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Monday, April 3, 2017
Eileen F. Toplansky
In his 1941 review titled "No, Not One" of Alex Comfort's novel No Such Liberty, George Orwell explains that the protagonist of the story is put before a tribunal because he has "declared that he will not fight against the Nazis, thinking it better to 'overcome Hitler by love.'"
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Notwithstanding the bestial attacks in Germany, the carnage against Christians throughout the world, the brutal rapes and assaults being propagated by jihadist "refugees," the institution of child marriage throughout the Islamic world, the frightening increase in global anti-Semitism, and the censoring of free speech, it is clear that Orwell's prescient essay needs to be reiterated as he asks that we "consider ... facts which underlie the structure of modern society and which it is necessary to ignore if the pacifist 'message' is to be accepted uncritically."
Orwell asserts that "civilisation rests ultimately on coercion. What holds society is not the policeman but the good will of common men, and yet that good will is powerless unless the policeman is there to back it up. Any government which refuse[s] to use violence in its own defence would cease almost immediately to exist[.]"
Yet we see Germany, France, and Sweden unraveling because the police have lost control as Muslim communities become no-go zones and law and order are abandoned. Soeren Kern describes the more "than 40 problem areas" (Problemviertel) across Germany. These are areas where "large concentrations of migrants, high levels of unemployment, and chronic welfare dependency, combined with urban decay, have become incubators for anarchy." In fact, "the problem of no-go zones is especially acute in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany's most populous state."
Speaking of the Nazi scourge, Orwell maintains that "since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it."
Fast-forward to the jihadist scourge that besets the world today. Does not pacifism, by default, become pro-jihadist? Shall we call it pacifism of the soul that the Netherlands finds a courageous man like Geert Wilders guilty of free speech for pointing out the dangers of the Muslim immigration?
Orwell also takes great issue with the "calculated campaign of deception" of news media and asserts that "no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper." He emphasizes that it gives him "the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. After all, the chances are that those lies, or at any rate similar lies, will pass into history." Echoes of fake news, indeed!
Since "[p]acifism is only a considerable force in places where people feel themselves very safe ... turn-the-other cheek pacifism only flourishes among the more prosperous classes or among workers who have in some way escaped from their own class. The real working class, though they hate war ... are never really pacifist, because their life teaches them something different." Currently, with few exceptions, the elites in Europe appear to have no compunction about inundating villages with refugees, with dire results for their own citizens.
Each time pictures are shown of Germans and Swedes who welcomed the refugees, one must wonder if they have finally come to their senses after the Cologne rapes, of the murders of young women, of the palpable fear that has gripped Europe. Then again, "to abjure violence it is necessary to have no experience of it." Clearly, the lessons of the Nazis have faded as European leaders engage in grotesque contortions to distort the facts on the ground. Will the Europeans who are now experiencing such unadulterated violence begin to push back against their elite leaders?
The idea of moral equivalence is not new. Orwell asserts that before one "raises a squeal because two thousand internees have only eighteen latrine buckets between them, one might as well remember what has happened the last few years in Poland, in Spain, [and] in Czechoslovakia." Hence, "[i]f one clings too closely to the idea that 'those who fight Fascism become Fascist themselves formula, one is simply led into falsification.'" The fact is that "the ordinary short term case for pacifism, the claim that you can best frustrate the Nazis by not resisting them, cannot be sustained. If you don't resist the Nazis you are helping them, and ought to admit it." Merely substitute jihadists for Nazis, and Europe is engaging in existential suicide.
So, 76 years later, the world finds itself in the same conundrum – the name of the enemy is jihadist fascism, and "the notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact."
As Orwell explains, "the choice before human beings is not, as a rule, between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world; that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war, which is also evil. There is no other choice before you, and whichever you choose you will not come out with clean hands." We only have the chance of choosing the lesser evil and of working for the establishment of a new kind of society in which common decency will again be possible."
Orwell asserts that "to look down your nose at the people who actually keep you out of [Hitler's] clutches ... is a highbrow variant of British hypocrisy, a product of capitalism in decay[.]"
Pacifists hate violence – sadly, they do not acknowledge that violence is "integral to modern society," no matter how much they wish it away. Similar to the Nazi desire to rule the world, the jihadist wants to form a global caliphate. As a result, "[t]he whole population of the world is involved in it, from the Esquimos to the Andamanese, and since one must inevitably help one side or the other, it is better to know what one is doing and count the cost." Until the world acknowledges this, the greater evil will win out.