The Fallaci Crunch


The American Enterprise mag has printed a recent talk by renowned journalist Oriana Fallaci. The speech, titled "How the West Was Won and How It Will Be Lost," is based on her anti-Islam recent "sermon" (her term), The Rage and the Pride.

Whatever you can say, La Fallaci (again, her term) is doing her best to keep alive stereotypes of Italians as hot-blooded, impulsive, and vendetta-prone:

I, too, am ready to die for passion. But around me, I see no passion. Even those who hate me and attack me and insult me do this without passion. They are mollusks, not men and women. And a civilization, a culture, cannot survive without passion, cannot be saved without passion.

Her pantheon of Western heroes also includes a couple of questionable members:

My book is also a j?accuse. To accuse us [in the West] of cowardice, hypocrisy, demagogy, laziness, moral misery, and of all that comes with that. The stupidity of the unbearable fad of political correctness, for instance. The paucity of our schools, our universities, our young people, people who often don?t even know the story of their country, the names Jefferson, Franklin, Robespierre, Napoleon, Garibaldi. And no understanding that freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline.

Jefferson, Franklin, even Garibaldi–sure. But Robespierre and the Little Corporal Who Could? Ugh.


NEXT: Calling Thomas Szasz

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  1. Perhaps she Likes Napoleon and Robespierre because they weren’t sniveling toadies full of doubt and self-loating, like your typical EU elite. I can’t imagine Napoleon asking “why do they hate us?”

  2. I’m also in complete, 100% agreement with this woman – at least on the “unbearable fad of political correctness”…

  3. With apologies to my Italian mother, this woman sounds like Ann Coulter with a little fuzzy mustache.

  4. I don’t see where she is calling them her “heroes”. She is right about the need for the schools to teach history.

    Joe! please let us know what gives away the clues to her “mustache”.

  5. Joe and Vidya-Underarm hair to be certain. Having had an Italian grandmother, I can tell you the mustache is optional

  6. I must protest in the strongest possible terms Ms. Fallaci’s characterization of me and my fellow mollusks as lacking in passion.

    Her comments show an inexcusable ignorance of mollusk life.

  7. Nick, at least a couple of writers say that Napoleon may have done some good had the Allies left him alone after his return in 1815.

    Recall that earlier he helped spread the Napoleonic Code through Europe, as well as inspired a sense of nationalism. Perhaps the revolutions of 1848 might have been more successful, with less disruption to Europe than what ended up happening after 1918.

    It’s arguable, anyway. 🙂

  8. Ugh? It seems to me that she’s making the point that we must know the history of these people, good and/or bad. So knowing Napoleon and Robespierre keeps us from making their mistakes, keeps us aware of the good and the bad of which our countries are capable. Seems reasonable to me.

  9. I agree with the previous post. At least in some respects, she has a point. Our children are taught P.C. in the schools but have no clue about how our governement, economy, world or universe work. They don’t know where they come from or where they’re going to (at least in a nationalistic sense). I’m not about to blow her tirade off completely.

  10. EMAIL:

    DATE: 12/10/2003 08:42:36
    The shifts of Fortune test the reliability of friends.

  11. EMAIL:
    DATE: 12/20/2003 11:22:50
    There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes wide open.

  12. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/09/2004 10:29:58
    A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.

  13. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/19/2004 06:21:17
    We are never truly sure of our beliefs.

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