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Reader comment on item: Why Would Anyone Want to Blow Up Times Square?

Submitted by Erich (United States), May 6, 2010 at 12:27

" I expect that naming the enemy will occur only after a cataclysm ends our patience with minced words."

That is a good hunch. Thank you for your continued honesty in the public arena. Have you ever read the essay in book form, called Enemies of Civilization? It is a good exploration of what destroys us, both from within and from without, and what is needed to resist destruction. It is relevant to our overly civilized and idealized effort to avoid naming our enemy.

As I recall, the argument went something like this: Civilization is, in its essence, the triumph of non-violent solutions to all of society's problems. Nonviolent civilization creates higher education, which abstracts and idealizes old and limited pragmatic solutions. These abstractions tend become universalist ideologies. Ideologies in the heads of young and energetic rebels rip apart the organic, traditional structures that nurture the civilization, on the one hand; and attacks on the code of honor of the warrior class that defends the civilization erodes its only defense against the ruthless. Ruthlessness always wins against non-violent civilization unless there are equally ruthless, but honor-code-guided elements within it to beat back the lawless-ruthless elements, both domestic and foreign. Supporting the code of honor, and by implication, the ruthlessness, of soldiers and police becomes critical to survival in the face of enemies bent on our destruction. If the essay is true, we have some work to do to separate in our minds our non-violent comfort zones from the zones where we need honorable ruthlessness. The weak but peaceful and comfortable zone cannot survive without the strong and stern zone protecting it.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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