The Absurdity of the West

The first manifestation of such universalizing is niceness. “At the end of history everyone will be nice, and we will know what to expect from one another: niceness.” And the world will be “domesticated and tame.” The pandemic of political correctness will have done its work, infecting the entire Western world and reducing it to a state of incurable effeminacy.

The next feature of this new mode of being is whiteness: “race, class, and culture will no longer matter,” for we will all turn into white people as the differences which once divided us die along with history. The various colors of mankind will then flow back, so to speak, into the sameness of the composite ideological prism of the enlightened, or enwhitened, West. (Of course, not every identity-politics leftist would approve, as witness courses like “Social Construction of Whiteness,” taught at the University of Arizona.)

The third aspect of the fully developed world is Americanization: “Since the most developed people in the West are Americans, all nice white people will become Americans.” The redistribution of ideological pigmentation will create an American world in which we can all live the egalitarian dream without ever having to wake up.

The fourth property of this enchanted realm is safety: since “we will all be homogeneous like the members of one big happy family … and since the danger of maleness will be eradicated,” we will have achieved safety and politics can then be replaced by entertainment. There will be no barbarians at the gates and we can spend the remainder of our lives pampering ourselves in movie theaters, amusement parks, and shopping malls.

Thus, our philosopher concludes, “the universal and homogeneous world at the end of history will be one eternal world of nice, white, American women,” idling about in absolute safety and giving themselves over to a life of pure, quiescent, unchallenging diversion.

The implicit questions posed by this tongue-in-cheek analysis of left-wing ideological thinking, which theoretically implies a lifestyle characterized by socioeconomic uniformity, the absence of idiosyncrasy, and the entrenching of the brotherhood, or sisterhood, of man -- in other words, the end of history -- are: is such a world really feasible and, if it were, who would want to live in it? But of course the answer to the first question renders the second irrelevant.

Obviously, Darby’s implied questions are rhetorical. Or, at least, they should be. The scene which Darby depicts for us is not as far-fetched as we might like to believe. As we survey the so-called advanced world in which we live, with its multitudes of doctrinaire idealists, social levelers, and ahistorical minds, it is hard to escape the conclusion that we are presently living inside an Edward Lear poem, amidst a crowd of Dongs casting their lurid light in the hunt for what will always escape them. Or in a Tom Darby novel populated by Learian-type creatures, what little sense they once possessed quite gone out of their heads, and clinging to their runcible fantasies. (“Runcible,” Lear’s most famous coinage, derives from the Latin runcare, “to weed out” -- ironically appropriate in our context.)

Reading Tom Darby at the same time as Edward Lear has the bizarre effect of conflating two fictive domains into one existing world -- the one we currently inhabit in which Western leaders search vainly for solutions to menacing problems by relying on endless rounds of talks, proclamations, and conferences, and large numbers of people have come to believe in infantile fables and unworkable utopian alternatives to the uncompromising reality of things. All, as it were, dining on mince and slices of quince. Possibly the Taepodong-2 and the Shahab-3 will usher in the end of history in ways unforeseen by the denizens of the new Darboniferous Period.

The Iranian mullahs refer to America as a “sunset power.” They may be right. A nation dumbed down and fallen prey, perhaps terminally, to the Oprabama syndrome wouldn’t seem to have much of a future. And America, as Mark Steyn laments in Lights Out, is our fading last chance. One may perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the sun is indeed “low in the West.”