Lawrence Auster has published a comment by Kristor, "comparing the Auster/Spencer brawl to the Arian controversy" (also Paul Belien has linked to it).
The second writer on this blog, Geza, my one and only guest columnist, has read it and analyzed it. I will add my comments later, but this is an excellent starting point for a good debate:
Kristor has submitted an interesting comment to Auster and Auster misses the point again.
Although, I do agree with Kristor that Spencer has not really given a 10 point plan to deal with the Muslim problem but he has given suggestions here and there and Hugh Fitzgerald has given a very detailed plan in his articles, and I would say, it is a better approach than Auster's Separationism policy. But what Kristor fails to realize is that Auster's Separationism itself is only a starting point because he only vaguely states what we would do to weaken Islam such as a few surgical strikes here and there i.e. more rubble, less trouble. Fitzgerald is better in this regard because he has given many suggestions on how to weaken Islam abroad without the use of Wilsonian style intervention, such as a propaganda war through sattelite TV. Spencer, like Arius, may not see the logical conclusions of his scholarship because of his commitment to egalitarianism & individual rights but Auster has the same problem due to his traditionalist bias. Spencer cannot condemn Islam as wicked because he would be condemning individual Muslims and Auster cannot condemn Islam because he would be condemning an organic culture. The only thing Austerian and Kalbian traditionalism is capable of condemning is liberalism and its offshoots like socialism, "Darwinism", communism, etc.
Spencer has seen that jihad is the fundamental bone of contention in world history...He has not seen that if he is correct about Islam, then like it or not we are at war with more than a billion people; a war to the death. He has not taken the deeply shocking leap from a world essentially at peace to a world essentially at war.
This is probably one of the most important comments ever posted at VFR. Auster has not made this life-or-death struggle argument about Islam, though he has made it about liberalism. Until Auster writes an entire article articulating why we are in a real war against Islam, then I will only consider him a Usual Suspect.
If we are at war, then our policies must be shaped, not to support our enemies, not to welcome them, but to destroy them (-ed). In that case, all sorts of policies that would have seemed outrageous in time of peace become mere common sense; as Japanese internment during WWII was mere common sense; as Austerian separation is now mere common sense.
"Destroy them" is the key phrase. It doesn't necessarily mean destroying all Muslims, even though there is a possibility that many would die, but it would mean weakening Islam to a point to where it would either be dealt a crushing blow and have no relevance to world affairs. Auster's Separationism if executed perfectly, which is really doubtful, will only remove Muslims and weaken their ability to come here. It will not stop the oil sheiks from buying more assets in the West, it will not stop nuclear proliferation among Muslim countries, it will not stop Muslims from overbreeding, etc. There is more to this struggle against Islam than immigration policy but since that is the major plank of Austerian traditionalism he cannot see that if we remove them, they still won't leave us alone.
But Islam has not been "hijacked" by jihad. Jihad is essential to Muslims. They define themselves as utterly Other to us. And since the Muslim Other--unlike, say, the Inuit or Samoan Other--is inimical to our essential civilization, it forces an abandonment of Western liberality. We cannot afford to be liberal to Islam, or to Muslim nations, as we are liberal to Inuits, or as we were liberal to the Germans after WWII. The only long-run alternatives open to the West in respect to Islam are to convert Muslims to some apostasy or other, or to destroy them. Indeed, these are the very terms in which Mohammed framed Islam's long-run alternatives with respect to us. Thus they give us no option: they force us to the realization that one way or another, sooner or later, either Islam will be eliminated from history, or we will. It is a war of civilizations, and the only way it will ever end is if one of them dies.
Kristor then goes on to blame liberalism for our problems with Islam. Liberalism does prevent us from defending ourselves from Islam, but the problem with the West is much deeper than that. The war against Islam should have never stopped even if Islam seemed too weak to threaten Europe and colonialism against the Muslims should have been much harsher than it actually was e.g. conversion to Christianity should have been mandatory to all occupied Muslim nations. Europe was too busy fighting/competing against itself and felt pity for its rival. It was a combination of many things that made Europe forget the danger of Islam and liberalism was tertiary at best. This is the one problem with Austerian traditionalism; it sees liberalism as the root of all evil that is destroying the West. It's much more complicated than that and if anything, liberalism is only a by-product of Europe's fratercide, cultural malaise, technological advancement, Christianity, and even arrogance. This is why Auster cannot understand the reason why we are losing to Islam is not because liberals won't let us change our immigration policy but because the West (which includes most conservatives) does not have the heart to fight for itself anymore.
Here's my take on it:
Regarding Spencer and Auster. My overall point here is that the product "Spencer" keeps what it promises, while the product "Auster" does not. Spencer is a specialist, an Islam scholar and critique, and does not claim to have an overall solution. Auster on the other hand does. But as I have shown in previous articles, his position is seriously flawed. As Geza said, he is patently unable to condemn Islam as evil, or to speak in terms of a life-or-death war on Islam. He even degenerates into ugly Islam apologism (something Spencer would never do).
From this swampy position Auster imagines that he's entitled to take the high road and take everyone else to task for their failures (and the Auster way of doing this is to tear them down in the dirtiest sort of way), even if the criticism does not even apply (tone deaf, remember?). Auster imagines that Spencer must show his anti-Jihadist credentials by writing a full length article on Muslim immigration (only Auster and his acolytes think so, no one else has got that idea). But Spencer does not profess to be an expert on immigration policy. How exciting, and more importantly, convincing would an article on Muslim immigration be if the only two points made were: we must stop further immigration from Muslim countries and we must convince the Muslims already here to leave. It's ridiculous, of course. Instead, Spencer provides the platform for Hugh Fitzgerald to write about these things (and about overall solutions) at his site. And with solutions that are more solid than Auster's. But what does that matter to Auster, who's got tunnel vision and is obsessed by attacking and tearing down Spencer.
All in all, Spencer is better aware of how we are in a total war with Islam, simply because he knows Islam better than Auster. And of course since Auster doesn't even have the focus on Islam as the main enemy.
[End of post]