The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Robert Spencer, LGF, and me

Not long ago I draughted a slightly laboured epigram: "If there's a PIG in your library, your library is a pigpen. If you write a book for this series, you're covered in mud." The link in that quote was to The House of David's first mention of Robert Spencer (of JihadWatch fame) in May 2006. That post had a parenthesis which cited the man with disapproval, but the article's main body cited his words with approval.

There's more to this saga between 2006 and now. Believe it or not.

I'll start with the positive. I do not believe that Spencer is a racist. A better such case, in the eyes of today's academy, could be leveled against me. (I'm a "believer" - I would say, accepter - of human evolution, including into the modern period.) Second, I don't have a problem with his belief in Western cultural superiority; except to quibble that by comparison with the Chinese culture, this may turn out to be a matter of preference only. Third, where he argues that democracy doesn't work for some cultures, I can't argue with that. Here too I may be more authoritarian than he is. Lastly, Spencer has an enviable grasp of Islamic history, language, and culture; and has written and edited several books, of which I cannot do other than recommend The Truth About Muhammad. Robert Spencer matters.

My fundamental disagreement with Spencer has to do with the Crusades. Spencer is still fighting them. He argues for the cultural and Christian West. There's a slogan for that in German: ein Reich ein Volk ein Gott. In my opinion this path can lead Conservatives at least to oppressive and, worse, sclerotic government if not to capital-F Fascism. The systems of government I would hold up as alternatives are probably not your cup of tea either, but at least I want a State that can be reasoned with.

Around the time I was lurking in LGF, among the commenters there was one Kejda "Medaura" Gjermani. Medaura had already brought up Spencer's associations with the fascist (and not just right-wing) fringe in Europe, but did it in a less sober format than in the link here.

In 2007 I registered with LGF and, in their parlance, became a "lizard hatchling". I was not, then, on Medaura's side against Spencer. I was on her side that Kosovo is Albanian turf. That put me against Serge Trifkovic, a viciously anti-Muslim Serb who even then I knew had at least a literary association with Robert Spencer. At this point I wasn't sure which of the Gjermani-said, Trifkovic-said comments I should believe. I reached an internal initial conclusion that Medaura was a troublemaker, and so I did not then wade in.

At some point in early 2008, I believe, Spencer disappointed me finally with his blurb for Hutchison's "PIG to the Bible". At this point I fell in solidly beside Medaura.

12 September 2008, Spencer had noticed (or rather, LGF had informed / shamed him) that racists in Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal were tagging along behind him, and so Spencer turned against them. LGF noted that in post Spencer on Cologne 'Anti-Islamisation' Meeting. I had additional thoughts in #247, 4:16:34pm (but I can't link directly thereto, because I'm an ex-lizard "stalker" now, and links hence may be redirected; so you'll need to research that and scroll):

I am pleased that R.S. has acted against racialist opportunism on that site. (To his credit he has been consistent on this.) However he still troubles me -

"2. To form one group for indigenous Europeans, as has been done in several countries, reduces virtually every issue to the one non-negotiable issue of race and ethnicity, discourages cooperation, and thus encourages Balkanization, works against the idea of representative government, and obscures the common values of Judeo-Christian civilization that are shared by people of many races and ethnicities."

Note that he can't help but slip "Judeo-Christian" into his definition of civilisation in a European context ("common values"). In place of a racial definition of Europe, he wants a religious definition.

And then came the The Great Halloween Ban. Here's my wrap-up (not among those I've apologised for - #655 / 6:25:58pm):

A certain Albanian atheist poster and I were banging on this theme for some time back in the day, that the cut of the jib of this Spencer fellow was not as likeable as one might, uh, like. Colour me unsurprised. I absolutely guarantee you that the Lady M, for her part, is dancing around right now to the strains of New Order's "Told You So".

There have been signs for months that this was in the works. Spencer's pro-Crusades contribution to the "Politically Incorrect Guide" series was a freakin' HUGE sign. Providing the blurb to the obscurantist P.I.G. Guide To The Bible was, in my view, worse.

My understanding, which I believe I shared with That Other Commenter, was that Spencer holds himself as a believer in European civilisation as European, and defines Europe in magical terms. He always claimed that his beliefs were Catholic - and maybe they would be, in Pope Innocent III's Vatican.

I hope everyone has learnt something. You see someone ranting about "culture", no matter how well you think you know him, watch out.

Some months after that LGF sent sporadic swipes at Spencer, with varying degrees of fairness. I don't even remember if I said anything.

Then, on Thursday, April 23, 2009 2:33:16pm: commenter "Bubblehead II" announced that Spencer's friend, the shrill blogger Pamela Gellar, was about to take a trip to Cologne on behalf of Manfred Rouhs's group Für Volk und Heimat uh, "Pro Köln". (These guys assured us they were NOT racists, because they'd invited a guy from the Society of Pius X. Apparently.) 3:37:33 pm PDT, Johnson followed up on this with a post devoted all to her - Pamela Geller: Poster Girl for Eurofascists. In this post we learnt that Pro Köln had announced Spencer as one of the other speakers.

I mused, 5:07:24pm, in #268:

Recneps Trebor has to be thinking hard about this one. He wants to be taken seriously as a scholar and overt participation in a fascist conclave would undercut that. On the other hand if he doesn't go, Geller and Belien might squeal that they've been "thrown under the little green bus".

Soon enough Pro Köln breathlessly reported Spencer's agreement, as Johnson reported the next morning 8:38:01 am PDT. Longtime commenter "Ayatolla Ghilmeini" 4:35:37pm relayed an email from Spencer that he was NOT going; but there was still no word from the man himself. Instead Johnson reported 5:43:00pm, that Spencer had posted, he was "looking into the group and the people involved".

I'd given this fracas a semi-pass at this point, but then Spencer said that Rouhs "has no neo-Nazi connections and is not an extremist". Big mistake. Charles posted the Rouhs library Saturday, April 25 at 3:56:17 pm PDT, Pro Koln Organizer's Nazi Merchandise. We all found a LOT of bad shit in that library. The merchandise Charles himself showcased included a Hess book, which I found was more properly Nazi themed than Nazi, but that was just nitpicking. In its place I found two books by Herbert Taege: a truly evil man, who was in the Waffen SS when they burned down the Warsaw Ghetto, and who graduated to guarding Dachau; I have no idea how he avoided the hangman. And it had holocaust apologetic from Dirk Bavendamm. And it had Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, Jewish Bolshevism: Myth and Reality. Other "lizards" found other material. A man's library shows the man's mind: Rouhs was absolutely an extremist, and he would have supported the Nazi regime if he had been alive. Why Spencer covered for this refuse is beyond me.

The whole mess sprayed egg upon the faces of all involved, as summed up by gegenkritic on 27 April. Spencer has shown that there are few far-right and, yes, Nazi alliances he will not accept; and he has to be shamed into not accepting those. Both he and Gellar would be blogospheric footnotes by now, were it not for the subsequent self-footnoting of Lord Charles himself.

At any rate: since then, Robert Spencer has compared me to Ezra Pound, so I gather these opinions are mutual.

UPDATE 6/2/2012: I checked out the links, and redirected a few. I note with chagrin that gegenkritic has purged his archives. The link /2009/04/27/german-conditions/ no longer goes anywhere. In fact, that year, there is no longer anything from 17 April to 6 May.

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