The Power of a Portrait

Wretchard reflects on the power of the Mohammed cartoons, which must be very powerful indeed, given the evidence of the latest from Osama Bin Laden.

What makes the Mohammed Cartoon attack on radical Islam so potent that Bin Laden himself must oppose it, is two things. First, anyone can make fun of radical Islam. Second, the Cartoons are aimed at the weakest point of the Jihad: it’s sources of authority. It is paradoxically true of all organized nihilisms that they rely upon their unquestioned authority to negate. For example, whereas Bolshevism could regard humans as expendable, dogma was sacrosanct. The real message of organized nihilism is that “everything is permitted” except to make fun of nihilism itself. Every act is lawful in radical Islam: to bomb markets, kill children, lie, cheat and steal. Everything: except to publish the Mohammed Cartoons.

I argued that the Islamic reaction to Geert Wilders converted every paintbrush, chisel and computer into a bomb. Islam has to suppress every affront to Mohammed lest Mohammed be shown to be impotent against affront….

Many pixels have been burned out arguing that the distributed Islamic insurgency is invincible. But what about distributed resistance? What about distributed blasphemy? How long will Osama Bin Laden’s dogma survive that?

It’s Radical Islam’s worst nightmare: a Swarm directed against authority.

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