Sunday, April 5, 2009


David Warren recently wrote about shamanism, expanding on a previous thought.

I said, alike of the post-Christian, self-styled "middle class" in the West, and of the post-Islamic "middle class" in such a country as Pakistan, that they are animated by "a touching faith, at its roots shamanistic."

Both, alike, confuse words with things, and imagine by manipulating words they can manipulate reality. They believe things like public order and safety just happen without human intervention -- that they grow on trees, like money. And that the source of all evil is the unfair distribution, of money in particular. They are given to magical invocations when things go wrong, and to other behaviour that would be more clearly identified as shamanistic, were it not instead identified as "liberal" and "progressive."

This attitude has become pervasive. We have had politicians up to the highest levels who clearly believe words are the same as actions. They want to be given credit for doing something, when all they have done is talked — they haven't even taken steps toward introducing legislation, much less actually taken any action.

Yes, as noted, this "naive faith" is a malady of the Left, liberals and socialists alike. And it seems to be impervious to the lessons of experience and of human nature.

I was talking this over with my friend the cave bear, and he said something really interesting:

I never cease to be amazed at the number of liberals who believe that,
"If we just give them a little more territory, they will become friendly neighbors", and

"If we let them have Sharia law in village X, they won't threaten to behead the judges in village Y", and

"If we just talk quietly to them, they'll all come around to our advanced, progressive views", and

"If we just understand them better, they won't march in the streets by the tens of thousands demanding our obliteration", and

"If we just censor our speech a little bit, they won't feel the need to behead cartoonists".

And on it goes.
In some instances, this naive faith — and ignorance — is rather more extreme. Just how extreme it can get is suggested by this clipping:

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