"For who can yet believe, though after loss,
that all these puissant legions,
whose exile hath emptied Heaven,
shall fail to reascend Self-raised,
and repossess their native seat?"
Book one, verses 631-634
Conservatives seem baffled by the animosity held by liberals towards Christians and Jews. Christianity requires the believer submit to authority, accept the rule of government, be charitable to his fellow; in short, be a model citizen. Ditto the Jews, who held these requirements even longer than the Christians. Why are liberals so hostile to both? For that matter, why do liberals seem so smitten with that 7th century holdover known as Islam? Why do those on the Left seem less than eager to defend our freedom and way of life from the ravages of Islamic Jihad?
To understand this, it is necessary to examine the intellectual underpinnings of modern Liberal thought. We must begin with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Godfather of modern liberalism, in his treatise The Social Contract:
"MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains."
Why? George Bush, of course, but also because
"It was in these circumstances that Jesus came to set up on earth a spiritual kingdom, which, by separating the theological from the political system, made the State no longer one, and brought about the internal divisions which have never ceased to trouble Christian peoples. As the new idea of a kingdom of the other world could never have occurred to pagans, they always looked on the Christians as really rebels, who, while feigning to submit, were only waiting for the chance to make themselves independent and their masters, and to usurp by guile the authority they pretended in their weakness to respect. This was the cause of the persecutions.
"What the pagans had feared took place. Then everything changed its aspect: the humble Christians changed their language, and soon this so-called kingdom of the other world turned, under a visible leader, into the most violent of earthly despotisms.
"Several peoples, however, even in Europe and its neighborhood, have desired without success to preserve or restore the old system: but the spirit of Christianity has everywhere prevailed. The sacred cult has always remained or again become independent of the Sovereign, and there has been no necessary link between it and the body of the State. Mahomet held very sane views, and linked his political system well together; and, as long as the form of his government continued under the caliphs who succeeded him, that government was indeed one, and so far good."
So, Christianity and Judaism, by giving the World Separation of Church and State, destroyed the old pagan order and splintered the power of the collective will. To those who believe in this collective and the exercise of the will of society over the individual, there can be no worse crime. The results were ‘the most violent of earthly despotisms' while the Islamic world, that model of theocratic benevolence, offered a government ‘so far good'".
(It is ironic that the Left would use that very Christian concept of separation between Church and State as a tool to eliminate the author of this division.)
Those who would revolutionize society, who would remake America in their own neo-pagan, atheistic mold, find the fundamental weakening of the power of the State intolerable (since it is only by that power that their will can triumph), and would prefer to institute a system more akin to that of Muhammad. They admire Islam for maintaining the ancient regime, although they ultimately plan to displace Allah with a Man-centered deity.
Of course, the liberal also hates being constrained in any way, and traditional morality flows, as they perceive it, from the Church down. By raising Islam as an alternative to Christendom, the liberal hopes to bludgeon the keepers of morality. Islam can help with the dirty work of crushing the usurper ideologies of Christianity and Judaism, and then, of course, their turn will come.
Then, too, we can look to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who believed not in the rationality of Christendom, but in a mythical Greek paradise ruled by "Dionysian" creative forces - emotionalism and irrationality. These forces were vanquished by the rise of Socratic intellectualism and the coming of Christianity. Nietzsche argued further against a fixed reality in his unpublished work `On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense', claiming that what we think of as truth is merely a convention agreed upon by society, thus freeing Man from the tyranny of concrete reality.
This wild spirit, this vision of the anti-mind slithers throughout liberal thought and can be seen in numerous left-wing positions; being soft on crime, spiritual environmentalism, their admiration for dictators such as Castro and Mao, and in their current love affair with radical Islam. Terrorism is the ultimate irrational force, a violence aimed at random destruction and mayhem. It holds kinship with the bloodlust of the Marxists and Nazis, and, as such, is a ``creative force`` by Nietzschean standards. (Oh, and Nietzsche also hated Christians and Jews, and was a prime inspiration for National Socialism; copies of Thus Spoke Zarathustra were issued to German soldiers during World War One, gaining the interest of a certain corporal...)
A return to the "good old days" of the 7th Century, to a time before paradise was lost to the tyranny of Judeo-Christian intellectualism seems preferable to modern liberals, who have flatly rejected Hobbes` view of primitive life as solitary poor, hard, nasty, brutish, and short. We especially see this in the neo-paganism of the environmentalist movement; they dream of a lost pastoral Eden where mankind could be free of the drudgery of industrial life and the endless intellectual toil. A great many on the Left wish to overthrow the current order, replacing it with this twisted Nietzschean/Rousseauian mirage stolen from the Book of Genesis.
Of course, to those who do not believe in a concrete reality, as many liberals do not, one system is as good as another, and we have no right to judge the Moslem on how he conducts his affairs. Since the Jihadist's reality is equally valid as the Westerner's, we are practicing moral Imperialism if we force our Judeo-Christian moral law on them. This is exacerbated by the fact that they are Third World peoples; many liberals, deep in their hearts, are pulling for what they perceive as the underdog - in this case the terrorist murdering thug-at the expense of their own culture. A racist, sexist, homophobic, power-mad society such as ours deserves to be taught a lesson! Even if the teacher is racist, sexist, homophobic, and power-mad, they aren't Western, Christian, or White! They aren't Dick Cheney! Power to the people!
There is a strain of masochism involved here as well; the white liberal perceives himself as having unfairly benefited from his station in life, having lived well on the backs of the poor. Somebody must be punished for this! He will flagellate himself in his mind, and will support those who will punish his country, because justice demands retribution, and America has lived far too well. If we must endure terrorist attacks to atone for our sins, so be it! Perhaps we should do the decent thing and die; let others have their turn at the table.
Here Socialist thinking comes into play; there is only so much to go around, and we have been hogging it for too long. For those in the Arab world to live better, we must exit the stage. It's only fair!
The Liberal ultimately believes that the culture we have built, the triumph of Judeo-Christian values, is diseased and must be erased. If Islam can do their work for them, so be it. Islam, like the State under Marx, will ultimately wither away, and the paradise which predated Christ and Abraham can be restored. At least they like to think so.
Much like Milton's fallen angels, they believe they have been dispossessed of their rightful station by a tyrannical spiritual entity, and they are determined to repossess their native seat-the fallen pastoral paradise promised them by Rousseau and Nietzsche-via the triumph of their Collective Will. This is their prime mover, their principle motivation. It is why they were so enraged at the loss of their political power, and why they hate the ``usurper`` George W. Bush; they were driven out before they could attain paradise. This concept-lifted from Christian doctrine-that History has an ultimate end in a Humanistic Eden cannot be overstressed; the Left is consumed with this. They feel that, by losing their political power, they have been cast into the Lake of Fire.
"They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
waved over by that flaming brand, the gate
with dreadful faces throng`d, and fiery arms."
(Book XVII, verses 642-644)
Timothy Birdnow blogs at Birdblog.