Sad and Disturbing, But Not Surprising

Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.” (more here)

“Not surprising,” because this is the kind of thing that we have come to expect from the UN.

Atefeh Sahaleh could not be reached for comment.

In a discussion at Neptunus Lex, commenter Shel says:

I posted this story on my page yesterday and a liberal high school friend who had recently reconnected wrote (I kid you not), “It could be the honor of putting them on the board is the only way to get them into the room to talk some sense into them.” Facepalm. Because thats what you do with people who arrest women for suntanning and think cleavage causes earthquakes. You honor them so you can talk to them. That whole free exchange of ideas. Astounding.

…to which ProwlerAMDO responds:

No, they really are that stupid/brainwashed. It’s holy writ that all the worlds problems can be solved by listening and understanding, and thus the UN is the way for the future despite its obvious complete disfunctionality…

The idea that by talking to the Iranian regime you are going to convince them to take a more enlightened attitude toward women’s rights is about on a par with the idea that by talking to Hitler and Himmler about the many contributions of Jews to German culture you could have persuaded them to close down the concentration camps. Yet many if most liberals and “progressives” continue to have these utterly irrational beliefs about the magical power of words. Quite possibly, this relates to the fact that so many liberals/progressives are in the word business themselves, in one way or another, in their professional lives; certainly, it relates to a lack of historical knowledge and understanding and an unwillingness to face reality honestly.

Also see my post Noose, Bomb, and Rocket.

6 thoughts on “Sad and Disturbing, But Not Surprising”

  1. Several of my children are of the left and the various reasons they give are illustrative. One daughter is very bright, a grad student who, among other things is studying Arabic as she wants to study Arabic manuscripts in Spain. She speaks several other languages and is married to another grad student. She is typical, I think, of students who, although she is 30, have never really been on their own and will probably never start a business or even own a home. She is a lovely person and I cannot imagine her arguing with anyone about anything.

    Another is a trial lawyer and fooled me as I thought he was libertarian until Obama came along. Other members of the family say this is competition with me and, if I announced that I was voting for Obama, he might very well reverse course. This is the anti-parent group which I think is large on the left.

    A third is in law enforcement and really fooled me when she announced she was voting for Obama and gave me a copy of one of his books for Christmas 2008. Unfortunately, it was his campaign book and not the first one which I would have read. She seems to have hated George Bush but I never quite figured out why. She is a mystery although feminism might be part of it.

    I don’t open long conversations with my children as most of us know that it is impossible to hold a measured discussion of politics with the left. I can remember college bull sessions as I slowly moved right. I suspect they are very different today and such discussions quickly become heated. When I am with my children, I avoid politics. Even with my other son and his wife who are very conservative and very religious.

    Understanding why people arrive at those conclusions would be interesting if it could be studied objectively but I suspect it would be very difficult to do so. These kids are all over 30 and three are over 40. They had similar upbringing, all but the oldest went to private school, and all have been to Europe, some several times. In other words, they have led upper middle class lives in a suburban area. All have graduate degrees.

    I sure can’t figure it out. None have started a business, so that might be a factor. My daughter-in-law who is very conservative has a successful business she runs from home, now that she has three small children.

  2. I should add that it is a mystery to me how women can justify Obama’s unconcern about Iran’s behavior. The UN, of course, is a rent seeker’s paradise and many of these inexplicable actions probably relate to the delegates incomes.

  3. mr. kennedy, i’d not truly consider myself of the left, though i’ll certtainly admit to being of the left-ish end of libertarianism. the reason i profess that caveat is only to suggest a possible reason for what i am about to say:
    firstly, what on earth do the political leanings of your children have to do with the subject of this post?
    in the second, perhaps your inability to carry on a measured conversation with them stems from statements like ‘most of us know that it is impossible to hold a measured discussion of politics with the left’. not, perhaps, the most measured opinion.

    to answer the obvious rebuttal, this post also has nothing to do with the subject at hand. i just saw an opportunity to point out that, just as ‘UN…is a rent seeker’s paradise and many of these inexplicable actions probably relate to the delegates incomes’, forums such as these often tend toward the bloviations of cranky politicos whose inexplicable opinionating probably relates to the lack of understanding of their children.

    all of which only is meant to say, moderator, is it not possible to exercise that moderating function to limit discussion to things relevant? and i do measure by my own rule – i fully expect this post to disappear as well!

  4. Seedub,

    Michael Kennedy is using a personal anecdote to highlight a very real problem i.e. that leftists seem increasingly divorced from reality to the extent they believe that they can cajole vicious, autocratic leaders with the right magic words.

    Three of his children are either articulate intellectuals or are employed by the state. They leftist and increasingly shrill. The third is a small business person and leans right.

    Kennedy is showing that people who are divorced from productive work, who live in a world of words, come to believe that words work like the magic spells of old. They seem to believe that if you but find the right phrase to utter, carry out the right ritualized actions (e.g. “peace process” or summit) then magically people’s whose entire world depends on hatred and violence will sudden reform.

    In the specific case of the UN, leftists desperately want something like the UN to work so for 70 years they have simply declared that it does. They believe that “wishing DOES make is so.”

    I think Kennedy’s anecdote helpful. After all, political ideologies and political movements are just aggregates of individual world views and individual’s choices and actions. Why large numbers of individuals make the same choices in the same patterns is an important question.

  5. See how far we have come in 60+ years?

    When I saw this news about Iran, I thought, “Surely we should have had Nazi’s serving as judges during the Nuremburg Trials?” “In all fairness?”

    This is merely another example of moral relativity in practice.

    I think the above comment about how desperate the left is for the UN to work is spot on, too.

  6. Mr: Kennedy,

    I understand what you are saying. Jonathan Edwards wrote that the first measure of truth is that it conforms to reality; in the realm of ideas the measure of truth is consistency.

    I think Liberals think it is a mark of their intellectual sophistication that they deny reality. They begin with a thought that no normal man would accept, such as if you are being attacked you ought not to defend yourself because it is emotionally satisfying. But if the ideas are not based in reality, you can’t really have an objective discussion. I think this is why a reasonable discussion is impossible with a liberal. There thoughts are not rooted in reality but emotion and therefore, they hurl their emotions at you rather than trying to talk with you. Civil discourse is impossible because the conservative is trying to make a reasonable argument and the liberal is upbraiding the conservative for their benighted views.


Comments are closed.