Small items to illustrate a big subject.
1. Morality for us and for them. Our guides who yield a moral monopoly like to appeal to our principles regarding an unqualified tolerance for diversity. This is done, even if society suffers from the criminal lawlessness of uninvited immigrants and fake refugees. According to the sermon, accepting transgressions tests mature democracy and morals.
Interestingly, when in non-Western countries the indigenous and aliens are subjected to violence by mobs or rulers with a mafia mentality, then censure is said to be inappropriate. The furthest one may go is to express “regret”. Pleas for an appropriate reaction are anathema. Native actions are said to express folkways rooted in culture. “Respect” is due to other cultures. That makes the binding ethical norms for household use here inappropriate abroad for they reflect a cultural bias.
2. Tolerance tales. Should there be mandated tolerance for those that are, by principle intolerant? Such as in the case of elements that feel to possess the only truth. These go beyond the claim to practice the religion that pleases God most. In other faiths, they discover blasphemy to be fought with every means. Would the condemnation of the resulting deeds not limit religious freedom and, by being associated with certain origins, rate as “racism”?
The issue came up, among other places, in France. That country is proud of “laicism”, the total separation of state and religion. Due to her colonial past, the country attracts immigrants. These accept the principles by which their hosts live only when these are to their advantage. Overall, they recognize selectively as binding only those norms of their chosen host that involve distributive services.
A politician from outside of the National Front – that movement feels pressured by the accommodation of elements that wish to change France into something in which the indigenous do not feel at home – has articulated an injury. He talked about the racism of those residents that dislike the “White” natives. That broke a taboo. Invoking racism is becoming a privilege reserved to immunity seeking aliens and non-Whites. The upshot of the claim is apprehension. Therefore the Left and the “Liberals” claim nativist racism. The National Front –a party with about 18% in a multi-party system- complains that their program and issue is being stolen.
3. The advantage of disadvantage. If confronted with criticism listing collective or personal “bad habits” such as lawlessness, some groups in Europe tend to invoke the race card. Those that call attention to self-destructive comportment, such as avoiding schooling, becoming as a result unqualified and therefore condemned to unemployment, have their findings dismissed as racist. When this writer was young, as Semites, Arabs were “white”. Could it be that the new tag has something to do with the advantage incurred by being officially disadvantaged?
An American candidate for office claims to be a 1/32nd “Native American”. The proof is that her mother has told her. Does this gain in credulity because the lady has problems with her licenses? Furthermore, is such an ancestry relevant when a person holds advanced degrees from elite schools?
In some countries, individuals interested in appointments discover themselves to be Gypsies even if they were previously not known as such. Your correspondent ponders the possibility of declaring himself a Mongolian. (The Magyars settled in Europe 1100 years ago and, having Asian origins, they are not Indo-Europeans.) The Slovak politician that has called the Hungarians “ugly black people” that ride equally unsightly small horses will support the claim.
The time could come when in advanced countries that can afford neo-tribalism, the list of “human rights” will be amended. A new freedom to belong to a minority will be added. It will be up to the individual to choose his own category. Any questions will be racial attacks. There is a monkey-wrench in this path to justice. Someone will have to be consigned to the “majority”. By law, exiting that group must be restricted to secure compensation payments. Perhaps a creative application of the slavery clause will bring the members some relief.
4. Bear no bad news. A Swiss legislator that the writer respects has complained that some of his peers in other parties accept his facts but refuse to act upon them. The cause is that he represents the right-of-center People’s Party –the country’s largest. He failed to comprehend why, after presenting the unchallenged “numbers”, the response is a detour around them because the association with “extremism” is feared.
The case demonstrates a universal tendency. In earlier days, if you had no case you were told to shout in court. Nowadays, if you lack arguments you invoke “extremism”. Furthermore, if the facts puncture a thesis, then that is bad news for the sinking speculation. It is natural to refuse to acknowledge Pollyanna thinking. There is a soothing response when reality bangs on the door of fantasy. Make those that deliver the reality check of your theory responsible for causing the bad news that life and nature produce. How does this work? You prove that the energy policy proposed will cause a shortage with destructive results for the economy. In this case, you bear the responsibility for causing the shortfall.
5. The same is not always equal. Increasingly, letters to the Editor make the point that no fuss needs to be made about Iran’s bomb. (For good reason, the earlier allegation that no bomb is built is fading.) If Israel has a nuke, then why not let Tehran have one? This is a catching argument. However, if the unstated intentions behind the weapon are considered, then matters take a different shape. Israel has not threatened to wipe Iran off the map. Nor is she inclined to solve the Palestinian problem by a “final solution”. The Mullahs build their bomb for a purpose: to erase the “Zionist Entity”.
6. The “system” works. That can be bad news. In Romania, a formally legal, but in its purpose crooked, coup produced a new parliamentary majority. That made Mr. Ponta head of government. The person is new but the party is not. Ponta is a Socialist and as such a member of the Ceausescu gang. That means that Dracula is back and haunts the neighborhood.
To secure his grip, Ponta had to eliminate President Basescu who is, admittedly, no Easter Lamb either. The completion made an election necessary. Ponta lost, as he could not drive enough voters to the polls to reach a quorum.
Newly, a computer analysis was made of the voters by using their registration numbers. The effort revealed a miracle. A record is set. With government issued absentee ballots, one voter expressed his preference nineteen times. There is also material proof of life beyond death. Crowds of the departed have returned to vote. Chicago has a lot to learn. Meanwhile, Romanian sources indicate that the revealed cheating does not include those cases when not the voter but a proxy has voted.