Thursday, January 19, 2012

Allah Bless Cartoons in Danish Ecology
Another cartoon Essay is linked at the bottom

This month (August 2009) the Danish cartoons are in the news again. Yale university has "appeased in advance" (my words) any Muslims by not publishing the cartoons within a scholarly Yale Press book, a book that explicitly concerns the cartoons: They claimed they didn't want to "instigate violence." (their words) I think Yale is wrong, if not racist, to think U.S. Muslims believe in violence.

I'm not too surprised. Back in 1947, only two years after finishing a global war started by appeasement, Robert Heinlein published a young adult novel that takes place during an age of rockets. The teenage hero (who would have been a child in 1947) bursts out with something like, "But everybody knows appeasement is wrong!" Heinlein knew that human nature, alas, does not change.

A decade later, in 1957, Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged that wrong can be done "with the sanction (permission) of the victim." I see Yale as willing to be victim by giving permission to the censors, perhaps claiming the principle of avoiding violence to the school, while certainly forsaking the higher principle of Truth.

Principles matter. I long ago bookmarked a web essay by Clay Shirky called, "A Group is its Own Worst Enemy." His classic example is a computer internet group of mostly adults where some high school kids used excessive profanity. With their principle of "Individual Freedom" the adults "couldn't" stop the kids, so they disbanded the group instead. They forgot about other principles, such as civilized group survival.

As I write this the war on terror is continuing. As the rest of us stand up for democracy, where is Yale?

At a military funeral service, for a young man I knew, there was a program handed out, as in a church service. Mothers cried. The parents of Corporal Nathan Hornburg, consulted in writing the program, had a German quotation included: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...

Lengthy related essay:

Allah bless cartoons in Danish ecology

Sean Crawford
Calgary, Alberta

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