The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Extremism À la Carte

I composed this column in July 2012 but never posted it until now. It has
been updated to refer to current events.

Geller
reports facts and truths:
 Facts and Truths are labeled “extremism.”
In Joel Brinkley’s July 20th SF
Gate article
, “Morsi’s
silence on extremism speaks volumes,”
the term extremists occurs five times, extremism
once (in the title). Although he employs the term so many times, he does not
know what it means. Aside from that paucity of understanding, his incredulity speaks
volumes about his ignorance of the nature of the “Arab Spring.”
Mohammed Morsi has been Egypt’s president for less
than a month, and already senior clerics in his country and around the Islamic
world are loudly calling for the demolition of the pyramids, Egypt’s most
important tourist attraction and among the Seven Wonders of the World.
Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi’i called them
heinous “symbols of paganism.” In recent days, similar calls have
been echoing through Egypt and the region, including one from a Bahraini sheikh
who urged Morsi to “destroy the pyramids and accomplish what the Amr bin
al-As could not.” He was referring to the Prophet Muhammud’s companion who
conquered Egypt in the seventh century but didn’t have the technological
wherewithal to accomplish the task.
Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood’s triumphant president of Egypt. The
Brotherhood is dedicated to transforming the country into one governed by
primitive, brutal, misogynist, barbaric Sharia law.
What’s surprising is that Morsi has had nothing to
say about this, not a word. Neither has he said anything about numerous
“freelance” efforts to enforce other elements of Shariah law across
Egypt, even though his new government hasn’t said that’s his plan.
Of course, what people like Brinkley do not grasp is that Morsi isn’t
an “extremist.” He represents the essence
of Islamic religious and political doctrine. He isn’t going to question calls
to destroy the pyramids or impose jizya
on Copts. His “silence” is an implicit sanction of those ideas and
worse. After all, he ran on the platform of “purifying” Egypt. What
does Brinkley expect Morsi to say? “Oh, that’s just extremist talk. Pay no attention to it. I’m really just a
moderate.”
Or, take Venezuelan
dictator Hugo Chavez
, who “purified” his country of private
property, freedom of the press, and prosperity.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has signaled a preference in the
U.S. presidential campaign by comparing Mitt Romney to his own challenger.
Chavez, who is up for re-election a month before U.S.
President Barack Obama, has in recent weeks expressed a clear preference for
the man currently in the White House….
 “I believe the
person to best explain the loser’s agenda isn’t Barack Obama but rather Romney,
because it’s the extreme right-wing
agenda that borders on the fascism of the United States,” Chavez told tens of
thousands of supporters in the western city of Maracaibo.
“In the end, it’s the same project,” Chavez said,
referring to Obama as “a good guy.” (Italics
mine.)
Chavez uses that well-worn equivocation of extremism = right wing =
fascism. He’s less adept at the Alinsky-inspired spiel than is President Obama,
but then most Western news agencies remain firmly in the camp of approving of
democratically-elected dictators – it’s the voice of the people, you see – so
they will never stop agreeing with the Chavez’s and Obama’s of the world. They
repeat the terms like hamsters going round and round in a drum. Right wing is also one of those
contentless terms, but it connotes “extremism” and jackbooted fascism
or Nazism. Like extremism, it is a
purely emotive term, meaning “force used by the filthy rich against the
poor.”
But I think that extremism is
one of the worst terms ever to be coined and over-used.” It allows
“moderates” and fence-sitters and pragmatists to evade knowledge of
what our enemies are up to.  It also
allows them to defraud the public of the true identity of its enemies.

“Extremism,” or just Islam?
The terms extremism and extremist date back to the 19th
century, nearly always employed in a political context. The Oxford English Dictionary defines extremist  as: “One who
is disposed to go to the extreme, or who holds extreme opinions.” Extremism is defined as: “Tendency
to be extreme; disposition to go to extremes.” The earliest recorded
instance of the term, according to the OED,
was 1846.
Of course, extremism can also mean inventing the light bulb, as opposed
to almost inventing it. Or shutting a door, as opposed to leaving it cracked
open. Or asserting that one owns one’s life, as opposed to conceding that one
owns only eighty-five percent of it, the balance the property of the state or
of the people or of Allah or God or the next door neighbor.
In her article, “‘Extremism,’
or The Art of Smearing,”
Ayn Rand discusses the role of such terms as isolationism, McCarthyism, and extremism.
About extremism, she wrote:
….[M]ost people do
not know the meaning of the word “extremism”; they merely sense it.
They sense that something is being put over on them by some means which they
cannot grasp. (p. 175)
Now consider the
term “extremism.” Its
alleged meaning is: “Intolerance, hatred, racism, bigotry, crackpot
theories, incitement to violence.” Its real meaning is: “The advocacy
of capitalism.” (p. 176)
She notes further:
To begin with,
“extremism” is a term which, standing by itself, has no meaning. The
concept of “extreme” denotes a relation, a measurement, a degree. The
dictionary [not identified] gives the following definitions: “Extreme,
adj. – 1. Of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average.
2. Utmost or exceedingly great in degree.” 
It is obvious that the first question one has to ask, before using that
term is: a degree – of what? (p. 177)
To answer: “Of
anything!” and to proclaim that any extreme is evil because it is an
extreme – to hold the degree of a
characteristic, regardless of its nature,
as evil – is an absurdity (any garbled Aristotelianism to the contrary
notwithstanding). Measurements, as such, have no value-significance – and
acquire it only from the nature of that which is being measured.
Are an extreme of
health and an extreme of disease equally undesirable? Are extreme intelligence
and extreme stupidity – both equally far removed “from the ordinary or
average” – equally unworthy? Are extreme honesty and extreme dishonesty
equally immoral? Are a man of extreme virtue and a man of extreme depravity
equally evil?
That was written in 1964. Extremism
no longer serves as the boogey man for capitalism. After nearly half a century,
her analysis stands, because it delves into the nature of definitions,
concepts, and anti-concepts, one of which is extremism. And, as usual, she exhibits her unique and unparalleled
prescience with this observation:
Of all the
“anti-concepts”
polluting our cultural atmosphere,
“extremism” is the most ambitious in scale and implications; it goes
much beyond politics. (p. 177)
It is now 2012. Isolationism
has fallen into the dustbin of discarded neologisms. In fact, the Left and
liberals eschew isolationism, because America, in their eyes, has a moral
obligation to be the moral policeman of the globe, selflessly expending lives
and treasure in a never-ending campaign to bring “democracy” to
hell-holes whose populations of cultural zombies have already
“democratically” voted for stagnation and tribalism and tradition. America
must do this, they claim, because it is the richest and most prosperous country
in the world. It is obligated to expend its lives and treasure precisely
because it is these things. Just as the rich, and the near-rich, and the middle
class must divest their wealth, because they are those things. Or have it
expropriated.
McCarthyism occasionally is
trotted out by mentalities who have never otherwise heard of Joe McCarthy or
who vaguely recall that he had something to do with anti-communism.  Those who employ the term – it sounds evil,
and conspiratorial, so why not use it? –now do so reluctantly and cautiously because
they don’t wish to alert their readers that our government is now run by
communists, a.k.a., community organizers.  They don’t want to risk someone asking,
“But wait. Weren’t Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh
community organizers, too? And then there were Hitler, and Mussolini. Didn’t
they organize their communities, as well?”
There will be no intelligible response to such a query. No member of
the White House press corps will venture to ask it. No journalist will even
insinuate it in his copy, because he knows that politicians and bureaucrats now
control the press, and that even the slightest allusion to the fact that
dedicated communists and statists and totalitarians now run the government will
be redacted, blue-penciled, and obliterated from his “news.”
As Jeremy Peters reported on July 15th in The New York
Times:
The quotations come back redacted,
stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly
provocative.
Quote approval is standard practice for
the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all midlevel aides
in Chicago and at the White House — almost anyone other than spokesmen who are
paid to be quoted. (And sometimes it applies even to them.) It is also
commonplace throughout Washington and on the campaign trail.
The Romney campaign insists that
journalists interviewing any of Mitt Romney’s five sons agree to use only
quotations that are approved by the press office. And Romney advisers almost
always require that reporters ask them for the green light on anything from a
conversation that they would like to include in an article.
From Capitol Hill to the Treasury
Department, interviews granted only with quote approval have become the default
position. Those officials who dare to speak out of school, but fearful of
making the slightest off-message remark, shroud even the most innocuous and
anodyne quotations in anonymity by insisting they be referred to as a “top
Democrat” or a “Republican strategist.”
They are sent by e-mail from the Obama
headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials
under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements
can be quoted and attributed by name.
But modern journalists have nothing to learn from the past. William Shirer, journalist,
war correspondent, and author of The Rise
and Fall of the Third Reich
, returning to Germany in 1934, encountered the
very same phenomenon:
… William Shirer
found upon his arrival in Berlin in 1934 that “though the German press was
heavily censored and rigidly controlled there was no censorship of [foreign
journalists’] dispatches.” A colleague warned Shirer that “while you did not
have to submit your copy for approval by the authorities before cabling it, you
had to weigh carefully what you reported about Hitler and the Nazi regime. If
he or his aides, especially Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the fanatical Nazi minister of
propaganda and the watchdog of the foreign correspondents, found it
unacceptable—out you went,” as had happened to Dorothy Thompson the day the
Shirers had arrived in Berlin and to numerous others in the preceding months.
“Quote approval” is just a euphemism for censorship, which is an “extremist” term. Shirer minded
it very much. “Mainstream” journalists don’t seem to mind being
subjected to it at all, as long as they can maintain access to politicians and
bureaucrats whose statements must be examined and vetted before being reported
to the public. Or not. Truth, facts, accountability, honesty – these are all
now the new instances of “extremism.”
And under the broad awning of extremism are the notions of “hate
speech” and Islamophobia. But gag orders and redacting somehow are not
instances of “extremism.”
Extremism has had a notorious
longevity, precisely because, standing by itself, it means nothing, but in the
right context, it can mean anything. It is a term that ignites emotions, not
thought. That is its chief asset: the emotional factor.
The term extremist now does
double duty: it smears anyone or any movement that opposes big government,
reckless spending, high taxes, and so on, and implies that moderates are calm, rational, unhysterical champions of a pragmatic
approach to issues, and would someone please banish those Tea Party whackos
from our civil discourse?  We only want
to conserve the status quo, not see
it smashed and dismantled for the benefit of the rich, and the near-rich, and
the middle class. How can we work to build a perfect, progressive society when
these people keep making noises about their vanishing liberty?
Liberty? Freedom of speech? Individual rights? These terms are all to
be found in that damnable lexicon of extremism.
In regards to Islam, the term serves to distance or divorce
“radical” Muslim politicians who advocate Sharia law, together with
their violent underlings – the suicide bombers and other killers in the name of
Allah – from a “moderate,” peaceful Islam, which, even in its mildest
form, is just a “moderate” form of totalitarianism. The
pseudo-moderate defenders of Islam say, “Those suicide bombers and Hamas
and Hezbollah and the Brotherhood, those extremists,
they don’t really represent Islam at its best” – but neglect to mention
that there is no “best” about or in Islam, neither in its doctrines
nor in its practice. Were it possible for the tens of thousands of victims of
Islamic jihad – living or dead, in America and abroad – in a collective voice
to attest to the “best” face of Islam, one would hear a resounding
and eardrum-splitting merde!
A totalitarian ideology is what it is, and nothing else: a totalitarian
ideology. It is socialism, which is only an overture to total controls. It is
Islam, whose creeping Sharia can only lead to total controls. Secular
totalitarianism requires individuals to defer to the state and perhaps give a
Nazi or Communist salute as proof of his submission and loyalty. Islamic
totalitarianism requires individuals to surrender their individuality and their
minds and bow to Mecca as evidence of their submission and loyalty.
Extremism now not only serves
as a semi-polite expletive with which to smear any defender of freedom, but
also allows an enemy of freedom to point with dissembling insouciance to the
guy who is actually practicing what the enemy preaches: indiscriminate violence,
force, and destruction. 
It is the dedicated, authentic, identifiable, and definable enemies of
freedom who are the true “extremists.”  Slavery and death are their ultimate, most
extreme ends.
Going to “extremes”?
It could mean anything
you wish, as long as the definition is not rational or makes any sense.
Where’s the surge in anti-Muslim or
anti-Islam hate? Where is the violence-ridden “backlash”? Are Islamophobic
drones toppling minarets, dropping fire bombs on mosques, gunning down mobs of
Somalis in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Are Aryan skinheads and corporate
executives in their Abercrombie & Fitch suits storming mosques to disrupt
Muslims?
Extremism means what? It
means the same thing as that equally bogus term, “Radical Islam.” There is
nothing “radical” about Islam. It could mean the opposite of “moderate” Islam.
There is nothing “moderate” about Islam. Islam is Islam. You can study Islam
yourself and come up with the same conclusion and agree with Turkey’s
dictatorship.
Turkey’s
strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
, may have exhibited all

possible features of political Islam since he came to power fifteen years ago,
but at least he has been bold and honest about his understanding of Islamism: There
is no moderate Islam, he recently said again.

Robert Mueller is an Alinsky
man investigating a mirage.

The UK’s Guardian in November ran a special report on “Islamophobic
individuals and organizations, “Anti-Muslim
online surges driven by fake accounts
.” Employing the Saul Alinsky rule
to bring down or delegitimize opponents, in this case, Pamela Geller:
Pick the target,
freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Patrik Hermansson,
researcher for Hope not Hate,
said: “The growth among Twitter accounts and websites spreading anti-Muslim
hate is alarming. In such a key area of public interest, it is an indication of
increased interest in these views and, as each account or site grows, more
people are exposed to deeply prejudiced anti-Muslim views.”
Geller, described by
critics as a figurehead for Islamophobic organisations, produces the Geller
Report, which doubled its viewers to more than two million people each month
between July and October. The Gates of Vienna counter-jihadist blog, described by critics as a training manual
for anti-Muslim paramilitaries, also doubled in visitors per month during the
same period.
Extremism is
conforming to Alinsky’s rule: to target a victim, freeze it, personalize the
hate, and polarize the issue the victim has been dunked into, much as Special
Counsel Robert Mueller is doing to Trump with his Russian collusion
investigation.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom

    As you say, "extremism" is a relative term. Consider that Donald Trump, whose views on such matters as immigration and Islam, among many others, would have qualified as mainstream common sense two generations ago, are now easily portrayed as extreme by the Leftist establishment. The Left have succeeded magnificently in moving the goal posts as to what qualifies as morally acceptable.

    In a related matter, consider the "extremist" in Florida who was just convicted of a "hate crime" for breaking windows and depositing bacon in a mosque. He was given FIFTEEN YEARS. Extremism anyone?

  2. Imigati

    Very good post, really 😉
    Niskie ceny

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