Aims of the Party: Charter of the Wessex Regionalists, 2001
The Chalice and the Blade is a book by Riane Eisler that sets out what could be described as the feminist theory of European prehistory. The name comes from contrasting the inclusive, feminine chalice or cauldron of plenty with the divisive, masculine blade of hate-and-run. Unfortunately, it can also become a metaphor for modern Europe’s inability to respond coherently when control of its borders and internal peace are challenged by aggressive young men.
Events in Cologne and over a dozen other central and northern European cities on New Year’s Eve have acquired the label of ‘the European Groping Jihad’ and left the Left reduced to nothing but hope. Deborah Orr’s piece in The Guardian (a London newspaper) is a good example. Orr’s Law is that “trying to ignore or suppress politically unwelcome news is always a bad idea”. As if we hadn’t noticed that Orr’s Law turns on its head the actual experience of the last few decades. The shoddy thinking of those decades is claiming the first of many victims and there’s a panic abroad in politics. But if you want perestroika, it has to come with glasnost. Instead, restrictions on free speech are being increased in a desperate bid to stave off the reset and reality-check.
The roots of this lie with neo-Marxist intellectuals’ hierarchy of victimhood, in which campaigns deemed less significant at this stage of the struggle are subjugated to structurally more important ones. Feminism to anti-imperialism, for example. It’s a strange world, one where the historic role of the Islamic State in challenging US global hegemony requires the sufferings of Yazidi slave-girls to be pitilessly ignored.
At a more practical level is the framing of solutions to problems. Orr’s language is particularly revealing: “we have to salvage nuance”. The reality isn’t that we’re in danger of losing a sense of nuance, a word that these days can mean just sitting painfully on the fence. It’s that we lost it long ago, in a pseuds’ soup of cultural relativism where all humans are equal but the standards expected of them are not and no-one can see what they are. Inclusivity is welcomed but the terms of inclusion are left deliberately vague so as to create livelihoods for the ‘project class’ who define and redefine them daily. Nuancing and renuancing. Just don’t remind them of what they said earlier.
From over-population to over-consumption to over-development to over-centralisation, even to over-topping of flood defences, the will to seek a solution to a problem is frighteningly greater than the will to foresee it and then holistically prevent it arising in the first place. It’s a kind of anti-Nietzschean Will-to-Discuss. That’s because the survival of the project class depends on there being really intractable social (or it could be environmental) problems with which to grapple, preferably with the aid of money diverted from a ‘less worthy’ cause.
More complex and costly solutions – such as re-locating refugees to Europe – are always preferable to simpler ones – like helping them where they already are. Complex solutions offer the prospect of future problems. Solve the problem now and your job prospects become the problem instead. The food in the cauldron bubbles away but to eat one day one must divide it. Cold logic is the action of the blade, the drawing of distinctions and the making of decisions that enable life to be parcelled out in manageable ways. It runs contrary to the chalice-inclined thinking that all opposites can be reconciled, that all sacred cows may safely graze together. As Orr’s article shows, the result of that has proved quite shocking. This isn’t to say that opposites can never be reconciled but it does take more work than has been assumed and the results may be especially fragile. And costs may be disproportionate, especially when compared with other options.
This matters not to the project class. Not all migrants are savages. Not all are saints. Still, there can be no middle ground, only nuanced walking on eggshells. One question raised by the groping jihad is just how much criminality Europe should be expected to accommodate as collateral damage from meeting those humanitarian obligations that African and Asian countries have so successfully evaded. For the project class, the answer is ready-made: it isn’t that ignorance of the law is no excuse, not even if you plead the need for a ‘cultural sensitivity’ that won’t be returned. No, it’s taxpayer-funded classes on how to behave towards European women. Magic wand time. More problems welcomed, more taxing of those who didn’t create the problem, who won’t gain from the solution anything they didn’t already have, and might, but might not, get back the peaceful society they once had and have since lost. More jobs all round for the project class though.
The groping jihad was news this month, but not straightaway. National media picked up the story about five days late, once it was all over social media and could no longer be ignored. Then news emerged that a story about similar attacks in Sweden last summer had been closed down in case it ‘played into the hands of the far Right’.
This is all very characteristic of a European elite that considers itself invincible and so fails to ask whether telling the truth or trying unsuccessfully to suppress it will do more to ‘play into the hands of the far Right’. Covering-up actually upgrades one own-goal into two: the far Right are able to claim that they were correct all along, not only in their views about migrants but also in their views about the lying Centre-Left establishment.
Inept handling of the migrant crisis has given a huge boost to the far Right. There are only two circumstances in which Right-wing governments come to power. One is the installation of an unpopular regime by force. The other is the installation of a popular regime by consent. This is often described as ‘populism’, as opposed to democracy. Democracy is when your side wins. Populism is when the other side wins, and so is clearly wrong. (Not all populism is of the Right, however – Spain’s Podemos is a populist party but one of the Left.) If far-Right populism makes inroads into European electoral politics it will not be because the State has applied inadequate constitutional repression to its parties or personal harassment to its leaders. It will not be because of insufficient censorship of social media comments. It will not be because politicians of the Left have rashly tried debating with the Right and found themselves intellectually ill-equipped to do so. It will be because the Left has treated keeping ‘the cause’ on track as so much more important than truth and justice. It will be because its voters feel betrayed and marginalised by disruptive, revolutionary priorities they do not share. The Right is the fault of the Left. Embarrassing, but true: a reactionary is one who reacts against excesses. Treat the majority as irrelevant to the project and you’ll be the one to end up irrelevant.
Events in Cologne and elsewhere bring forward a question that was bound to have to be asked one day: how can a supposedly progressive Left sleep at night if it openly endorses those who pursue a radically anti-progressive agenda? How did the principled defence of racial minorities (hardware) mission-creep into the privileged defence of religious minorities (software)? What business do anti-racism campaigners have working with pro-sharia supremacist groups? Who is tail, who is dog, and which is wagging which? If the Left now finds the far Right heading towards the autobahn of power then it has no-one but itself to blame. If the Left won’t end its cultural relativism, if it won’t assert and defend the framework of enlightenment values in Europe, unconditionally, then watch what happens when a State paralysed by the predictable fails to defend those who pay its taxes.
From a historical perspective, it’s possible to see the current mismanagement of migration as one of those turning points that no-one would like to admit they’d seen coming. Like the Reformation, the French Revolution, or the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse of the EU is now a real possibility. So too is the empowerment of parties of the Right that are equally fanatical in defending national sovereignty and in denying regional recognition and autonomy. All it takes is an arrogant establishment convinced that ideology will prevail over reality. Wir schaffen das.
The German copyright on Mein Kampf expired last month, meaning that the owners of the text, the Bavarian Government, can no longer block its republication. Sometimes you might almost believe in history by numbers.