Sunday, June 08, 2008

Eurocentric and Proud of It

The following is an excerpt from a 1976 interview with David Bowie in Playboy magazine:

Q: Do you consider yourself an original thinker?
A: Not by any means. More like a tasteful thief. The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.

And so it is with Islam.

After overrunning much of the civilized world during the latter half of the first millennium, Islam set about becoming a tasteful thief of the science, art, technology, and culture of its vanquished foes. Whatever was useful and furthered the advance of Dar al-Islam was borrowed and adopted by the Muslim conquerors, and anything else was discarded and forgotten.

Several centuries later, as Europe emerged from the chaos that followed the fall of the Roman Empire, the Europeans also became voracious borrowers. But the nature of their borrowing was different, and the evolution of Europe’s hybrid culture diverged dramatically from that of Islam.

Several weeks ago, after the Counterjihad Vienna conference concluded, a group of the participants interested in sampling the local brew (Gösser) adjourned to a nearby pub during the evening for further discussions. It was a lively and eclectic conversation, always returning to the same primary issues — the EU and the imminent Islamization of Europe — but ranging widely over related topics from history, literature, science, and art.

Halfway through the second round we started discussing the nature of European exceptionalism, and the possible reasons for it. The essay below summarizes some of the ideas that were discussed.


St. Thomas AquinasBeginning during the High Middle Ages — somewhere between the 12th and the 14th centuries A.D. — European technical and cultural development underwent an unprecedented acceleration. Starting from a position considerably behind contemporaneous civilizations — China, India, and the Arab World — the backward and benighted peoples of Europe raced ahead, and in just five brief centuries exploded across the globe to create the most powerful and advanced civilization that the world has ever known.

How did this come about? What made Europe different?

Like the Arabs, the Europeans of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance borrowed prodigiously from any other cultures they encountered. But, unlike the Arabs, Europeans incorporated, elaborated, and extended the knowledge and technology they acquired. Not content with simply utilizing what they stumbled across, they analyzed it, tried to understand it, and placed it within the ever-growing corpus of “philosophy”, the body of knowledge that built on and extended the Roman and Greek classics.

But European philosophy differed from its Classical predecessors. Greek science was contemplative: the Greeks believed that all essential knowledge about the world could be obtained by thinking and reasoning about it. In contrast, what became modern experimental science was a practical invention devised over several centuries by the polymaths of the European Renaissance.

The Romans, on the other hand, were the quintessential practical engineers. They invented, collected, and improved any technology that was useful, without inquiring deeply into the theory that lay behind it. They were enormously successful, and many aspects of Roman technology that were lost after the fall of the Empire were not rediscovered until the second millennium.

GalileoEuropean science merged the Greek traditions with Roman practicality, and added a layer of something that was new and unique to Europe: the idea that coherent laws as ordained by God lay behind the observed manifestations of natural phenomena. Christian doctrine asserted that God’s laws were consistent and could be discerned by observation. The men who laid the foundations of modern science began their investigations under the assumption that they were uncovering the laws of God through the power of human reason.

As a result of this innovation, European science leapt far ahead of the Chinese and the Arabs in a relatively short period of time.
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Was it a purely Christian development, deriving from the doctrine devised in the monasteries and the universities during the Middle Ages? Or was it dependent upon something else?

There’s no way of knowing for sure, because the rest of Christian civilization — in the Near East, Asia Minor, North Africa, Central Asia, and Russia — was either snuffed out or suppressed by the successive conquests of the Arabs, the Mongols, the Tatars, the Turks, and all the other barbarian marauders who destroyed much of higher civilization.

Europe remained as the sole crucible of Christian learning, and from that crucible came the ideas that in due course became globally ascendant.

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ByzantiumEven in military technology — which the Arabs had a vested interest in mastering — Europe forged ahead. The Chinese invented gunpowder, but it was the ingenuity of Europeans that turned the explosive substance into the deadliest of weapons. The different political entities of Europe competed with each other to find the most effective ways of destroying city walls, or blowing up advancing infantry, or penetrating the most well-crafted armor.

The Arabs and the Turks were reduced to buying, stealing, borrowing, and imitating European arms. Although it was vital, aggressive, and expansionist, Islamic civilization was neither inventive nor innovative. Invention and innovation were left to the Europeans; Muslims were the tasteful thieves, and always a step or two behind.

If the Europeans hadn’t been so fractious and fratricidal, the Arabs and the Ottomans would have been unable to conquer as much of the continent as they did.

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The explosive growth of European science came about through the merger of two separate and distinct fields: philosophy (along with mathematics) and technology.

Other civilizations valued the disparate applications of technology, but tended not to connect the dots. A body of abstract theory was required to bridge different disciplines and encourage the cross-fertilization that drives innovation. The Chinese invented the necessary precursors for printing, but failed to extend the concepts and produce a printing press. As Fjordman points out, printing technology in the Far East was confined exclusively to religious uses:

Buddhist ScriptureThe invention of woodblock printing during the Tang dynasty in China (around the seventh or eighth century AD) was intimately linked to Buddhist monasteries and art. Stamped figures of the Buddha marked the transition from seal impression to woodcut. Buddhism came to Japan via Korea and China, and monks brought with them, in addition to tea and thus the basis for the elaborate Japanese tea ceremonies, other aspects of Chinese civilization, among them printing. Yet this invention remained tied to religion for a long time. Until the sixteenth century, at roughly the same period as they encountered Europeans, the Japanese printed only Buddhist scriptures.

The earliest printing pressHundreds of years later, Europeans took the same idea, elaborated on it, invented movable type, and developed for the first time in history the means to mass-produce written documents. The first major application of the new technology was to produce Gutenberg’s famous Bible, but the use of the printing press wasn’t confined to religious purposes. It immediately spread to all other disciplines and occupations in which the reproduction of documents was important.

It revolutionized our civilization, and it happened only in Europe. Why?

Isaac Newton’s ‘Opticks’Or consider the science of optics. Arabs such as Ibn al-Haytham made significant contributions to the field, yet it was the Europeans of the Renaissance who drew together the separate strands of technology and mathematics to design and construct complex optical instruments such as the telescope and the microscope.

Albrecht Durer’s DeviceFurthermore, the practical applications weren’t all that interested the philosophers of the European Renaissance; they were also fascinated with the way that mathematics could be applied to human perception. Sir Isaac Newton’s treatise on Opticks led the way in the science of visual perception, but artists strove to use the same mathematical philosophy to understand the human eye and apply the results to the creation of art.

The discipline was never a matter of pressing practical importance, yet a wealth of artistic genius — from Leonardo to Carpaccio, Durer, and many others, culminating in the masterworks of Canaletto — was expended developing the mathematics of three-dimensional perspective, and applying it to drawings, paintings, and etchings.

‘Westminster Bridge from the Southeast Abutment’ by Canaletto (1747)No one had ever previously attempted to derive from geometry the necessary systematic methods to enhance the beauty of a work of art by simulating the perception of three dimensions on a flat surface.

Yet the Europeans of the Renaissance did it. Why?

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The Magna CartaIf the laws of God were assumed to be rational, then human law could be molded in the same way. Beginning in England, and emerging soon afterwards in various parts of the Continent, the idea that the power of the monarch must be limited and codified by law revolutionized the political economy of Europe.

Over the course of several centuries, the kings and queens of Europe were transformed from absolute monarchs into the ceremonial heads of governments that were bound entirely by law. The caprice of the sovereign was replaced by rules elaborated entirely by man.

The invention of the rule of law stabilized and strengthened political systems. A country that lived according to permanent laws was more powerful and flexible over the long term. The law-based systems that evolved during the second half of the second millennium were based on Greek and Roman models and elaborated further by Christian theology. These systems came to dominate the globe.

Yet they all derived from Europe. Why?

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For a thousand years, beginning during pagan times, the cultures of Europe expanded and migrated across the rest of the planet.

Viking map

The Vikings were first, navigating their longboats across the seas and up the rivers from Greenland to the Barbary Coast, from Labrador to Samarkand and Baghdad. Next came the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, the Spaniards, the French, and the English. The European explorers created a web of trading outposts and colonies that spanned the surface of the globe.

Conquest and colonization were included in the modus operandi for European expansion, but they were not the entirety of it: idealism and curiosity were part of the mix. The exploration of Africa was driven as much by Christian evangelism and the desire to discover hitherto unknown territory as it was by commercial interests and the pursuit of power.

Wherever the European soldier and trader went, they were accompanied by the missionary and the scholar. The missionary endured privation, disease, parasites, and unsanitary conditions to bring Christian enlightenment to the heathen. The scholar did the same in order to advance his own understanding of the world.

The relationships among all the Indo-European cultures is now well understood. Their interconnectedness, with a common cultural and linguistic ancestor in the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, was always there, a fact waiting to be uncovered. Yet it took the fieldwork of English and German philologists in India and Iran to piece together linguistic relationships among the Indo-European languages.

No other culture took the trouble to construct a science of linguistics that could draw such connections. No other culture explored the world as if it were a text to be decoded or a puzzle to be put together, all in the service of scholarly curiosity.

Yet the Europeans did this wherever they went. Why?

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VoltaireThe expansion of philosophy as the Renaissance graded into the Enlightenment led to the development of an epistemology that strayed further and further from its theological roots. Christian hermeneutics was no longer sufficient to encompass the knowledge that drove the European ascendancy. Science, art, and philosophy became divorced from God.

The process that began with Newton and Descartes reached its apotheosis — if such a word can be used to describe atheist orthodoxy — with Postmodernism and Deconstruction. In hindsight the entire path of European intellectual self-destruction is clear: the Deists, Rousseau, the French Revolution, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Proudhon, Einstein, Gramsci, Heisenberg, Marcuse, Sartre, Derrida, and Foucault: a progression that leads from the understanding via reason of immutable celestial laws, to relativism, nihilism, and the denial that meaning exists.

European genius contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction. From the certainty and assurance of mastery to absolute self-doubt in just four centuries: Europe perfected the heuristics that would all but guarantee its own demise.

From unprecedented achievement to self-imposed barbarism in such a short time: how could it possibly happen?

The greatest civilization in human history arose in Europe, and then decided that it no longer deserved to exist.

Why?

62 comments:

whiskey_199 said...

Baron, you asked why, and I will tell you why though I don't think anyone will like it much.

First, I think you miss much of the main point. Europeans certainly did advance technology and the market economy to astonishing levels, very quickly, starting from nothing. But it was not because of the philosophical underpinnings of Christianity which in many cases was a hindrance on technological development, from bans on Crossbows by the Medieval Popes to Galileo's trial.

Rather, it was the fundamental formation of the private family, and private property along with controlling the Alpha male and female sexuality that allowed the ordinary man to form his own family ... and even more importantly secure his own advantage in technological improvements for his own sons and daughters.

Consider the firearm. You are technically incorrect, the Chinese had primitive but effective bamboo firearms centuries before the Europeans. But quickly seizing upon the basics, Europeans with a small-holder tradition, no Big Men of the type of Chinese Emperors or Ghenghis Khan or Sultans galore, set about tinkering.

The family firm of Beretta still stands today as a firearms innovator. Their rotating breech-block "Cougar" type pistol is one of the few innovative action types for center-fired auto-loader pistols. But that innovation runs back to the 1400's, with better, stronger, more powerful cannons and matchlocks.

In China, men of sheer genius created astonishing calculation engines, primitive firearms, great fleets of exploration, and so on. But nothing was done to further the innovation because the men were all Eunuchs. Their genius did not belong to themselves but the Emperor and they left no heirs.

By contrast the Harrison family created ever better chronometers to win advantage over others and prizes. The advantage they sought, tirelessly, was their own. Not the Emperor's or Sultan's.

I disagree profoundly that philosophy had in any way any major, mass influence on the way in which people in the West lived. Since most people on the street could not tell you what deconstruction is, much less live lives based on post-modernism.

Rather, the collapse of the West is the result (elephant in the room) of the Pill and Condom which provided the sexual revolution, loosened sexual mores, to the point where relations between the sexes is vastly changed.

Simply put, there is not much point in long labors for personal advantage in improving technology, the "tinkering" model of the West in which many craftsman, scientists, engineers, and others toil away individually trying to work out advantage. This is an overwhelmingly male endeavor, but the payoff, i.e. marriage/family, just is not there any more.

With women having equal economic footing, and control of their own fertility, they seek the most dominant Alpha male, not security with a flier on the upside with the tinkerer. Women being the larger voting group, they tend to want more statist and appeasement driven policies. [Understandable, women suffer the most under wartime, with the least ability to fight back.] Women, unless constrained by outside factors, will always choose the dominant "Big Man" even sharing him if required rather than the beta male tinkerer who has been the foundation of Western prosperity.

The undoing of the West was not Rousseau, or Marx, or Gramsci, or any of that. It was the Pill and the Condom.

Which freed women to pursue the Big Man endlessly, and brought back the tribal chieftans and the Big Man that keeps the rest of the World poor and strife-filled.

[I think this holds up well, it certainly fits the crisis timeline, which pretty much matches post WWII Pill/Condom/Sexual Revolution appearances with all the other bad things in the West.]

Henrik R Clausen said...

I disagree profoundly that philosophy had in any way any major, mass influence on the way in which people in the West lived.

Whiskey, I disagree profoundly with this and other assertions you make. I used to be thinking along the same lines, but that is just another layer of superficiality.

Being short on time today, I'll skip arguing in detail and just refer you to a small, amazing book that documents the basic premise of this post to be correct: Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark.

I use the term First Renaissance to cover the developments in the 12th and 13th century, and I'm not alone doing that. The Danish intellectual weekly Weekendavisen had a major article on that subject a few weeks ago.

Oh. Translation and republishing of the Stark book is up for grabs. I've asked him about it.

randian said...

The Muslims, having borrowed and then convinced themselves they were the original inventors, let their borrowings remain fallow and did nothing with them. Even the military stuff, which the Muslims are so desirous of and one of the few areas of knowledge where one would expect Islamic authorities to give their approval, was never improved by the Muslims. I wonder why.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

One last comment and then I'm off for a few weeks of not using the internet. :D

Whiskey, you seem to neglect that the condom was actually invented in the 17th century. The first rubber condoms were invented in the early 19th century but there were previous, very effective and cheap condoms in wide use throughout europe before that point.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Fjordman said...

Baron: It was only the Japanese who printed Buddhist scriptures exclusively. The Chinese focused on Confucian philosophy, but they did print some technical books as well. The Chinese also made the first primitive firearms, but Europeans made cannons before China, yes.

If you have read The Suicide of Reason by Lee Harris, he says that while the West is the one civilization in human history that has placed the greatest emphasis on reason, we are also the only civilization to have made reason into a fetish. There is something there. I am always puzzled when I meet radical Feminists who deny any biological differences between men and women, or Multiculturalists who deny any connection whatsoever between the violent texts of Islam and the violent acts committed by those who read these texts.

Reality doesn't exist, it's socially constructed. These people want to live in a world of Thought Alone, or Reason Alone, and don't want to be bothered by having physically observable reality interfere with their mentally constructed Utopias. Maybe it's a form of Platonism, where ideas have an existence separate from physically observable reality? Or maybe it's a form of magic? You know, like Harry Potter thinks about something and then it happens.

Fjordman said...

Regarding Indo-Europeans and gunpowder: Gunpowder spread remarkably quickly from one end of Eurasia to another. Some inventions have such immediate military effect that you must adopt them or die. One of the few cases I have seen that is similar to this was actually three thousand years before: The spread of chariots and horses during the Indo-European expansion. At about 1700-1300 BC, almost identical chariots were used by the Hittites to fight the Egyptians as were found as far West as Sweden and as far east as China. The Vedas in India are also believed to originate from this period. There were people speaking Indo-European languages throughout much of the Eurasian landmass during this time.

I published an essay regarding Indo-European linguistics recently. Hope I can publish something on Indo-European history later this summer.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fjordman,

The correction on Chinese printing is well-taken. Thank you.

Baron Bodissey said...

Whiskey --

You are not reading me closely. I did not assert that Christianity was the reason for European advance; in fact I stated that there was no way to know whether it was. I simply asked a question.

When I do that, it is not just a rhetorical device; I don't know the answer.

I am not technically incorrect about the Chinese and firearms. I didn't say that they had no firearms, and I was aware of the fact that they did.

I said, "...it was the ingenuity of Europeans that turned the explosive substance into the deadliest of weapons." That is, the Chinese weapons were not comparable in their effectiveness to the ones the Europeans invented. Are you assserting the opposite?

When I use the word "philosophy" in references to times prior to about the 18th century, I use it with its contemporaneous meaning. Back then, philosophy was a general term for the accumulated body of learning, and referred to all disciplines. It meant something different from the attenuated discipline that the word refers to today.

You, sir, are picking nits.

As for the rest of your analysis -- you are entitled to your opinions. Some of them I agree with, and some of them I don't, but they remain just that -- your opinions.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

Great article! And you bring up the important influence of the Romans. I believe I have contributed in creating awareness about this.

There’s no way of knowing for sure, because the rest of Christian civilization ... was either snuffed out or suppressed by the successive conquests of ...

There is Ethiopia. There you can study the effect of Christianity in a different context.

Or consider the science of optics. Arabs such as Ibn al-Haytham made significant contributions to the field

Whenever you hear about an Arabic scientist in history, it's a Persian. Same here. I know it even before I check it.

Wherever the European soldier and trader went, they were accompanied by the missionary and the scholar.

Embedded scholar and embedded missionary, but no embedded CNN reporter or embedded lawyer. That was a civilized society!

Yet the Europeans did this wherever they went. Why?

As you indicate, the answer is found in the mix of the cultural components: Greek, Roman, Christian. And don't forget: Germanic.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

The greatest civilization in human history arose in Europe, and then decided that it no longer deserved to exist.

Why?


Well, you have already addressed the answer to the question when you wrote just above "European genius contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction".

There are two aspects of it:
i) How the lifetime and development of a cultural paradigm is encoded already in its seed. They have differently long life cycles. Some of them are dangerously short; liberal democracy will prove to be such a case.
ii) How any cultural paradigm evolves organically in a seed-bud-flower-fruit-ripe-overripe-rotten development. A civilization can survive if if they can pick up another cultural paradigm. No cultural paradigm can last for ever, no more than an organic creature can. Not even the Roman paradigm did. But European civilization survived and moved on since the Western paradigm was picked up in its place. In this century we will have to replace the Western paradigm with something else.

Here is what I wrote about this in a letter to Lawrence Auster:
---
A theme of my blog will be the following. An ideology/religion/culture is not eternal and constant, but evolves organically. It will go from bud to flower, and then to fruit, that will mature and eventually become over-ripe. Certain things of this process will be encoded already into the seed, but might not become manifest until very late in the process, some of it not until the very end. In fact, to some degree, the time horizon for the end and how it will happen, will be encoded already in the seed.

You have described well this life process of liberalism, and how many of the problems could be found already in the seed, even though they didn't become manifest until now. My discussions with you--but also influenced by Nietzsche and the many great commenters at VFR--made me realize that Christianity, and more specifically Christian ethics, needs to be scrutinized in the same way. Christianity has a much longer life cycle than liberalism. In a shorter historical perspective they can look like two different things. But in a longer perspective they look more like the same thing, more specifically regarding the Christian ethics, which is the one thing that makes Christianity unique among religions. So regarding the most important thing--the Christian ethics--liberalism and Christianity have this in common, only that it is more unfettered in liberalism.

Liberalism is best understood as a branch of the Christian tree, as I see it. Could the outgrowth of this branch be predicted already from the Christian seed? The liberalism branch is over-ripe and rottening. Is the same true for the whole Christian tree? Looking at e.g. the Catholic Church and Vatican II it certainly seems so. If Christianity is over-ripe, within this model, there's no way to see how it could be restored back into a mature fruit, no more than liberalism. Could the clock be turned back for Christianity into a time when it was in a more functional stage. When would that be, and how could we then freeze it into an eternal constant? And if we could do so, why not doing the same for liberalism?

A continuation of this allegory is to consider how over-ripe fruits that are about to rot, will spread many new seeds, and thereby continue to live in new forms. Just take the over-ripe fruit of the Roman empire that spread so many many seeds, before it rot and died, that makes us still have Roman cultural DNA within us and around us in so many places. All these organic entities have many beautiful sides while they are flowers and mature fruits: the Roman empire, Christianity, liberalism, the British empire, modern democracy, American hegemony, etc. But they also have differently long life cycles, and some of them are dangerously short.
---

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

Ethiopia is an interesting exception. Surrounded as it has been by either heathen or Muslim barbarism for the last 1360 years, I'm not sure whether it is functionally comparable to Christian Europe. But I'm willing to entertain the notion.

And yes, I did think of you when I wrote about the Romans. :)

Of course you're right about the Germanic peoples. Even the Italians had Visigothic and Ostrogothic skeletons in their closets.

I'm already a racist, a xenophobe, and an Islamophobe for what I wrote here. I should have gone whole hog, mentioned the Germans, and become a neo-Nazi, too...

Henrik R Clausen said...

I did not assert that Christianity was the reason for European advance.

Let me bolden up a bit here:

I consider Christianity to be exactly that. In the High Middle Ages (OK, 1st Renaissance), it was exactly the Christian philosophers and the monks, having time to ponder things a bit more than average, who put forth the fundamental philosophy of capitalism, and invented many of the financial instruments as well.

Even Buddhism didn't accomplish that.

Conservative Swede said...

Apart from how the Christian ethics is bound to evolve into liberalism which is bound to evolve into nihilism, there are some more things in the seed of Christianity:

There is Jehovah, the foreign God. The anti-theistic God, killing all indigenous Gods wherever he comes. There is a seed for atheism already in this massive anti-theistic onslaught. Furthermore, the claim of Jehovah being the universal God of goodness plants two questions of doubt in the Christian mind, which are virtually unique for Christians: Is God really good? Does he really exist? Two questions that never arose for the Pagan Gods, since they didn't apply. Two questions of doubt that has eaten Christianity up from the inside. Polytheistic Gods do not claim to be Gods of absolute goodness, so they do not trigger questions of doubt regarding their goodness. Neither do any of them claim to have the whole universe and the world order resting on their shoulders, so neither does the question of whether they truly exist become such a pivotal issue of doubt. And furthermore the Pagan Gods are just simply "our guys", no pretentious claims of absolute truth that triggers questions of doubt.

Baron, Part of what you describe in your article is how Kings and Gods were replaced by Laws. But the laws of physics do not offer a full alternative to a meaningful worldview, such as religion. And law-based societies as the highest principle ultimately deprives nations of meaningful cultural substance. In both cases we are left with bloodless technocratic structures. No surprise that it lead to nihilism. Laws are always a means and never an end. When they are put as the highest ruling principle, as a sort of mechanical Gods, the society will fall into nihilism.

In the new cultural paradigm we will need to reinstall the Kings and the Gods. To again provide our worldview with a human face.

Baron Bodissey said...

Ah, Henrik, but there's the rub!

We have no way of knowing whether it was Christianity itself or native European culture that produced the flowering of Europe. It's possible that the magnificent Christianity of medieval Europe was a symptom rather than a cause.

The answer to all this is, unfortunately, not knowable. Since Christianity is predominantly European in its mature formations, the vitality and genius of Europe could be result of Christianity, or it could have preceded it. If China, for example, had been converted to Christianity during the first millennium, we might be able to do some comparative ethnology and make some tentative assertions. But as it is, there is no way of knowing.

One contra-indication, however, lies in the vitality and genius of the Vikings, which entirely preceded their conversion to Christianity.

Henrik R Clausen said...

we are also the only civilization to have made reason into a fetish.

That's a good one. Christianity and Hellenism merged quite early. Rationalists seem to be attempting to throw out the caring quality of Christianity and leave us with just the sharp logic of Hellenism.

I don't think that works very well.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

We currently exist in a spiritual vacuum. Like any other vacuum, nature abhors it, and it will not last long.

But we cannot will the new spiritual forms that are to fill our aching void.

Christianity did not arise because men willed it, or decided that it was a good thing. It did not arise because had utility and people thought it should be adopted fro practical reasons.

Christianity, like any other religion (including Islam), took hold among its early adherents as a revelation, a blinding flash of cosmic truth.

It blinded St. Paul, knocked him off his horse, and forced him from a life of comfort and routine into penury, beggary, and lifelong suffering.

He did not choose it because it was rational, or good for him, or useful. It came to him and stayed with him because it was manifestly, undeniably, and inescapably true.

It was not something that was reasoned into existence.

And so it will be with the next revelation, whatever it might be. Neither you nor I nor any other human can simply decide what the new religion will be. It will come like a thief in the night, despite what we intend.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

Ethiopia is an interesting exception. Surrounded as it has been by either heathen or Muslim barbarism for the last 1360 years, I'm not sure whether it is functionally comparable to Christian Europe. But I'm willing to entertain the notion.

Yes, it is unfortunate that it is the only real object of comparison. But I think it should be mentioned and taken in consideration.

And yes, I did think of you when I wrote about the Romans. :)

And you did it well, in describing the Romans core contribution to our heritage. But there is more of course: our laws are based on Roman law. Our political systems were based on the Roman concept of a mixed constitution (with checks and balances) all up until World War I, when we changed to the Athenian concept of monothemist democracy, with ostracism and the whole package. And since then all has dropped down into the sewers.

I'm already a racist, a xenophobe, and an Islamophobe for what I wrote here. I should have gone whole hog, mentioned the Germans, and become a neo-Nazi, too...

Well, I just brought it up for completeness. It was not meant as a reprimand for lack of "inclusiveness" :-)

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

Parts of European law are based on Roman law, but not all of it. The English common law has no Roman influences; it is a purely Germanic construct.

I'll let the Danes weigh in here on their own legal system, but I believe that Danish law incorporates more of the Roman system than England did.

rohan said...

I can't speak to Whiskey's entire comment since I simply do not know enough about the topic to do so, but he did make me think of something on a personal level. Whenever I feel like saying to hell with all the idiots in the world and giving up and going to live in the mountains I immediately realize I cannot. I have two young children. I want a better world for them, free of totalitarian ideologies. A world where they can test their limits without fear. Whiskey makes the case that offspring encourage a man to keep going and improve things for his kids. I know in my case that is true.

Sometimes it is as simple as that. I don't know squat about decontructionism or the pill/condom history. I simply want better for my kids, and their kids, and so on.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Not being a specialist in law (unfortunately), I can't go much into detail. But I believe our Jyske Lov (1241) draws inspiration from all available sources, such as Magna Carta (1215) and Roman law. It contains significant improvements over the previous Viking laws.

Oh. The Catholic church is explicitly mentioned as encouraging establishing these centrally codified laws. Valdemar 2nd, who signed Jyske Lov, was working closely with Rome and the church to implement a kingdom where Rule of Law would stand even in the absence of a king. Somewhat later it was shown to work, in that the country kept running while Valdemar Atterdag was kept captive by our enemies.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

We currently exist in a spiritual vacuum. Like any other vacuum, nature abhors it, and it will not last long.

Yes indeed. I completely agree. This is where we are right now.

But we cannot will the new spiritual forms that are to fill our aching void.

But that's not what I'm saying. I agree with you that the new spiritual forms and the new cultural paradigm is unknown; more specifically: the actual myths it will be based on is beyond our reach to will or to predict. But we are able to say some things about what it will have to look like structurally, or rather what it won't look like. The Western Christian paradigm in its current incarnation (of universalist liberal democracy etc.) will go away, that much is clear.

The nihilistic society with a technocratic face (Laws) will have to be replaced with human faces (Gods and Kings, or whatever they will be called in the new paradigm). Universalist Christian ethics in its current incarnation must go away. Etc. Then what sort of myths that will be built to facilitate this change is a very open question, and it will the new spiritual leaders and political leaders that will take the initiative and coin this. And there is a multitude of ways to do it, while fulfilling the structural criteria needed to guaranteeing our civilizational survival.

It can become a tweaked Western Christianity. Or it could become a new sort of monotheism based on our indigenous Indo-European monotheistic tradition. Meaning kicking out Jehovah, but keeping the idea of an almighty God. This path would begin as a revelation of how Jehovah is false, but the certainty of how monotheism is true, and then lead to a search. But this has always been a search hasn't it? Whatever scenario I would choose I would kick out Jehovah and keep Jesus.

Instead of having Christianity at the top of the hierarchy we could put the Asian concept of teachings there, allowing for eclectic mixing of religions an spiritualism. In such a setup our old Pagan Gods fit well, and they can easily be woken up to life by an organized state that introduce national holidays and festivities based on Pagan traditions with explicit references to the Pagan Gods. Also for ceremonies such as funerals and weddings.

At this point Pagan Gods is not enough to fill the spiritual vacuum. But the combination of: 1) the Asian concept eclectic mixing of teachings as a main framework for spirituality, and 2) Pagan Gods and Pagan festivals/ceremonies, would do wonders. And this can all be politically decided and promoted (by government, media etc.). Thereby we would have helped the conditions for the development of a new spirituality.

Christianity did not arise because men willed it, or decided that it was a good thing. It did not arise because had utility and people thought it should be adopted fro practical reasons.

Yes, it offered forgiveness, and hospitals. And it lead to abolishing of slavery (I attribute this to Christianity even though it was secular Italian Fascists who abolished slavery in Christian Ethiopia). It built self-confidence for the little man.

I know I will sometimes appear to have a very negative view of Christianity, but that's not really true. I see everything according to the seed-bud-flower-fruit-ripe-overripe-rotten pattern. I see all the good that came out of Christianity. I see how it was once a beautiful flower and a ripe fruit. But my point is that that is in the past, now it's an overripe fruit that is rotting.

So of course I'm not saying that fruits are bad, just that they eventually rot. And then we have to plant new seeds. And when we plant seeds, most of them won't grow into a fruit. So therefore we plant many of them. So, Baron, while we cannot will what the myths of the new paradigm will be, we can plant many seeds in order to help the process.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

I'm only talking about Christianity before Constantine, before it became a state religion, long before the hospitals and missionary societies and Women's Christian Temperance Union.

I'm really only talking about it during the first fifty years or so, when there were still people alive who remembered the Christ, when it was still a revelation, fresh with the sudden understanding of the numinous.

Centuries later a man of means and stature might become a Christian because it was the rational thing to do, because it furthered his career and so on. But in the early days this was not the case.

The later spread of Christianity was at least partly because of people calculating their interests, or falling in with the latest fashion. But in the early days it spread because of the shared experience of the presence of God, Emmanuel, "God with us".

The forms of what is to come are hard to predict, because the nature of the future revelation is unknowable. And we could be in for another demonic period, like the Islamic one -- who knows?

Conservative Swede said...

An underlying assumption that I forgot to mention, among the structural criteria for the new spiritual paradigm:

It has to be rooted in our ethnicity, i.e. having Germanic or Indo-European roots (or what ever applies where people live). This is the spiritual aspect in which we are mostly starved and deprived. And it will be essential for our civilizational survival.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

I'm only talking about Christianity before Constantine, before it became a state religion, long before the hospitals...

Yes, and then Christianity offered medical care for the common man. It offered the concept of forgiveness. It offered self-confidence for the little man. All the things I mentioned. It was all part of the package from the start.

IoshkaFutz said...

The undoing of the Christian World coincides with the undoing of Christianity. The start is Martin Luther and his unintended consequences: man and the rational before God and the mystical.

Instead of the Glory of God, we are left with a strange worship of freedom and an adoration of the marketplace. We can boast of every economic and scientific achievement, but ever so much more of it is in a senseless "richer-is-better / quicker-is-better, the more-the-merrier" mode that has murdered society, community, families, a sense of belonging.

It started with Luther, but the so-called Reformer who came out victorious even though his actual religion has all but disappeared, was Calvin. All that matters in the western world is money, the market and personal enjoyment. And sure enough, the market is the only setting where at least some modicum of virtue (even Islamic-style dress codes, discipline and respect for hierarchy) is required. Decency anywhere else is compared to Sharia.

The key to our demise is still our greatest boast: unfettered personal FREEDOM (outside the good, the true and the beautiful, which were made completely subjective and deconstructed)!

What we forgot is that a culture, as opposed to a system, (as a home is opposed to a hotel), is a HEIGHTENED experience, both far freer and also far more oppressive. Yes, undeniably more oppressive, but undeniably FREER.

We have sacrificed the heightened for the shallow. And that shallow is what we worship as freedom when it is NOT, it is simply more legislation, filling a blank page which on account of man being man (i.e. fallen) simply cannot be left blank... It is religious culture kicked out the door and coming back in through the window as blind Justice. So we get more hotel rules.

The UK, as I remember her, was both freer and more oppressive than she is today. It was a heightened cultural reality whereas today, it is a big system in which one can enjoy the amazing freedom of marrying a horse, but must be very careful of every word one utters even against those who have vowed to destroy everything one might hold dear, or for that matter - thanks to harassment legislation - even to those whom one might wish to hold dearly!

The UK is not a home anymore, but a hotel, a system. If not a hotel, an airport terminal, but the concept remains.

Like hotels and airport terminals, the shallow will invariably come to the same, lowest common denominator conclusions. Systems are logical patterns, they are deceptively simple, such as the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or "Don't do unto others as you would not wish them to do unto you." The rule is fine as far as it goes, but presupposes a deeper ethos, because with it, Man implcitly becomes the measure of all things, And Man is a fallen creature. The real Golden Rule is something else: DO WHAT IS GOOD and RIGHT (good, true and beautiful) in the eyes of God and even DESPITE yourself. Do your best to get the real golden rule right as ordained by scripture and tradition, and the fake golden rule, the bronze rule, can make sense and constitute a decent rule of the road.

But after Luther and ueber-victorious Calvinism, the eyes of God became the eyes of Men. Sola Scriptura changed the WORD of God (out there) into 30,000 denominations and MANY WORDS, and so the STATE (not out there but RIGHT HERE) was / had to be victorious.

And so today we have systems, patterns and slogans. Every tradition has become meaningless except those that might hurt a rather quick and unthinking consideration of the marketplace. (I say this because in truth we are unnecessarily wasting trillions, i.e. fighting the effects of broken homes, sexually transmitted disease, drugs, alcoholism, and immigration, which except in certain more "noble" occasions is nothing more than a reverse form of birth control, and incredible-but-true, even POVERTY).

What is marriage today? It used to be a sacrament. Luther got rid of that already 400+ years ago. Now even gays get married, and frankly, why not? Take out the sacred bond and you necessarily have something based on human whim. Doctrine develops, heresies degenerate. Degenerate heresies become mainstream and once gaining wide and easy acceptance, they threaten Doctrine.

What is life today for the elderly? There used to be something about loving and respecting ones elders. Today, if lucky, they are abandoned to retirement homes. They are no longer useful to the economy and limit the personal freedom of those who were supposed to cherish them to the end.

Even that end is now being anticipated. Indeed why bother to cure an eighty-five year old codger who is anyway doomed? In light of the statist system, the lowest common denominator pattern, to govern societies in which each man is his own Pope and decides the worthiness of life, a Dutch and British and Canadian legislation makes perfect sense: the codgers are no longer USEFUL. They cost and they inhibit FREEDOM (the pursuit of happiness).

Now they're starting up with the same thing with the overweight. And of course the unborn aren't even considered. And according to the Chair of the Princeton Ethics Dept. even the born up to a month or so should be treated like gladiators once were: thumbs up or thimbs down. He teaches ethics!!

Well there we have it: between the extremes of life: birth/infancy and death, man is already clearly without value. Do you think that might not have some effect on the consideration of man inbetween? From rather glorious and made in the image of God, we have become body-units, vivibund "corporals." But we're free!

So we boast about the great achievements! How ironic that the great end of "Faith Alone" has become a boast of achievements, that is to say "WORKS!"

I am delighted at the prospect of one day clicking a mouse and having whatever I order delivered by a handful of companies via a directly connected pneumatic home dispatch system, in less than 15 minutes, at a special low-low price, automatically deducted from my account and instantly refundable for whatever reason - should I be dissatisfied! And the same goes for instantaneous food delivery bringing gastronomic specialties from every country in the world (except my own).

That's the American dream, which is now simply THE DREAM! And just think of the ACHIEVEMENT, the great freedom, the wonderful progress it will represent! There will be more, we will be richer, and freer, won't we? And of course there will be lots of diversity!

Quo Vadis?

We are not freer, nor are we wealthier or more diverse: we are regulated by states which in the name of their own religious views and dogmas are not even democratic (or else that genius of Enoch Powel who had 80% of the people behind him and therefore was no prophet but a patriot, would not have come to such a cruel end; or else Europe, a brand new country would not be organized behind our back in the form of 10000000 unreadble pages of Burocratese).

BTW, who would ever have thought that the future of sanity would be in the hands of the Irish?!

Our systems are such that all talk of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation is instantly forbidden. And our timings - not at all religious, but by their very nature attuned to short legislatures - would never allow us to tackle problems of a civilizational scale, such as our very own demise, because the very concepts of "civilization" and "demise" are practically absent. Things aren't fallen or worse or uncivilized, but, to quote my favorite man of the cloth, Jeremiah Wright, they are DIFFERENT.

The bullfrog is right in line with the prevailing religion: the market. When the market changes, a market operator doesn't waste time dickering with good and evil, he adjusts himself to what is NEW and DIFFERENT and does his level best to make a profit from it. Religion, foolish as it is, as foolish as a St. Francis, might even extol the virtues of poverty, while his Don Bosco brothers wear themselves thin teaching wastrels a trade to make them pecunious. In other words, religion not only knows how to add, but to subtract. Its focus is on the TIMELESS, the good, true and beautiful as ordained by God through scripture and tradition and not on some monomania stuck on a pattern. It is a pretty picture, not an infinite pattern doomed to absurdity (inevitably murderous absurdity).

To say this makes one a Fascist.

And in a way, culture IS Fascism, a "bundling" and a loving glorification of ones ways, and a recogniztion of enemies. ALONG WITH the marketplace and freedom which it neither denies or deifies, culture speaks of common ideals and purpose. And mostly, culture is REACTIONARY in the true sense of the term.

But in another way (and this only proves how speaking of "Fascism" is senseless) culture fights Fascism, that is to say state oppression, the many rules and regulations that make us corporals and not men. Culture will tolerate fascism until society gets back on track from chaos. Culture (God) is our only freedom against the state, which was meant to be separate and judgeable, instead the unwitting result of the Reformation was to meld religion and state. And guess who won? Certainly not man.

The cause of our troubles? What troubles? New York, London and Hong Kong with their 35% of immigrants and their vast money-moving wealth are dangled before us (TIME MAGAZINE) as heavens, places we must envy, the way Scandinavia once was to the rest of the world. Yet again they tempt us with fashions, the temporal, and not the eternal.

Yes, there in NYLONHK before anywhere else, the pneutmatic delivery systems bringing wealth, material happiness and diversity will be in place. The DREAM is within reach! We will not only achieve, but overachieve... because in that, no one comes close! More, faster, better!

Well, okay so we don't cook, and we dance to someone else's music, and our own kids are a minority in their classrooms, and everyone eats in his own room watching any one of 1000000 TV channels instead of all together, and sins are only those that make no sense and were committed by great great great WHITE grandparents, and there's rioting when the lights go out in Philadelphia (the City of brotherly love) and one job and maybe not even two will support a family, and the chaotic mystical magic of grandparents is replaced by the now-everybody-take-a-nap / everybody-get-your-crayons / always-obey-the rules daycare centers. And sure fine, go ahead and marry a horse of any gender while getting arrested for flirting in the Holy Temple (the place of employment)! And be denied healthcare as soon as you go dotty (I mean, get real! If your own kids don't want you, why should the state waste any money?!). But we have achieved! We are free! We landed on Mars!

It'll only get better and better! And yet, don't ask me why, but in Europe, where it had supposedly already gotten better and better, where the real cool, hip and trendy ideas have been in force for decades, people and I mean healthy, wealthy and successful people (and not the hungry), those who in theory should be enjoying a great Shangrilà of rights and freedoms are rushing away in droves to places where folks still have bullfights, are liable to hurl live goats from belltowers in religious ceremonies and carry Madonnas around in processions... where despite the Zapateros and the Prodis and the Sarkozys and the downfall of religion, there survives even if only smirking cultural form, some residual sense of orthodoxy and the carefree and careless - HEIGHTENED - individual freedom/oppression, of culture.

Damon said...

Baron, an excellent over-view.
There's a whole lot of stuff in the comments that I need to ruminate on, but I did spy one section I believe I _can_ comment on:

Specifically about England and the "constitutional Monarchy":
The idea of "constitutional monarchy" more probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon kings, who were "elected" i.e. the local power people agreed on a suitable and acceptable king. The Normans tried to impose a "French"-style monarchy, "chosen by God" and answerable only to God, but this failed in the long run.
King John and Magna Carta were the classic example.

Ignoring the "interregnum" between the Plantagenets and the Tudors, the final act in the "constitutional monarchy" play was the Stuarts vs.the "Glorious Revolution" end-play. Parliament decided that, in favour of the "Constitutional Monarchy".

Since then, the English (and later British) have kept a very level head about the power of Kings...

turn said...

The forms of what is to come are hard to predict, because the nature of the future revelation is unknowable. And we could be in for another demonic period, like the Islamic one -- who knows?

The new religion is here, and unlike ioshkafutz's vision of instant consumer satisfaction from the far reaches of the globe we will instead find it requires downsizing rather than supersizing.

The new religion requires impoverishing self and society, eliminating most of the virus of humanity that infects Earth. It is being taught from kindergarten to university and the unwashed masses receive it from a proselytizing media.

Its early saints were Carson and Ehrlich and the current pope is Gore.

In order to not be left out completely it is now being preached by Christian-Christian- ministers in thousands of churches.

The new religion has powerful ties to government, as well. This past week 48 senators voted to impose an act that some have estimated would cost $45 trillion dollars over the next few decades. 48 is a slim loss considering 12 were not present.

Baron, your use of the word demonic is especially ironic in this Earth worship context. I'm no etymologist and I believe you're more schooled in Latin than I, but isn't the word demon derived from latin roots for of the world?

One candidate has the audacity to proclaim (somewhat Messianically) that under his leadership "the seas will cease to rise". Amazing and truly miraculous as the seas have been rising since the end of the last ice age.

Many religions have held that there would be an 'end of days'. Aztecs foresaw 21 December, 2012. Earthists are little more vague in their claims that if we don't reverse our ways by 2010 we are all doomed.

If a religion can be defined as a belief system based on the unobserved then environmentalism fits the bill. But not to worry--you won't asked to donate at a weekly meeting--it will come directly from your paycheck and in everything you purchase as goods, services, and their delivery to you.

Fear the Vegan Sisterhood!

Limpet said...

According to IoshkaFutz: "All that matters in the western world is money, the market and personal enjoyment."

That is not true. I think westerners are more idealistic than, for example, Arab or African muslims. Westerners like to help people in other countries, whereas muslim immigrants do not really respect us, and try to get the most out of us, materially. The policy of mass immigration is made easier by the misplaced idealism of many stupid westerners. What is funny is that their idealism has degenerated into "more immigrants is better" which is not really different from "more money is better". Their focus is on quantity, not on the meaning of life, and not on preserving society.

"The key to our demise is still our greatest boast: unfettered personal FREEDOM (outside the good, the true and the beautiful, which were made completely subjective and deconstructed)!"

No one is really interested in modernist meaningless art. That kind of art is foisted on us by our left-wing "elites".

--
I like your description of culture as a family home, in contrast to a hotel or an airport terminal.

spackle said...

"The greatest civilization in human history arose in Europe, and then decided that it no longer deserved to exist. Why?"

The reasons that led up to this I will leave to others. But from my own observations of the left I think the answer is really quite simple. It is a hatred of humanity. That which cannot be perfected must be destroyed or boiled down to something that barely resembles a human being anymore. I wrote a bit about this on my own blog the other day. Like I have said before. I have yet to meet a leftist who doesnt think that human beings are s**t.

spackle said...

Let me amend this. For the moment it is a hatred of white European humans. After they have been "perfected" or destroyed they will move on to the people of color. For you sci-fi fans I would compare the ardent leftist to the Borg.

Baron Bodissey said...

turn --

I'm not schooled at all in Latin. Etymology is one of my principal hobbies, but I'm entirely self-taught.

The origin of "demon" is the Latin "dæmon", which comes from the Greek "daimon". That's all I know about it.

Your question reminds me, though, of another little etymological tidbit. Some scholars believe the English word "sin" is cognate with a form of the verb "to be", related to the Latin "esse" and most clearly visible in the form of the verb used with the first person plural in German, as in "wir sind".

In other words, to be is to sin.

Many authorities consider this etymology erroneous, but I still like it.

Dymphna said...

Underlying all this is two things: hubris and the frantic flight from one's own mortality.

The hubris is especially seen in Spackle's comment about the self-hatred of socialists. Self-hatred arises from the realization, very early on, that one is not omnipotent after all, and yet somehow that this omnipotence is an entitlement, a birth right of which he has been deprived.

When the reality of limits hits the toddler smack dab in his face, his reaction is shame and rage.

The desire for omnipotence doesn't atrophy (visit any schoolyard at lunch time to see it in operation). However, to deal with its frustration, self-hatred develops as a way to cope. And then that self-hatred is objectified and projected -- voilà, we build utopian castles where the elect will dwell, safe above the hated, who will soon be "downsized" for the convenience of the elect.

Hatred of humanity is hatred of self. And hatred of self grows from the frustration -- the rage --which springs from the blunt fact of mortality.

Christianity "works" because it engages one on a quest of "the true, the good, and the beauftiful" -- i.e., whatever transcends one's own puny existence. But this quest is a path filled with potholes and miasmas, and most especially, alluring short-cuts that promise a quick fix for the pain.

Buddhism is the same quest in different clothing.

When they are both authentic, there occurs very predictably a renunciation of the fear of mortality. Uncle Death becomes merely another fact of Life, an interesting fellow to contemplate.

Both these experiences of transcendence -- a process of conversion -- happen on an individual level, but both also lead always back to the community in order to share the experience.

Man cannot survive psychically, spiritually, or physically as a monad. We depend on one another while recognizing that betrayal is the most common of human experiences. We betray one another, we are betrayed by one another every single day. Yet it never fails to surprise, to blindside us when we are the recipients: "how *could* he do that? We were friends..."

The socialists among us are usually angry, and that anger is a veneer over the fear which accompanies the fact of death. The poisonous doctrines that spackle delineates are pervasive because so many people are too fearful of others, of looking "uncool". Being "uncool" is the sin that has pride of place for the moment.

OTOH, religious experience to those who have been apprehended by it, changes the magnetic field of one's existence. Everyhing is exactly the same and yet entirely different.

Trying to explain that experience to someone who has not undergone its rigors is like trying to explain sex to someone who has never experienced sensual union with another. Might as well try to explain "blue" to a blind man...

spackle said...

"Hatred of humanity is hatred of self. And hatred of self grows from the frustration -- the rage --which springs from the blunt fact of mortality."

"The poisonous doctrines that spackle delineates are pervasive because so many people are too fearful of others, of looking "uncool". Being "uncool" is the sin that has pride of place for the moment."

Bingo. Nothing causes more "fear and trembling" then a glimpse into the abyss. And the silliness of these so called "free thinkers" cowering for fear of being thrown out of the group is equally destructive. I would add there seems to be another component to this hatred of humanity. It is one I have not yet put my finger on. This will take some more thought.

spackle said...

I would also add something that my mother told some years ago that I didnt agree with at the time but jives with the self-hatred angle. And that is that a lot of people are just plain crazy. I dont mean rubber room time I mean neurotic beyond belief to the point where those neurosis start to take a political shape. One only has to observe the amount of people on some kind of anti-depressant. You could throw a stone these days and you will likely hit someone on Paxil, Prozac or any other feel good drug.

Diamed said...

First off I'd like to thank the quality of the article and the comments, they're all top notch.

Why did Europe and nowhere else do basically everything important on earth? This is a good question. The answer is genetic. Europeans are unlike everyone else on earth. They have unique, hereditary traits that set them apart from other humans, and have been evolving separately, on their own path, for tens of thousands of years. Once you understand that, it becomes obvious why the outcomes of the different continents were so different--the initial conditions were already different. (And remember, even slightly different initial conditions can lead to widely different results--consider the lack of anti-matter in the universe because there was a bit more matter left over after all the matter and anti-matter had annihilated each other, or the slightly uneven distribution of the cosmic background radiation resulting in galactic clusters)

To be specific, Europeans are at the golden mean of intelligence and testosterone. Asians are too conformist and servile because they 'don't have the balls.' (There's a lot of wisdom in common man phrases) Many other peoples have plenty of courage, individualism, etc--but they lack the intelligence. Europeans are the goldilocks tribe. We are the perfect balance of testosterone that leads to the masculine virtues-- honor, pride, frankness, independence, etc -- and the intelligence that can translate those impulses into spaceships and steam engines.

Why has this all come to a crashing halt? I agree with whiskey. Everything was fine until women took over. Now we are ruled by an estrogen society, that's also dumber than men. ((almost all high IQ people are men, the only suitable leaders)). Where before we had leaders and inventors, we now honor 'compassion' and 'sensitivity.' Every important decision is now made by women. Who gets elected. Whether to stay married or divorce. Whether to have a kid or not. Whether to marry or get a job. College is dominated by women, white men are only 30% of the student body, and they drop out faster too. The very idea that 'hate' is bad is women's logic. Men thrive on hate, it makes them strong and able to confront evil. Women are weak and thus always want to compromise and avoid hard feelings. You can see it everywhere. We've gone from a patriarchy to a matriarchy. No fault divorce, abortion decided by the woman only, rape laws so wide they can call it rape just by changing their mind later, the school curriculum stressing how evil men are, and the abolishment of recess and sports as places men can unwind and be themselves. (title IX?)

There's a reason women rarely if ever run a country--they're terrible at it. Our egalitarian dream that everyone is exactly the same and equally good at any task is hurting us terribly on the racial issue, but probably just as much or more on the sex issue. Without women's liberation, does anyone seriously think any of these problems would exist? Welfare? Immigration? Falling birth rates? Hate speech?

And before you answer, just recall, we've had thousands of years of human history led by men where none of this did happen. That would seem pretty conclusive.

Conservative Swede said...

Diamed,

To be specific, Europeans are at the golden mean of intelligence and testosterone. Asians are too conformist and servile because they 'don't have the balls.

Well, I agree that we should glorify our genetical qualities. But quite as when I argue with the culturalists I have to point out that your argument is far too one-sided. If Charles Martel had lost the battle of Tours the development of Europe would have been very different, in spite of any genetical qualities we have.

The Baron describes what led to the scientific and industrial revolution. Without a special combination of cultural influences it wouldn't have happened. A certain genetical disposition is of course another criterion to be put in the list, a scientific/industrial revolution clearly would never have happened in Africa (they have other talents though, e.g. in rhythmical music and dancing). But genetical qualities as such does not make a springtime for science and industry. And the Eastern Asians are carrying on the legacy of Western science, technology and finer arts. Many times better than us, nowadays.

The very idea that 'hate' is bad is women's logic. Men thrive on hate, it makes them strong and able to confront evil.

Yes, I believe you have a good point there. But we are speaking of women as a group, not about the fine minority of female individuals with a clear sight and the proper guts (these women know also themselves that they stand no chance up against the female collective). But there's much more than estrogen in play here: it's industrial age Christian ethics, post-modern decadence, etc.

There's a reason women rarely if ever run a country--they're terrible at it. Our egalitarian dream that everyone is exactly the same and equally good at any task is hurting us terribly on the racial issue, but probably just as much or more on the sex issue.

Hillary vs. Obama provides at least one counter-example to this (so does Hillary vs. McCain).

Without women's liberation, does anyone seriously think any of these problems would exist? Welfare? Immigration? Falling birth rates? Hate speech?

Well, whatever problem we have, it goes a much deeper than women's liberation. Women's liberation wasn't exactly brought to us by extra-terrestrials.

Women's liberation is mostly a good thing. It is good that we all do not have to work our a**es off 14 hours a day in roles that we are born into, for women as for men. This is one of the things that puts us way above Islam (where they spend all day doing unproductive things as prayer). But it's a freedom that we need to learn to deal with.

Relating to what Ioshka wrote: the only way to maintain this freedom in practice is to no longer keep freedom as our top ideal.

pasta said...

@ConservativeSwede

"Women's liberation is mostly a good thing. It is good that we all do not have to work our a**es off 14 hours a day in roles that we are born into, for women as for men."

Can you elaborate? I don't see how women's liberation deserves credit for reducing our workload. And isn't it so that, in order give birth to a sufficient number of children and bringing them up in a way which makes them likely to become responsible and productive members of society, women and men must live up to the sexual roles they are born into, being mothers and fathers for their children?
Do you see an alternative to the traditional family model that works equally well? Because I don't know any.

Women's Lib presupposes that, in Western society, women were oppressed at some time before, but I don't see that there was ever a deliberate oppression of women in Western societies. Women and Men were treated differently, because they were seen as different and because they had different roles to fulfill, for the good of society and ultimately for their own and their family's good. And since the Women's Lib movement rages on and on, women must allegedly be oppressed even today, but I don't see that, either. To the contrary, I see them unfairly privileged over men in many ways. Women's Lib presupposes that both sexes are equal by nature and therefore, wherever women fail to achieve the same results as men, attributes this to oppression or discrimination. For example, if men outnumber women in leadership positions by a high margin, then this can't be because women are less interested in or less suitable for such positions, but because of some "glass ceiling" or because they were discriminated against even in their upbringing. Hence affirmative action and gender mainstreaming. But because men and women are not equal by nature, the cry about alleged discrimination and oppression never stops, thus forever justifying ever more such programs. Isn't Women's Lib nothing more than just another movement based on the false dogma that all human beings must be equal? What do you see positive in it?

Conservative Swede said...

Pasta,

Can you elaborate? I don't see how women's liberation deserves credit for reducing our workload.

Industrialization and Capitalism reduced the workload (a lot!!) for both men and women. This is the true women's liberation and men's liberation. All the rest is ideological babbling.

And isn't it so that, in order give birth to a sufficient number of children and bringing them up in a way which makes them likely to become responsible and productive members of society, women and men must live up to the sexual roles they are born into, being mothers and fathers for their children?

Which is not the same, or even close to, the pre-industrial society when you were a serf to the role you were born into (both women and men) 24/7, all your life.

People always think in extremes: extreme freedom or extreme serfdom. What we need is balance. This is why we should drop freedom as well as equality as our top ideals (precisely to being able to keep our freedom and equality for the future!). And yes, women and men should fully adapt their sexual roles. It's a small effort in today's society. And whenever we speak of freedom or equality, our attitude should be: yes, these are important ideals, but the common good of my nation, my village and my family always rank higher.

Women's Lib presupposes that, in Western society, women were oppressed at some time before

As I said: The real liberation of women (and men!) was Industrialization and Capitalism. But as with any real revolution, in the wake of it comes the chattering classes perverting a myth about it into something that eventually nullifies the whole progress, Women are much worse off today than a hundred years ago. The do not even have the basic protection that they had for the previous 2000+ years. Randomly they can become victims of a brutal gang rape (and the risk of that is growing at an accelerating speed), and even when that happens the society turns its back at them. All thanks to the chattering classes--the most poisonous, vain, cold-hearted and egoistic parasites that ever was.

There will come a day when we hold tribunals against the members of these chattering classes, where they will be held responsible for every single brutal rape of innocent girls, and where they will receive punishments in accordance with the atrocious suffering they've caused.

Afonso Henriques said...

I guess I am late to this discussion but... let's play!
First of all, great article Baron!
I'll only highlight what I disagree with because I agree with almost everything. Great post!

"evolution of Europe’s hybrid culture diverged"

"Hybrid culture"? Scarrying... There is nothing of hybrid about "borrowing" and improoving stuff. Will you say that Japanese culture is hybrid as well?
The only hibrydism worth noting I find in Traditional European Culture is Christianism!

"European science merged the Greek traditions with Roman practicality, and added a layer of something that was new and unique to Europe: the idea that coherent laws as ordained by God lay behind the observed manifestations of natural phenomena. Christian doctrine asserted that God’s laws were consistent and could be discerned by observation. The men who laid the foundations of modern science began their investigations under the assumption that they were uncovering the laws of God through the power of human reason."

Wasn't the Traditional Indo-European Paganism that made Humans think they were like Gods? Or sons of Gods? Differing only a little bit?
Wasn't this kind of Paganism that provided the roots to Rome, Greece and Persian civilisations?
As well as Celtic and Germanic subsequent inovations and "world views" in which God was almost touchable by "Humans of Virtue"?

Really, Christianity messed up a lot with the Ceaser what's Ceaser's and to God what's his dogma. It prevented men of virtue to step forward. It made us crush into this current situation. It was however much better than islam (but who isn't?). I would really like to see a comparison between Christianity and Judaism.

"Or consider the science of optics. Arabs such as Ibn al-Haytham made significant contributions to the field"

I heard he was Persian. So, he had a Tradition from behind. A non islamic one and in this case, an Indo-European one.

"The process that began with Newton and Descartes reached its apotheosis — if such a word can be used to describe atheist orthodoxy — with Postmodernism and Deconstruction. In hindsight the entire path of European intellectual self-destruction is clear: the Deists, Rousseau, the French Revolution, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Proudhon, Einstein, Gramsci, Heisenberg, Marcuse, Sartre, Derrida, and Foucault: a progression that leads from the understanding via reason of immutable celestial laws, to relativism, nihilism, and the denial that meaning exists."

Sorry about the racism but fighting with Fjordman, I hit on this: Semitic Spirit, was what the XIX / early XX century intelectuals called to this "spirit". They blamed the Jews, we all know what happened next. I am writting about that for personal amusing, maybe I will get the guts to send you that...

Afonso Henriques said...

I must say I will translate and distribute the first comment, Whiskey!

This post goes to my list as well.

Afonso Henriques said...

"There is something there. I am always puzzled when I meet radical Feminists who deny any biological differences between men and women"

Scandinavia is a strange place... though I have seen some femininists who can not be distinguished from males... the world is going insane!

"I published an essay regarding Indo-European linguistics recently"

Now seriously Fjordman. Why the hell don't you brind us with a site with all your essays?
It transcendes me completley.
I think we disearve it, don't we?

Conservative Swede said...

Fjordman,

Reality doesn't exist, it's socially constructed. These people want to live in a world of Thought Alone, or Reason Alone, and don't want to be bothered by having physically observable reality interfere with their mentally constructed Utopias. Maybe it's a form of Platonism, where ideas have an existence separate from physically observable reality? Or maybe it's a form of magic? You know, like Harry Potter thinks about something and then it happens.

More like Don Quixote.

Diamed said...

@ ConSwede:

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so I will simply say women's liberation went from seed to flower to fruit to overripe to rotten, and now needs replacing with an entirely new paradigm that can save us.

It's true extra-terrestials didn't give women the right to vote, own property, get jobs, etc. But I kind of wonder if extra-terrestials did give women the right to divorce, abort, stay single for life and use birth control---no sane group of humans is that bent on destroying the fundamental unit of mankind, the family.

Jokes aside, I'm a pragmatist, if denying people freedom or equality helps civilization, we should do that. If giving people more freedom or equality helps civilization, we should do that. Obviously freeing the slaves and the serfs and teaching people how to read and arming the peasantry with longbows improved civilization, while also creating more freedom and equality. Obviously getting rid of borders, giving foreign aid, and creating no-fault divorces and abortion rights degraded civilization, while also creating more freedom and equality. The lesson here is to IGNORE freedom and equality, and concentrate on a much more important goal. The virtue of your people, the state of your arts and sciences, the standard of living, the cohesion of your nation, the strength of your army, the stability and peace in the land. Everything that you can point to and say 'this is a truly good nation, a place we'd love to have children in, and our ancestors would be proud of us for making.'

It turns out freedom and equality are besides the point, they are just tools, idols, worshiped by both the left and the right. There is a much more wonderful goal our people could aspire to: a homeland superior in every way to everyone on earth. And a manifest destiny that THIS homeland, this people, will progress to the point we can inherit the stars.

Afonso Henriques said...

And because threads like this are my favourite play ground:

Conservative Swede said: "There’s no way of knowing for sure, because the rest of Christian civilization ... was either snuffed out or suppressed by the successive conquests of ...
There is Ethiopia. There you can study the effect of Christianity in a different context."

Wow. Just wow... When the Portuguese started to conquer and explor Africa and India in the beggining of the XV century, we only get the aval of the Papacy when we claimed we were looking for the Prestes João, an hipotetycal, if not mithycal, lost Christian leader of Ethiopia.

(According to popular believe and some royal sources) In the mid of the XV century we send two secret agents (XV century James Bonds) tot reach Ethiopia and India; One went South from Morocco into India looking for the African Christian King, the other went through all Europe, Turkey, Iran into India.
According to what is said, both made it to India after nine years but were killed coming back to Portugal in "the Arabias" by the muslims.

"As you indicate, the answer is found in the mix of the cultural components: Greek, Roman, Christian. And don't forget: Germanic."

Sorry for the racism but I am no Roman either: The Germans made us go back to the dark ages when they crossed the Rhein and destroyed the Roman Empire; The Greeks were so idealist and "lazy" they couldn't handdle Rome. Christianity, I don't even have to mention it...
Everybody contributed, even the Slavs!, but if Europe has to be united, it better be under Rome.

@ Baron:

"We have no way of knowing whether it was Christianity itself or native European culture that produced the flowering of Europe."

Your love for the Vikings is already an indication, isn't it?

Though I do not consider the Vikings as Ladies and Gentlemans I think I may have an answer to your question:

Look at ancient non Christian Indo-European Civilisations such as Persia and India. (What about Romans and other Europeans).

Now look to actual Christian non Indo-Europeans Nations: Peru, Bolívia, Haiti, Angola, Mozambique, hmm any Asian?

Afonso Henriques said...

Ioshka Futz, great comment!

You reminded me of a book of a XIX century Portuguese Nobel, "Os Maias" by Eça de Queiroz.

In it, Afonso, a old man from the decadent high nobility, a man of the centre-interior of the country, with "Goths as grandparents", justified why he, in the XIX century, did not want his grandson to go to church:

"Because I want him to be good, to act in a honour way, not because he fears God, but because it is the right thing to do."

Also, what's about bullfights?

Conservative Swede said...

Diamed,

In this comment of yours I agree with everything you say.

It turns out freedom and equality are besides the point, they are just tools, idols, worshiped by both the left and the right.

This is an important point and something I have been hammering about for a few years by now: both the left and the right! It's both the left and right--they share the same ideals; the same ideals of equality and freedom. The right just adds a few more ceremonial restrictions to their Utopian fantasies. The Harry Potters of the right just hold back their spell casting one time out of five compared to the left. But they cast the very same spells. The left and the right is one and the same, and the whole thing is just a charade.

Conservative Swede said...

Afonso.

Sorry for the racism but I am no Roman either: The Germans made us go back to the dark ages when they crossed the Rhein and destroyed the Roman Empire.

You should read history instead of fiction. This not even close to how it happened. But it's nice to know you feel strongly about our Roman heritage.

Actually, to say that the Germanic people destroyed the Roman empire is to give them way to much credit for what they could achieve at that time.

But the important point is: No other people absorbed Roman culture as the Germanics, and we carried the legacy on for centuries to come.

Profitsbeard said...

BARON-

The Mohammedan "deity" is not the same in concept as the Western, "rational" one, since "Allah" can change all of its rules and the laws of nature and thought itself in an instant.
(No questions allowed.)

Nothing is thus predictable in the world for Mohammedans but the Islamic "god"'s unpredictability.

And it also has no Covenant with humanity (even though Islam claims to be an "Abrahamic faith", too), only a despotic demand that they serve it blindly (essentially returning the idea and character of their "Creator" backward to the capricious demiurge of "The Book of Job").

Rationality, being the basis of any developing science, and culture, and human growth, gave the West a framework for its achievements.

Since the rise of the unpunished skeptical era (burning at the stake having lost its potency to intimidate as nations, among them The Netherlands and America, gave refuge to dissidents) in the mid-18th century, humans have openly examined the origins of religious claims, and, as an unintended consequence, the Irrational has begun to intoxicate and undermine the West.

No strong substitute for the coherence of the Age of Faith has arisen, yet, to oppose the anti-reasoning movement.

The exciting inertia of expansion, discovery, and invention- and the sheer thrill of the increasing liberation human mind and body from ancient fears (heresy/disease)- kept the West on a forward impetus which only began to wane at the end of the 1960's.

Since that point, the uncontrolled intermingling of alien cultures- through increasingly unchecked immigration- and the self-destructive ideology of "post-national/multicultural socialism" have combined to erode the West.

Those within the "capitalist" world, who loathed it, have sought their own Utopian replacement for this "oppressor", and have been working like termites from within, ferverishly determined to negate and diminish and neutralize the great gains of the European & New World (the ending of slavery, women's suffrage, cures for disease, the harnessing of energy sources and the spectrum of wavelengths that gave us film, radio, television, and lasers, and into the exploration of space, ad infinitum.).

The battle is between Rationality and The Irrational.

Belief, alone, in a "Higher Meaning", itself, without a basis of reason, can lead to "divine" tyranny, like Islam, or an "historical" one, like communism (and its cousins, anarchism, fascism, et al).

Belief, without the restraint of a structuring rationality, is not enough.

DYMPHNA-

Your point about the unnerving fear of mortality is critically apt.

The "secular faiths" always replace the hope of an afterlife with the Ideal Future on Earth. Trying to assuage the fears of their followers with the placebo of "destiny", wherein they will be building a "better, more just, ideal world", and thus can righteously die for the cause. And sacrifice themselves for for this "illusion" (which is what they arrogantly critique all other ideals as being, but never "see through" their own version of this same idealizing impulse).

They thereby fraudulently incorporate The Irrational in the guise of a "higher reason".

Meanwhile, the West, by failing to hold onto its astonishing gains with self-confidence, has become scattered, and confused.

There has been a fateful lapse by our Culture to promote itself ...as all textbooks before the 1960's did as a natural matter of course.

And did with a clear, conscious self-interest in order to preserve their -self-acknowledged- superior world view.

How -not if- this indecision and decay can be reversed is the challenge of our Civilization.

Your work is part of the counter-movement and Resistence.

Asking the existential questions is vital to stimulating their answers.

Keep up the fine work.

(As the comments here have demonstrated, a fruitful, energetic effort!)

randian said...

even though Islam claims to be an "Abrahamic faith", too

Muslims never made that claim until the 21st century, when doing so became a convenient way to mislead Christians and Jews (mostly Christians) as to the true nature of Islam, by way of creating a false and manufactured equivalence between them and Islam. Muslims also mislead Christians by saying "look, Jesus is our prophet too", but conveniently forget to mention that claim is replacement theology, not reverence for Jesus.

Henrik Ræder said...

IMO, the Roman Empire stood two centuries too long, in a swamp of corruption, intrigue and stagnation.

Having established smaller, independent kingdoms sooner would have been better for most everyone.

Now, we have a couple contenders for world domination that also could take some breakage...

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

I find it quite ironic that the counter-jihad groups want to fight the "Islamic menace," in the cause of a superior European civilization, yet they also seem to want to dismantle the best governmental structure to fight that menace, a European Union. Granted the current leadership of the European Union, as reflected by its member states, is feckless in this regard, but the answer is to change the EU, not destroy it.

After all, what led to the two "Gates of Vienna" close calls in 1529 and 1683? It was a combination of a strong Ottoman power AND a divided Europe. In 1529 France was actually allied with the Ottomans against Austria! In 1683 the Ottomans realized that their time was running out as a weakened Austria recovered from the ruinous religious strife of the 30-Years War.

Dividing up Europe into its small, competing, fractious nation states will just open the door for an easier Islamic takeover, as the modern-day Ottomans will look for the "weak links" and use that to get a better foothold, just as their predecessors did in the Balkans and the Mediterranean several centuries ago.

NJArtist said...

For those who think Reason can be separate from Christianity, even Judaicism, must deal with what is biblically said about reason, and it is written twice in the New Testament: those who deny that God exists become disordered in their thinking; in time, they become so dissolute that God gives them over to unnatural passions. Hence, once the men of the Enlightenment renounced God, European Reason began its death spiral; and now we have the west being given over to perversity and unable to rally against another death cult that has a demonic vitality.

Afonso Henriques said...

Well Gordon, go google about the Congress of Vienna.

That is a truly European Union.

This one is an Anti-Europe European Union, a kind of Union of the Socialist Soviet Republics and Monarchies of Europe.

As you said, yes to a European Union. Just not this one.

Well, once you fail to understand what happened in the Balkans and in the Iberian Peninsula, I'll give my two cents on it:

Gordon, when the muslims took over the Iberia Peninsula, Iberia was united under your almighty big and powerfull State/Empire. It was only one state, the Visigothic Kingdom.
It was totally by passed by the moors in less than ten years.

Concerning the Reconquista... it was successfully realised by the Kingdoms of Portugal, León (the original Christian bastion in the Northwest), Castille (today's Spain nucleous), Navarra (the Basques), and Aragon (the Catalans).

So, what is the best way for us to deffend against muslims?

Also, didn't you learn about the deficit of "East Asians" when compared to Europeans?
Well, they were too autoritarian. More Nations, more freedom.

I really do not get you man...

Rick S said...

Hi Baron,
It is a great post, but I question one minor detail; your statement that gunpowder was invented in China. I have read that in many histories of firearms, but I have never seen any evidence to support it.

The Book of Rifles by Smith and Smith goes into more detail than others about the origin of gunpowder, and they write that the earliest known references to gunpowder are all from 13th century Europe. The Liber Ignium by Marcus Graecus is believed to have been first written in Greek in the 9th century, but the earliest copy with a reference to gunpowder is a 13th century Latin copy. The other early refernces to gunpowder are the "Epistola de Secetis Operibus Artis..." written by Roger Bacon in 1248; the "Opus de Mirabilibus Mundi" of Albertus Magnus, and a letter from a Spanish Monk in the Bodelian Library. Neither Smith and Smith nor any other authors I have read are aware of any Chinese or other non-European records of gunpowder this old. The oldest artifacts, of which I know, that indicate a knowledge of gunpowder are crude 14th century guns from central Europe.

Both Chinese and Europeans had, prior to the 13th century, incendiary mixtures (Greek Fire) that were similar to gunpowder in that they contained nitrates to cause them to burn more fiercely, but they could not explode or shoot a projectile. Giovanni de Plan Carpin, the ambassador from the Vatican to the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, was a military man, and he left good desciptions of the weopons he observed used in the war between the Chinese and the Mongols. They had catapults to throw incendiary mixtures, but apparently gunpowder was unknown in China at that time.

Henrik R Clausen said...

the answer is to change the EU, not destroy it.

Former Gordon, I understand your concerns. Up to four years ago, I was a staunch supporter of the European Union. Then something happened that made me change my mind radically:

I tried to influence it.

Being a good citizen, I noticed, along with a bunch of friends, that the process with Turkey was deeply flawed. Not only was Turkey very obviously outside the range of countries that could become members of an European Union, also the rules that the Union had set out for enlargement were being systematically ignored or violated. So we cried foul.

Watching the reactions was a lesson. We went by intution, talking to who we found useful, delivering documentation, doing demonstrations, all told trying to instill some sense into the system and make it abandon a rather stupid enlargement process. At one point, the Commission called us - and basically tried to talk us out of our activity. No trace of respect for us taking up an important issue. Needless to say, we declined and kept stirring up hornets :)

I kept contact with MEP's and other relevant persons, and watched the dismay in the good people and the stubbornness of the europhiles. And have come to a clear conclusion:

The European Union, as it exists today, is the antithesis of a healthy democratic system (Morten Messerschmidt said that on Constitution Day). It is not designed to be a democratic system, and it percieves citizens interference as sign of a defect, not as something to be taken seriously.

It is self-immunicizing against normal democratic mechanisms, and the process around the Lisbon Treaty is, once you study the detail, a very detailed and extensive example of this.

Further, the Union is fundamentally inept at dealing with the issues of Islam and Jihad. Born in a culture of shady compromises and mutual goodwill, the European Union does not comprehend a danger such as the Jihad movement. A movement this radical, this dedicated and this anti-democratic is out of the frame of reference for the European Union, and the solid responses needed to deal with it will certainly not come out of Brussels.

Personally, I am all for reforming the Union. I know that friends of mine differ and consider it fundamentally hopeless, and I know that very few are interested in reforms. Still, I consider the complete abandonment of a formal structure of European cooperation to be a worse alternative.

However, the prospects for reform are bleak. The politicians are forging ahead with their Constitution (now 'Lisbon') Treaty, and seem bent on avoiding citizen influence. What I believe is workable at this point is to expose the corruption, both economically and politically, of the system, and hope that this will encourage real reforms - not superfial ones.

At the moment, the confidence in the system is wildly exaggerated. It promises the (European) sky, yet consumes much more than it delivers. Eroding the confidence will force the system to reform, or to collapse. I cannot predict which.

Further, I wish national politicians and other leaders (FIFA, for one) to stand openly against stupid decisions coming out of Brussels. If (or when) the Union fails to deliver on real fundamental promises, we need an array of real politicians in each country to have the strength to stand on their own, do what makes sense for their country, and reestablish the sovereignty of the nation-state.

And note well: Islam and the nation-state are inherently incompatible. Islam doesn't respect borders, it doesn't respect national, secular law, and it cannot gain political traction in a country with a good, well-respected constitution.

Yes, it's dreadfully complex...

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Henrik, as a Dane your best defense against an Islamic nightmare is not an independent, atomistic Denmark. The history of Europe from the 17th Century until 1945 shows that an independent Denmark, unallied with any larger European bloc, will be cannon fodder. Denmark was ravaged by the German Catholic armies of Austria in the 30 years war, had its southern territories snatched by Germany in 1862 (? I think this the correct year?) and was fully overrun in 1945. Is it in Denmark's interest to have a German neighbor once again untethered by a close-knit federation of European states?

And if Germany doesn't become nationalistic and strong to repel Islamization? Then, do you think Denmark has a chance against an Islamic-influenced Germany, any more so than it had against the Catholic troops, the Prussians, or the Nazis?

Denmark's only hope is to remain part of a strengthened and revitalized EU. And that means building up a trans-European "continentalist" instead of "nationalist" movement. There are parties in many European nations that have potential to be part of this movement. And in those that don't, such as Germany, I would suggest that those fighting an Islamist threat co-opt an existing party, such as the Christian Democrats or the Free Democrats, to further their aims. Not the German People's party, tainted with its past.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Former Gordon, the correct year was 1864. And the whole war was a direct consequence of our stupid 1863 constitution change...

While I'm all for NATO and other good alliances, this threat is different. And we have seen, not least during the Muhammad crisis, that EU is utterly inept dealing with a concerted threat from angry Muslims.

Small, disobedient countries like ours make laboratories where we are free to insult pedophets and other non-religious criminals. Large ones like Britain is observably not doing nearly as well.

If you want to give away your political power to Brussels, feel free. But don't expect to get it back, ever.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Gordon doesn't have to worry about it, since he's far away across the atlantic and doesn't have to face the reality of this utopian paradise he wants us all to swallow. It's a tiny bit like the academics who insisted that the soviet union was the best thing since sliced bread and anyone coplaining just had to be wrong. In other words, he doesn't live here, what the heck could he know?

Now off, for real this time. I have a nice little cottage without any internet access to spend some time in and a few good friends, wine, a bbq and a wife to spend it with.

Vi ses, ha det så bra and so on. Toodle pip. :)

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

According to Archonix, I don't have the "street cred" to comment.

Well, here are three counters to that:

1. I live in a nation (the United States) which has figured out how to celebrate unity and diversity at the same time. I would suggest that Europe learn from the U.S.' example so as to avoid the mistakes of the past. I'm not suggesting a "strong federal" state such as the U.S. but rather a "weak federal" European Union, run by people ready to fight for European values against those of Islamists.

2. I have a close relative who has lived in Belgium for the past two decades. I receive constant reports from the epicenter of EU-land. They differ somewhat (but not completely) from the perspective presented on this blog.

3. My family is of Estonian descent. We saw what happens to small European nations when they are surrounded by large, nationalistic European nations. The best guarantor of Estonia's (and Denmark's, and Portugal's) continued freedom and prosperity is a revitalized EU.

Limpet said...

It was a natural development for European countries to form a European Union. I especially liked the idea of subsidiarity (EU definition, wiki definition) that was supposed to be a principle establishing the Union... In an ideal world, the EU would have been an institution reinforcing democracy in each country. It is only recently that the EU has started to act crazy. Ten years ago, most people would have thought the campaign to get Turkey into the EU was a joke. I think European politicians who sincerely believed in a European ideal have been replaced by the kind of people who now dominate the media and most of public life in the Western world.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

IMO, the Roman Empire stood two centuries too long, in a swamp of corruption, intrigue and stagnation.

Having established smaller, independent kingdoms sooner would have been better for most everyone.


Wasn't the Roman Empire independent, you say?

IoshkaFutz said...

Ciao Limpet,

Naturally I didn't cover all angles (not that I'd ever be smart enough to anyway).

But concerning the new Westerner, the problem is not that he is idealistic, but that he is ONLY idealistic, all spirit (albeit a stunted ideological spirit) and no flesh, and generally speaking, he is only spiritual for DISTANT causes in aggressive / hedonistic/ gogliardic fashion.

To me, it's a degeneration of "sola fide," with some help from Hollywood, Madison Avenue, New Age, as well as the real and undeniable disembodiment of life in general these days.

Not only did Sola Scriptura yield social insanity but so did the trivialization of "works" (which far from yielding Islamic-style idleness, glorified skewed-virtue over-achievement).

The idealism run amok we see today is very much a part of the Reformation legacy.

Think about it a second. What kicked off all the new "Christianoid" religions, (about 30,000 of them and counting)? They were all started on the basis of dissension and disgruntlement towards other older, "parent" religions. For no other reason than force of habit, dissension and disgruntlement themselves (grievance) acquired religious valence. The Reformation didn't just happen, it never stopped!

And seeing as all the emphasis is on "SAVING" (and saving real fast through professions of faith, adult water-dunks, etc.) and not "MANAGING" difficulties and contradictions (thru doctrine development, defending-tweaking traditions, tending and caring etc.), well wouldn't you know that "saving" as opposed "governing" would be today's call.

The new idealist is the kind of guy who'll fight for Burundi and Chad, (even going so far as to trash his own city on mischievous G8 awareness orgies) but probably doesn't know that there's an old lady in difficulty living next door (perhaps his own mother).

It's definitely "Love thy neighbor," but just as long as that neighbor doesn't share ones own geographical coordinates.

For the most part, today's save-the-world types are having fun, looking cool in their Che Guevara T-shirts (venerating psychopaths instead of Saints and Madonnas), kicking up dust, getting laid, and figuring that money (and the ever-miraculous condom) will solve hugely spiritual and social (and not just material) problems.

The more their lifestyles are senseless and suicidal, the more they'll want to save/free the world.

For the New Westerner, God is only Great, but hardly ever small enough for the annoying and niggling, time-consuming issues requiring ongoing and dedicated effort (i.e. "works"). Now it's all "Save the World" - "Rescue the Planet" - "Set yourself free!" - (Right in line with Obama's latest: "This is the day we started lowering the level of the oceans.")

(Well, admittedly some problems ARE planetary, in fact, according to news reports, even Mars and Jupiter are suffering Climate change. For want of God, man has truly become the center of the universe again, and one can imagine Galileo (the proof of Catholicism's anti-scientism who is nevertheless buried in Santa Croce Church of Florence), not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Geocentrism was once the product of ignorance, now it is the result of presumption.

Like poor John Lennon, the New Westerner dreams of a ONE world based on a nihilistic "imagine-all-the-people" relinquishment of anything worthy of belief, but will not exert the necessary virtues of patience, forebearance, love, fondness, dedication to keep his own band (family, community, country) together.

An illusory love for humanity is matched by indifference towards real men, women, children (and zygotes).

Fortunately today we have surveillance cameras as our last line of conscience, (except the sin is no longer the sin of intent and commission, but of indifference and omission). Now we are treated to the Reality TV shocks of people remaining idle, like Brahmins to Calcutta outcasts, in front of traffic accident victims. Better not intervene: every task is for experts and professionals. Good samaritans are amateurs and amateurs risk lawsuits.

I guess the converse is true about the still primitive semi-Catholic countries: their love for real men, women and children, can make them forget or anyhow become sluggish in lifting their societies out of their heavily deteriorated comfortable-rut cultures.

Not that we're exactly Pashtuns... but people here are still primitive about accident victims, also because the state and its law courts don't work and all parties are liable to die of old age before any settlement, so we might as well go on being cultural Christians. And for that matter, every law court still has not just a non-multiculturalist cross, but a real nasty crucifix, a cross with an agonizing body tagged to it (and not just a "Christianoid ideal") affixed over the Magistrate's bench. It's harder both in spirit and flesh to sue good samaritans here. About as hard as getting a mult-million dollar award from a local bar that overheats its capuccinos.

Yes, we're primitive. It took Protestants to remind the Catholic Spanish that bullfighting was unnecessary cruelty to animals. Tolerance for crazy-as-Pamplona culture was so lax and lazy, that Tauromachy itself was even blamed on the Catholic Church! The Catholics, no doubt would have come around to it (I mean around to it "again," after the partial triumphs of Saints Francis and Eusebio in making homo sapiens kinder to the animal kingdom) but only far later.

And now, because of this damned sluggishness of culture, the people have finally come around to loving gorillas, but still feel uncomfortable about giving them human rights. By the time they get around to that, Holland and Sweden will have already appointed the first bonobos to their supreme courts. Always so slow, always so late, managgia la puttana!

I really do think all this hyperactive activism is very much connected to the aftermath of the Reformation, both due to the heat of righteous (God inspired) disgruntlement which spawned all the churches in the first place (and not just against the Catholic Church but even against splinters of the splinters of the splinters...

New breakaway churches naturally mean new congregations to whip up, new problems and solutions that need to be stressed, in other words, it means ACTIVISM where oftentimes there is no hugely pressing need for it. It means CONVERSION to causes and not merely the consideration and acceptance of new ideas that have within them a well-rounded rightness vis-a-vis truth, goodness and beauty.

So the altogether piddling differences of the new churches had to be magnified and God-connected. As most regular folks couldn't be bothered with the intricacies of theology, oftentimes what was put into exaggerated focus was either a theology for dummies (preferably with lots of singing, clapping and dancing, snake-handling, laying of hands, babbling in tongues, and other feel-good fun stuff for the numbed that transformed the divine not into the rightfully irrational it should be, but into the patently ridiculous) or a more readily understandable partial immersion into the realm of political and social grievance (unmoderated religion having a real talent for being about EVERYTHING and for recognizing grievous sin even where there is nothing but innocent fellowship)...

Our approach to existence is no longer catholic (small "c"), but issue-focused, with each issue blown out of proportion and connected to a one TRUE religion whose alfa and omega regard that unconnected issue and perhaps a few correlated others. Everyone else needs to be SAVED.

So we have sola scriptura (no authority) and sola fide (halleluja I'm a bum) born out of grievance towards whatever came before, meaning that the past, the continuum, stinks and that thanks to "us new folks" and our enlightened interpretations, you will be "saved" and there'll be a new time a-comin! So break away, set yourself "FREE" and join the "new" caravan of love for the dawning of a NEW age. That is no recipe for cherishing and defending ones culture, but for severing roots. Sane cultures prune their branches, our enlightenment culture prunes its roots.

We see it even here at GOV how for some, civilization started with this or that scientist or social philosopher, with this or that method of thinking (and not with the first caveman who painted the first "ideal" on the first cave wall).

And we see it when the past AGES of man are used as insults: you neanderthal! You medieval bigot! And there of course, the subtext is nihilism: compared to the next age, we too will be a worthless scrap of a history that was benighted and really doesn't matter anymore.

And then of course we have the religion of Americanism which has all of the above as ingredients, plus near-infinite space, wealth, opportunity, but all wrapped up by Peekaboo-over-the-pyramid Masonry.

There are very few Catholics who love the Church as most Americans love (and are constantly trained to love) "il sistema" America. I really do think the world is governed by paradox: the anti-religious Masons created one of the world's strongest religions. No wonder the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has the most people in jail, the biggest paranoia in time of electricity blackouts, the most children on psycho-pharmaceuticals, some of the most stringent harassment and hate speech laws, the shortest vacation periods and one of the most thorough-going cultures of conformity and massification). The only goal, for which it spares no effort is that which can be counted and measured. One sees this even in the Classical American sports in which every player comes with a plethora of mind-numbing performance statistics.

Homes are first and foremost investments, real estate. What should be small, friendly, nuanced, like cafes or pizzerias end up being alienating industrial conglomerates, depersonalized realities of massified capitalism which in many ways are even more massified and binding than their now defunct socialist equivalents, the only difference being that whereas the socialist equivalents were doomed to failure, the American equivalents are doomed to success. If Papa Johns goes under, it will be bought out by Pizza Hut, but the massified, standardized, (not just in material offerings, but even in human approah and attitude) will remain. And of course we will proudly be told that like Mussolini, "the customer is always right." The consumer is deified when in truth only his pockets are. The consumer, just like the person serving him, has no name, no time to "waste," no good or bad days, no personal flourish to display or demand. He has an operating system. The transaction is far more important than its human agents.

Mostly the southern states love their land and traditions religiously, (that is to say, irrationally and not just the system and opportunities but the good, unique poetic stuff connected to land, grub, song heartthrob/heartbreak and moonshine). Texas has more elegiac songs about Texas than Naples does about Naples. But Michigan? New Jersey? Ohio? Minnesota? It's funny how irrational culture inspires song, whereas logical systems inspire grievance.

Ideals are good and certainly better than none, but they have escaped sense and become the domain of celebrities and rock 'n' roll stars, who for reasons requiring psychologists and theologians, instead of repenting and praying for themselves get a bug to save others.

We get lessons of goodness from the likes of Madonna who empowered by the mass media went from teaching girls how to fellate Coke bottles and treat their bodies like meat sockets, to Sappho kissing, to some Kabbalah nonsense that has all the Rabbis groaning "oy-veh," and from there to adopting African kids and now divorcing.

It's mostly about feeling good, of doing whatever is wanted on an unlimited budget and then making a fetish, a new religion out of it. "Cool" is far more important than anything remotely resembling Sanctity.

Kindness and generosity are fine, but it is now increasingly done in a crazed spirit surpassing that of the once-famous rich kids on acid who'd divest their inheritance and scatter cash like tickertape upon the crowds.

The truth of the matter is that times have never been so religious (in the negative sense of the term). Conservatives and Liberals alike, with all their rules, exceptions, derogations, special tribunals, fetishes, materialistic monomanias will end up making the Koran look like Liberation Theology. And though of course there are many and noble exceptions in which real hard work is done by dedicated people whose shoes none of us would deserve to shine, a great many organizations like "Friends of the Earth" and "Greenpeace" are major industries which might garner only 10% of their funding from membership fees and the rest (whopping amounts) from Soros style, para-political foundations. Conspiracy? Well, "Saving the World" is a big business but also an immense source of political opportunity.

So when religion was kicked out the front door and came back through the window as blindfolded Lady Law, it also came with a whole gremlin gathering of Lady Law suitors. The lucky ones who manage to bed down with her, will spawn hundreds of other tiny little busybody lawlets and directives to the detriment of culture. In the United States they come from well-known institutions. In Europe we get them from nowhere (from a country whose physical capital is about to split up and whose financial capital refuses the money).

The standard format of cigarette warnings occupying 3/5ths of a pack will soon occupy a similar space on car ads for CO2 warnings. Wanna bet?

So yes, as someone objected, it's not just market in the monetary sense, but power/control broking (the two being highly incestuous). How much of the idealism is honest and how much is bogus and self-serving is anyone's guess / everybody's certainty.

So we have the doomsday religions of imminent planetary collapse, the old and ever-recycled egalitarian religions in many many forms, (gender, social, sexual preference, etc.). And the peekaboo over the pyramid Masonic religion of the enlightened, work-until-your-drop, poverty-in-riches marketplace.

God only said we all had souls and that to His eyes a beggar can be right and a King wrong. That is the only egalitarianism that makes sense. The rest is hogwash. Seeing as we tend to be such pricks and bastards, for any and all reasons extant or yet to be devised, the purpose of religion is to make all the different people and tribes of the world coexist as pleasantly as possible and not put an end to differences. "Pleasantly" means war only when and if necessary, that is, only when and if "holy". The only rule is to never despair... and as far as freedom is concerned, freedom exists, but since man is a fallen creature, even freedom needs to be freed.

Where does THAT restraint come from in a world in which all mythologies are the same? From nowhere, meaning from those with the guns, money, and lawyers. The Euro constitution has the Enlightenment as its foundation, that is to say, the Grand De-rooter Extaordinaire. In the name of freedom "Love the neighbor" is the same as "hop out and terrorize" - "forgive" the same as "revenge" - "free will" the same as "Insciallah". The peekaboo-over-the-pyramid folks are building nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and cheering for Turkey's entrance into the EU - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom.

It used to be you could put your money on the Peekaboo over the Pyramid Folks (after all they did such a good and successful job of co-opting shattered Christianity), but like the dollar, even they are falling apart.