Monday, April 22, 2013

Immigrants, Social Homeostasis, and the Processes of Radicalization

Societies and cultures, composed of course of living human beings, share many of the characteristics of living organisms.  Marxist theorists have long been keenly aware of this, with their often unwitting disciples and acolytes ruthlessly wielding the considerable analytic power of the theory within the institutions of Western society for the past fifty years.  The picture is of a burgeoning army of doctors given their license to practice their craft after passing Gross Human Anatomy, but ignorant of both physiology and the mechanisms of homeostasis required of any living organism to both survive and enjoy good health.  Without an understanding of both the concepts and mechanisms of homeostasis, it is impossible to accurately characterize diseases and disorders or to provide effective treatment.  We do not have doctors and nurses as policy makers, social workers, and so forth.  We have eager little vivisectionists acting in the name of "social justice."

Taking the analogy further, we can look at immigrants to a country as "allografts" or partially-differentiated "stem cells" trying to integrate within a new societal organism.  Some will integrate well and contribute an increased strength and vitality to a society while others may atrophy, become gangrenous, and even malignant with negative overall effects on its health.  Some often say that those who belong to a particular religious group such as Islam have an inherent capacity toward malignancy.  Experience has taught me not to make such a categorical judgement, although the trend is real and it is troubling.  Denying the reality of this trend is not at all helpful as is the case with a simplistic, categorical over-reaction.  While both options may satisfy short-term emotional needs, they eschew thought, consideration, and analysis, and therefore truly rational action.

On the other side of the equation, the recipient of these grafts, Western society, is collectively lying on the gurney with a raging fever  and in bad need of examination, understanding of the underlying etiology, diagnosis, and treatment.  Since it is clear that the Gramscian virus has largely co-opted the power, resources, and authority of government--which is supposed to safeguard the function of a society--a good analogy might be with a recipient suffering from a chronic and increasingly severe autoimmune disorder.  Such disorders are generally of a systemic nature, difficult to diagnose, and harder to treat.  Our society's antibodies, the memes and ideas meant to protect and strengthen the societal organism are now mutated by Marxist retroviruses and directed against its own tissues, organs, and systems.  "Self" in the eyes of these agents has now become "Non-Self", to be attacked and destroyed.

Given that the cultural institutions that function to provide stability and resiliency for individuals within a culture are being increasingly undermined, individuals trying to integrate themselves within societal tissues and organs will gravitate toward the best available sources of support.  Those sources used to be parents, churches, synagogues, neighbors, relatives, close and longstanding networks of friends, and social organizations such as Boy Scouts.  Most of all, America, always a nation of immigrants, has had a national identity that was unique in the world, "E pluribus unum"--"out of many, one."  Regardless of national, ethnic, or religious background, there was a common set of norms and values that defined us, individually and collectively, as Americans.  

But as individuals within a society become increasingly atomized and isolated at younger and younger ages, they become more receptive and vulnerable to various "malignant" influences, gravitating towards something that in some way fills the need for sustenance and support, and becomes co-opted by it and integrated into a growing tumor or mass of necrotic tissue.  This is the process of radicalization.  Regardless of whether that meme is one of Islamic Jihad, gang affiliation, or hardcore Marxism, the processes of radicalism are the same and are clearly identifiable.  For subsequent analysis, I will base my arguments on those of Marc Sageman in his books "Understanding Terror Networks" and "Leaderless Jihad," where the looks at these in detail within the context of al Qaeda and its evolution.

This is not to absolve the blame for the attacks by the Tsarnayev brothers, but one must wonder if the systematic and intentional destruction of "repressive" cultural institutions by the Left over the past 50 years has now weakened Western society to the degree where it has not only become more vulnerable to internal jihad, but has fostered the conditions for explosive growth of such an opportunistic cultural infection.  It is left to us, dedicated to health, prosperity, and perpetuation of the best of Western society, to not only fight this at the cultural level but implement sustainable supportive strategies to fight the full range of afflictions, restore societal homeostasis, and go on stronger and better than before.  What are the effective "antibodies," and how do we ensure that they are guided against the right targets?

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