This of course reflects the grain of truth in the Marxist version of Hegel's Dialectic, a model of the dynamics of history: when an established order is oppressive [thesis] it provokes an extreme reaction [antithesis], which then leads to a resolution for the time being in a new order [synthesis].
That little three-step dance is just a little too neat an account of the forces and stages of history, especially when it is married to Marx's "inevitable" and "scientific" evolutionary parade of societal types: ancient communalism, classical slave states, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism as the socialist state withers away. It is also worth noting that if one's patterns of thought and behaviour etc are held to be determined -- i.e. controlled -- by unconscious socio-cultural and economic forces, that necessarily includes the thoughts and behaviour of the Marxist thinker, so this system -- as is true of all evolutionary materialist systems -- is self-refuting.
But in the idea behind the three-step dance, lurks a key point: just like with a swinging pendulum, extremes provoke opposed extremes, but the point of balance is the true opposite to all extremes.
(Thus too the importance of balanced or at least balancing perspectives in helping us move away from that futile and dangerous swinging from one extreme to another. In this blog, that is the aim, if -- alas! -- not always the achievement.)
These issues came to mind as I recently tried to calm down and converse with an attender at the public lecture where I was unfortunately publicly slandered for insisting that an objective, balanced view of the C18 - 19 Abolitionists had to reckon with abundant evidence that many of them were Gospel Ethics motivated humanitarians, whatever their inevitable failings as fallible humans. (It also came up in the course of an ongoing blog visit at Dr Dembski's Uncommon Descent Blog, where several pro-Darwin commenters were trying to argue that Marxism-Leninism was not rooted in an evolutionary conception of the world, driven by Darwinist thought. E.g. cf the thread here.)
But, most relevantly, it comes to mind as I observe on a worrying pattern in Europe, aptly summed up by Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, in observing on Charles Johnson's ongoing expose on the Vlaams Belang and the Sweden Democrats, groups that oppose the rise of Jihadism in Europe but are evidently deeply tainted themselves by neo-Fascism and Racism:
For years now Hugh Fitzgerald and I have written about the unfortunate fact that the European mainstream parties have completely failed to address the problem of European Islamization -- a problem that of course they have, in many cases, abetted. Hugh and I have both in many separate posts lamented that those mainstream parties have thus left the field open to neo-fascist and neo-Nazi parties, like the Holocaust-denying white supremacist BNP and Haider's party in Austria, and to noxious characters like LePen in France. Those types have in several European countries become the only ones addressing the issue of jihad and Islamic supremacism.The sad and destructive pattern of one extreme provoking or making room for and then reinforcing another, is all too obvious. The resulting polarisation and paralysis open the door to the further rise of the underlying threats, and ultimately it may lead to an explosive and utterly dangerous situation similar to that in Germany on the eve of the rise of the Nazi party to power at the turn of the 1930's.
This is unfortunate for several reasons. It allows the European elites and the political and media mainstream to continue to marginalize the counterjihad resistance as simply racist reactionism, rather than a legitimate concern. So their own abdication and complicity are reinforced by the character of the reaction to it -- a logjam that only a new Churchill could break, and there is no such person on the horizon at this point.
The neofascist character of the anti-jihad parties in Europe also keeps many decent people from joining the counterjihad movement, when they otherwise would. This is the great weakness of the argument that, well, there is no one else fighting this fight, so we have to join forces with people we would otherwise regard with distaste: some people simply will not and will never do that, and it limits the power of the movement and its ability to grow.
For, all that is required for evil [of one form or another] to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing.
For us in the Caribbean, there are several lessons -- if we will but learn from history, even in the first, rough draft form we read in newspapers or on the Internet, listen to, or watch (which the historians themselves warn us is the exception, not the rule):
1] Extremes provoke extremes, but the point of balance is the true opposite to all extremes.So, again: why not now, why not here, why not us? END
2] So, when we see the De-Christianising and Islamist tidal waves now surging into our region, we must not make the mistake of becoming extremist ourselves.
3] Similarly, we must not become so paralysed and unwilling to stand for the right that we will not act in good time to avert disaster as the extremists polarise our region and set up an explosion.
4] Likewise, we must understand that those who prefer to be willfully blind, deaf and dumb -- i.e. paralysed -- in the face of evil, may often think of and present themselves as the voice of moderation, claiming that those who stand up to evil (no matter how balanced) are "extremists." Such need to heed the voice of Amos of old:AM 3:8 The lion has roared--5] Extremists and oppressors, knowing how much we want peace and tranquility at almost any price, will very often often try turnabout rhetoric: trying to unjustly accuse those who challenge them of being hypocritically evil, deceptive or extremist, thus clouding and poisoning the atmosphere, and confusing or polarising onlookers.
who will not fear?
The Sovereign LORD has spoken--
who can but prophesy? . . . .
AM 5:12 . . . You oppress the righteous and take bribes
and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
AM 5:13 Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.
AM 5:14 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
6] At the same time, we Caribbean people must awaken to our strategic potential under God as descendants of the victims of slavery and colonialism, who can therefore credibly speak and act with clarity and balance into the global situation, to the good.