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[Letter to the Wall Street Journal]

This is in response to "Our Incompetent Civilization" by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens.

Mr. Stephens ascribes failures to profile Moslems at airport security, think rationally about climate change, or eliminate Somali pirates to "civilizational incompetence."  Such failures are not due to a lack of ability but to a lack of will.  It is not civilizational competence that we lack but civilizational confidence.

On the same day as Mr. Stephens’ article (01/04/10), Der Spiegel ran an editorial bemoaning the lack of Western outrage at recent Moslem attacks on Danish cartoonists who caricatured Mohammed.  It was entitled, "The West Is Choked by Fear."  But fear of what?

Whatever that fear is of, it is the cause of our collapse of civilizational confidence.  Please allow me to identify it.  It is the fear of envy.

All three of the great barbarisms of modern times have been pathologies of envy. Nazism, preaching race-envy toward "rich exploitative Jews"; Communism preaching class-envy toward "rich exploitative capitalists"; Moslem Terrorism preaching culture-envy toward "rich exploitative America/the West."

And just as it is envy which makes a Nazi, Communist, or Moslem Terrorist, it is the fear of being envied which makes a Liberal.

It is the liberal fear of being envied that causes our culture to be apologetic, masochistic, and self-emasculating.  Capitulation to the fear of being envied is the defining characteristic of liberals – it is what makes them liberals.  Liberalism is the dominant intellectual perspective of our academia, media, and government – yet it is not a political philosophy.  It is a psychological strategy to avoid being envied, the politicalization of envy-appeasement.

The fear of being envied is the source of the liberal compulsion to apologize to the envious for the existence of America and Western Civilization, to focus on their flaws not their virtues. 

The fear of being envied is why all liberal passions are frenzies of masochism -e.g., opponents of missile defense do not want their country defended, advocates of global warmism do not want their civilization to prosper, proponents of multi-culti political correctness do want their culture to survive.

If we wish to regain civilizational confidence, we need to embrace just two words:  Reject envy.  Envy has no power over those who have no fear of it.  The wisest of the 10 Commandments is the last:  Thou shall not covet.  Yet it needs a corollary:  Thou shall not fear those who covet.

No nation in history has more to be proud of and less to apologize for than America.  Recognition of this fact will enable us to defend our country from the envious hate of those who wish it destroyed.

Ps:  Note that I continue to spell "Moslem" the traditional way for centuries until it recently became politically incorrect to do so.  For some inexplicable reason, it now must be spelled "Muslim."  One small way to start rejecting envy would be to revert to traditional spelling – for after all, as Arabic is written without vowels, the most accurate transliteration from the Arabic would be "Mslm."

Jack Wheeler
Editor, To The Point,
611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 429
Washington DC 20003