April 22, 2015
Aristotle and Confucius would be dumbstruck by today’s conventional wisdom that the competent should not upbraid the incompetent.
Privilege is basically a form of property, and as John Locke pointed out, property is what makes a civilization rather than a Libyan war zone of Hobbesian anarchy. The world is a better place when people can work constructively to earn privileges, individual and collective, and pass some of them on to their heirs. It’s not a coincidence that some variant of the word “privilege” appears 22 times in Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France.
Indeed, that these Muslim atrocities in Europe are being carried out by people who don”t deserve to be allowed into the countries they victimize is particularly appalling. To be preyed upon by those stronger than you is bad enough; but to allow your artists and children to be slaughtered and defiled by barely organized foreigners who could be kept out by simple acts of national self-respect is far more shameful.
Personally, I never published on my blog any of the cartoons of Muhammad created in Denmark a decade ago, probably because I”m a coward. Getting murdered by a furious holy man sounds like a pointless way to go.
I”m perfectly willing to abide out of courtesy with Islamic strictures against drawing pictures of Muhammad, since it seems like something that gets them very agitated without doing anything for me at all. I”ve never wanted to draw a picture of Muhammad and can”t think of any reason I”d want to.
In contrast, my politeness doesn”t extend to, say, ignoring the facts that are absolutely central to understanding the contemporary world, such as racial differences in average IQ (which can”t get you killed, hopefully, but can get you fired very quickly in our witch-sniffing era).
Obviously, publishing cartoons insulting Muhammad is a turf-marking step, a way for Europeans to say, “This is our country. We do things our way here.”
My view, though, is that Muhammad cartoons are a distraction from what really matters: you shouldn”t let a lot of people with Iron Age barbarian prejudices into your country in the first place, and if you make that mistake, you should rectify it by persuading most of them to leave.