I am conflicted on the subject of Tony Blair. There are good reasons to dislike him intensely. He has, for instance, presided over the abolition of Britain’s liberty. There has been no more reliable advocate of Liberalism, or more feckless and even perverse skeptic of multiculturalism, than Tony Blair.
On the other hand, his loyalty and eloquence as an ally has been unfailing; and shone most brightly when America was in her hour of need. This is no small thing. Nor should it be forgotten that he disarmed Socialism in Great Britain, and allowed the British people to prosper — at least materially.
Whether Britain can be said to have prospered, in the more general sense, under his Governments, is an open question. Business enterprise has been unfettered to some degree — but rushing in behind the levelers of Liberalism, Blair’s men, has been a wave of social ruin and debasement, of nihilism and passivity, almost unparalleled in the Western world. It is like American cities in the 1970s. And perhaps the Liberals can take credit for this at least: they have demonstrated that their philosophy, when implemented with sufficient vigor, can deprive men of any race, creed or color of their culture and manners, and reduce them to barbarism.
Into these ruins filtered the agents and provocateurs of the Jihad; and they will not be easily dislodged. This may well be Blair’s most lasting legacy: as from ruins of the decaying Byzantine Empire the Turkish Jihad acquired its resources and even manpower, so too may today’s incarnation of the Jihad soon gain control of substantial resources in Europe, including in Great Britain. Tony Blair presided over the first steps of this ominous process.
It is not a process without precedent, as I intimated in referring to Byzantium. That very word indicates for us a maze of impenetrable rules and exceptions: not unlike, say, “nondiscrimination” regulations in the workplace, or zoning rules in urban centers. All over the Western world, but most markedly in Europe and Britain, byzantine bureaucratic despotism is descending upon human endeavor, and Tocqueville’s prediction is borne out:
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
This sort of thing was the doom of Greek Rome, the empire of Constantinople. And once the yoke of the Byzantine state was thrown off, often by the armies of the Jihad, all that great reservoir of human capital — the inheritors of both Greek antiquity and Christianity, their culture, philosophy, literature, rhetoric — was made available to the Caliph or Sultan. Every lawless adventurer could rise through the ranks; every cunning and amoral seadog could acquire own ship and wage his piracy under a holy banner; every gangster could find backing; every renegade succor. And then, having inked deals of some sort with the skilled ruffians and brigands, the Jihad began its unholy conscription, what might be the most awful form of slavery ever conceived by the depraved mind of man: the devsirme, the taking of Christian boys into service as the Sultan’s shock troops — the theft of the flower of Greek society and its transformation into their conqueror and oppressor.
Could this ruthless exploitation of caged potency be repeated? None can say for sure; but I for one will not rest soundly in the belief that the industrial capacity of Europe will never be turned against my descendants and countrymen. Read any expert on Islam — Paul Marshall or Andrew Bostom or Bernard Lewis — and you will learn of the famous Islamic patience. Our own Liberals may have achieved more despoliation than the “liberals in a hurry” ever dreamed of, but the Islamic nemesis of Liberalism is not in a hurry about anything. The original Arabic Jihad first assailed Constantinople in the 7th century; and by the time Mehmet II took the title of Roman Emperor, having finally conquered Nova Roma, his Sultanate, the inheritor of that original Jihad, had already absorbed much that was Greek Rome. Can this astonishing process be repeated, and once-Christian Europe be given over a new form of the Jihad? I believe it can.
An institution as mighty as the Jihad, which once digested such towering unities as Greece, Rome, the Empire and the Orthodox Church — that only the last has endured should give even our freethinkers pause — is not to be taken lightly.
Tony Blair took it lightly, I fear: and his country will pay dearly for this blunder.