Unexamined Premises

The United States of Thoughts and Prayers


It is a measure of how far this country has fallen that last week’s murders of American soldiers on American soil were greeted with little more than an apologetic shrug and the usual anodyne bromides — when it should have been met with cries of outrage, instant deportations and swift retribution somewhere in the ummah as an object lesson to holy Muslims everywhere that the U.S. is no longer to be trifled with. But no — righteously vengeful America has entirely disappeared, the victim of a prolonged, century-long assault on the country’s ethics, ethnic makeup, self-confidence, religion and institutional beliefs; in short, a war on everything that makes a country a country.

But to fight back now, after decades of political correctness, no matter what the provocation, would be rude. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt told a shocked American public that the war would be prosecuted until Japan was brought to its knees.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.

Meanwhile, in response to the latest Muslim atrocity, President Obama went on vacation to New York City to fund-raise and for some “down time” with his daughters. Oh yes, and the Empire State Building was lit up Muslim green to “celebrate” the end of Ramadan, a “holy” month during which (if you’ve ever seen some of them in action) they fast during the day and then stuff themselves silly after sundown.

Mark Steyn has some characteristically pungent words to say about all this impotent weeping:

I’m afraid the makeshift memorials of flags and other patriotic memorabilia that have sprung up on the edge of the police tape depress the hell out of me. A no doubt sincere veneration for the military apparently can only express itself with a feeble passivity that is a large part of the problem. This isn’t a time for the bumper-sticker bromides of “We salute our heroes/Thank you for your service/We support our troops”. Among the dead are men who waged a bloody and hard-fought battle to retake Fallujah …only to come home and die unarmed in a crappy shopping mall at the hands of a halfwit fanatic whose family had been under the leisurely money-no-object scrutiny of the bloated security apparatus for years.

A Chinese-made teddy bear from Wal-Mart is not an appropriate reaction. Righteous anger is. And there’s not a lot of evidence of that. At that parking-lot memorial, the public seems to discern that such anger is no longer an approved sensibility – whereas a teary generalized sadness gets plenty of media coverage. This is the same media, by the way, that, after a couple of perfunctory questions about Chattanooga, asked Josh Earnest for more details about the “father-daughter weekend” President Obama is currently enjoying in New York. Golly, you’d almost get the impression they’re really not that sad at all.

Screw the cakes and balloons. We who did not know them cannot mourn them: That is for their friends and family. The nation’s duty is to avenge them – so that they did not die in vain.

How did we get this way? Next month, Encounter Books (whose editor, Roger Kimball, is a colleague here at PJ Media) will publish The Devil’s Pleasure Palacemy analysis of (among other things) the Frankfurt School of Marxist “philosophers” (in reality, cultural vandals with a chip on their collective shoulder) and their coordinated assault on western Christian civilization. If you want to know where and how the sapping of the United States of America began, this is the book for you. Here’s a small taste of my thesis:

The Frankfurt School sucker punched American culture right in its weak solar plexus. Americans have always been sympathetic to an alternative point of view, sympathetic to the underdog, solicitous of strangers, especially foreign refugees fleeing a monster like Hitler. Largely innocent of the European battles over various forms of socialism, and softened up to a certain extent by the Roosevelt administration’s early, frank admiration of Mussolini as it tried to solve the economic crisis of the Depression, the American public was open to self-criticism.

The problem with the Frankfurt School scholars was that they arrived with ideological blinders—men of the Left fighting other men of the Left back in the old Heimat of their homeland—and were unable to see that there was another, different world welcoming them in the United States if only they would open their eyes. (How, for example, could they hate California?) They appear not so much scholarly as simple, viewing American capitalism as a vast, deliberate, conspiracy against their own socialist ideas, when, in fact, their ideas were simply wrong, their analysis flawed, and their animus ineradicable. They were creatures of their own time and place, with no more claim to absolute truth than the man on a soapbox in Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park or the lunatic staggering down Market Street in San Francisco talking to himself. Everybody’s got a beef.

Flying their customary false flag of “tolerance,” the Frankfurt School injected the poison of moral relativism into the American body politic. From and through them flowed all the major crackpot, anti-human bad ideas of 19th and 20th centuries, including sexual license (Wilhelm Reich), hatred of existing institutions (Herbert Marcuse) and even the twelve-tone system of musical composition (Theodor Adorno), which temporarily killed the Romantic impulse in music and emptied concert halls across Europe and America until the Minimalists — including Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams — came along and destroyed them.

The Frankfurt School’s principal gifts, however, were Critical Theory — the notion that everything could and should be attacked and brought down — and Political Correctness, which gave a “moral” cover to the destruction they so fervently advocated. As Lenin — as evil a man who ever lived — said to Maxim Gorky:

But I can’t listen to music often, it affects the nerves. One wants to say pleasant stupidities and stroke on the head the people who, living in this dirty hell, can create such beauty. And today it is impossible to stroke anyone on the head—they bite off your hand, and it is necessary to beat heads, beat them ruthlessly, although we, ideally, are against any sort of violence against people. Hmmm, the task is diabolically difficult.

“Diabolical,” indeed. But Lenin was only the beginning.


And so we find ourselves today with five fresh corpses of our servicemen, and barely able to protest, much less fight back. The government refuses to close the borders, refuses to halt immigration from Muslim lands (to call them “countries” is absurd), refuses to unleash the fury of the West on ISIS and other Islamic aggressors — in fact, refuses even to acknowledge them as Islamic, no matter what their names proclaim. It has turned acts of war into street crimes, and a murderous “religious” ideology into a mental disorder.

It enables our enemy Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and defies the Congress of the United States to do anything about it. It has corrupted the very meaning of words, including “immigration,” and has browbeaten an elderly, probably senile justice (one of several, I might point out) into tossing thousands of years of human practice on the ash heap of history, and unilaterally proclaiming the supremacy of the 14th Amendment over the First — the Supreme Court, like Islamic “scholars,” tends to view the later suras as taking precedence over the former — and ordering the states to recognize same-sex marriage, whether the population wills it or no.

All entirely predictable,given the logic of Critical Theory. There will be more, and there will be worse. In the meantime, let us tie yellow ribbons around the old oak trees, tweet the mantra “thoughts and prayers” (as if either of those does anybody any good) and retreat into our feminized, unmanly culture of coarse whores and men in dresses while the Inspector Clouseaus of our crack security services put up the yellow crime-scene tape, get out their magnifying glasses and search for “motive” of a shooter named Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

“Only a humanity to which death has become as indifferent as its members, which has died to itself, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people,” wrote Adorno. The Frankfurt School brought America a satanic culture of Death, a “pleasure palace” that rewarded concupiscence at the expense of our souls. And for what?

FDR vowed to “make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again,” and he did. The bushido culture of Imperial Japan vanished in the infernos of firebombed Tokyo, and atom-destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki; National Socialist Germany was crushed by American troops and materiel and an aroused and vengeful Soviet Union, smarting over its betrayal by its erstwhile socialist ally.

Now another form of treachery has arrived, one that seeks “fundamental transformation” and revenge for past sins whether real or imagined. One which revels in the destruction of the existing order and yet replaces it with nothing (ask the black community what half a century of Democratic “compassion” has done for them). One which promises Xanadu and gives us Hell in its place. For what good are thoughts and prayers in a land where thoughts are outlawed by Political Correctness and prayers got booted out of the public square long ago?

The Devil’s Pleasure Palace will be published on August 17, 2015. You can pre-order on Amazon here.