Friday, May 29, 2015

Fox News and Positive Barbarism

There is another idea in human arrangements so fundamental as to be forgotten; but now for the first time denied. It may be called the idea of reciprocity; or, in better English, of give and take. The Prussian appears to be quite intellectually incapable of this thought. He cannot, I think, conceive the idea that is the foundation of all comedy; that, in the eyes of the other man, he is only the other man. -- G.K. Chesterton, The Barbarism of Berlin
This passage comes to mind when I see a story on Fox News under the banner, "IRAN'S JOKE JUSTICE:  Cartoonist faces prison for her depiction of Parliament," and contrast that with another expression of Fox outrage (do they have any other kind of story?), "OUTRAGEOUS VIDEO:  Female Vet Tackled, Arrested for Trying to Stop Flag Protest."  In the Fox Weltanschauung, symbols of our form of government are sacred, and we are not only within our rights to protect them by law, we are lax in our duty if we fail to afford them such protection.  Such is only the case, though, for the USA and perhaps a few of our very best friends (Israel and the UK in particular, but not really anyone else).  The same rules most definitely due not apply to Iran.

Anyone who has the painful habit of personal thought will perceive here at once the non-reciprocal principle again. Boiled down to its bones of logic, it means simply this: "I am a German and you are a Chinaman. Therefore I, being a German, have a right to be a Chinaman. But you have no right to be a Chinaman; because you are only a Chinaman."

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