The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.
On my essay about glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word, reader kepiblanc suggested that the Western culture of self-destruction should be called seppukultur, from the Japanese word “seppuku,” the ritual suicide by disembowelment which was a part of the Samurai code of conduct, more commonly known as hara-kiri. I find the word intriguing, but it isn’t entirely accurate. What modern Westerners are doing is eradicating their own culture. This concept would never have occurred to Japanese who followed bushido teachings. Those who committed seppuku did so precisely out of a deep commitment to their traditions. For good or bad, the Japanese always have been fiercely attached to their culture, which is why they have largely remained insulated to the onslaught of Western Multiculturalism.
Right-wingers can be very short-sighted when it comes to mass immigration, and even so-called “conservatives” keep parroting the “Islam is peace” mantra. And although conservatives will complain about left-wingers, at least Leftists are committed to their cause and more determined to get into positions of influence. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the most eager allies Muslims find in the West tend to be among the hard-Left groups. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see some of them actively side with Muslims against their own people if there ever is a genuine physical battle.
There is an aggressive anti-Western impulse in certain segments of the Western Left which is rare among right-wingers. When they break down the “oppressive” nuclear family in the West yet downplay barbaric violence in Muslim families they are being entirely consistent: Their primary goal was never about freedom, it was about destroying the West. This creates fissures between the left-wingers who actually believe their own rhetoric — and some of them do — and between those who always knew it was just a pretext for something else.
According to journalist Ian Buruma, Tariq Ramadan prefers “Islamic socialism, which is neither socialist, nor capitalist, but a third way.” The tyranny to be resisted is “the northern model of development.” Global capitalism is the ‘abode of war,’ for “when faced with neoliberal economics, the message of Islam offers no way out but resistance.” This kind of rhetoric appeals to segments of the Western Left, and Mr. Ramadan knows this.
I’m not claiming that everyone left of the political centre actively seek the destruction of Western civilization. I once belonged to the political Left myself, and I was simply naïve because I had grown up in a sheltered environment in a peaceful country. I can understand those who initially didn’t grasp the sheer magnitude of the forces at work and didn’t foresee how the tiny trickle in the beginning would turn into the vast migration deluge that is swamping the West.
What I find difficult to understand is how people can, even now, with Islamic barbarism and terror attacks spreading across the European continent, continue so stubbornly to claim that mass immigration is good and that all those claiming otherwise are “racists.” We have unfortunately an almost infinite ability to fool ourselves into believing whatever we want to believe, especially if the truth seems troublesome. Moreover, many observers can be shockingly indifferent to the sufferings of actual people as long as they are focusing on the “greater good.”
According to Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, “The word ‘people’ is unpleasant to me. The phrase ‘Soviet people’ was drummed into us from childhood on. I love concrete people, enlightened people who live conscious lives and do not simply sit there and vegetate. To love the people you have to be the general secretary of the Communist Party or an absolute dictator. The poet Josef Brodsky once said: The trees are more important to me than the forest.”
Theodore Dalrymple writes about how George Orwell, because of books such as Animal Farm and 1984, has been made into an “honorary conservative.” However, his 1938 book Homage to Catalonia about the Spanish Civil War gives a different impression of the man:
“‘Churches were wrecked and the priests driven out or killed’: the only regret that Orwell expresses is that it allowed Franco to represent himself to readers of the Daily Mail as “a patriot delivering his country from hordes of fiendish ‘Reds.’” Orwell continues: “For the first time since I had been in Barcelona I went to look at the Sagrada Familia… Unlike most of the churches in Barcelona, it was not damaged during the Revolution — it was spared because of its ‘artistic value,’ people said.. I think the Anarchists showed bad taste in not blowing it up when they had the chance.”
Orwell states that “In six months in Spain I saw only two undamaged churches.” According to Dalrymple, George Orwell, a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist,” was a “fundamentally decent man blinded by abstract ideas: He never really asked the right question, which is not whether there could be democratic socialism (clearly there can be, in the one-man-one-vote sense), but whether socialism is compatible with freedom.”
Many of us associate the Spanish Civil War with Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica, and were taught that the “bad guys” won the war. But if the “good guys” were killing priests and blowing up churches, maybe the truth is slightly more complicated than that. Dalrymple points out that Orwell’s anti-totalitarian books did far more good than Homage to Catalonia did damage. 1984 circulated clandestinely in the Communist dictatorship of Romania, where people were amazed to see how a Western writer could so accurately portray their own reality. However, Orwell should also serve as a chilling reminder of how even good men can become blinded by ideology.
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The philosopher Kai Sørlander explains that when optimists don’t see any serious problem arising from mass immigration of people from alien cultures, this is partly because they assume that man by nature is good. To the pessimists — some would say realists — man by nature isn’t good, he is combative, and has the potential to do both good and evil. Cultural education is necessary to bring out his good qualities and suppress his potential for evil. For the optimists, the pessimists appear to be dangerous because they do not believe in the goodness of man. However, Mr. Sørlander notes that where the optimists portray the pessimists as xenophobic and thus evil, the pessimists only makes the optimists naïve. The demonization is one-way.
It is indeed striking how venomous many Multiculturalists are whenever any Westerner stands up for his country. Oriana Fallaci was hated by parts of the Italian Left during the final years of her life. I have seen cartoons in Denmark depicting the leader of the Danish People’s Party, Pia Kjærsgaard, who has been pushing for stricter immigration policies, as a rat, a vulture etc. Years of such dehumanization will eventually lead to physical attacks. Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands was murdered following similar treatment by the media.
The idea that human beings are by nature good leads to viewing criminals as suffering from some kind of disease that can be corrected by treatment. If a person does something bad, this is because he has suffered some form of “injustice.” The same logic is extended to Islamic terrorists.
The tabula rasa or “clean slate” view of humans has been shared by good men such John Locke. As a non-Christian, I too do not believe that human beings in general are born sinful. However, the idea can be dangerous if combined with massive state indoctrination.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau said that: “The state should be capable of transforming every individual into part of the greater whole from which he, in a manner, gets his life and being; of altering man’s constitution for the purpose of strengthening it. [It should be able] to take from the man his own resources and give him instead new ones alien to him and incapable of being made use of without the help of others. The more completely these inherited resources are annihilated, the greater and more lasting are those which he acquires.”
It is this lethal cocktail of the “noble savage” idea and state indoctrination that led via Maximilien Robespierre to modern totalitarian states. I believe the contradiction between Leftists not viewing terrorists as evil, but considering ideological opponents to be evil, can be explained if we postulate that they think that criminals haven’t received proper ideological guidance, whereas political opponents have rejected their ideological indoctrination and are thus considered a threat.
According to Paul Gottfried and his book The Strange Death of Marxism, the so-called cultural Marxism of Antonio Gramsci and others means the death of Marxism, because Marxism is an economic theory. Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal disagrees and thinks that we should call it “the transformation of Marxism.” Personally, I agree with Belien, and believe there is still enough shared DNA to label it Marxism, although I do recognize that there have been some mutations.
Critics state that there is no centralized conspiracy pushing Gramscian views ahead. No, but we should think of it as the Leftist version of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” described in The Wealth of Nations: It’s a spontaneous cooperation between various groups with a shared goal. As examples, the display of the national flag has been denounced as “xenophobic” in Sweden and the United States, Australia and the Netherlands. Was this part of a grand, centralized conspiracy, a Gramscintern? No. But that doesn’t change the fact that the end results were remarkably similar.
Political Correctness, of which Multiculturalism is a core component, has many of the hallmarks of a totalitarian ideology: ideological punishment for newly invented crimes, which creates a climate of fear, public propaganda campaigns as well as a gross perversion of language. Research and media coverage are tailored to suit the ruling ideology, inappropriate questions are not asked, “wrong” answers are suppressed. Since the ideology is logically incoherent, it can only be enforced through repressive means: We’re supposed to celebrate our differences at the same time as it is taboo to say that any differences exist.
Like all totalitarian ideologies, Multiculturalism needs a Villain Class, a group of evil oppressors that can be blamed for all the ills of society. If the ruling ideology falls somewhat short of producing the Perfect Society it has promised, this will be followed by even more passionate attacks on the Villain Class, be that the Jews, the capitalists, the bourgeoisie, etc. The Villain Class of Multiculturalism seems to be white people and Western culture. Any problems will automatically be blamed on “white racism,” which will ensue more state enforced “equality” and suppression of free speech.
According to columnist Leo McKinstry, the white working class is the one ethnic group that it is perfectly acceptable to insult. In his book The Likes of Us: A History of the White Working Class, author Michael Collins recalled coming across a municipal leaflet in a library in south London, listing every group that had settled in the borough, including Afro-Caribbeans, Somalians and Ethiopians. As he read this, Collins sensed an elderly white man looking over his shoulder. “They don’t mention us English. You wouldn’t think we existed, would you?”
This was due to recommendations by former headmaster Sir Keith Ajegbo. Ajegbo also said that resources need to be put into providing education about the benefits of diversity to white pupils, citing an example of a white pupil who, after hearing in a lesson that other members of her class originally came from the Congo, Trinidad and Poland, said that she “came from nowhere.”
But since the goal of Multiculturalism is not just to demographically and culturally eradicate Western civilization, but to erase any memory that it has ever existed, when this English pupil says she comes from nowhere, she is merely parroting what her education system tells her.
According to the West Indian writer V. S. Naipaul, “[Islam] has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say ‘my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn’t matter.’” It is striking to notice that this is exactly what is going on in the West. When Muslims enter our lands, they thus discover that much of their work has already been done for them by Western Multiculturalists.
What’s really amazing is that the people who do this get away with claiming to have a monopoly on good. I believe it’s because they claim to champion “equality,” and if they champion equality, this means that everybody who disagrees with them champions inequality, which is almost the same as racism and discrimination. As Observer columnist Nick Cohen writes, “To be good you had to be on the left.” The problem is, as Hayek has so eloquently pointed out, there’s a world of difference between equality and equality before the law, since absolute equality in all walks of life can only be enforced by a government with totalitarian powers.
In Norway, Government Minister Karita Bekkemellem says that female directors must make up at least 40 percent of all new shareholder-owned companies’ boards of directors. “This is all about sharing power and influence and it is intervention in private ownership, but it was overdue.” Violation of the new rules will be penalized with forced dissolution of the company.
We now get enforced quotas between the sexes, and among various ethnic, religious and racial groups, an idea so radical that it was abandoned even in Communist dictatorships. Communism, the idea of forced economic equality, has been replaced by Multiculturalism, the idea of forced cultural, religious, racial and gender equality. As a result, the supposedly prosperous and free West will end up being decidedly less prosperous and significantly less free.
The next step in the equality drive will lead to extend human rights to animals. According to author Joan Dunayer, “It’s speciesist to deny anyone equal consideration either because they aren’t human or because they aren’t human-like. Nonspeciesists advocate equally strong basic rights—for example, to life and liberty—for all sentient beings. Just as the concepts of sexism and racism have been vitally important to advancing human rights, the concept of speciesism is vitally important to advancing nonhuman rights.”
Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero’s Socialist Party has made attempts to grant human rights to apes.
The Dutch Party for Animals, PvdD, has forbidden the laying of poison to deal with a mouse infestation in its parliamentary offices. Its leader Marianne Thieme says, “Should there ever be a mouse plague, we would wish to combat it using traps that keep the mice alive.”
According to David Green’s book We’re (Nearly) All Victims Now!, victimhood is sought after because of the advantages it brings: “Group self-interest includes not only material benefits but also emotional pleasures such as righteous indignation and exerting power over others. Demands to be able to subject opponents to police action are perhaps the strongest examples of the latter.” The victim is the sole judge of when language is offensive.
The “oppressed” groups constantly change the words that are deemed offensive. That way they can keep potential offenders on their toes, always afraid of uttering, or even thinking, a word that could be deemed insensitive. This is combined with a culture where the most important thing is whether what you do “feels” good. According to writer Mikael Jalving, we have become “seduced” by goodness. He warns that we have to be judged according to the result of our actions, not their intentions, and that a precondition for freedom is the exercise of power. It is tempting to add that this emotional culture is a result of the excessive feminization of society. Everything that smacks of traditional masculinity, such as enforcing rules by force, is viewed as “Fascist.” Tolerance has become a goodness dope, an extension of our pleasure seeking culture, just another drug intended to make you feel good about yourself.
I have heard non-Europeans say that the ongoing colonization by immigration of Western Europe is a fitting punishment for the colonial era. It’s called karma in Eastern religions. However, Norway, which never had a colonial history, has immigrants from all over the world. The Netherlands had colonies in Indonesia, but there is not now a majority of people of Dutch descent in major Indonesian cities, whereas native Dutch will soon be a minority in most of their cities. It is also difficult to see what Moroccans, a large immigrant group in Holland, have to do with Dutch colonial history. The Germans were a colonial power in places such as Namibia. It is unclear why they should have an obligation to accept millions of Turks because of this.
The truth is that there is frequently no direct correlation between past colonial history and present mass immigration. Europeans have a right to resist colonization, too. There is no other place in the world where the indigenous population are supposed to celebrate their own colonization and get punished by their government if they fail to comply with this.
The waves of migration that the Western world is faced with now are far, far greater in scope and speed than those who brought down the Roman Empire. At least 2.2 million migrants will arrive in the West every year until 2050, according to a United Nations report from March 2007. The world’s population could reach 9.2 billions.
It is striking that it appears to be taken for granted by the UN that we will sit back, bleed to death and accept all these millions to flood our countries. It is presented like a natural disaster, as if the massive population growth cannot be stopped by the nations in question, and the ensuing migration cannot be limited by Western countries. But both these assumptions are wrong. Westerners should not and cannot take responsibility for billions of people in other parts of the world. They will have to limit their population growth to a sustainable level. We have already accepted more immigration peacefully than any other society has done in human history.
There is a significant element of blackmail here. I remember a group of African leaders telling the European Union that they needed to get huge amounts of money to limit mass migration from their countries, which is indirectly an admission that they can control this if they want to.
Many Westerners watch with resigned fatalism as we are told by our leaders and our media that this is “inevitable.” But nothing is inevitable. Our societies will collapse if this continues, yet we are supposed to be quiet bystanders to our own demise. Right-wingers tell us that it will be “good for the economy,” and left-wingers attack us for “racism and discrimination” if we desire our continued existence.
At Lawrence Auster’s blog, an Indian living in the West writes:
They say that all ‘rich nations’ will face mass immigration. But, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and even Malaysia are also rich nations. Immigration to those countries is close to zero. I think that immigration is matter of government policy and national will. If the will is there, you can have zero immigration or limited immigration. But there isn’t the will to do anything about immigration in the West. Instead they sit and wring their hands. (…) If there was ever a picture of a society that has been completely finished, this is it. You don’t have to discriminate on racial grounds or religious grounds, just reduce the annual quota to 1000 or 10000. Nothing illiberal about that. But they cannot contemplate even that! Westerners amuse me. Even the worst cowards in the so-called ‘third world’ have more spine than this.
We seem to have lost our willpower. Why? Maybe some of those traits which previously used to be our greatest assets, such as our respect for women, for human rights, individual freedom and for openness to outsiders have been carried into such extremes that they have become liabilities. Perhaps even initially good ideas can turn bad if practiced without moderation. The key word, which we seem to have forgotten, is “balance.” According to a conservative Swedish friend of mine, many of the seemingly crazy excesses now on display are not so much a perversion of Western civilization as a fulfilment of it. What has happened is that Westerners have carried many of the seeds of our culture into their theoretical (and extreme) limits. This has left us confused; we have fulfilled our civilizational mission, and don’t know what to do next.
Besides, when your entire world view is fundamentally out of tune with reality, you are bound to display some irrational behavior. Too many Westerners are still mentally stuck in an age when the West was globally dominant. Many left-wingers thus tend to explain the shortcomings of other regions of the world by Western oppression. Other groups believe we have near unlimited resources, that we are invulnerable and can absorb any number of immigrants to our countries.
But the West’s dominant position is not just coming to a certain end, it ended a while ago. We shouldn’t think of this as “decline,” rather as a return to normality and as an opportunity for a return to Western sanity. If it is true that some left-wingers attack us for being a “global oppressive class,” it is conceivable that their most aggressive anti-Western behavior will subside once it becomes apparent to everybody that the West simply isn’t powerful enough to oppress the rest of the world.
Western civilization has been the first civilization in human history whose influence has penetrated every single corner of the planet, from Greenland to New Zealand. That a single civilization has been so globally dominant is unprecedented, and may never happen again. Besides, critics are probably right that it is immoral for a minority to run so much of global affairs.
We may at best retain a position as a first among equals. However, even this is far from certain. We live in a world demographically — and perhaps soon economically — dominated by Asia. Russians look after Russian interests, Chinese after Chinese interests, Indians after Indian interests, etc. Only Westerners are still supposed to worry about global interests. We should stop trying to save others and start saving ourselves, while we still can.. Only by letting go of illusions of hegemony can we regain our sanity. The sooner we realize that, the better are our chances. We should use this situation as an opportunity to regenerate and define a new civilizational mission dedicated to our own survival. If cultural confusion and a lack of hope for the future is a primary cause of our low birth rates, it is likely that a new sense of cultural confidence will lead to a significant rise in the same birth rates.
The battle for Western hegemony is already over. The battle for Western survival is about to begin.