Sunday, July 9, 2017

Spending the legacy of freedom

AYAAN HIRSI ALI: Spending the legacy of freedom.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen some worrying indications that the kids are not alright. Fundamental elements of our society like free speech are increasingly under attack from a kind of weaponized identity politics whose goal is not to introduce and debate new ideas but to silence voices that they find threatening or offensive (often those are assumed to be one and the same).
Recently, I came across an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali in which she spoke about the inability of many in the West to realize that the foundational ideas of freedom are not a default state but a legacy handed to them by previous generations. I’m jumping into part 2 of a longer interview, all of which is worth watching. Hirsi Ali was discussing the principles of freedom, equality, and tolerance for differing views that she believes results in the beautiful outcome of freedom for millions of people. “You’re free to do what you want and life is stable and it’s predictable,” she says. . . .
The problem as she sees it is a failure of many in the West to recognize how valuable their cultural inheritance is. “I remember being in Holland and seeing this idea of freedom, it was the identity of the Dutch man, almost a biological identity,” Hirsi Ali said. He continued, “People took it so for granted. They couldn’t understand why people didn’t just adapt. They didn’t see that it was something that they had learned from their parents and their environment…their parents had learned from their parents.
“I always compare it to wealthy—children of wealthy family businesses. First generation is the one that makes the money. Next generation kind of knows what the first generation went through, they are conscious of the fact they have to carry these responsibilities forward. But ultimately a generation comes that spends and doesn’t know where it all comes from.”
Well, they’ve been terribly educated. And that’s not an accident, but deliberate Gramscian Damage.

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