Losing the Merge
In Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal, the failed assassin of Charles de Gaulle, Lt Colonel Jean Bastien-Thiry, is told by his lawyer that he would be executed at dawn following the rejection of his appeal. Bastien however, remained unconcerned. "You don't understand," he tells his lawyer, "no French soldier will raise his rifle against me". The next scene shows Bastien being executed by a firing squad without the slightest hesitation. So much for the French soldier.
Every propagandist of the deed acts in the expectation of providing a spark, in case Bastien-Thiry to ignite the French recovery of Algeria; in the case of Dylan Roof to rekindle among Caucasians a "racial awareness". Roof's manifesto, reproduced in Talking Points Memo is less about racism than race war. It is an argument meant to justify not an attack upon individuals, but like war on anyone at all, provided he wore a different color of uniform.
Roof's manifesto consists of the same elements, except in its details, as that of any other aggrieved identity group -- Hamas, the Abu Sayyaf, the Tamil Tigers, Black Panthers or the Nazi Party. Every element of an identity manifesto is there: a paradise lost, an ongoing betrayal (in this case by the Jews) of the People to an enemy, the specter of identity extinction and the critical need for action. As with every propagandist of the deed before him, Roof is determined he must show the way because words are not enough.
I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
And the only way to show seriousness is to go kill someone innocent, precisely because they are innocent; to convey the fact that it's not about them, but about THEM. That's pretty much the line that Tareq Kamleh, a "blue-eyed", "clean cut", hard drinking womanizing young Australian pediatrician who left to join ISIS took. The doctor's narrative arc is nearly identical to Roof's: how he was once a young apolitical doctor till the day he had an epiphany and reborn under a new name. Then the words of the changed man: Kamleh's parting words were reminiscent of Roof's burning of the American flag, renouncing his medical license and his citizenship in a goodbye to all that:
1. I have no concern if you cancel my registration
2. I have no concern if you cancel my passport
3. I knew where I was coming
4. I intend to stay here
5. I anticipated an arrest warrant, hence why I left in secret
6. None of the case you put forward has indicated to me a malicious character on my behalf and it is this injustice within the Australian judicial system that was a catalyst for me to leave.
Do as you please, I no longer consider myself an Australian. The continuous bombing of civillian targets here by the coalition has done nothing but disappoint me of the country I once loved so much
While many pundits would bridle at depicting Roof a kind young man, no one had any reservations about describing Yorkshire's Talha Asmal, at 17 "Britain’s youngest suicide bomber" as a "loving, kind, caring and affable teenager ... [who] ... never harbored any ill-will against anybody nor did he ever exhibit any violent, extreme or radical views of any kind" -- that is until he drove a car packed with explosive into a town in Iraq, killing 11 people he had never met before in his life.
Far from being "lone wolves" of media depiction, the new identity soldiers are a drug on the market. "ISIS statements on Saturday named Britani as one of four suicide bombers. The others were said to be a German, a Kuwaiti and a Palestinian. All four were photographed by ISIS standing beside SUVs." The West wanted multiculturalism and got it, though perhaps not in the way they expected.
Affinity has become primary. It's not the people who murder in the name of their identity that feel they must explain themselves any more. It is those who for some quaint reason are stubbornly patriotic to that most lost of causes, the nation of memory or the brotherhood of man, that are called upon to justify themselves. When people are willing to renounce an American, Australian, British or German passport for the privilege of killing strangers in the name of their hyphenated prefix it clearly raises the question of whether the glue that Western society is counting on to hold things together has any more adhesive power.
The thing Vladimir Putin feared above all was ethnic tension. In a 2012 Reuters article the Russian strongman said "if a multiethnic society is infected by nationalism, it loses its strength and durability. We need to understand what far-reaching effects can be caused by attempts to inflame national enmity and hatred."
Perhaps like Roof, Putin was afraid his culture, with all its failures and glories, would be the lost in the globalist merge, where an ill-defined but powerful group controlled the check-ins to the cultural master. He feared people who ran a "diff" on everything and overwrote all the code that interfered with the Narrative. Culture is a two edged sword. It can destroy and it can save. No one in the West has forgotten how ethnic politics nearly destroyed Europe in the 20th century. But neither can Russia forget how only an enduring sense of identity saved it from Hitler.
If multiculturalism is the West's defense against a dreaded "chavinism", to Putin at least "the Russian people, the Russian culture" was its only shield against oblivion. If the current struggle among tribes for survival in the Middle East teaches anything it is that too much multiculturalism can be as perilous as having too little. Enclaves forced open by globalism have been pushed into a kind of resistance. One of the byproducts of globalization is the destruction of identity. "The general consensus is that there are between 6000 and 7000 languages currently spoken, and that between 50–90% of those will have become extinct by the year 2100."
There are a lot of ethnic warriors out there. The Atlantic says "Violence Has Forced 60 Million People From Their Homes". That should really read "People Have Forced 60 Million Other People From their Homes." It's not like refugees are running away from the mountains and the trees.
Not all of the cultures they represent will go quietly into the good night. Why would anyone expect them to? Karen Armstrong in her book, The Battle for God, argued that much of the conflict in the world today was the result of cultures struggling to live in the face of a process that was consigning them to a dead branch. Communities don't want to lose at the merge and are therefore either are keeping to their branches to control their development or fighting for power over the master.
In the middle years of the twentieth century, it was generally taken for granted that secularism was an irreversible trend and that faith would never again play a major part in world events. It was assumed that as human beings became more rational, they either would have no further need for religion or would be content to confine it to the immediately personal and private areas of their lives. But in the late 1970s, fundamentalists began to rebel against this secularist hegemony and started to wrest religion out of its marginal position and back to center stage. In this, at least, they have enjoyed remarkable success. Religion has once again become a force that no government can safely ignore. Fundamentalism has suffered defeats, but it is by no means quiescent. It is now an essential part of the modern scene and will certainly play an important role in the domestic and international affairs of the future. It is crucial, therefore, that we try to understand what this type of religiosity means, how and for what reasons it has developed, what it can tell us about our culture, and how best we should deal with it.
Religion did not die and neither apparently did racial identity. Like religion, it continues to be a factor and the politically correct world ignores that fact at their peril. If Vladimir Putin decides to push West this summer we'll get to find out how many people are willing to defend the idea of a Europe without culture or nations. History suggests that the only long term ecosystem that supports real multiculturalism is an open frontier. Without technology providing ever expanding opportunities, ethnic conflict threatens to be a zero-sum game whose worst consequences can only be managed.
Jean Bastien-Thiry's Algerian dream died. Frederick Forsyth wrote, “it is cold at six-forty in the morning on a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.” It turned out there was a diff in the check ins of FLN and the OAS in the matter of Algeria. Charles de Gaulle had to resolve the conflict between the two. Bastien-Thiry lost on the merge.
Recently purchased by readers:
Brideshead Revisited (A CSA Word Classic) Audio CD, Abridged, Audiobook, CD by Evelyn Waugh
Moment of Battle, The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 21, 2013 by Jim Lacey
The Sword in the Stone (The Complete Classics) Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged by T. H. White
EA Short History of Prussia (Illustrated), Kindle Edition by John Abbott
Data Analytics Made Accessible, Kindle Edition by Anil Maheshwari
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, And Other Clinical Tales Kindle Edition by Oliver Sacks (Author)
The Tell-Tale Brain, A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human [Kindle Edition] V. S. Ramachandran
Possibly worth buying:
Shadows on the Koyukuk, An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific