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The Self Proclaimed Other

 

 

William S. Lind
 

William Sturgiss Lind, Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, born July 9, 1947. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1969 and received a Master's Degree in History from Princeton University in 1971. He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 through 1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 through 1986. He joined Free Congress Foundation in 1987.

Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Press, 1985); co-author, with Gary Hart, of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (Adler & Adler, 1986); and co-author, with William H. Marshner, of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (Free Congress Foundation, 1987). He has written extensively for both popular media, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Harper's, and professional military journals, including The Marine Corps Gazette, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings and Military Review.

Mr. Lind co-authored the prescient article, "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation," which was published in The Marine Corps Gazette in October, 1989 and which first propounded the concept of "Fourth Generation War." Mr. Lind and his co-authors predicted that states would increasingly face threats not from other states, but from non-state forces whose primary allegiance was to their religion, ethnic group or ideology. Following the events of September 11, 2001, the article has been credited for its foresight by The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic Monthly.

Mr. Lind is co-author with Paul M. Weyrich of the monograph: "Why Islam is a Threat to America and The West." He is the author of "George W. Bush's `War on Terrorism': Faulty Strategy and Bad Tactics?" Both were published in 2002 by the Free Congress Foundation.
 

 

 

 

The Self-Proclaimed Other
By William S. Lind
April 5, 2006

The ongoing demonstrations and riots against a change in French labor laws are as normal for France as snails for dinner. Most Frenchmen agree that France is, and should remain, a mercantilist rather than a capitalist country. Every so often, a French government unwisely ignores this consensus and attempts to fire Monsieur Colbert from his permanent post as Minister of Economics. French workers take to the streets in protest, and after huffing and puffing for a while, the government gives in and restores Colbert to his honored post. It is one of the rites of spring, and no cause for genuine alarm.

But this year is different. A new, Fourth Generation presence has manifested itself. Roving gangs of young Islamics, many of them black, have joined the festivities. They have come not to march shoulder-to-shoulder with French students and workers, demonstrating the Left's fraternité, but to assault, beat, kick and rob them. The Left, it seems, has a problem.

The European cultural Left, which includes most of the nominal European Right, has for decades proclaimed the desirability of "multiculturalism." Religion, culture, race, those basic ingredients of human history, were no longer to matter. Beneath such superstructures, all people were to be seen as the same, wanting material things, sharing warm feelings toward one another, united by class consciousness far more than they could ever be divided by mere accidents of birth. "Diversity" would unite the best from all cultures, while the worst would magically vanish.

In this culturally Marxist world view, the most heinous of sins was to suggest that someone else was "the Other." That was racism, classism, fascism, and every other ism under the sun. Anyone who dared view another religion, culture or race as in any way unwelcome or even problematic was supposed to look in the mirror and see "another Hitler."

In the case of the young Moslems who are attacking French demonstrators, however, it is not Le Pen and his followers who are labeling them "the Other." They are proclaiming themselves "the Other," and they are doing so forcefully. Their Other, in turn, is not the Right, but simply Frenchmen. Any man, woman or child of French ancestry is a target, an enemy, regardless of how impeccable his Leftist credentials. European distinctions of Left and Right mean nothing to this self-proclaimed Other. What matters to these products of multiculturalist immigration policies is exactly the realities multiculturalism was supposed to abolish, the ancient identities of religion, culture and race. The New sought to replace the Old, but the Old is re-emerging to displace the New.

The root issue, as usual in the Fourth Generation, is primary loyalty. Most French workers and students, however Leftist their politics, are Frenchmen first. The Moslem hooligans - or should we say warriors? - attacking them will never give their primary loyalty to France. They are "the Other" by choice and by pride, not by economic or any other circumstances. No school, no housing project, no job program will take their loyalty away from the Other. As the Other, and as young men, they will look not for economic opportunities but for opportunities to fight.

The French Left is now painfully discovering that "diversity" is a synonym for taking a swim in the shark tank. For those of us who are cultural conservatives, the situation has its amusing aspects. We did tell them so, over and over again. They stopped their ears and yelled "ism! ism! ism!" back at us. Now, they are finding it is easier to block their ears than to keep themselves from being kicked in the streets of Paris by the very people they welcomed to France.

Regrettably, the colossal mess created by "multiculturalism" affects all Europeans and Americans, Right as well as Left. I will say again what I have said before: in a Fourth Generation world, invasion by immigrants who do not acculturate is more dangerous than invasion by the army of a foreign state. In America, a similar invading army took to our streets last week, demonstrating against any attempt to stem the invasion. Few of the flags they carried were American.

What must occur before the rest of us get the message?

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William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

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