Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

No clash of civilizations?

The French Foreign Minister, Michel Barnier, is trying to persuade those who kidnapped the two Frenchmen (they are insisting that France drop its ban on Muslim headscarves in schools!) to release them. So Barnier is in Egypt trying to get the locals to help. Here are some things he said: "I call for their release in the name of the principles of humanity and respect for human beings which are at the very heart of the message of Islam and Muslim religious practice." And this: "Their kidnapping is incomprehensible to all those who know that France, the country of origin of human rights, is a land of tolerance and of respect for others." And then this: "France has always opposed the vision of a clash between the West and Islam." This is what happens when you base a revolution on Rousseau instead of Locke; or, when you can’t defend the things for which you think you stand, when you lack conviction, when you don’t know the difference between freedom and tyranny, when you don’t know why some things--if you understand freedom correctly--can’t be tolerated. I know that many more--and deeper--things can be said on all this but I’ll just mention one other that especially riles me (and always has): "France, the country of origin of human rights." OK, M. l’foreign minister, OK. Very deep, very serious, very stupid. You need to take my Freshman level introduction to politics. That’s not the origin, and those French things are not human rights, and whatever they are they have nothing to do with Right. You guys believe in nothing, you are unreasonable. Keep begging. Of course this is
incomprehensible to you. How do you say idiot in French? Le Figaro is quoted as saying: "France, due to its position on the war in Iraq, could have hoped it was safe. This was not the case." Voila!

Discussions - 1 Comment

"I call on the kidnappers to release their hostages," EU assembly President Josep Borrell said in a statement. "Whatever its origin, terrorism has but one goal; to kill freedom of expression and thought. Democrats around the world have to fight this."

While there is much truth in this statement, issued because of the recent kidnapping and head-scarf issue, there is an important falsehood that Europeans generally, and the French in particular, fail to understand.

The terrorists are wrong
to take human life as a violation of the objective moral law. I am also glad to see that so far, France has not capitulated to the terrorists’ demands as Spain, the Philippines, and the UN has done. This is a terrible decision that has to be made, but ultimately it is the right one.

However, what the French don’t understand is that they should not be in this position in the first place. Their violations of religious liberty in pursuit of their radically secular society has forced not to capitulate on the indefensible policies they pursue. The European minister quoted above failed to address the idea that democracy or republican government is rooted upon natural law, natural rights, and consent. France, itself, has broken with "freedom of expression and thought (and religion)" in pursuit of their Rousseauean society.

Self-government should be rooted in the principles that allow it to defend liberty for its own citizens as well as protect it with enough strength to protect its security from outside (or internal) threats such as terrorism.

One cannot fight terrorism with principles if one has denied the existence or application of those very principles in the first place. They just don’t get it.

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