The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Descent into Tyranny

Once upon a time, bad manners were discouraged by something called "morality," and enforcement mechanisms included such things as shame, guilt, remorse, and embarassment.

Now, bad manners have become known as "human rights violations" and "civil rights violations." They are discouraged by screaming mobs called NGOs, civil rights groups, and the press, all institutions with the power to influence law but largely above it themselves. The old enforcement mechanisms have been drummed out of public life as antiquated relics of an uncivilized era, so new ones have taken their place. They now include self-censorship, fear of vexatious lawsuits, and to an increasing degree, fear of threats, harassment, and in some cases, fines and prison.

Exhibit A: Idiot bowls pig's head into Maine mosque.
Community leaders in Lewiston-Auburn will hold a rally Wednesday in support of Somali Muslims who were stunned when someone rolled a pig's head into their mosque at prayertime last week.

Police say Brent Matthews, 33, of Lewiston tossed a pig's head into the mosque shortly after 10 p.m. last Monday. Matthews, who is free on bail, has pleaded not guilty to desecrating a place of worship, a misdemeanor. The FBI and the state Attorney General's Office are investigating whether Matthews' alleged actions constitute a civil-rights violation.
That is very interesting, considering a civil rights violation can occur only when the wrong is committed under color of law, i.e., by a government official.

Private individuals can offend, insult, and commit crimes against each other, but they lack legal capacity to violate each others' civil rights. By definition, a government agent must rob the individual of some right guaranteed to them by law.

Exhibit B: the World Cup headbutt heard round the world was allegedly caused by the victim's use of the word "terrorist." And an "anti-racism group" is demanding that FIFA investigate . . . the insult, not the physical attack.
"According to several very well informed sources from the world of football, it would seem that the Italian player Marco Materazzi called Zinedine Zidane a 'dirty terrorist'," SOS Racism said in a statement.

Zidane, the son of Algerian immigrants, was shown a red card after the incident and Italy went on to win on penalties after the match was tied 1-1 following extra time.

"It's for this reason that SOS Racism asks in a determined fashion for FIFA to shed light on this altercation and that sanctions laid out in the official rules be applied should this be the case," SOS Racism said.
Natural human tendencies toward rudeness were once curbed by a moral code, shared by families, friends, and communities; nasty behavior was not a legal issue, but a moral one. Matthews was rude. Materazzi was rude. In the old days, they would have been shamed, given a chance to apologize, and forgiven. Now, there is no redemption, and they will pay.

Morality has been replaced by a bottomless pit of laws, regulations, committees, investigations, and proceedings, wrapping individuals in a cocoon of paralyzing red tape. To avoid getting caught in the web, individuals increasingly self-censor, consciously checking who they talk to, what they say, and where they say it. Behaving morally is far less confining -- and by reducing the need for the exercise of state power, morality functions an essential guarantor of individual freedom. Without it, the seeds of tyranny sprout.


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