gotten worse since then, with China taking the lead in stealing our secrets for profit and strategic advantage.

That’s from an April 22nd column by counterintelligence expert John Schindler in the New York Observer. Schindler is actually writing about the case of Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, arrested last summer while about to board a plane for China, now relaxing in the brig at Norfolk, Virginia on two charges of espionage and three of attempted espionage.

The Lin case is stranger than usual (to the degree the Navy has told us anything about it—see below). Lin was apparently born in Taiwan in 1976. He came to the U.S.A. at age 14 in 1990. He enlisted in 1999, aged 23, and was commissioned three years later.

A key milestone in his life came in December 2008, when he spoke at a naturalization ceremony in Honolulu. He’d been in the Navy nine years at this point, commissioned as an officer for six years.

edward-linWhen did he become a naturalized citizen, though? The U.S. Navy account of his speech implies it was nine years previously, the same year he enlisted. The Washington Post report on his arrest, however, says he was naturalized at that 2008 ceremony.[ The fall of Edward Lin, the Navy officer accused of espionage and patronizing a prostitute, By Dan Lamothe, April 11, 2016]

I don’t know which account is correct. I’m inclined to trust the Navy over the Post.

And I sure hope I’m right. If we’re allowing non-citizens to serve as officers in our Navy, then our laws and rules on citizenship and military enlistment aren’t just wrong, they are screaming insane.

As John Schindler says in that New York Observer report:

The most challenging part of how China spies on the United States is that Beijing’s modus operandi relies overwhelmingly on co-nationals. Chinese intelligence agencies seldom stray far from working with ethnic kin and Beijing-related spy cases here that do not involve ethnic Chinese are very much an exception.

The moral of the story is plain. Because Communist China 1) has a hostile posture towards the U.S.A., and is unscrupulous about stealing military, diplomatic, and commercial data, and because 2) they almost exclusively use Chinese-Americans and Chinese in America to do so, by ethnic appeals and threats to loved ones in China, 3) nobody with any connections to China should have access to sensitive data.

It would be less wearisome to say this if I hadn’t already said it before. Here I was saying it in year 2000, in reference to the Wen Ho Lee case. I repeat, this was the year 2000—sixteen years ago, Heaven help us. Quote from self, with an inner quote from Chinese-American novelist Gish Jen, who’d published a whiny op-ed about “discrimination” in the New York Times:

When we are faced by a power like China, which is violently anti-American in its propaganda to its own people, which has deployed a full triad of nuclear missiles, many of them aimed at us—whose government officials have, in fact, openly threatened us with nuclear attack—I think our own government is perfectly within its rights to deny employment in classified facilities to persons who have connections in China.

This may cause some hurt feelings among U.S. citizens; but do hurt feelings really outweigh the rather obvious dangers of a contrary policy?

Ms. Jen: “Since the Wen Ho Lee case began, the number of Asian and Asian-American scientists applying to work in our nation’s weapons labs has declined dramatically.”

Well, good. I think our nation’s security problems have therefore diminished in proportion—for which benefit, putting up with all that whining is a small price to pay.

Political Correctness is bad enough when it hampers law enforcement on our streets. When it threatens our national security, it’s collective suicide.

In our present condition of exquisite sensitivity to employment discrimination of any kind, I suppose that my suggestion to bar persons with China connections from sensitive national-security work will seem outrageously shocking to many; perhaps doubly so as I myself have such connections. Should I be barred from access to sensitive data?

Yes, I think I should. I have publicly expressed fondness for my Chinese relatives. It would be reasonable for an investigator, on learning that, to suppose that threats to my relatives in China might be effective in “turning” me.

(Whether they would or not, I can’t say. One never knows that kind of thing until it happens. I hope they wouldn’t be. That doesn’t alter the reasonableness of an outsider supposing that they might be.)

I can’t see that there is any hardship, anything to get indignant about, in being excluded from certain kinds of work on the grounds that harm might result. We are all excluded from many kinds of work for all sorts of reasons. I am excluded from working as a Professor of Philosophy on the grounds that I know next to nothing about philosophy. Blind people are excluded from work as commercial plane pilots, etc.

If I were to apply for a job with one of our national intelligence agencies, and were to be turned down because of my China connections, would I be indignant about it? No. It’s reasonable.

I am aware, however, that these are the attitudes of a person who came to maturity before the Western world went out of its collective mind over race, immigration, “discrimination,” and “rights.”

Political Correctness is probably also the reason the U.S. Navy has been sitting on this case for eight months and releasing only the sketchiest details about their Diversity poster boy and his acts of treason.

For a clue as to how these things should be handled, the Department of the Navy might care to look at China herself. New York Times, April 19th, headline: China Sentences Man To Death For Espionage, Saying He Sold Secrets.

Story, executive summary: A 41-year-old Chinese citizen named Huang Yu worked for a research institute in interior China specializing in cryptography. He sold around 150,000 classified documents to an unspecified foreign power, apparently just for money. The material included military codes.

He’s been sentenced to death. Given that the news came out earlier this week on Chinese TV, the way they do things over there, he has most likely been shot already.

In related news, China has instituted a National Security Education Day, starting the ball rolling with warnings to female government workers not to talk to, “handsome and romantic,” round-eye men because, quote, “they are probably spies after state secrets.”[China orders female government workers not to talk to ‘handsome Western foreigners, By Linda Willgress, Daily Mail, April 19, 2016]

Posted in China | Comments Off on The Chinese Security Threat

Horrible Internet Service

Luke: “The internet service here is horrible. It’s pure torture. It’s, it’s, it’s one step from Auschwitz!”
Friend: “You’re charming. A real mood lifter. That should be your next hit song, ‘One Step From Auschwitz’ followed by ‘Two Steps From Buchenwald.'”

* Just told a lawyer: “I’ve decided to become more masculine. Please tell all your friends.”
Lawyer: “Or that one friend in particular.”
“Here, have some matza. Or is it not kosher enough for you?”
Luke: “Has it been blessed by your lesbian rabbi?”

Posted in Personal | Comments Off on Horrible Internet Service