We can’t help it, we’re human, we necessarily have worldviews. Everybody does. The Resistance does too, rough hewn, in the aggregate, and tacit as it may be. Now it is time to take a look squarely at the Resistance’s main object of concern: Humanity itself. The Resistance declares itself “inclusive” and it hates “exclusion.” Its vision and its concern encompass all of humanity. But not all “humanisms” are created equal. But what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Who is to say that Resistance humanism is unquestionable?
In a first installment (“Resistance, in the light of 1776”), following the lead of Pierre Manent, the Resistance came to sight as a way of looking at things characterized by 1) a binary view of legitimate and illegitimate views (in keeping with Hilary Clinton’s “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it” litany); 2) a quasi-religious cast (“political orthodoxy” and “heresy,” observed Manent); and 3) a novel form of democracy characterized by terms such as “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and “inclusion,” but with its own blind spots and exclusions. As I put it: it is “rather exclusive in its inclusivity and monolithic in its view of diversity.”
People lay flowers and messages in St Ann's Square in Manchester, England, placed in tribute to the victims of the May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
When a young man such as Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, blows himself up, killing as many others as he can take with him, it is only natural for us to ask why he acted as he did. His behavior is so extraordinary, as well as evil, and so far beyond the range of normal, that we are inclined to seek for an answer in his personal psychopathology. Only the mad would do such a thing; and since he did it, we conclude that he must have been mad.
I never see the International Herald Tribune except in airport lounges or in the lobbies of hotel where it seems to be given away like improving literature or left as missionaries were once said to leave tracts on trains in the hope of converts. And thus it was, the other day, that I happened upon a copy and, having a few minutes to wait, read it.
The cartoon in the paper was what mainly sparked my interest. It showed Pope Francis, arms outstretched in a gesture of ecumenical welcome, his face beaming with self-approbation, denying that he was one to judge a homosexual. To his side and slightly behind him was a woman demanding to know about his attitude to women.
If cartoons are supposed to raise a laugh this one failed by quite a wide margin but there was nevertheless a certain amount of irony in it, though I suspect that it was unintended. For the woman was dressed in a T-short, her body was pear-shaped and her countenance, framed by a pudding-bowl coiffure of black hair, was that of an angry, belligerent and above all self-righteous termagant.