19 June 2007

A Good Read - Victor Davis Hanson

I don't usually like to post large excerpt of articles here. I figure that folks can find and read on their own, given a link. This morning, however, I read an article by the estimable V.D. Hanson, a classicist who also happens to write a fair bit. His articles are always well thought out and reasoned, which makes him easy to read and relevant.

The topic of this article is how "revolutionaries and insurrectionists" (in their many forms) come to undermine societies and then plead that their methods are not used upon them. I strongly urge you to read it.

Quoting the end of the article at length:
What lies behind this abject hypocrisy of first undermining civilization and then demanding that it reappear in the hour of need?

Double standards depend on demanding from United States and Europe a sort of impossible perfection. When such utopianism is not--and never can be--met, cheap accusations of racism, colonialism, and imperialism follow. Such posturing is intended to con the West into feeling guilty, and, with such self-loathing, granting political concessions, relaxing immigration, or handing over more foreign aid. Left unsaid is that such critics of the West will always ignore their own hypocrisy, and, when convenient, destroy civilized norms while expecting someone else to restore them when needed.

What, then, to do? Stop feeling guilty, apologizing, and trying to rationalize barbarity. Instead insist on the same uniform standards of humane behavior from our critics that they now demand from us.

Finally, remember that there is a reason why millions flood into Europe from the Middle East and to America from Mexico--and not vice versa. There is a reason why Democrats and Republicans don't shoot each other in the streets of Washington, or why blue-state America does not mine red-state highways. And there is a reason why a Shiite mosque in Detroit is safer in the land of the Great Satan than it would be in Muslim Saudi Arabia. It's called civilization--a precious and fragile commodity that is missed even by its destroyers the minute they've done away with it.

Sober words and well written.

And just to tag on, Mr. Hanson reminds me what it means to be educated. Education does not mean gaining a job skill; it means learning how to think, how to reason.

No comments: