More terrorism this week and threats of more train-related atrocities. Every politician and pundit has identified the problem of the West’s lack of a narrative to counter-terrorism. It’s a bit like the lack of a narrative to counter radicalization in prison. The upshot of this is the confusion of Gay Pride banners in support of values that would see gay people killed if made widespread. The confusion over progressive values is that progressive values involve accepting too readily regressive values such as anti Semitism or misogyny. the so-called progressive left as an alliance of people who are united in hate what is known as capitalism but which is, in reality, just a debt funded “free market”.
The groups who hate this system either hate it because it confers rights to minorities they object to but for whom markets have developed to serve their needs, for example, the gay community. Or conversely, they don’t understand their own ideological paradox that the rights they enjoy, they enjoy because of the free market system they hate. This paradox is particularly marked on the left and partly explains Corbyn’s strange collection of incompatible ideological bed fellows.
This lack of coherence allows a moral fog to descend on the whole issue of individual rights and confuses our understanding of the causes of the hatred of the West and impedes the West’s strategy or narrative for dealing with it. The modern liberal mind can’t square the circle.
Ok, so we will have a go. The West owes its existence like it or not, to capitalism, and in particular the 18th century and the codification of laws that created legal freedom to contract choose and consent. All necessary for capitalism to work.
Before capitalism, we were bonded to masters. After capitalism, we were in a legal sense free people, the workers in the capitalist machine. The legal freedoms we acquired then and have extended since creating equality in law for minorities are missing from many of the world’s cultures today, particularly Islamic ones where gender, caste, tribe or wealth and status institutionalize discrimination. In these cultures, there is too often no right to contract freely to “follow your dreams”. They are pre capitalist and pre industrial.You only have to look at the culture of abuse and discrimination in Saudi Arabia to see how the pre capitalist pre industrial society works.
So the narrative for the West is to acknowledge the central role capitalism has played in creating our freedoms and whilst capitalism has its faults accept we owe our freedom to it and take pride in that. Even socialists can do this because without the productive energy of capitalism there would be no socialism. The west should then-champion the narrative of contract choice and consent and shame the bigots of whatever hue into seeing themselves as regressive and at best, holding values that are pre 18th century or earlier.