Category Archives: utopianism

Islamism’s intellectual content is nugatory and contemptible

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.23.31Mohammedanism rushes in where Marxism can no longer tread

The downfall of the Soviet Union, writes Dalrymple, resulted in

an ideological vacuum for people seeking a total explanation of their discontents, people who—thanks to the spread of semi-education—were probably more numerous, and therefore more desperate, than ever. The only alternative on hand, and one with much deeper roots than Marxism, was fundamentalist Islam.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.19.44Islamism’s

intellectual content—the idea that a return to Islamic practices of the past (apart from the use of Kalashnikovs, etc.) is the solution to life’s woes everywhere—is so nugatory and contemptible that it is not worth an intelligent person’s efforts to refute it, any more than it is worth trying to refute the idea that the moon is made of blue cheese.

Alas, says Dalrymple,

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.19.21nothing is so foolish that some philosopher has not said it, and no utopia is so absurd that people cannot be found to believe in it and, worse still, fight for it.

Islamism

would form yet another chapter in Walter B. Pitkin’s A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity (nearly 600 pages long) had the author not died in 1953.

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Muslim men bent on evil

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 09.09.26Those who become terrorist murderers cannot, of course, be satisfied with what Western society offers them, for they are, Dalrymple points out,

in the grip of a utopian ideology.

So were many successful people in the West once attracted to communism,

another ideology that would have destroyed their own freedom.

Imbecile militants of libertinism

Havelock Ellis

Havelock Ellis

Dalrymple writes that the shallow, twisted and dishonest sexual revolutionists’ ideas

about the relations between men and women—entailing ever greater sexual liberty, ever less mastery of the appetite—were so absurd and utopian that it is hard to understand how anyone could have taken them seriously. But mere absurdity has never prevented the triumph of bad ideas.

Their sensibilities

have permeated our society. The Dionysian has triumphed over the Apollonian. No grace, no reticence, no measure, no dignity, no secrecy, no depth, no limitation of desire is accepted.

There is, writes Dalrymple,

denial that sexual relations are a proper subject of moral reflection or that they need to be governed by moral restrictions. The result is soaring divorce rates and mass illegitimacy.

He points to the profound

change in moral sensibility, in the direction of a thorough coarsening of feeling, thought, and behaviour.

Islamic vice advanced by Western gutlessness

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 07.45.02The problem, writes Dalrymple,

lies at least as much with us as with them. By our cowardice, often inadvertently, we support and encourage Islamism. There are many stories of Christmas decorations being taken down, no reference to Christmas being made in case it should offend, etc., when no demand from the Muslim population that these things should be done has been made. It is an anticipatory cringe that encourages the extremists to push a little harder at what they think is a half-open door.

A fine US example of this genre, he notes, is the bowdlerisation of Yale University Press’s book on the Jyllands-Posten Mahomed cartoons affair.

Many Islamist terrorists, Dalrymple points out, have gone through a libertine phase. Muslim men in the West very often immerse themselves in libertinism, but if at all reflective, may come to discover that

libertinism is not the answer to life’s dissatisfactions, and will then find a ready-made utopian ideology at hand, one which emerges from their own background and is therefore a source of pride to them.

Intellectual propaganda against all forms of commerce

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 03.09.17In Britain in the 1970s, it was, writes Dalrymple,

very necessary to try to undo the effect of many years of intellectual propaganda against all forms of commerce, which the intelligentsia then thought was intrinsically besmirching in a way that public service funded by taxation was not. The utopia peddled by the intellectuals was of a society in which everybody and everything was subsidised. (The ultimate source of the subsidies, of course, was of no interest or concern.)

Nothing is more dangerous than utopianism

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 00.54.51New Australia

Dalrymple on a ‘search for transcendence or forgetfulness on the political plane’ in Paraguay. The scheme ‘descended quickly into chaos, schism and squalor’. He quotes from Stewart Grahame’s 1912 account, with its prophetic last sentence:

Few, even among Socialists, realise the ferocity of Socialism. Of course they are aware of the frightful episodes which occurred during the Reign of Terror in Paris – but they believe that those sanguinary occurrences were occasions by other contemporary causes, and would not necessarily recur if State Socialism were now established. The few logical Socialists of to-day fully recognise, however, that a period of absolute tyranny – during which all opponents of Socialism, and even all Socialists who fail to agree with the precise view of their brother Socialists in power, would be pitilessly sacrificed for the sake of producing uniformity of aim among its citizens – would usher in the ‘Coming State’….In a small community, expulsion; in an international Socialist State, the lethal chamber, will be the fate of persistent offenders against the established conventions. And this though the executive authorities of the State may be, personally, the mildest and most human of men. The ferocity of the Socialist State will be, of course, a legalised ferocity; that is, it will be exercised nominally for the benefit of the State. The method of its working will be as emotionless and merciless as the vengeance of the worker bees upon the drones….The sordid drama rehearsed, on a tiny stage, at New Australia, may soon be played on a vast scale with the whole world for a theatre. When that day comes it will be a tragedy indeed!