Who is doing all the heavy lifting in the escalating battle against terrorism? Who is taking the hard legislative and political decisions? Who is confronting the reality of home-grown jihadism, Islamic fundamentalism, the radicalisation of moronic Muslim adolescents, and the carefully calibrated campaign of global terrorism and Islamist subversion funded by Saudi Arabia, as the recent Wikileaks disclosures reveal, and as I analysed in detail years ago in several articles that led to my persecution and exclusion from academia.
It is certainly not the progressive left, that Green-Left amalgam of radical academics, grandstanding lawyers, moral absolutists, racial supremacists, environmental apocalypticists, radical feminists, old-style Stalinists, LGBTI life-style utopians, rent-a-crowd mobs, media show ponies, union racketeers, political careerists, and born-to-rule bureaucrats entrenched in publicly funded sinecures.
All of these groups have a vision of a future society in which their fantasies will be indulged and yet they must know that Muslim societies dominated by Wahhabism, Salafism, Islamism, and jihadism oppose every single one of their alleged values, and that people that live in those societies and share progressivist aspirations have a very short life span, likely marked by persecution, amputation, rape, torture, imprisonment, and death.
And yet they rage against Tony Abbott and the Coalition politicians who are prepared to take a stand against what is emerging as the greatest threat to liberal democratic civilization since the other totalitarian onslaughts of communism and fascism, which dominated the first half of the twentieth century.
According to progressives, contemporary terrorism is a storm in a teacup. Their repeated response to the ongoing atrocities committed by ISIS and other jihadists is that it is all being blown out of proportion and manipulated by Abbott for malign domestic political purposes. Moreover, they physically and verbally attack as racists anyone who expresses a concern about the impact of Islam upon society. As the latest Q&A outrage makes clear, they are quite happy to applaud and excuse a convicted would-be terrorist who promotes the jihadist cause and litters the twitterverse with repeated calls to gangbang conservative female journalists.
What is the logic that drives these groups to assume such a self-evidently contradictory position – applauding and defending those fanatics and psychopaths who stand for the negation of everything they claim to value?
It is easy to assert that they are simply driven by political opportunism, coupled with an apparently unlimited hatred of Abbott and his government. However, the problem goes much deeper than that.
Jihadism and progressivism are comfortable bedfellows because they are intrinsically totalitarian in nature (Islamo-fascism and Left-fascism, respectively). In their relentless campaigns they replicate the same lust for total control of the state over civil society that was carefully dissected by Friedrich von Hayek in The Road to Serfdom (1944) and Karl Popper in The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), as liberal democracy faced its gravest crisis.
As I pointed out a decade ago, building on the analyses of Hayek and Popper, contemporary terrorism deliberately targets civil society, the intermediate realm between the family and the state that accommodates the free play of economic and cultural forces and individual and group interests. More specifically, jihadism targets not only people and institutions that operate within civil society but civil society itself, i.e., it targets the very possibility of the autonomous realm of everyday life that characterises and empowers liberal democracies.
Nothing better illustrates this onslaught on everyday life than the systematic slaughter of tourists sunbathing on a beach or the murder of office workers enjoying a morning cup of coffee, or any number of similar atrocities committed against people going about their everyday affairs.
Progressivism can comfortably align itself with jihadism because both seek to use the massive and intrusive mechanisms of state power to remake society in accordance with the totalizing aims of their social engineering (e.g., societies based on Sharia law or socialized economics or ecological sustainability or constitutionally-contrived racial hierarchies or LGBTI lifestyles, etc). Ultimately, they are both committed to the destruction of civil society and its absorption into the state. One acts in the name of religious dogma, the other in the name of a loose collection of alleged ‘rights’ and fantasised lifestyles, but both are committed to the radical diminution, and even ultimate extinction, of individual freedom and autonomy in every area of life.
They are driven to seize and exploit state power to impose their will throughout society because they recognize that their desired ‘utopian’ social end-states will not spontaneously emerge or be maintained in societies of free individuals. Therefore their desired regimes must be imposed through state power.
This shared ultimate commitment to totalitarian statism is why the so-called progressives on the left, especially in academia, the legal profession, and qangos like the ABC and the HRC, spring to the defence of murderous regimes like Islamic State and its operatives and sympathizers, even though ISIS is explicitly opposed to most of the ‘rights’ and lifestyle ‘values’ that such progressives profess to hold sacred. This lust for total control is also why progressives, like Islamists, cannot tolerate any form of dissent or countenance any form of compromise.
The apparent contradiction between the progressivist rhetoric of rights and the reality of authoritarian social control exists because, in the end, progressives, like Islamists, are obsessed ultimately with state power and its draconian use against those that don’t conform to their views. They are sub-species of the same statist monster.
Despite their posturing about rights, progressive operatives are no different to the self-serving, over-paid, power-obsessed bureaucratic apparatchiks of the notorious New Class of nomenklatura – the vast armies of unproductive but privileged apparatchiks implementing masses of laws and regulations that came to dominate the totalitarian regimes of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and other communist states.
(Indeed, the progressivist tolerance and sympathy for ISIS closely resembles the extensive and vocal support provided by an earlier generation of leftists for the genocidal Pol Pot regime that systematically massacred much of Cambodia’s population.)
Islamist versions of clerical nomenklatura already dominate Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim states, and they operate rigidly to enforce Sharia, in all its brutal and multi-faceted arbitrariness. They will inevitably come to dominate similar Islamo-fascist regimes like ISIS, and consequently, should ISIS become a state, our Human Rights Commissioners and other nomenklatura will no doubt establish convivial relations with their new clerical counterparts.
Meeting perhaps in Geneva or New York, the Islamist and progressivist nomenklatura will get together to discuss their shared concerns about the irritating intractability of free people and civil society, refine their techniques of social control, and co-ordinate their activities in the United Nations and its various agencies designed explicitly to usurp parliamentary democracy and national sovereignty.
This is why progressives make no effort to protect the liberal democratic society that allows them to flourish and nurture dreams of utopian social engineering. They have no ultimate commitment to its existence. They know that their type will flourish under any form of state authoritarianism and they feel comfortable with others who share this orientation. Behind their masks they are totalitarians and fascists just like the Nazis and Stalinists of the recent past and the Islamo-fascists of today. They and the Islamist theocrats are kindred spirits, anxious to use the state to impose their will upon all who don’t share their obsessions.
The war against jihadism and progressivism is the same battle and it has been underway for nearly a century.