The Politically Incorrect Show - 27/09/2001
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show for Thursday September 27, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
Among the responses to yesterday's editorial on the "flavour of freedom" was one saying, "More! I want more!" I'm not sure what my correspondent had in mind, but it's certainly true that one could opine to infinity on this matter & the relevance to it of the recent terrorist attack on New York. The internet - my own SOLO site included - is awash in opinion pieces on just this subject, most of them excellent, many of them inspiring.
Perhaps one theme that has been insufficiently developed is: the role of the ethic of self-sacrifice.
In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand put these words into Howard Roark's mouth:
"The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing."
How many of us have thought to ourselves that this was rhetorical hyperbole? How can we doubt now that it is literally true?
What we in the West have not come to grips with is that the attacks on the World Trade Centre & the Pentagon were conducted by people who KNEW they were going to lose their lives in the process of destroying others' & RELISHED the prospect - they would become, in bin Laden's words, "real men ... great heroes & martyrs who followed the steps of the prophet, peace be upon him. We called & they answered."
Reflect on the fact, though, that even in this most obscene call to self-sacrifice, the callers see fit to appeal to the self-interest, however dubious, of the answerers, promising the prestige of martyrdom in this world, orgies with heavenly virgins in the next, etc.. It's as though they know that unadulterated self-sacrifice without a pay-off simply won't wash. Christianity has always had a similar contradiction - he who prospers in this world will go to hell in the next, he who is miserable in this world will find eternal bliss in the next; so - SUFFER NOW! Islam, it seems, is merely slightly more marketing-savvy in persuading people to expedite their entry to the next world - "sex sells." Both appeal to people's "selfishness" to encourage them to be "unselfish."
The key point here, of course, is that no genuinely selfish individualist who unashamedly lives for his own sake by his own judgement would treat calls to sacrifice from the likes of bin Laden - or Mohammed or Jesus or Hitler or Stalin or John F. Kennedy - with anything but utmost contempt. We who know "the flavour of freedom" must strive to recast the current conflict in our terms. It's not Mr Bush's God vs bin Laden's; it's not one version of self-sacrifice vs another; it's freedom vs slavery - the right to live our lives as we choose vs involuntary servitude. Only that way will the world avoid "perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing." May it instead prosper from an orgy of selfishness.
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