Thursday, November 16, 2006

Families are Little Islands of Freedom

Allan Carlson's strongest point in Conjugal America is that families are our best defense against totalitarian projects. He describes the various ways in which the Nazis, and the Maoists, and the Soviets tried to destroy the family, to make each person primarily an instrument of their various totalizing projects. And he does not spare the West's current totalizing project of "militant secular individualism," which he thinks may be the greatest threat of all to dissolve the family. Yet even that danger, he thinks, can be defeated. We are meant for marriage, meant for raising our children together. Some individuals won't and don't, but humanity will.

Carlson does not talk about the other great totalizing project of our day, Islamic fascism. In some ways Islamism, or salafism, is more powerful than the twentieth century's secular and pagan totalitarianisms because it aims to co-opt the family, rather than abolish it. Men and women are enlisted to enforce a strict patriarchy in their own families, as well as on other people's families. When the story of this time in Muslim lands is told there will, no doubt, be many horror stories of men ruling their homes ruthlessly, and, let us not forget, women piously assisting. But I think there will also be many stories of families making their home a safe haven against the various Vice and Virtue police all around them.

3 comments:

bombsoverbaghdad said...

I have a thorough respect for the role family plays in Islamic society. We could learn a thing or two about raising kids, respecting adults and shunning divorce. Do I agree with inequity in Islamic male-female relationships? No. But do I think the inequity exists here in America, just in a more sexual form? Yes.

Don't believe everything you read about Islam. We are much more a threat to them then they are to us. They see our moral sickness as a threat to their way of life. We see them largely through Israeli eyes, as vicious killers.

Gruntled said...

I thought the Taliban were enough of a threat when they were just suppressing women and dissent in Afghanistan -- which they would like to do again. And I don't think that the inequalities we find in Western marriages compare with the Taliban ideal of marriage.

bombsoverbaghdad said...

Why would you take the Taliban, a band of orphans in 1 country, and apply their sick form of Islam to all Muslims?

We in the West sit back and talk about "the problem with Islam" while our military units are stationed in the Arab world--and have been for decades. You should consider the fact that American and Israeli aggression in that region have radicalized the population, much like police abuse radicalized the Black Panthers here in the States.


Did they not cover that at Yale?