A treasonous, self-lacerating and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout academia, the press and political class, which funds with taxpayer dollars the very activists and agitators whose goal it is to sow the ideological contagion of shame and self-loathing
Can the West save itself? Or will it decline and collapse, like all the great civilizations of the past? There are many components of civilizational decline, but one of the most important is demography, involving a plummeting birthrate and a large scale invasion of legal and illegal immigrants, as I pointed out in an earlier Quadrant article, “How Civilisations Die”. This is complemented by another component, which involves the collapse of the culture that sustains the civilization, usually involving the treason of the intellectual and political elites. These become cultural quislings, turning their backs on the very culture that sustains them in their privilege, proudly declaring themselves enemies of their own civilization, and working actively to undermine it, effectively handing over control to the aggressive invaders.
The paradigm for this intellectual treason was established by the Comintern nearly a century ago, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, when Lenin decided that the new Soviet Union slave state would only survive if it was able to foment revolution in the West and could mobilize the intelligentsia to achieve this. The poisonous message these intellectuals were to carry, an ideological contagion, was enunciated vividly by the leading French communist ideologue, Louis Aragon, in 1925:
“We will destroy this civilization that you cherish … Western world, you are condemned to death … We will awaken everywhere the germs of confusion and malaise. We are the agitators of the mind … those who will always hold out our hands to the enemy.”
This treasonous, self-lacerating, and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout Western academia and it has an ideological stranglehold over political activism, as we see in Australia with the Green-Left. These academics and activists live in a parallel universe where the source of all evil in the world is their own society, in which they posture as reluctantly privileged rebels. Consequently, as Pascal Bruckner observes in The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (2010), “nowadays all it takes to attack Europe is a bit of conformism” to the all-pervasive hatred of the West that constitutes the intellectual monoculture of our society.
The West must repent continuously and unreservedly for the vast litany of sins for which it is held responsible. Indeed, “from existentialism to deconstructionism, all of modern thought can be reduced to a mechanical denunciation of the West”, which is depicted as “the very figure of Satan”. According to this fashionable nihilism, “we Europeans are born with a burden of vices and ugliness that marks us like stigmata”. Indeed, “a curse is hidden behind our civilization that corrupts its meaning and mocks its grandeur … The whole world hates us, and we deserve it.”
This grotesque vision of their own civilization as a global predator has been systematically promoted throughout academia, the schools, and the media for decades and has poisoned the intellectual atmosphere. Excellent current examples of how this self-lacerating ideology operates at the personal level is the infamous Safe Schools program and the new $22 million ‘respectful relationships’ education program that is also presently being imposed on Victorian school students. It exemplifies Bruckner’s observation that the white male is now a pariah, a monster “genetically determined to kill massacre and rape; he has split himself off from the rest of humanity in order to enslave it”. Consequently, under the new program boys and girls will be taught that males are violent, powerful, and privileged predators:
“Proposed lessons will introduce students to the concept of ‘privilege’, which is described as ‘automatic, unearned benefits bestowed upon dominant groups’ based on ‘gender, sexuality, race or socio-economic class’.”
In particular, boys will be taught in Years 7 and 8 that they enjoy “male privilege” that encourages “control and dominance”, and that:
“Being born a male, you have advantages — such as being overly represented in the public sphere — and this will be true whether you personally approve or think you are entitled to this privilege.”
As with the Safe Schools propaganda, this new program is really just an ideological Trojan Horse dominated by radical ideology, as Kevin Donnelly points out (“Marxist Agenda in Anti-Violence Campaign”), Apparently, whether they are just intellectually thick or utterly cynical, Premier Daniel Andrews and his education minister, James Merlino, are proud to preside over the pedophile grooming, ideological indoctrination, mass brainwashing, and terrorizing of school children.
Nothing however, can trump the all-pervasive anti-Americanism that has an intellectual stranglehold over the Green-Left, academia and the media. For them, as Bruckner explains,
“…evil America condenses in a single place, a single people, and a single system all the abjection of which Europe used to be capable. Parasitical, murderous, arrogant, America seems to bear all the signs by which we recognize the West’s guilt: as rich as it is inegalitarian; dominating, polluting, and founded on a double crime, the Indian genocide and the Black slave trade … it is entirely devoted to the worship of the almighty dollar, the only religion in this materialist country.”
America, in brief, is the global anti-Christ.
The strategy of ideological subversion has proven very effective over the past century, but the cultural demoralization and decline it produces has accounted for many previous major civilizations. In general terms it follows the model of internal cultural disintegration identified by Edward Gibbon in his magisterial Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the comparison is now routinely made, especially with respect to America. https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2008/05/america-as-the-new-rome/
It seems clear however that it will be Europe that will go first, that the ancestral home of Western Civilization will be Ground Zero in the decline of the West. As Mark Steyn observed a decade ago in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (2006), Europe faces the “Four Horsemen of the Eurocalypse”:
“Death—the demise of European races too self-absorbed to breed; Famine—the end of the lavishly-funded statist good times; War—the decline into bloody civil unrest that these economic and demographic factors will bring; and Conquest—the re-colonization of Europe by Islam.”
And, of course, the situation has only gotten worse since then – far worse, in fact, as the never-ending Muslim insurgency and endless jihadi massacres reveal. Indeed, according to Daniel Pipes, writing this week in The Washington Times, “Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe’s Destiny”. And sadly this outcome is because
“some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world [have] willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries.”
Tragically, these interlopers share no heritage whatsoever with the essential values, conventions, institutions, sexual mores, cultural, political, and legal systems that underpin and are integral to the liberal democratic societies that they are so eagerly invading. Even worse, they are neither interested in them nor have any respect for them. To them, these open societies are simply an easily transgressed staging post, a place where they can set up their closed monocultural and theocratic enclaves and grow stronger while living off the largess of the welfare states that so eagerly welcome them. Moreover, their community leadership is guided by a firm belief in Islamic supersessionism, the notion that Islam supersedes, surpasses and must displace all previous religions and the civilizations based on them. As Diana Muir Appelbaum explains:
“Islamic supersession can be understood in two senses, as replacement and as erasure. Going forward, Islam will supplant all other faiths. But Islam also controls the time before the birth of Muhammad; it claims to have preexisted all other faiths with the Qur’an pre-existing all other scripture … The claim that Islam has always existed effectively erases all that went before Muhammad. The notion that Islam is the final, true faith, divinely ordained to rule everywhere, has driven Islamic imperialism for 1,400 years.”
It is simply astonishing that purportedly sophisticated societies would so eagerly embrace such a large, aggressive and religiously-driven mass of invaders, especially when the historical record about the inevitable disastrous outcome is so clear. Indeed, this type of civilizational suicide finds a parallel only with era of the ‘Barbarian Invasions’ that undermined and ultimately destroyed the later Roman Empire. At that time, the ruling elites had become decadent, over-indulged, effete, and crippled by self-doubt, lacking the inclination and capacity to confront the external challenges that eventually overwhelmed them, swept their once great civilization away, and ushered in the Dark Ages, from which it took Europe a millennium to recover. Like many of us, Pipes is bemused at this civilizational death-wish:
“Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many Establishment politicians, most notably Germany’s Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasingly worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead?”
It can lead only to civilizational destruction.
Pipes blames the complacency of the Establishment, pointing out that “what I call the 6Ps (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insist that everything will turn out fine”, when it is obvious that this is an illusion, as the enclaves, alienation, aggression, and welfare costs grow exponentially. Compounding the problem is the iron rule of political correctness that forbids criticism or even questioning of these policies:
“The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe’s civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The Establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists.”
And this torrent of abuse only exacerbates the crisis by forcing rigid postures of militancy and intransigence onto apprehensive people who initially only wanted to have their voices and concerns heard and respectfully regarded.
In Bruckner’s view, the Western intelligentsia has become “the penitential class par excellence”, and intellectuals “officials of original sin”. In academia and government bureaucracies they preside over a vast ideological apparatus designed to ensure that this secular penance is honoured repeatedly with meaningless ceremonies and hollow observances kowtowing to anything non-Western, however vacuous, while the unparalleled glories of that civilization are ignored, scorned, and disrespected. This contrived world of make-believe is protected and reinforced by laws prohibiting freedom of thought and speech, and by aggressive government agencies that monitor and regulate every act and utterance, threatening criminal charges against those who fail fully to embrace self-hatred or adequately abase themselves before all things non-Western.
In this fashion, a vast cultural discourse of guilt, remorse, and repentance has been created and elevated to a supreme status where it lurks like a supernatural presence, with bureaucrats “appointed to maintain it like the ancient guardians of the sacred flame and issue permits to think and speak”, as Bruckner observes.
What of the future? In Europe, Pipes sees some hope in the rise of anti-immigration political parties, which are now typically winning some 20 percent of the vote but could poll over 30 percent if current trends continue. Such a trend could develop in Australia, especially as the state and federal governments continue their kowtowing to minorities while ridiculing and disrespecting a growing mass of mainstream voters. Whether such a bloc would be able to guide effective political change remains unclear, however, especially in Europe and Australia where so much power is now vested in virtually autonomous, anti-democratic, quasi-judicial, regulatory, punitive, and propaganda agencies, all of which are committed to the debilitating guilt-ridden anti-Western ideology.
Sadly, however, Pipes thinks that Europe’s future will be determined not by statesmen (there are none), but by violence. For him, the greatest question facing Europe is whether it is the elitist cultural quislings or the masses that will decide the continent’s future. If the jihadists continue their reign of terror then the political momentum might swing towards the people; if they are suppressed then the Establishment will remain in charge: “Ironically”, he concludes, “the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe’s destiny”.
Bruckner concludes that the battle must continue in the realm of ideas, and that the balance must be restored:
“We must have done with the blackmail of culpability, cease to sacrifice ourselves to our persecutors. A policy of friendship cannot be founded on the false principle: we take the opprobrium, you take the forgiveness. Once we have recognized any faults we may have, then the prosecution must turn against the accusers and subject them to constant criticism as well.”
These are fine sentiments, and the ideological battle must continue to be fought, however one-sided it is. But Bruckner seems excessively optimistic that there is good will on the side of those who seek continuously to undermine the West and seek to exploit the burden of guilt it has so unwisely accepted. In fact, there appears to be little or no good will there at all and absolutely no openness to criticism or compromise. Indeed, since Bruckner wrote the situation has only become more intransigent and unforgiving.
Ultimately, it seems that the West is caught up in a zero-sum game where there can only be one winner. As it has been for the past century, we are engaged in a fight to the finish with external and internal forces that want only to destroy our civilization and build their tyrannies upon the ruins.