Saturday, July 25, 2015

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Mark Steyn’s reflections on Charlie Hebdo’s defeat are apt:

The slippery, weaselly nature of the post-bloodbath support told Charlie Hebdo it was only going to get lonelier. It’s hard standing on your feet when everyone else with the #JeSuisCharlie buttons is on their knees, bottoms in the air, prostrate before the fanatics. And so Charb’s successor has opted to live on his knees.

#JeSuisCharlie? Even Charlie isn’t Charlie now.

I have no particular urge to die standing, but I really don't want to live in the world this malign alliance of Islamic imperialists and hollow western appeasers is building for us. So we must resist it on all fronts.

I would add this: In the end, what Charlie Hebdo was standing up for, free speech, is a means to an end. It’s value comes from what you do with it. Charlie Hebdo used speech to lambast things that are worth defending. So when the time comes to defend their right to ridicule things that are worth defending, what then?

Secularist Europe exemplifies the modern contradiction. The momentum of the past dissipated long ago. Nothing sustains it now. They are culturally rudderless, neutered, “men without chests” as C. S. Lewis put it. Many people locked arms and Twitter accounts and “stood with Charlie.” But why did they stand with Charlie? It surely was not out of some bold, fiery allegiance to truth or to the one true God. It was to free speech itself, which is worth dying for because... uh... I’ll get back to you when I figure it out.

Islam is based on no less of a contradiction, but it has the advantage of vigor. They think they have a divine imprimatur. In a duel against an unmotivated opponent, you should favor Islam.

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