Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Tongue In Cheek Religion And Espionage Edition

From this Wil Wilkinson post
You know what was great about the Soviets? Official atheism. That was just terrific—for us Americans, at least. The coercive godlessness of the commies allowed us to rest easy in smug spiritual superiority. One didn't even have to show up Sundays to feel an occasional surge of self-righteousness about the enduring presence of the option. More importantly, security over the religion question left the stakes of the Cold War unclouded by matters of faith. America's spiritual superiority having been already decided in our favour (by us, of course), we could concentrate on the real question: which system could deliver the goods. Despite their differences, the cold-war superpowers did share certain common Enlightenment roots, which allowed for a sense of clean competition judged by more-or-less common criteria. As a child, I found this most bracing. Who had the most and best and most humanely distributed stuff? Who had the best symphony orchestras? Ballets? Chess masters? Decathletes? It was a war in which it seemed to make sense for the CIA to secretly subsidise American abstract expressionists to showcase the fact and fruit of boundless artistic freedom.

But how can we prove the superiority of "the American way" over "Islamofascism" when the "radical Islamists" reject American criteria of success, root and branch? The thought of a foe that is not only religious, but animated primarily by religion drives Americans batty in way I don't think the godless commies ever managed.

No comments: