We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Discussion point: the new normal

For many people, 9/11 remade their political world. Excluding 9/11 itself, has continuing Islamist terrorism in the years since 2001, such as last night’s attack at London Bridge, changed your beliefs?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

69 comments to Discussion point: the new normal

  • Chip

    I thought the attraction of liberty, steady technological progress and wealth would be self-evidently good things to most people.

    But now I think many if not most people don’t see this. Islam has an iron grip on people in the Middle East and the west, even in subsequent generations. And many non-Muslims in the West seem happy to exchange their freedom for statism.

    Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow explains partly why. Reason and logic require effort while impulsive reactions do not.

  • Mr Ed

    I now seriously doubt the value of the Monarchy, I would address it in the following terms to the incumbent:

    You have sat here too long for any good that you have done lately, let us have done with you, in the name of God, go! Take your heirs with you, and let us try a Lord Protector.

    Not that I expect much from an office, but a focus on a protector of liberties within the State might be a start.

  • PapayaSF

    I no longer believe that we can make ourselves safe or reform Islam by promoting “moderate Muslims” in their home countries. All such efforts have failed.

    I no longer believe that Islam can be treated like “just another religion.” It’s a totalitarian political virus in the form of a religion.

    I no longer believe there should be any Muslim immigration to the West, nor any Muslim refugees accepted.

  • Spruance

    @PapayaSF – You said it all.

  • My blinders came off in about 2002 when I played a very minor part in the investigation of a planned attack which, when revealed by GWB a few months later, was dismissed by the world’s press as being a diversion from domestic matters.

    My wife and I started discovering everything we could about whatever the hell Islamism was in many of its forms, all the while adopting the minority opinion in most social situations where politics and this came up. Our worldview changed to take in the fact that the MSM, the politicians, and the police are either wilfully ignorant, plain old stupid, or just evil.

    Needless to say, we are not as close to our old friends as we used to be because we don’t see the point in teddy bears, balloons and candle-lit vigils. Maybe we won’t be so isolated with the “new normal”. One can only hope.

  • PapayaSF

    either willfully ignorant, plain old stupid, or just evil

    I think most of what we are seeing is an internal contradiction in the Enlightenment worldview, as manifested in modern-day progressivism. It turns out that cultures matter. It turns out it’s suicidal to treat all religions as equal when one of them has a distinct, perpetual percentage of adherents who believe in imposing their religion on others by force, and can back that up with their scripture. Progressives (and many libertarians) have a “no discrimination/no borders/diversity is our strength” belief that is merely an article of faith, and it is simply failing in the real world.

    I now fear that, sooner or later, there will be a worldwide religious war of Muslims vs. everyone else.

  • Tomsmith

    Islamic terrorism has played a part in my noticing the huge demographic and cultural threat posed by third world immigration to western society.

    The political leadership in the west appear myopically focused on not appearing racist, appearing tolerant, while not noticing the larger implications (e.g. The non-assimilable nature of Islam, the demographic trends which have white Europeans a minority in the continent by 2050).

    These are really massive civilisation level problems that most people, never mind most politicians, just refuse to notice. Mostly for what appear to be completely trivial reasons. If western culture ceases to have a place where it is the majority culture then it will cease to exist, simple as that. The coming African demographic bulge is a huge threat to western civilisation. Islamic cultural supremacy is a huge threat to western civilisation. We need to act now.

  • Mr Ecks

    All Islamic and SubSahara migration must end.

    The subsidised breeding program of those here must end. Enough money for one woman and 2 kids ONLY. Not a penny more.

    Their marriages must all be recognised in Law and bigamy charges applied. Arrive trying to settle with 4 women in tow you have the choice of moving on or being arrested for bigamy.

    They must lose the vote to ensure they will never be kingmakers by lending their support in return for ever more concessions/favours.

    All hatespeech laws gone. And PC cop and political pork punished for trying to supress dissent.

    Sharia courts–voluntary or not–ended and no more mosques built and illegal ones forcefully closed. Halal banned.

    Pigskin coated or tipped bullets to be issued. Pigskin bodybags for Jihadists and a pig farm burial too.

    That will do for a start.

  • Raymond

    I would once have regarded myself as an average sort of middle-aged, middle-class, freedom-loving individual, but now -by necessity- I feel like I’ve been radicalised. I’ve realised that some folk will use anything -literally anything– as a stick with which to beat the capitalist world. I’ve observed that many are in denial about their fear, preferring to disguise it as social conscience. I’ve observed a quite disgraceful level of good old-fashioned condescension, of the kind that denies agency to the terrorists. People who claim that we ‘don’t know’ why these people do such things repeatedly ignore the fact that the terrorists always tell us exactly why they do them. But our political and media class prefer to imagine and ascribe a range of politically palatable ‘motives’, instead of accepting the obvious ones: That Islamists want to kill us because they hate us and our way of life; that they want to kill us because they are members of a barbaric medieval death cult.

  • bobby b

    Most of my beliefs remain unchanged. How I implement them has undergone some adjustment.

    I’ve always thought that we are each individually responsible for our own safety (which includes the safety of anyone else which we voluntarily decide to undertake.) As an adjustment, I’ve become much more aware of daily security concerns.

    I’ve always thought that many religions are simply dangerous mass insanity. As an adjustment, I’ve narrowed practical concerns on this topic to Islam.

    I’ve always believed that, while a feeling of global community would be “nice”, it’s about as practical as leaving your bucket of Halloween candy out on the step with a sign saying “take a fair amount.” As an adjustment, I would build The Wall and line it with electric wires.

    I’ve always thought of myself as someone who could shoot a terrorist. As an adjustment, I now practice at least once per week, and so now I’m sure of it.

    One belief has changed: I used to believe that, should the worst happen and we go to war against Islam, Americans would pull together. I no longer trust one side of the political continuum to do so.

  • Tomsmith

    Islamist is a word the powers that be use to differentiate muslims that kill people from muslims who have not yet killed anyone. It’s purpose is to create a narrative that there is a mainstream Islam that is a religion of peace, and a few nutters who pervert that peaceful faith into something other than it is.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Islam is a supremacist belief system based on the personal preferences of an evil man who was a slaver, thief and rapist. It is demonstrably based in war and conflict rather than peace. The problem is Islam, not ‘Islamism’

  • That Labour used 9/11 to restrict free speech, and that the other parties have adjusted to that, did more to change my mind than any amount of terrorist attacks could. The problem is not the attackers; the problem is that we are not fighting back. You can’t solve a problem when you’re banned from talking freely about it.

    “At this moment, after a year of war, pamphlets abusing the Government, praising the enemy and clamouring for surrender are being sold on the streets almost without interference. And this is less from a respect for freedom of speech than from a simple perception that these things don’t matter. It is safe to let a paper like peace news be sold, because it is certain that 95% of the population will never want to read it.” [George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, written during the London blitz late 1940 / early 1941)

    I usually only quote the first sentence of the above, but Orwell’s explicit linking of free speech to a certain cultural homogeneity in the population may have relevance to recent developments. I always thought Labour’s mass importation of new voters to “rub the British people’s nose in diversity” was wrong. It was dishonest in how they described it and it was strictly criminal in some of the ways it was done, but over and above that I expected it to have evil results. I did not foresee our loss of free speech. I did not foresee the other parties accepting that.

  • Patrick Crozier

    It is difficult to cast ones mind back to 9/11 with any great accuracy. But I seem to remember the following:

    Profound doubts that Islam was a “religion of peace” and rather greater doubts at the wisdom of a President claiming that it was.

    Profound doubts about the wisdom of invading Afghanistan. It looked like an Ulster writ large.

    Although I was unable to articulate this at the time, when it came to a struggle between high-tech and weak will versus low-tech and strong will I didn’t fancy being on the weak-willed side.

    I had some faith in the ability of the establishment to get to the right answer in the end. I have a lot less now, to the extent I loathe them more than I loathe the the terrorists.

  • Mr Ed (June 4, 2017 at 6:27 am), I would have thought the political class, the media and the chattering classes generally, very much more deserved your criticism than poor old Queen Elizabeth the second who knew that Labour did not understand country folk and “never saw Mr Blair without pointing this out to him” (as one of her very rare public remarks about her advice informed us). It may have done very little good – Tony Blair was resistant to good advice – but how you imagine we could get a Lord Protector who would be anything other than “Our Lord, our Enemy” (as the Aztec formula had it) when we’ve failed to find a better PM than May beats me. Your anger, I think, is flailing around when it (in you and in all of us) needs to remain focussed on the true perpetrators if we’re to have any hope of an improvement.

  • Ferox

    I am slightly embarrassed to say that one of my core libertarian beliefs used to be “open immigration”, i.e. maintaining open borders as we did in the 19th century.

    Not anymore. I am still a libertarian, but I am now a closed-border libertarian with a strong dislike of Islam.

    And I no longer believe in the existence of the legendary “moderate Muslim“.

  • NickM

    I have three words…

    Run, Hide Tell.

    Actually I have another – surrender.

  • Alisa

    Somewhere after 9/11, with Bush having informed us all about the fundamental and undeniable peacefulness of Islam, I began to think of our own governments as the HIV virus, preparing the welcoming ground for pneumonia that usually follows and eventually kills you. Islam is just one particular strain of bacteria causing common and normally non-lethal pneumonia.

  • Mr Ecks

    Nick M–Can you clarify please what it is you are saying in your posting?

  • NickM

    Mr Ecks,
    The cops are telling us to be passive. They are saying ordinary civilians should not defend themselves. They ordered people out of the area with their hands above their heads like POWs. If just one of the victims had tactical training and a Browning… That is what I am saying.

    and another thing. I watched this on BBC News and they apologized for showing footage in which someone said the word “fuck”. Did that upset me? Nowhere nearas much as carnage on our streets again.

  • Jacob

    The Islamists have a point.

    Their craziness (and the number of their victims) is far, but very far, inferior to the craziness of the Communist regimes that ruled half of the world and murdered many tens of millions.

    And their craziness if far inferior (very far) to the craziness of the “civilized” Europe, in which some other tens of millions people were killed in the two WWs in the 20th century. As to craziness nothing will ever beat the Nazi regime in the “civilized” Germany (Beethoven, Goethe, Gauss, etc).

    What 9/11 did was bring into focus, or cast a light upon another strain of madness that the Western world was not very aware of, before 9/11.

  • Lee Moore

    Chip : I thought the attraction of liberty, steady technological progress and wealth would be self-evidently good things to most people. But now I think many if not most people don’t see this. Islam has an iron grip on people in the Middle East and the west, even in subsequent generations. And many non-Muslims in the West seem happy to exchange their freedom for statism.

    Hmm. I think this, and other contributions in this thread, mistake the tactical relevance of Islam for the fundamental issue. By “tactical” I mean at present it’s Islamic loonies, and no doubt there are doctrinal reasons for Islam contributing mightily to murderous looneydom, but if Islam disappeared from the face of the Earth, tomorrow morning, that wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem, which is human nature.

    Chip’s “peace and prosperity” shtick is just splendid for middle aged middle class comfortable folk. But there’s more to life than money. Lots of people prefer fantasy to reality (daydreams, drugs, porn, the movies, snowflake academia, Corbynite arithmetic etc.).

    And one of the enduring desires of fantasists, since the beginning of time, is to BE SOMEBODY. See this guy by way of illustration :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herostratus

    If, in the comfortable world of normality which Chip outlines, you’re nobody very much, or not as big a cheese as you feel you deserve to be, then you need to make a splash. This is nothing to do with money or poverty – it’s to do with status. A hundred years ago you would have tried to be Trotsky or Stalin. Now you mow down a few pedestrians with your van in the name of Allah.

    On this board, I’m definitely towards the suspicious of Islam, suspicious of immigration side, and for the moment those are important contributors to the blood on the streets. But they’re not the root of the problem. Remember a goodly proportion of these Islamic murderers are converts, or second generation immigrants. They’re attracted to the murderous side of the currently available murderous ideology, because it offers them the chance to be somebody.

    The Bolshies tried the “let’s change human nature” thing, and it worked out unhappily. Best to stick to with the human nature we have and face the fact that there’s no magic bullet for this sort of thing. Just a whole pile of tactical hard work.

  • Lee Moore

    I’ll beg to differ with Jacob’s craziness rankings. Sure the Nazis and the Commies were murderously crazy (and continue to be in the case of North Korea) but their impressive body counts were not really down to crazier craziness, merely more organised craziness. Once you’ve got your hands on the levers of power in a reasonably advanced state you can get to work on your enemies with very effective craziness. Yer Islamics are not well placed logistically (yet) to up their body count to Premier League levels. But this is not because they lack the requisite craziness. It’s because they lack the requisite managerial talent and organisation.

  • JohnB

    Hi Nick – perhaps not so much “surrender” as: “submit!!” ?

  • Mr Ecks

    Jacob–Tripe.

    14 centurys of our dear friends in the RoP has accumulated a colossal tide of blood. Perhaps not equal to the 20th C tyrannies but in as most of the RoP’s killing was done in times of zero demographic records we will never likely be able to fully quantify it. 60 million is the estimated Hindu death toll from the Murghal Empire’s creation alone for example.

    The 20th Centuries number one death cult–socialism –in its various forms has a total of 200 million at least (up to 100 mil of them being victims of Mao’s antics).

    As for nothing equalling the Nazi’s– nonsense. They are a mere 3rd on the list of killers after both the Soviets and the Chi-coms.

    The RoP has been a trial to all its neighbours since it has existed. Including numbers of whites carried off as slaves during Islamic coastal raids that continued until the mid 18th century.

    What’s going on is nothing new. But in history our “leaders” weren’t sell-out cultural Marxist controlled scum.

    NickM–Agreed. Esp offensive is the hands over heads shite. Doubtless copying the costumed thugs tactics after the Boston Bombing.

  • Lee Moore

    They ordered people out of the area with their hands above their heads like POWs.

    Perhaps because they didn’t know (for sure) who was a goodie and who was a baddie.

  • Mr Ecks

    Lee Moore: Whatever the tactical merits it represents exactly the police state attitude that we can expect from political sewage and their costumed thugs.

    Import a load of trouble and then declare a police state to “protect” people from the endless problems the political scum caused in the first place.

  • My own beliefs since 9/11 have not changed, but only been reinforced.

    I’ve always held contempt for Islam as a divisive and twisted ideology, indeed when I was dating back in the early 1990’s, the only exclusion I had was no Muslim’s, having lived around them in Leeds and Bradford in my teens.

    I thought then (and still believe) that Muslims themselves were more deluded than dangerous (like Stalin’s ‘useful idiots’), but 9/11 and subsequent events showed that I was underestimating the power of Islam to ‘corrupt at a distance’.

    At the present time my view is that Islam itself is like a sort of pervasive cultural virus and the only way to deal with it is to expunge it from our Western societies and keep it contained in the lands from which it originated and from which it cannot be eradicated without extermination.

    Even doing this, I see myself as being generous. The reality is that we should exterminate it entirely, but doing so would undermine important aspects of Western civilisation that remain critical, so expulsion and containment is the only sensible course of action.

    After all, they would throw me off a tower block as a sexual deviant, so I feel perfectly justified in condemning them in the same manner.

  • Tomsmith

    Depressing to see the usual perversion of Islam, religion of peace, we are a multi cultural nation nonsense trotted out again. Baroness Warsi and as many Islamic journos as they can muster on parade to show that Muslims can look concerned too. Plus May obviously keen to use events to further reduce internet freedom etc.

  • the other rob

    Best to stick to with the human nature we have and face the fact that there’s no magic bullet for this sort of thing.

    In the absence of a magic bullet, I take comfort in the fact that my Glock 17 holds 18 normal ones.

  • Jacob

    “14 centurys of our dear friends in the RoP has accumulated a colossal tide of blood.”

    14 centuries of ANY religion have accumulated etc… etc…

    I was speaking of the last century only. The Islamists have some catching-up to do…

  • bloke in spain

    “I’ve always thought that we are each individually responsible for our own safety (which includes the safety of anyone else which we voluntarily decide to undertake.)”

    Unfortunately, libertarian ideas of individuality don’t survive when it’s the individual is the target of attack.

  • Henry Kaye

    There would appear to be an agreement by today’s posters that is spreading through all the public comment that I have read. The public seem to be convinced – when will our politicians open their eyes – or at least explain their strange views?

  • Jacob (June 4, 2017 at 12:07 pm): ” ‘… the RoP has accumulated a colossal tide of blood.’ … 14 centuries of ANY religion have accumulated etc… etc…”

    The Byzantine province of Anatolia was one of the most civilised and populous in the world in the year 1071. Ten years later, the populace had been largely exterminated by the Seljuks, whose Sultanate of Rum began slowly repopulating it with muslims. Precisely because it was one of the most civilised areas in the world at the time, the people were accustomed to being defended by their army, not by themselves, so after its crushing defeat they were easy to kill. (Armenian christians survived because they were wild highlanders and fought back.) This is why Turkey is muslim today. It is not likely that the large (very large for the 11th century) christian population could have been so wholly replaced or converted by other means.

    It’s not clear to me you can parallel this very deliberate extermination and replacement of a large population in the last 14 centuries of any other religion. Hitler certainly planned something similar for the slavs but I think everyone except the ridiculous Dawkins accepts that he was not a christian. The equalising of disease pools between the old and the new world hit some populations hard but no-one at the time could have foreseen or prevented it.

    Religions, like countries, political creeds, economic systems and individual people, differ greatly in the good and evil that they do.

  • Alisa (June 4, 2017 at 9:24 am): I thought your analogising of PC to HIV insightful; thanks for that.

  • Chip

    “On this board, I’m definitely towards the suspicious of Islam, suspicious of immigration side, and for the moment those are important contributors to the blood on the streets. But they’re not the root of the problem. Remember a goodly proportion of these Islamic murderers are converts, or second generation immigrants.”

    That these religious ideas persist and even radicalise through subsequent generations is simply evidence that immigration from intolerant cultures is much more of a problem than most people realize. We’re not just importing people, we’re importing a civilization at odds with our own.

    Not only do we need to severely restrict the people arriving, we need to destroy Islam as an idea. No more respect and transparent lies. Instead mockery, condescension and utter contempt.

    The ideas to which they cling – and commit murder for – are pathetic and ridiculous. Islam is a cultural deadend. We all know it. And no one says it.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    They ordered people out of the area with their hands above their heads like POWs.

    Every so often Brits need to be reminded that they’re subjects, not citizens.

  • I was 7 when they killed the jewish athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich. I didn’t need 9/11.

  • Mary Contrary

    Not only do we need to severely restrict the people arriving, we need to destroy Islam as an idea. No more respect and transparent lies. Instead mockery, condescension and utter contempt.

    This.

  • The islamists and their terrors frighten me. But the behavior of many people around me, who tell me how wrong and awful I am for noticing and disapproving of the continual atrocities, and noticing the common denominator — that behavior, their bloody WORSHIP of the bloody barbarians — is even more frightening.

  • Not only do we need to severely restrict the people arriving, we need to destroy Islam as an idea. No more respect and transparent lies. Instead mockery, condescension and utter contempt.

    I think the latter is far more important then the former, and for that we need the re-establishment of free speech as the first of all virtues, even if it takes hanging certain people to get there.

  • Thailover

    “I now fear that, sooner or later, there will be a worldwide religious war of Muslims vs. everyone else.”

    It’s called Jihad and has been going on in earnest for almost 20yrs.

  • Thailover

    Ellen wrote:

    “The islamists and their terrors frighten me. But the behavior of many people around me, who tell me how wrong and awful I am for noticing and disapproving of the continual atrocities, and noticing the common denominator — that behavior, their bloody WORSHIP of the bloody barbarians — is even more frightening.”

    Both sides are exhibiting cult-think. Only a loon would think that Islamists are attacking the free world because someone spoke freely on the internet and hurt their feelings.

  • Thailover

    “Excluding 9/11 itself, has continuing Islamist terrorism in the years since 2001, such as last night’s attack at London Bridge, changed your beliefs?”

    In a word, no. I had been dealing with these radicalized cultists a decade before 2001 and I was in Saudi during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Southern Watch. They could and would go from nice haggling sales people in malls to radicalized screaming fanatics calling for extreme violence in 0.2 seconds. They’re functionally insane; a whole goddamned nation of them…and that’s not even one of the “bad” nations like Pakistan. You remember Pakistan and the Taliban don’t you? They throw acid in the faces of little girls going to school and cut the heads off women during soccer games.

    I have to correct Chip on one point though. He said we’re importing a civilization at odds with our own. I disagree. Islam is not and will never be civilized. Civilizations are peaceful. Islam is a theocracy, and peace is not merely the absence of overt violence, it’s the absence of force. And there’s no such thing as a theocracy devoid of force.

  • Thailover

    Patrick Crozier, Islam IS a religion of peace. But realize that when they say peace, what they really mean is forced subjugation.

  • Ferox

    It’s called Jihad and has been going on in earnest for almost
    1400 yrs.

    FTFY

  • boris

    Quran is an extremist literature. Read the whole thing. What do you expect from people who practice it?

  • staghounds

    The events following the Orlando crime altered my understanding. Here’s a character who spends quite a while telling the world exactly why he’s slaughtering a mass of the special pets of the left, and yet EVERY lgbt activist I hard blamed guns, or white men, or Christians, or someone else who was already on the hate list.

    NOTHING is more important than the domestic social and political agenda. When reality bumps into that, reality has to be denied.

    Wikipedia’s “”American victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes” lists 29 – none of them from Orlando.

  • NickM

    Mock Islam?

    Try this

    Yes, an Islamic scholar has ruled that eating mermaids is halal.

    Utter nucking futters.

    How do we mock that?

    How do we reason with them?

    I am currently watching on the TV the Concert from Manchester and there is a lot of talk of peace and love an general mawkishness. I am a semi-manc and I don’t want to see Robbie Williams’ off-key caterwauling. I want to see an imam slowly boiled alive in pig shit in Albert Square.

  • Patrick Crozier, Thailover, “peace through submission to the will of Allah” is what I was taught Islam meant at school.
    As for the OP, I have very reluctantly started to admit I no longer keep some libertarian shibboleths like open borders and freedom of association. We can be as liberal as we like within the city, but the barbarians need to be kept outside the walls.

  • Laird

    I think it’s fascinating that here, on an ostensibly libertarian blog, the sentiment is 100% that Islam is a cancer to be extirpated. (I have long made that argument, here and elsewhere.) Oh, there is a little tepid hesitation here, but no actual disagreement. If we are in agreement on this, what must be the position of the general public?

    As to the question originally posed by Natalie, since 9/11 my beliefs have changed in two significant ways. The first is a significant hardening of my attitude toward Islam. Previously, if asked I probably would have been in the “live and let live” camp. I was certainly aware of atrocities such as the massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes, but I would have attributed that to historic enmity toward Israel (and Jews generally), not to an overtly and generally anti-western attitude. But after 9/11, after I began to learn more about the real Islam, and not the pretend version proffered by GWB and most of our so-called leadership, I am definitely now much closer to the “exterminate them all” camp than to the “their views will moderate given time and exposure to western technology and liberties” side. I am in complete agreement with everything PapaySF said here.

    Secondly, I am now far more hostile to my own government (not that I was ever a huge fan). It has become abundantly clear that the Powers That Be used 9/11 (and every subsequent atrocity) as a tool for the expansion of government and an excuse to further eviscerate our Constitutional privacy rights. The Patriot Act was (is) an abomination, and the FISA Court (however benign and proper its original purpose might have been) has been thoroughly co-opted and become merely a tool to provide legal justification for whatever outrages the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc., wish to perpetrate on this country’s own citizens. I once thought that we needed to have a strong intelligence community. I still think that (it’s a dangerous world), but it needs to be solely externally focused. The current intelligence system is so thoroughly corrupt that it cannot be salvaged, but must be discarded in toto and re-built from scratch. The NSA’s headquarters building should be razed, and the ground it sits on sewn with salt. And more than a few lampposts in DC need to be decorated with the corpses of high-level officials (elected and otherwise).

    But other than that, 9/11 didn’t affect my beliefs much.

  • Going over GWB again, though… The widely-derided “they hate us for our freedoms” bit wasn’t too far from the mark, was it? Once they extinguish our freedoms and we all live in peace submitting to shariah the attacks will stop.
    However, the wars of western aggression narrative and the “it’s not real islam” shtick are manifestly false.

  • Myno

    Having been a cold warrior researcher, I was deeply embedded in the furtherance of a system of state response to external threats. With the rise of asymmetric warfare and the ubiquitification of islamic threats post 9-11, state level response has evidently devolved to the extinction of privacy, arguably far beyond what the market would have done in the same period of time, or perhaps ever. I now believe that state protection inside the state (excluding border and international actions) is not worth it. I now see several major consequences of acting on that belief. First, there will be more homeland attacks in the near term, and lacking state interference in terror planning, more deaths due thereto. Second, if we remove state-level protections as being onerous, the public will need to arm itself to deal with the fractal nature of terrorism. That won’t stop terror attacks so much as minimize the damage of any single one. Third, the public will (slowly, as to a rising market force) respond to the correlation of population concentration with attack threat by moving away from population centers. Fortunately, modern technology affords many more people that opportunity, e.g., to work at home, a home far from Times Square or London Bridge. What the sociopolitical consequences of such a realignment might be, I cannot speculate.

  • PeterT

    Ecks, still planning to vote for May?

  • Paul Marks

    No the attack has not changed my beliefs.

  • Lee Moore

    PeterT: Ecks, still planning to vote for May?

    It comes down to whether your vote is an exercise of your tiny share of power in choosing a government; or an exercise in letting off emotional steam. If it’s the former you have a choice of :

    (a) Mrs May or
    (b) Mr Corbyn, propped up by the SNP and LibDems

    If you are indifferent between (a) and (b), then vent steam.

    I’m not. I’d prefer Brexit to actually happen, whatever kind of clusterXXXX Mrs May makes of it. Under (b) it won’t happen.

  • Eric

    I think the latter is far more important then the former, and for that we need the re-establishment of free speech as the first of all virtues, even if it takes hanging certain people to get there.

    I agree wholeheartedly, but from what I can tell things are going the other way as the intelligentsia running the UK, the US, and the EU seems to have decided Islamists will stop murdering random people if we’re prevented from saying anything mean to them.

  • JB

    My father’s family are Mizrahi (Arab) Jews and Israeli, so nothing regarding my opinion towards Islam has changed because for my family the situation has not changed – just followed us across the world. What is new about death-by-van or knifing attacks? After the security barriers, checkpoints and Israeli security services were successful in stopping suicide bombers several years back they came up with the “Knife Intifada” which has been a simple fact of life in Israel for a few years already. Once again, what is dismissed as tactics in a “political dispute” always somehow eventually wind up finding there way into Europe and North America as “terrorism”.

    What has changed for me is that I have become more deeply libertarian in my distrust of the State and State power. Faced with the threat, what has been the government response? To scale back one freedom after another, from speech to movement of person and capital, to the right to self defense. If the “Government” (any Western government) was truly serious about stopping terrorism, they would target those causing the terrorism with suggestions such as PapyaSF’s (you should go to the Glibertarians site BTW, I bet they miss you).

    The reality is that faced with terrorism, someone is going to lose their freedom (the State after all can only do anything through the use of force or the threat thereof). The fact that to a government, all Western nations have chosen to apply those losses in the broadest manner possible (thereby maximizing their power) rather than in a targeted fashion shows that they are as much a danger as the Islamists.

  • Rich Rostrom

    PapayaSF@June 4, 2017 at 7:13 am:

    I think most of what we are seeing is an internal contradiction in the Enlightenment worldview…

    Not an internal contradiction, but an external phenomenon which cannot be fitted into the Enlightment paradigm.

    Thomas Jefferson, a great votary of the Enlightenment, wrote:

    …it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    That is true. But my neighbour’s beliefs about God may lead him to break my leg or pick my pocket. That has not been true of Christians for centuries (since about 100 years before Jefferson), which was part of the Enlightenment. (Not the Reformation, which broke many legs and picked many pockets (as did the Counter-Reformation). Which is why Islam doesn’t need a Reformation; arguably the rise of Wahhabi/Salafist literalism is a Reformation.)

    When beliefs about God have such effects, the Enlightenment position that religion is a personal quality of no real world significance fails. And that is what the “right-thinking” intellectuals can’t deal with.

  • PapayaSF

    I see your point, but I also see a contradiction with the progressive worldview, which is an extension of Enlightenment principles. On the one hand they are open borders, pro-feminist, pro-LGBT, and pro-peace, but Muslim immigration leads to violence, much of it directed against women and gays.

    (And, I might add, Muslim immigration leads to more government surveillance, producing a conflict within the libertarian worldview.)

  • PeterT

    Jefferson himself was of course a scourge of Mohammedans – defeating the barbary pirates.

  • Alisa

    ‘They hate us for our freedoms’ – so let’s eradicate as much of these freedoms as possible, problem solved.

  • I’m astonished that nobody’s covered the most practical measure that can be done to eliminate the threat of Islam, eliminating the fear of those who wish to leave. Right now Islam is advantaged in that people who wish to leave it are afraid to do so because of the non-negligible fear that if they do, they will be killed.

    What are the support plans that the security services have to keep such people safe? How effective are they? Have they eliminated this fear within their area of responsibility? If they have not adequately addressed these questions, then perhaps a change in leadership is in order for the safety of this community that lives in real fear.

  • PapayaSF

    I would like to see a worldwide, UN-promoted campaign against any punishment for apostasy. And if a country does not allow people to freely leave a religion, they should be sanctioned and shunned.

  • Laird

    I think this little clip from the US cable TV show “Homeland” captures my thoughts on how to deal with Islamic extremism. (This clip is taken from the first episode of the show’s fifth season, and features fictitious CIA black-ops agent Peter Quinn [portrayed by British actor Rupert Friend] outlining the options for addressing the rise of militant jihadists. I don’t watch this show, but based on this clip perhaps I should.)

  • bobby b

    Back in 2003, Richard Fernandez wrote a (to me) rather prescient article titled “The Three Conjectures“, in which he expanded on the basic all-or-nothing premise underlying Quinn’s argument.

    It’s a bit chilling, but worth a read. Either we fix this now, or Islam devours itself and much of the world in the same fiery ball.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird: Go ahead. Watch 2 or 3 seasons. You’ll end up with all your teeth set to Maximum Ache, and two simultaneous migraines.

    Your choice, of course.

    😥 😈 👿 ❗

  • Laird

    bobby b, an interesting article. Thanks.

  • Erik

          I’d like to dissect the term “Enlightenment” that was brought up here a bit, because it seems to be something of a bait-and-switch. (Frankly I think it’s downright propaganda on a level with “Dark Ages”, but that’s another topic.) Two major sub-nodes might be the Scottish and the French, somewhat metonymically. The former is the Enlightenment of David Hume, Adam Smith, John Playfair, James Watt, and other luminaries with a focus on empiricism – noting how things are. The latter is the Enlightenment of Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Nicolas Condorcet, and other men with strong opinions about how things should be.

          If I may speak broadly, the first sort of people gave us the Industrial Revolution and the second sort of people gave us the French Revolution (and various accompanying nastiness). Had I a time machine, I’d be trying to stop the second sort of people. And I think it’s sad that the second Enlightenment has taken so much opportunity to paint itself with the good name of the first.

    (There is a topical point coming, I swear!)

          Rich Rostrom mentions the Reformation above in similar context, though I’d be more specific that it was the Wars of Religion rather than the Reformation per se. Eh. The Augsburg and Westphalia Peaces expressed the principle cuius regio, eius religio to put a stop to the Wars of Religion, and a great opportunity for rectification of names was missed, because the Wars of Religion were and were not about religion in somewhat complicated ways. 1) They were essentially about religion in the sense of REMOVE HERETIC, REMOVE PAPIST, REMOVE ICONOCLAST, REMOVE IDOLATER, REMOVE BLASPHEMER. 2) They were incidentally about religion as a particular manifestation of the general problem “My neighbor is living wrongly and I would like to compel him to live rightly.” 3) They were not so much about religion as seen in the several “Paris is worth a Mass”-style conversions of blatant opportunism, rulers and countries switching sides even without converting, attempts to maintain the balance of power, chances to get back against long-standing hated enemies.

          And it’s here that the partisans of the French Enlightenment, I think, made the mistake that would work itself out over the centuries. Seeing that things improved with the advent of cuius regio, eius religio, they tried to move from one sect in charge to no sects in charge, and what had been a truce among Christians as to which of them was in charge where morphed into an ostensibly-neutral trucekeeper setting itself up as the one in charge above all the Christians everywhere. And this is a form of fighting the last war – now you’ve created a vast new power for the trucekeeper(s) to use against religion, and a new attack surface for mind-viruses such as Marxism which can say “I am not a religion so it is totally legitimate for me to dictate how y’all shall live”, all while thinking the problem is solved. A religion in charge puts an end to warfare over who’s in charge. No religion in charge creates a new kind of squabble over who’s in charge. Power up for grabs will be grabbed at. Some form of in-charge-ness is ineradicable.

          “The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk”, goes the proverb, meaning that events and periods of history to a great extent become legible only as they are ending, which is what I think is going on here. The era of the secular trucekeepers is coming to a head. It relied on an originally intra-Christian notion of truce that several other religions could buy into, whether because they agreed in principle or were small and found it safest to do so. But Islam, which had previously been beaten back and down by Christianity to a great extent, did not buy into a Westphalian truce. And so I finally meander around to answering OP’s question:

    For many people, 9/11 remade their political world. Excluding 9/11 itself, has continuing Islamist terrorism in the years since 2001, such as last night’s attack at London Bridge, changed your beliefs?

          Yes. It’s made me think we are headed for a very large religion-centric swerve in the course of history very soon. The current course cannot go on much longer. The trucekeepers calling themselves sometimes nothing and sometimes neutrality and sometimes Enlightenment are being challenged and found wanting. Islamists want the Westphalian truce dead; Christians are increasingly upset that the truce isn’t being sufficiently enforced on Islamists; and the nonreligious are growing numerous and ideological enough to more blatantly splinter over how to view it. I don’t know how it will end, but since making specific predictions is a good habit to avoid blithe “Well I thought so” later, here’s one – the American First Amendment’s religion provision will cease to operate in its current form within ten years. Perhaps it’ll get a “Not for Islam” exception, or perhaps it’ll be thrown out entirely as the US calves off overtly-Christian and overtly-antireligious secession movements, or be scaled back to its original Federal interpretation, or something else.

  • Rich Rostrom

    EriK:

    Islamists want the Westphalian truce dead; Christians are increasingly upset that the truce isn’t being sufficiently enforced on Islamists…

    Islamists don’t recognize the Westphalian truce. Western Christians are starting to notice this (Middle Eastern Christians have known it all along). But “post-Christian” Westerners don’t want to acknowledge it.

    The US has a problem: the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”, which under the doctrine of incorporation also limits the states. But we are seeing that the “free exercise” of Islam leads to criminal violence.

    Solving that proble under that restriction will be like squaring a circle.