Thank you to @bullfrog35 for calling my attention to the near conclusion of this Gadi Taub piece. The specific context is the willingness of the media to believe Hamas over Israel. But its relevance also transcends that.
Anti-Semitism always stirs from its slumber within a specific context, so we need to ask about that, too. And the contemporary context is the broader moral framework bequeathed us by the student rebellions of the 1960s. The liberal democratic worldview has been sinking into the rot of moral kitsch for over half a century now. Increasingly we identify weakness with right, and power, irrespective of the goals for which it’s invoked, with wrong. Since the West has been powerful since the advent of modernity, we now categorize it automatically on the side of evil…
For two generations, we’ve been educating students to believe the philosophical absurdity that liberalism is an illiberal view, whereas the enemies of liberalism are actually its best friends, those who will teach us to improve it.
That is exactly correct.
But it’s also inevitable that a powerless (or a left lacking total power which is much the same thing) seeks to justify its revolution by calling for the destruction of the existing order. And allying with those eager to do it. It is illiberal, but what we called liberalism had also been infected with a weakened immune system against the illiberalism of the left. Eventually it succumbed to the left.
And so we now have Slate articles denouncing the Enlightenment. Punching up vs punching down. Intersectionality and its endless analyses of power.
A while back, I wrote about the power of weakness in the political paradigm.
Weakness is one of the greatest forms of power imaginable in the modern West. Weakness grants irresponsibility for personal actions and more importantly in a collectivist society, it provides freedom from for the collective burdens of society and civilization.
Since all responsibility ultimately devolves to the society, not to the individual, and since the degree of individual responsibility depends on the degree of his connection with the society– the less the connection, the less the responsibility. The man driving to work from the suburbs is more responsible for a murder in the ghetto than the actual murderer because he has helped create the conditions that led to the murder.
The “weak” murderer is better than the “strong” murder victim because being outside society, he is not truly responsible for anything. Not for his own actions or for the ozone layer, for toxic waste, illegal wars, unrealistic portrayals by the media and the rest of the litany of guilt that the left recites every day in its ceaseless prosecution of all of society and civilization.
Either way it comes down to the same thing. Powerlessness is power. The enemies of civilization are its reformers. Slavery is freedom.