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.
I have tried to contribute to a new vocabulary by coining the word “Caucasophobia” for anti-white racism, and have suggested the term “self-termination” for organized Western self-loathing and the Western policy of unilaterally dismantling our own culture. Both terms are OK, but if somebody can come up with something better and more catchy, I’m all ears. One can say many bad things about the word “Islamophobia,” but it’s easy to understand and sticks in your mind. If the shariabots can come up with a word like that then infidels shouldn’t be any less inventive.
We are against Sharia and Jihad, but what are we for? What is Western civilization? What exactly sets it apart from others and makes it worth keeping? If we’re going to defend “freedom” and “Western civilization,” we need to define precisely what we are talking about.
I would personally say that the emphasis on the individual is our most defining trait as a civilization. Both Muslims and internal collectivists hate our individualism the most, because it stands in the way of their ideologies. This is why they go to great lengths to smash it and replace it with group thinking. However, even our individualism can potentially be carried into such extremes that it can become a problem. Individuals still need to feel part of something greater and enduring, or society will be left unable to defend itself.
Another Western trait is a non-fatalistic outlook on the world and a belief in the ability of individuals to affect their own future, combined with linear thinking versus circular thinking, a high value placed on rationality versus emotionalism and last, but not least, curiosity — wanting to know how things “tick.”
I still remember the first time I read the Koran. I soon discovered how intolerant it was, but my first impression was actually not that it was violent, but that it was remarkably incoherent and difficult to read. It’s frequently self-contradictory, and Allah is portrayed as an unpredictable god. The Bible is more structured and with a higher literary quality than the Koran, even to a non-religious person. When European scientists initiated the Scientific Revolution, they assumed that God had made nature according to logical patterns that could be uncovered and predicted. But Islam, starting out with the structure of the Koran itself, assumes that there is no pattern, and that nature is simply subject to Allah’s whims.
I have given detailed explanations to non-Muslims of how Muslims continuously deceive infidels, but frankly, Muslims even lie to each other. I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that it’s not so much about lying as about the fact that truth is irrelevant in Islamic culture, which is why all kinds of ridiculous conspiracy theories always find an eager audience there. Notice how Pakistani ex-Muslim Mohammed Rasoel writes in his book The Downfall of the Netherlands — Land of the Naive Fools how he comes from a culture where people “lie all the time,” and consider persons who actually say what they think to be gullible fools.
Needless to say, this is also why Muslims have such a poor track record in science. Science is about uncovering truth, and if you come from a culture which holds that truth is irrelevant, you have a huge handicap. That is why the Scientific Revolution happened in Christian Europe, and not in the Islamic Middle East.
The sad part is, we are abandoning the scientific method in the West as well. And it’s not the only instance where we are regressing. Hate crime legislation constitutes a radical departure from the idea of equality before the law. You will be punished differently for assaulting a black Muslim than for the same crime against a white Christian, a Hindu woman or a Jewish woman, a gay man or a straight man etc. Some would argue that this already happens in real life. However, the point here is that this principle has now become a formal aspect of the law. This constitutes a gross perversion of justice. It mirrors Islamic law, which mandates different punishments for the same crime, depending upon the religious background and the sex of both the perpetrator and the victim.
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Islam has always valued individual life inequitably. But now there is a creeping tendency within the West toward the same view. In the case of assault or murder, an additional sentence is added if the act is viewed as a “hate crime.” Murder is murder, and all human life is to be valued equally. However, according to Multiculturalism we are required to treat all cultures and religions as equally valid, which they obviously are not. This perversion of reality makes the Western system of justice vulnerable to infiltration by Islamic law.
The West has traditionally been a rational civilization. We now have an emotional culture, which we see clearly in the immigration debate where emphasis is on whether you “feel good” and whether your “intentions” are good when you support mass immigration, not on rationally calculating the long-term consequences of your actions.
Our education system is no longer dedicated to searching for truth or even recognizing the concept that there is such a thing as “truth” in the first place, only multiple truths, all equally valid. Christian Europe could stage the Scientific Revolution precisely because it believed in truth and wanted to uncover truth. Post-Christian, Multicultural Europe no longer believes in truth, and would thus have been unable to stage the Scientific Revolution.
It is remarkable to notice how effective the “counter-culture” of the 1960s has been at attacking the pillars of Western civilization: Our education system is now used to dismantle our culture, not to uphold it, and has moved from the Age of Reason to the Age of Deconstruction. We have thus abandoned the ideal of rationality and objectivity, which used to be the foundation of our culture.
Our religious heritage as well as the social basis of our society, the nuclear family, has been under constant attack. Our legal system, at least in Europe, is moving away from the ideal of laws passed with the consent of the people and with their best interest in mind into transnational legislation written by faceless technocrats, with no loyalty to any specific people. The EU Constitution betrays an almost sharia-like desire to control all aspects of our lives, instead of upholding law and order and otherwise staying out of the way.
And finally, we are in the middle of an age where focus is on “subgroups” within the nation state, not on individuals. The anti-Westerners have taken great care to break down our religion, our individualism, our rationalism and finally our connection with the past, to make sure we don’t remember that we ever possessed any of these traits in the first place. Unfortunately, they have succeeded rather well so far. We are abandoning what once made us great, and are moving in the direction of Sharia Lite when it comes to free speech, equality before the law, and lack of rationalism.
What are we fighting for? We are fighting for freedom of thought and for freedom of speech, for the right to criticize not just our government, but all doctrines, political and religious. The fight against hate speech and hate crime legislation now constitutes a front line in the battle for liberty.
We are fighting for secular laws passed with the consent of the people, not sharia nor transnational legislation drafted by bureaucrats and technocrats unaccountable to the people. We do not want to be held hostage by international NGOs, transnational progressives or self-appointed guardians of the truth. Likewise, we are fighting for national sovereignty. No nation regardless of political system can survive the loss of its territorial integrity, but democratic states especially so. We pay national taxes because our authorities are supposed to uphold our national borders. If they can’t do so, the social contract is breached, and we should no longer be required to pay our taxes.
We are fighting for equality before the law. Hate crime legislation is weakening this, by treating people as members of a group, gay-straight, male-female, black-white etc, instead of as an individual, and also de facto results in unequal punishment for the same crime.
We are fighting for the right to view a nation as a cultural unit, not just a random space on a map. A country has the right to decide how much, if any, immigration it wants to accept. The idea of unlimited mass migration is 21st century Communism. Man is not just homo economicus, the economic man, the sum of his functions as labor and consumer, who can be supplanted from one region of the world to the next at will. Multiculturalism implicitly means that the native population have to suppress and erase their own cultural traditions and historical identity. People have the right to want to preserve their culture and pass it on to future generations.
Finally, I’d like to talk about one aspect of Western culture that tends to be downplayed, but is quite important: We are the only culture in the history of mankind to develop realistic, faithful depictions of beings and matter in our paintings and sculptures, rather than merely stylized depictions. We are also the only culture to invent a way to depict three-dimensional subjects in a two-dimensional format. A similar three-dimensional perspective was lacking in all other types of early art, be that Chinese or Japanese, East Indian, Mesoamerican, African or Middle Eastern. This could conceivably be because we have perceived space and spatial relationships in a different way than the rest of the world. What does that mean for our culture?
Egyptian art was dedicated to preserving the body for the afterlife. Artists drew from memory, according to strict rules. The ancient Egyptians were not Westerners, but they did contribute a lot to those who later became Westerners, the Greeks and the Romans.
In the brilliant book The Story of Art, writer E.H. Gombrich explains this. For an Egyptian artist, “once he had mastered all these rules he had finished his apprenticeship. No one wanted anything different, no one asked him to be ‘original’. On the contrary, he was probably considered the best artist who could make his statues most like the admired monuments of the past. So it happened that in the course of three thousand years or more Egyptian art changed very little. Everything that was considered good and beautiful in the age of the pyramids was held to be just as excellent a thousand years later.”
There was only one major exception to this, and that was the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten in the 14th century BC. The art depicting him and his wife Nefertiti is quite naturalistic. It is unlike anything before in Egyptian history, and may have been inspired by that of the Minoan culture on the island of Crete, by many considered to be the first European civilization. Some of this style is still discernible in objects found in the tomb of Tutankhaten, believed to be son of Akhenaten, who later changed his name to Tutankhamun as the old religion was reestablished.
Even though the artistic legacy of Akhenaten was quickly forgotten, his religious ideas may have proven far more durable. His insistence on worshipping one supreme god, Aten, makes him a pioneer in monotheism. It has been speculated, though disputed by many scholars, that Akhenaten’s ideas may have inspired those of Moses, which led to the creation of Judaism and, by extension, Christianity.
What is less disputed is that the earliest alphabet, the ancestor of nearly every alphabet used around the globe, including, via Phoenician, the Greek and the Latin ones, was partly derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs representing syllables.
Greek artists studied and imitated Egyptian art, but experimented and decided to look for themselves instead of following any traditional, ready-made formula. As Gombrich says, “The Greeks began to use their eyes. Once this revolution had begun, there was no stopping it.” It is surely no coincidence that this Great Awakening of art to freedom took place in the hundred years between, roughly, 520 and 420 BC, in Greek city-states such as Athens where philosopher Socrates challenged our ideas about the world:
“It was here, above all, that the greatest and most astonishing revolution in the whole history of art bore fruit. (…) The great revolution of Greek art, the discovery of natural forms and of foreshortening, happened at the time which is altogether the most amazing period of human history.” This art was later spread far beyond the borders of Greece, when Alexander the Great created his empire and brought Hellenistic art to Asia:
“Even in far-distant India, the Roman way of telling a story, and of glorifying a hero, was adopted by artists who set themselves the task of illustrating the story of a peaceful conquest, the story of the Buddha. The art of sculpture had flourished in India long before the Hellenistic influence reached the country; but it was in the frontier region of Gandhara that the figure of Buddha was first shown in the reliefs which became the model for later Buddhist art. (…) Greek and Roman art, which had taught men to visualize gods and heroes in beautiful form, also helped the Indians to create an image of their saviour. The beautiful head of the Buddha, with its expression of deep repose, was also made in this frontier region of Gandhara.”
Buddhism spread from India to the rest of Asia, and brought with it these influences from Western art. This is highly significant if we remember that the invention of block printing during the Tang dynasty in China was intimately linked to Buddhist monasteries and Buddhist art. Alexander the Great may also have brought with him inked seals to India during his invasion, and Indian merchants later introduced them to the Chinese. Stamped figures of the Buddha marked the transition from seal impression to woodcut in China.
The oldest surviving printed texts from East Asia are Buddhist scriptures. Printing was thus used to promulgate a specific religion, just like Gutenberg’s printing press in Europe was later used to print Bibles. The Islamic Middle East, however, for centuries rejected both the Eastern and the Western printing traditions due to religious intolerance and hostility towards pictorial arts. And they suffered all the more for it.