"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Causing Jihadists

FrontPage :: Does Affluence Cause Jihad? by Zachary Constantino

Over and over, intellectuals in America and Europe contort themselves trying to excuse the Jihadists of Islam.

Zachary Constantino delineates the essence of the intellectuals' contortions:

"Militant Islam is an ideology embraced by political and economic elites,
including those who hold American passports. Unfortunately, much of the academy
refuses to acknowledge the fact, championing instead “hopeless poverty” and
“economic deprivation” as “root causes” of violence committed by Islamist

The operative term is the fifth word of the first sentence: "ideology." It is also ideology which drives the mental convulsions of the intelligentsia trying to excuse Jihadists. Of course, each comes from differing ideologies, but they unite in a common hatred of the values of the West.

In this blog and on our website, 6th Column Against Jihad, we stress the role of ideas in our war with Jihadists and in the war with their fifth columnists in the "intellectual world." Jihadists draw their ideas from Islam--not political Islam, not radical Islam, not extreme Islam, nor fundamentalist Islam. To paraphrase the political slogan of 1992, "It is Islam, stupid!" Anyone can buy the materials of Islam and read for himself. All it takes is an open mind.

Too few intellectuals have open minds these days, a problem they share with journalists and others in position of power and influence, particularly in politics. Intellectuals learned their stuff in universities influenced by hungover Hegelian and Marixist influences, stuff those philosophers got from Kant, who got it from Augustine, who got it from Plato. Man, our intellectuals ardently believe, is devoid of free will and is shaped solely by his environment. Nevermind that this has been disproved in action, every minute or every day, by capitalism. The minds of these intellectuals got bent out of shape with this absurd ideology, and they made it part of them. Their minds shut, and they went into a mode of function they would never make the effort to change. That mode they use to force all of data from reality through their Hegelian-Marxist filters. When they do this, they start with the conclusion first, the way they want things to work out. Then they work backwards to the basic data, selecting this and omitting that. When the facts of reality do not support their pre-determined conclusions, well, that's no problem--they just confabulate what they want, in some egregious cases.

These Jihadist terrorists and their supporters in America and internationally come from the educated and moneyed, not the impoverished and abused. The article cited, like many similar articles, spells out the better-off backgrounds of these disaffected persons.

Still, the intelligentsia seem unable to get it. Their ideas did not prepare them to analyze the world. Their ideas prepared them to force the facts into predetermined conclusions according to the prevailing ideologies when they were university students.

It is ideas, ideas, ideas. Or, put another way, it is philosophy. Philosophy in this case means that body of ideas one has assimilated into one's habitual mental functioning and character. We all have philosophies, even if we may be unaware of them.

Why do these Jihadists use the ideas of Islam to set the course of their lives and justify their actions? That requires answering in detail, but, for the moment, it must suffice to say that people choose their ideas. Yes, they may passively accept ideas, but that in itself is an act of choice. The smart thing is to challenge one's passively accepted ideas, keep the good ones, and replace the bad ones with good ones. Few undertake this, although it remains possible for anyone to do, because it is in the nature of the human mind. True, it gets harder to do the older one gets, but it still can be done. In other words, the Jihadists can elect other courses. They do not. For that, they deserve execution, and Islam deserves either total reform or annihilation.

We, human beings, control our lives. If we let ourselves be misshaped by poverty, etc., keeping the misshaping or reshaping ourselves is still the individual responsibility of each of us.


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