Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bring back the court jester!

'This is a concept referred to by Victor Davis Hanson (VDH). In the old days, the court jester could fool around and even stick his tongue out at the king, and it was all ok, but if you did it, you'd be in serious trouble. This allowed the king to carry on without seeming too pompous.
VDH points out that we've come back to this situation. For example, it is common to denigrate Western values and the Western mindset, but the very person that mocks those values will rush to a Western hospital to get his appendix removed. But the safety and efficiency of a Western hospital is not disconnected from our value system, its part of it. Which reminds me of a very foolish statement made by an Islamist: "We just want your technology, we don't want all your stupid and decadent values like freedom and democracy". As if the three are separate!

So now my story. I was chatting to an evangelical Christian about Islam and she accused me of just using my Christian background as a cover for Islamophobia and an excuse to attack its theology. Well, like a good Muslim, I know when to be offended, and I found those accusations very offensive - as well as being false. So I pointed out that:
(1) I'm not interested in attacking Muslims. I'm interested in the defects in our constitutional framework and how to fix them.
(2) I'm not interested in a theological battle with Islam. Furthermore, I won't fight for people who won't fight for themselves. So I will stand back and not get involved when Muslims start attacking Christians over here, as happens in all the Muslim majority countries.
She was then very offended and walked off.

So what was her position? It was the Both Ways fallacy which is a special case of self-contradiction. She wants to:
(a) reject my statements as Islamophobic, so she can have the benefit of being in the current narrative and not having to deal with any upsets or rejection
(b) still have me fighting to defend from attacks by Islam, her freedom and that of Christians like her, who refuse to even enter the discussion.

So the next time you find yourself talking with a Christian who's playing Court Jester against our Western freedoms and making an attack against you (even if its only as Devils advocate), don't play along with the charade. If they aren't going to respect those values, and if they aren't going to join you in the fight for those values, you don't have to bust a gut defending their right to those values!

In this respect, I think the Voltaire quote is now dated: "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". That statement belongs to simpler times.

Nowadays, what would be the point in defending the free speech of the Leftists? They will destroy ours by any means available, fair or foul. There is no reciprocity, so if you were to die defending their free speech, all you are doing is handing more power to those neo-fascists of the left.
The next time someone attacks your position as a defender of Western freedoms, make it clear to them that you therefore won't be fighting for their rights to those freedoms. If they're an Islamist, they'll probably be happy with that, as they don't want them anyway, they fundamentally disagree with them. But if they're a Westerner playing court jester, as a convenient way of getting along in the popular narrative, I'm guessing they'll be a bit disturbed!' - Alan Lake, "Bring back the court jester!" in the group UK Room on 4 Freedoms Community
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