Tuesday, July 19, 2005

(Not) Beyond Good and Evil

I have previously written that any functional philosophical structure must have, at its core, the understanding of evil as a powerful causative agent, a theme that Dymphna pursued further over at Gates of Vienna. This view stands in sharp contrast to the reductionistic vocabulary of the "root cause" Left, for whom the only causally-active motive forces in the world are Western racism, sexism, classism, and colonialism.

Today, Michael Ledeen reminds us that, beyond the fact that the 7/7 bombers were not poor, oppressed, indigenous peoples, they were not the first of their kind:
The executioner of Daniel Pearl was a textbook British Establishment sort, having been well raised and educated (he had studied at the prestigious London School of Economics) by a good family. He went to secular schools, he was exceedingly upward-mobile, he did not suffer any deprivations or traumatizing slights from infidels. One day, in a mosque, he made a free decision to become a terrorist.
Mohammed Bouyari, the assassin of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was born and bred in the Netherlands. And our own "Johnny Jihad" was the product of wealthy families in a stylish neighborhood in San Francisco, who went to Afghanistan to kill fellow Americans.

Ledeen reminds us that millions of highly civilized Germans and Italians, lovers of Beethoven and Verdi, were gripped by the fascist impulse; thousands of educated Japanese students from normal families flew airplanes into American naval vessels on suicide missions. The lesson?
[The terrorists] are not misfits or sociopaths. They are people who find it fulfilling to kill us and destroy our society. As time passes, we will meet more and more of them. And, in the fullness of time, we will remember that Machiavelli warned us half a millennium ago that "man is more inclined to do evil than to do good," and that the primary role of statesmen and other leaders is to contain the dark forces of human nature.


Blogger Goesh said...

- it sort of pokes a hole in the myth that these terrorists are the poor and oppressed, which America is responsbile for of course -

4:33 AM  
Blogger Dreamer said...

no no no, it will just morph into "America is responsible for the 'dark' and the 'evil.'

7:57 PM  
Anonymous urthshu said...

Well-off and well-educated: IOW, the hopeful next leaders of any society.

This isn't a reaction to anything we've done, this is a bid for power. It doesn't have to be 'our' power, it can be anyone's. Rule Iraq? OK, fine. Rule anything, anything at all.

Its learned behavior. Its picked up by examples shown them by the thugs who've been in control of such countries for decades.

8:18 PM  

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