Another Perspective

Maxwell Smart Was Right

Islamism and Leftism may just be frenemies -- but behind them lurks "KAOS."

By 11.2.12

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It's a puzzlement: Why do leftists tolerate radical Islam? Begging the question: What does the man who Newsweek's cover declared is "the first gay president" think is going to happen once sharia comes to his zip code?

Great minds are flummoxed by the attraction of two seeming political opposites. Even the late, brilliant cynic Christopher Hitchens was surprised and stunned by the blasé 1989 response of his leftist then-pals to the Salman Rushdie fatwa. Lesser minds on the left try to justify the wacky attraction by viewing global jihad as primarily a violent spasm of the economically exploited. If not brothers, these Islamists must at least be their cousins in arms. University leftists comfortably ignore that "religious" motivation of fatwas, sharia, or honor killings because, in their world, everyone who's educated knows that religion doesn't exist.

No fan of the left, Newt Gingrich offers an alternate psychiatric solution, suggesting that the current president "has almost a psychological need to be totally blind to the realities of Islamic extremism…. as though he has a desperate need to believe in something which is totally false."

For those still not satisfied with an understanding of the leftist/Islamist cohabitation, dozens of alternative theories have sprung up (see hashtags "secret Muslim", "Saudi money," "Indonesian birth certificate"). Irrespective of whether any or all are true, these storylines have been unflinchingly driven against media ridicule and elite indifference by people trying to solve the Islam/leftism riddle. They look for that one hidden secret that will explain it all, much like the last page of an Agatha Christie story.

In the midst of our existential battle of civilizations, these conventional assessments of the Islam/Left dynamic are worse than facile or inadequate -- they are dangerous. To make progress and crash flawed paradigms, we are well-served by the terminology if not the insight of one of the sixties' less-heralded geopolitical strategists. We need to place both leftism and Islamism in a superset best called "KAOS".

Why KAOS? Readers of a certain age will remember Get Smart, a '60s sitcom send-up of the cold war spy thrillers. Maxwell Smart was the American agent who assessed all threats to the country by unerringly telling his chief, "I think that KAOS is behind this." And, unerringly, he was right. Only a higher theory such as KAOS explains why two systems -- mortal enemies by conventional metrics -- can be working in covert tandem, often intuitively, with no strategic plan.

KAOS is neither an ideology nor a religion. It is a pagan -- or at best pan-phenomenalistic liberation movement that seeks to release themselves and everyone else from the bonds of time, physics, and biology. As two congruent, malignant light beams refracting off reality at different angles, they measure success by their intellectual and physical deconstruction of Western Civilization.

Stripping away the flamboyant dross of "Allahu Akbar" and "power to the people," it becomes clear that all KAOS shares the same vital principals:

• Surrender to passion

KAOS is a cover for lusts. Passion rules the left, underlined by their affection for the color red. Cyclically, they mass and charge the barricades to lust, namely: family, religion, and the free market economy. Islamist lusts are served by defining their cravings as divine will. We all know how when a "religious" terrorist yields to the temptations of the flesh, it is termed "incongruous" or "schizophrenic." But that misses the point: in their zeal to slaughter, they eroticize violence and feed the same obsessions they seek in the strip clubs.

• Situational morality

To live in KAOS is to celebrate moral nullification. By releasing morality from its (Western) mooring, KAOS disqualifies failure. In prison, Islam offers a narrative to the felon that renders penitence and rehabilitation inoperative. And Marx says that if laws are tools of the ruling class, then breaking them is okay. Protections such as private property, voting, and citizenship are to be enforced only to the extent that they advance a known agenda.

• An attack on meaning

They'll tell you that it's all about a great, far off goal -- but their behavior betrays their eschatology. There is never a meaningful arc of progress. Their goals are a sham -- their interest is in an eternal present. Their perceived triumph comes from merely participating in this never-ending struggle. See H.R. Clinton's senior thesis "There Is Only the Fight." Or the German book called "My Struggle" that ignited a war.

In the ahistorical environment of KAOS, there is no cause and effect -- none of the empirical reasoning upon which Western Civilization rests. For us, "meaning" derives from our axiom of an ordered, non-random, time-based universe. Everything is built on that -- from the patriarch Abraham discovering monotheism to Isaac Newton discovering science. In KAOS, meaning as we know it is an uninteresting and useless construct.

They are Western Civilization's Lex Luther -- an enemy of near-equal genius committed to a polar opposite set of principals and outcomes. Defeating them requires one core insight into the paradox: KAOS, the avatars of randomness, lust and nihilism, are ultimately a rational -- even ordered -- lot. They are as predictable as the natural urges that enslave them.

We have their number. All we need now is a shoe phone.

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About the Author
Judd Magilnick lives in exile in Santa Monica, California.