Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto

Via USS Clueless' archives, via Ed Driscoll, via The Anchoress, I came across something a three years old from a (defunct) blog I was unaware of: Armed and Dangerous by Eric Raymond.

The current version of that blog is now found here, and seems to have lots of good stuff. Mr. Raymond seems rather complex, and I wouldn't presume to pigeonhole him, especially after such a cursory skimming of his material, but he claims to definitely NOT be a Republican and is probably more of a libertarian. He also seems to be an important force in the Open Source Software movement.

Which is a little ironic, because he's asserting copyright on the Manifesto, so I'm not going to post the whole thing, so please follow the link to read it.

Anyway, he published an Anti Idiotarian Manifesto about 3 years ago, and it's worth another look.

It went through several revisions as comments came in. I like the original one best; the later ones may have greater specificity, but that dilutes the message's power a bit.

And now, the Manifesto:
WHEREAS, the year since the terrible events of 9/11 has exposed the vacuity and moral confusion of all too many of the thinkers, politicians, and activists operating within conventional political categories;

WHEREAS, the Left has failed us by succumbing to reflexive anti-Americanism; by apologizing for terrorist acts; by propounding squalid theories of moral equivalence; and by blaming the victims of evil for the act of evil;

WHEREAS, the Right has failed us by pushing `anti-terrorist' measures which bid fair to be both ineffective and prejudicial to the central liberties of a free society; and in some cases by rhetorically descending to almost the same level of religious jihad as our enemies;

WHEREAS, even many of the Libertarians from whom we expected more intelligence have retreated into a petulant isolationism, refusing to recognize that, at this time, using the state to carry the war to the enemy is our only practical instrument of self-defense;

WE THEREFORE ASSERT the following convictions as the basis of the anti-idiotarian position:
There follows a clear laying out of the situation we face. It demands war to remove dictators like Hussein, calls for profiling while maintaining libertarian civil liberties, and contains such sections as:
WE FURTHER AFFIRM that the `root cause' of Islamo-fascist terrorism lies in the animating politico-religious ideas of fundamentalist Islam and not in any significant respect elsewhere, and that a central aim of the war against terror must be to displace, discredit, and destroy those animating ideas.
It ends on the rousing note:

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A CIVILIZATION, and we hold that civilization to be worth defending. We have not sought war, but we will fight it to the end. We will fight for our civilization in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds.

WE HAVE AWAKENED. We have seen the face of evil in the acts of the Bin Ladens and Husseins and Arafats of the world; we have seen through the lies and self-delusions of the idiotarians who did so much both to make their evil possible before the fact and to deny and excuse it afterwards. We shall not flinch from our duty to confront that evil.

WE SHALL SHED the moral cowards and the appeasers and the apologists; and we shall fight the barbarians and fanatics, and we shall defeat them. We shall defeat them in war, crushing their dream of dominion; and we shall defeat them in peace, using our wealth and freedoms to seduce their women and children to civilized ways, and ultimately wiping their diseased and virulent culture from the face of the Earth.

THIS WE SWEAR, on the graves of those who died at the World Trade Center; and those who died in the Sari Club in Bali; and those who died on the U.S.S. Cole; and indeed on the graves of all the nameless victims in the Middle East itself who have been slaughtered by terrorism and rogue states;

Three years on, this is an important reminder. He overly bashes Christian religiosity in an attempt to remain balanced, but otherwise I thoroughly concur.