20 March 2009

EOS–2 / IRSHAD MANJI: BERSERKERS RAGE

Sometimes it is simply necessary to confront Genghis Khan across the bargaining table. But beware the ceremony. It weakens the blood of free men.
- William F. Buckley, Jr., Happy Days Were Here Again

I. BACKGROUNDER.
Ever since the release of her book The Trouble with Islam [1] Irshad Manji has become the lovable goto girl for self
-criticism operating within the inflexible sphere of Islam. By some weird act of sociological acrobatics, a misleading impression has arisen in America that Manji is working only to foster peaceful and honest rapprochement between Islam and the West. Her website states she "is pioneering efforts throughout the world to promote Muslim reform and moral courage." (irshadmanji.com) A self-described "Muslim refusenik", she is also Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University. Her website further states the projects mission is to "develop leaders who will challenge political correctness, intellectual conformity and self-censorship. In the best spirit of liberal education, the Moral Courage Project teaches that rights come with responsibilities, that we are citizens rather than members of mere tribes, and that meaningful diversity embraces different ideas and not just identities." As shall be evidenced below, the statement "we are citizens rather than members of mere tribes" stands in sheer ideational contrast to her philosophical origins, of what she has written, enunciated and advocated in the past, prior to her tour of duty in America and, now, internationally.
 
II. COLD STATE. For you see, Irshad Manji - this international bright young thing - is of Canadian origin, from the Great White North, from the land of government-imposed multiculturalism, i.e. where tribalism is in a more advanced state than in the United States. A preconception exists that Canada is a relatively stable and sedate nation, a place where the previous four decades of Fabianistic governance - inducted by the prime ministerial buffoon Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000) - has lulled the populace into a condition of tolerance and tranquility.[2] If one is a climatic determinist, it might be posited that cold winters have frozen the free wills of Canadians, suppressed their capacity to think, and solidified their inward natures into a pleasant Rousseauian stasis. Though humdrum, Canadians are "nice" and indifferent to the prodigious and disastrous social changes instituted by Vulgar Radicals in the 1960s. But, of course, this is surface analysis.
 
III. CRAZY CANUCKS. In actuality, a militant left wind establishment exists in Canada, seditiously emanating an aura of neutrality. Whether it be print media, television, radio, universities, government, unions or the judiciary – all profess, explicitly or not, that no objective truths appertain to whatever issue of the day; that one must be "tolerant" of others, "open" to other views, regardless of uncouthness, and concede that specious argumentation is a normal, substantive, valid, even productive aspect of any society. I call this the slick trick of the Vulgar Radical Left… and from this antinomian morass a cornucopia of radicals hath spewed forth. They have broken away from the shackles of tyranny, allegedly imposed by the traditions of Western Civilization, and have hopped onto the bandwagon of modern liberalism, where cultural relativism prevails. Irshad Manji is one of these radicals.
IV. T-MINUS 12 YEARS. But is not this contention, in the context of The Trouble with Islam, inconsistent with her critical assessment of Islam, that most perdurable and subjugating of Christian heresies? Does she not articulate "reform" and "moral courage" within the Muslim community? But that book is not the focus of this analysis. This is because antecedents are of primary interest to the heresy hunter. Time travel is necessitated. Destination: Anno Domini 1997... and when we get there, we must dig, and dig deep. For what is expounded in the text to which she is most famous, strangely enough, is at ideological variance, but in other ways directly correspondent with, a book she published in Canada a few years prior to the millennial turn. It is entitled Risking Utopia.[3] A search for this text on her website yielded the following message: "no results found". This is easily explainable, given what is to be presented below. For this book is supremely representational of an anarchic irrationalism that now rules the leftist academe, that increasingly pervades discourse in the public square, but is accredited without any remonstration whatsoever.

V. ADORED BY MEDIA. Not born in Canada, Manji arrived thereto as a Ugandan refugee, and she is from an orthodox Muslim family. She is also a self-confessed radical lesbian feminist. An uncommon individual, to be sure, for it would seem impossible to reconcile homosexuality with Islam. That is until she "met Omar... he persuaded me that denying my dykehood might be blasphemy". Well, TH2 does not think that Omar is sufficiently familiar with Muslim moral doctrine. Nor does TH2 understand how Manji can maintain that her homosexual-rooted societal perspectives are media censored. She spoke of "the narrow scope of opinion in mainstream journalism", that "TV news... is profoundly hostile to radical democracy", inferring that her opinions are disallowed a rostrum. Not only this, "so few openly queer people have access to the media." But, alas, the harsh facts of reality demonstrate her claims to be howlers. In fact, Manji regularly appears and appeared in the mainstream media in Canada. She was newsreader and commentator on current affairs; she produced a public affairs feature on a multicultural faith television network (Vision TV); she debated issues on TV Ontario (the provinces version of PBS); she hosted a homosexual TV show on a popular local station called The Q-Files; she was a columnist for an Ottawa-based homosexual magazine called Capital Xtra!; she had a stint as national affairs editor with the newspaper Ottawa Citizen; she has appeared on the CBC (Canada's national broadcaster); and MacLean's magazine (Canada's copycat version of Time) named her as one of the "100 Leaders of Tomorrow". Overseas: on the BBC and Al-Jazeera. Now in the United States: Ms. magazine named her a "Feminist for the 21st Century". She has appeared on CNN, PBS, C-SPAN, Headline News, Fox News Channel, the CBS Evening News - and let us not forget Real Time with Bill Maher and Oprah. Oh, the oppression!

VI. CATHARS IN LOVE. Thus the perfect embodiment and icon for the "New Left": Irshad Manji is young and homosexual, slick and hip, a fighter and a feminist, and declared, echoing Rousseau, that "everything is political. Everything."[4] Before her emergence into the US forefront, she was unconditionally embraced by the Canadian mainstream media, including editors of neo-Marxist periodicals. Then, as now, she was sonorous, confrontational and exuded a self-assertiveness with the semblance of neurotic fixation (uneasiness is felt when seeing her speak). From an article she wrote called "Deadbeat Nation!", she asked Canadians to "engage in truly revolutionary thinking."[5] Yet she has denied being a socialist and a vegetarian. Moreover, she does not hate men. Why? "To be pressed against throbbing muscle, enveloped by arms that I can bite but rarely dent, separated merely by a sheet of sweat and a lick of latex, exchanging grunts and grins, all the while knowing he can have me but cannot keep me... That is too good to give up." Well thank goodness for that, and never has TH2 read a more romantic description of Manicheanism.

VII. THE DRILL. Nor is Mani -
pardon, Manji - a "victim". The cry of victimhood means "to be immobilized by circumstance, a situation I have always shunned. Even when it meant behaving like a jerk. In a teenage act of pure lip-smacking spite, I spread a rumor about a friend who had become a born-again Christian. Cautiously passed notes told classmates that I had spotted her hugging a girl. My anonymous phone calls to her home began, 'Hey, lezzie, you're being watched.' I felt a perverse power surge in singling somebody out. After years of being called a Paki, I was finally showing these missionaries of the Supremacist Messiah that I could give as good as I got. To hell with volunteering victimhood for the sake of sisterhood." Look out humanity, Irshad Manji wants to take on the world! Ah, yes, TH2 knows the drill, the expected anti-Christian potshot, and to judge by behavior instead of principle. "Supremacist Messiah" - how quaint. No death threats from Christians, but quite a few from Muslims.[6]
VIII. BIG TIME LESBIAN ACTION. To use an ignorant adolescent racialism of the past as an excuse to rebel against The Man in the present is, obviously, an adolescent-rooted reactionism. TH2 is of southern Mediterranean "olive skin" lineage and has not infrequently been brandished with ethnic zingers, sometimes with malicious intent and sometimes in a jovial manner, as a youth and as an adult. So what? Who hasn't in their lifetime been insulted or abased with derogatory language? That's life. Deal with it. Admittedly, youth are not always outfitted with the intellectual equipment to understand the causes of racial slurs. But in later years as an adult, why remain and write with the sentiments of a youth as if the bully is still pestering you, and thus still controlling you? As a person matures, it soon becomes clear that racism is a result of upbringing, personal problems, etc., that normal people overlook, disregard or confront in a civil manner, depending on the importance of circumstance. Oh, but, please forgive TH2. He is of European extraction and promises to do his utmost to overcome this abomination. He will try to be more sensitive to, as Manji states, "nationwide demonstrations by bra-challenged women". Perchance TH2 will attend "a workshop on lesbian issues" where, Manji remarks in surprise, "the majority of the participants wore skirts. And as far as I could see, most had clean-shaven legs... Dykes without ankle stubble... at the country's fiercest feminist fest." Shame on TH2. How could he not get enthralled with such big time lesbian action? TH2 will also think, and think hard, about this profound testimonial: "Without a doubt, since Fidel Castro's collectivist coup in 1959, improved access to food, medicine, housing and school has propelled countless Cubans towards a decent quality of life." The many Cuban defections at the 1999 Pan American games in Winnipeg, Manitoba proves this testimony ridiculous. Floridians, one confidently opines, would disagree with this historical revisionism; although Michael Moore would assent to such propaganda.

IX. DRIVEN BY RESENTMENT. Now before your stomach starts to implode by laughter it is time to get more serious because the naiveté of this little muffin is taken very seriously. Seriously. Recall: she been has tagged as choice fare by leftist-liberal elite. She has an answer for everything, and do not attempt to challenge her because her embittered mind is resolute: "resentment... energized me to 'prove' myself". She exists for the battle, and only the battle. By penning this analysis TH2 feels, in an analogical way, like Hermann Rauschning warning the West of impending all-out nihilism, as when he chronicled the aims and philosophy of the Nazi's on the eve of World War II.[7] This is because Manji aspires to instate an age of "radical democracy" grounded in the autonomy of the self, "a set of values that takes root with the individual and radiates out". Astonishingly, values "have no rational foundation" because they are "largely uncontrollable". Only a "reciprocity in values is radical democracy's best enforcement mechanism", "reality and radicalism can share a bed". Like the gnostics, she desires "to explore ambiguity rather than quash it with unswerving criteria of truth". She wants to transform democracy into "one giant bazaar where may all bargain for belonging." Not just democracy, but an "alchemy of democracy" because alchemy "connotes mystery, experimentation and the sense that, with faith and creativity, some elixir will emerge from the brew."

X. YOU GO GIRL. Risking Utopia is partly about a "journey". It summarized her conversations with so-called marginalized members of Canadian society. Some of these people included a Greenpeace activist, a bisexual woman confined to a wheel chair, a feminist farmer, and veiled Islamic women who are crusaders for the legalization of female toplessness in public. Quite an eclectic sampling. Manji began her excursion with the determined aim of defending the feminist cause. "But shift happened." Instead she became a "citizen" (standard word used by uncommitted leftists) as she discovered value in "the messy trade-offs of democracy than in the tidy absolutes of dogma." Her agenda is to advance "an ethos of belonging that encourages everyone to be a participant before labelling anyone a deviant." She is in search of an ethic that does not deter her "passionate belief in plurality of perspective". In other words, Manji strives for a society where all of its denizens are accepted, regardless of truth or error in view, particularly in the moral sphere. She asks vaguely: "Could the Utopia of Complexity debut in Canada?" TH2 answers specifically: The Dystopia of Multiculturalism already exists in Canada. Intermingled with the solecistic ruminations of Manji's interviewees is socio-political commentary, and it is upon the latter to which this analysis will concentrate in its remainder.

XI. REVOLUTIONARY SHOCKWAVES. The French Revolution was an assault on religious and political establishments. Das Kapital and the Communist Revolution warred against capitalism. The Countercultural Revolution of the 1960s, whose effects spill over into the new millennium
- showing no signs of abatement, was principally a negation of morality as the prerequisite for the maintenance of civility and productive public discourse. Religion, politics, economics and morality - each of these have been assailed. In a sense the West has come full circle because morality finds its foothold in religion, first revolted against in formally-declared manner by Luther. Hence the revolutionary must first debunk morality if the new regime is to attain fruition. Values must first be relegated as arbitrary by introducing skepticism into the arena. Not a cautious doubtfulness operating within the matrix of established and/or assumed truths guided by objective reason; but skepticism for the sake of skepticism. More often than not, skepticism is a shield used to justify bad behavior. Manji euphemistically calls this skepticism "self-doubt". "When we doubt our certitudes", she continues, "we have an incentive to learn from others, who in turn can teach us about our own hidden dimensions." Yet how can one learn from others when they, too, are presupposed to distrust and hence lack certitude? Notice also the phrase: "hidden dimensions". Everything is undefined, nebulous, unattainable. But this is the ruse: so long as all remains unknowable, you can talk and write about whatever you want, and justifiably do whatever you want. If words are dissociated from deeds, then personal conduct (which in its traditional acceptation is founded in morality) can be proclaimed to be void of limitation. In other words, Manji contends that self-doubt (i.e. radical skepticism) about values and truth is a truth, which is a contradiction. But common sense deduction is irrelevant to this cupcake. Neither does she wish to be labeled - the hallmark of all gnostics. Labels are "simple", "security blankets". "I hope a world where we turn over the labels and investigate; that is the genesis of belonging... It is when labels clamp communication that belonging is in jeopardy. By belonging, then, I do not mean unconditional acceptance, better known as mindlessness."

XII. LABELS SEEN ONTOLOGICALLY. Here, labels can be translated as words or speech that identify or distinguish between a this and a that (dualism enters here, to which we will return). For Manji, labels "clamp communication" and disallow "belonging". What is belonging, then? One can only belong to an-other, a political party, a family, a country or whatever. Otherwise belonging would not be belonging. What Manji does is to contort this belonging into a becoming: "Belonging is a state in which we accept each other just enough to explore." (i.e. "be" in becoming taken as movement, "not yet", future; not being as such: is, actuality, present). Everything is wide open, without boundary, both ethically and politically. Manji is on a quest, desiring a "navigation to identity". All is in unremitting change. Though one cannot belong or possess an identity in such a societal circumstance. Change cannot be change unless reference is made to that which is unchanged. How can one navigate without objective referents? When there are no pointers or rules or limits, it becomes impossible for man to gauge himself, be it with respect to his moral fitness, his sense of purpose, or his idea of progress.

XIII. EMBRYONIC TOTALITARIANISM. Manji's sociology undoubtedly has a totalitarian aspect about it, or at least lends itself so. Namely, if one does not belong or does not possess an identity, if the search for these is unceasing, and if these two qualities can never be
- as in becoming, not being, then it automatically follows that traits such as individuality and, more particularly, personhood, do not exist. The human being becomes something abstract, impersonal, effectively unknowable ("hidden dimensions"). Hence a gateway is opened for someone with enough power and clout to take advantage of a society that refuses absolutely to be identified or to belong. This is the lesson of history. The pendulum swings to the other extreme where identification and belonging become musts instead of being the result of free decisions. In the past, become a member of "the Party" or be exiled to the gulag. Today, it is illegal to use "gender specific" language or "culturally insulting" terminology otherwise the Dictators of Political Correctness will make you confess your sins at a "sensitivity training seminar", if not charge you with a "hate crime".

XIV. DEBONAIR NIHILISM. Still, Manji insists there must be "a historic, borderless pursuit of discovery." By implication, this philosophical error transmutes into moral relativism. We must replace "morals, which are absolute, with ethics, which respond to changing situations, [and is] the pragmatic price of genuine civic interaction." Substitute "civic interaction" (which is vague verbosity) with tribalism (which is a particular reality). One example: Some years back the Ontario Research Addiction Foundation released a document with this pathetic title: The Street Youth's Guide to Fun and Safe Drug Use. Manji's response: "Morally bankrupt? Perhaps. But ethically stocked to the hilt." Raskilnokov's portentous speech at the end of Crime and Punishment now comes to mind. It is this debonair nihilism, this nonchalant antinomianism, which effectively says "oh well, let's have another martini as we continue to scream downward into the abyss", that is chilling.
 
XV. CONTEMPT FOR MIDDLE CLASS. Clearly, this antinomian princess refuses to acknowledge the direct relation between morality and civilization. History categorically corroborates that a progressive and stable civilization (not cultures, which have always existed) necessitates moral discipline. Civilized peoples assume and aspire to beauty, goodness and truth, and truth itself is at the locus of morality. If there is political advancement and economic dynamism in society, if there is to be scientific and technological progress, it is because there is a force at work which in effect normalizes and keeps tabs on personal conduct. Accomplishment and success are not overnight occurrences. They require diligence, an affirmation of suffering, a belief in order and common sense, they assume right reason, and prefer security to instability, as there is an implicit reluctance to instigate or participate in any kind of dissension. Thus a regularized aspect in individual activity is necessarily involved. These characteristics are emblematic of the middle class population. It is then no shock that Manji holds the bourgeois and its value system in disdain, condescendingly classifying them as "neo-cons", "ordinary folks". Neo-conservatism is a "spasm of the hour", it has a "populist appeal" and "demands conformity", namely "you are required to emulate the dominant culture". Canada has suffered "years of bumper-sticker indoctrination". In typical fashion of the self-righteous snob, she speaks of the "ideological assurances sought by the anxious masses". It is amazing that such platitudes of the hippy counterculture still survive to this day. The scorn continues as the middle class are castigated as lacking empathy: "Without empathy, however, a middle-class family has no self-interest in seeing others benefit from its renewed fortune. Saving money therefore becomes a compelling choice as spending it. Personal renewal can amount to nothing more than personal enrichment, leaving a homeless family still scraping food from a dumpster."
XVI. BOGUS POLARITY. Here we have that old Marxist claptrap that exacerbates class envy, setting up an antagonism between a hard working middle class family, who rightly deserve what they possess, versus some fabricated minority group, who in the main could care less, or do not know, that some fanatic wants to be their messiah. Homeless people there are, but the situation is concocted to be more critical than it is in actuality, otherwise Manji would have nothing to complain about. The concoction of crises is the artificial respirator of all leftists. The middle class family is portrayed as avaricious, egotistical, listless, whereas the homeless undergo, and have exclusive right to, a life of martyrdom. Manji exalts and romanticizes life in the gutter and endeavors to transpose the guilt for this onto those who are not directly responsible for the predicament. Time after time history instructs that the bourgeois act a bridge between the peasant and the aristocrat, between the workers and the captains of industry, between no power and absolute power. Dynamite this bridge and the peasant must submit absolutely to the aristocrat. In the last century - subscribe to the NSDAP and become a member of the "master race", or else be consigned to the concentration camp. Today - submit to the Newspeak of Political Correctness or else have your life and reputation decimated by some banana republic "Human Rights Tribunal". The dispersion of power that a thriving middle class fosters disallows such Orwellian nightmares because it provides a socio-economic gateway to opportunity, providing individuals the liberty to rise or fall based on freely chosen decisions.

XVII. PROHIBITING PILGRIMS PROGRESS. Not only is class envy encouraged, Manji employs race and gender to cleave people from one another. Not in the customary leftist way, say, between men and women, white and colored, rich and poor. She goes further. Not division, but subdivision of a division already made, focusing on the young generation and even feminists. When colored young people struggle for identity it is "minority angst", whereas for "white youth" it is a "social phenomenum", implying that the latter is considered more significant than the former. There is no justification for this assertion. The government has for a long time declared Canada to be a "multicultural" country. The youth of the past who emigrated had their "angst", but any newly arriving immigrant group will suffer trial and turmoil, irrespective of the country to which they settle. This is another lesson of history. For instance, some Canadians of Italian descent were consigned to camps when the Fascist Benito Mussolini was in power in Italy during World War II. Today, this community flourishes. Through their parent's hard work and optimistic dispositions, including the availability of greater opportunities in a newer nation (in education and employment), their children, once becoming adults, were able to improve their livelihoods. Their populations gradually increased, no longer "minorities". It is a natural progression and the natural law of migration. Manji is using the materialist
-quantitative argument, presuming that sheer numbers and biology hamper societal assimilation. The so-called Eurocentric argument does not work either because this, for example, cannot explain Canada's diligent and flourishing Chinese community. But notice her trick: If "minority" youth did achieve identity and success, Manji would instantaneously traduce them as conformists. "When you're part of the dominant ideology, your statements are merely common sense. Conventional wisdom."[8] No escape is allowed. Social mobility and economic success are shams in the dim light of Manji's worldview. However, it would seem, judging by her recent successes, that these rigid laws of determinism do not apply to her. Why? Because she is special.

XVIII. CLASSROOM ANARCHY ADVOCATED. Besides splitting youth into multi
-colored groups, Manji conduces their derision for, and hence separation from, maturated authority. This is to be realized in the classroom: "In a radically democratic classroom, the teacher sets the tone, yet it is the ethos of belonging that disciplines her [teacher]. Individuals exercise their right and responsibility to participate, even (or especially) when that means arguing with the teacher... [it is] a more effective educational aid than is strict control." This position, of course, only works to undermine the teaching vocation, obfuscating the traditional distinction between the rightful authority of an accomplished, knowledgeable teacher and the deference of impressionable, inexperienced pupils. The end result would be to foment confusion and defiance into students, who are oblivious to what they are really revolting against. True, Manji's stance is a commonplace leftism, viz. a criticalism that acts as an excitant to generate cynicism and contempt for authority. But what is new is the fervor to which this skepticism is to be practiced. Students must "especially" argue with their teachers. It is the teacher that needs disciplining. The classroom itself becomes an "incubator of radical democracy". This is not a suggestion. Nor is it a humble proposal. It is blatant call for classroom anarchy. To be sure, this defiance against the teacher would eventually be transferred into the household, further inhibiting parents from properly rearing their children. Afterward, this anarchical vehemence will percolate throughout the rest of society. Proof: turn on your television set and watch MTV.

XIX. THOSE WACKY WHITE FEMINISTS. Also under Manji's microscope for dissection are, strangely enough, the feminists. Feminism, she puts forward, is not a unified movement militating against a male-dominated society, she avows. It is based "on truths of many white women", not at all indicative of the latitudinal color spectrum. What is at fault is a new, dogmatic "Pink Patriarchy", indistinguishable from the "classic" kind. These feminists live and practice in a paradoxical manner, she continues, they are constantly "shitting on each other in the guise of sharing power with each other". Unknowingly do they cultivate the "forces of hierarchy that already exist in society". Successful women, feminist or not, suffer from the "Breakthrough Syndrome", denoted by the acronym BS (note allusion to profanity; formalized vulgarity is common to the psychologically desperate). As an illustration, Manji reproaches former conservative politician Kim Campbell, Canada's first woman Prime Minister. Such "patients exhibit a myopia that is at one soothing and dangerous": "[They] do not bother peering past the breakthrough to probe what happens next and why. Rather they assume that as soon as a woman pierces the glass ceiling of a nontraditional field, she has 'made it'. These delusions lead B.S. patients to believe that how a woman fares after her breakthrough depends entirely on her own merits... as long as women agree to play games for the sake of professional endurance, future generations will continue to be deemed credible by their 'personality fit' with the system." Conspiracy! The jealously and paranoia are spectacular. Such women need a "reality check, downed with a dose of vigilance". Vigilance against what? Manji is punching clouds. Regardless of what these women attain, they are still members of a noisome patriarchy which assumes that "norms... are natural rather than constructed." Her ferocity and envy is relentless: "Even a critical mass of women... might not loosen the levers of power." What will then? An army of transgendered deconstructionist lesbo-vegan social engineers? Please be specific. Give a reason. She cannot. Again: no escape is permitted. Dissent for the sake of dissent. She poses some questions and gives an answer: "When are you ever established enough? When is it ever safe enough? When is there ever enough security for journalists to challenge the driving assumptions of their institution. The answer is, it is never a 'safe' time."[8] Agitation for the sake of agitation. Manji, due to her insecurities, criticizes those who have achieved a high status in society, those who have bettered their lives, dragging them down to her own level, relegating their accomplishments as irrelevant so as to justify her own mediocrity.

XX. DIVISION AD ABSURDUM. Following the Marxist line, Manji uses class contempt to vilify the bourgeois. As a feminist she divides men from women. Using inverse racialism she subdivides white from colored feminists. She divides students from teachers in the classroom, and subdivides youth into white and colored. Class, gender, age, and race
- what will be next? So "long as race claims a place in my fight, so must class, sexual orientation, physical (dis)ability - all dimensions of our complicated selves." Shall we introduce homosexuality, subdivide again and create a new class called young-colored-female-immigrant-anti-bourgeois-nonconformist-lesbians? Abracadabra! TH2 has succinctly encapsulated the character that is Irshad Manji. She is not critiquing the ills of society, she is self-projecting her personal traits, frustrations and feelings onto society. How can one not understand that this cross-cutting throughout will continue ad absurdum, perpetuating only societal fragmentation? No matter - this is "identity politics", meaning that sex, color, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and, "by extension", class and religion, "provide a sufficiently solid foundation on which to form a community." It aids us in seeing "through the platitude that ours is a meritocracy". Following this logic, it would follow that Manji's triumph as author and activist has not been resultant of her own merits and talents. Rather, it has been due to her lesbian lifestyle and skin pigmentation. As Ms. Virginia Slims so eloquently said: "You've come a long way, baby!"

XXI. ON THE EDGE OF DYSTOPIA. Since no chance is left for reconciliation, the "tradition of dualism" must, of course, be fingerprinted as the philosophical culprit that perpetuates societal inequities. Patriarchy, "Pink Patriarchy", "cowboy capitalism, duplicitous socialism, religious absolutism, militant nationalism and ideological polarization all emanate from an either/or paradigm". Indeed, the acceptance of the global economy by developing countries, including the obesquiousness of successful women to patriarchy, "mimics the dynamic between someone like me and religious orthodoxy: either I deny my queerness to gain entrance into the club of the Chosen or I accept my queerness, guarantee excommunication and forge my own, less sure, path." Here we see the common error of dilettantes - the inability to distinguish between necessity and contingency in the context of a dualism (in Islam she is stuck because this religion is theocratic, where theology and politics are one in the same necessarily, without this distinction; whereas the contingency of Christianity, specifically Catholicism, allows for freedom and openness - Church and State were first separated only after when Christ spoke: "Render unto Caesar... Render unto God..."). But what path should the intrepid Manji take? Answer: she must travel to some indefinable metaphysical realm, to an ultimate political reality, she must propel herself to, as the subtitle of her book says, "the edge of a new democracy", to a society without "labels". But do not labels identify one thing from an-other? Do they not confer identity? But this is dualism.

XXII. POLITICAL GNOSTICISM. Gnostics, philosophical or religious or political, set all things, configure all that is, into an irreconcilable dualism. We must "consciously accept conflict" in "all facets of our being". We need a "cooperative individualism" to maintain an "elastic equilibrium" (contradictory phraseologies) between the internality of our selves and the externality that is the world. Belonging is a "battle". Dualism must therefore be "transformed". In typical Hegelian fashion, we must travel "beyond it for a more encompassing ethos of being". Thesis, Anti
-Thesis and encircling Synthesis.[9] In the "alchemy of democracy", there must be a stretch to extraterritoriality, hoping that a new and mysterious by-product with display itself on the horizon, that "some elixir will emerge from the brew". "I reach for a society where people are indoctrinated to be non-doctrinaire", for a "culture of interaction that spawns flexible civic achievements". Now sit down, cross your legs, close your eyes, clasp your hands together, bend the spine backwards, and transcend: "Welcome to the Utopia of Complexity. We are entering a society that recognizes its complexity - and revels in it. Less than a state of mind, the utopia can live within each one of us, and when it does, we will live a virtual nation governed by an ethos of belonging... we would be allowed to transcend our biology, obliged to negotiate identity, free - I dare say - to claim a controlling interest in our destiny."

XXIII. Thus Spake Zarathustra... The acute mind of Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is instructive at this juncture: "The old scores have been settled. It is now a rhetoric of self-affirmation."[10]

XXIV. WHAT, THEN, IS TO BE DONE? Since the end of the Cold War Marxist vulgarians in the West have not so much rejected their evil ideology, but only shifted focus of how revolution is to occur, and have needed to be more hushed about it. The infantile revolutionism of the 1960s had many affinities to classical Marxism, namely an undisguised, furious confrontation with "The System". But leftist baby boomers are older, subdued - but still selfish, and currently wield positions of great influence. Today, the "class struggle" (mushrooming into struggles of gender, sexuality, age, race, etc.) is only more politic, it calmly yet assuredly works within institutions and infrastructures. The green socialism of the "global warming" Cassandra's is a case in point. Now it is proposed here that, after the commotion of the 1960s had ebbed, a slow process of infiltration has been in operation. It is known as a "passive revolution" in the academe, first advocated in the variegated writings of the Sardinian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937).

XXV. PASSIVE REVOLUTION. On 12 July, 1919, the Italian newspaper, L'Ordine Nuovo (New Order), printed the following: "...a new type of institution must begin to be created and developed: State-like institutions devised, precisely, to replace the private and public institutions of the democratic-parliamentary State... Institutions capable of taking over the management of all the different functions inherent in the complex system of production and exchange... through horizontal and vertical planning, in the harmonious edifice of the national... economy, freed from the suffocating and parasitical tyranny of private ownership."[11] Gramsci argued that social transformation would come not by an immediate and violent overthrow of existing norms and authority. Alternatively, it would arrive via the unhurried emplacement of disruptive and divisive notions into an already established social-political framework. Anarchic principles would quietly trickle their way into institutions of learning, public policy, the judiciary, and so forth. Unbrazenly, radicals should firstly confederate with organizations that work for a wide latitude of causes so as to gain acceptance and trust. Gradually, revolutionary ideas would be introduced until their adversaries, now aware of the manipulation, are unable to counteract a process of subversion which has already torn apart a significant part of the civic and moral fabric. It would be, as Gramsci said in his Prison Notebooks, a "war of position". Manji's philosophy is inclined such: "...belonging should take time for everybody with democratic aspirations... Radicalism in democracy exists not on the outskirts, but at the bustling centre of public discourse... In a legislature, on campus, around the neighbourhood or at a dinner party, to be radical is to stretch towards the truths of others." That the Trojan Horse revolutionism of Manji has already been admitted into the mainstream indubitably gives confirmation that nihilism is increasingly flooding the public square. God help us should such pseudo-intellectual barbarianism gain extensive influence.
XXVI. ANALYSIS BREAKDOWN. Irshad Manji's principal blunder in Risking Utopia is that she jumbles politics with morality and, by close association, religion, Islam in her case. This is not at all unlike the Bolshevist dictate that morality is a function of economic prescriptions, which occludes the distinction between morality and whatever ideology to which a society subscribes. Morality is relative, or "uncontrollable", as she puts it. But since her interest is with politically correct minority groups, she must relativize morality for a very large sector of the population, namely the middle class. Though when she talks of those young, colored, poor, homosexual, and if she is to act as delegate and redeemer for them (which she is obviously doing), her parlance is such that it assumes there are moral absolutes which already exist for this narrow latitude of people. Otherwise there would be no objective foundation for her grievances. Since Manji subconsciously feels to be a deviant, that she does not "belong", she inadvertently admits disorientation and must find some ordering parameter that will reorientate things and give justification for her convictions and system of social amelioration. But whether she attacks traditional morality, European whites, men, or the bourgeois, this is still no different from others in the past who have attempted expel religion and supplant it with secular, quasi-religious belief. History attests, however, that when such worldviews are accustomed, the resulting society will not be, as Manji claims, "pragmatic" (this is a euphemism), but totalitarian.
XXVII. CLOSING ARGUMENT. Irshad Manji is the ideational progeny of leftist ideology gone adrift. She is evidently guilt ridden and must vent this guilt to release the internalized pressures within. It is the old story of the radical left wing dilettante who, because of a self-induced inferiority complex actuated by the sense of feeling immanently trapped, seeks quasi-transcendence in the socio-political sphere, and extrudes his own compulsions onto everyone else in the civic arena. Therefore, Manji must assert herself, and she must do so aggressively, heroically, gloriously. Why? Likely, it is fear fed on helplessness and envy. Since she believes everyone is against her, it becomes her duty to take on the world. She is the epitome of the misunderstood artist, the rankled solitudinarian, the maverick vociferating an endless sequence of bromides. The popularization and veneration of such anomalous personalities only goes about to perpetuate the absolute falsehood that man is at his best, that he is most natural and productive, most innovative and free, when he breaches boundaries and norms, when he challenges and overthrows authority, or when he dwells on the unsafe fringes of society. Indeed, this poor creature is yet another incarnation of that "berserker rage" [12] brilliantly characterized so long ago by the poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856): the tone is neurotic, the secularized tribalism is frenetic, the intent is civil subversion, the dream is revolution, the misology and dilettantism shine brightly, the politics is gnostic, the antinomianism is adamant, and the vulgarity is victorious.

XXVIII. DISTANT EARLY WARNING. Now it has been T+12 years since Risking Utopia was published. It is doubtful that Manji's anarchic irrationalism has abated during this time. Therefore, heed the warning from Karl Popper (1902-1994): "Beware of these false prophets! What they are after, without being aware of it, is the lost unity of tribalism. And the return to the closed society which they advocate is the return to the cage, and to the beasts."[13]



NOTES / REFERENCES


1. The Trouble with Islam (New York: St. Martins Press, 2004). Re-titled The Trouble with Islam Today in its paperback version. Translated into 30+ languages. Manji writes: "The Trouble with Islam is an open letter from me, a Muslim voice of reform, to concerned citizens worldwide
Muslim and not. It's about why my faith community needs to come to terms with the diversity of ideas, beliefs and people in our universe, and why non-Muslims have a pivotal role in helping us get there...That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim, it simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah."

2. Fabianism is a revisionist form of Marxism. It originated as a club of prissy and pretentious intellectuals in Britain, started by Sidney and Beatrice Webb (18591947 /18581943) in the 1880s, latterly propelled by the economic theories of George Bernard Shaw (18561950). Fabianism is a more politic, pleasant, unthreatening, gradualist and thus underhanded mode of socialism, as distinct from the violent revolutionary approach of orthodox Marxists (Fabianism has a very homely aspect about it and, as such, is perfect bait for pseudointellectual suckers). It was named after the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosos Cunctator (ca. 280203 BC), infamous for his diffident strategy in the Second Punic War (218201 BC). Its influence has spread throughout the globe, past and present, in both Western European and North American governments (especially in English speaking countries, e.g. Canada). This being so, it could even be argued that this variant of Marxism has been more successful than the orthodox variety of Lenin and Stalin. Cf. E. von KuehneltLeddihn, Leftism, From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Publishers, 1974), pp. 141143. Fabianist politicians (e.g. Pierre Trudeau, also a Gallican) are called "leftofcenter" by news media simpletons who are totally oblivious to the subversive nature of this brand of Socialism. Outside of the Iron Curtain, Fabianism can be blamed for the slowmotion erosion of personal responsibility and capitalism, while gradually emplacing Welfare State concepts into governmental policies, national infrastructures, legal systems and educational institutions. The most popular proponent of Fabianism in Canada today is John Ralston Saul, who works alongside his honeypot companion and former GovernorGeneral, Adrienne Clarkson. Saul and Clarkson are Canada's equivalent of the Webbs.

3. I. Manji, Risking Utopia, On the Edge of a New Democracy (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997). All quotations of her writings will come from this book unless otherwise noted. Another dilettante radical leftist from Canada, Naomi Klein author of the liberal favorite No Logo, wrote of this book: "It is a pleasure to hitch a ride on this brave and unpredictable journey from the safe certainties of extremism towards the tumultuous terrain of individuality, democracy and compassion. Canada just got bigger." The nonchalant use of the irrational phrase "safe certainties of extremism" tells of an unreservedly deluded mindset.

4. "Racism in the Media", Speech given at a conference by the Toronto Community Reference Group on EthnoRacial and Aboriginal Access to Metropolitan Services (October, 1995).

5. One wonders what the response would be if, instead of Canada, she ascribed "deadbeat nation" to the United States. Article from THIS Magazine, July/August, 1996. This hyperradical left wing periodical, managed by wannabe sophisters who can't get real jobs, is funded by the Canadian government. The motto of this magazine echoes Manji mantra: "Because everything is political". Margaret Atwood that most boring, irrelevant, overrated and patronizing of Canadian novelists said of this rag: "THIS magazine is what journalism is supposed to be: smart, brave, relevant." Sidney and Beatrice look what you have done to poor Canada.

6. Manji has received death threats from Mohammedans upon the publication of The Trouble with Islam. The focus of this analysis is not on the evil behavior of others; rather, the spotlight is on the anarchic philosophy promoted in her obscure and relatively unknown book, Risking Utopia.

7. H. Rauschning, The Revolution of Nihilism, Warning to the West, trans. E.W. Dickes (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1939).

8. "Racism in the Media". Speech...

9. Gnostic par excellence, the German G.W.F. Hegel (17701831) developed a philosophy that took multitudinous dualisms (e.g. spirit/body, determinism/freewill, transcendent/immanent, etc.), generalizing them as "Thesis/AntiThesis", thereafter configuring these "contradictions" or "oppositions" into a conglobulating and omnipresent "Synthesis". Hegel inspired Karl Marx (18181883), but Marx was critical of his predecessor's speculative abstractionism. So comrade Karl materialized Hegelianism by inverting it 180 degrees. Obviously, the Thesis/AntiThesis/Synthesis formula was a secularized abstraction of the Roman Catholic dogma for the Holy Trinity (Father/Son/Holy Spirit). Marx then applied this newly concocted perversion to questionable econometric data and the flashpoint came with his theory of "The Commodity" (UseValue/ExchangeValue/Fetishism). Hegel: [Idealism]/"Synthesis" is inversely proportional to Marx: [Materialism]/"Fetishism" , or "the mystical character of the commodity... abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties... there is nothing mysterious about it", K. Marx, Capital, trans. B. Fowkes (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), vol. 1, pp. 163164. Add a pinch of French sociology ("noble savage" via Rousseau), then a dash of English empiricism (tabula rasa Locke), plus a whole bunch of human sinfulness: Darwin says "get ready", Reverend Malthus says "get set", wink to Luther and go! Thus the whole mess transmogrified into the unremitting monster now known as Communist Socialism. Let the fray begin: Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Nasser, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Jane Fonda (alias Barbarella), North Korea, modern Hollywood, MSNBC, green socialists, Al Gore, Barack Obama, and all the rest of it.

10. Reflections on the Revolution in France and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event (London: Penguin Books Limited, 1969 [1790]).

11. A. Gramsci, "The Conquest of the State" in PrePrison Writings, trans. V. Cox (Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 113. See also Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, trans. Q. Hoare and G.N. Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), pp. 106114. Another Gramscian catchphrase popular with North American Marxists is "ideological hegemony". An extremist social critic describes it as "the possible emergence of countervailing tendencies to rationalized domination; beneath this neartotalitarian surface, workers... would presumably be driven to resist", C. Boggs, The Two Revolutions: Gramsci and the Dilemmas of Western Marxism (Boston: South End Press, 1984), p. 187. The idea of "rational domination" in capitalist societies was popularized in the 1970s by members of the socalled Frankfurt School. Cf. H. Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991 [1964]); M. Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno, Dialect of Enlightenment, trans. J. Cumming (New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1990 [1947]). The aforementioned John Ralston Saul (note 2), because of massive historical ignorance, is an unknowing advocate of this idea, using phrases like "dictatorship of reason" with the old standby "structures" argument. See his Voltaire's Bastards (Toronto: Penguin Books, 1992). Gramsci's "passive revolution" was at odds with the directly violent engagement approach advocated by Marx, as formally declared in The Communist Manifesto: "The Communists disdain to conceal their views. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions." See Karl Marx, Selected Writings, ed. D. McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 246. Gramsci's "passive revolution" is very much akin to Fabianism (see note 2).

12. Quoted in F.J. Sheen, Philosophies at War (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943), p. 31. The German Romantic poet Heinrich Heine (17971856) used this phrase in a mesmerizing sequence that accurately predicted the appearance of the Nazi's upon the acceptation of radical philosophies in Germany: "Smile not at my counsel, at the counsel of dreamer, who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans and Philosophers of Nature. Smile not at the phantasy of one who anticipates in the realm of reality the same revolution that has taken place in the region of the intellect." See full text in his Concerning the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, trans. H.H. Mustard (New York: Random House, 1973), bk. I, pp. 305358.

13. K.R. Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies (London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd, 1962), vol. II, The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath, p. 229.

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