Quick Roundup 181

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This one has to live up to its first name. I'm in a hurry this morning!

Leftism and the Blacksburg Massacre

Commenting on a poorly-researched piece about the subject I recently blogged, Jim May pointed me to a much more compelling case, made by Oleg Altabashian, for the relationship between leftism and the actions of Cho Seung-Hui. Here are a few excerpts.

  • I can't help but deduce that the ugly picture they paint of America is something they see every morning in the proverbial mirror -- a brainless, spineless, useless creature with an ego so huge that it obscures the horizon. It's the image they love to loathe, and they project this loathing on the rest of us with all the energy of their "progressive" synapses. "Take this, America! You made me do this!"
  • In the days of "Beltway Sniper" shootings five years ago I debated a group of "progressive humanists" who "weren't too sorry for the victims" either, calling them exactly that -- "white, rich, and privileged" -- even though it wasn’t always the case. The way these "humanists" could dehumanize their fellow humans by wrapping them into Marxist labels was confounding. Even more confounding was their compulsive need to look for redeeming signs of class strife in any sociopathic murder case.
  • "Progressivism" remains more or less benign as long the nation on which exists like a parasite remains wealthy. But as soon as the wealth is squandered and there are no surpluses left to redistribute, human sacrifice begins. [bold added]
The last quote indicates an additional weakness to the one that Jim pointed out when he complained that the piece "describes collectivism very well, but without naming it": If leftism is "benign" (a debatable point), the underlying altruism that makes it possible is definitely not. I would have liked to see that said, too. Nevertheless, the piece is far and away better than much of the other commentary I have seen.

Mark Steyn on Passivity

Andy over at the Charlotte Capitalist links to a piece by Mark Steyn that notes the alarming prevalence of passivity in modern Western culture. From Steyn:
We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom's security blanket. Geraldo-like "protection" is a delusion: when something goes awry -- whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus -- the state won't be there to protect you. You'll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. ... [T]he default position [in our society today] is a terrible enervating passivity. Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.
Andy correctly attributes this passivity in action to passivity in mind, which is a consequence of our society's eroding appreciation for reason. This reflects the waning influence of Enlightenment ideas on our culture, which is being supplanted by the religious approach of simply taking things on faith.

Three Videos on the Christian Right

Mike M at Primacy of Awesome has been actively blogging lately about the threat to freedom posed by theocrats. Yesterday, he recommended three videos on this problem, which is far greater than many think it is. All are available through Netflix.

-- CAV

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