Brave New World
A survey in Australia found that "close to 50 per cent across all age groups disagreed with the statement that marriage is an outdated institution." What is remarkable is that anyone should think it would be. For much of human history, individuals relied on themselves, pairings, families, extended kin (or tribes) and the broader cultural and linguistic context of the nation to provide them with stability and safety. Families of some sort have formed the basis of social organization from the beginning of the species. And so too did Home; the hearth at which could be found the "ashes of their fathers and temples of their gods". Only in the last hundred years has dependence consciously been shifted to the institutional state.
But the institutional state is now bankrupt. It is bust. Living on borrowed money, unable to sustain itself with shrunken birth rates. As a result, whole populations are finding the "safety nets" on which they counted on shot through. Ripped to uselessness even while the institutions which used to shelter humankind for eons are no longer in evidence. The Japanese have coined the term parasaito shinguru ("parasite single") to denote a person who has made no family plans of his own, confident in the belief that the state would support him in his old age.
They fought arithmetic at the behest of the welfare state, and arithmetic won.
The result over time in Japan has been a "super-aging" society unprecedented in history. "By 2030, one in every three people will be 65+ years and one in five people 75+ years." And the economic implications of that collapse mean that the "universal coverage in public pension and health insurance [achieved] in 1961" will be without any means of support. Japan has been living on deficit spending for decades. Today it spends 25% of its state budget on meeting interest payments on bonds alone. And now for the first time the interest on those bonds is rising. The game is up, or nearly so.
The language of the War on Terror has masked the fact that Islamic immigrants to Europe are to a great extent also voting against the death of the tribe and the family. While the riots in Sweden and the unrest in the UK are typically portrayed as a struggle between the enlightened multiculturalists and bigoted, white racists, the reality is that the major opponents of multiculturalism are the very Islamic immigrants in whose name multiculturalism is advanced.
What Islamic radicals reject in clear, unambiguous, and often strident terms -- if we would only listen to them -- is the entire premise of multiculturalism. They do not want to dissolve their families in the acid bath of the welfare state. They do not want to give up their religion, as have so many of the white citizenry around them, for the pablum of green-atheism and pop culture. They want the old things: the dominance of their tribe; the triumph of their culture and the subjugation of their rivals. What they want, to paraphrase Aldous Huxley's Savage, is "Allah, poetry, danger and sin."
They want the ancient institutions, the things that the BNP, the English Defence League, and the Swedish Democrats are never going to be allowed to have. And because they do not consider themselves bound by the laws of the tribe they have no intention of joining, the Muslims will probably get it.
For all of their ideological defects, the Muslim "hate preachers" gave Michael Adebolajo what Europe could never impart to him: a sense of nation, community, belonging, and belief long denied to him. Men through history have felt the need for pride in community, so when the cultural elites made "English" a bad word and after they turned "British" into a synonym for bigotry, they unintentionally created a powerful vacuum the hate preachers filled. To the question "who am I?" the radical preachers in mosques in default of anything else said "Muslim" and the rest followed.
It is impossible to understand the Muslim riots and terror in Sweden, France, or Britain without first appreciating that the Muslim immigrants aren't fighting to become like the gelded natives. On the contrary, they are fighting to be different. It's not multiculturalism they want, but their own culture. This impulse used to be normal once -- like marriage. And the wonder is that it no longer is.
To be "normal" in the context of the welfare state is first to become abnormal in the context of long history. What could go wrong?
The importance of this point of view will grow as the ruin of the mega-state system advances. Japan is merely further along the road of social insurance collapse than Europe. But giant, unsustainable states will come to the same lonely dilemma. And then we will find what happens when governments destroy culture, family, belief ,and language in exchange for a welfare check they can no longer write.
The other night I was watching Judgment at Nuremberg, a really wonderful movie that explores the process through which civilized men do uncivilized things. At the heart of Rolfe's defense -- played by Maximilian Schell -- is the idea that the survival of the tribe is the highest value. He argued the Nazis did what they did to survive, as would anyone, and therefore their main mistake was in losing the war. In his view, the only judgment Americans could deliver at Nuremberg was the revenge of the victor.
Although the Nazis lost the war, ironically the West bought the Nazi point of view. Have not the sophisticates rejected Spencer Tracy's argument that the defense of civilization begins with the sanctity of the individual "because once you sacrifice the first innocent man then the rest are an inevitable consequence"? That smacks too much of the sacred, and we don't do the sacred anymore.
But we do abortion and eugenics. We follow orders. And, most importantly, we do suicide, whether of the individual or civilizational kind.
The lesson Europe appears to have learned from the Nazis is that Western civilization is irredeemably possessed by a moral devil, which will return unless the culture is crippled. Therefore all spirits are viewed askance. It's fascinating to contrast the world of Judgment at Nuremberg, where the only defense against the death of millions is morality, with the world of the Boardwalk Empire, where no morality is possible, as if the world recently emerged from the shadow of death understood its value more than we do now after 70 years of safety.
The man who hacked off the British soldier's head waited for the bullet. And though I despise what he stands for, it is undeniable that he stood for something. However misguided his beliefs, there was something he believed in.
What do we believe in? Insofar as I can see, we solemnly believe in nothing. How proudly we -- the sophisticates in the media and academy -- proclaim that we are empty of convictions, bereft of patriotism, devoid of faith. We are a civilization compelled to shout from the housetops, "I am excrement because I walked with myself."
That is our conviction, our creed, our profession of unfaith. But if we continue to adhere to it, we shall lose to the Islamists, who at least are willing to fight their corner. We will lose and we will deserve to lose.