The former Army Ranger known as Peter Kassig met his end under the knives of the Islamic State as Abdul Rahman Kassig. Even after his death, his mother is making media appearances wearing the hijab. For that matter, James Foley was a convert to Islam, as were other hostages. And while some undoubtedly convert in the (futile) hope of better treatment, it appears that many of these cases are sincere. Nor is this surprising, as the likes of Kassig, Foley, and others who have been taken captive in the Islamic State’s territory defined their lives by their efforts to help Muslims thousands of miles away from home.
Even liberal Whites ostensibly motivated by vacuous concepts like “human rights” can’t help but be impressed by those who possess actual strength of belief, especially from Third Worlders immune from charges of racism or cultural imperialism. Of course, many of these Third Worlders actually are racist or imperialist, but that reality is easily ignored by liberals who insist on viewing them as agency free moral mascots. Yet the fact that some Whites (even former Army Rangers) are willing to dedicate their entire lives to serving the Other and literally renounce their own identity at the moment of death testifies to something deeper than simple egalitarianism. It’s a kind of ethical exhaustion--liberal Whites are weary of the moral responsibility of existence and survival.
The very absurdity of our culture (if we can even call it a culture) shows that many Whites are looking for a way out. They actually seek escape through foreign occupation. To be occupied is to live in a world where meaning and cultural context is provided by a foreign people. You can be a religious minority (or an atheist) in a majority religious society and be “free,” but power, narrative, and taboo are ultimately in the hands of someone else. The same goes for being a racial minority or sexual minority.
This feeling of occupation is what underlies the fury of most minorities towards their host societies, no matter how well they are treated. To most people, being a minority is alienating--even if no one is specifically insulting you, you recognize you exist at the sufferance of someone else. However, to many liberal Whites, this feeling comes as a relief. In a kind of parody of Christianity, powerlessness constitutes a certain moral authority because it removes the possibility that you can inadvertently oppress someone else. It’s the only way to be free of White guilt, as even charity is just an expression of privilege. To the egalitarian mind, freedom really is slavery.
The hard truth is that Freedom Failed. Its failure is all around us. The Death of the West is an ongoing demographic and cultural reality. But what comes next? If Identitarians fail, it may be nature’s backup plan--Islam, particularly in its militantly monotheistic, Wahhabi Sunni variant.
Robert Ferrigno’s Prayers for the Assassin Trilogy posits exactly this outcome for the United States--a mass conversion as a response to spiritual exhaustion. The society he posits is built on a lie (in the book’s case, a nuclear attack blamed on Israel) and under the sway of religious fanatics, but is in many ways more admirable (and certainly more masculine) than what we have now. As Ferrigno notes, “the moral certainty of Islam was the perfect antidote to the empty bromides of the churches and the corruption of the political class.” Ferrigno’s scenario is obviously implausible but the demographic replacement of post-Christian Whites with Muslims is precisely what we are seeing in Europe today.
Our post-society is the rotten fruit of “liberty” and classical liberalism. We are told that once they are free of the dead hand of tradition, individuals can determine their own identity, inherently possess limitless potential to achieve perfection, and create the best kind of society by pursuing enlightened self-interest. Instead, we find technological wonders and vast wealth in our subjugated Europa and her cultural colonies in America, Africa, and Australia, but the denizens of these depraved outposts of supposed civilization can’t even be bothered to sustain themselves.
There are no limits to this process. It will follow its course until it is replaced. And the attempt to defy Nature is leading to a predictable result--inadvertent hilarity, followed by European extinction. In the end, Nature is the ultimate fascist.
Islam may be the response of the universe to Western Man’s attempt to destroy himself. At the risk of sinking into mysticism, one explanation for religion is that it is a kind of “race consciousness” or evolutionary adaptation in its own right. Evolution, after all, is about survival, not excellence or “Truth.” And if given stupendous wealth, power, and opportunity the smartest and most educated members of the most influential societies on Earth spend their days pretending they are cartoon animals and protesting body shaming, something will fill the vacuum.
Islam is Nature’s solution. Like the Architect from The Matrix Reloaded, it is Nature’s way of saying that “There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.” It is stultifying, depressing, and tyrannical. It is an enemy of real culture, with the most militant variations smashing the tombs and shrines not only of other religious traditions, but of their own. Modern Wahhabism is funded by Western decadence, enabled by Western weakness, in many ways a product of Western postmodernism and self-hatred.
And lest what I say be misunderstood, it is obviously, laughably, and comically false. It is sustained by the protective cordon it has created around criticism. Yet believing that a pedophiliac illiterate transcribed the literal word of God still makes more sense than believing all men are created equal. Islam’s refusal to allow critical analysis of itself is a sign of strength, not weakness.
More importantly, there is already a sense among both Western progressives and conservatives that Islam is the future for European civilization. In the days immediately following the attacks of September 11, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair made the curious comment that, “As Britain knows, all predominant power seems for a time invincible, but, in fact, it is transient. The question is: What do you leave behind?”
Indeed, Blair’s speech was in support of the neoconservative project to reframe the Islamic terrorist attacks as an attack on Islam itself, and use the current moment of Western power in order to change the behavior of Muslims. The possibility of European survival, confrontations with Islam as such, or even separation from the Islamic world was dismissed entirely. And this holds true of “noninterventionist” leftists as well--as easy as it is to decry Western interventionism in the Muslim world, don’t try to couple that with a cessation of Islamic immigration to the West unless you want to be hounded out of polite society.
Lawrence Auster touched on a central reality of today’s Western Man in that dhimmitude is actually a pleasurable idea to many liberals because it would allow them to set down the burden of Whiteness. Christianity may have told Western Man that he was “born sick, and commanded to be well,” but it at least provided an answer in the grace of Jesus or the sacraments of the Church. In contrast, leftism tells Western Man that he is inherently sinful (or “privileged”) and that there is nothing he can do to escape from it except seek collective annihilation or submission. What keeps modern society going is only the saving grace of hypocrisy.
Mark Steyn quipped “Just as the AIDS pandemic greatly facilitated societal surrender to the gay agenda, so 9/11 is greatly facilitating our surrender to the most extreme aspects of the multicultural agenda.” The very fact of that people are willing to fight so unnerves the Eloi of the modern West that they try to convince their adversaries to allow them to surrender. And even Steyn can beat his chest about defying the Death of the West, but his solution is to have Muslims be “reconciled to pluralist, liberal democracy.” As with all conservatives, he is desperate to save the very system that has doomed his civilization.
If conservatives are moderately less suicidal than leftists, it is only because they want the benefits of a certain civilizational order, while denying the actions necessary to sustain it and the racial and cultural conditions necessary to create it. A line attributed to Swedish “Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration, and Gender Equality” Jens Orback states, “We must be open and tolerant toward Islam and Muslims, for when we become the minority, so they will be so toward us.” Conservatives and liberals only disagree about the tactics necessary to achieve this objective.
Battle of the Gods
The postmodern West is a battlefield between gods--something that could be said of all battlefields. There are four contestants.
The god of our grandfathers, the White Christ upon whose image the West was built, is dying, as even its most fervent defenders admit. Worse, the Christian churches themselves seem determined to strike the deathblow and the Roman Church at the heart of the Western story is currently headed by a man exemplifying the caricatured post-Catholicism of The Camp of the Saints. The only thing that can save Christianity as a civilizational force--as opposed to a private lifestyle choice--is a return to the Germanic Christianity that built Europe. Unfortunately, this is precisely the kind of faith that modern American Christianity defines itself in opposition to, and the only people most Christians seem willing to champion is the Tribe that rejected their Messiah. Those Christians who are actually trying to save their faith are attacked by their own leaders.
The Old Gods are my own choice. Of course, this can’t be the timid reconstructionism of Viking Bros wearing Amon Amarth T Shirts or potbellied weekend wizards who know runic mysteries but can’t even use the big boy plates on a bench press. It must be a living tradition created out of fire and ash in our own Vinland with serious intellectual backing. And slowly, painfully, Radical Traditionalists are grasping towards something resembling if not a theology, at least a common language of reference for those who take it seriously.
However, while such a model can work for outsiders, outlaws, and proto-Männerbunds, there is as yet no evidence that it is a suitable foundation upon which to build a real society. The very fact that I frame this identity as a “choice” is itself proof of decadence--a vibrant metaphysics simply is and has nothing to do with a rational actor listing pros and cons. Ironically, those who profess the Old Gods are weakened because what they profess is so obviously new and a product of innovation and modernity. Few would even call it a real faith that actually expresses literal belief in personalized divinities.
The new pagan cults that preach fanaticism and virility owe too much to reason and deconstruction. Ours is not an unthinking faith characterized by dutiful obedience and submission to authority--and that is a weakness. The simple, literalistic faith that sustains families, states, and civilizations against defeat and deprivation is easily mocked by intellectuals, but it is far stronger than steel. After all, even Socrates was an expression of decadence.
This is not a heathen concession of defeat, as to create (and reawaken) the web of symbolism, taboo, and Truth dormant within our blood is the task of decades, if not centuries. And implicit in the Pagan Right is the idea that we want a Community of Heroes, not an Empire of Slaves. However, the current weakness should not be overlooked. The vanguardist intellectual tendencies and groupings exist only at the sufferance of a crumbling Empire and collapsing social order. Paganism is a subculture that as of now requires a larger cultural order so it can profess dissent and critique. Heathens are a symptom seeking to become a cause.
The third faith of course is liberalism itself--classical or otherwise. It holds that we can transcend the limitations imposed by nature--even with things once thought inherent, like whether you are a man or a woman. It dismisses race and ethnicity as unimportant, social behavior as infinitely modifiable, and progress as a given.
And, truth be told, it may be right, as The End of History and the triumph of the Last Man may actually happen because of globalization and technological advancement. Indeed, it’s at least possible to posit that there comes a time when genetics and the chemistry can be so modified and altered that speaking of concepts like “heritage” or “kinship” becomes irrelevant, and Traditionalists will be forced into a stance of either Archeofuturism or, more likely, outright Luddism.
Of course, implicit here is the gamble that the Urban Elves nibbling at their expensive sandwiches won’t simply be replaced by Third Worlders before technology can create their utopia. There is also the faith among liberal Whites that they will simply be transformed into us, given sufficient prosperity, fair legislation, and above all, “education.” The furious hatred liberal Whites have for more rooted European communities comes from the fear that the latter will drag them back into history, into the wars of people against people and faith against faith they are so desperately trying to escape.
What it is modern liberalism? It’s urban Whites trying to run out the clock of history.
Each one of these three tendencies places a certain amount of faith in humanity, not just in a divinity or ideology. For Christians, it’s the idea that that complex doctrines of the faith can be systemized, obeyed, and transferred to new populations. For heathens, it’s that people can become worthy of a Creed of Steel that Colin Clearly baldly defined in Tyr Volume IV as the quest for godhood. For liberals, it’s that technology and reason can overcome history and Nature and conflict can be overcome with sufficient knowledge and education.
Implicit in all of the above is that mankind is something more than an animal who needs to be told what to do. Implicit in Christianity, European New Right-style paganism, and even liberalism is the idea that mankind is capable of survival if he is granted a certain degree of intellectual freedom.
The Lowest Common Denominator of Civilization
I doubt it.
It seems probable that the decadence that exists now is only paving the way for something simpler yet more stable. Islam is the most obvious inheritor of Western failure.
Hilaire Belloc described Islam as a kind of “oversimplified” Catholic doctrine, fiercely insisting on the unity of God and avoiding the Byzantine discussions about the nature of the Trinity or the secret of God’s Grace. To be a Muslim is to submit, and to glorify yourself above the kaffir in the submission. A glance at the Huffington Post or Gawker suggests that human beings are too depraved to sustain themselves without a stern sky-Father telling them what to do and channeling their baser instincts. And whatever the teachings of philosophy, the slow motion conquest of the most “advanced” outposts of civilization is slowly proving John Derbyshire right--We Are Doomed.
There’s no evidence as of yet that such eventual occupation will be meaningfully resisted. The terrorist attacks and the Western interventionists are a red herring--the true importance of Islam is its demographic advance. The reaction to the Islamic State is only instructive because of the lack of outrage from the perpetually aggrieved.
The mujahedeen murder religious minorities, behead children, and televise the execution of clueless SWPL reporters. Women’s rights, in the sense that feminists understand the term, are nonexistent. As for homosexuals, suffice to say that the Rainbow flag will not be flying in Mecca anytime soon.
And yet your average liberal arts graduate is far more angered about the new Republican Congress not endorsing gay marriage than about women being sold into slavery. Indeed, he or she is more outraged at people talking about the Islamic State than the Islamic State itself. When’s the last time you saw the feminists protest in defense of the Yazidis? And who can doubt that given current trends, the granddaughters of today’s Swedish feminists will be wearing the burkha--and more importantly, be the happier for it?
“You are miserable, because you are free,” says the reactionary. De Maistre would agree--and for that matter, so would Loki from The Avengers. Man wants to obey. His natural place is on his knees. And once he’s on his knees, he will, like the late Abdul Rahman, accept what he is told. He’s not capable of doing otherwise. Those degenerates who speak the most forcefully about anarchy, rebellion, and freedom today seem determined to prove that the wages of Sin is in fact Death--not just for a person, but for a people.
We fight in defiance of this future. Yet we must remember the desperation of our situation to lend strength to our arms and urgency to our actions.
“Only a god can save us,” intoned Heidegger. He might have added that if such a god doesn’t appear himself, a foreign one will be present to damn us.