Posted by: L | May 31, 2007

Fundamentalism: flawed, but human….

This, in an email from Joey Kurtzman, editor at Jewcy (I posted his earlier piece where he sharpened his rather cutting wit on poor Naomi Wolf’s tender neck)

From: “Joey Kurtzman”
To: “Lila Rajiva” <
Subject: Re: Blog posting
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 10:00:24 -0700
“I agree with you that neither fundamentalism nor even supremacism is incompatible with democracy. These phenomena aren’t going anywhere, some people will embrace them to a greater or lesser extent in any society…democracy has to be able to accommodate them, just as it accommodates other streams of thought and other dubious political phenomena. Pat Robertson and Louis Farrakhan get to participate in the political system. If not, it’s not a democracy. For the rest of us, our job is to engage them as real people with coherent (if flawed) belief systems, rather than as crackpot caricatures. ”

My Comment:

How about that? Farrakhan and Falwell, even the BJP – they’re all human beings. What a twisted concept!

What next, a garden party with the National Socialists ?

You’ll notice I don’t say Nazi anymore – I am told by an anonymous poster who claimed he was a National Socialist (the blogosphere is notoriously prone to masquerades of all kinds) that they find it slanderous. And being both diverse (per-verse, my friends tell me), and inclusive, I hasten to address them as they wish. …..

But, of course, Mr. K, the more salient point is – since when do we live in a democracy anyway?

Do you see how many of our problems arise not because we don’t have answers but because we don’t have our questions right?

And why is that? Where are we getting our questions from?

How do the parameters of public debate get set? By whom? And why do people go along?


And looking for answers, I came across this article in Salon, about Wiliam Buckley, perhaps the man most responsible for pushing conservatives into big government interventionism:

Buckley sees little reason to accord democratic privileges to Stalinists who plot to overthrow American democracy. Nor does he believe in extending constitutional protections to those who, if they ever came to power, would immediately rescind them. Certain ideas, he believes — such as Nazism and communism — are simply “unassimilable,” and have no place in a liberal society. He voices this sentiment through the character of Columbia professor Willmoore Sherrill (a proxy for Willmoore Kendall, WFB’s mentor and CIA recruiter at Yale), who argued that there are people who don’t fit under the “American tent.”

Of course, few people are going to let you know before they come to power they are going to take apart the Constitution and Bill of Rights. So, how do you tell in advance? You can’t.

In fact, it is Buckley’s intellectual proteges – all of them well within the American tent – who have torn it apart…..from within.


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