Totalitarianism: we have become comfortably numb - Part 3
Islam will come to Germany, whether you like it or not. Your daughter will wear the hijab. Your son will have a beard. We multiply relentlessly. We have seven or eight. On top of that, we take four wives, then we have twenty-two children, against your one child and a small dog. That’s how it is.
Had George Orwell’s field of vision not been filled with the immediacy of European fascism, does anyone seriously imagine that he would not have recognised Islam for the fascism it is, and instigated opposition similar to putting his life on the line in Spain? Apparently, yes. Max Fawcett in 2008 not only denies that Islam is totalitarian, but positively attacks those who say that it is, and disingenuously seeks refuge in the authority of Christopher Hitchens to imply that “George Orwell would [not have] suffer[ed] the same kind of intellectual meltdown” that, for Fawcett, honest critique of Islam amounts to:
The most natural question on which one would seek Orwell's hypothetical advice is the relationship, if there is one, between Islam and totalitarianism. It was Orwell, after all, who wrote that ‘the Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale, and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.’ There are more than a few writers, from Mark Steyn to Sam Harris to the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who have made the case that Islam represents a totalitarian threat that is not so different from the ones Orwell himself fought so hard against.
Their argument rests principally on the supposedly illiberal and anti-democratic values of Islam, values that are aided and abetted by the West's self-destructive obsession with multiculturalist relativism and stifling political correctness. These writers reference sections of the Qur’an that compel its followers to seek out and kill infidels, and highlight inflammatory statements made by the Osama Bin Ladens and Mahmoud Ahmedinejads of the Islamic world in order to demonstrate that these values are not just implicitly but also overtly hostile to those of their western counterparts. They then buttress this dark vision with a demographic scare-campaign that portrays Islamic peoples not as vulnerable immigrants or even, at times, as human beings, but instead as a cultural Wehrmacht in waiting armed not with swords, guns, or even suicide bombs but with a Blitzkrieg of pregnant bellies… (Emph. AP).
Straight off the bat, Fawcett decouples Islam from totalitarianism, reframing the question away from whether or not Islam is totalitarian, to whether or not there is a relationship between Islam and totalitarianism, two things separate and distinct. Of course, Fawcett does not see any religion as totalitarian. Note that whichever way this new question is answered, Fawcett has already won: Islam is not totalitarian.
It is wrong, according to Max Fawcett, to consult the Qur’an and statements made by leading devout Muslims to get to the bottom of Islamic values. He does not say why it is wrong to consult primary sources, it is just wrong, and dismisses it by the simple act of stating it. Fawcett implies that Islamic views are not illiberal and anti-democratic, but offers nothing to settle the matter one way or the other. On the basis of this non-proof, he feels himself justified to dismiss the critics’ “dark vision” and “demographic scare-campaign,” of course again without any evidence one way or the other.
The critics of Islam, according to Fawcett, are guilty of portraying, “Islamic peoples not as vulnerable immigrants”. Now the mind-slavery deepens: Fawcett has moved on from accusing Islam critics of saying the wrong thing, to accusing them of not saying the right thing. And to cap it all, he attempts to slander them by using Nazism as a metaphor for that which they had already proven. It is like saying of a man who has just been beheaded that he has lost his head. The “Blitzkrieg of pregnant bellies” is especially disingenuous, as it is precisely this that Muslims boast about. A Muslim in Germany records himself bragging to a German:
Islam will come to Germany, whether you like it or not. Your daughter will wear the hijab. Your son will have a beard. OK? And your daughter will marry a bearded man. We multiply relentlessly. You Germans have no children, and when any, at most two. We have seven or eight, alhamdulillah! OK colleague? On top of that, we take four wives, then we have twenty-two children, against your perhaps one child and a small dog. That’s how it is.
Colleague, it is not our fault. It is your fault! If you exploited our countries, colonised our countries, so you could drive a Mercedes and use your digital camera, then Allah azawajal, Allah arranges things so we conquer you, not by war here in Germany, but with our birth rate, firstly, and secondly, we marry your daughters. Your daughter will wear the hijab. Now you can mull that over. One can already see the hatred in your eyes… [laughter]
How did Fawcett put it? “A Blitzkrieg of pregnant bellies.” Indeed.
“It is, of course, entirely possible that George Orwell would suffer the same kind of intellectual meltdown that many prominent writers have suffered when trying to understand and interpret Islam,” which is why, presumably, Fawcett avoids “trying to understand and interpret Islam” himself, but instead prefers to trot out the approved dogmas on Islam, Muslims and “refugees”. Martin Amis, we are told, suffered such an intellectual meltdown in 2006 when he wrote, Fawcett quotes:
There's a definite urge — don't you have it? — to say, "The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order." What sort of suffering? Not letting them travel. Deportation — further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan … discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children.
While Fawcett’s dogmas will find receptive ears and Amis’s “Islamophobic” questioning stands no chance, George Orwell, far from suffering any meltdown of any kind, took a gun and placed his own body between fascists and freedom, and Martin Amis at least manages to speak the unspeakable, albeit apologetically. Max Fawcett and George Galloway, each a top notch useful idiot in his own way, also place themselves between fascism and freedom, only unlike Orwell, they point their guns not at fascism, but at freedom.
In 1984, the marketing people at Apple Computer threw an extravaganza for the launch of their new, ground-breaking computer. The Mac launch commercial featured a Schindler’s List style red-and-white clad female athlete (they could still be white and non-Muslim in those days) wielding a sledgehammer and running through a monochrome nightmare world towards Big Brother on a huge screen, the forces of law and order hard on her heels. She flings the sledgehammer into the screen in dramatic slow motion, smashing Big Brother, and the Mac is born, the negation of all totalitarianism: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.” It was a crassness that even George Orwell did not see coming.
That was 1984. It came; it went. The passing of the year 1984 was a good thing. It allowed for the central warning of Nineteen Eighty-Four to be de-clichéd. Up till then, the chattering was over whether Orwell’s predictions had come true. In 1991, as the USSR disintegrated, Orwell’s relevance was questioned. By around 2005, the coalescing of Western totalitarianism had become obvious enough to cause murmurs in the zeitgeist, and Orwell was dusted off again. People were now less looking from Orwell to reality; and more from reality to Orwell. What can Orwell tell us about our time? It began to dawn on the most perceptive that Nineteen Eighty-Four is not a prediction of the future, but a history of it. The real thing rose before their eyes, unmediated by metaphor.
The Soviet Union was no more, yet… It would take another fifteen years before people began to realise that Apple, the human face of Big Tech, was “1984”. By then it was too late. Such was the level of control that Big Tech wielded over people’s minds that it could completely debase the sovereignty of the citizens of the most powerful democracy in all of history and, by November 2020, put the United States through a sham election of staggering brazenness, yet only the “far-Right” could see any problem with it. It was Trump who lost, as he should have lost in 2016. To those who hate Donald Trump—a doctrinal hatred—it was not even that the majority had made a mistake, as they asserted four years earlier. This time the election turned out exactly as it should have, after the necessary massive vote-correcting to avert a threatened repeat of the majority error of last time. The autonomous individual had been disenfranchised in the Land of the Free, and there was nothing that they could do except to resign themselves to consolations of, “Next time, next time you’ll see.” If I were out to destroy the United States, I would make damn sure that there’s never going to be a next time.
No one who wanted Trump to lose was in the slightest interested in the Courts verifying the polls and that includes the Courts themselves. The famous system of checks and balances had been comprehensively perverted. In such a scenario, evidence, overwhelming or otherwise, becomes irrelevant; the matter has become doctrinal, and the “correct” outcome had been rightly enforced by every iniquity in the book. Those who remained silent for fear of losing their job were among the honourable ones, for they still had something to remain silent about. Those to whom the facts told nothing were the proles of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I ask myself, what would Abraham Lincoln have done?
The real barometer of the autonomous individual’s decline is not those intimidated into silence, but those who have nothing to say to begin with, who needed no intimidation. Free speech is becoming a meaningless abstraction. Dogma is already thought. Whether totalitarianism advances against the autonomous individual first by rendering him subordinate and then dependent, as in laissez-faire United States, or first dependent and then subordinate, as in welfare Europe, the end result is the same. The autonomous individual is destroyed and in its place we find the subordinate dependent, the hollowed-out husk of what was once the shining child of the Enlightenment. “I have become comfortably numb.”
Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships – an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence.
—George Orwell, Inside the Whale
Nobody talks about the autonomous individual anymore. It, too, is already a meaningless abstraction. During a debate at NYU Shanghai some five years ago, in which I argued that political correctness was an extremely dangerous indulgence, my opponents, academic colleagues all, had difficulty in grasping the concept of “universal” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, objecting to universality on the grounds that it ignored this group or that group. Instead, one of them enlightened me, social reality comes down to “oppressed groups” and “oppressor groups” — social studies for six-year-olds, comfortably numb and barely out of nappies.