Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center
Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.
A new book on Islam and imperialism.
The specific (and baleful) contribution of Islam is that, by attributing sovereignty solely to God, and by pretending in a philosophically primitive way that God’s will is knowable independently of human interpretation, and therefore of human interest and desire—in short by allowing nothing to human as against divine nature—it tries to abolish politics.
One should be aware of tragedies like the situation in Congo. It shows the basic human helpless in front of evil. It also shows that the elites in the West have no clue about what builds a human civilization. It certainly requires something more fundamental that writing UN resolutions and holding elections.
A first-grade student in Saudi Arabia is taught that "Every religion other than Islam is false" and the teacher is instructed to "Give examples of false religions, like Judaism, Christianity etc.". In fifth grade, the Saudi students learn that "It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God or his prophet". Just two examples from the official history and religion textbooks in the Saudi schools.
A new report from the nonprofit group Freedom House offer a sad look at how Saudi Arabia is poisoning the minds of a new generation of kids. (The complete report is here).
A brilliant essay by Roger Scruton on John Stuart Mill, the father of English-speaking liberalism (as in "everything is OK between consenting adults").
He never understood that the intellect, which flies so easily to its conclusions, relies on something else for its premises. Those conservatives who upheld what Mill called "the despotism of custom" against the "experiments in living" advocated in "On Liberty" were not stupid simply because they recognized the limits of the human intellect. They were, on the contrary, aware that freedom and custom are mutually dependent, and that to free oneself from moral norms is to surrender to the state. For only the state can manage the ensuing disaster.
Ultra-nihilist French writer Michel Houellebecq is an involuntary witness to the truth of Dostoevski's remark: "if you take away from man the possibility of bowing in front of the Infinite, he dies." In Houellebecq's case, he rots.
An excellent Spengler column on Freud and the "sexual revolution."
The therapeutic community has perfectly valid explanations for anorexia and self-harm at the individual level. But it reminds me of a doctor who explains with great precision how a metal object has passed through your body wreaking damage on various organs without also mentioning that the city in which you live is subject to aerial bombardment. Without addressing the cultural catastrophe, the therapeutic profession will be hard put to save many of the individuals.
Human beings are not beasts content with daily fodder and rutting in season. To be sentient is to be sentient of one's mortality. The status of wife and mother in a family within a community offers women an honored position and a link to the eternal. Sexual objectification leaves women with a foretaste of death, and it should be no surprise that Freud's program drives women into deadly behavior.