Needed ASAP: Western Equivalent of ISIL, Moral Equivalent of War
We scratch our heads and wonder what is the big attraction with ISIL, like why would anybody in their right minds go halfway around the world to join this band of misfits and miscreants in their bid to destroy the world by creating it in their image and likeness, especially when it’s white fighters who aren’t—or weren’t—necessarily even Muslims in the first place?
The answer is simple, of course: people are looking for something in their lives, something besides SNL and MDMA, which is about the best that the West has to offer: America, at least. Or, as Mel Gibson’s character in ‘Air America’ said: “I was fighting to defend… chicken BBQs and weinee roasts, and Ray Charles songs and drinkin’ Southern Comfort till you passed out behind the bar.”
There you go. He said it better than I. That’s what we’re trying to cram down the rest of the world’s throat—weenies—lest they mistake unleavened (pita) bread and other Mideast specialties as the food of prophets, with the strict understanding that unless they change their ‘evil ways’, then the wrath of God will be visited upon them, many kilotons of wrath. Unfortunately for some of us, that just is not enough. Weenies are wretched food, a desecration of all that is sacred and holy, and Southern Comfort isn’t much better.
Alcohol used to be a sin, didn’t it? It’s hard to believe that America had Prohibition less than 100 years ago. Since its repeal we’ve pretty much been drunk on our own success, but for a few glitches in the program and a few spots of bother around the world. Some people just can’t appreciate weenies, I guess. But I think we could all agree that our Puritanical roots that were instrumental in getting us Americans the Hell outta Europe are long gone and the morally ambivalent roots that got others the Hell outta’ Africa to slave for us have long taken over, Civil War or not.
Google “moral equivalent—war” and you’ll get all kinds of talk about there being no ‘moral equivalence’ between the US and Russia, the US and ISIL, etc. And that’s certainly an arguable point, both ways, that both sides are equal, whether good or bad, or that there is a clear case of good vs. evil at stake here. But that’s not what William James, originator of the phrase, meant at all. He meant that even as our appetite for war lessens, hopefully, and much faster than he envisioned BTW, we need to cultivate those positive ‘martial’ qualities—discipline, loyalty, dignity, and honor, etc—in other ways.
That’s exactly what ISIL offers as our modern nations—all of them—degenerate into listless consumptive gadget-infested cultures not only singularly obsessed with their iPhones, but with the latest iPhone, to the point of not only camping out in wait for it to arrive in stores, but bragging about it! Imagine that: bragging about being an inconsequential meaningless consumer of manufactured goods! And it’s the same whether in Dubai, Tokyo, Peoria, Barcelona or Lagos! Every year!
And this is in a world threatened with environmental catastrophe and species extinction! Women sell their bodies to buy iPhones! Yes, they do! ISIL offers something else, something simple, i.e. meaning to life—religion, philosophy, and a productive way of life, a way of life that may very well survive the coming Dark Ages (Jihad John has apparently been fired, too, now looking for a job). What’s the West got to compete with that—weenies? Southern Comfort? Cheerleaders? We ain’t got jack; high tech–that’s all. Mix me a Molotov…
Ironically the West DID have something the exact secular analogy to Fundamental Islam, still do, in fact. It’s called Communism (cue thunder claps and sirens screeching). Well, you know the story there: we spent gajillions nipping that little spot of bother in the bud, in order to make the world safe for democracy, weenies, etc; instead we got global warming, obesity, and possible species extinction.
Communism has been vilified and demonized and tortured at the stake all to satisfy the fears of the capitalist ruling class, so that they would be allowed to continue their greedy fat-ass ways, as if by natural design, when in fact the only thing that kept them honest was that very fear. Communism kept capitalism honest all those years, and since its fall it has no such need any more.
And admittedly Communism made some mistakes—BIG mistakes—not the least of which was the devaluation of human existence and the persecution of spirituality, when in fact spirituality was the very thing that could have made it work, that and a proportionately decreased emphasis on materialism. Kids and old folks need it; instead they got condoms, tobacco, alcohol—and Stalin. Ouch.
But I don’t hesitate to say that we would have no global warming—or imminent species extinction—if we’d ‘gone Communist’ a hundred, fifty, or even thirty years ago, to which the obvious retort is, “Yep, nor iPhones, nor iPads, nor I-anything, except maybe I-suicide—point taken. After all, the best argument against Communism is and always has been: “Yes, everybody equal, because everybody poor.” Ouch again.
But that was then; this is now. We ‘small planet’ people of the 60’s missed the digital revolution and the value that it could add at little cost to finite resources—oops, our bad! Yeah, so all we did was delay the inevitable for fifty years. Now we have little choice. Capitalists are killing the planet, and that’s a fact. Problem is: we’ve all bought into the myth, and now it may be too late.
I don’t know any polite way to say this: we’ve gotten soft; we’re now creatures of the state, creatures of comfort, citizens of the culture, wards of the world, slaves to convenience and martyrs to our mothers. We shout the battle-cry of independence and yet no one is independent. No one can change a tire any more and even fewer can fix a car. We need Mexicans to do our dirty work, while we insult them in the process. That’s the moral equivalent of war—independence, frightful fruitful independence. We better get started learning how to do some sh*t. We’ll need the skills soon.