The Barbarians Are Lurking Everywhere

The following essay from Neue Zürcher Zeitung describes the end-state of the Long March Through the Institutions, which is what we are currently seeing in the twilight of Western Europe.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

The Barbarians Are Lurking Everywhere

by René Scheu
October 28, 2017

Anti-racism is racism, too. How Progressives are risking the heritage of the Enlightenment — and the equality of citizens.

Progressives style themselves the ones who regard human progress as a moral task.

They intervene to force society into the direction they see as the only correct one. Magic words are: emancipation, integration and inclusion. They see themselves as the avant garde of global openness and tolerance. These same progressive comrades have become entangled lately in contradictions that give rise even among their leftist friends to doubts about the progressiveness of their positions. Is it not astonishing when logical secularists like them demand tolerance for an Islam that does not distinguish between religion and state?

How can someone who decries the attitude of the Catholic Church toward contraception and the priesthood simultaneously defend a worldview that values women less than men?

How is it that eloquent, progressive feminists advocate for the right of women to be fully veiled?

And how to explain that these same people who call themselves progressives and detect racial discrimination everywhere are themselves prone to discredit their critics in terms of skin color and gender — especially raging white men?

Just to be clear: Yes, I am a white man — not raging, but firm in my convictions. When progressives lecture reactionaries, and professed anti-racists are promoted to stooges of the racists, then something is rotten in the state. The paradoxes and contradictions in which the custodians of progressivism have entangled themselves have certainly been accentuated under the aegis of immigration from outside Europe. Considerable psychic resources and intellectual pirouettes make it possible to ignore this. In the process, the logical dislocations simply reveal the result of a far older mode of thought.

Defeat of Thinking

Alert observers such as Alan Finkielkraut have long since described its outlines. In 1987, the French intellectual published a book that is worth remembering today, thirty years later: The Defeat of Thinking. His thesis: After WWII, when they had the moral high ground on the basis of resistance to the National Socialists, the Left took leave of the Enlightenment and its postulation of a universal human reason. From a legitimate criticism of the West grew a kind of intellectual auto-exorcism whose new magic word was ethnocentrism or Eurocentrism. What Europeans call human reason — according to this — is nothing more than the hegemonic form of a breed of people who brought forth the greatest evil of the modern age through capitalism and totalitarianism.

A Culture of Debate is More Necessary Than Ever

And with that, the culture critics throw out the baby with the bathwater. The new cultural relativism, which began to take effect in the new Left milieu of the 1960s, undermined the equality of human beings and played into the hands of the new Right. It just took some decades for the effects to become noticeable. And that is where we are today.

As the most important witness to this development, Finkielkraut cites the great French ethnologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss. In 1951, Lévi-Strauss gave a keynote address to UNESCO in which he sharply rejected the “racist doctrine” of biological explanation of distinctions in lifestyles and ways of thinking. What matters, according to Lévi-Strauss, are “geographic, historical and sociological conditions,” which he encapsulates in the concept of culture. There is no uniform development of culture, so there is no general criterion to compare them. Thus, there is no hierarchy, but rather an equivalent difference among cultures. Lévi-Strauss castigates the arrogance of the West in distinguishing between civilization and barbarism. Whoever presumes to represent the apex of humanity is excluding others from it. So it follows that “a barbarian is, first and foremost, the one who believes in barbarism.”

In 1971, Lévi-Strauss was invited by UNESCO to give another speech, and this time he caused an uproar, because he said something that those present did not want to hear. Yet all he did was to delineate the consequences of his earlier talk, with no consideration for false harmony. If it is cultures that shape human beings in their lifestyle, and if these cultures cannot be compared by a general standard, then there will also be acts of exclusion among members of various cultures, which will go as far as hostility.

The differentiation of cultures will, so to speak, become absolute: It no longer signifies inferiority, but an absolute remove

Lévi-Strauss recognizes in this a natural human behavior, which contains great potential for tension. The “others” are not barbarians, but are nonetheless strangers, whose otherness has a threatening aspect. While critics accuse the ethnologist of legitimizing xenophobia, Lévi-Strauss, for his part, accuses them of trivializing the concept of racism.

Racism Without Race

According to Finkielkraut, Lévi-Strauss manages — despite this distancing — to advance a new racism, just different than intended. That is, in Lévi-Strauss’ construct, human beings are seen only as members of cultures, but not as individuals who can speak out against the customs and values of their own cultures, By this logic, the human being is no longer an entity capable of making decisions, but a cultural entity. Being rooted in the culture is absolutely definitive of actions. So on one hand, Lévi-Strauss frees the human being from the bonds of nature and, on the other hand, unwittingly makes him[1] the prisoner his culture.

The differentiation of cultures will, so to speak, become absolute: It no longer signifies inferiority, but in its place an absolute distancing. So Lévi-Strauss’ postulated equivalence of cultures perforce comes into conflict with the equality of all people. The point, according to this interpretation, is that even human rights are just a Western invention and valid only for certain cultures (conversely — depending upon cultural context — practices like patriarchy or polygamy are also justified).

Finkielkraut calls this kind of exaltation of culture a “racism without race” and summarizes: “A racism based on differences displaces the former, colonial racism based on inequality.” What remains the same in both cases is the primacy of the collective over the individual, of homogeneity or community over individual autonomy, of belonging over freedom.

Thus Lévi-Strauss advances a new fetishism of cultural identity which sees in the individual nothing but a limb of his culture. So it is not surprising that the founder of the new Right, Alain de Benoist, invokes Lévi-Strauss early on. His bogeymen are individualism and globalism. And is it not this kind of thinking that internally binds the leftist multiculturalists (who want a peaceful co-existence of members of different cultures) and the new rightist ethno-pluralists (who dream of the disengaged coexistence of varied, ethnically pure peoples)?

False Dialectic

Besides this kind of anti-racist racism, there is also an openly racist anti-racism. Finkielkraut cites the pioneer thinkers of anti-colonialism — Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon. Jean-Paul Sartre may be considered an exemplary, established representative of this direction in post-war France. He emerges from the chrysalis of an anti-fascist to become a passionate anti-colonialist, devoted to the liberation movements in the Third World. In the Third World, he sees the new Third Estate.

In his opinion, the use of force by the new proletariat against their colonial masters is not only permissible, but obligatory. With no trace of irony, Sartre writes: “Killing a European means killing two birds with one stone — simultaneously dispatching an oppressor and an object of oppression out of this world.”

The Left Has Destroyed Itself

(by Mark Lilla)

Sartre’s arguments against the background of his Marxist, dialectical Progressivism are openly racist. The plot is quickly explained: White men have oppressed the world in the name of a hypocritical humanism. Therefore, the anti-racism of the oppressed is legitimate and the only means to free humanity. In Sartre’s words of 1948: “The Negro is creating an anti-racist racism.”

Invoking Négritude is intended to unite the new proletariat which will be able, only after taking power, to realize a race-less society. Sartre’s fallacy is clear. Human progress does not follow Marxist dialectic. Ultimately, every classification of humanity by skin color, ethnicity and gender simply creates new conflicts by undermining universal equality.

And is that not the case today, when social groups define their singularity by visible characteristics? And isn’t this kind of aggressive racism what involuntarily connects followers of identity politics with nationalist identitarians?

Betrayal of the One Reason

The progressive discourse is in a cul-de-sac. There is no longer one Reason (rationality) but many, There is a Black Reason, a White Reason, a Masculine Reason and a Feminine Reason, a Heterosexual Reason and a Homosexual Reason, a Secular Reason and an Islamic Reason. It does not matter what someone says. What matters is who says it.

Progressives, self-described supporters of tolerance and openness, prove to be both obfuscators and trailblazers of a new inequality

It is no longer the argument that counts; it is the arguer. It has long been clear where this leads — to a new kind of fragmented society of tribes and classes, gaining strength in its passage through the filter bubbles[2] of the social networks. Who knows, maybe a historian will describe today’s wealthy nations as diverse bodies that, with the best of intentions, voluntarily ghettoized themselves.

The Progressives, self-described supporters of tolerance and openness, prove to be both obfuscators and trailblazers of a new inequality. The fragmentation of Reason is their other heritage.

Immanuel Kant, the great Enlightener, calls reason “the last touchstone of truth.” To today’s ears, that may sound pathetic, but this pathos has what is needed. Reason means the ability to abstract from oneself, to transcend one’s own identity. It does not deny contradictions, but comprehends them with exactitude.

Human reason allows a sober view of the world, which others can share. That should enlighten the Progressives as well, even if they have to give up their feeling of superiority.


1.   Yes, yes, I know — why did I say “him”? Well, the German word for human being — Mensch — is masculine, so I followed the German grammar. Possibly that is cultural appropriation as well as sexism. But I refuse to marshal all the many pronominal possibilities and choose from “zhir” and “zhur” or even “bleck, feck, geck and meck” (See Go With The Flow in an earlier post).
2.   A state of intellectual isolation.

26 thoughts on “The Barbarians Are Lurking Everywhere

  1. Precisely, the individual has no value apart is contributed to the state, the tribe, or the culture. The United States cherished the individual but then was talked out of it by Dewey et al in the early 1900s when those who were educated were progressives all in the name of progress.
    Well, “progress” has given us communism, fascism and liberalism, all of which are far too ready to sacrifice the individual on their altar of the guiding agenda. No thanks, I have another belief system that values the individual. I won’t be participating in their rituals except possibly as a captive sacrifice.

  2. “…Anti-racism is racism, too. …”

    I would go further and say: Anti-Racism is the modern euphemism used for the real Racism. “Anti-Raaaacism” is the “new black” so to speak.

  3. The whites; the conservative whites; the fat conservative whites; the English, fat conservative whites; the English, fat athletic conservative whites…. ibid, ditto…who are tall, who are bourgeoisie,….who have good mismatch repair genes and wild P53….

    You can’t biologically and scientifically put people into classes, identities, subsets. It is illegal. It is not allowed. It is oxymoronic. This is because the immense variety of life forces the class size to be always one….unitary…single.

  4. A subject lives within a Greater Manifold Reality. I read Kant for years and still do. I studied him before I “graduated” to theology. I found Kant far superior to anything that passes for “intellectual” today. What the idiot “Left” have done is inverted Kant to a pure form of absolute subjectivism of Self in direct contradiction of observed reality. All is equal despite experiential, even apriori ideation. This is why we are in a mess today.

    I burn my finger on a candle flame. I do not do it again as it is harmful. The Left says, “Oh no its is simply different form of experience”. Carry on burning one’s finger,

    • Bishop,

      I must respectfully disagree.

      After reading Stephen Hicks’ book about post-modernism it is clear that Kant and his philosophies are part of the problem.

  5. The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
    ― George Orwell

  6. What surprises me is that people with progressive agendas never ever describe their end goal, at least in a higher sense ( think John Lennon and Imagine, there he does describe a vision, for example). They just don’t. Instead, it is just a reactionary manifesto of public display of self-righteousness, conquest, the pursuit of a better which is always illusory and demanding of further commitment. It is stupid, unbalanced in terms of wider reason as it never thinks beyond direct cause and effect, so ignoring the deeper and subtler shifts that it initiates. People are free to follow a theme, but when it is applied using force (and that is literally the method of installation of new law on society), it corrupts that society (and more closely local society), as well as discarding individual opinion and actions to the gutter.

    Personally, I think along minarchist lines, a simple national identity which evolves as the nationals do on their own merit, nor forgetting its past. It is not hard, people are good and kind if you let them be; if they feel they are secure in their society, are surrounded by familiarity, and an unthreatened world they can call their own. Innocence is not naive, simplicity is not stupid.

    • Their end goal is their peaceful communist, multi-culti utopia after all European peoples are extinguished from existence.

      Peaceful, if you overlook all the internecine warfare that will break out among the various tribes and religious sects in this ‘utopia’.

    • “people are good and kind if you let them be…”

      The problem with this assertion is that it assumes everyone is like you in their desires.

      In fact, there are aggressive peoples with what we consider to be criminality built into their norms. Also, a great deal of behavior is determined by genetics. So, for example, black neighborhoods are consistently riddled with crime. It is not the case that just leaving black neighborhoods alone (or de-policing them, as Black Lives Matter would like to do) would create a harmonious area. In fact, without aggressive, intrusive policing, murder and other crimes explode in black neighborhoods.

      • That is true also. Maybe I should have said most people. Western culture is not a familiar culture for many races, the principles are different. I know several Arab descended, and African descended, people, and certainly “culture” is not just something we learn – they all somewhere maintain very distinct perceptions, and generally interact well in certain ways, but in others hold a point of view that is distant, sometimes hostile, to what in western culture seems like a natural flow that somehow evades or excludes them. I live abroad, and even after say twenty years of familiarity with a certain culture, I still feel excluded somehow… it is just like that. I don’t complain though, it is just the local order and my place in it only reaches the level that I am capable of being aware. Even with my own culture, my own country, I have plenty of experience of being sidelined etc., without clear reason, even for not good reason… and the idea of using race or colour as basis of a defence does not exist there for me. Not many foreign countries are going to defend someone because they are caucasian either, though they may naturally welcome them.

  7. Anything.

    ANYTHING AT ALL that will justify the elimination of the individual ‘WHITE MALE’ is grist for their mill.
    He simply must be ostracized/eliminated in order to usher in the left’s millennial whatever.
    The ‘white female’, on the other hand, can be easily burka-ed into non-existence and eventually bred out of the picture. Note how easily the EUropean feminist adopts/adapts to and even welcomes the islamic veil.

    Any and ALL of these philosophies that ignore the PRIMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL and his natural rights must be fought to the bitter end.
    Lock and load, boys and girls.

    • Flintlock,

      You have correctly identified the one group that is key to the survival of the West.

      The theory behind feminists welcoming the veil is that their public banshee wailing is an attempt to deny their very real, deeply felt craving to be controlled and dominated by a male. Islam is immune to the banshee routine, so it is able to easily impose itself upon them.

  8. Every day I find it increasingly difficult to not believe in the objective truth of religion, because every day the world moves farther away from it with its observable consequences. I now see the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial and Scientific revolution as a natural consequence of man looking for objective truth in Christianity and the world around him (despite the efforts of some elements of the church that were opposed to this). When you stop looking for the rational is when chaos ensues.

    On a lighter note:
    Levi Strauss did make some great jeans, so he was not all bad.

  9. Here is an example of progressives in action. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone gender based violence, though in fact I find it wrong to apply the term “gender violence” , just call it violence will do ( unless you are progressive). Also I will point out that the program carried out at ground level by social services in Spain is extremely biased, they work like an inteligencia preying on the weak (families)… I could write of what I know… but the short of it makes average machismo seem positively friendly and beneficial. As someone once said, just do not talk to these people. Surely some will disagree, and there are obvious examples as to why, but that is not the “big picture” I am talking of.

    Anyway, let’s cross dress ( caught ya) two topics. Here a 1 bn gender violence fund is being discussed in Spain, the news of it tied into an article of “gender violence” ( that is 1% gdp of a broke country that has much more deserving needs, not that government spending is usually an answer, often it is the opposite)

    So I look up the event… hard to find for whatever reason but one article came up after a quarter hour of looking

    And it turns out those involved are Moroccan.

    Seems like various interests coincide.

  10. All this is funny because we all have the same parents and the same basic genes.
    We all know what it is like to have a brother or sister who is difficult. What the author discusses is a dysfunctional family on steroids (or whatever else is handy) and raised to the nth.
    Thanksgiving Day is about two weeks away. I will be giving thanks for my little island of peace in people have chosen to be good neighbors. As we gather ’round the table I will be wishing the same for you and pray that Yah teach the new arrivals in Europe what it truly means to love your neighbor as yourself, something their parents never taught them.

  11. I’ll just colour up my previous comment for you:

    Here is porcine Diaz, once representative of “dictatorial style progressive family values for feminists ” in 30% unemployed Andalucia, and current president of its regional nazi socialist Junta, ( she wallowed through corruption scandal and is now loose to PP spending and clearly PPSOE – hence the above 1 bn). I don’t mind fat ugly people btw ( where I would say something like plump benelovence)… as long as they are kind spirited, I get to call her names though because finally her looks catch up with her nature.

    In that picture she is with PSC group 155.

    Here is PSOE Sanchez with Hidalgo, well known to your friends at Riposte

    And why not Puigdemont. I think this photo is authentic, but not sure.

    Though I am always wary that there may be a double game being played by EU wrt Cataluña and that Puigdemont might be complicit, the above photo says otherwise.

  12. The Enlightenment placed man above God. This was never going to work out well. It was designed for a masonic heirarchy which is now the EU and the UN and most of the world. The result is flames and false freedom.

    • So, Mr. “Light-Bearer” brought ‘enlightening’ to those who preferred to rule over others to their benefit than to serve others for the benefit of all. Yes, that sounds like the history of this world for the past 250 years, and the way things are going it will end badly in a global train wreck.

  13. The “culture of debate” concept is a complete waste of time.

    There is no “debating” with holy warriors, be the progressive or Muslim. They hate us and they want us dead.

    The first thing that conservatives/right-thinking/free-thinking people need to do is recognize and accept that we are in the midst of a holy war.

  14. ** then there will also be acts of exclusion among members of various cultures, which will go as far as hostility **

    Yay for exclusion and hostility. I have a low tolerance for contortions of speech. It amazes me that BHL addressed UNESCO with such a simplistic idea. Really? You have to tell those commies that? I’m not sure if he was correcting what he’d said earlier about “the arrogance of the West in distinguishing between civilization and barbarism” but it was said without considerations of false harmony. That much is a relief to me.

    I vowed early in my life never, ever to read anything written by Kant or Nietszche or ever to spend one second trying to understand dialectrical materialism. With the photographs in this post it seems absurd to (have to) indulge in such learned discussion about obvious stuff. I mean, it is wise to come in out of the rain. Period. The dialectric sheds no light on this decision.

    It’s important to scratch the surface of leftist thinking a bit but before too long can’t we just agree that it more resembles what comes out of the mouths of institutionalized people than anything needing earnest analysis? The swine Frans Timmermans says that diversity is the destiny of every corner of the earth. This isn’t a remotely rational position. It’s a manifestation of orchestrated malevolence. To engage this nonsense on the merits merely wastes time and plays into the enemy’s hands. We need Faragian and Westian ridicule and common sense. Gordian knotism not faculty lounge musings.

    The real leftist bludgeon is domestic racial politics in which cries of “racism” have very salutary effects indeed. Another, of course, is the leftist media monopoly that will provide a megaphone for pitiful and debased thinking that would embarrass even Trigglypuff. It’s no secret why the public debate is dishonest and unclean.

  15. You might be interested in my book, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed and the new sequel, The Ideological Path to Submission… and what we can do about it.
    Both from Mantua Books and both available on Amazon or B & N.

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