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The Trouble with Larry

Okay, I've had my drink, and my good night's sleep. And then I spent my whole morning skimming through Lawrence Auster's hundreds (I mean, really - hundreds) of posts attacking Peter Hitchens, Mark Steyn & Melanie Phillips - not to mention Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, etc.

I usually just skip these posts of his, 'cause I find them so depressing and counter-productive. But this time I forced myself to pay attention.

And I'm sorry to say that I can only conclude that our own commenter Ilion is correct: Mr. Auster regularly engages in downright misrepresentation of the oddly chosen targets of his rhetorical wrath.

But you don't have to spend hours searching through his archives, like I did, to see this in action. All you have to do is check out our exchange (such as it is) in the thread linked above:

Auster:

"Steve Burton calls Peter Hitchens 'Christopher Hitchens's smarter younger brother, and a sound traditionalist conservative if ever there was one.

"Anyone who seriously believes that Peter Hitchens is smart, let alone smarter than his evil (and smarter) brother, and anyone who agrees with P. Hitchens that the BNP - the only force challenging the British establishment - must be opposed at all costs, might want to read some of my articles on P. Hitchens and the BNP..."

Me:

"...it's just silly to deny that Peter Hitchens is smart - unless you're prepared to relegate well over 99% of the human race to the ranks of the un-smart.

"But it seems that the closer people get to your own position, the more furiously you denounce them for whatever disagreements still remain - as witness your ceaseless jeremiads against Mark Steyn & Melanie Phillips.

"I simply can't understand why you do this..."

Auster:

"When I have written many articles on a given subject, such as I have on P. Hitchens and especially on Steyn, explaining repeatedly and precisely why I take a certain position, and someone like Mr. Burton comes along says [sic] that he 'simply can't understand why' I take that position, then I must regretfully that [sic] Mr. Burton refuses to read what is in front of him. I simply can't understand why he does this.

"In any case, his refusal to take in my clearly argued reasons for my position on Hitchens and Steyn, and his assertion that I take those positions not for the reasons I have argued in many articles, but out of some perverse egotism, namely that the closer to my own position a person supposedly is, the more 'furiously' I denounce him, then it becomes clear that mr. Burton not only refuses to read and understand my plain meaning, but that he is indulging in baseless and ugly smears against me."

Me:

"Mr. Auster: I thank you for your reply.

But it is precisely *because* I 'read what is in front of [me]' that I find your take on Peter Hitchens, Mark Steyn, & Melanie Phillips so baffling.

"These three are among the most effective voices in the world today in raising doubts about the wisdom of mass immigration in general, and mass Muslim immigration in particular.

"So why can't you give them a little credit?"

Auster:

"Steve Burton has basically called all my critical articles about Mark Steyn out and out lies. According to Burton, I don't disagree with Steyn for the reasons I've laid out, I disagree with him because Steyn's views are 'really' very close to mine, and for sick ego reasons I need to put Steyn down. That, according to Burton, is why I write what I write.

"That's what Steve Burton would have people believe about me. Burton thinks he's as pure as the driven snow. But he behaves like a smear artist.

"In behaving this way, he evinces the standard left-liberal approach to conservatives. Liberals never grant to any conservative position the minimal respect of treating it as a reasoned, good faith position. All conservative positions are portrayed as symptoms of dark and irrational forces of resentment, hatred, fear, cynicism, and political calculation."

* * * * *

Well. What can I say?

Perhaps this:

Dear Mr. Auster: I am not an inarticulate person. If I had wanted to accuse you of "perverse egotism," I would have written: "Lawrence Auster is a perverse egotist." If I had wanted to call all your critical articles about Mark Steyn "out and out lies," I would have written: "All of Lawrence Auster's critical articles about Mark Steyn are out and out lies." If I had wanted to claim that you don't disagree with Steyn for the reasons you've laid out, but because for sick ego reasons you need to put Steyn down, I would have written "Lawrence Auster doesn't disagree with Steyn for the reasons he's laid out, but because for sick ego reasons he needs to put Steyn down."

But I didn't write any of those things. All I wrote was that "I simply can't understand." And I wrote that "I simply can't understand" because I simply can't understand.

Sometimes (to coin a phrase) a cigar is just a cigar.

And now, I fear, I must add your misrepresentation of what I wrote to the list of things that I simply can't understand about you.

Comments (133)

According to Auster, Islam is incompatible with western society -- not radical Islam, not Jihadism, not Islamo-Fascism, but Islam. Therefore, I think he gets a little irritated when journalists and writers who cover this issue expose all the evidence that Islam is a mortal threat but do not come to the inescapable conclusion that to allow significant numbers of Muslims into our society is suicide. I understand his frustration here.

Nevertheless, I do not think his response to your comments was justified.

With all due respect to Steve Burton, but rather than write a whole post basically repeating what you said in the comments section of the previous post, what did you find (or not find) in Lawrence Auster's writings that still leaves you simply not understanding? A few specific points of contention from the new information that you "skimmed" would have clarified your frustration, and maybe allowed other readers to help you "understand."

On another point, I am sorry to say that your method is one of the sophisticated, slightly passive aggressive, style of bloggers and commentators, who throw a mild "bomb" so to speak, and say they don't understand the reaction that ensues.

You actually wrote:

"But it seems that the closer people get to your own position, the more furiously you denounce them for whatever disagreements still remain - as witness your ceaseless jeremiads against Mark Steyn & Melanie Phillips."

There are strong words here - "your ceaseless jeremiads against...", "the more furiously you denounce them" all suggesting an incoherent attack at these writers without principle or thought.

"I simply don't understand" was the least of it.

You are making an unfair argument. And not only that, I would wager a dishonest one too.

It's not that difficult to understand. In each of these cases of "furious" denunciation Auster perceives there to be some important flaw in a conservative writer's case. Being more concerned with the cause than with anyone's feelings, he takes it upon himself to correct the writer in the public forum of the internet - the one to which he has access. There's nothing wrong with that - all bloggers do it to some extent. Auster seems to have done it more, and more doggedly than most. In some cases he may have initiated the argument by private email.

Strangely, in most cases it seems to have turned out bad. There are of course a wide range of possible reasons why. I think it has largely to do with two things: 1) It's in the nature of the internet - the simultaneously public and anonymous nature of the internet makes receiving criticism over it rather annoying, sometimes intensely so, and 2)this requires unusual compassion and grace on the part of the criticiser if one is to avoid raising the hackles of one's correspondent and driving him into a corner. It's sad, but I think that's the way it is.

Needless to say, Auster's rebukes have more often been strident than graceful, sometimes veering into vitriol. This is alright if one is more concerned with making a point than with forming useful alliances.

But I agree with Mr. Burton's assessment that it's bit depressing - especially the umpteenth time it happens.

I've had a couple of run-ins with Auster. He seems to have a remarkable problem reading and understanding his interlocutor. He compounds this problem by running with his misunderstanding like an enthusiastically wrongheaded quarterback running with the ball all the way across the football field in the wrong direction. And of course, the more his interlocutor tries to clarify the misunderstanding, the more that Auster exacerbates it, sometimes to grotesque proportions -- which only makes Auster comport himself with more and more aggrieved sincerity as the Only One Who Knows the Truth as the argument unfolds. He's a master of the tactic of trying to squirm out of corners he himself has painted himself into.

His attempts to argue that Nazism is not Leftism -- which he recently harks back to on his blog -- are a case in point. He links the reader to a comment by someone who begs to differ with him and who cites John Ray. Auster obliviously forges ahead with his torturously complex hypothesis about how Nazism must be “rightism” and cannot possibly be Leftist, and never once acknowledges the suggestion to read John Ray. No one should pontificate about this subject of Nazism vs. Leftism without first reading John Ray and then at least providing counter-arguments to John Ray’s arguments. And anyone who does so pontificate, as Auster does, cannot be taken seriously.

"I simply can't understand why you do this..."

Here's why he does it. We in the West have watched as our nations have been relentlessly undermined from within and without by leftists seeking our destruction. These enemies have boldly and explicitly stated their malevolent intentions while justifying it with a list of our supposed crimes of racism, sexism, homophobia, inequality, imperialism, war-mongering, environment-destroying capitalism, et cetera. Our enemies are now carrying out the death sentence pronounced against us.

And yet somehow -- strangely, bizarrely, weirdly, shockingly -- we Westerners have not taken fright at this explicit enemy, have not risen up in fury to smash it, have not sounded the alarm, manned the defenses and taken the obvious actions needed to save ourselves. How can that be? Even an American President calls Islam a religion of peace -- Islam, a religion explicitly dedicated in theory and practice for 1400 years to conquering and enslaving all the infidels of the world. How can this be? What is going on? Is this the Twilight Zone? Who can simply understand it?

Lawrence Auster has understood this problem to be caused by the underlying liberal assumptions of the vast majority of Westerners, even those ostensibly posing as conservatives. The reason liberals and conservatives have been ineffectual at countering our leftist enemies, the reason we remain morally paralyzed and incapable of effective defense, is that we share certain basic moral premises with leftists -- all people are equal", and "discrimination is wrong", being two of the most paralyzing.

Mr. Auster has tirelessly pointed out how this works in the case of our supposed conservative defenders such as Steyn, Phillips, Hitchens, Horowitz, Spencer, Frum, et cetera, the list is long. They note the problem, they see the problem, they watch the problem, they complain endlessly about the problem... but they propose no plan of action (or ineffectual ones) to stop the problem and reverse the problem. To the problem of liberal paralysis their solution is: more liberalism. To clearly and loudly call for a ban on Muslim immigration and an exodus of Muslims from the West would be to deny the liberal god of non-discrimination, and cast the blasphemer to hell.

That is why we steadily lose. And the stakes are staggering. Not just peace and prosperity, but the continued existence of entire Western peoples, their nations, their religions, their race, hangs in the balance. The trouble with Larry is that he finds this weighing more heavily than the delicate feelings of our supposed conservative defenders. Under the circumstances, he's been exceedingly temperate and reasonable in carefully and patiently explaining his views. I find them persuasive. I think that if more of us listen to what he is saying, and think it through, we stand a better chance of effectively defending ourselves while at the same time preserving all that is good and beautiful and true about our civilization.

... is that everything is always all about him.

Steve Burton: "And I'm sorry to say that I can only conclude that our own commenter Ilion is correct: Mr. Auster regularly engages in downright misrepresentation of the oddly chosen targets of his rhetorical wrath."

I used to try to communicate with Mr Auster (despite the treatment that some of my communications received if/when they made it into his blog).

Upon a time, when he had seriously misrepresented Steyn, I communicated that to his. AND I supplied at least one link to a Steyn article showing that what Auster had asserted about Steyn was false.

The upshot is that *I* am obviously an Austerphobe, suffering from severe Austerphobia.


The man isn't stupid, but sadly, he is a ... sadly, he has a worse problem.

... worse, because (unlike stupidity) it is freely chosen.

Kidist Paulos Asrat: "... You are making an unfair argument. And not only that, I would wager a dishonest one too."

Well, no, Mr Burton is not being either unfair or dishonest (which two words, by the way, have in this context an identical meaning). Look, I can understand that you think well of Auster, but please, try to step outside your personal connection with him and try to view his continuous behavior in an objective manner.

Because I have decided that the "silence gives consent" motto has _enormously_ strong weight on the Internet, and because I don't want anyone to think that "silence gives consent" (in any direction, I might add) in this particular debate, I want to say here that my silence on the subject of this thread--despite my friendly e-mail and commenting connections with Larry Auster and my respect for him and despite my liking, respect, and long-standing happy co-blogger connection with Steve Burton--is a result of the fact that A) I just got back from Europe last evening and found a lot waiting for me to do and B) I'd rather not get into it. You can call B cowardice if you want, but this time, what with my recent trip, I have a note :-) and can (hopefully) sit this one out without anyone's thinking I'm taking sides.

Dean Ericson explained it perfectly. What is so hard to understand?

Instead of the reasoned thoughtful arguments that Mr. Auster presents what is needed is people literally screaming at the top of their lungs from every rooftop and corner in the West "Wake up you morons, think you moronic fools, etc. etc."

It really is like the Twilight Zone, one of those episodes where one individual is trying to get the other citizens who are not seeing the threat to wake up.

Personally I have lost hope and consider the end of the West and democratic freedoms a fait acompli. The brainwashing of the last few generations has worked and is irreversible.

Well, no, Mr Burton is not being either unfair or dishonest (which two words, by the way, have in this context an identical meaning).

Obviously they don't. That is why I used them both in my comment.

Look, I can understand that you think well of Auster, but please, try to step outside your personal connection with him and try to view his continuous behavior in an objective manner.

Hmmm, what about independent thought and assessment?

Too much about personalities and not enough about policies.

Could someone help me out and tell me whether there's actual dispute over whether Auster is factually correct when he states that neither Steyn, Hitchens nor Phillips have ever explicitly endorsed the curtailment of Islamic immigration to the West.

Try the search: Steyn, Hitchens Phillips Muslim immigration.

Also search: Muslim immigration Virgil Goode.

You can also add Auster. My impression from following this not too closely is that Auster's characterization of their positions is correct.

Also the search: Muslim immigration "Old Atlantic" brings up a number of interesting threads by others on this topic apart from Steyn et al.

In Dean Ericson's defense of Auster, he writes:

"The reason liberals and conservatives have been ineffectual at countering our leftist enemies, the reason we remain morally paralyzed and incapable of effective defense, is that we share certain basic moral premises with leftists -- all people are equal", and "discrimination is wrong", being two of the most paralyzing."

This accurately represents Auster's method & analysis, and unintentionally discloses one major problem with it: Auster hammers his point relentlessly and with myriad permutations on the level of description, but never seems to bother to probe the level of causation. While it is useful to call attention to the massive fact that the vast majority of Centrists and Conservatives share with Leftists the same tendency to whitewash Islam, it is of equal importance to investigate why this is. I find Auster's failure to do the latter tends to result in the development and communication of a taxonomy separating "liberalism" from "true conservatism" that is curiously and paradoxically at once simplistic and tortured, not to mention vulnerable to paranoid conspiracy theory and/or a Gnostic view of society and politics -- at least, to the degree that one wrests coherency from it. The only thing that seems to save this Austerian taxonomy from these flaws is the contraction of the "true conservative" to the rump of a remnant composed only of Auster, his approved commenters on his blog, and those preciously rare individual writers or politicians in whom Auster has detected no signs of the "false conservative" -- a rump so negligible and echo-chamberishly incoherent it would not rise even to the level of a Gnostic sect.

Incidentally, and apropos of the above, Dean Ericson mentions Auster's ability to sniff out "liberalism" in Conservatives by testing their posture with regard to the problem of Islam and by thus detecting unacceptably soft approaches to that problem -- or among those who pretend to have a stronger stand, by noting their lack of any concrete plan to deal with that problem. I have analyzed Auster's concrete plan on my blog and found it wanting mainly due to incoherence. In this context, I also sniffed out "liberalism" in Auster's own approach. One example: when articulating his plan of containment of Muslims in Muslim lands, he writes:

..this containment of the Muslim peoples can be accomplished without violating their dignity and essence as Muslims.

Aside from the preposterousness of claiming that a people's "dignity and essence" would not be inherently violated by forcing them into quarantine at the point of a gun (and, of course -- to the extent Auster is capable of pursuing the logic of his own formulations -- to punish them with violence if need be should they defy the quarantine), and aside from the blatantly incorrect notion of Islamic "dignity and essence" which in the Islamic worldview is precisely violated when their God-given right and mandate to imperialistic Lebensraum is denied (which it would be on the most massive scale imaginable under Auster's containment policy), there is the deeper, more "liberal" problem with Auster's words here: who gives a flying fiqh about the "dignity and essence" of Muslims anyway? Only "liberals" do that, I thought.

For the full details of my analysis, see my essay The Iron Veil -- in which, incidentally, I propose what I think is a more coherent plan of global quarantine of Muslims to solve the metastasizing problem their Islam is causing the world:

http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-veil.html

immigration site:melaniephillips.com

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=198

In 2004, she does defend the right to oppose mass immigration, i.e. she says its not racist to oppose mass immigration. But asylum etc. have to be continued. She does not actually say, halt immigration to under 10,000 people per year including student visas for example. So there is material here to argue both ways. But she does not say, we should stop mass immigration that I could find. But it does give cheer to those who do say it. That was in 2004. What she has written since I have not looked.

Here she criticizes mass immigration, but does not suggest a specific limit.

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=211

Before everyone starts trying to find the one or even a few times that someone mentioned, perhaps just in passing, that immigration might be an issue or could be somehow limited, that in no way negates what Mr. Auster is saying about them. If a house is burning down and all one does is mention in passing "perhaps we should call the fire department" and then nothing more is said or done that really just makes their recognizing the problem and the solution all the more worse than had they never noticed it in the first place. You keep pointing out the problem and the solution until action is taken.

Results 1 - 100 of about 316 from melaniephillips.com for immigration.

Her current article

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=668

So 316/668

316 / 668 = 0.473053892

But there is also this one

http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1583

316 / 1583 = 0.199620973

"May 11, 2002 How the West was lost"

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=43


"April 5, 2004 The need to defend the nation"

"October 20, 2008
The migration minister loses his balance"

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=212

"Well that didn’t last long, did it! Two days ago the Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas, said the hitherto unsayable.

The Government would put a limit on the rate of immigration, he said, because with so many people about to lose their jobs the question of immigration would become ‘extremely thorny’.

Immigration policy would become tougher. Britain’s 60 million population would never be allowed to go up to 70 million."

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=620

Lou Dobbs often says he is for legal immigration but then caveats it sometimes if it can be proven useful or necessary. Phillips argues against mass immigration and argues for an absolute limit on total population at least implicitly. So over an extended number of years she has argued against mass immigration.

Some of her titles clearly advocate the idea of Western identity. Whether she waffles on this issue I was not too focused on trying to prove one way or the other. Given the constraints of writing for a major paper in the UK, which means she can't advocate for BNP type parties, she does reasonably well for restriction.

She opposes the trial of Nick Griffin:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=464

However, other than that the rest of the article is mostly concessions and apologies. So its not very satisfying to those who see things like Auster does in substance.

Two Cents,

Your argument in defense of Auster has an internal defect: it fails to account for the overwhelming likelihood, given the powerfully dominant and mainstream climate of opinion throughout the West that prevails now and that shows no signs of abating, that in fact the West will in the coming two decades at the very least (if not much longer) continue to refuse to see the building burning -- while even the timid voices of "perhaps we should call the fire dept." will remain marginal, though growing as time goes along.

Given this concrete factor that alters the abstract position of Auster, Auster needs to have a contingency plan: because the West in 20+ years -- with the population of Muslims within the West having increased by millions due to immigration continuing to be allowed and even encouraged in the meantime as well as untold numbers more being born within the West to multiple baby-factory wives -- will have changed sufficiently to alter the configuration of the problem. At that point, merely halting immigration will not be enough, and Auster's supplementary carrot-and-stick incentives to Muslims to voluntarily leave will have even less traction among them than they would now. Indeed, assuming the West is ready to engage the gears of immigration halting at that point, it will likely inflame and "radicalize" the increased millions of Muslims within the West, putting us in increased jeopardy (for it is safe to assume that during those intervening decades, innumerable and unpinpointable Muslims will have been patiently laying the groundwork for multiple WMD attacks in addition to smaller-scale attacks on us from within), and leading to a chain-reaction of events that would force the West to violate the "dignity and essence" of Muslims which Auster worries about in far more ruthless ways than he ever imagined.

Auster has a couple of collections on Phillips and Steyn in his sidebar, which you can browse:

Phillips:
http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/013419.html

Steyn:
http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/004891.html

No collection on P. Hitchens, though.

My defense of Auster has no defect as suggested in fact I came right out and said that the vast numbers of people in the West who are brainwashed will not likely allow any action to be taken to save the West from the threat of Islam. But even when one is drowning or burning alive one still "tries" to save oneself however futile it may be. The suggestions Mr. Auster makes are a good first step that need someone in the political classes pushing for them.

Beyond the issue of stopping immigration of Muslims, not necessarily all from so-called Islamic countries however as I would say any Muslim who rejects their faith could immigrate to the safe-haven of America along with other non-Muslims wishing to escape the tyranny of Islam. But also importantly is the suggestion he makes to outlaw calling for Sharia. That is a real smart tactic in that it allows for the first amendment rights of freedom of religion but in reality as soon as someone gets at all serious about Islam they begin calling for Sharia, so we end up with the sort of new-age Muslim in name only types who probably don't have the first real clue about what true Islam is all about. Serious Muslims would leave on their own once they realized no talk of Sharia would be tolerated.

Perhaps it is possible to educate enough people that political Islam or Sharia is just simply in the end incompatible with freedom and democracy and there is no choice but to discriminate against it, outlaw it officially with an amendment to the Constitution as Mr. Auster has suggested.

Any better suggestions are welcome of course but the time has passed for people to just accept the fate of the West being Islamized. Even if it is just a show, the sort of waving around of arms of the drowning or burning person who has zero hope of surviving, some attempt must be made.

People, people, people!

The point of this thread is not whether Mr Auster is correct in saying that pundit/pundette So-and-So does or does not, has or has not, explicitly called for a legal halt to and/or roll-back of Moslem immigration into western nations.

The point of this thread is Mr Auster's misrepresentation(s) of pundit/pundette So-and-So -- and, really, much as we may dislike talking about it, his downright viscious animosity toward said pundit/pundette and also anyone else to whom he takes a particular shine.

===========
For instance, upon a time, Mr Auster asserted:

Chavez indicts Republicans because Hispanics are hostile to them
...
Chavez's proposal--we should surrender to the aliens, then assimilate them--is virtually identical to an idea floated by Mark Steyn a couple of years ago. He said that as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they've taken over. It's the type of absurdity that only a neocon could conceive. How can people who are in the midst of transferring control of their society to their adversaries assimilate their adversaries to that society? The assimilation process would seem to be going in the opposite direction, wouldn't it?"
...

I sent an email note (2008/11/27) to Mr Auster, objecting to this misrepresentation of Steyn:
You *seriously* misrepresent Steyn. I mean, as in completely totally ass-backwards. Perhaps that idée fixe concerning the evil neo-cons is blinding you.
.
Steyn was floating no such proposal. He was reporting -- and mocking -- the [p]ublic statement and rationale for proactive dhimmitude of an important politician in Sweden.

Mr Auster replied (in his first, immediate response, there were others before I had tracked down the piece I had in mind):

Apparently you think your mere assertion that I have the point wrong-a point I've made many times before-is a sufficient proof that I have the point wrong.
.
Back up your argument with actual quotes of Steyn, and then I will post your comment and reply.
Sound reasonable, right?

Well, reasonable, I mean, if can bring yourself to overlook the "prove me wrong, else I'm right" attitude.

I replied:

Why don't *you* back up your false claim about Steyn in the first place? Apparently you imagine that the mere repetitive assertion [this is a reference to a different email he'd sent me, in which he "explained" that he'd made the accusation before] of your misrepresentation of Steyn makes it so.
.
You are wrong in what you have asserted and you cannot back it up because there is nothing with which to back it up.
.
Even if I hadn't read the actual piece you have turned upside down (pieces, to be more precise, because he's riffed on this foolish idea several times), I've been reading Steyn for years and so I know that your claim is contrary to the body of his writings on such matters. Even if I didn't know-as-a-fact that your assertion is false, I would know with an acceptable degree of confidence that it is unlikely to be true.
...
[ellipsis of a criticism which is slightly off-topic]
...
And, also, by the way, you're wrong about Steyn:
A loss for civilization
...
Likewise, Peter Costello. Sympathising with Muslims who wish to live under sharia law, he mused: "There are countries that apply religious or sharia law: Saudi Arabia and Iran come to mind. If a person wants to live under sharia law these are countries where they might feel at ease. But not Australia." It's a glum reflection on the times that such an observation should be controversial.
.
Yet it stands in marked contrast to, say, the Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, who remarked that if the electors voted to bring in sharia he'd be OK with that, or the Swedish politician who said that Swedes should be "nice to Muslims while we are in the majority so that when they are in the majority they will be nice to us".
.
Underpinning those words is the realisation that most of the Western world is very demographically weakened. Immigration adds to the gaiety of the nation, improves the choice of restaurants and makes pasty-faced white folks feel very virtuous about their multiculti bona fides, but a dependence on immigration is always a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such. At a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace, the majority of developed nations have chosen, in effect, to give up on the future. Howard's ministry was one of the first governments to get this and, in contrast to the dismal Euro-fatalism above, to try to do something to reverse it.
.
Costello's exhortation to Aussie couples - have one for mum, one for dad, and one for Australia - gets the stakes exactly right. The mid-20th century entitlement state was built on a careless model that requires a constantly growing population to sustain it.
...

I won't bore the reader with any more of the correspondence we had on this. I won't go into the details of his increasingly shrill accusations against me -- if you've ever criticised him, you likely already know how that can go, anyway. That's not too important; and it doesn't even matter to me whether thje reader wishes to believe that I've made up the correspondence between us which I've duplicated above.

What is important is Auster's false accusation against, and misrepresentation of, Steyn:

... an idea floated by Mark Steyn a couple of years ago. He said that as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they've taken over. It's the type of absurdity that only a neocon could conceive. ...
and which misrepresentation he *still* hasn't corrected, even though it was brought directly and specifically to his attention:
.. Yet it stands in marked contrast to, say, the Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, who remarked that if the electors voted to bring in sharia he'd be OK with that, or the Swedish politician who said that Swedes should be "nice to Muslims while we are in the majority so that when they are in the majority they will be nice to us". ...

I've posted a lengthy comment, containing several long quotes (and links); it's currently held up pending approval. The post *ought* to settle this topic for any reasonable person.

Two Cents,

A counter-argument requires actually understanding the argument you are countering. Your attempted counter-argument fails to adequately factor in my argument.

The first step to establishing the proper footing for an actual debate in such a circumstance, then, would be to paraphrase the argument of your interlocutor, followed by the interlocutor agreeing that you have indeed understood him correctly. At that point, you would engage with the argument point by point, and then your interlocutor would have something actually substantial and relevant to respond to.

I only point these elementary things out for general purposes; not with any expectation that they will be respected and practiced.

That is why I prefer to let Auster wade through all the nonsense and put those with false arguments in their place. He has the patience for that. And apparently it really ticks some people off. I responded to what you wrote. If you didn't mean what you wrote that is your problem. I stand by my comments. Readers can decide for themselves. But either way I don't care so much about bickering arguments but just wish that someone would come up with a coherent idea on how to stop the West from being Islamized. To this point Auster has the best idea. Saying that his idea will fail is fine but at least suggest something better.

Of course Auster is correct in arguing for an immediate end to all muslim immigration to the West.

I for one believe that the situation in many countries in Europe is irreversible. For example, the statistics I have read indicate that in the UK a majority of the births will be to muslim women within our lifetime. Even if all muslim immigration in to the UK ends, there is no way to reverse this trend in the UK.

I believe that we in the US should start building a coalition - a coalition that will of course end all muslim immigration to the US while at the same time opening the doors to the Christians and Jews of Western Europe who will soon enough need to seek asylum from Eurabia.

My concern is that Auster hasn't yet started the work of building such a coalition here in the USA

Two Cents responded:

"I responded to what you wrote."

Unfortunately, simply claiming something is so does not suffice as an equivalent of actually demonstrating it. The only way to do that, again, is:

1) to paraphrase my initial argument

2) to wait to see that I agree that your paraphrase is accurate

3) to then proceed with a counter-argument.

All else is just so much hot air. And not only is it hot air, it is an insult to Western Civilization.

Auster has attacked me once or twice as well. It has not lessened my respect for him, which remains considerable.

Do I wish his personality was different? Sure. While I'm at it, I would also like cherries without pits, vodka without hangovers, and Maine without biting insects. If anyone can produce these commodities, surely they can produce a sweet and caring Larry Auster.

God is capable of all these feats by definition, but for some reason he has restrained himself. This does not strike me as a terribly difficult problem in theodicy. Imagine going through history, finding every scribbler whose genius is comparable to Larry's, and crossing him off the list if he was not always tactful in his disagreements. Who would be left?

It always strikes me that the basic complaint behind most of the people who criticize Larry Auster for his attacks on others to the right is not that Larry has actually harmed the lives or careers of, say, Peter Hitchens or Melanie Phillips - which would be a serious charge if true, but is obviously untrue - but that a tactful Larry Auster, like a blackfly-free Maine, would be much more useful than the Larry Auster we have.

Not only is this quibbling with genius, but I'm not sure it's even so. The assumption behind this perspective seems to be that paleoconservatives can win only by building a cohesive democratic movement not unlike liberalism, which follows the principle of pas d'amis a droit, pas d'ennemis a gauche.

Indeed one notices that this principle is just as common on the right as the left, and the polarities are not even reversed. Auster is quite unusual in his willingness to criticize other rightists for being too leftist. Moreover, his frustration with the individuals mentioned above appears to follow from their refusal to either endorse or condemn Auster's perspective, presumably because they would like to retain whatever shards of institutional legitimacy they still have - whereas Auster himself, of course, is a pure dissident who has broken completely with the system. My view is that in such a case, sympathy is a more effective response than anger. But I could be wrong.

Perhaps this difference of opinion is just because I process blogs like this very differently. My view is that anyone who expects paleoconservatism, or even neoconservatism, to win in the near future is delusional. The problem is generational. The first task of the Right is not to defeat the present system of government, but merely to understand it. At present we are very far from this, I feel.

So when a Larry Auster proposes policy X or Y or Z regarding Muslims, blacks, or whatever, what I hear is: if Washington was a responsible government under adult supervision, it would pursue policy X or Y or Z. Therefore, the fact that it does not pursue policy X or Y or Z is one facet of its general irresponsibility, and our task is to understand why it pursues irresponsible policy W instead. Larry may or may not be thinking this way, but one can certainly read him this way.

There is no denying that if you want to win, if you expect to win, you need a cohesive movement with leaders and organizations, and without what may appear to be gratuitous backstabbing. There is also no denying that paleoconservatives can, do, and should want to win. But do you expect to win in 2009? 2010? 2012? I don't think so. Thought must precede action. Thought of 2009 leads to action in 2019 or 2029 - dates that are perhaps a little more realistic.

If you evaluate a Larry Auster as an activist, what he does looks like gratituous backstabbing. If you evaluate him as a philosopher, I think the result is a little different. I think Larry holds himself to extremely high standards of rigor and sincerity, and applies exactly those standards to others. I also feel that he is not infallible.

The result is like a single-malt whisky: clearly itself. One may prefer the Macallan to Laphroaig, and feel that the former tastes of rich oak and sherry whereas the latter tastes of burning seaweed. Larry Auster is clearly on the peaty, Islay end of the spectrum. If this is not your taste, so be it, but don't expect to create the perfect Scotch by pouring half a bottle of Macallan into half a bottle of Laphroaig. From the perspective activism, a vat of Grant's is preferable to a bottle of Laphroaig. From the perspective of philosophy, I will take the Laphroaig.

moldbug,

Everything you say has merit, but still doesn't exempt Auster from the remedy of constructive criticism which, when it is appropriate, helps anyone who isn't God. The task then is to winnow out the constructive criticism from the useless or counter-productive criticism; not to bracket out all criticism. The former requires a kind of rational labor that Auster and his acolytes often don't seem to be capable of, whatever other talents he and they, following him, do possess. It is thus left up to others. That's the way of Western Civilization.

The lengthy post I earlier submitted still hasn't made it through the approval filter. So, I'll summarize it here.

The point of this thread is not whether Mr Auster is correct in saying that pundit/pundette So-and-So does or does not, has or has not, explicitly called for a legal halt to and/or roll-back of Moslem immigration into western nations.

The point of this thread is Mr Auster's misrepresentation(s) of pundit/pundette So-and-So -- and, really, much as we may dislike talking about it, his downright viscious animosity toward said pundit/pundette and also anyone else to whom he takes a particular shine.

===========
As an example, in a piece called "Chavez indicts Republicans because Hispanics are hostile to them" (dated 2008/11/26), Mr Auster claimed/accused:


...
Chavez's proposal--we should surrender to the aliens, then assimilate them--is virtually identical to an idea floated by Mark Steyn a couple of years ago. He said that as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they've taken over. It's the type of absurdity that only a neocon could conceive. How can people who are in the midst of transferring control of their society to their adversaries assimilate their adversaries to that society? The assimilation process would seem to be going in the opposite direction, wouldn't it?"
...

This assertion about Steyn is not merely false, but is rather astoundingly false. Auster arrtibutes to Steyn a view and attitude that Steyn publically mocks (and upon more than one occasion).

I contacted Auster about this false claim -- and if you've ever tried to give him criticism, you likely already know how that went.

I directed Auster's attention to a specific article by Steyn showing beyond any doubt that he has misrepresented Steyn -- yet here, almost eight months later, his misrepresentation of Steyn has not been corrected.

The specific article I brought to Auster's attention is called "A loss for civilization," published online 2007/12/03 in The Australian:


...
Likewise, Peter Costello. Sympathising with Muslims who wish to live under sharia law, he mused: "There are countries that apply religious or sharia law: Saudi Arabia and Iran come to mind. If a person wants to live under sharia law these are countries where they might feel at ease. But not Australia." It's a glum reflection on the times that such an observation should be controversial.
.
Yet it stands in marked contrast to, say, the Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, who remarked that if the electors voted to bring in sharia he'd be OK with that, or the Swedish politician who said that Swedes should be "nice to Muslims while we are in the majority so that when they are in the majority they will be nice to us".
.
Underpinning those words is the realisation that most of the Western world is very demographically weakened. Immigration adds to the gaiety of the nation, improves the choice of restaurants and makes pasty-faced white folks feel very virtuous about their multiculti bona fides, but a dependence on immigration is always a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such. At a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace, the majority of developed nations have chosen, in effect, to give up on the future. Howard's ministry was one of the first governments to get this and, in contrast to the dismal Euro-fatalism above, to try to do something to reverse it.
.
Costello's exhortation to Aussie couples - have one for mum, one for dad, and one for Australia - gets the stakes exactly right. The mid-20th century entitlement state was built on a careless model that requires a constantly growing population to sustain it.
...

I'm sure it's all very interesting that Steyn and Phillips and [insert name] have not "stepped up to the plate," that is, have not called for the mass expulsion of Moslems from our midst. But that "failure" is not the point here. The point here is that Auster knowingly and willfully misrepresents others -- and then savages them on the basis of his deliberate lies about them.

I have given you proof of this strong claim about Auster. Since direct links to the articles in question seem to be holding up my lengthier post, I have given you identifying information so that you may find for yourself the two pieces.

Please, if you are rational, if you are honest, if you are intellectually honest, then incorporate these facts into your thinking.

Well, I have a lot of respect for the parties involved. That said, I would like to defend Auster's "anti-liberal" purity here while acknowledging that I see the value of "mainstream" folks like Steyn whispering implications to the masses (for those who have ears to hear).

These seem to be the facts:

* Auster calls the "mainstream" conservatives out for not taking the obvious stand against Mohammedan infestation.

* Various folks (like Burton) get frustrated with Auster's puritanism and self-righteousness. They wonder why Auster can't see the good that folks like Steyn, Pipes, Phillips, and company are doing.

* Auster responds to the effect that we should call a spade a spade. He attributes to the National Review types a residual liberalism that keeps them from seeing the ultimate source of the West's sorry state (and thus the inability to address it with real solutions).

* Burton and pals repeat -- why be so mean? Larry, you'd be so much more effective if you acted more polite.

I think that those points are fair representations of how people think (or, to wax Oprahene, how they feel).

My take is that the mainstream, large audience crowd is doing what they need to do. Given the toxic mental training that the vast majority of people have in the West, Auster's straight whiskey (in MM's imagery) would not go down. In fact, a good deal of the West is one large dry county. However, Steyn and company are like fleeting depictions in a movie of a man at a bar taking a swig. They can get away with it because it's just in a movie -- it has a certain context that makes it less objectionable to teetotalers. Nonetheless, they might make some folks a bit curious about the drink. Indeed, some townies might even may a secret run at night to the Irish side of the tracks. Pretty soon, these curious adventurers might be enjoying a fifth with the New York man himself.

That the New York man himself doesn't seem to see this doesn't matter, because his particular ministry is different. Let's drop the metaphor here and consider the remarkable success of the Left in transforming American society in recent decades, Gramci style. Just think how unthinkable most of the Left's policies would have been just one or two decades before they sought to implement them. Homosexual marriage is just the most recent example. How did the unthinkable become a topic of debate? Well, some obnoxious folks pushed the boundaries of polite discourse and eventually desensitized society's taboos.

Remember, very few people are rational. In response to Mr. Burton's comment above, 99% really are not that bright -- when talking about the very foundations of society. Humans are social, and (in a sane civilization) they depend on the tried and true traditions of their ancestors, which were developed over millennia. Alone, almost all people are really stupid, philosophically. Men are superstitious herd animals to a large extent, and the anti-traditional currents of the Left have succeeded because the Leftists understand this. One does not have to defend homosexual marriage rationally to win; one simply has to remove the taboo. For the reason behind the taboo is complex and involves some rather lengthy considerations about human nature and about the nature of human society. Break the taboo, and you can just rely on people's natural disposition (most of the time) toward kindness, sociability, and the impulse to live and let live. Taboos might be for morons, but they work because . . . men are morons. [I am not reducing the Leftist destruction of society to this method; it's just one of their many weapons, in case one of you feels the need to pounce.]

So, how does Auster fit into this? Well, the more reasonable folks like Auster refuse to be cowed by what Hesperado calls the PC MC legions, the less power the taboos manufactored by our new PC MC priests have. Eventually, the bizarre, irrational self-induced deafness of Leftist indoctrination will crack; e.g. white guilt, like all sacred cows, can be profaned by the unbeliever. Auster is a defiant unbeliever. As such, he serves an extremely useful purpose, and I wish that far more people were like him. For only with such strident rejection of all of modernity's pet doctrines can we finally écraser l'infâme [there's nothing like making the Enlightenment grandpappies of the current mess spin in their graves].

So, here's to Auster! Here's to Steyn (who is hilarious)! And here's to Burton who calls for civility! Each serves a useful purpose. Indeed, it is truly beautiful to see such diversity at work!

Joseph, you're left out the critical fact that Auster is dishonest.

Joseph: "* Burton and pals repeat -- why be so mean? Larry, you'd be so much more effective if you acted more polite."

Is this really the case? Is this really the whole of it?

If the criticism of Auster were based *solely* on his "meanness," I would gladly stand with Auster: I have no use for the "civility" which compels us to lie (to ourselves and to others) about reality, and including about the nature of truth and of reason. But the criticiam is not *simply* that Auster is such a "meanie," but rather that he is dishonest.

How can one call a spade a spade when one is oneself a spade?

Hesperado says,

Aside from the preposterousness of claiming that a people's "dignity and essence" would not be inherently violated by forcing them into quarantine at the point of a gun (and, of course -- to the extent Auster is capable of pursuing the logic of his own formulations -- to punish them with violence if need be should they defy the quarantine)

The liberal case for open borders is precisely that it inherently violates people's "dignity and essence" (and their "human rights", etc.) for a country to control its borders and deny aliens entry (if necessary, by force). If you say it is preposterous to claim that a country cannot control its borders without violating the "dignity and essence" of those aliens who seek entry, then you are clearly a liberal who has accepted the liberal premise that "borders must be open" and is paralyzed by it. Auster, on the other hand, is not a liberal, so why should he accept this liberal premise?

JP, the point of this thread is that Mr Auster knowingly misrepresents others -- and then savages them on the basis of his deliberate misrepresentations.

Ilion, I have only been reading Auster for a couple of years now, and I don't find it to be the case that he misrepresents others. His critiques of Steyn, Philips, Hitchens, and Spencer are generally on the mark.

In relation to this:

This assertion about Steyn is not merely false, but is rather astoundingly false. Auster arrtibutes to Steyn a view and attitude that Steyn publically mocks (and upon more than one occasion).

It is not true that Auster "falsely" attributes a view to Steyn that Steyn does not have. Auster quoted Steyn saying on a radio show that we have to make friends with the Muslims because they will eventually be in the majority:

Mark Steyn: Well, I think George Will is like a lot of conservatives. I like George Will enormously, but, and he's got a very sharp mind. But he doesn't basically accept the premise of the Bush doctrine, which is that you can somehow change the culture of our enemies' states, in other words, the Middle Eastern states, Afghanistan, Pakistan, that you can somehow change them, and make them more like us. And you're right...he's right to an extent that you can't give liberty to people. They have to want it. But on the other hand, it's a hard job, but there's actually not much alternative to it. You have to somehow say to these people you have to find a way to reach an accommodation between your religion and the modern world, because just saying it can't be done is no answer to anything. That condemns us all, essentially, to a majority Muslim planet in which American will be isolated and very short of friends. And the Bush doctrine is a long shot, but it's better than just consigning ourselves to hopelessness. And I respectfully disagree with George Will, and I wish he could see that.

The article you cited ("A loss for civilisation") is a typical example of why Auster (correctly) critiques Steyn. Steyn wrings his hands about a lot of negative trends, but never suggests anything positive that the West should actually do about Islam or immigration (such as stop it).

OK, so you're intellectually dishonest. I can dig that.

... you see, I don't waste my time on the logocally impossible task of arguing with intellectually dishonest persons. Instead, I start pointing out the dishonesty.

For, I'm not at all "nice" or "civil."

What's the dishonest part? If anything, your critique of Auster is dishonest, and if not, it is certainly ineffective. In "Chavez indicts Republicans because Hispanics are hostile to them", Auster linked to a transcript where Steyn said exactly what Auster said he did. How is what Auster said "astoundingly false"?

Auster has consistently stated that the problem with Steyn is that he likes to sound tough but always leaves unaddressed the "therefore, what do we do?" question. That criticism is not astoundingly false but is right on the money.

JP,

I hate to break it to you, but this quote:

"And you're right...he's right to an extent that you can't give liberty to people. They have to want it. But on the other hand, it's a hard job, but there's actually not much alternative to it. You have to somehow say to these people you have to find a way to reach an accommodation between your religion and the modern world, because just saying it can't be done is no answer to anything. That condemns us all, essentially, to a majority Muslim planet in which American will be isolated and very short of friends."

Is not the same thing as saying "we have to make friends with the Muslims because they will eventually be in the majority." If anything, Steyn and us neocons will say that we have to be willing to make a lot of Muslims more angry with the U.S. in the short-term, in order to bring them kicking and screaming into modernity.

"Steyn and us neocons will say that we have to be willing to make a lot of Muslims more angry with the U.S. in the short-term, in order to bring them kicking and screaming into modernity."

A) What makes this our job?

and

B) Why force modernity on them when it's such a freakin' mixed bag? Do we want to drag them into, say, modern American pop culture and political correctness? How do you propose to give them the "good" stuff of the modern age without also passing along the crap?

Jeff, if you put that interpretation on it, the problem arises that Steyn has repeatedly said that reforming Islam is not for us to do (Islam has to reform itself, we can't reform it), the task is probably impossible, and there is no sign that any efforts to encourage Islamic moderation are succeeding. If we can't reform Islam and we can't live in a world where Muslims are the majority and we have no friends, what does that leave? Accommodation or submission to Islam. Steyn himself admits this:

Q: You say in your book that we can “submit to Islam, destroy Islam, or reform Islam.” What would you like to see us do?

Steyn: Well, I don’t really think we can really, credibly do any of those—I think if those are the choices, we’ll probably end up submitting to Islam.

Goodness! Have I *finally* encountered a person to whom applies the first prong of the three-option explanation for why someone repeatedly makes a false claim?

JP quotes Steyn:

Q: You say in your book that we can “submit to Islam, destroy Islam, or reform Islam.” What would you like to see us do?
.
Steyn: Well, I don’t really think we can really, credibly do any of those—I think if those are the choices, we’ll probably end up submitting to Islam.

And JP turns that into Steyn endorsing the likely submission of Western nations to Islam. With conservatives like this, who needs "liberals," really?

JP,

How about quoting the rest of that section of the interview:

"But the critical one is to reform Islam, and I think that is not in our gift to do. In other words, Muslims have to want to reform Islam. So the question then becomes: What kind of pressure can we bring to bear that will encourage Islam to reform and basically expunge this virus from the global blood stream? That’s the big question because if you’re not thinking—and I hope guys in the administration are thinking about this—because if you’re not thinking about it, chances are it’s not going to happen."

It is clear, whether you like the idea or not, that Steyn is JUST NOT advocating making "friends" with Muslims or submission to Islam. You are not being fair to him, and I suspect this is the kind of 'argument' that Auster uses when he goes on the attack.

Rob G -- I'm not going to answer your questions as they don't address the substance of this thread, which is whether or not Larry Auster's attacks on Steyn, et. al. have merit.

Obviously, we can agree to disagree on the 'Steyn' or neocon strategy and still recognize that Steyn is not advocating surrender or submission to the Islamic world.

It is sort of quaint the way people in the West argue about Islam and/or what to do about it and/or who said to do what about it. If someone says there are only three options and that two of them are impossible then whether they like it or not they are endorsing the third unless they suggest another option that is worth trying. Steyn says we can't "credibly" do any but probably number one, maybe we would "incredibly" do any of them. Once in the majority, or once they have enough power even without majority, Muslims won't argue fine points like who is endorsing whichever way to submit to Islam, they will just force it on everyone killing all those who dissent or question. At least see the humor in this. It could be some sort of Monty Python sketch. A few Westerners are sitting around arguing the finer points of who said what to who and then without saying one word the Muslims just slice their heads off with a giant sword. So much for that argument. What is missing from all discussions about these issues is any sense of urgency and that in spite of the fact that many seem to recognize the approaching catastrophe.

"we can agree to disagree on the 'Steyn' or neocon strategy and still recognize that Steyn is not advocating surrender or submission to the Islamic world"

Fair enough.

Jeff Singer: "we can agree to disagree on the 'Steyn' or neocon strategy and still recognize that Steyn is not advocating surrender or submission to the Islamic world."

Rob G: "Fair enough."

But, to be enough fair on the subject matter of this particular thread is to recognize and admit without equivocation that Mr Auster deliberately misrepresents others -- and then savages them on the basis of his misrepresentations.

=========
Amusingly enough, and totally in character, he's now trying to publicly savage me on his blog. What? Did I not realize he'd do this when I decided to say something on W4? Oh! Mercy me! Whatever shall I do now?

And how does that great intellect, the stupendous Austerman ... da-da-da-dat-da-da! ... (whose super-power is his amazing ability afflict his numerous foes with the dreaded Austerphobia), demonstrate to his guppies ... er, I mean, groupies ... that I am in error, and vile to boot?

Why, now that you ask, it is simply by quoting me quoting him (while noting that I have a couple of typos), and announcing, "See!." Full stop. He never quite gets around to me quoting Steyn, and which quote shows the absolute error of a specific erroneous assertion he'd made about Steyn and which error I had specifically brought to his attention right after he made it.

Would it be impossible to acknowledge that Mr. Auster, being a fallen human being, has on occasion made errors, misunderstood others, and arrogantly denied his errors in his zeal for the good of the nation?

Would it be impossible to acknowledge that such sins and defects do not invalidate the good work he has accomplished and the true claims that he makes?

Just sayin'.

With all due respect to Steve Burton, but rather than write a whole post basically repeating what you said in the comments section of the previous post, what did you find (or not find) in Lawrence Auster's writings that still leaves you simply not understanding? A few specific points of contention from the new information that you "skimmed" would have clarified your frustration, and maybe allowed other readers to help you "understand."


I thought this bore repeating, as Burton ignored it.

For, I'm not at all "nice" or "civil."

Or fair or smart, though you neglect to brag about that part.

But I *am* fair. And I *am* smart.

However, though for different reasons, neither of these are qualities about which it is appropriate to brag.

Ilíon adduces apparently inconvtrovertible evidence that Auster misrepresents Steyn. I have also seen incontrovertible evidence of Auster misrepresenting me (though I don't expect readers to believe me without evidence, for now too tedious to reproduce). Given the mature comportment of Ilíon here, I tend to trust his word on others whom he claims Auster has similarly misrepresented, as well as on the ensuing stubbornness of his denials in the face of criticism re: his initial misrepresentations.

I don't, however, necessarily draw the same conclusion that Ilíon does -- that Auster is willfully lying. This could be the case, but I think it's worse. At least a liar has coherence. I think Auster has some serious problems with ratiocination, which if so must include psychological factors. Among other effects this has is to render his analyses suspect, particularly when they rely on evidence he uses, evidence the reader sometimes doesn't have time and patience to peruse and amplify with larger contexts.

This doesn't apply everywhere at all times the same, of course. Sometimes Auster is quite good at critiquing the expressions of others who need a good thrashing. Other times, however, he fails, sometimes in small points, sometimes egregiously, as Ilíon has documented. And when Auster fails egregiously, he compounds the problem by digging in his heels and making the problem morph into sometimes grotesque proportions. And then his acolytes circle the wagons, and the rest is intra-Blogospheric history.

Larry is smart and writes a great many useful things. He is also prickly, self-righteous, angry, and constantly pissing people off. One would think after everyone from Sailer to Derbyshire to me to Rod Dreher and who knows who else have basically called him an annoying a**hole, he'd look inward and say, "Hey, maybe my communication style sucks, because all these people that are basically on my side in the culture wars think I'm an annoying schmuck." No such luck. The biggest root of his provocative and annoying schtick is the penchant for ascribing hidden motives, hypocricy, venality, and secret meanings to various writers who deviate from his own views in the slightest particular. Never is anything a minor point of disagreement or a different choice on the spectrum of reasonable disagreement.

I don't know if he was picked on in school or never had the calming influence of a woman in his life or what, but he's weird, a bit secretive, he's an admitted ex-liberal, and his writing style and its penchant for discerning secret, hidden meanings is, how shall we say it, Talmudic!

JP,

You made an elementary, yet also unforunately major, error in reading me.

You quoted me --

Aside from the preposterousness of claiming that a people's "dignity and essence" would not be inherently violated by forcing them into quarantine at the point of a gun (and, of course -- to the extent Auster is capable of pursuing the logic of his own formulations -- to punish them with violence if need be should they defy the quarantine)

-- then you objected:

"The liberal case for open borders is precisely that it inherently violates people's "dignity and essence" (and their "human rights", etc.) for a country to control its borders and deny aliens entry (if necessary, by force)."

Before I reproduce the rest of your objection, I apparently need to clarify what I thought was already clear in my post: namely two points:

1) to quarantine a people under military force does in fact "violate" their "dignity and essence";

however,

2) violating a people's "dignity and essence" is a good thing, when that people follow a dangerous, unjust and evil ideology and when as a logical consequence that people pose a danger to our societies too great for us to expect to assimilate them and respect their dignity and essence.

What my post was objecting to was Auster's clear implication that we can militarily quarantine a people without violating their dignity and essence -- which is an absurd, and liberal, notion. Sometimes in this world people have to do tough things to other people. Only a liberal would think we can handle the problem of Islam without violating the dignity and essence of Muslims. That assumption by Auster is spectacular poppycock -- and also, it is supremely liberal.

You went on to write:

"If you say it is preposterous to claim that a country cannot control its borders without violating the "dignity and essence" of those aliens who seek entry, then you are clearly a liberal who has accepted the liberal premise that "borders must be open" and is paralyzed by it."

No. As per above, I think it's preposterous to claim that we can do what we need to do to control our immigration in general without hurting people's feelings and without violating their dignity and essence. If a poor Mexican family wants to immigrate from their Mexican hell-hole and take advantage of our society's superiority, and we deny them that chance, we are hurting them. So what? Life is tough sometimes. Tough frijoles. If we have to do tough things that hurt people in order to maintain our security, stability and way of life, that's the way it has to be. But to claim we can do this without hurting people is preposterous, and if you would claim this, it would mean that liberal assumptions have crept into your mind and informed your thought without your awareness.

"Auster, on the other hand, is not a liberal, so why should he accept this liberal premise?"

I think I have effectively argued that the premise is not, in fact, liberal. As for Auster being not a liberal, yet simultaneously holding a liberal thought process about this -- I chalk that up to the incoherence of his thought process, for which I have seen many different instances of evidence on many different issues.

JP quoted Steyn:

Q: You say in your book that we can “submit to Islam, destroy Islam, or reform Islam.” What would you like to see us do?

Steyn: Well, I don’t really think we can really, credibly do any of those—I think if those are the choices, we’ll probably end up submitting to Islam.

Steyn is correct -- IF those are the only choices.

But beyond these three --

1) submit to Islam,
2) destroy Islam, or
3) reform Islam

there is a fourth option, the only realistic one optimally conducive to our ongoing security:

4) manage Islam.

And the management most comporting with the dimensions of the problem Islam poses is a global quarantine, which I have argued would require the adjunct of total deportation of Muslims out of the West. Auster's version of this option, however, is incoherent on some key points, as I have argued in my essay, An Iron Veil --

http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-veil.html

Now, whether Steyn tends to be inconclusive about the logic of his own position, that's another matter, distinct from Auster's claim that he wants us to submit and wants us to make nice with Muslims even as Muslims begin to become demographically and sociopolitically dominant in the future.

It is more a fact that Islam itself "violates the dignity and essence" of all those unfortunate enough to find themselves either within it or living under it as a non-Muslim. Islam itself is one big human rights violation. The idea of destroying Mecca, for the sake of Muslims and everyone else in the world, and beginning thereafter a vast and intense propaganda campaign meant to educate all about the evils of and the human rights violating properties of Islam is practically still an impossibility. Auster's suggestion of at the very least attempting to limit Islam to the lands that have already fallen to it is still the best first step. It is not all that impossible to do and not allowing Muslims in your country is hardly such a violation given that they rigorously deny Christians the right to enter their countries and set up churches and ministries. The extreme concern for Muslims is a sign that the writer is brainwashed by liberalism and still not thinking solely about the VERY SURVIVAL of the civilization he is part of.

Roach:

"Larry is smart and writes a great many useful things. He is also prickly, self-righteous, angry, and constantly pissing people off."

I don't necessarily mind prickly, self-righteous and angry intellects who constantly piss people off. What I do mind is another defect in Auster more pertinently problematic than the venial sins you list, which Ilion above has been trying to impress upon readers here: namely, Auster's tendency to misrepresent the positions, counter-arguments and criticisms of others. With this one defect remaining in play, it would not matter if Auster were otherwise remarkably mild-mannered, humble, even-tempered and kindly generous in manner.

I think that's sometimes true and sometimes not, but I do think that when you turn the tables and say, "Hey, if you say X, wouldn't that imply Y" he completely freaks out and says you're acting in bad faith. He's basically odd, which is why he's not had much professional success and is begging for money on his blog all the time.

Two Cents writes:

"not allowing Muslims in your country is hardly such a violation given that they rigorously deny Christians the right to enter their countries and set up churches and ministries."

Not allowing Muslims in your country is a violation -- and it's good. We should violate them. They deserve it, and the danger they pose to us makes it impossible for us not to violate their "dignity and essence" in any number of ways as we rationally pursue ways to make our societies safe from their ideology.

Is that so hard to digest? I think you are trying to have your cake and eat it too, just as Auster is: Hey, we can control this problem of Muslims and at the same time not violate them! Utter poppycock. And supremely liberal.

Having read Mr. Auster from time to time and seeing some of the commentary that seems to raise heckles it occurs to me that what is being missed here is the forest for the trees. He may point out where someone has said something "in so many words" in cases where the person he is commenting on would even deny it. In other words he does look below the superficial top layer and based upon the overall work and commentary of an individual deduce what they are really saying. It isn't so much that he is viciously lying about what they said or wrote, it is THEY who are lying to themselves! Come on, surely you must recognize this. Especially when dealing with the evil subject of Islam, people are not incorrect to literally fear for their physical life if they come right out and say what they might actually think about Islam. Others fool themselves into actually believing some of the politically correct mumbo jumbo that gets repeated about Islam. But it is hardly a new thing in human interactions for individuals and even those who believe fervently in them to sometimes miss what is really being said. Someone like Mr. Auster who is able to coolly observe even after being viciously attacked repeatedly and unfairly in most cases is just the person to see through all the fog and get to the real crux of the matter. He should be thanked not condemned. If you disagree so be it, but it helps no one to personalize it and continue to berate and attack. He may be right and you wrong but you refuse to see it.

Hesperado: "Ilíon adduces apparently inconvtrovertible evidence that Auster misrepresents Steyn. ... Given the mature comportment of Ilíon here, I tend to trust his word on others whom he claims Auster has similarly misrepresented, as well as on the ensuing stubbornness of his denials in the face of criticism re: his initial misrepresentations."

Thanks for attending to what I'd said; I can't begin to express how frustrating it is that so few people will attend to the points of a discussion.

Yet, as a point of fact (and of honor) I must point out that I haven't accused Mr Auster of misrepresenting any specific persons other than Steyn ... and myself (and I'm no one anyone has ever heard of).

I could *prove* today that he misrepresents Steyn, because I had already tried to show him back in November that he had done so. That he refused and still refuses to recognize and correct the error is sufficient evidence that the misrepresentation was not innocent.


Hesperado: "I don't, however, necessarily draw the same conclusion that Ilíon does -- that Auster is willfully lying. This could be the case, but I think it's worse. At least a liar has coherence. I think Auster has some serious problems with ratiocination, which if so must include psychological factors ..."

Well, of course, such an eventuality is always possible -- but as I despise it when the "liberals" psychoanalyze us, I have tried to develop the habit of never psychoanalyzing anyone.

But, yes, I will admit that my analysis of Auster's behavior does not account for all possibilities.


Hesperado: "This doesn't apply everywhere at all times the same, of course. Sometimes Auster is quite good at critiquing the expressions of others who need a good thrashing. Other times, however, he fails, sometimes in small points, sometimes egregiously, as Ilíon has documented. And when Auster fails egregiously, he compounds the problem by digging in his heels and making the problem morph into sometimes grotesque proportions. And then his acolytes circle the wagons, and the rest is intra-Blogospheric history."

Indeed.

Further, rightly or wrongly, I don't expect someone having "some serious problems with ratiocination, which if so must include psychological factors" to be as able as Auster is when he doesn't have a burr under his tail.

So, on top of my disinclination to play psychoanalyst or engage in "Bulverism," the fact that Auster is so clearly capable also leads me to conclude that he willfully chooses to engage in misrepresentation and pointless savaging of others.

As I've made clear somewhere above, I do not criticize Auster because he "critiqu[es] the expressions of others who need a good thrashing," but rather because some of his critiques are false and falsely made and that he will not correct the falseness of them.

Roach: "... He is also prickly, self-righteous, angry, and constantly pissing people off. One would think after everyone from Sailer to Derbyshire to me to Rod Dreher and who knows who else have basically called him an annoying a**hole, he'd look inward and say, "Hey, maybe my communication style sucks, because all these people that are basically on my side in the culture wars think I'm an annoying schmuck." No such luck. ...

I don't know if he was picked on in school or never had the calming influence of a woman in his life or what, but ...

"

Well, I gotta tell ya' ... much of your post is either pointless and useless, or at best beside the point.

For example, I *also* piss lots of people off. And the people I piss off almost invariably accuse me of being prickly, or self-righteous, or angry, or an asshole, and/or speculate that I must have been picked on in school, and/or speculate that what I really need is to get laid. And, because they tend to come in groups, they *also* nearly always say, "Look, we all think you're an asshole, therefore the problem is in you."


Roach: "Larry is smart and writes a great many useful things. He [also annoys other people]. The biggest root of his provocative and annoying schtick is the penchant for ascribing hidden motives, hypocricy, venality, and secret meanings to various writers who deviate from his own views in the slightest particular. Never is anything a minor point of disagreement or a different choice on the spectrum of reasonable disagreement.

... [He's] a bit secretive, he's an admitted ex-liberal, and his writing style and its penchant for discerning secret, hidden meanings is, how shall we say it, Talmudic!

"

Agreed.

Hesperado (to Roach): "I don't necessarily mind prickly, self-righteous and angry intellects who constantly piss people off. What I do mind is another defect in Auster more pertinently problematic than the venial sins you list, which Ilion above has been trying to impress upon readers here: namely, Auster's tendency to misrepresent the positions, counter-arguments and criticisms of others. With this one defect remaining in play, it would not matter if Auster were otherwise remarkably mild-mannered, humble, even-tempered and kindly generous in manner."

I agree exactly, in every detail that you've said here. This is spooky! ;)

When I first discovered Auster, it was precisely because he does not care whether others give him permission to have and express his opinions that grabbed my interest. But, over time, I began to see that other side, and that I could not approve.

Well, to be precise, if "self-righteous" is used correctly, then I do strongly object to it. But these days, "self-righteous" is so rarely used correctly.

Hey, all.

As per usual, I've been frantically busy with real-world stuff. (E.g., most of my cabbages bolting, my bean plants bitten off by the deer, lots of guinea-chicks a-borning - and that's only the beginning!)

I'll try to find some time to join in the discussion asap. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves (not that you seem to need any encouragement!)

But there's one thing I've got to nip in the bud:

LA is claiming over at VFR that I "spiked" a comment of his defending the BNP.

Wha-huh?

In view of LA's complaint, I just checked through the comments logs on my recent posts, and I can find nothing from Mr. Auster that has been held for moderation.

This site automatically holds for moderation any post that includes multiple links, as a precaution against spammers. So far as I know, that's the only reason anything ever gets blocked here.

I did find a couple of comments (one from Ilion, one from Old Atlantic) that got held up (sorry, guys!) - which I have now approved.

But nothing from Mr. Auster.

Oh, and moldbug is, as per usual, lol funny.

Steve Burton: "... This site automatically holds for moderation any post that includes multiple links, as a precaution against spammers. So far as I know, that's the only reason anything ever gets blocked here.

I did find a couple of comments (one from Ilion, one from Old Atlantic) that got held up (sorry, guys!) - which I have now approved.

"

Oh, I quite understand (and also about your being busy leading to a delay in approval). When my lengthy post didn't show up, I realized at once that it was due to the multiple links I'd included; so I later posted a shorted version of it, sans the links.

But, that's another odd thing about all this: Auster *does* spike comments, all the time. It's built into the very model he has chosen -- all comments must be emailed to him and he chooses which comments, and which parts of those comments, to post. And if he posts some comment you've sent him, and later posts a criticism of it (whether his own or someone else's), and you try to reply to that criticism, well, your response may or may not be deemed worthy to appear. And if that criticism was unfounded or unfair or based on misunderstanding of what you'd said, and he has thrown his approval to the criticism, well, good luck on getting another word in.

Ilíon --

The other thing about Auster is that he bites off way more than he can, apparently, chew. He's busy commenting, analyzing and pontificating about too many things under the Sun on his blog, and the result is that he can't do justice to them all. Even if he had no other faults, he'd have to be a Renaissance genius along the lines of a Goethe or a Voegelin to pull it off. And he ain't.

Ilion wrote:

"But, that's another odd thing about all this: Auster *does* spike comments, all the time. It's built into the very model he has chosen -- all comments must be emailed to him and he chooses which comments, and which parts of those comments, to post. And if he posts some comment you've sent him, and later posts a criticism of it (whether his own or someone else's), and you try to reply to that criticism, well, your response may or may not be deemed worthy to appear. And if that criticism was unfounded or unfair or based on misunderstanding of what you'd said, and he has thrown his approval to the criticism, well, good luck on getting another word in."

Bingo!

This is the exact way Auster dishonestly deals with his critics and also, dishonestly perpetuates his misrepresentations about the positions of those he is criticizing. Another facet is his re-working of chronology. I have seen that first hand as well.

For Auster to accuse Steve Burton of spiking a comment of his is the pinnacle of irony. For all his insight, Auster has and will continue to be ultimately undone by his own persona, undercutting any real usefulness he can lend to the conservative principles he so desperately fights for. He just can't get out of his own way.

Look, isn't it time we cut Auster some slack? He's out there every day hammering the same old tried and true point home: that a complete and absolute rejection of Islam in total is the way to go. He has stated long and hard enough that if we were to shed some Islamic blood in the process of a monetary rejection of Islam then good will be served. Aren't we all in agreement with that?

All Westerners must ultimately agree with Auster that 1) a Muslim out immigration is required sponsored if required by the state 2) failing adequate number, Muslims be rounded up and quartered based on their points of extremity to the state, 3) the remainder be express post delivered to Saudi Arabia for ultimate collection of rent due.

I am in total agreement with Auster. Who could honestly and loyally disagree?

All else is complete and utter Cant (unless we are talking Austers's other implied point, i.e. the complete and utter annihilation of Muslims.)

When Lawrence Auster "attacks" Peter Hitchens, Mark Steyn, Melanie Phillips, Robert Spencer, and Daniel Pipes, it is always in a context of something they have written. Some of these posts make it sound like he routinely attacks them with no justification.

The problem, as I see it, is that Auster is by far the most intelligent out of all of you. He explains, constantly, that immigration and other sicknesses of liberalism that are killing the West are due to non-discrimination. When others start attacking liberalism for what it is and what it does instead of wallowing in the same liberalism only then can it be defeated.

He is extremely well written and intellectually honest, and one of the few people who understand what is happening to us.
Most of the so-called conservative publications care more about getting votes for the GOP, and friends on the left, than the truth. Or they are simply blinded by their own liberalism. At any rate, they would never publish anything by Auster, and this is a shame. I would much rather read an article in National Review written by Auster than by any of their regular writers. But he is villified and ostracized because he tells the truth.


Steyn is a joker. I have probably read most of what he has written and I have to agree with Auster. Steyn and the others who get published routinely NEVER say that immigration is due to liberalism and non-discrimination. They never go far enough. We can surmise from their writings that they have something against immigration, but its never clear exactly what that something is. The sad part is that they have a voice, Auster does not. They could make a difference if they were as outspoken, direct, honest, and hard hitting about liberalism as Lawrence Auster is. If enough conservative writers said the same things as directly as he does; if they would lay the blame on liberalisms non-discrimination it could make a hugh difference.

What is happening to the West is momentous---it is a tragedy, but all Steyn does is make jokes, who can take him seriously. While all the others pussy-foot around the issues, too afraid they will not be published. It's all about them, they don't care enough about actually doing something to end the liberal madness.

You claim you want to "defend what remains of Christiandom", yet you're attacking a man who does that every day.

Yes, I too support Auster in his drive to completely and utterly eradicate Islam from Western countries.

Being a fervent Auster fan combined with a yearning love to write lyrics like Bob Dylan (and sort of play the guitar in time/tune), and ingratiate myself with an Englishman at every opportunity, I congratulate this blog on bringing to the forefront Auster's unspoken dream for the eradication of the pestilence thus so far named Islam (InshAllah).

Many nyears ago I believed that Islam was a mere human stupidity. Now I know, thanks to Auster, that it is a disgracefully moronic and ultimately slavish rejection of the most basic and fundamental principals associated with the Western understanding of what it is to be "human" (for all that word means today).

Jillian is right, Auster is very well read and quite intelligent. Perhaps he should however provide a separate section on his website for people to post unedited comments. He could make it 100% clear from the way it is set up that this is an entirely separate section of his website that he for all intents and purposes ignores. Then he could continue his extremely useful site as is including only the comments that he wants to directly address but the other section would allow all those who bitterly hate him to post their full and complete objections which would then allow all concerned to judge for themselves who the real fools are.

Nudgel's cousin seems to overstate Austers position such that it seems as though Billy is just joking around. Auster has not called for the annihilation or killing of all Muslims but rather the humane approach of stopping all further expansion of Islam into lands not yet overcome by it and containing it as much as possible in the lands that unfortunately for the entire world have at some point in the past fallen under the tyranny of Islam.

Islam itself, the way it was written, what it says, makes recovering from it well nigh impossible. It is a fatal disease. Spain managed to get rid of it. That is the sole example of success in history. Yet even they today are allowing it back in due to the insanity of liberalism in this age.

For the sake of Muslims even, some countries of the world must be preserved from Islam so that there will be some place for people to go who want to escape Islam. This is good even for Muslims. Once the whole world has fallen to Islam all hope is lost. If Europe falls then America will really be in trouble. The longer that the West waits, the longer it allows Islam to spread the more difficult it will be to save itself. This is an urgent problem but since it won't really result in the final destruction of Western freedoms and democracy until long after the current generations are dead and rotting in their graves, the current generations can continue to be cowards and fail to stand up and fight against the threat of Islam.

Jillian: "When Lawrence Auster "attacks" Peter Hitchens, Mark Steyn, Melanie Phillips, Robert Spencer, and Daniel Pipes, it is always in a context of something they have written. Some of these posts make it sound like he routinely attacks them with no justification."

Jillian,
I have already proven beyond any rational doubt or denial that this claim is not true.

Billy Nudgel: "Look, isn't it time we cut Auster some slack? ...
...
I am in total agreement with Auster. Who could honestly and loyally disagree? ..."

Oh, I don't know; perhaps people who are not guppies ... er, groupies ... tend to think that loyalty to truth is a higher moral obligation that loyalty to a person who is untruthful.

Thanks to Jillian for what is, for me, the most cogent comment in this often tedious and pedantic thread.

There are a number of other rightist writers I'd like to see get the treatment here. Let's just put them all on the hot seat and ream them out. I'm willing to help with Google bombs to drive traffic here.

*staticy voice*
"Houston, the Guppy has landed!"

I used to be abused by Larry every once in a while, and while I hesitate to chime in here because, to a large degree, the criticism leveled here isn't going to amount to a hill of beans, so to speak. Ignoring that fact, I prescribe that Larry should take some solice from the fact that although we all don't have the luxury of whatever it is that allows him to maintain a largely unproductive, and ungenerative upper-westside lifestyle, we to are all marginal figures - just like him.

Steve Burton,

You shouldn't support the claim that Auster misrepresents people like Hitchens, Steyn, and Phillips without also going into some detail about how he is misrepresenting them.

The original criticism of Auster on this thread was the way he goes about criticizing others, specifically in terms of those who comment on immigration and the problem of Islamization. Auster is well aware of the problem of unregulated immigration, especially Muslims to western countries, and has a relatively sound solution, with some flaws as pointed out by Hesperado. The bigger problem is the conclusive solution,(effective cessation of Muslim immigrants to western societies), that Auster has arrived at, would presently be perceived by most people as "monstrous", a term Auster has used to describe other's stated positions on the subject. The education of what Islam really is and what it really means to non-Muslims worldwide, is sorely lacking.

Those who comment on the subject are routinely subject to Auster's criticism that usually evolves to personal attacks. At one time or another, all the major players have been dismissed by Auster as apologists (Pipes), defeatists (Steyn) or outright liberals(Spencer, et al). All these people have committed the egregious crime of disagreeing with Auster's position in totality, which apparently is a sin that one can never fully recover from in Auster's estimation.

Ilion's point should be well-taken. Besides misrepresenting positions, as I believe Auster did here with declaring Steyn a defeatist, he also responds to public or private rebuttals of his criticisms solely at his leisure, safely at his site, filtered as he sees fit for content and chronology. It is certainly never a fair fight or a true debate. There are ways to be simultaneously just and critical of another's position without trying to utterly discredit the person or the character of the person being criticized. Lawrence Auster has yet to discover this nuanced approach.

Mack: "... and while I hesitate to chime in here because, to a large degree, the criticism leveled here isn't going to amount to a hill of beans, so to speak. ..."

Certain guppies had shifted the direction of the thread off the thread's actual focus, and other persons had responded to that misdirection. So, in that regard, some of the criticism here may not have amounted to a hill of beans.

On the other hand, I presented a criticism, taking the direction of the thread back to its actual focus, and presented evidence for that criticism which may not rationally be denied.

And now, some more guppies are again attempting misdirection.

@ Ilíon,

I agree fully with your sentiments. I hearken back to the first time Hesperado called Larry a Gnostic. It was at that point that it became evident that vitriol and aspersions would be cast at anyone not fully entertaining Larry's personal orthodoxy. I think I stopped taking any of it personally when I was personally characterized as a 'pure liberal'.

In case my references, as "guppies," to the apparent “groupies” who appear to have migrated over here is too opaque, consider a mental image of a fish in a fishbowl: mouth always open, swallowing anything it can get in its mouth before ever examining it.

immigration identity site:melaniephillips.com

Results 1 - 100 of about 183 from melaniephillips.com for immigration identity

That is a pretty good record for someone published in MSM.

==

Note its a published theorem on the US government webpage that immigration causes genetic replacement. This is called the Wright Island Model. Its got lots of hits on the Internet and has a wiki article as well.

Men's median wages are the same as in 1973. This is also at a government web page that I link to. See graph page 19 p60-235.pdf. This is a publication updated each year by Census.

I get calls from Democrats pushing candidates, often women, and I discuss these stats and that women's median wages are the same as in 1973. They often know that. They basically know immigration is part of the problem.

The top 1 percent got over 20 percent of national income before 1924 immigration, got 10 percent in 1965 and are back to over 20 percent from the new immigration.

There are tons of good arguments to be made to stop immigration using stats and data and papers on government webpages.

Our side by and large doesn't pick up on any of these documents that are on government webpages. I discussed the WIM earlier at WWWW. Our side doesn't pick up on the best arguments and most effective to use. Why?

Its published in science textbooks and on the government's webpage for free with a name for it, Wright Island Model, and no one on our side will push it except me.

The best arguments with the authority of government publication and scientific publication are not used by our side. Why?

Seems like once the twits start calling names that is a good sign the thread has lost steam and needs to be closed. Auster just avoids that ahead of time and saves everyone, including the twits, the trouble.

Two Cents, the point here is not the existence of "twits;" the point here is that Mr Auster misrepresents others (and viciously attacks others n the basis of his misrepresentations) and will not correct his misrepresentations even after being given irrefutable proof that he has made a mistake. Therefore, since he will not correct the mistake, but rather repeats it, the rational conclusion is that it was no mistake at all.

If it was in fact absolutely positively true without question that Auster is guilty of what he is here accused of doing, wouldn't at least a few other people have noticed, other than the specific people involved who now seem to have some sort of personal ax to grind? Give the people who carefully read him a tiny bit of credit anyway. Why ascribe some sort of braindead acolyte quality to those who read him, that they are incapable of calling him on false arguments or false accusations. To the extent that they do believe he presents valid arguments needed for the possible saving of the West from destruction by Islam, they have as much interest as anyone in making sure that he is not writing absurdities randomly accusing others of bizarre things out of left field or intentionally picking and choosing words they have written and presenting totally false images of what they have written. It just doesn't make sense, sorry.

Billy Nudgel wrote about Auster:

"He's out there every day hammering the same old tried and true point home: that a complete and absolute rejection of Islam in total is the way to go."

Actually, he does not "absolutely" reject Islam "in total". In an exchange with me, he specifically, and crucially, restrained himself from what he was afraid was my "totalistic" proposition that we deport all Muslims from the West. Whatever merits this hesitation by Auster may have to some observers who lean more in his direction than mine, it cannot be described as an "absolute rejection of Islam in total".

Mack wrote:

"I hearken back to the first time Hesperado called Larry a Gnostic. It was at that point that it became evident that vitriol and aspersions would be cast at anyone not fully entertaining Larry's personal orthodoxy. I think I stopped taking any of it personally when I was personally characterized as a 'pure liberal'."

I never called Auster a Gnostic. What I did do, as I unfolded the question of why Auster seems to fail to probe the etiological puzzle of why there are so many conservatives who are liberalized, was to conjecture about

"...various different permutations [used by Auster] of labels that try to capture that animal the "false conservative", who seem to be sprouting up all over the place, often in highly unlikely places to boot, which makes the puzzle all the more puzzling, one would think. One alternative explanation that might be implicitly lurking in Auster's paradigm is that of the "ecclesiola" -- i.e., the "pure remnant" who alone know the truth, while the vast majority have gone astray. This would be an impermissible explanation, unless one were -- either willfully or unwittingly -- succumbing to the Gnostic temptation to damn the Western cosmion. I tend to think Auster is not doing this, but I'd like to see more tangible and copious indications to make sure."

In that same thread at the blog "Mangan's Miscellany", Auster weighed in and, of course, with egregious inaccuracy accused me of accusing him of being a Gnostic. I see that Mack has just taken Auster's word for this, rather than bothering to read the facts.

After I reiterated -- patiently and maturely -- that I never said that, Auster's torturous paranoia morphed into perceiving "attacks" by me on him (as he wrote subsequently on his own blog). Fuller details of the grotesque contortions Auster generates out of nothing may be found here:

http://mangans.blogspot.com/2008/11/auster-vs-sailer.html

Mack, sorry -- I hastily misread your comment to Ilion. However, most of my post remains relevant, including your misapprehension of what I did actually say about Auster re: Gnosticism.

@ Hesperado:

I agree - you didnt 'actually' call Larry a Gnostic, I recall quiet well the meaning you were attempting to convey - however, I also recall that (without going back and re-reading it all) that is how what you said was taken (by Larry).

Two Cents: "... It just doesn't make sense, sorry."

Anything will "not make sense" to the one who refuses to see what's in front of his nose. I have presented not just evidence, but irrefutable proof, that Mr Auster misrepresents others and refuses to correct the misrepresentations.

And I refuse to "argue" with intellectually dishonest persons.

OK, I've finally found time to read through this thread. And, you know what? I've enjoyed it, and found little to quarrel with. Ilion & Hesperado have come closest to my own take, but I think the single best comment was by Roach at 5:11 yesterday:

"Larry is smart and writes a great many useful things. He is also prickly, self-righteous, angry, and constantly pissing people off. One would think after everyone from Sailer to Derbyshire to me to Rod Dreher and who knows who else have basically called him an annoying a**hole, he'd look inward and say, "Hey, maybe my communication style sucks, because all these people that are basically on my side in the culture wars think I'm an annoying schmuck." No such luck. The biggest root of his provocative and annoying schtick is the penchant for ascribing hidden motives, hypocricy, venality, and secret meanings to various writers who deviate from his own views in the slightest particular. Never is anything a minor point of disagreement or a different choice on the spectrum of reasonable disagreement."

Well, indeed.

BTW - I've been listening to Mark Steyn's *America Alone* on my Ipod, while tending to my garden, for the last couple of days, just to see if there might be any merit to Auster's critique.

Conclusion? Nope.

The book is great fun, beautifully written, & perfectly calculated to move casual readers in exactly the direction that Auster (presumably) wants them moved.

Why that's not good enough for him, I simply can't understand.

Would understanding it lessen the sting? I don't think it would.


steve burton sez:
I've been listenig to Mark Steyn's *America Alone* on my Ipod, while tending to my garden, for the last couple of days, just to see if there might be any merit to Auster's critique.
Conclusion? Nope.
The book is great fun, beautifully written, & perfectly calculated to move casual readers in exactly the direction that Auster (presumably) wants them moved.
Why that's not good enough for him, I simply can't understand.

Would you kindly point me to a place in the book where Steyn has proposed a solution to the West predicament?

And no, his repeated suggestions that West European women out-breed Muslim women is not serious.

Clearly you have to re-read Steyn book.
As Steven M. Warshawsky in a brilliant review of America Alone in American Thinker (http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/11/will_islam_dominate_the_future.html) said:


like so many other conservative commentators who take a hard line in the present 'war on terror,' Steyn does not come out and say what he surely must mean — which is that Islam itself is the enemy. Islam is the world's second largest religion, and claims to be growing faster than Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism.

and


Yet after spending page after page highlighting the demographic disaster that awaits Europe (and to a much lesser extent the United States), Steyn fails to state the logical conclusion, which is that Muslim immigration must be stopped. Period.
If one believes, as Steyn clearly does (with strong support from the evidence), that Muslims as a group not only are not assimilating into Western culture but are actively hostile toward the very principles upon which our societies are built, then it is 'suicidal' (a term frequently used by Steyn) to permit millions of Muslims to take up residence within our countries.

and


After spending nearly 200 pages describing the dire threat to the West posed by Islam, Steyn begins the final chapter of America Alone by assuring his readers that his book
'isn't an argument for more war, more bombing, or more killing, but for more will.'
This statement is either nave or disingenuous. Because Steyn is a very smart fellow, I opt for the latter interpretation.

and


The West can either submit to this violence and intimidation, or we can fight back.
But what does 'fighting back' mean? On this vital question, Steyn's book, quite frankly, is disappointing. Steyn offers an ambitious 10—point list of options, but he does not explain what they would entail in practice.

and


My most serious criticism of Steyn, however, is that he refuses to acknowledge the dramatic implications of his own analysis. Take another look at items 2, 5, 9, and 10, on Steyn's list of options. Together these would amount to a declaration of war against Islam. Obviously, the Muslim world will not take kindly to our 'throttling' their funding of Islamic institutions in the United States and Europe, let alone our 'rolling back' such institutions in other parts of the world. Nor will the Muslim world perceive our 'ending' the Iranian regime or our 'opportunistic' use of military power against other Muslim targets in benign terms.
We can be sure that any escalation of this conflict by the West (however necessary for our own security) will be met with an intensification of the global jihad.
Thus, contrary to Steyn's earlier denial, his book plainly is 'an argument for more war, more bombing, [and] more killing.' Only Steyn won't admit it, probably because he wants to retain some 'mainstream' credibility. This may be an understandable concern for a professional commentator, but it undermines the power and coherence of his book.


So, without saying anything concrete, Steyn sorta, kinda, perhaps, maybe, argues for a war on Islam. Very good for the Pundit to the World.

While little Lawrence Auster, whom nobody will publish, who is as close to Soviet time dissident as one can be in the contemporary USA, years ago had a crystal clear plan for dealing with Islam to save the West. And his plan does not involve military confrantation in which millions of Muslims would be killed.

George Kennan will be known forever for formulating Communism Containment policy.
Lawrence Auster has formulated Separation Policy for the Islam threat, that, IMHO, is just as important as Kennan's containment.
Either West will submit to Islam, will crash it in a war or will separate itself from Islam.
Auster's Separation will be remembered as a good policy that brought good results or a good policy that was not followed by insane cowards, ie Western elites, to result in disaster.


Mick approvingly quoting a critical review of Steyn --

"like so many other conservative commentators who take a hard line in the present 'war on terror,' Steyn does not come out and say what he surely must mean — which is that Islam itself is the enemy. "

Sure he does. I got that he knows Islam is the enemy from reading 10 pages of his book.

There are two fronts to the War of Ideas:

1) analyzing the problem

2) proposing solutions.

Not everybody who concentrates on #1 without delving into #2 to the satisfaction of Auster is -- pace Auster -- ipso facto a "liberal" or a pro-Islam person. This is particularly so in our current sociopolitical context, where the whitewashers of Islam are dominant and mainstream all around us.

I would much rather fault a Proposer of Solutions who has failed to integrate a proper analysis of the problem (i.e., an Auster), than I would an Analyst who shows he grasps the problem more or less but who hasn't yet profferred a Solution. For, you can't start implementing an effective Solution if you haven't analyzed the Problem sufficiently.

This is so elementary it is painful to have to iterate. (Auster really needs to take about 3 months off in a Caribbean resort and relax. He's multi-tasking way beyond his capacity -- and that is the most generous advice I can think of.)

To pick up on Mick's point on separation. Kennan was in a position to be influential and published it in Foreign Affairs. (His house is on the market in Princeton by the way. You can see it with Trulia.)

Auster has pointed out, its not what you thought but didn't say that counts, but what you say and write. At this stage, Separation as a Doctrine could use a formal publication as a book.

Latex is a word processor that lets you create pdf's. Its free and can be downloaded. Protext is based on Miktex. Auster must have some technical people who correspond with him and can help him.

It does toc, you can have an index, etc. So Auster could put separation into a book and publish it. Then go debate it with the usual suspects.

I have put the url for protext in the link at my name.

Getting back, if we may, to the actual subject of this thread --

I'm going to post another lengthy post (which I an still composing); it's going to be held up pending approval, since it contains multiple links. Please be patient.

Got a question for you, Hesperado.

You say,

I would much rather fault a Proposer of Solutions who has failed to integrate a proper analysis of the problem (i.e., an Auster), than I would an Analyst who shows he grasps the problem more or less but who hasn't yet profferred a Solution.

For the benefit of those of us who don't know the reason for your hostility to Auster, could you please briefly summarize the proper analysis of the situation that Auster fails to give? I'd like to know where you're "coming from."

Why don't Steyn, Phillips, Pipes, Spencer, et al end every one of their articles on the Islam problem, as Auster does, with the conclusion, clearly, forcefully and unambiguously stated that Islam is incompatible with the West and Muslim immigration into the West must be stopped and, to the extent possible, reversed?

Getting back, if we may, to the actual subject of this thread --

In "refuting" the criticism of his behavior which I have presented in this thread, in reference to the Steyn article and quotation I presented here, Mr Auster claims:

One, as I said, I haven't seen this article before.
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Two, this article appeared in December 2007. Almost all my numerous entries and articles criticizing Steyn's writings on Islam were written between 2004 and 2007, that is, before this Steyn article was published.

One: if Mr Auster has never seen the article, then that's his own damned fault and choice. That quotation I presented here? I didn't pull that text directly from the online article, I copied the text directly from an email I'd sent Auster (which email also included the link to the article). Without right now going back through the emails to check on this memory, I seem to recall that it became increasingly clear that Auster hadn't even *read* the quote I sent him, much less had he followed the link I gave him to that specific article from which it came.

Two: That particular article is simply the one I finally settled on as demonstrating to Auster (were he intellectually honest) that he had misrepresented Steyn on one specific point. I myself had never read *that* particular article previously; I was looking for the article in which Steyn explicitly named the Swedish politician (a minister in the government, as I recall) who had said that Swedes should be "nice to Muslims while we are in the majority so that when they are in the majority they will be nice to us." BUT, Google produced so vastly many references to people discussing what Stren had said in reference to this Swedish politician's statement, and people discussing people discussing what Steyn had said, that I finally gave up on finding just the article I was looking for and settled for the one I sent to Auster.

Recall: Auster had asserted that there exists an "idea floated by Mark Steyn a couple of years ago. He said that as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they've taken over."

Auster's assertion is demonstrably false. I *gave* him absolute proof that he had misrepresented Steyn on this point. He refused to see the evidence, and he refused to correct the misrepresentation. Therefore, reason and honesty demands that we all acknowledge that Auster did not *simply* make an honest, if regrettable, mistake about Steyn.

Those who will not simply admit this truth about Auster show themselves to be unreasonable, to be intellectually dishonest, to be without honor.

Furthermore: it is irrelevant that Auster has published his opinions about Steyn (even were those opinions actually correct) prior to the publication of the particular Steyn article I had attempted to bring to his attention, and which he chose to ignore.

Auster made an assertion about Steyn that is not only incorrect, but is the absolute opposite of Steyn's position. I brought this one point to Auster's attention. He chose to ignore the truth of the matter ... and he chose, instead, to attack me (both privately in email and publically on his blog):

Apparently you think your mere assertion that I have the point totally wrong is a sufficient proof that I have the point totally wrong. I don't think you're aware of the number of times I have made this characterization and other characterizations of Steyn's positions, and they have been challenged, and I have successfully defended them. Here is a collection of my writings about Steyn.
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Back up your argument with actual quotes of Steyn, and I will reply. Until then, your comment is mere bluff. Show your cards, and then I'll show mine.
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And by the way, I'm not sure offhand (and it's too late at night to check it out) if the item I initially linked to back up my point about Steyn is the most relevant to that point. I have many articles on Steyn, and I looked quickly for one that seemed to be related. So I'm just letting you know that, in the event the linked entry does not happen to back up my point, there are others that will.
Notice, Gentle Reader, that Auster never acknowledges (click the link to see that lack) that I had shown him (via email) that his assertion about Steyn is wrong. Notice that Auster chooses to leave his reader with the impression that either I could not successfully show (*) his false assertion to be false or that I didn't even attempt to do so.

I had already figured out, from other attempts to communicate with him, that Auster is "prickly" (that is the word someone used above, is it not); this is when I realized that he is intellectually dishonest.

I have shown Auster's intellectual dishonesty to you, the reader of this thread; if you will not acknowledge this fact, then you too are intellectually dishonest. Or stupid (but I hold that there is almost never justification to believe that of another). If you are intellectually dishonest, you can correct the flaw, I cannot. On the other hand, were you actually stupid, than only God can correct that flaw.

(*) Notice, also, that as the assertion is his, so too is the burden of proof actually his. It was never my obligation to prove him wrong -- though I did that -- it was rather his obligation to support his assertion about Steyn.


Back to Auster's rationalizations:

Three, in this passage, Steyn is not actually calling for ending or reversing Muslims immigration, but praising John Howard's government for "trying to do something to reverse" the "dismal Euro-fatalism." In other words, Steyn is praising Howard government for its tough tone toward Muslims. Also, in the context of Steyn's writings on Islam, when he says that "dependence on immigration is always a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such," that is not a call for passing legislation to reduce or end Muslim immigration; it is a call for increasing native birthrates so that Muslims will somehow magically go away.

Three: this is more of Auster's intellectual dishonesty. This is Auster attempting to use distraction (as some guppies have attempted in this thread) to deflect attention away form the actual point under discussion.

The point is not whether Steyn has or has not "actually call[ed] for ending or reversing Muslims immigration."

The point of the thread is whether Auster is or is not intellectually dishonest. Irrefutable evidence for the affirmative of the point has been presented.

The evidence that Lawrence Auster is indeed intellectually dishonest consists of:
1) Auster's assertion that there exists an "idea floated by Mark Steyn a couple of years ago. He said that as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they've taken over;"
2) the evidence that Steyn floated no such idea, but rather mocks the idea, and the floating of it;
3) and, lastly, most importantly, Auster's stubborn refusal to simply admit to and correct his error.


Back to Auster's rationalizations:

Finally, this one paragraph hardly cancels out oceans of electrons by Steyn in which he talked about Islam as a fatal threat to the West while he remained absolutely silent on the subject of the immigration of Muslims that had brought Islam into the West, as well as silent on the idea of reducing or ending that immigration. Nor does this one paragraph cancel out his gleeful predictions of the Islamization of Europe, his absurd calls for Europe to assimilate the Muslims even as they're taking over Europe, and his absurd position that the only thing the West can do to save itself from being taken over by Muslims is to outbreed them.

Fourth: Auster simply repeats his lie and his attempted distraction and his illogic and his irrationality.

I could go on and on and on; but there is no rational point in doing so. I have already established, beyond and honest or rational or reasonable doubt that Auster is indeed intellectually dishonest.

Anyone who will not simply admit this fact, without any equivocations or attempted justifications, merely shows himself to be intellectually dishonest. Or stupid. The possiblity of ignorance is no longer open; so pick your poison:
1) Auster is indeed intellectually dishonest;
2) you are yourself indeed intellectually dishonest;
3) you are merely stupid, and thus not culpable for your error.

There are in this thread some comments, by persons I respect, trying to defend or minimize or deflect attention from Auster's intellectual dishonesty. That three-part choice applies to them, also: are you honest, or are you a partisan of personalities?

Alan Roebuck: "For the benefit of those of us who don't know the reason for your hostility to Auster ..."

Mr Roebuck, much as is pains me to say this about you, you are not engaging in logical and rational and critical examination of the issue; you are engaging in 'motive mongering' (what CS Lewis once called "Bulverism").

Whether Hesperado is or is not "hostile" is utterly irrelevant. What is relevant is:
1) Auster's false claim about Steyn;
2) the truth about Steyn with respect to this claim;
3) Auster's adamant refusal to correct the claim;
4) Auster's false justifications for the claim (i.e. "I've made the claim before")
5) Auster's attempts to deflect attention away from what is relevant;

5a) your attempt to do likewise.

If it was in fact absolutely positively true without question that Auster is guilty of what he is here accused of doing, wouldn't at least a few other people have noticed, other than the specific people involved who now seem to have some sort of personal ax to grind? Give the people who carefully read him a tiny bit of credit anyway. Why ascribe some sort of braindead acolyte quality to those who read him, that they are incapable of calling him on false arguments or false accusations. To the extent that they do believe he presents valid arguments needed for the possible saving of the West from destruction by Islam, they have as much interest as anyone in making sure that he is not writing absurdities randomly accusing others of bizarre things out of left field or intentionally picking and choosing words they have written and presenting totally false images of what they have written. It just doesn't make sense, sorry.
I'm probably as close as you'll get here to the kind of individual in mind with respect to "a few other people," and earlier I wrote:
Would it be impossible to acknowledge that Mr. Auster, being a fallen human being, has on occasion made errors, misunderstood others, and arrogantly denied his errors in his zeal for the good of the nation?

Would it be impossible to acknowledge that such sins and defects do not invalidate the good work he has accomplished and the true claims that he makes?

Just sayin'.

So, sorry, I do think it's been shown that Auster's been wrong sometimes and has not owned it as he ought to have. But, to the anti-Auster crowd, I don't think his errors and sins render his good work invalid.

That's pretty much what I think people should get out of this thread.

If someone is triangulating, they are intentionally holding back on some part of the truth. They are not saying explicitly some truth they themselves believe. They are not advocating some solution that they themselves believe in. They are not saying something they want others to say. They want others to do it. They want it to just happen. In the meantime, they pick up money, establishment prestige, are the safe conservative for the Daily Telegraph or TV or Daily Mail or whatever. They have a blog like Peter Hitchens in which they call BNP racist thugs while BNP proposes real solutions. The comments section has people to the right of Peter Hitchens who are for BNP. They are called thugs and racists at least by implication but are allowed to state a solution.

So why not Larry? Triangulators want to be criticized based on the truths they are afraid to say or solutions they are afraid to advocate. What is wrong in saying what they want said?

If they lead up to a solution but are afraid to say it, why is it wrong for Auster to say what the solution is?

If they want to be respectable by triangulation, then why attack Auster for criticizing them? Auster's criticism is their respectability.

When Auster says, stop Muslim immigration and find some way to send them back, then the Respectable One can say, see he is The Bigot. He is the The Nazi. That's what they want. They think they need that to be respectable.

So Auster is providing a service to them. They are also making money from this strategy. Auster should have his own merchandise site, books and tapes, etc. He should get some of the loot from this, since he is the necessary Satan for the Respectable One to make money from Daily Mail or whatever. The MSM want to pay a respectable conservative.

When Auster criticizes Steyn for saying Stein won't say stop Muslim immigration that puts money in Steyn's pocket. Because the MSM now have the Auster seal of approval that Steyn is not actually advocating doing anything that would work or put the sensitivities of the PC right to the test.

In fact, solutions mean tossing PC overboard. The longer we wait to do it the bigger on the Bigot Scale the solution will be. Auster helps there too. By advocating solutions that work now, he helps us do them before they become worse.

The PC right and left say any solution that works to save the White West is racist evil. If there is a point at which the West will save itself, then the longer it waits, the more unPC the solution will have to be.

Steyn and the others are intentionally pursuing triangulation. That makes them the safe choice for an op-ed piece or to be on a radio show. Auster has to "skulk" with the extremists in hotel conferences attended by the white unwashed.

Auster deserves praise from those who are willing to say bluntly they want to save the white race and White West and want to do it now. Others can and will triangulate and gain respectability by the usual repertoire of tricks. Each person has to choose for themselves what they are comfortable with at the moment. Oh yeah, and remember, don't give into hate.

"If they lead up to a solution but are afraid to say it, why is it wrong for Auster to say what the solution is?"

That is not the issue here. The issue is: Is Auster intellectually dishonest?

Remember, the actual topic of this thread is Larry misrepresenting what Steyn said, not what Steyn said or Larry said he said. It certainly isn't whether Stein went far enough with the truth.

Mark Steyn once wrote in 2004:

And, in the end, the reality is this. A few weeks ago, Prof Bernard Lewis, the great historian of the Muslim world, told Die Welt that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century". That seems demographically unavoidable.

Given that much of what we now know as the civilised world will be Muslim, it seems prudent to ensure that what is already the Muslim world is civilised. And, for those who say that Islam is incompatible with democracy, we might as well try to buck that in Iraq today than in France, Scandinavia and Britain the day after tomorrow.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3611019/All-the-good-things-they-never-tell-you-about-todays-Iraq.html

Who would say such a thing? Only someone who has no grasp of the nature of Islam or the West. Certainly no one who is on our side in this war. And if Steyn no longer believes this, please point me to the article where he explicitly disavows this prior view of his. I don't see how anyone can be faulted for labeling Steyn a defeatist/accommodationist, which is Auster's larger point.

Someone particularly interested in this should contact those Auster has supposedly lied about including any relevant passages of course and get direct quotes from them as to how aggrieved or even chastised they feel about his comments. That could settle this quickly if they admit he is essentially right. It might even spur them to make their commentary more serious as regards actual solutions to the Muslim immigration timebomb threatening the West.

Examples of intellectual dishonesty:

Saying nothing can be done about Muslim takeover, when you actually believe something can be done and want it done and intend your readers to form a conclusion to support opposing it.

Saying people shouldn't criticize Islam as bad, when you really believe its bad.

Saying its only radical Islam that is bad, when you think Islam is bad.

Saying its bigotry to say Islam is bad, when you believe it is bad.

Saying you only oppose illegal immigration, and then saying the reason is that its reduces wages, takes away jobs from natives, is costly to the government, and leads to legal immigration.

Saying Muslim immigration will change the West fundamentally and you oppose it, but you support legal immigration from the 3rd world, when you in fact believe that immigration will end the West as well.

These types of intellectual dishonesty are betrayals. They are often justified by what amounts to a need to get money.

Alan Roebuck,

It would be difficult for me to boil down my analysis of Auster's deficiencies -- with respect to his solution proposal of Quarantine -- further than I have down in part of my essay on my blog (the Auster critique there is less than half of the essay, though you might need to read the full essay to understand why I make the critique in the first place).

Those deficiencies stem I think from the apparent fact that Auster is what I call an "asymptotic analyst" of the problem of Islam -- he's almost at the point of total condemnation, but not quite. I don't know what makes any given analyst asymptotic, but I think one common motivation is the presence of PC MC in their heads (however much they think they may have rooted it out), and the persistence, therefore, of the notion that if we the West take a total condmenation of Muslims to its logical conclusion, we will have no choice -- being the evil white Westerners we are always ready for the opportunity to oppress and abuse non-white non-Westerners -- but to go down the "slippery slope" to genocide.

Sometimes it's that .01% left short of total condemnation that can exert an anomolous amount of resistance in the analyst to certain things. Auster's disinclination to be "totalistic" about the Islam problem (i.e., re: deportation of all Muslims) is one important indicator of this. In this respect, Auster is not taking his own advice. Or, if he thinks that merely having proferred a Plan is sufficient to be a Serious Anti-Islamist and absolves him of following the logic of the problem (let alone of being substantively criticized), then that is dismaying. You will see what I mean I think in more concrete detail, if you read my essay.

http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-veil.html

The 2004 quote of Steyn from Andrew E above is damning. I don't know how any other comment from Steyn could possibly absolve him of the egregious defect therein (making him at least as bad as Bush) -- short of him having actually changed his mind subsequently.

Look boys, I really do not understand all this storm in a teapot.
Auster is a messenger with a powerful message ( in fact he has many messages on many topics but I'm not concerned too much or disagree on some) about crisis of the West.

Auster is an imperfect human being, he probably made some mistakes in his real and intellectual life. Unless you are a paid hack for Steyn, Phillips, etc, why you wasting your time?

Do you care what Kennan (to pick a name) was in his real life? Was he alcoholic, unfaithful husband, free spender, bad Catholic? Virtually all people care about Kennan contribution to the Cold War effort and could not care less about those things.

In 1991 when entire conservative establishment was celebrating diverse immigration, "infinitely enriching" America, Auster wrote The Path to National Suicide. Took very few establishment conservatives more than decade to catch up, and that is optimistically speaking.

By all indications it appears that Auster knowledge of Islam on 9/11/01 was very minimal.
Yet within a year or so he wrote exactly what Islam was and the way to deal with it.

Compare that with shallow pontification offered by the experts like Pipes, Lewis, Spencer,etc who spent lifetimes studing Islam.

A person with such track record, he deserves a listen.
You should attempt to understand, if you can, his ideas. Notice, I did not say agree with him.
You could do worth than that, like engaging in a childish nonsense displayed so vividly in this thread.


Is it possible to be simultaneously aggravated by Steyn and Auster yet in awe of both? Yes, I believe it is possible. Both render concise, coherent and compelling arguments. Both cop mainstream scorn and derision, both are prepared to state unpalatable truths. Both we should all acknowledge as being of the few persuasive and knowledgeable guards of our culture's and children's future.

Steyn is compromised by his need to appear too urbane, droll, ironic and witty in the style of a right wing Wilde or Shaw. He undermines the force of his otherwise seemingly defiant will and argument with his addiction to style. One wonders if his civilisational betrayals are heart felt or a concession to peers whose favour he craves. Or are they the last desperate words of a man maligned himself by what he feels as betrayal?

Auster becomes too hysterical and easily provoked into a neurotic Rainman like rage. Startlingly confronting with his intricate analysis of Liberalism he is equally, and not too far away at most times from an inchoate internal scream which all too suddenly bursts forth as if speaking in tongues like hot coals bursting forth from his mouth, of personally piqued rage till a subsiding swooning fit suppresses his fire. Too earnest by far his love for those things embedded from his childhood affections are so cringingly and embarrassingly prominent and betray a desperate heart that ruins his cause.

Yet for all that I thank God for both of them.

"By all indications it appears that Auster's knowledge of Islam on 9/11/01 was very minimal. Yet within a year or so he wrote exactly what Islam was and the way to deal with it."

As an aside, does anyone else find it sort of scary the way so many supposedly intelligent people continue to fail to understand Islam? It isn't like the old days when you could listen to someone pontificate about this or that subject and project onto them whatever level of intelligence and understanding of the world you had. You could just assume they more or less understood reality and the world. But now when otherwise "intelligent" people make stupendously ignorant comments about Islam it just bursts the whole balloon. It isn't like they just don't know about some random person or era in history, or football or some popular person in pop culture. If someone sounds dumb talking about those you just figure they aren't into that or haven't read about it. But with Islam, after taking down the World Trade Center, and all the associated troubles it has brought the world, and the on and on and on, and especially today with the internet and the easy availability of information, there just remains no excuse for any reasonably intelligent, normally rational individual who does not know the truth about Islam and want to act on that information to save Western civilization. This sad reality, the general ignorance of the truth of Islam, more than the particular details of any one plan to save the West, and more than the particular shortcomings of this or that individual analyst is the real reason that the West will not save itself. All of the momentum is against any one individual or even a small group of individuals who might try to educate the general population much less get them to act.

Hesperado: "The 2004 quote of Steyn from Andrew E above is damning. I don't know how any other comment from Steyn could possibly absolve him of the egregious defect therein (making him at least as bad as Bush) -- short of him having actually changed his mind subsequently."

So, you're going to drink the Kool-Aide, too?

This is what Andrew E, and now you, are damning -- AND even were it indeed damning, it has nothing to do with Auster's intellectual dishonesty:

And, in the end, the reality is this. A few weeks ago, Prof Bernard Lewis, the great historian of the Muslim world, told Die Welt that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century". That seems demographically unavoidable.
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Given that much of what we now know as the civilised world will be Muslim, it seems prudent to ensure that what is already the Muslim world is civilised. And, for those who say that Islam is incompatible with democracy, we might as well try to buck that in Iraq today than in France, Scandinavia and Britain the day after tomorrow.

In "much of what we now know as the civilised world," the non-Moslems are not having babies, the Moslems (who are already there!) are having babies. Continuously subtract from one column, while adding to the second, and soon enough all the numbers will be in the second.

If democracy is not compatible with Islam, then moving the venue to a western nation will not magically make it compatible.

Mark Steyn is hosting the Rush Limbaugh show on Monday. Someone should ambush him with a question about Muslim immigration. Word it so there is no wiggle room. To get past the screener you probably will have to say you want to talk about whatever the topic is, but you could quickly divert and get it in before they cut you off. Problem is, he would just make some sort of joke and move on.

Actually, people should do this to Rush also, his commentary on Islam is really weak. And same for Hannity, Prager, Hewitt, most all of the national hosts, even Savage despite his reputation. Savage will talk about certain "people" in the Islamic world being this or that but he never deals with the overall belief system of Islam, he still calls it one of the great religions blah blah blah.

Talk about having a bully pulpit. If any of them really wanted to make a difference they could. But they know that anything they say about Islam is scrutinized and their sponsors and management also being clueless about Islam won't allow truthful talk except in very small doses so they tow the politically correct line.

Hesperado,

I’ve read the article you linked. Looks like your dispute with Auster is that you call for the expulsion of all Moslems from the West, but Larry, while agreeing in principle, makes some exceptions that, to your way of thinking, undercut his entire position of “Separationism,” thus rendering him contradictory and therefore ridiculous.

I don’t think this is sufficient warrant for harsh attacks. I presume that you are interested in defending America and the West from the Moslem menace, and therefore are interested in convincing as many people as possible that your position is correct. But John Q. Public doesn’t care about the nuances that separate your position from Auster’s, and he cares even less about the alleged character deficiencies of Auster or anyone else.

For what it’s worth, I think Auster is more correct than you on this issue, but you two could certainly work together toward eliminating the Moslem menace, while at the same time acknowledging that you have some strong disagreements.

The reason I think Auster is more correct is that he understands that the problem is with the entire intellectual/spiritual/moral/social orientation of the West, an orientation I describe by saying that liberalism—the worldview of the left—is our not-officially-acknowledged State Religion. And this means that the problem is comprehensive: we cannot just correct one discrete part of our thinking (e.g., “multiculturalism”) and then be able properly to defend ourselves.

Because the problem is comprehensive, so is the remedy: we must deal with as much of liberalism as we can; we must offer a comprehensive solution that includes properly dealing with hostile foreigners. To ensure that John Q. Public will listen to us, we must point him toward truths that he can begin to grasp intuitively rather than demand that he immediately endorse a plan from which he will instinctively recoil.

I also point out in passing that you are criticizing Auster for the opposite reason that Steve Burton does: He says Auster is too harsh; you say Auster is too soft. But if Auster is too soft, Burton, Steyn and the rest of the conservative establisment deserve far more of your criticism.

Just so you know where I’m coming from: Yes, I’m one of Auster’s “minions;” I even have my own page at View From the Right containing links to most of my web-published writings on defending America from liberalism and its allies: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/012252.html

Ilion, thanks for your comments. I think you caught LA red-handed. I also hope that you'll agree with Albert when he writes: "I don't think his errors and sins render his good work invalid."

This is a case where great strengths go hand in hand with great weaknesses.

In a better world, I think that Lawrence Auster would have a much more prominent public platform - a regular column in the New York Times, say - and would not be prey to the petty resentments that seem to bedevil him so.

Ilíon,

I didn't say that the statement I found damning in Steyn has anything to do with Auster's intellectual dishonesty. Just because the former is demonstrated to be irrelevant to the latter, this doesn't absolve Steyn's statement of its problematic matter.

You reproduce the Steyn quote in question, but you provide nothing to relieve the problematic aspects of it.

His observation that Bernard Lewis's prediction "seems demographically unavoidable" is not the worst of it. He could be merely rhetorically pressing the alarm by looking at the facts.

It is the following statement, which I break down into its three parts, that is the problem:

1) "Given that much of what we now know as the civilised world will be Muslim"

This moves it beyond rhetorical warning to giving up to an inevitability.

2) "it seems prudent to ensure that what is already the Muslim world is civilised."

This is unacceptably preposterous. It assumes a) that the Muslim world can be civilized; and b) that we the West can civilize it.

The only thing we the West could do that would come vaguely (and superficially) close to this would be to forcefully colonize the Muslim world and force them to at least behave in ways that don't continue to threaten the world -- as the West in fact did (with a few flaws and exceptions here and there) during its Colonial Era. The lesson to be learned from the West's forced colonization of the Muslim world is not that the West cannot control and manage Muslims, but that it can only do so by continued exertion of force over them and by a continued sense of the proper relationship between ourselves as Superiors and the Muslims as Inferiors: while, for example, the French did indeed control, manage and to some extent (at least as much as is possible among Muslims) civilize certain aspects of the sociopolitical culture of Algeria for a good 150 years, the whole project broke down when the French began to go soft in the head PC MC-wise after WW2. Which brings us to the piece de resistance of Steyn's quote:

3) "And, for those who say that Islam is incompatible with democracy, we might as well try to buck that in Iraq today than in France, Scandinavia and Britain the day after tomorrow."

The curious locution "buck that" here means, in semantic context, "to oppose directly and stubbornly, to go against" (from the American Heritage Dictionary) -- i.e., Steyn is saying that we should (or "might as well") oppose the idea that Islam is incompatible with democracy by continuing the Iraq Experiment, because if we don't succeed in Iraq, it will be far worse and/or more difficult within Europe in the near future. This Experiment has been discredited by the intelligent anti-Islam analysts. Steyn's alignment with that Experiment puts him in league with Daniel Pipes at best. This is unacceptable, and based upon perilously faulty premises about Islam and Muslims.

You concluded:

"If democracy is not compatible with Islam, then moving the venue to a western nation will not magically make it compatible."

I agree. But that doesn't make the Iraq Experiment any more cogent.

As I wrote on another more recent thread here:

"My advice to Steyn would be similar to the advice I gave to Spencer: keep your day job of diagnostician, but leave the analysis of possible remedies to others more competent."

And among the "more competent" I do NOT -- as you should know by now -- include Auster.

Alan roebuck --

"Looks like your dispute with Auster is that you call for the expulsion of all Moslems from the West, but Larry, while agreeing in principle, makes some exceptions that, to your way of thinking, undercut his entire position of “Separationism,” thus rendering him contradictory and therefore ridiculous."

First, Auster's disinclination to deport all Muslims is only one thing I find defective in his solution. Second, rather than put it that the exceptions he makes to his otherwise apparently holistic view of the threat of Islam "undercut his entire position of Separationism", it's more that the exceptions make the whole thing incoherent. Auster is trying to have his cake and eat it too: i.e., trying to seem stronger than all the other analysts, but still retain provisions (mostly implicit and/or informally wedged in) that are based in suppressing that strength in the name of some kind of gingerly dislike for being "totalistic" against Muslims and in the name of wanting to ensure their "dignity and essence". He thus tends to weaken his own solution with the very same "liberalism" he accuses others of.

You wrote:

"I don’t think this is sufficient warrant for harsh attacks."

I do not "attack" Auster, let alone have I ever "harshly" done so. Auster has this strange predilection for the word "attack" everytime someone criticizes him. The word "attack" should be reserved for specific special instances of hostile intent and effect. It is like a red alarm bell in rhetoric. It should not be flung around glibly, as he does. (Robert Spencer also has that tendency.)

"I presume that you are interested in defending America and the West from the Moslem menace, and therefore are interested in convincing as many people as possible that your position is correct. But John Q. Public doesn’t care about the nuances that separate your position from Auster’s, and he cares even less about the alleged character deficiencies of Auster or anyone else."

A War of Ideas is a multi-faceted, complex process, and it usually takes a long time to wage on many different fronts. It is not reducible to convincing John Q. Public. That is one important facet, but not the only one. I would like to think that John Q. Public is smarter than to think everything has to be boiled down to pap sufficiently simplistic and mediocre so that the most people will be on board -- for, the question arises, on board what? The platform that galvanizes people also has to be a platform that will implement policies when the time comes. And the substance of that is important too.

"For what it’s worth, I think Auster is more correct than you on this issue, but you two could certainly work together toward eliminating the Moslem menace, while at the same time acknowledging that you have some strong disagreements."

I'm perfectly willing to work with Auster and anybody else who is roughly speaking anti-Islam. It's up to them to work with me, a person who may continue to critique them on points I feel need critiquing in the name of constructive criticism. Any healthy movement does not anxiously suppress internal criticism; it positively embraces it. That's what a healthy organism does. Unhealthy organisms put up paranoid defenses against all constructive criticism and labels them as "attacks". If they can't take criticism, then they can't work with me. And if they can't work with me, there's nothing I can do about it. Auster has ostracized me for a stranger reason than his hypersensitivity to criticism: he has ostracized me because in his view, I expressed some things to him in private emails that made him think, so he said, that my approach to debate & dialogue is robotic and mechanical -- because I try to value objective comportment as of higher importance than infusing emotionality into exchanges. This had come up because he kept pestering me about why I was continuing to treat a certain person named "awake" with what seemed to be civility after "awake" had been treating me rather shabbily and once made rhetorical mention of "putting out my teeth" or something like that. And I told Auster that I treat "awake" with what seems to be civility (such as beginning my missives to him with "awake" following by a colon) because in fact I don't care about "awake" as a human being but rather as an opportunity to continue the larger debate. It's my business who I treat with the human respect I think they deserve, not Auster's. In retrospect, I think I made the mistake of trying to counter-argue Auster's pestering of me in this regard, when what I should have done is lapse into a bit of "human" interaction and told him to "Mind your own beeswax!" At any rate, Auster at that point retreated from ever wanting to communicate with me again because he was too "uncomfortable" with my approach -- not because of anything to do with ideas or even to do with me criticizing him -- and his retreat included never citing me on his blog again except once in the context of also informing his readership how much of an enemy I am, and certainly never publishing my comments again on his blog. After that, he then used any criticisms I raised of his approach as evidence of my propensity to "attack" him and therefore as evidence of my status as an official enemy of his. Here's a little dose of "humanity" from me at this particular juncture: The guy has a screw loose.

"The reason I think Auster is more correct is that he understands that the problem is with the entire intellectual/spiritual/moral/social orientation of the West, an orientation I describe by saying that liberalism—the worldview of the left—is our not-officially-acknowledged State Religion."

On my blog, over the past three years, I have written over 100 essays, many of them detailed analyses, of my understanding of the primary problem with the West being PC MC, and how this is the #1 reason why the West remains perilously irrational in the face of a global revival of Islam. Your distinction between me and Auster, thus, is ill-informed. Whether my macro-analysis is better or worse than Auster's would then depend upon a comparison and presentation of argument based upon a reading of at least a representative sampling of my essays. But I definitely have plumbed the dimension of the problem which you claim only Auster has plumbed.

"And this means that the problem is comprehensive: we cannot just correct one discrete part of our thinking (e.g., “multiculturalism”)"

The term PC MC (politically correct multi-culturalism) can denote either "one discrete part" or it can denote a comprehensive paradigm shift that has occurred over the past 50-odd years throughout the West. It is the latter understanding that I have been analyzing on my blog.

I think Auster's term "liberalism" in fact gets a crucial aspect of the problem wrong, but that's a whole hornet's nest for another day, another venue.

"I also point out in passing that you are criticizing Auster for the opposite reason that Steve Burton does: He says Auster is too harsh; you say Auster is too soft. But if Auster is too soft, Burton, Steyn and the rest of the conservative establisment deserve far more of your criticism."

Well, yes and no. The softer analysts belong to a mass of millions. They thus merge into the comprehensive problem that becomes misleading when we attach too much significance to individuals (as Auster himself recognizes when recently he appropriately shot back at a commenter citicizing Bill Clinton for a pro-Islam speech he gave: Auster said, so what? Clinton is just going with the flow, and it's the flow that is the more pertinent focus of our critical analysis.) I guess my attention has been on constructive criticism from within our movement of those who are on the spearhead of the supposedly stronger stance. This isn't to say I would never consider criticizing a Burton or a Steyn in the future, just that it isn't my priority. In this respect I have also criticized Spencer (I had an entire blog dedicated to critical analyses of Spencer's defects in certain aspects of his methodology). I continue to believe this is time well spent: it's part of the division of labor of any movement, and part of the health of a movement to be able to accept, digest and learn from criticism. Only paranoid dictators, thugs and psychos become fearful of criticism and try to suppress it. Any movement that proceeds this way is no movement that will ultimately last, and any strength in numbers it might gather will really be only a superficial strength, not a real strength in the end.

I'll take a look at your link when I find time, thanks.

Steve Burton: "... I also hope that you'll agree with Albert when he writes: "I don't think his errors and sins render his good work invalid."

Have I given *anyone* any reason to imagine that I think such a thing? Shoot, while I'm wanting to keep the "blogroll" on my own little blog down to a small size, Auster's is the very first I added (and I started my little blog months after realized that Auster is intellectually dishonest.)

Ilion, you said

I have already established, beyond and honest or rational or reasonable doubt that Auster is indeed intellectually dishonest.

You have proffered this assertion numerous times, keeping the thread on track as you like to remind everyone. It may be just a semantic point, but if we accept your argument, how does this make Auster an intellectually dishonest person? Why do you use this phraseology? Would it not be more accurate to say that he was intellectually dishonest in this case rather than this case making him intellectually dishonest to his core? It is not the same as a murder making someone a murderer or a theft justifying the label of thief.

Unless you are in the running for sainthood, we are all of us guilty of errors in thinking and communication. If you should have produced evidence for a consistent, abusive pattern by Auster of deceit and dishonesty that would be something else. It is your remorseless inability to unclench your jaws over just one relatively small point that is at once disturbing and tiresome.

I not only agree with Hannon's point, but also think that "intellectually dishonest" is not a precise enough term for what Auster does (and he has done it more than once in my experience). The term assumes that he must be a liar. There are other reasons beside mendacity why people misrepresent the positions of their interlocutor and stubbornly persist in doing so even after cogent counter-arguments are presented to them. Some people have addled mentation, even otherwise intelligent people. I believe Auster is one of them. The liar charge is so serious, it should be reserved for special occasions. It is by no means ruled out in the case of Auster, but plenty of other indications in Auster's comportment support my view that he has a screw loose, and it is that which explains his perverse stubbornness and resistance to facts.

Perhaps the term "intellectually defective" would be preferable to "intellectually dishonest" -- for the former term describes the ostensible phenomenon, whereas the latter presumes a judgment absent sufficient evidence (for a liar must know he is lying even as he continues to lie, and we cannot know what's in Auster's head, unless we have in our possession a statement by him telling a confidante something like "I was lying about Steyn and I continue to lie about him for reasons advantageous to me").

That said, having a screw loose does not prevent a person from being otherwise intelligent and perspicacious, and even valuable -- though their value has to be utilized with extra caution, needless to say.

If someone does find themselves at odds with Mr. Auster, and given the known fact that he will remain steadfast to his stated opinion, wouldn't the prudent thing be to avoid directly confronting him relentlessly trying to get him to admit to the whole wide world that he was entirely wrong and you are entirely right, but rather to just let it pass and continue communications with him, then perhaps at some time in the future a better opportunity will present itself when another comment he makes either contradicts the prior contention or otherwise gives you an opening to "remind" him of what he had said and how it was wrong? Publicly calling someone a liar or questioning their sanity is hardly the way to get them to lighten up and see the other side of some supposed disagreement.

At this point, Two Cents, it's not about "getting" Auster to "lighten up". He seems to have shown his inability to do that. And I say that with the utmost control over my passions.

It is fine for someone to analyze a problem and not propose solutions. This could be understandable (though hardly admirable) if they thought they could not maintain their mainstream media position if they spoke too bluntly.

However, there are two things such an analyst should NOT do:

1) Declare the problem unsolveable, declare the catastrophe inevitable, and thus demoralize and discourage their own supporters.

2) Celebrate and delight in the catastrophe.

Steyn is guilty of both. He says the Islamization of Europe is inevitable, whih is the opposite of sounding the alarm. Then he gleefully celebrates the impending demise of Europe. Quotes establishing that Steyn does both of these things can easily be found, as in the collection of Auster writings on Steyn that he linked above.

Those who think that there is some "minor" disagreement between Steyn and Auster need to comprehend the seriousness of the problem with Steyn. What kind of proud member of Western civilization can be gleeful about the demise of Europe?

Clark Coleman,

"Steyn ...says the Islamization of Europe is inevitable, which is the opposite of sounding the alarm."

Not necessarily. It can be a rhetorical formulation by which to slap people awake. From what I've read so far of Steyn, however, it does seem that even if some of his statements might be construed to serve this rhetorical purpose, others seem to undermine it in the direction of a) throwing our hands up in defeatism, and b) consequently seeking to "democratize" Islam "over there" through the Iraq Experiement and other equivalents (e.g., he probably is under the rather common delusion that there exist a few million truly Westernized Muslims in Iran representing yet another significant pocket for that Experiment to help save us from the demographic eventuality he has defeatistically proclaimed).

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Mark Steyn's M.O. is to present the Islamisation of Europe as a fait accompli, an irreversible fact. The title of his book--America Alone--is a statement, not a question.

The multiple Steyn clones that roam the internet - there are many on the large necocon blogs like hotair and lucianne - invariably declare that Europe is finished. On threads related to Europe they will say that the Islamisation of Europe is something that has already happened and link to Steyn's book with its statistics that prove it so. It has been my observation that Steyn's acolytes are totally convinced of the victory of Islam in Europe and see no point in trying to resist the inevitable, as they see it. They also actively discourage others who refuse to accept the battle is lost.

I agree with Clark Coleman that Steyn is not "sounding the alarm". He is doing nothing of the kind. What he is doing through his writings is subtly indicating to his readers - American conservatives - how they should feel about the Islamisation of Europe. He invites them to laugh at it. He makes them comfortable doing this by implying that it is deserved. The main theme of his writings is European perfidy - against Americans who have been repaid for their liberation with scorn and betrayal instead of the love and gratitude they deserve, and against Jews from time immemorial. He stirs his readers to bitterness before hitting them with the punchline--the destruction of Europe as schadenfreude.

This was such an excellent discussion. I'm glad I found it again. Saved for future reference.

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