Independent thought - a response to dreamer_marie
You are obviously in bad faith. You have not even tried to read the story Melanie Philips actually told. Far from trying to manipulate anyone, Hirsi Ali repeatedly and candidly told the world that - like many refugees - she had told some lies in order to get to what she thought would be a safe country. The people who manipulate you, and by whom you are happy to be manipulated, are the Muslim Dutch journalists who suddenly, after years of this being known, pulled the dirty old tabloid trick of presenting it as if it was something new and surprising, and smeared Hirsi Ali's integrity in the process; and the vile politician who, having known it all along, suddenly decided that the laws of Holland had to be applied, in their full rigour, in that case and in that case alone. You have swallowed their lies whole, because you don't like Melanie Phillips and me calling your country names. Well, tough. If you don't want to be despised, don't be despicable.
Dutch people are thouroughly convinced that you should be free to do whatever you like, no matter what religious leaders say, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else
That you cannot see that this is about as far from the truth as to say that Iran is a democracy or India a small country, says all that needs saying about the bill of goods you have willingly let yourself be sold. The Dutch have no idea what individualism is. If they worship at the altar of freedom of choice, they do so as to an unknown god, something they revere without understanding - or rather, as Plato argues in a famous passage, something they love because they do not have it. The establishment informs the Dutch that they are independent thinkers who do not let themselves be convinced by any religious leader, and they repeat in a uniform chorus: "we are independent thinkers who do not let themselves be persuaded by any religious leader." The establishment tell them: "it is more dignified for old folks to choose their time to die;" and the Dutch repeat with one voice (some, among the old, rather trembly and uncertain): "it is our independent view, unconditioned by any religious leader, that it is more dignified for old folks to choose their time to die." What, in the name of God and all the stars in the sky, does the killing of the old and sick have to do with respect for individuals? If you accept in any way the notion that any life is not worth living, you have denied the value of individual life; you have said that a man's life is only worth living as long as it meets society's parameters for "value". And do not give me that nonsense about willing suicide. First, it is well known that elderly Dutch citizens do not visit their doctors for fear that they should be invited to commit suicide. It is the medical bureaucracy that decides that you are no longer of any use, and that to keep you alive would not be cost-effective. It then tries to "convince" you and, more to the point, your family, that it would be so much more dignified to let them shove a needle in you; and you are from that moment on under pressure - from the bureaucracy, from your selfish and sentimental relatives, from the national culture - until you give in, and are then complimented on what a fine, dignified figure of a human being you make, being killed by some professional who still has the shameless nerve to call itself a doctor. The obvious shame of this picture, however, never penetrates the skulls of that fantastic collective of independent thinkers in step. Even when the murderers start removing disabled babies, where no notion of consent is possible, and even when your hero Balkenende makes it legal for them, you never for one minute allow any doubt about the moral status of killing the old and sick to enter your independent-thinking mind.
Think of the article I linked to and blasted a while back. Here it is again, in case you had forgotten:
Sharon DijksmaSharon Dijksma, a leading parliamentarian of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) wants to penalise educated stay-at-home women. “A highly-educated woman who chooses to stay at home and not to work – that is destruction of capital,” she said in an interview last week. “If you receive the benefit of an expensive education at society’s expense, you should not be allowed to throw away that knowledge unpunished.”
Hence her proposal to recover part of the cost of their education from highly-educated women who decide not to seek paid work. Between 2001 and 2005 the number of Dutch women aged between 15 and 65 who were out on the labour market rose from 55.9 to 58.7 per cent. Dijksma says she wants to stimulate more women to join the work force. In the municipal elections earlier this month the PvdA became the biggest party in the Netherlands thanks to the Muslim vote. The PvdA is generally expected to win the general elections next year, when the 35 year old Dijksma, who has been an MP since she was 23 and is a leading figure in the party, might become a government minister.
On her weblog Dijksma explains that her proposal is a logical consequence of the Dutch system of subsidizing students. Society finances their studies with government scholarships, hence it is only normal that they pursue a professional career or repay. “If someone chooses not to work, then there should be a substantial repayment,” she said.
Most Dutch women who decide not to seek paid jobs do so in order to care for their children. Consequently the Dutch media refer to Dijksma’s proposal as “the PvdA Mother Plan.” The proposal elicited fierce criticism, some of which was aimed at Dijksma’s person. Twice the politician started a college course, and twice she failed to complete the course: her grades were poor, and anyway, at the age of 23 she was already a well-paid MP. Angry Dutch bloggers demanded that Dijksma pay back the costs of her unfinished studies before going after the mothers. “Let the fat cow repay her own scholarships first, because that was a real waste of public money,” one of the bloggers wrote.
The PvdA website has come to the rescue of the beleaguered politician, repeating the stance that those who study at the taxpayers’ expense and do not join the workforce are guilty of “destruction of capital.” Edith Snoey, the leader of the biggest Dutch trade union, who has made a similar proposal to Dijksma’s, wrote on her weblog that Dijksma had expressed herself somewhat unfortunately by giving the impression that she was only focusing on women, while the sanction should also apply to educated men who do not want to join the workforce. However, Snoey said, Dijksma’s mistake was unintentional. The union leader added that the politician should continue the fight: “Cheer up, Sharon. Let us proceed, because we aim for the same goal: more women in the labour force.”
If you can read that without being outraged, you have no idea what respect for the individual is. If you can read that without being outraged, you regard human beings as ants in an anthill; you regard the individual as nothing, and the community as all. And you do so, what is worse, for mean and despicable motives. You do so, as the creature said, because you value capital spending more than the individuals on whom it is spent. You do so because to you, only money is true. Hence the killing of everyone who costs more than they generate - old folks, terminally or chronically sick people, disabled babies. The anthill must work efficiently, without individual misfits to disorder it, for the sake of its all-holy capital.
I tell you that Italian Communists have more individualism in their little fingers than any Dutch independent thinker has in his or her whole body. I tell you that no Italian Communist, however hard line, no terrorist thug jailed for murdering people who disagreed with him or her, would even begin to conceive an argument so collectivistic and so mean. I tell you that anyone who did so would be not even laughed out of the party; they would be looked at with puzzlement and wonder, as if they had tried to argue that yellow is square or round.
And to get back to what provoked this little exchange: you seem to think that Verdonk has said enough when she has said that Hirsi Ali has broken the laws to get to safety. This, of course, implies that men exist for the laws and not the laws for men; or, in the words of one of those Religious Authorities from which you are so independent, that the Sabbath is not made for man, but man for the Sabbath. When the Abdel Rahman case (the Afghan Christian convert condemned to death in his country) burst upon the world, the Berlusconi Government, corrupt as it was, decided unanimously to offer him asylum and state protection. When it was pointed out that Abdel Rahman would not quite fit any of the existing Italian legal conditions for granting asylum, the Government simply passed an unanimous motion to accept him for humanitarian reason on the Government's simple parole. The Opposition did not say a word to protest, in spite of the fact that this was taking place during a national election; they showed by word and deed that they concurred completely. To a Dutch anthill lover, this may show a deplorable attitude to the laws; to a human being who has not yet surrendered his mind to the independent thought of the anthill, it shows a respect for human life and liberty - those things which you worship without having any notion of what they are.