Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Postmodern Fallacy #14: relativism leads to historical barbarism!

In "Why the Left hates 300" columnist Ben Shapiro today gives us a review on Hollywood's latest adaptation of somebody's national history being abused, misinterpreted and re-arranged according to whatever is the day's dominant idea of the politically correct. Shapiro's commentary, and how the flick is savaged by the Left, are also not beyond reproach.

For those who haven't yet had the pleasure, Shapiro quotes some of the narrative: "Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans ...We do what we've been trained to do. We do what we've been bred to do. We do what we were born to do." There are no descriptors for this kind of purposeful anti-subtlety, opines Shapiro.

This narrative may come across as theatrical, as purposeful anti-subtlety, but it is exactly in accordance with the spirit of the myths surrounding the Spartans. They were a highly disciplined, military nation about whose toughness several stories circulate. I don't recall this prime example verbatim, but the gist of it is that a soldier stood prolonged to attention even though a fox cub was nibbling away at his ribs - a measure of the Spartan toughness and discipline.

Shapiro's not exactly civilized valley of the skulls and the father and baby overlooking it, is the stuff of the same legends: it is said that babies were exposed so that only the toughest would survive to make up the legendary Spartan army. The producer so far, is on topic.

The Persian tyrant (Greek: as opposed to democratically elected) Xerxes I - by the way, do we have a moral duty to inform ourselves? - was under orders of his father to take revenge on the Greeks for the defeat at Marathon. Seeking world-wide domination may be a Hollywood way of describing it, but Xerxes subdued Egypt and Babylon and sought to enslave the Greeks, which in 480 B.C. was together just about what made up the entire known world (Europe and Asia). The Persian army may well have consisted of degenerates: there must have been some reason this vast army lost the battle from a handful of Spartans (300?).

On the same note, Herodotos wrote in 485 B.C.: "The Persians consider Asia part of their property". An American army officer declared not so long ago rather proudly that "they (Iran) haven't invaded another country in two hundred years!"

Shocking as it may be, promiscuous bi-sexual conduct and the exposure of babies was considered quite the done thing before Jesus Christ taught humanity that it is actually unethical. If anything is the point of Christianity in favor of paganism, this is it. That today we're purposefully doing the exact opposite, is here off topic.

I regret this article is full of shocks for the uninformed Utopian, but before we recently (almost) all agreed to some form of military code of conduct, "mass murder of its male citizens, rape of female citizens, and use of women and children as slaves" contituted normal warfare. In fact, in some parts of the world it still is.

The Left's panning of the film and the comment that "Spartans in the film are a bunch of jackbooted thugs (probably their projection of a sort of ancient soup Nazis) and that "the tyranny they fight is less tyrannical than Sparta" is entirely knee-jerk predictable and wholly conform politically correct multiculturalism that possesses the Left today: caucasion, freedom-loving Greeks are identified as the 'Bad Us', while the antagonists, the Persians are the swarthy misunderstood noble savages and - of course - unsurprisingly, inherently better than we are.

The Greeks took their freedom very seriously indeed (as is the case today), and were willing to fight to the last man, woman or child to preserve it: they preferred death over a life in bondage (this also was the national motto in the fight against the Turks: freedom or death) ... a matter of principle ...

Comparing the Persians with "Al Qa'ida in adult diapers" may be considered a hilarious depiction, it is actually a sin in more ways than one:

1. it's projecting the current political situation on the one of 480 B.C., and
2. it is passing moral judgement on values and ethics of 2.500 years ago.

Doing so is common bad practice in the current relativised West and a measure of our barbarity and profound lack of wisdom and historical insight. Considering all cultures and views equally valid and beyond moral judgment may be a relativist principle, it doesn't stretch to the West, the Right, the Past and Christianity, upon which constant moral judgment is pored with relish. But we already knew that reason and logic isn't a forte of the Marxist dialectic.

The flick, as well as the commentary left, right and centre illustrates how political correctness and relativism sadly has perverted our way of thinking. Please take careful note of the following:

It is no surprise that we in the West value freedom above anything else! It is because we have inherited this Greek ideal! This is one of the points Pope Benedict XVI was trying to make in his (in)famous Regensburg speech! Through its fusion with Rome it has come to us, in Christianity! And this is the reason why we should cherish both: the ideal of freedom as well as the heritage that gave us this ideal.

And this is why - and let me phrase this carefully - it is so reprehensible that the Left is selling out a 2500 year old cultural heritage - of which they are a part - to a 2500 year old sworn enemy - the tyrants who hate liberty.

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