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DEMOCRACY, DEMAGOGUERY, DELINQUENCY AND DRIVE
Allegory where an insect-animal consortium of comrades
ponders things international
The Advertiser, June 11, 2004
HOW THEY MET
Why do they ?
Why do what ? I do wish you would be more explicit, I do not have all day to ponder your problem.
No, I suppose not.
It was a meeting, casual and rather dreamy, between the porcupine and the butterfly.
It is true that such a meeting is not to be expected on any given day of the week, but then, things happen in this world. For example, consider the G 8 nations in their Georgia meeting (landing a little off the coast), in their glory, considering what really one ought to do in this world, which DOES have its problems.
The butterfly was still unsatisfied.
But why ? she pursued.
Now it was on one sense quite understandable that the porcupine, who could emit a spike without too much malice, but with efficient rebuke in a way which would make any butterfly tend to flit, was undisposed to this sort of vagueness. Equipped with quills, he tended to be precise, even literary in a relative sort of way, and he merely grunted.
You should KNOW what I mean! came the querulous critique of the butterfly.
I don't see why he should! came the listless contribution of the bull-ant which, to be sure, was in one sense quite small, but in another, not vastly different from the butterfly, which was a big one. The ant for its part had that magnificent pair of forceps which could so activate humans who experienced them, which lent it a measure of dignity, or so it thought.
A listless bull-ant ? Ah, but you see, it was so quiet a day, and he had just injected into two separate humans, so that his tendency to action was temporarily diminished.
The butterfly was beautiful, its colours a testimony rather to the glory of the Creator than to some imaginary aesthetic ability in its environmental liaisons, which would prefer the last part of pattern, to something slightly lesser. It was in fact a most religious butterfly, so it pursued its point quietly.
If I do not call you blockhead, porky dear, she said, it is just because of my restraint. I mean that meeting you MUST be aware of, off the coast of Georgia.
Now the porcupine was not really fazed, and he phrased his reply accordingly. It was just that he enjoyed a little pomp now and again, for although well quilled, he was not what you might call an object of beauty, nor was he majestic.
Dear Butty, he responded, of course I could guess what you meant, but I have just been arguing with my wife, and I decided to be very precise with you. It DOES make for more peace, I think.
Yes, well why do they always do it.
Now it was good in this case that Quilly was inherently peaceable, since this could have caused an eruption with some, the pursuit of that very lack of definition with which the conversation had started.
Instead, Quilly decided to TRY to understand.
I presume you refer to the words of Chirac about settling the Arab-Israeli mess before having democracy in the Middle East.
The bull-ant could not well entirely escape the nature of his category of creatures, so he lost a little patience here.
HOW on earth was one to know that! he ejaculated.
I was not, said Butty quietly, talking to you, and Quilly DID understand me.
Didn't you KNOW I was here ? asked Bully.
If I did, said Butty truthfully, I regret to say one's thoughts did not focus on that fact very much, because you see, I was rather preoccupied with my problem. You know what we butterflies are, anyway, don't you Bully? always flitting here and there.
This marvel of social prudence could not fail to disarm Bully, who really was rather nicer when disarmed, and who in any case was temporarily short of bull-ant juice for injection, and so succumbed into a sort of quiet reflectiveness which was a pleasant addition to the scene. After all, the G 8 fiasco was enough to stir, without being internally stirred, thought Butty quietly, as you saw the waves of peace re-settle in their little group.
One might wonder what in this world was the attraction between a bull-ant, a butterfly and a porcupine; but that is so often a point missed. People do not always find their ilk their preference, and sometimes the most ill-assorted seeming combinations occur, groups form, marvelling at their own diversity perhaps, yet finding a certain congeniality in their amity and amiability, and a gleam of interest, in their divergencies.
Besides, the butterfly really was so beautiful, and flitted so deftly when not dreamily floating, a thing that brought a sense of marvel to bull-ant, who tended to be very vigorous and direct; while the porcupine was rather inwardly distressed on occasion, at his own sharp quills, and did not want to make a business of everything, so finding the company diverting and stimulating in another way than merely issuing quills, at need, and bustling dutifully about. Besides, it made him think about life, which he liked to do.
As to their interest in politics, it perhaps related to a certain sense of desperation. Here they were, going about their various businesses, and things beyond all normal belief were occurring as if they had a special mandate for it, and the media seemed so often (though not ALWAYS) to miss the point in perilous matters, that they felt it incumbent, morally bound on them to do a little thinking about things themselves, and perceiving that a worn-out world would be THEIRS, they put their thoughts into action, and tended to speak in this category of things.
And that, it was one reason why Buttie expected more understanding from Quilly at the beginning. So you see, it is all explained, as things readily tend to be, when you see all that is going on.
WHAT THEY THOUGHT
Well, I know what I think, said Bullie.
Buttie, who was in rather a flitting mood, had quite severely to repress a desire to respond with "One should certainly hope so!", but felt that any such attempt at humour could be both laboured and illicit in their peaceable threesome, but managed to whisper to Quilly,
This WILL be good!
Slightly embarrassed at this rather separated sort of intimacy, Quilly asked,
And what is that Bullie ?
Quilly, for his part, had been tempted just a little, to respond with, Could you perhaps specify the topic, Bullie, in a swagger of playfulness, but dismissed the thought: so that a slight measure of constraint settled on the society.
Bullie at length continued.
If Chirac wants to have the democratic style of thing develop FROM WITHIN the nations in the Middle East ...
Buttie could not help butting in this time, and added:
You mean, like developing soothing syrup for Quillie's spikes, just a matter of time ?
Not actually, said Bullie, thinking he was being teased just a little, and making the best of it.
In fact, he continued, I agree with your flit about it just now: it IS rather, shall we say, ambitious.
If then he wants them to develop out of their mighty national Moslem machinations, a sort of desire for liberty, you know, the sort that DOES NOT require everyone to think or believe as they do, in the realms of unconstrained preference ...
Quilly felt he just MUST intervene here, and at risk of making the conversation unduly disjointed, since after all they were just friends with a little leisure, he mused:
What precisely to you mean by unconstrained preference, Bullie ?
Now it was Bullie's turn to show some measure of restraint, for he might have acidly responded, 'constrained' means, so 'unconstrained' means, 'preference' means, and so on, in a school-teacher sort of way of lubricating his own dignity, but felt this uncalled for; and in a more noble fashion simply told them.
I mean, he replied, that when it comes to logic that is one thing; but when you are asked just to believe something because it is the cultural fashion, or because you may lose your life if you do not, or because you will be subjected to a wide variety of harassments, or because some people feel passionate about it, and to live under a dominion of this sort, then it is fair to call it not a grounded grace, that you follow them, but a grinding necessity.
Ah, said Butty lightly, I see. You mean that if there is that SORT of passion flitting about, or fluttering by, or stinging you (with rather a quick glance at Bullie, who after all WAS being interrupted for rather a long time), then the likelihood of wanting democracy is not great ?
Not only so, continued Bullie, warming to his task and feeling the loss of his special potion for stinging to be now less acute, but EVEN IF they have democracy in the sense that they all vote for the people to constitute the governing authority, THIS authority may well make it mandatory to do so many things, and to seem to think so many things, that living would be a sort of totalitarian democratic hybrid, with emphasis on the former aspect.
Yet, said Quilly, they could not be democratic and INSIST that ONLY THEY as elected, could exist in politics, and so could not make it compulsory to believe as they did, or suffer vastly, could they ? This would tie oncoming generations, if any, to their own arrogance and vanity, and so cease to be democracy in ANY sense.
They could, said Bullie. People CAN do many things. For example, the Communists tried to hijack the term 'democratic' and ludicrously apply it to their dictatorial exclusivism, where thought was on the back-burner and fashion was to the fore, like scalding tea being poured quietly down your neck. Look at SMR pp. p. 468-469, 925-928, 970-972, 707-708ff., for example, and Highway to Hell. Islam similarly does not have the historical or logical goods. It is so self-contradictory as you see in SMR 1080ff., and uses force so illicitly where faith is the item in view, as you see in Divine Agenda Ch. 6, for example, and consider this in the light of SMR pp. 50ff., 65ff. ...
Flitting gracefully into their midst in a way which reminded Bullie of a Willy Wag-Tail, of which he did not retain kind memories, Butty declared:
Aren't we getting a distance from Chirac ?
All right then, continued Bullie, climbing rather absent-mindedly up a blade of grass which had little purpose, but seemed to distrain his distraction a little: How can you expect a natural growth of liberty of thought within reasonable limits, not pinioning truth or skewering logic, when the prevailing passion is itself insistent at the expense of all, on the substitution of compulsion for reason and violence if really needed, for thought!
Difficult! agreed Quilly.
And how, pursued Bullie who was beginning to thrive on this measure of agreement, how, he re-iterated only partly for emphasis (the other part was to allow him to formulate better what he wanted to say), how, he said a third time, in this instance because it felt good to do so, are we going to expect home-grown democracy to come from those who fell impelled to TELL you what to do, believe and so on ? and that without the constraint of reason or the force of truth ?
Turkey is trying to do something like this, and to ameliorate some aspects in order to be more acceptable to Europe isn't it ? asked Buttie.
Undoubtedly, Bullie concurred.
Well ... ?
It is POSSIBLE, but with the passion in the Middle East below, and the clashing consciousness, as if the Jewish BEING and party and people and past are all ABOMINATION, so that the only proper course is to self-destruct entirely, as in the Hamas sort of approach, which is good for a lot of blood instead of reason or truth, there is little hope.
Thus Bullie spoke. There was a measure of silence.
Then Quilly, collecting a few stray quills which seemed to have moulted involuntarily, and abstractly wondering how much of this sort of thing a really efficient sort of porcupine could tolerate, and how to correct the moult if one really wanted to anyway, decided to say something to the point.
Listen, my fellow creatures, he orated. The fact is that Chirac wants, or says he wants to have things HOME GROWN, democracy, however miraculously, to grow from within - you know, like having an oats crop grow on a motor-racing circuit; but he also wants the Israel-Palestinian matter fixed FIRST.
Fixed ? asked Bullie ?
Fixed ? re-iterated Buttie.
How fixed ?
Well, you know, or should, no must, that the way the European people in this sort of thing, you know in the Quartet sort of position, with the USSR and USA, EU and UN all together, want to 'fix' this is quite distinctive. First, you ignore the Balfour Declaration when Britain, with the Palestinian Mandate, gave the whole land to Israel as a home. Then you ignore the League of Nations which in the 1920s agreed. Next you ignore the REASON why the Balfour Declaration was made - gratitude for help in winning the war, to Jew Chaim Weizmann, and the justice of things, I suppose, that after the Romanist Inquisition and the French and other persecutions and exploitations of the Jew, as under Louis XIV, there was room for improvement in the way they were treated.
If you can manage that, like 6 impossible things before breakfast, then you also proceed to forget Auschwitz and that hideous European extra contribution, which so many managed to ignore during the war, while a large fraction of Jewry perished in conditions too appalling for sanity to see without blenching in this world; and try forgetfulness of the British betrayal in 1948 when they actively tried to STOP Jewish ships from bringing the straggling residue of ultimate persecution home to their British-defined 'home' and League of Nations defined 'home'. Then you must try to manage to ignore the transference of Power to such bodies as the Arab Legion as the British left the land to its own devices.
Anything else to ignore ? asked Buttie, who was finding the list a bit oppressive.
Just this, continued Quilly. You ignore that fact that Islam has vast tracts of land in Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq (or did have, and the population is still there), Iran, Afghanistan ...
Wait a minute! exclaimed Bullie. Does Islam fully control all of those lands ?
Not fully, said Quilly, though they may kill or imprison or enslave, here or there, as in Sudan now, or in Iran then, or they may act in passionate concourse in Pakistan, for that matter, or seek to snare government in Lebanon, with its Syrian contingents. There is however a vast social force of Islam in these lands, sometimes in absolute control, often in near control or implicit control. You have to forget this too, you see, in case the novel idea occurred to you ...
I KNOW! said Buttie, who felt that this concentration was helpful to thought. You mean The Idea that the Palestinians could actually GO to those Islamic peoples and feel, or the vast majority of them, purringly content with the presence of their desired religion, and leave that minute fraction of this world which the Jews still retain, after peaceably having given back so much so often to so many, of the land they gained in the midst of attempts to obliterate them, this time not by Hitler but by Islamic nations.
Correct! said Quilly succinctly. Just forget that too. Last time they had a chance, the Palestinians, in the 1960s when Jordan gave them opportunity for citizenship there, and rightly so as it had been GIVEN most of Palestine instead of Israel, they used it for hitting Israel and caused civil war. They would have to be more peaceable … perhaps learn to live without seeking an automatic Israel demolition ?
Then you forget likewise that the Jews have been left to have miracles of deliverance by the UN which decided in 1947 to internationalise their famous capital, Jerusalem, and give to Israel snippets of land here and there in Palestine, and that this is the third time, Inquisition, Hitler and UN, that they have been internationally attacked ...
Third if you forget pogroms in Russia and Poland ...
RIght! said Quilly, who felt it time to get to the point before it escaped. Forget ALL that, and then ask Israel to give MORE of its tiny allotment of Palestine, so that it would become even more indefensible than now, and so that ...
So that, interpolated Bullie, who felt rather more energised as time went on, God might be the more affronted, who had given them the land, removed them from it in discipline, and as predicted restored them to it ...
Correct! almost snappily agreed Quilly, as in Genesis 17:7-8, Deuteronomy 32, Leviticus 26 and as explained in SMR Appendix A, His Time is Near Ch. 4. Very well, you do all this and so Chirac's FORCE INTERVENTION in what used to be Palestine, is a PRELUDE to his idea of home-grown democracy.
Isn't that rather a contradiction ? asked Buttie flightily.
No, retorted Quilly, it is a flat contradiction.
It is also rather humorous, giggled Buttie, for you see, while he is reported to be insisting on a perspective of home-grown oats in a stone quarry, he is also persisting in the idea of having imported peace in ONE case, imported and applied TO the area: the one that interests him.
Could that give France less trouble, less terrorists, more oil, or oil more cheaply, and more peace with its own Moslem percentage in France ? asked Quilly, of Bully.
The thought had not failed to pass through the anty mind! rather portentously agreed Bullie, who in passing spent a moment wondering if 'anty' would be the correct spelling if he had to spell it, and deciding that there did not seem to be any alternative, but that it was good he did not have to write it anyway.
That, said Quilly, is what these humans do.
What in the world will they think of next ? asked Buttie.
Doing an Eve, I suppose, said Bully.
By which ... (but Quilly just stopped in time from becoming what here might have been a little pompous, and so did NOT say, 'you mean precisely ...', and so proceeded instead), doubtless you mean the idea of ignoring God, or seeking to become God, or to be a pal of equality, and so governing the earth, with God having to negotiate if not ignored altogether. You would have in mind, I think, the thrust of Genesis 3:5.
That in part and perhaps first, said Quilly. Next, they will probably lower the reality of God to their own wills, and making Him little, themselves great, elect or be imposed on by some tramp long absent from truth, who will as their REPRESENTATIVE play God, actually think he is God.
But that, said Buttie, is madness. You can't BE what you're not, or become the Creator who puts things into existence, by TALKING as one of them, made in time, miraculously and irrationally turned into the being of Eternity. That is mere extravanganza. That is no answer, and it denies the only answer there is, the truth, and all it implies in running the world instead of making hideous excursions into space in all solemnity, into man in total defilement and intentional ignorance, and into life, without authority from its source, as if it were a plaything. Play with that and YOU make of yourself something of a toy, and a tiresome one at that.
More than this, said Bully, it is a most unsublime bonanza, a use of the divine riches in the name of God and the power of God, as an immediate way to grab power in the universe and have quick gains for mankind.
Gains! said Quilly. Don't they know about the quills.
This subtly succinct remark was appreciated by all, and with a sort of pleasant flurry of inconsequential actions, they dispersed, Buttie flitting innocuously but surprisingly near to Quilly's eyes as she passed, a sort of low-key coquetry, Quilly supposed, and Bullie leaping with seeming casualness from rather a high grass stalk, as if in derisive agreement, and imitating the folly of going too high, but safely in his case, you see, safely, since he too, he did not agree with such folly. Besides, he had read of it in II Thessalonians as to come, and having watched mankind, it did not surprise him very much at all.