What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Betraying Free Speech.

Canada persecutes Mark Steyn for writing that Islam is a threat to the West. The New York Times, having ignored that drama for months, takes the opportunity to dilate tendentiously on the uniqueness of American tolerance for Free Speech, implicitly comparing Steyn to Nazis, and naturally burying his response in the last two paragraphs of a long article. The few European politicians and thinkers with the guts to stand up to creeping Islamization, find themselves betrayed and denounced in America, and likewise compared to Nazis and fascists, by prominent bloggers. Readers will recall the pitifully tepid response from the West to the beleaguered Danes during the Cartoon Jihad.

And now we have this, as reported by Josh Trevino: In Kuala Lumpar, at the Third International Conference on the Muslim World, three prominent Muslim leaders called on the West to renounce Free Speech in order to accommodate Islamic sensibilities; and the three Westerns who spoke uttered not a word of protest.

Now Conservatives have long had an ambiguous relationship with Free Speech; it has usually been Liberals who thrill to the invocation of Voltaire’s famous dictum, or nod sagely at Supreme Court opinions protecting the vilest pornography. But this pattern is eroding rapidly, under various pressures, not the least of which is, indeed, this amalgam of militancy and victimology from so many Muslim spokesmen. Liberals, in the face of these pressures, are prepared to jettison the principle of Free Speech. The Canadian human rights tribunal, before the bar of which Mr. Steyn must make his case that warning of the threats to the West from Islam is not hate speech, has never returned an acquittal. Any court in the world, dealing with actual criminals, which boasted such a conviction rate, would undoubtedly draw the ire of civil liberties Liberals from ‘round the world. This one, since it merely silences disfavored opinion, is uninteresting to them. A man could earn more sympathy from them by taking up arms against America, and being imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Indeed, such a man can now, thanks to the despots of our Supreme Court, expect more robust due process rights than a critic of Islam in Canada.

It is a pitiful spectacle to watch Liberals abandon one of their cherished principles under threat from the Jihad. The hectoring of its agitators is often so transparent as to be almost comical. And yet the Liberals (and not a few Conservatives) roll over, suddenly deferential to an alien system, from which has emerged some of the cruelest and most treacherous enemies our country has ever faced.

How often has it been left to Conservatives to preserve what is good in the Liberal tradition?

Comments (8)

"How often has it been left to Conservatives to preserve what is good in the Liberal tradition?"

I suspect, pretty often. And it will be more so as time goes on.

It's perhaps worth pointing out too the _connection_, rather than opposition, between the Canadian "human rights" commission's persecution of people for criticizing Islam and their persecution of people for criticizing homosexuality, as here, for example:


Some conservatives tend to set the Islamic agenda and the homosexual agenda in opposition to each other, along the lines of "which is worse, liberalism or Islam." But in point of fact, not only is the mechanism the same, the background philosophy of undermining Christian values and conservatism are the same.

The trouble with the liberal tradition is not that it is wholly false, but that it has isolated, exaggerated, absolutized, and deformed goods which are so in relation and proportion to other goods, and in differing social and cultural contexts. But when this corruption-by-abstraction is elevated to the status of a creed or ideology, as it has been in modern times - particularly with respect to the question of tolerance - it becomes an inveterate and implacable adversary of the Christian religion. Some still profess astonishment at this; a close reading of canonical liberal texts, such as those of J.S. Mill, should dispel such states of mind - the entire object of specifically liberal freedoms - those exalted beyond all licit measure - is the abolition of Christian social norms and mores, that they might be replaced by whatever progressive dogma happens to be in fashion during our generation. In other words, liberalism proper is negational, a labour of the negative; it does not aim for theoretical or even practical coherence - thus, it can simultaneously exalt homosexuality and Islam, though Islam would have homosexuals stoned or shot - because the point of liberalism is simply to extirpate Christianity.

This sort of liberalism, as could be observed even in Mill's time, is a creed of a self-anointed elite, entitled to reconstruct human social relations according to its 'lights'. Here, too, it is obvious that coherence is not the point; liberalism also functions as the ideological myth of a specific sociological formation, and its tenets do not have to hang together logically. They merely have to ensure that this sociological formation retains power. And this, they do.

Thanks, Paul.

Poor Mark Steyn. People on the left take him for some sort of neo-Nazi. While some people on the right take him for a liberal nihilist. Very few on either side seem to care enough to defend his right to say what he thinks.

Despite Lawrence Auster's dislike of Steyn (which I don't really entirely get), he does pretty much do exactly that (defending his freedom of speech) here:


Btw, if Steyn stays in the U.S., is he safe from this kangaroo commission's rulings? Is it Maclean's that's going to have to pony up the inevitable fine, since they can't exactly leave Canada?

It is a pitiful spectacle to watch Liberals abandon one of their cherished principles under threat from the Jihad.

Mr. Cella,

Free speech was never a principle for the liberals, not really anyway. It was rather always only a means to an end: when they saw that the principle of free speech could be used to destroy good order, they were its champions. Now that destruction may be wrought by restricting free speech, why should one expect them to still champion it?

Of course, there are some Liberals who believe in free speech, but the true high priests of Liberalism harbor no such illusions.

These "Human Rights Commissions" make it into the news every once in a while. I had to do a double take to see that you said Steyn was being "persecuted," not "prosecuted," which is the word often used.

Because he isn't being prosecuted. Steyn hasn't violated any laws. The Human Rights Commissions/Tribunals are not courts. They exist entirely so that people can complain and be patted on the head.

I just wish the media would ignore them entirely, because they are an embarrasment, not a threat.

Yeah, ordering pastors to pay fines and publish apologies which amount to retractations of their religious beliefs is _not a threat_, get that, _not a threat_. Levying large fines on small businesses for "discrimination" is _not a threat_. Investigating priests for promoting Catholic teaching is _not a threat_. Move along, folks, nothing to see here. Our resident postmodernist tells us so. Must be part of his "discourse" to minimize such things.

Compelling religious believers to renounce their convictions is rather Stalinist, I must say. Certainly something to worry about.

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