The Democratic Mirage, Part I

IT IS A PRINCIPLE as well known as it is rarely plumbed, that what stands nearest to us is for that reason hardest to perceive with clarity and perspective. It appears to our eyes large, too large to comprehend the whole form of it, and too real and immediate to conceive of its true temporality and transience. And so we rest complacent with our awareness of but bits and pieces of it, here and there. In some cases—as that which we will here consider—it does not even suffice to say that “one does not see the forest for the trees,” for in a very real and pertinent sense, one does not know of the existence of the forest at all. But it is equally true that without the whole, without the form, one sees everywhere and always only—skin.
      Speaking practically, in our day nothing in all of the West stands nearly so “near” to us as democracy. Leaving aside those who lived beneath the last (and mildest) manifestations of Soviet Communism, no one today in the West has ever known anything but; democracy is to all practical purposes the only alternative, the unique political form, the sole morally acceptable society, of which we are aware. The alternatives to democracy—are simply not alternatives; and those who aim for them are surely either in some fundamental way ill of mind or spirit. It is understood—it is never so much as called into question—that democracy is the best possible kind of government, either in the sense of being the ideal form of human society, desirable in itself, or else in the sense of being the practically best form. By this latter understanding, which one might call the pragmatic argument in favor of democracy, no form of government can be taken as ideal, insofar as all are flawed and more or less susceptible to corruption, but democracy is the “least of all evils,” the lesser devil of the human political pandemonium. Or, as Churchill so famously put it, “democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms which have been tried from time to time.”
      But be one’s stance what it may, no matter what one’s reasons might be for defending democracy, it is taken for granted that one ought to defend it; to wish for or to strive for any other kind of government today, is to indulge in a species of heresy. All licit critiques of the present system amount to suggestions for its perfection, never for its substitution.
      It is to be presumed then that we are all of us more or less informed as to the principles of this most desirable system—else we should not know its points of superiority over all other possible regimes. Such understanding can come only from a profound and comprehensive analysis of democracy as a system, together with a thorough comparative analysis of democracy with respect to the other possible forms of government. It is most suggestive that such analysis can be most surely found in antiquity in the classic philosophers—the same philosophers who to a one rejected democracy as one of if not the worst of all possible regimes. Some centuries ago it was still possible to find competent critics of contemporary democracy, as Alexis de Tocqueville and Joseph de Maistre. In contemporary times, meanwhile, one looks in vain for such a study. There is no doubt that there have been, in late years, dedicated analyses of democratic forms, but they have almost none of them been really super partes in the fundamental sense; they almost always take as their point of departure the presumed desirability of one democratic regime or another. They depart on a note of advocacy and triumphalism, and this presupposition vectors all their subsequent investigations. One can to some extent exclude the anarchists and the communists from this critique—though it would remain to be seen to what extent they are something other than the mere extremification of democratic principle. There have also been as of late competent works from the point of view of the Right which have better taken democracy to task, and even sought to reevaluate certain “outdated” historical forms. One thinks for instance of Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World, and in a more qualified way the work of Alain de Benoist. The present work, it is needless to say, is to be located squarely in that latter tradition; it is anything but an apologia on behalf of democracy. It proposes on the contrary a radical thesis: democracy does not exist.
      This of course appears on the face of it absurd, insofar as we speak daily of “our democracy” and in countless ways reference it, even in commonplace events like “voting” or “watching the news” or “protesting,” etc. Let us then be more specific. It is surely true that a system of government exists and has existed which goes by the name “democracy,” and which arises in its own distinctive forms and qualities. Yet upon careful review, it appears that one of the most distinctive of those qualities, from an objective standpoint, is the enormous distance really standing between the beliefs of its citizens as to its modes of rule and its mechanisms of power, and its true modes of rule and mechanisms of power. Democracy is not at all what it is taken to be by most of those who live beneath its sway. It does indeed “exist”—but it does not exist at all as it is thought to exist. Everything which is commonly believed about it is contradicted by its reality, and is thus revealed either as a lie or a delusion. To that extent, democracy is nothing better than a figment.
      Only as we see the truth of our situation, can we possibly hope to withstand the pressure of coming times.
      Let us begin then with the conventional understanding. Democracy in this or any time must be taken to mean the rule of the many, be this many understood as a unified people or an atomized mass. In our own day this basic conception of democracy is elaborated with other conceptions of laws or institutions, but it is clear that the political kernel at the bottom of all democracies everywhere is and must be some concept of more or less limited popular will. There can be legitimate or illegitimate restraints on this will; all legitimate restraints are such as preserve or purify it in order to benefit “the people”; all illegitimate such as curb or frustrate it in order to benefit some ulterior power.
      It would be well for us to pause here, for we have already made a statement which ought make us wonder. For what is the nature of these legitimate limits on the popular will? An example of this would be, for instance, the constitution of a nation that established the fundamental law of the land, which no determination of the people, no matter how unanimous, should be permitted to overthrow. The justification of such a system from a democratic point of view is certainly that a structure of over-arching law is necessary for the right functioning of democratic institutions—and few democrats, no matter how thoroughgoing they might be, would dispute this. Yet this is tantamount to admitting a fundamental defect of democracy qua democracy, so endemic to it that it makes the pure realization of democracy equivalent to the clear endangerment of the same. This is indeed so fundamental a problem that democracy evidently cannot be permitted to exist as democracy, but must be tempered by so many non-democratic means. And this should already make us wonder—is democracy really so desirable as it is made out to be?
      Indeed, this is really the force of what might be called the classic Enlightenment form of government, which—if its prime theoreticians, practitioners, and founders are to be given credence—was never supposed to be democracy, but rather republic, meaning that system by which the basic flaw of democracy (its tendency to dissolve through the factional use or misuse of the popular will) should be tempered, constrained, and controlled through institutional obstructions to the unrestricted will of the demos. That is to say—to the degree to which republican government presently rules our societies, democracy does not.
      Well might it be responded here that we are in truth living under “indirect” or “constitutional” democracies, which are nothing other than the institutional perfection of democracy. Indeed, to prove the basic democratic justice of such institutions, one might even bring forth that fantastic tall-tale known as the “social compact,” which is nothing other than a complicated sophistication on every natural origin of human society—a theory invented toward the tendentious end of justifying an Enlightenment scheme of government, when that scheme was still tender in its revolutionary infancy. But even supposing that this “social compact” is something other than an inebriated liberal illusion, it can do nothing to belie the basic problem: democracy is supposed to be perfected by means of “indirect” democracy, which represents nothing but a limitation of the basic democratic principle. Against all of this one must surely respond that the “institutional perfection” of any given system surely cannot come through contradiction of that system’s defining principles—that one treats here, not of perfecting democracy, so much as domesticating it. And as any beast tamer will tell, the domestication of wild animals always means also their denaturaing.
      But let that be as it may. Let us for the moment accept the premise here proffered by the defender of democracy and proceed whither it might lead us.
      There are two essential pieces which must be analyzed in any study of representative government: the popular will, which is the basis of its legitimacy, and the representatives of that will, which are the agents of its realization. Both of these powers are constrained within the boundaries premised by the law, which exists (as is generally claimed and as we are presently allowing) toward the perfection of the democratic principle.
      With this in mind, we shall commence our investigation with an analysis of the representatives of indirect democracy.

• • •

Charlottesville and the Right

A DEGREE OF SERIOUS SELF-REFLECTION on the part of the Right is called for in the wake of the Charlottesville debacle—word which I use advisedly. To my mind, this event has displayed, with undeniable urgency, the lack of self-clarity on the part of the Right at least in the United States, but perhaps also abroad, its striking dearth of awareness of itself, its right purposes, its position in this contemporary world, as well as a dispersion of will and an incapacity for disciplined unity which might be acceptable in any movement of the “diverse” left, but which in the Right we must regard as intolerable symptom of a deeper ailment.
      We begin, as it were, with the aesthetic side of the matter, which will already betray much about the problem as such. We look at these photographs of the event, and we ask ourselves—what, finally, are all these people doing together? Neo-Nazis flaunting the symbols of a bygone era; young, well-dressed men of the “Alt-Right”; survivalist types wearing camouflage and touting improbable arms—what brought all these men together, finally? (Apart, of course, from the statue of a long-dead general.) “Unite the Right,” and very well. But—what is the Right?
      Put simply, what do these men all have in common with one another, to say nothing of with a common conservative? In the case at hand, it would seem that what they have in common is precisely the will to conserve. But that is evasion of the fundamental problem. An American conservative, for example, wishes to conserve the American way of life, which means politically, the Constitution—precisely that which a thoroughgoing Fascist seeks to repudiate. It is evident then that there can be no “uniting” of such men; they disagree with each other on the fundamentals.
      What really “united” all these varied figures, then, was not at all “conservation,” but rather opposition—opposition to the way things stand, opposition to the attempt to eliminate the visible monuments of our past, opposition to the leftward tendencies inherent in modern politics. And that is well and good, save that opposition, in and of itself, can neither conquer nor certainly prepare for what follows conquest. One wants an affirmative basis, a positive point of reference, a “toward which” and not merely an “away from which.” That can come only from a clear idea of the essence of the “Right.”
      Then, to ask it again—what is the Right?
      Here is what it is not, not in our day and time: it is not—conservation. There is nothing left to conserve today. The Right cannot do other than reject the historical course by which we have been brought to our contemporary extremities. Because it alone of contemporary worldviews is consistent in its rejection, it cannot do other than reject Enlightenment principles to their roots, as containing within themselves mold-like the seeds of decay. The Right is a critique of modernity, and with it, all modern forms and tendencies.
      That leads us to our next point. What were all these “right wingers” doing, moiling about this Charlottesville park in the first place? Why, protecting a statue, protecting history, protecting the vestiges of what was in many ways a nobler past. And well enough. But—how? Why, democratically, through protest. Ah! That is quaint! The anti-Enlightenment playing at democratic agitation! No doubt no surer way can be found for attaining its ends.
      “Well? It’s worked for the communists, hasn’t it? And the feminist movement, the gay rights movement, the civil rights movement—you name it!”
      Surely. But better to ask ourselves—where were all those movements tending? Modernity is nothing but a river; it goes ever down. And all these movements, which without doubt have had their successes in the public arena—do you know what they all had in common? They were all of them marching downhill in advance of the flood. But that is precisely the opposite direction of that which we would take.
      The Right cannot win “democratically” if it is fundamentally undemocratic; and if it is “democratic,” then it is nothing at all.
      “Well—but what does it hurt us to try?”
      I hope that a few pointed questions shall be quite sufficient to exorcise us of these false and misguiding hopes. In the first place: do we really trust the press to give us a fair hearing in the wake of this or that “protest” of the Right? And do we really trust the government, or the police which it commands, to protect us, rather than, say, to set us up for any number of accidents which can be used as the pretext for actions against us? But of course, the answer to both these questions must be a resounding no. Then whatever were we hoping to accomplish? And how is it possible that we can stand so stunned in the wake of events, looking back on what has happened as if it were utterly unexpected? And now there is talk that it was all a set up, and that perhaps even the car incident was a “false flag.” We do not necessarily believe all such suggestions, but what is important is how eminently believable they really are. Such things have happened; what else was Ruby Ridge, or Waco? And if the powers that be are inclined to besmirch us in such a way, and to seek out excuses for our undermining, why ever give them the chance?
      Of course, the deed is done, and there is no going back. We can at present only do precisely what the left would do in such a moment, and what it is always doing: seek to profit from events, whatever their character might be. That requires however a degree of perspicacity, and I am troubled by the signs of its lack. There has even been talk that nothing better could have happened for the Right than a Charlottesville, precisely for the fact that the fallout from it will alert the world to how unjustly we are treated. I invite these commentators to peruse the headlines of any major news organization they please (Fox not excluded) to see what has most recently been said about Charlottesville. We hear talk of a “collapse of the narrative,” but I have yet to see any justification for such an idea, and shall be most curious to hear what will be said about it after President Trump’s latest dithering.
      So far as the public is concerned—and here I mean of course the majority, still nursefeeding on the sopped bread and honey-laced venom of our national press—the Right now has blood on its collective hands. And this is not even surprising to anyone who gets his worldview from CNN and MSNBC, for they “know” that the “right is violent,” while the “left is peaceful”—quite against the abundant evidence to contrary, which that same press diligently suppresses and inverts at every turn. We have thus been wily enough to organize an event which could do nothing but confirm the public judgement of us. There is nothing marvelous in this fact. What is marvelous is that any of us can now stand amazed, muttering numbly that “we have been played.”
      Indeed we have, and that is a game which we will never win if we do not learn to be clever enough to break its rules. For it is a game made for our losing. Gather together unknown men who may be unstable or who may be in the pay or influence of our opponents; hurl them against their enemies, who by their own proclamation have not the least qualms about instigating violence; oversee the entire affair by a government hostile to everything we stand for which has no scruples about setting us up; filter the outcome through the mainstream media, not one piece of which is in our hands, and not one figure of which would be disappointed to see us crushed—do all of this, I say, and I can guarantee the outcome every time. Anyone who expects anything else should really ask themselves how and why.
      Which leads us finally to the one thing that will surely be remembered about this event: namely, the “car attack” by James Alex Fields, Jr. I lay aside the question of what really caused Fields’ act, if it were a moment of rage or panic or what have you. That question is utterly extraneous to the matter at hand. The question is—how could the Right have permitted any public event which could so easily lead to such an end as this? How could we set ourselves up in such a manner? It has been protested that no one on our side even knows who this James Alex Fields is—precisely! Far too little was known about this event, from start to finish. We still know far too little about it. And that is no one’s fault but our own.
      The Right is commonly associated with military discipline—would this were more than mere rumor! But we, who are at least far from wishing ourselves otherwise, should really ask ourselves as to the nature of this putative connection. What is it about the Right that lends it to ideas of martial virtue and discipline? It is clear it can be nothing other than the fact that the Right rejects the idea of human equality; the Right acknowledges the differences standing between man and man, and would build a society which reflects those differences.
      Then let us finally ask ourselves what “democratic protest” has to do with such a notion, and how we can possibly hope to attain such an end as we have set for ourselves by ignoring its very principles. We must begin comporting ourselves by the standards we have set, else we shall never manage to “get out of Charlottesville.”

• • •

The Dead or the Dying

A FEW WORDS are certainly in order on the recent events surrounding the confederate monuments around the United States. I leave aside the complicated question of Charlottesville for the moment, save to mention that I stand with those who stood against the statue’s removal, as well as with those who have since been attacked through a kind of insufferable unofficial censorship, over which our freedom-loving press deigns not to state the first objection. “Unite the Right” seems to me an act of folly on the part of the Right, an ill-considered and ill-organized bit of shrill fanfair to an unpopular cause, and its outcome was so predictable one marvels at the surprise that has been expressed over it. Nonetheless, whatever there was of honor and dignity and high vision in that entire squalid affair, lay on the side of the Right.
      But again—all that aside. I would spare a few words instead on the broader phenomenon now sweeping the country, in the form of demands for the removal of monuments and names associated in any way with slavery or the Confederacy, resulting in many cases of extortionary defacement and vandalism of numerous statues and pieces of art. There is little hope by now of attempting to argue these people out of their crazed moralism; all attempts to do so will only entrench them the further into their self-righteousness. I leave the mad to their madness—but I would speak to those who are conflicted on this issue, for I do believe a little clarity can come of thinking the matter through in calm.
      In the first place—what shall come of attempting to suppress those aspects of a nation’s past that do not placate the present moral climate? If we really begin down this road, where can we possibly stop? Need I remind anyone that slavery, for instance, did not begin with America? That practically every major figure in Western history, prior to the past hundred years, in some way or another might be implicated with social practices which to our eyes are reprehensible and shocking? Take but the Romans, the Greeks! Shall we blot out all reference to Caesar, to Alexander, from our public places, and loathe the images of Pericles and Cicero? Shall we rename Ithaca in New York, or Houston in Texas (Sam Houston was, after all, a slave owner) to better accord with our sense of humanity? And if it comes to that—what of Washington D.C. and Washington state? Aristotle himself defends slavery in his political work; what shall we do with that old ruffian, if not excise him from our studies altogether?
      All of this is thought to lie beyond the question at hand, but it very much does not. In the first place, the principle is the same: if we begin to expunge every reference to slave-owners from our society, that list will not soon come to an end, and if we are thorough with our work, we shall soon find that there is no surer way of impoverishing the present, than demonizing the past. Anyone who believes that this business will conclude with a few Confederate Generals, anyone who really thinks that these demands are the final ones, and that after the removal of a few old statues the “social justice warriors” will pack up their rage and go on home, is badly mistaken. The work of rectifying a nation’s past is not soon over; indeed, we are seeing it just begin. Anyone who doubts this should note the recent attempts in the Italian government to pass a law which would give authorities the power to fine or imprison any Italian citizen found in possession of fascist paraphernelia—even should these be antiques from the war or historical objects or portraits of fascist figures. Even the Roman salute was to be banned. The taste for censorship, once acquired, does not easily depart.
      It is argued that these statues represent men who fought for slavery, and that this should not be countenanced, even as Germany would not permit statues of Hitler nor Italy Mussolini. Laying aside all other questions of the not negligable historical differences between Nazism, Fascism, and Confederacy, still we may object to this on numerous grounds. In the first place, reducing the Confederate cause to mere apologia for slavery is an act of historical reductionism that only a mind sick with “moralysis” could possible invent—moralysis meaning that peculiar modern disease common to us Westerners, which blocks the arteries of our hearts with thick-flowing “good intentions,” and the workings of our mind with guilt and shame. The question of North versus South went far beyond the question of slavery, though slavery was surely an integral part of it. General Lee was not an effigy of the plantation owners, and he fought for his people, not for his slaves. That people never ceased to exist: they were defeated in the war, but they were not obliterated. The very Southerns alive today are the foresons of those men, and it is not absurd for them to celebrate the great figures who fought, suffered, and died for their glory in a past day—even as it is not absurd for the Native Americans to celebrate their great chieftains, though these chieftains were conquered or slain by the Americans.
      There is also this. Our country, whether the fact pleases the liberals of today or not, was born a slave-holding country. It is neither the first country nor the last to be so; and that fact cannot be erased. If we begin sorting through the past in the hunt for slave owners, we will have to come up against the fact sooner or later that the very men who framed our Constitution were slave owners; that that Constitution itself, if in a shy way, countenanced the fact; that our government at its very conception was tied to the idea of slavery. It has since worked slavery out of its system, as it were; but if one begins now to look suspiciously into the origins of the country with the will to eradicate everything in it which does not stand right with us today, sooner or later the foundation of the country itself will come under scrutiny. Those who attack Confederate monuments today, will attack the very form of American government tomorrow.
      “Well enough—they should have their democratic say, should they not?” But at this point there is little I can do save hold my tongue about two or three things.
      I will close, then, with a simple question regarding the motives of these brave protesters against a long-since defeated Confederacy. Let us assume that they are sincere; many of them surely are. Yet what are they doing moiling about the statues of men who have not been in this world for better than a century, when the country they would like to purge of its sins is embroiled in several foreign wars? Why do you think the press occupies itself so contentedly with these matters, while ignoring altogether the bad work of American agents abroad? What do these protestors know or care about the suffering now occurring in Syria and Afghanistan (this last is the longest war of American history)—not to speak of Yemen, which is almost never even so much as mentioned by the mainstream press? And does not their manifest indifference to this question render their rectitude, if not their sincerity, somewhat questionable?
      Does it not betray everything that they occupy themselves with the dead, and not the dying?

• • •

Peoples and Fatherlands

READING NIETZSCHE, one cannot avoid the impression that no philosopher prior, and but few since, has ever perceived at once so clearly and so deeply the European problem. That problem might be summarized briefly and superficially thus: Europe is simultaneously unity and multitude. There is a “European spirit” as there is not, for instance, an African, an Asian, a pan-American spirit: and hence there is a singular Europe. But at the same time Europe is composed of numerous and often conflicting languages, numerous “cultures” or ethoi, deriving from numerous historical, genealogical, linguistic roots. The Europeans are one people with many fatherlands; or put otherwise, the Europeans are becoming a people with a single fatherland, process which is endangered by the continual menace of a relapse into petty and divisive nationalism. In its unity, Europe may attain to a promise it could never dream in its fragmentation: but its unity seems to come at the price of its “diversity,” its excellent richness of customs and ways. Nietzsche addresses this problem nowhere so thoroughly as in Book VIII of Beyond Good and Evil. Indeed, in this book he proposes a solution to the problem of Europe. But the problem has changed fundamentally since Nietzsche’s descent into madness, and decisively since World War II. We must seek then to give a brief exposition of Nietzsche’s view, and of the changes in light of which that view must be reconsidered in whole or in part.
      The very title of Book VIII, “Peoples and Fatherlands,” gives us a sense of Nietzsche’s point of departure: he is concerned with the ethnoi of Europe and with the nations which gave birth to them, or to which they gave birth. Book VIII begins and ends with Wagner. Nietzsche writes in a musical way about his subject; his is a pan-European literature informed by Europe’s rich musical tradition—precisely the opposite influence of that which he ascribes to Europe’s latest musicians, who are “steeped in world literature” (256). “Peoples and Fatherlands” is divided into seventeen sections, with the central section (248) dedicated to the question of the “masculine and feminine” in peoples. This returns us at once to the key word fatherlands (Vaterländer): Nietzsche is concerned above all with the masculine peoples of his Europe, foremost among them Germany. But Book VIII can also be broken into three distinct parts, divided by the book’s two shortest sections (243 and 249), thus revealing a second or true center, located in the question of writing (246). The first part (240-242) treats of the European present, the “today” in Europe; the central part (244-248) treats of Germany; and the last and largest part (250-256) treats of Europe as a whole. In this last part, two sections are dedicated to the Jewish question, two to the English, one to France, and two to the relation of Germany and France, the key to the European question in Nietzsche’s day: crude, manifold, masculine Germany and super-refined, limpid, feminine France, through their marriage, might give birth to a united Europe, the “good European” being at once the match-maker and the offspring of that matrimony. Their geographical proximity renders this cultural problem into a question also of interbreeding. Nietzsche does not want to see Europe divide sharply into her constituent “identities”; though “Peoples and Fatherlands” begins on a note of nationalism, it closes with the overcoming of the same. In section 251 he indicates the reason for his opposition to nationalism: the nation in Europe “is really rather a res facta than a res nata,” a thing made rather than a thing born. It, like Europe itself, is “not yet a race,” indicating at once that the centrality of race for Nietzsche, and that races can be made. To attempt then a merely national race would be to squander opportunity. This is prelude to the idea of “Occidental Man.”
      In Nietzsche’s review of the peoples of Europe, only France receives unambiguous praise—meaning the true France, the “France of taste” beneath the “noisy twaddle of the democratic bourgeois” (254). The qualities which Nietzsche ascribes to it would be lost in the “Germanization” of Europe. Nietzsche thought the French would probably fail in their resistance to Germanic influences: they had “the good will to resist and spiritual Germanization—and a still better [noch besseres] incapacity to succeed!” (Italics mine). But this “still better” suggests that their acquiescence to Germany would not be altogether for ill: “for the spiritual flattening of a people, there is a compensation, namely, the deepening of another people” (241). The better qualities of France might be transmitted to Germany; Germany might have a “feminine” aspect. The three French qualities in which the French could still take pride—and in consequence the three qualities Nietzsche might have wished upon the Germans—were her art, her “morals,” and her pan-European quality. France had a “dedication to form,” as contrasted with the tastelessness and formlessness of the German soul. The Germans “elude definition, and would on that account alone be the despair of the French” (244). This was also their strength; but that is a strength which needs molding by the plasticizing powers of the human soul. The “moralistic culture” of the French refers to the psychology of the French, their ability to “unriddle the soul,” which power the Germans lacked, but which together with German complexity might have become a quality of enormous potential. Finally, the French, for their geographical position, mark a halfway point between North and South, and are thus the natural precursors and curators of “good Europeanism.” This is revealed most viscerally in the music of Bizet, “who discovered a piece of the south of music.” There is in Wagner’s Meistersinger, by contrast, “no beauty, no south, nothing of southern and subtle brightness of sky” (240). In the last section of Book VIII, Nietzsche praises Wagner for going to Paris, and condemns him for returning to Rome. The South is equivocal; it means at once the “brightness of the Mediterranean sky” and “the way to Rome,” i.e., to Catholicism and Christianity. The Germans can access the true South, the bright South, through France alone—the English cannot access it at all (254).
      Nietzsche’s overriding concern is always united Europe—surely not the “European Union” which we presently suffer (and which is as little a union as it is European), but the Europe of the “good Europeans.” This last formulation is used three times by Nietzsche, twice in quotation marks. Only the central use of the word is unambiguous or unironic—that in which Nietzsche expresses his hope that the good Europeans will “follow the sun’s example” and move into the “constellation of Hercules” (243). The good European unqualified, even as the German himself (240), is a creature of tomorrow, not today; he is the potential result of the present experiment in uniting Europe. He will, with luck, be more Herculean, stronger; he will be the “one stronger” who “will become master over the strong” (240). Nietzsche hoped for his issuance in particular from Germany, from the Gallicization of the German nature. Germany’s centrality for Nietzsche rested on three points. First, the German soul’s questionable “profundity”—which meant for Nietzsche its variety and variegation, the diversity of its origins, the complexity of its pieces and parts. The Germans were a “people of the middle in every sense” (244) which aligned them strikingly with the third virtue of the French; and they were manifold and formless, quality related to their pan-European music (245). Second, the masculinity of the German spirit was of interest to Nietzsche—the genius “which above all begets and wants to beget” (248). This married it to the feminine France; the two were to unite, though it was uncertain if they would do so happily (248). Finally, the barbarism of the German was of worth. “We Germans are still close to barbarism than are the French”—and it is clear Nietzsche does not speak here in simple and moralistic condemnation. For Europe requires, as ever has been her birthright and her special historical privilege, a new barbarism from within to bring her back from the effete mediocrity in which she wallows. But all of these hopes, this futurity of the Germans, were squandered in World War II and the fall of the Nazis. The war and its fallout have changed us, changed Europe, and made Nietzsche’s Germany of tomorrow impossible.
      Germany can no longer lead the future of Europe, for Germany has been corrupted by shame at the sight of those of its traits which in Nietzsche’s eyes gave it promise. It has been rendered simple, machine-like, democratic; it is “pan-European” in the worst sense of embodying those purely negative qualities common to today’s “European”; nor would it ever countenance that which is or has been barbaric in it. Nietzsche said that the Germans are “frightening to themselves” (244)—today their shame has rendered that fear absolute. Germany has been denatured and neutered—state which she might overcome with time. But time is precisely what we do not presently have. For the single great social consequence of the Second World War—that consequence which almost more than any other has altered the face of Europe and indeed of the Occident, though almost everyone outside the New Right is blind to it—is the complete mutation of the Jewish question.
      Nietzsche was throughout his life acutely aware of the Jewish question. In the present work he offers some of his most incisive commentary on it. The two sections dedicated to the Jews (250 and 251) introduce his reflections on “supra-Germanic” Europe. This indicates the extreme importance of the Jews for Nietzsche. It is indeed striking that Nietzsche should grant two entire sections of “Peoples and Fatherlands” to a people without a fatherland, while he dedicates only a single section exclusively to France. Europe, Nietzsche tells us, owes to the Jews “one thing that is both of the best and the worst”: the “grand style in morality” (250); strikingly, it is the artists who are most grateful for this, they who are masters of fiction and picturing. Intriguingly, he seems to trace the moral grand style to the Jews’ contempt of nature, including human nature (The Gay Science, 135 and 136). The Jews introduced style to Europe principally through Christianity, the vehicle of the “slave revolt in morality” (195), the great revaluation of values effected by ressentiment against the ruling classes. Nietzsche makes it clear elsewhere that this revolt deepened the human, the European, soul (see On the Genealogy of Morals, first two essays, esp. First Essay, Section 6). But it comes as well with its perils: it has brought pity to the heart and risks being harbinger of the Last Man. Therewith has come an incredible potential to Europe: “The fight against the Christian-ecclesiastic pressure of millennia… has created in Europe a magnificent tension of the spirit the like of which has never yet existed on Earth”—a tension which the good Europeans feel” (Preface. N.B., good Europeans here without quotation marks). But none of this addresses the real Jewish question: what to do with this people without a fatherland? Of the four possibilities open to such a people—haughty segregation from their host peoples, rule over their host peoples, assimilation into their host peoples, or emigration to a newly formed fatherland—Nietzsche claimed the Jews of his day wished primarily to assimilate. Nietzsche believed—writing in 1886, when it was still possible to believe such a thing—that the Jews were “not working and planning for [mastery over Europe]” (251, Italics Nietzsche’s). The foremost threat to assimilation, Nietzsche believed, was precisely anti-Semitism, and in a clear instance of what he meant by his notion of “breeding,” he wonders what might issue from the mixing of the “hereditary art of commanding and obeying” of the German nobility with the “genius of money and patience,” and the spirituality, of the Jew. It is in this context, indeed, that Nietzsche speaks for the first time of the “European problem.” As much as Nietzsche opposed the mere nationalism of his day (and with it surely also certain manifestations of “identitarianism” in our own), he opposed still more the indiscriminate mixing of races. He willed the conscious creation of the “good European,” and he is clear that the bid for mastery of the Jews would complicate if not obviate this. But, not to speak of any prior changes in Europe, the Holocaust has of course brought precisely that end: it has been a stringent spur to the Jews to regroup and retrench, and a potent weapon for them to employ toward the cowing and overmastering of West. Today, the Jew wants to rule in the West; today, one can almost say, he already does rule.
      Nietzsche was no stranger to this possibility (see Dawn, 205). He tended to see in it even great promise, for he was acutely aware of the qualities of the Jews. But in all cases in which he speaks with optimism of such an event, he presupposes always a conscious mixing of the Jewish with the European—a willful submersion, a painstaking assimilation of the one into the other—either toward the spiritualization of the latter or the ennobling of the former. What he did not foresee is that the Jewish influence might come via America—that greenest, least spiritual, and above all vulgarest and most ignoble of all the Western fatherlands. The specific form of Jewish rule thus has been exceptionally demeaning. It has accompanied the decimation of the old European aristocracies via the War, and the subsequent democratization of Europe, with the attendant success of capitalism—which could not do other than accent the Jewish “genius for money” to the detriment of the superior spirituality or “moralism” of Judaism. It is characterized by the radical reorientation of the rapport between Europeans and Jews: the shame and obsequiousness of the one group, and the invincible mistrust and concealed will to power of the other. We who are confronted with this reality must battle it—particularly as it becomes increasingly clear that the present “ruling class” has every intention of eliminating the peoples of the West, of eliminating us, by means of indiscriminate breeding with non-European peoples, whether as a form of revenge or precaution or greed, it is sometimes impossible to say. Far from representing the cultivation or emergence of a new European ruling class, this can represent only the absolute obliteration of its possibility. We have become almost totally powerless to stem the flood of non-Western peoples into Europe and America which has been prepared. A new project is urgently in order.
      The healthy man atimes knows not the nature of health—until he falls prey to illness. In disease, in degeneration, the true standards might become clear in a way they could not when they were merely presupposed; and in the present malady, perhaps even moribundity, of the West, we must relearn, or learn for the first time, our Occidental virtue, for the benefit of a future Occidental Man.
      We cannot look for rebirth solely to the Germans nor to the French, the classic heart of Europe, for the simple reason that these two countries more than any others have been compromised by the taint of the Holocaust. Try as we might to reclaim the World War II “narrative,” the shame is too deeply inscribed in the hearts of those peoples. They have learned with absolute obedience to equate democracy, liberalism, egalitarianism with the the loveable, the desirable, the good, and Nazism, aristocracy, elitism, racialism with the hateable, the bad, that which should be avoided and medicated against like the plague itself. They suffer from profound moral paralysis. Those individuals who escape the pressure will be the rare few; as peoples the French and the Germans cannot be expected to lead. And this to speak only of the “moral,” not the psychological and generational damage done by the war. Something can be hoped from certain “fringe nations” of Europe—as Hungary well demonstrates—and also from Italy, whose vital spiritual resilience, whose furbizia, whose realism in politicis et artibus and keenness of cynical and proud intellect renders her resistant to gross moralistic kant and to vergogna of the deeper or stupider kind. These countries might indeed become avenues for the rise of a new Europeanism or an Occidental ideal. But the scope of their action will be somewhat limited for a number of reasons, not least of all for the linguistic. For a sufficiently wide front it seems to me we must look instead to that source which Nietzsche for excellent reasons most scorned—namely, the Anglo-Saxon countries. The English and the Americans in particular represent the first shadows of a pan-European type. They are themselves, and ever more, the results of a wide admixing of the Europeans; they are a first attempt, blind, haphazard, unconscious, aimless, even misled, even deceived, to produce “Occidental Man.” More, they were the enemies of the Nazis and the Fascists in the War, which might given them, if only they knew to manipulate it a little, a degree of immunization from the moralistic bludgeon of the Holocaust. That they have so far revealed no such immunity is due to a variety of factors, not least of all the originating role they played in the Enlightenment, but also to this: that, being the victors of a long and terrible battle, these peoples tend to demonize their enemies even in retrospect. The English, who suffered the war on their very shores, are more susceptible to this difficulty. The Americans are somewhat shielded, as ever, by the armor of distance. One can barely hope for any kind of political movement from these nations in a more favorable direction—so far as politics goes, it would be well to turn to the fatherlands hereabove noted—but it seems to me one must for the time being place the political question on an altogether secondary plane. We must do what we may in politics, even while realizing that the prime field of our labor is for the nonce another: what is of the essence is rather the shaping of our peoples as peoples amidst the rubble which daily accumulates around them.
      Nietzsche’s critique of the English applies even more acutely to the Americans, who are in large part but the extension and extremification of the English character and English ethos. Nietzsche says of the English that they are “gloomier, more sensual, stronger in will, and more brutal than the Germans” (252). That is to say—they are more barbaric than the Germans. But the barbarism of the Germans is indicated by Nietzsche to be a quality in their favor, toward the reclamation of European vitality. It is therefore not wrongheaded to hope that this barbarism precisely might favor a liberation from the present moralistic labyrinth into which we have been plummeted—not by subtly seeking the route of escape, which is often beyond the power of those who would attempt it, but rather by bursting asunder the very walls. But this is of value only as it is supplemented: for the English suffer definite shortcomings which are particularly un-European. Nietzsche indicates two of the greatest: they are unphilosophical, and they are unmusical. They lack “power of spirituality, real profundity of spiritual perception.” This pushes them, by Nietzsche’s diagnosis, into the arms of a crude Christianity.
      Nietzsche is speaking here surely not only of the masses, but also of the best souls to come of the English fatherland. Nor is he necessarily speaking of Christianity as a doctrinal credo: there is little enough “true faith” in Locke, Hobbes, Smith, or Hume. Theirs is rather a tendency toward the Christian morality—“Rome’s faith without the word (Rom’s Glaube ohne Worte)” (256). The root cause of this is a lack of profundity. Now, the English are indisputably a people of letters. Their great and special art has always been literature in its various forms, compared to which their few masters in the other arts (as Lord Leighton in painting and Purcell in music) appear few and far between. This cultural peculiarity is connected more to the language or the ethos than it is to the land, as is indicated by the fact some of the deepest writers in English in the past few hundred years have been primarily Irish and American. So far as the last group goes, one is obliged to mention Melville, Thoreau, Henry James, Faulkner, Wallace Stevens, names whose Christian and Christianizing tendency is dubious at best, save ambiguously in the case of Faulkner. America has produced its great men despite itself, has almost exclusively scorned and misunderstood them, and often forced them into exile—abroad or at home. Nothing is so depressing for an American as reading the biographies of America’s greatest sons. But these Americans have shown the way despite all that stood against them: they have shown above all that a new kind of writing could arise precisely from the ground of the English tongue, which is rich and deep for the multiplicity of its origins. English is steeped in all the many destinies of Europe. English has become the lingua franca of the West by right, not by accident. It is the greatest task of those who write in this language today to work toward the acquisition of, perhaps even the creation of, the mastery of a grand style, deep as it is high, modeled perchance on the Greeks more than on the Latins, but in any case taking as its aim a new pan-European style. Santayana, that truly Spanish-American, and the anglicized Pole Joseph Conrad also give some indications of what this might mean. The problem is of no mean importance—as Nietzsche indicates by pointing to the centrality of language and literature in the core, and also final, sections of his book.
      So far as the Anglo-Saxon’s musical talents go—I confess, here the prospects grow grimmer yet. England has never been much blessed by the graces of music, America still less (fact reducible perhaps to the brutality of the American tongue), and both have on their conscience the aural plague, the vulgar sentimentality, the spiritual and aesthetic ugliness of “pop music.” Nonetheless, it speaks favorably of the English that they produced two of the great 20th century composers capable of resisting the abstract, disembodied, bloodless “music” of Schoenberg’s school—I mean Elgar and Britten. Hardly can we hope here for a “supra-European music” of the kind that Nietzsche dreams in 255—fully half of Elgar’s “In the South,” for instance, is every bit as much a misunderstanding as Schumman’s Manfred—but that to my mind reflects the wretched, the possibly irredeemable state of music today, which is due as much to our general cultural decadence. It may well be that Nietzsche’s diagnosis in The Case of Wagner is unhappily correct: as he puts it in the Second Postscript, “From the rule that corruption is on top, that corruption is fatalistic, no god can save music,” which he indicates is due to the rigorous physiological basis of music as an art. The “new music,” this contemporary hodgepodge, this muddy medley, this bog-like, colorless contemporary cacophony which appears to be the prime heir of our peerless classic tradition, is divorced utterly from the body. One can do anything with such music except dance to it. Even before Schoenberg, modern music called this its “liberation.” It is thus clear that before the redemption of music one needs a redemption of the people; one needs a new race, an Occidental race. The dangerous propensity of English and Americans to encourage interbreeding appears potentially favorable in this regard, if only it were done with a little intention and discrimination (traits, alas, which one can certainly not much hope from the contemporary Anglo-Saxon). For instance, the characteristic attraction of the Anglo-Saxon soul for the south, for la bella Italia but also for the American Deep South, bespeaks to my eyes a certain residual soundness of instinct that we would do well to encourage. If there is any immediate hope for music, it is in literature, in precisely the opposite movement of which Nietzsche speaks in 256. There have already been gestures in this direction (consider Poe, Aldous Huxley, Yeats, Joyce), and the poetry especially of the English has often been of masterful sonority. English as a language is phonetically more feminine than many other languages. All of this can and should be contemplated by whomever would really compose in English.
      There is a certain justice in the fact that the fate of Europe falls now disproportionately on Anglophones, if not Anglo-Saxons: it was the English and through them the Americans to introduce this “damnable Anglomania of modern ideas” (253). It should then be theirs by right, if not by duty, to take it back. The requisites are theirs, in body and in tongue: one wants only the wakefulness, the spirit, the will, the vision. The English language itself might indicate the way to us toward the subverting of the Enlightenment through the preparation for the Occident. The influence of the rabble must be overcome first in our speech, through the same ruthless discrimination we would apply to the ethnic forces now assailing Europe and to the moral dissolution even now rending at our souls. We can prepare the way, for the first time consciously, for a High English. We have the possibility of making, not so much some Platonic “city in speech,” as a new European people in speech.
      Well would it be for us to consider our plight artistically. A time is fast upon us in which the greatness of our task will have to be met with an a enormous inner strength, which, alas, we have too many reasons to doubt in ourselves.
      For surely, these are not simple days, nor easy times. No meager challenges face us. In our day, European democracy—better say, with greater precision, Enlightenment liberalism—is drawing its ultimate conclusions. There are many ways of characterizing this fateful occurrence, but in the context of the European problem we might phrase it thus: the “Enlightenment” has made Western man smallest and most fragmented at precisely that historical moment he has most need of being mightiest and most unified. He has been strapped to a secret wheel of Ixion, subjected to the influence of elements foreign to his soul, which moreover have no love for him and which would gladly dilute him out of existence. He is cowed by shame, belittled by unworthy appetites, demeaned by the ready ease of feeding them. He is surrounded each day the more by newcomers arrived from distant lands, who are physiologically haler (because simpler, crasser) and ideologically cleaner and more resolved than he. He has been uprooted at every turn, distanced from all those fertile values of fixed community by which he might have been nourished to strength. His high culture has been sterilized, his soul vulgarized, his heart slaked and his spirit slackened. The conditions are ripe for his utter and final extermination from this globe which he once ruled in the perfect naïvette of his right, and which he has in countless respects rendered more beautiful and nobler. But in these very conditions are precisely the conditions also for his renewal: namely, the danger and the pain to awaken his slumbering mind, the trial to test and harden these atrophied muscles, the enemies to unite him to his kith and kin in common cause—the very calamity in which his spirit may learn again to soar, lest it drown. A new birth is possible today, a birth by fire—if no longer for Irishman and Italians, Austrians and Gauls, then for something higher, something stronger yet.
      We Occidentals, despite the last century, stand but at the urgent extremity of the situation foreseen by Nietzsche. The dragons about us, if they do not devour us in their flames, must perforce make of us knights again; they might spur us to rebuild our kingdom and our many castles, outposts, and watchtowers. This will have its cost, first and foremost in “identity”—for we cannot go back altogether or all at once to the old rainbow-like divisions between a hundred tribes in which Europe could once count her riches and her wealth. The differences and distinctions between peoples and fatherlands have already given way. Whether we lament this fact—and there is much in it to lament—it stands before our very eyes as a fait accompli. Go whither you will in this our Occident: your ears will hear many languages, but your eyes will always see a single human type. Some variance, I allow, for broad phenotypes and customs—differences between North and South, between East and West—but everyone everywhere will dress alike, will speak alike in their various tongues and dialects, will think alike, will agree as to the fundamental things. Those inescapable and profound differences of manners and mores which might have persuaded our forefathers to war with one another have all but vanished. The fact is a certain kind of uniformity, hope or dream what you will for the morrow. And given the plight of the West—who at present could really hope or dream for anything else? I agree, it is in countless cases monotonous, poor, dull, tedious, even regrettable, even in some cases detestable—particularly in its present manifestation of the “consumer culture” of our “good democrats,” in this slavish and abhorrent Americanization of Europe—and for anyone with nostalgia in his heart, the times are nigh intolerable. It is to be hoped that the old identities once more begin to root in the soul, and that one may look forward to a future European federation which unites, in large political formations, a great many and greatly different human communities throughout Europe. One may hope, that is, that Europe can find a way of preserving her truest diversity, without compromising her political and social solidarity. But let us console ourselves, if we cannot rejoice in all these changes, that this present razing in the common life of the European and indeed the Western masses, has perhaps made possible for the first time the spiritual unification of we higher Occidentals in a single front against the enemies which now menace us with obliteration—
      That is yet a hope. It may remain but a hope; it may be that there is no tomorrow for this West, but already Europe has “gone under” in such a way that she cannot rise again. There is no “today” in the West, that much is clear. There is still less of a “today” now, than there was in Nietzsche’s time, which already had reached such extremities that he occasionally permitted himself to doubt the future. And he had yet to gaze into the actual incarnate face of the Last Man. Can we say as much? But in truth, we do not know; for blessedly, the very question indicates that the matter has not been settled, that there is still some possibility for us, some promise yet left to Europe, some dream still rattling about in this hollowed Occident, which might lead us hither and over, which might grant us the fortitude, the valor, the power, to see Europa rise again—for the first time.

• • •

A Window Through, Part III

WE HAVE TWICE now made reference to a certain “gentleman” in our all-too-brief investigation of the migrant crisis, and we have not done so idly: we wish neither to make vague and ungrounded accusations against this man, nor to lay the entirety of the blame for an immense and complex phenomenon on his shoulders. He is interesting to us as exemplar, as a merest (if paramount) indication of what is happening “below the surface”; he is interesting to us as a window through the morass, the fog, the confusion, which surrounds these matters.
      The man in question is one George Soros. Up until recently it might have been supposed that most people would not know of him, and that most of those who had heard of him, would know him as an extraordinarily wealthy philanthropist of the first order, and as a tireless defender of the “open societya là Karl Popper (who was, incidentally, one of his teachers). This rosy ignorance is beginning to change; the “populists” are starting to speak of him with a certain disdain, those who love Europe and would see Europe return to her roots begin now to anathemize him, and even certain politicians, such as Matteo Salvini in Italy and Viktor Orbàn in Hungary, have begun to indicate, in dark references here and there in their speeches, the man’s more ominous side. As far back as 2012 Glenn Beck put together a lengthy exposé on the man, which (despite a certain irritating exaggeration of rhetoric and a certain vulgar alarmism which could do nothing but wound his message in the long run) is well worth seeing. A much shorter and more pointed reference can be found in a 1998 interview which Soros granted to 60-minutes—and which Soros subsequently sought to suppress. (Let it be a measure of his influence that he was not altogether unsuccessful in this.) We may briefly summarize the man thus: George Soros is a brilliant and cold entrepreneur who has succeeded in rendering himself wealthy beyond imagining (he is the twenty-second wealthiest man in the world as of Forbes’ reckoning this year) through very questionable means.
      Now, to begin, we must note that Soros’ interest in migration, his support for it both through words and through quantities of private donations and investments, is demonstrable. He has written numerous articles on the question, and since the beginning of the European migrant crisis in 2014-2015 he has become yet more vociferous, calling for at least one million immigrants per year into Europe’s shores “for the foreseeable future,” and even exhorting (not to say commanding) Europe to financially aid the migrant crisis in non-European states like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. In 2016, he joined with Mastercard to create the pleasantly named “Humanity Ventures” (all Soros’ manifold of “humanitarian” organizations have such agreeable titles) through which a nice $500 million dollars are to be funneled into the crisis—naturally, in the encouragement of the migrant flow, and for the good of the migrants themselves. He has been a major funder of the very NGO’s which have lately been running their human trafficking routes down to Libya. The question becomes—why?
      Why does a man of Soros’ evident perspicacity and intellect knowingly support a process which will clearly lead to a destabilization of the social and the political fabric of the entirety of Europe? Why does a man who speaks out constantly in favor of “rights” and “freedom” and “open societies,” seek now to infiltrate the entirety of Europe with innumerable individuals who hold the the most closed, sexist, and authoritarian Islamic vision of society and politics? Why does a man, who has made knowledgeable reference to the “panic” caused by so much immigration, wish to diffuse that panic in such a way that it must surely arise later on in a more acute and more ineradicable form? What could he possibly hope to gain? (For, in case it need be said, a man like Soros does nothing without an eye to profit.)
      We will never comprehend this if we do not pause a moment to take the wider view. George Soros, this great benefactor of humanity, is also the man personally responsible for the overthrow of governments in Georgia and Yugoslavia, revolutions in states like Ukraine, and the collapse of national banks and currencies like the Thai, the Indonesian, and the British. (He is famously known as the “man who broke the bank of England,” which until that moment had been thought invincible.) His actions in this connection have directly led to the chaos of states and the financial ruin and suffering of countless individuals, while he himself has but profited most handsomely. And this but begins to scratch the surface of the influence that this man wields in governments and extremely powerful circles across the globe.
      All of this will seem to many readers most improbable and little enough credible. It will be considered that I have perhaps made reference to “fake news”—for really, is it not unthinkable that a private individual, no matter how wealthy he might be, should wield such power in the world? I will respond that such individuals do exist, that there are many more of them than we think, and that at present the best protection these individuals possess for their unearthly power, their extraordinary influence, their atrocious ambitions, is the silence and incredulity which surrounds their actions, and the degree to which normal people refuse to look these matters square in the face. I can do nothing more here than implore my readers to pursue this matter a little by their own lights, to see to what extent I am really exaggerating the matter. I suspect they will find that, if anything, I have been somewhat modest in my claims so far.
      Men like George Soros are chaos-feeders; they make enormous profits both financially and spiritually from high-level confusion. We are speaking of a man who has through the willful inciting of political and social upheaval made such earnings that one is hard-pressed even to conceive of them. To believe that a man like this is suddenly now bending his entire will upon altruistic “philanthropic” work is but the height of naïveté.
      Well enough; but what has all this to do, then, with immigration? But simply everything. The men, the organizations, the groups which are primarily responsible for foisting these waves of unwanted migrants on the European people—the same individuals and groups which fund and protect and facilitate the work of ferrying these migrants from Africa and establishing them here in in the West—these individuals and groups coincide strikingly with the very segment of extraordinarily wealthy and potent figures who have spent their lives profiting from the maelstrom. I name but one other of these chaos-feeders: Goldman Sachs, the behemoth “finance company” which has had its hand in a wide range of economic crises, including (as is well-known) the housing bubble which caused the 2008 global financial crisis, but also (as is far less known) the Greek default and even the Great Depression. (Incidentally, so far as the Greek default goes, George Soros is not without his connections even here.) And most curiously, this same Goldman Sachs, or those connected to it, is now agitating for immigration, and is working through its connections with such “humanitarian” organizations as Doctors without Borders (they even have a member of Goldman Sachs on their advisory board!). And if anyone at all believes that Goldman Sachs or like institutions are interested in philanthropy, in donations, in the welfare of migrants or Europeans generally—well, for such a person as that, I am afraid I really lack the words.
      And here is the point. I have mentioned but two of the elements in this scheme; there are, alas, many, many more—and a great many of them who play their game in a similar “tone.” We are living at present in a Europe whose future is being dictated by powers which in the past have fomented the dissolution of order and thrived from the same. We are speaking of individuals who have definite views about the future of the globe itself, individuals who promote, among other things, a single world state—with they themselves, no doubt, as the powers behind the throne. They can attain their ends through no better means than by thrusting the present political and social orders into utter turmoil—by means of, for example, economic crises or migrant crises or what have you—so that new orders and powers can be established on the rubble. It is really not beyond imagining that these chaos-feeders might well be seeking even now to compromise the present political orders of Europe and America.
      This is extreme; it might be too extreme. It might be that the organizations and the individuals involved in all of this are counting merely on some roundabout personal profit to come from who can say what aspect of the migrant crisis. But even if this is true, does it not already say everything that we have arrived at the point that the very future of Europe, the very demography and social makeup of Europe, is being determined by persons who have no interest in anything beyond turning a dollar?
      In one way or another, this much is clear: in our reaction against these powers, in our battle against them, we must do everything we can to avoid playing into their hands. Often enough, and for clear and valid reasons, the ire of the anti-immigration forces turns against the migrants themselves. In some cases this is inevitable, and will be increasingly inevitable as the years go by—for by our differences in custom, in manner, in lifestyle and worldview, we cannot be anything but adversaries to these people. But our quarrel with them is but incidental, and insofar as we take it to be central, we are but playing the pawns to the powers that have brought these foreigners among us. The more that we ourselves bring turmoil upon our own streets and our own lands, the closer we shall move toward thrusting the entirety of society into an unrest and disease which cannot help but issue to the favor, not certainly of our people, nor even of the migrants, but rather of these wealthiest shadow-figures among us who are awaiting this chaos precisely, to begin their feeding.
      Yet it is equally clear we cannot sit back and do nothing; for if we are but passive, the day will come when the descent into that chaos will be unstoppable. We must work, as much as we can, through the few political avenues still open to us. It is still to be hoped that certain politicians—like Matteo Salvini, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders—really would seek in all sincerity to battle this problem with the powers at their disposal, and an already-arrived politician like Viktor Orbàn proves that this hope is not frivolous. I confess I hold out less hope for the United States; but, straining the limits of one’s optimism, it could happen that the arrival of Donald Trump to the throne, as it were, has opened certain possibilities for future candidates to the presidency; may be that we shall see one of these terms the advent of at least the shadow of a real American statesman.
      That is all little enough to hope for, but for the moment we have nothing more. It would be well for those who have talent for such things, to agitate directly against the individuals I have mentioned, as well as others like them—to attempt to bring their sins to “public awareness” (as foolhardy a task as that might sometimes seem, given the nature of the masses and the exceedingly compromised quality of our press). Above all, we ourselves must seek to perceive, as clearly as we can, what is to be found on the other side of this window through—to comprehend, insofar as we are able, the precise aims and plans of the individuals who presently, more than anyone else, rule the West today, and who are as actively seeking its utter disintegration. For only as we know what they want and how they intend to get it, may we adequately begin to plan our action against them.

• • •

A Window Through, Part II

WE LEFT OFF with some rather heavy claims regarding the future of Europe and the question of our heritage as Westerners. These are claims which, so far from being generally ruminated by the European status quo, are in general vomited up by it as though they were toxic. Indeed, such claims as those I have made easily go nowadays under the epithet of “racist”—and with that single word the entirety of the conversation comes fast to a halt, for one does not argue with “racism.” This state of affairs in and of itself is most telling; we have literally reached a point in which one of the most burning subjects of our present day has become a taboo. One really ought to ask who is served by silence here.
      I am, however, not interested in our contemporary epithets—particularly those which are used to halt conversation, rather than to abet it. So far as the question of “integration” goes, I can direct my reader to a few pieces I have written on these matters (see here and here); and it is likely that more will be forthcoming in the not so distant future, as this is a subject one cannot get around.
      We are interested here, however, in quite other fare. And to begin with, we might phrase the question thus; given that the question of immigration is complex, and is fast leading us to a radical change of the very fabric of the West, can we at least put our hold more firmly on this phenomenon, by understanding in a general way what or who is behind it, and what they could possibly want of it?
      In the understanding of complicated states of affairs, it is sometimes useful to consider the possible explanations one by one, to see which best fits and which most decidedly fail.

• • •

Reflections on the Gettysburg Address, Part III

WHEN LINCOLN took office, it was widely known where he stood on the slave issue: his “House Divided” speech, among others, left no doubt about that. He had stated, with all openness, that the Union could not persist in being “half-slave, half-free”; and since outright abolition was impossible, nothing was left but to prohibit slave-owning Southerners from spilling into the new Territories. That is to say, slavery had to be isolated, had to be locked firmly into the South, where it was hoped it would gradually atrophy and disappear. It is worth noting here that Lincoln’s Secretary of State, W.H. Seward, had spoken of an “irrepressible conflict” between the North and the South, and had threatened the South that abolitionism “has driven you back in California and Kansas; it will invade your soil.” What promise, what solace, could the South expect in this new administration of the federal government? Here was a president who had explicitly dedicated himself to a cause the South saw as blatantly un-Constitutional, and even factional. Here was a Secretary of State who had no qualms about revealing his sectional hostilities, and who made not the least attempt to reconcile two vastly different halves of the nation. This was a presidency that had already given itself to cutting off the free Territories, the common property of the people of the United States, from a half of that nation’s citizens. And let it not be forgotten, though it be so very foreign to us – let it not be forgotten what a proud people resided in the South, let it not be forgotten that the patricians of the South would rather have lost their lives than their dignity, that they would rather risk war than dishonor. That Lincoln bears the larger share of the responsibility for sundering our nation, I do not doubt.
      But lay that aside. What we mean to seek here is not so much the cause of the Civil War, as the principle which emanated from it; what interests us is what it means that Lincoln set afire the fuse, and what we, who are all indirectly that man’s children, can learn about our state of being from his beliefs.

• • •

A Window Through, Part I

TO WHOMEVER would seek a window into the real state of affairs in our contemporary societies, no better opening can be suggested than that furnished by the so-called “immigration crisis.” Its real causes, its actual consequences, its true goals, are the objects of continual mystification, rendering it difficult if not impossible to see through; but at the same time, it is now becoming such a pressing issue that no one can look upon it with indifference, which has been a great spur toward clarity on the part of a great many. And the image which begins to develop at the other side of it in consequence of all these many cleaning hands, is of some interest indeed.
      Contrary the common “narrative,” the problem of immigration is not caused by wars; there have always been wars, and yet Europe certainly has never seen such an influx as in the past few years. More, the vast number of illegal immigrants to the United States, and a sizable majority of those to Europe, are not the refugees of some blood-rent nation, but rather are individuals who come from poor but relatively stable countries. Were the major wars in the world to end tomorrow, the immigration crisis would relent but moderately.
      The problem can neither be said to lie in famine, in disease, in extreme poverty; for again, none of these phenomena are new; and yet, as is known, the migrant crisis struck Europe in but the past few years, while the United States has seen upward trends for decades.
      Certainly, some external factors can be implicated in all of this. The war in Syria has certainly put greater pressure on European borders, and the fall of Gaddafi in Libya has essentially lain a passage through the African sands which funnels the masses of immigrants of the black continent northward. The entire composition of Europe and Africa at present has the look of an inverted hour-glass—with Europe, however, sitting at the bottom. And one has only to consider the horrifying demographic changes predicted in Africa in the coming century, to grasp just how little time is really left.
      This leads us to the consequences of immigration. No one any longer denies—for no one can any longer deny—that immigration of this scope and intensity leads to disturbances in the social order, often grave and profound. The countries who bear the brunt of the rapidest changes, prove to be the most strongly “anti-immigrant.” And not surprisingly. No matter how much the migrants are touted as being “resources,” no matter how many times one repeats the tired old bromide that they somehow “enrich” the lives of their host nations, this rhetoric wears thin in the face of the real confrontation between customs of vastly different kinds, between individuals who speak no common language nor share a common faith, between ways of life which at countless points come to friction hot enough to start a fire. It is suggested that these migrants will be “good for the economy”—claim which certainly does not stand on common sense, and which, if it is really indicated by some economist’s alchemical equations, is distant enough from everyday life to fall at once into disrepute and suspicion. Idem the commonplace that these immigrants “do jobs no European or Americans will do.” Such is only defensible on the grounds that they are paid far less than a European or an American would be in similar jobs, because they work under the table and live in squalid conditions which permit them to avoid the greater costs of modern Western life.
      In the face of all of which, we cannot help but set before ourselves the question of the ends that this immigrant crisis really serves. It does not suffice to claim that there are no “ends” involved, other than the multifarious ends of the migrants themselves, to escape from hardship and danger, to guarantee themselves and their families better opportunities and a brighter future. This does not suffice, for the simple reason that it is only half the story. These immigrants enter our lands because they are permitted to enter; and since by now it is clear that the peoples of the United States and Europe are less than enthusiastic about the prospects of real “multicultural societies,” for which one speaks precisely of a migrant crisis, of an immigration crisis, we are forced to the question—why has nothing been done to secure the borders?
      Even this is not yet adequate; for in point of fact, actions have been taken. Maurizio Massini, Italian Representative in the United Nations, for instance, attempted just two weeks ago to close Italian ports to NGO ships, the activities of which have been increasingly falling under suspicion for the methods they employ and the interest they take in the immigration crisis. The UN ruled tempestively that such a determination falls beyond the jurisdiction of individual UN members, and forced the ports open before they had even had time to shut. Similar actions taken in the United States on the behalf of numerous judges against most of the strongest of Trump’s executive orders on immigration reveal a similar stamp. Those in power today like to speak about “crises”—but their actions demonstrate that they take a considerably more sanguine view of the situation. What could possibly be their motive?
      It is easy enough to refer to the crudest economic explanations in order to solve part of this conundrum. There can be no doubt that a great many individuals, better say corporations (supposing one makes a distinction any longer), throughout the West are decidedly benefited by an influx of extraordinarily low-cost labor, and look with greedy eagerness at the arrival of yet more de facto serfs. But anyone who is willing to leave the matter at this must take the following view of our contemporary situation: our politicians are puppets on the strings of corporate puppet-masters, and, utterly lacking all independent ideology, sell themselves behind scenes to the highest bidder. But this does not quite hold up to scrutiny, particularly in Europe, for the simple reason that most of the incoming immigrants have not been in any way introduced, not to speak of injected, into the work force, but rather pass their days milling about in squares and parking lots, begging for coins, vending their services as parking-aides, dealing drugs, prostituting themselves or their compatriots; or else they are shuffled off to remote villages or countryside compounds and lodged in houses, hotels, agritourisms, and like structures, where they are given food and clothing, shelter, televisions, high speed internet, and like goods. The European governments often spend exorbitant amounts of money to keep them in such places. It is certain by now that there is a going business in fetching them out of the sea, and it may be that this in and of itself adds sufficient incentive to persuade our good governments to play along. Yet I will not be alone in finding that this entire “economic” explanation of the changes upon us somehow falls flat, does not ring full enough in the ear, to provide an adequate summary explanation of what is really happening. It has its role, to be sure; but as a final explanation, it is slight.
      It is expected that by the midpoint of this century, white Americans will be in the minority in their own homeland. The Europeans will not be far behind. The changes upon us are of a scope and kind unheard of in the history of the West. The stakes could not be higher. It is necessary for us to comprehend our positions, for it is our future, and the future of our children, which is in this very moment being put to the trial. Nay, more yet: it is the future of our very people, of the West itself, which now is coming to the line. To ignore this problem is to forfeit all we have ever had of heritage. To ignore this problem is to prove that we are no worthy scion of our forebears. To confront this problem in all its aspects, amounts perhaps to awakening ourselves to a higher task than the mere clambering after lucre and status, which alas consumes the better part of our joint contemporary efforts. It might be that in the crisis of immigration—which, to be sure, really is a crisis—we might find the spark to rekindle this dwindling flame of the Occident.
      We have here lain out the problem, hopefully with enough force to suggest the necessity of responding to it. It remains for us, then, to gesture toward that sphere wherein we may begin to seek an answer.

• • •

Reflections on the Gettysburg Address, Part II

LINCOLN’S FAMED LOYALTY to the Constitution is a matter of some curiosity if it is considered in reference to the slave question. It has been said that Lincoln throughout his life regarded slavery un-Constitutional; but most of the evidence for this that I have seen is found in speeches Lincoln made to obviously anti-slavery, and often outright abolitionist, groups. (I hope I need not point out that Lincoln was a thoroughgoing and enterprising politician? But perhaps we have even forgotten this about old Honest Abe?) At any rate, it was true that by the time of his presidency, and surely by the end of the Civil War, Lincoln had resolved to settle the slave question, one way or another – and this together with his status as a “Republican,” and the duty he owed to the particular segment of society that had elected him, put upon his shoulders the task of either sowing the seeds for the dissolution of slavery, or – when the war came – destroying that institution forever.
      We have addressed already Lincoln’s position with regard to slavery during the war; so let us concern ourselves for a moment in his position before the war – the position which caused the secession of the South. For this position, and the crisis it ignited, shall tell us very much indeed about the way Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has become for us a founding document.
The ultimate cause the Civil War was not slavery. This fact needs to be insisted upon in this day, needs to be insisted upon in the face of all the bromides and the homilies and the smug platitudes we hear constantly perpetuated regarding that war. We have had a century and a half to throw off the somnolent chains of pleasant illusion: how many of us can say on behalf of this distance that we see more clearly, more freely of the comforting haze of Opinion and Righteousness? How many of us Americans even now have sufficiently disciplined or honest or piercing eyes for what occurred in those days?.. Nay, slavery was merely the occasion, the precipitation, the catalyst, for America’s Civil War. Neither was the cause of the Civil War the doctrine of state’s rights. Surely this doctrine was bantered about and was argued fiercely during this time; surely, it was upon this doctrine that the South felt it had the right to secede; but this, again, was only an occasional argument as far as the true causes of the war go, meaningful only as the rhetorical response of an enraged South to the actions of the North. Slavery and state’s rights, we might say, are but the fuse on the dynamite; where shall we look for the fire?
      We should look nowhere else than in the dispute over the Territories of the United States. It was this that fomented the secession; it was this that made the situation for the South intolerable enough that it was willing to secede.1 And in order to understand these disputes, we must look briefly at their history.
The disputes over the Territories of the United States began in the early eighteen-hundreds, and found their first legal formulation in the Missouri Compromise, a settlement of much-debated Constitutionality, which divided the Territories of the United States into two portions – one in which slavery was absolutely prohibited, and another in which slavery was not prohibited. This compromise definitively settled the question for thirty years, and would have perhaps have remained definitive if not for the politicking of 1850. During the legislative sessions of this year, certain measures were passed which disregarded the line of demarcation accepted in the Missouri Compromise, and instated a new line for the new Territories taken from Mexico: this new line would apply to New Mexico and California. I shall not consider the arguments behind or against this new legislation, nor its practical effects in the new states; it suffices to note that this legislation prepared the way for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, which in turn prepared the situation which sundered the Union.
      The Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854 was essentially nothing other than a repeal of the Missouri Compromise. It understood itself as acting, in a more thorough manner, after the spirit of the 1850 legislation, and even went so far as explicitly to name that legislation as its precedent. Its stated purpose was “not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.” It was considered a return to the established practice which had existed prior to the Missouri Compromise. In this established practice, the Territories were subject to a provisional governance through Congress until such a time as they had fulfilled the requisitions to become a state. This was in accord with that part of the Constitution which deals with the acceptance of new states to the Union, Section 3 of Article IV, which reads in part, “The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice and Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.” This passage was traditionally taken to give the Congress power to establish such temporary government as was required to uphold the dictates of the Constitution in the Territories.
      The Kansas-Nebraska Bill in and of itself would have caused no or at least comparatively little trouble in the relations between the North and the South, had it not been for a certain peculiar interpretation of that legislation. This interpretation, called the doctrine of “popular sovereignty,” or “squatter sovereignty,” as the pejorative of the South had it, held that the new settlers of the Territories had the right, before unifying into a state, to determine their mode of government and the manner of their institutions. If we are to seek anywhere for the pit of contention between the North and the South, this doctrine must be the place. For there was no requirement set as to the number of people who could fulfill this “popular sovereignty.” Presumably, a dozen would be as sufficient as a thousand. The doctrine merely held that, whenever such numbers as had arrived had established for themselves a government, that government would be considered the sovereign popular will. In the North, which was richer and more populated, no time was wasted in taking full advantage of this doctrine. Associations were formed with no purpose other than sending Northern emigrants and money into the Territories of the United States, often with the explicit purpose of barring slave-owning Southerners from settling. It was apparent that whosoever won the race to populate the Territories would be able to determine their government; and whosoever determined that government, would perforce establish the binding legislative precedent, when the time came to establish on that Territory a State.
      Speaking practically, this amounted to a prohibition, not on slavery, but on Southern immigration to the Territories of the United States, and more importantly, on Southern expansion into the Territories. Due to the hostility of Northern settlers, and due to the “personal liberty laws,” as well as the sentiment behind them, both in states and in Territories, it became increasingly impossible for the South to extend its population throughout the inchoate parts of America. Congressional legislation was passed to assuage these problems, and to insure the right of any man to entry into any part of the country – with or without his Negro servants. In 1854, the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court not only upheld this legislation, but effectively condemned the personal liberty laws as un-Constitutional. In spite of this, the aggression against slave-holding emigrants continued. Nor was there cessation in the North of the steadily growing call to abolish slavery.
      Now, it must be understood, prior to everything else, that slavery in the South was sewn into the very fabric of society. To remove it would be to remove half the stitchings of the cloth; it would be to dissolve the social structure; it would be to undermine the very foundations upon which that whole half of our country was built, as surely as if one put an absolute prohibition on factory ownership in the North. If slavery was to be dismantled, it could not be done with impunity, not all at once, neither for the owners of the slaves nor for the slaves themselves; such demands on the part of certain Northerners were dangerous and ignorant. We are not speaking of an “institution” which could be taken down or put up at will without too many secondary or tertiary effects; we are speaking of a way of life. It is commonplace among us to neglect this fact, for we do not see how anything so abhorrent as slavery could possibly contribute to a way of life. Our notion of a “way of life” is conveniently ringed in by our contemporary democratic standards, and has not the courage to step even two steps beyond.
      We must see clearly this state of affairs if we are to get anywhere in understanding the casus belli of the South, or indeed of the Southern reaction to the election of Lincoln. This state of affairs left the South in a position at once precarious and ominous. Southerners were unofficially held out of the free Territories, and could do nothing but watch as the North and the principles of the North gained in area, in population, and thus in legislative power. This, combined with the ever-growing abolitionism in the North, appeared direly threatening to the South, to its very continuation – to its traditions, its customs, its laws, and the very fountainhead of its rich life—to its ethos. If the North could gain a comparative superiority to the South in the legislature, what would stop it from wielding its powers to abolish slavery in the South – that is, to pass legislation against slavery in the United States? And what would stop it from passing legislation barring Southern slave holders from immigrating to the territories? In short – what would stop the North from pressing its own principles legally upon the South, at the expense of Southern principles – indeed, at the expense of the whole Southern social structure and way of life? – And yet, it was not this state of affairs as such that caused the secession.
      What, then? What at last drove the South to break from the Union?.. Not that the North threatened these actions, nor that its power to fulfill them was steadily growing, but that these actions were un-Constitutional, that they were against the founding principles of this government. The South broke from the North because the South held the actions of the North were against the tenets of our founding documents.
      Now, the Constitution guarantees slavery. This is true, no matter what form this guarantee takes. That the word “slave” is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, that the Negro is never explicitly called property, does not belie these facts: first, that certain “persons” are mentioned, in three places in the Constitution, such that no discerning and knowledgeable reader can fail to grasp the purport of the passages; second, that these persons are not once called citizens, and at best could be thought of as three-fifths of a person; finally, that in one place, the Constitution sets specific provisions down for the “taxes or duties” to be put upon certain “importation” – that is, on persons who are imported; and no man, I think, can deny that this is explicitly the language of property, that one does not “import” human beings, nor does one lay taxes on them as objects. Let it be known: I have no doubts that the Founders expressed themselves in such an obscure manner because many of them were ashamed of slavery, and hoped that that institution would whither away of its own accord. But let it be also known: slavery was a preserve in the Constitution, and without a Constitutional amendment it could be undone. Slavery was presupposed and guaranteed at the founding of this country, and no amount of wishful thinking or moral indignation can erase this fact from the face of our history.
      The Constitution guarantees slavery, supposes that certain states in the Union will be slave states, and builds the South and the North into the Constitution as a sort of extension of the balance of powers – recalling all along that not the majority, but the minority requires the protection of the Constitution. But this means, short of an amendment to the Constitution, the North had no Constitutional right to pass laws prohibiting slave owners from migrating to the Territories. When the South broke the Union, it did so for this reason alone: because the Union no longer preserved the “general Welfare,” because the Union was already split, de facto, into two opposing segments, and because one of these segments had become a faction, seeking to disrupt the Constitutional justice of the nation, and seeking to gain absolute ascendancy over its antagonist.
      The Civil War was at its heart a war over the integrity of a way of life of a people, as embodied in the Constitution. Rather say, it was a war between two different ways of life, which demanded two different Constitutions. If they were to remain together, then one or the other had to fail—Lincoln was clear on this from the beginning, for a “house divided against itself cannot stand.” He took the part of the abolitionists—and in doing so set himself against the standing Constitution, in the name of a principle which we shall soon discuss. He recognized, as everyone in those days recognized, that slavery could only be abolished via an amendment to the Constitution—that is, through a legal change to the Constitution’s fabric. And for this same reason South was able to adopt a Constitution which was almost identical to the original, and which merely clarified the two questions the murkiness of which had caused such trouble: slavery on the one hand, and states’ rights on the other.
      Let it be a measure of the respective faith these two sides bore to the Constitution, the specific degree to which each of them was compelled to alter its first fabric to defend their customs. Lincoln was right about the centrality of the Constitution: he was wrong about what side it better defended, what side better defended it.

• • •

Evergreen Revisited

ONE IS WELL served in the contemporary world by having a mind like an amoeba, which indiscriminately swallows everything it comes across—and has done with it as quickly. One really has to suspect that the daily consumers of the press—not to speak of the journalists themselves—are sprinters of such impossible stamina and speed, that beside them poor Peidippides seems but a short-winded tyro. Never have so many people spent so much time dwelling on the mere moribund facts of the day; and for this, it is safe to say, never has so much of human life been so ephemeral and so death-bound.
      These sluggish reflections aside—for I fear my long-legged reader has already far surpassed them, and is racing on well ahead—I would like today to proceed at least halfway in their spirit, by considering a “news item” which “broke” better than a month ago, and which has thus been lain to rest for almost as long. I return to it for the simple reason that nothing more has been heard of it—meaning that the state of affairs of the first days of June have not changed sufficiently to catch the restless eternally roving eye of our journalists. And since it is in itself a species of “news” that such a ludicrous situation could protract itself so long, then— But really, must we justify ourselves ever by the standards of the moment?
      The events to which I allude are by-now well familiar to many: namely, the “Day of Absence” and the subsequent protests which fell upon Evergreen State College toward the end of May of this year. (A useful overview of the debacle can be found here.) Summed in briefest terms: the students of this college decided, in the unfolding of a “tradition” which I will not bother to explain, that the white people of their “community” should subtract themselves from campus on the day in question, in order to demonstrate their solidarity with the “minorities” of the college. One professor, Bret Weinstein—an individual, incidentally, with a long history of “fighting racism”—refused to comply, on the very legitimate grounds that excluding individuals from campus on the grounds of their racial traits is the very epitome of racism. But of course, good Professor Weinstein forgot that “racism” in our day has been redefined: most conveniently for progressive liberals, it happens that only whites can in principle be racist. (No doubt it is an integral part of our white privilege.)
      But returning to our tale—Bret Weinstein dared to refuse this “invitation” to leave campus, but, after sending in an advisory note to the administration, held his class as usual. Or should have done so, had it not been for the angry mob which appeared at his door to interrupt his teaching, and to upbraid him in the harshest possible terms, and something less than civility. The President of Evergreen, no doubt following his native sagacity, ordered campus security not to intervene, effectively leaving Professor Weinstein stranded amidst the wolves. And despite my disagreements with the good professor, and despite the fact that I believe he is only harvesting that which he himself has long had his hand in disseminating, nonetheless I freely admit that he comported himself with dignity, courage, and admirable self-control in an extremely volatile and hostile situation.
      Enough—I have no will to rehash all the nonsense that followed. The campus descended into chaos for a number of days, as the student mob took control and began roving about with baseball bats in hand. At some point or other they browbeat the college President into acquiescing to a number of absurd and humiliating “demands” (insofar as one can speak of browbeating a man who appears to be as spiritually boneless as a jellyfish). There have since been protests and counter-protests, and a few scenes such as to make one giddy with the awareness of how truly comical our “culture” has become. Bret Weinstein and his wife (herself a professor at this “institution for higher learning”) were forced off campus for some weeks, as their security could not be vouched for, and so far as I know anything about it they have yet to return.
      Now what is startling in all of this is the total lack of accountability of all persons involved. No apology has been issued to Professor Weinstein for anything that happened. Only a single professor in the entire staff has volunteered his open support for Professor Weinstein, and one doubts he has been well repaid for it by the administration or the student body. Indeed, a flurry of demands have come from the student body, requesting, nay, commanding, the firing of Professor Weinstein. He has been accused, incredibly, of inciting violence against minority groups. Even if he maintains his position—which, given his brave comportment in late days, I would not put past him—I do not expect he will be among the more popular professors on campus.
      I said above that these events “fell upon Evergreen.” Yet it is quite inadequate to say that they “fell upon” that college; better say, they were incubated within it. And in the same way it seems to me that they have been incubating within our very educational system, not to say our society at large. It is easy to dismiss Evergreen as but an extreme example of certain unhappy tendencies in the “liberal arts,” but what is really remarkable is how little extreme it really is. Related events have been occurring with increasing frequency. I name only Berkeley, Middlebury, and Yale as examples of a trend. One might respond that these events are still relatively few and far between, that they do not represent the norm—but anyone who has been to college will recognize that they are far from being alien to the proclivities of contemporary academia. The contrary: they occur with a constancy and a consistency which alone can explain the silence surrounding them; for the most part, the only difference between what happened at Evergreen, and what happens with tolerable constancy on college campuses around the country, is that in general there is simply not any Bret Weinstein to put a wrench in the gears, and to cast these absurdities into the spotlight.
      It is difficult to imagine indeed that this kind of fiasco will do anything but grow more frequent and more bitter in coming years, for the simple reason that it is the direct child of our ways of thinking and living. In particular, it is the product of the dogmatic belief in “human equality”—“human equality” understood not as a juridical principle, but, as it were, as a moral and metaphysical principle, a basic and most fundamental feature of human beings by which societies must be ordered and governments arranged. The originating “equality before the law” upon which our liberal nations are founded, in its original sense has little or nothing to do with the establishment of “Equity Councels” dedicated to providing special services, special rules, special exceptions to special groups; it has nothing to do with attempting to eradicate the differences in circumstance standing between this or that “human group.” It cannot have anything to do with these attempts, for the very simple reason that in and of itself it is a repudiation of the entire idea of legal recognition of different human groups as groups. But “equality before the law” is never long for this world. Democratic man is much too short on attention to get so far as the fourth word of this neat little formulation—and he interprets his society accordingly.
      Our poor conservatives, unprepared as always to confront the crisis of modernity even so far as its third or fourth layer, object to all of this rather limply by insisting that it goes against freedom of speech. As if this meant anything any longer to the liberals of the progressive stamp—as if “freedom” were not to them merely a function of equality, a principle whose time can come only when “equality” has been perfected—which is to say, of course, “after the revolution,” at some unspecified future date, when our “progressive work” is finally accomplished and the last “Social Justice Warrior” has lain the last “inequity” to its eternal rest. Or, to speak more plainly and honestly, never.

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