Thursday, July 19, 2007
TO: The Editor, American Diplomacy
It was a pleasure to read the excellent article by Melanie Phillips. She casts light on some truths about the threat of the Third Jihad that many have not seen. She identified the need to distinguish Islamist militants who "believe in Islamic conquest from those who merely draw upon Islam for spiritual sustenance", and the need to reinvigorate the fundamentals that built Western Civilization. She accurately states that the West is in "danger of losing this fight because it has so badly undermined itself " and correctly identifies the causes as multiculturalism and the corruption of traditional liberalism--two of the outcomes of postmodern thought.
Yet her determination to defend what she calls the "authentic liberal values" against the dangers of postmodern thought might have carried her a bit off course. In many way the corrupt liberalism of today, which she condemns, is the logical follow on to the traditional liberalism that she reveres. After all the extreme interpretation of the separation of Church and State, that has taken away from individuals the inner right or wrong compass, had its origins in traditional liberalism. Also it was traditional liberalism that elevated the "rule of law" to the point that Sacred Authority was subordinated to Secular Authority--rather than being equals.
Ms. Phillips does outline some positive steps to counter the damage done by multiculturalism, yet her prescriptions for postmodernism--which she refers to as corrupted liberalism--are less satisfying. What we need is a better understanding of the Modern/Postmodern paradigm for this is the center of gravity of the struggle to shape Western culture. Ms. Phillips has opened the door for us. We must go through that door to confront how postmodern thought has damaged the fundamentals, that evolved after 1500, of Western Civilization.
Dr. Sam Holliday, Director, Armiger Cromwell Center