However, life-forms so malevolent would never rise from the rank swamps that bred them to go zipping around star systems and blasting planets to atoms. Malevolence is not a progenitor of innovation or creation. It is fundamentally a parasite and can thrive only on a passive or willing host. Reason is not an attribute or a handmaiden of evil. Evil in fact can only exploit the products of reason, but never originate them. Evil men or evil aliens may exhibit intelligence, but not reason. They can exploit what reason has caused to exist, but never bring it into existence
Ugly predators and slimy aliens that can invent cloaking devices and disintegrating rays are possible in imagination only because of a fantastic, and possibly even fatal, fallacy. Their creators – and their fans – assume that reason is not the natural antithesis and enemy of anti-reason, but a morally neutral faculty that can ally itself with anti-reason in campaigns of conquest and death.
Not so coincidentally, the fallacy also explains the left’s hostility to freedom and capitalism. Capitalists, they say, have the freedom to employ reason to create things, and then use their profits to establish power and enslave everyone.
Sharks, rattlesnakes, Komodo dragons, wolves, and other predators are not inherently evil. They do what nature has programmed them to do, without any choice in their struggles for existence. No moral decisions are involved in their actions. Their values are predetermined. They lack the attribute of volition, that is, the capacity to think or not to think, to choose what will sustain and improve their lives and what will not.
A malevolent intelligence is not a contraction in terms. Else how to explain all the real and fictional villains in history and literature, from Hitler to Professor Moriarty, from Attila the Hun to Ellsworth Toohey? Or Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his threatened nuclear weapons? But a malevolent adherent to reason, like the aliens in Predator and Independence Day, is a psychological, metaphysical and philosophical contradiction. In nature, the teleology of such alien creatures is impossible.
A malevolent intelligence may succeed in finding comfort in a social and material environment created by reason, and be able to exploit its victims’ innocence, foolishness, or ignorance. But without reason having created such a world, it would remain a miserable prisoner in the dank, fetid jungle it was born in, never able to conceive of anything better, unable by its nature to look up at the stars, content with its surroundings, and concerned only with its next meal. Thomas Hobbes’ notion of man at war is equally and more realistically applicable to the actual existence of would-be predator space aliens in their basic mode: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Which leads me to Islam.
Islam is a malevolent, ideational predator bent on conquest. It demands conversion, submission, or death. Left to its own devices, Islam would have remained contained by and confined to its own impotence whence it came, the Mideast, in Saudi Arabia. It would be a bubonic rat that squeaked but which would otherwise be quarantined by its own irrationality, and by reason.
But what has given Islam its purported potency to wreck havoc in the world? It is a philosophy burdened with the same fallacy that allows science fiction writers to believe that reason can ally with anti-reason and act of its own accord. In past columns I have likened Islam to a drooling beast, to the Borg, to a viral disease, and to other entities closed to reason, proof against freedom, and dedicated to destruction for destruction’s sake. .
Pragmatic policies in the West allowed the nomadic, primitive Saudis and other tribalists to nationalize the oil which Western technology discovered and developed in the barren wastes over which they had been butchering each other and other tribes for millennia. Environmentalist policies that prohibit oil drilling allow smug tribalists to make extortion a practical policy. Pragmatic policies allowed Muslims to immigrate to semi-free, semi-rational cultures and proceed to complete the sabotaging disease of irrationality. Pragmatism sired moral and cultural relativism that forbids moral judgment of Islam’s barbarism and its incipient, cradle-to-grave psychosis. Appropriating the mantle of “religious freedom” – call it a “cloaking device,” if you will – and exploiting the foolishness and irrationality of their enemies, Islamic activists in three-piece suits and armed with unlimited funds work obsessively to erase freedom for all but Muslims.
Pragmatism fosters the growth of a police state whose managers and minions, in the name of political correctness and non-discrimination, will not identify Islam as a predatory ideology (that would be evidence of “Islamaphobia,” and “offensive”), and proceed to subject and inure a country’s citizens to the invasive ministrations of arbitrary searches, seizures, and incarceration on the chance that they might catch a bomber whose motives will not be linked to Islam. Their policy, designed to not offend Muslims but all non-Muslims, is to hope to find a scimitar in an infinite haystack. The Department of Homeland Security is headed by a multiculturalist friendly to Islam, while the TSA is staffed by tens of thousands of non-entities empowered to grope, violate, molest, rob, and hold judgment over private citizens in the name of “safety.”
The anti-profiling policies of the DHS and TSA are anti-reason, and anti-Aristotelian, and as “alien” as the ends of a Predator or shapeless alien piloting five-mile-wide spaceships.
Islam is such a unique, unprecedented peril that one ignores it at one’s own peril. There is the double peril of Obama, Pelosi, et al. (and the generations of collectivist thought behind them) wanting to “transform” the country into a secular State of Servitude (no pun intended), and of Islam, whose spokesmen are at work insinuating its brand of totalitarianism into the country via “religious freedom,” but whose purpose is also to “transform” the country into another kind of State of Servitude. In this teleological end Islamists have a willing ally, the secular totalitarians.
Saul Alinsky, meet Sheikh Ahmad Gad of the Muslim Brotherhood, another malevolent intelligence.
Islam is a radically different matter. None of the other religious groups in America – whether they are composed largely of immigrants or of tenth generation blacks or whites or Asians or Eskimos — expects the other creeds to defer to it. Muslims and Islam, however, expect everyone to defer to Islam. Islam is an enemy of individualism. Islam is imbued with a code of conduct that is fundamentally barbaric and concrete-bound and too often murderous. Sharia is not just a primitive system of adjudication; it is also, and inherently, political. It does not recognize the world beyond that insular system, except as something to assimilate into its system, or to erase.
The corrupting norms of multiculturalism have vastly aided Muslims in their not having to knuckle under secular law and having to stop murdering wayward daughters and wives and sons who become apostates. Furthermore, feminists, liberals, leftists in and out of academia ignore the outrages committed by Muslims in the name of Islam – the continuing rapes of ‘infidel” women in Europe and the Mideast by Muslims, the stonings, hangings, and executions of men and women who flout Islamic rules, the persecution and murders of Christians, Jews, Hindus in the name of Islam, and so on – because they recognize Islam as a bird of the same feather – a totalitarian system that shares similar premises, methods, and ends. Criticism of rival totalitarians might inadvertently lead to criticism of their own anti-reason and anti-life policies. Call the phenomenon a Collectivist-Islamic Non-Aggression Pact.
Predatory “aliens” need not come from outer space. There are two species of them right here on earth, both exercising their malevolent intelligences to advance their dual agendas of conquest, slavery, and destruction. They are merely rivals, and not antipodes of each other.
As Gilliatt did in Victor Hugo’s compelling novel, Toilers of the Sea, as he was being enveloped by an octopus’s arms, and as the creature’s flesh-tearing beak struggled to strike him, we need to free ourselves from Islamic jihad not by cutting off its arms: but its head. Only reason and rationality can accomplish that end. That done, the arms will go limp and release us to pursue our life-affirming values in freedom without peril or hindrance. It is the ideology that must be damned, renounced, repudiated, and defeated, with no apologies or regrets, and not its surface manifestations.
Then we will have the time to turn our attention to performing the same surgery on the secular totalitarian ideology that also seeks to vanquish this country.