What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Our Patrimony for a Pot of Filthy Lucre

When Joseph Loconte slyly intimated that Dutch authorities ought to contrive some means of preventing Geert Wilders' film, Fitna, from being released, on the grounds that it constituted incitement to religious hatred and subverted the values of democratic society, it is highly dubious that he had these sorts of oppressions in mind. In brief, an Austrian opposition politician has been indicted on charges of incitement and degradation of religious symbols; the EU's Politburo Parliament has rejected Hirsi Ali's proposal for a common fund to provide protection for those targeted for assassination; a Dutch journalist wishes Wilders' police protection to be lifted; the Federation of Dutch Employers is mulling a suit against Wilders, to claim damages for any losses incurred as a result of Muslim boycotts; and Belgian authorities are urging vigilant citizens to report instances of religious incitement, connecting this with a campaign to suppress Fitna.

Lawrence Auster suggests that the European Union has jumped the shark. I'm inclined to concur in the assessment, but find myself wrestling with the conundrum of the European Union itself: the EU is a collective act of shark-jumping, a continent-wide declaration that Europe is a spent force as Europe, a distinctive civilization comprised of dozens of unique peoples and cultures. The EU is is merely the denouement of a long, sad process; the two attempted autogenocides of the Twentieth Century represented a last flurry of activity before the final exhaustion, with the EU itself the grave. Europe's accelerating cultural, economic, and demographic integration with the Islamic world is merely the bouquet upon the freshly-turned soil beneath which the real Europe lies. All these things being the case, the entire endeavour being a shark-jumping, how can one episode, however monstrous, be a discrete, distinguishable shark-jumping?

All of these cultural episodes are not merely foreshadowings of dhimmitude; they are the substance of subjugation itself. Consider: it is forbidden to express even historical truths, if these should be invidious in regards to Islam, while the foulest blasphemies are feted; it is apparently a respectable opinion in Europe to maintain that those who run afoul of Islam should confront the consequences naked and alone, pariahs to even their countrymen; European authorities actively seek to suppress public discourse concerning these matters, as assiduously as any Chinese censor; and the possibility of subjecting dissenters to financial ruination is openly contemplated. Dhimmitude is being imposed, not directly, but through intermediaries, the impositions not merely treasonous in the sense that they violate patriotic obligations, but metaphysically, as a breaking of faith with ancestors and descendants (what few of these actual Europeans may have).

What, however, should one expect?

The elites of Europe have purposed to orchestrate a grand integration with the Islamic world, and, as might be anticipated, the motivations are principally economic, to be augmented by the geopolitical clout wealth can purchase. Economic integration entails demographic and cultural integration, both as a matter of logic and as a matter of demographics - specifically, the negative demographics of the indigenous Europeans; and, if such integration is occurring, why, the managerial caste will exercise its ministrations to ensure that there is a minimum of friction, at least from the natives, for if there is to be integration, they will have to acculturate and accommodate themselves to them. It cannot be otherwise, what with the European superstition that either declining to admit the Other, or requiring him to assimilate, would be an act of ontological violence, a precursor to genocide. Europe now wishes to negate itself before the Other, hating that it is, what it is, and what it has been, deserving only the most radical truncations of its identity.

As for us, we ought not doubt that our own establishment, confronted with the same circumstances, would respond similarly; for the object is not to defend against an Islamic threat, whatever that should be, but to defend against the potential disruptions of a grand strategy in which American economic, geopolitical, and ideological fantasies converge, almost to the point of identity. That strategy does not concern anything so retrograde as a simple patriotic defense of a homeland, and a cultural identity, but constitutes the American roadmap for a Great Game, the sport of emperors, political and economic, paid out in our blood and treasure; and we will be protected and subjected to cultural propaganda as that strategy requires, no more (in the case of the former), and no less (in the case of the latter, that "no less" being quite considerable). As for American conservatives on the whole, who have with wild abandon signed on to such of this wish-projection as they comprehend, they are

...not in favor of the socialist totalitarianism that is rising in Europe. But they are in favor of globalizing markets. So if they have to accommodate the expansion of the EUSSR's centralized power in order to get Turkey into the EU, they'll take it. They can deal with any mental or moral imbalance this causes by occasionally clucking their tongues lightly about the EU's socialism or by just seeing-no-evil altogether.

Many of them, apparently, will even swallow some of the oppressions mentioned previously, or at least turn away, so as not to look upon them, consoling themselves with the polite conceit that they have thereby protected "democracy". Behold, O men of the West, how your patrimony is sold for filthy lucre, your blood for wretched pieces of silver, the hollow comforts thus purchased merely the indulgences of the Last Men, after whom come dust and shadow.

Comments (12)

Won't be much filthy lucre left when this is all done, if that's what they're up to. Sez me, anyway. If it weren't for oil, most of the Muslim countries and people in the world would be even more economically in the hole than many of the people, at least, are already. You can't keep a thriving capitalist economy going, IMO, at least not indefinitely, low literacy among women, deeply corrupt government, an admiration of strength over honesty, honor killings, tribal feuding and values, and on and on. These sorts of things are, to put it no higher, disruptive of the smooth workings of a healthy, thriving economy. Look at what a capitalist wonderland Afghanistan was under the Taliban, for example.

for the object is not to defend against an Islamic threat, whatever that should be, but to defend against the potential disruptions of a grand strategy in which American economic, geopolitical, and ideological fantasies converge, almost to the point of identity. That strategy does not concern anything so retrograde as a simple patriotic defense of a homeland, and a cultural identity, but constitutes the American roadmap for a Great Game, the sport of emperors, political and economic, paid out in our blood and treasure

US elites are blissfully unaware that US economy does not dominate the world as it did in 1945. The reality has a nasty habit of intruding.
Days of wasting $2B/week in Iraq while having recession here are numbered.
American voter just may wake up from his slumber and, just for fun of it, replace players.
New players are just as bad as old ones but in a different way.
Even if Senator from Mexico City will be elected, Dems will have solid majorities in Congress and will bring Islam Democratization project to the end.
Or so me thinks.

Don't sound Europe's death knell too quickly.

I suspect they can, and they will, rise to the occasion. They presently are lethargic and complacent, to be sure. But they they are not dead. The rightward move in French and German national politics, the beginnings of a Tory resurgence in Britain, and more strident nationalism in pockets of the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria will increase in strength and influence the greater the threat of Islamization (or Islamisation for you, Jeff -- wink) becomes. The grassroots groundswell against it seems potent to me. Anecdotally, I belong to a British message board in Birmingham, and those folks are deeply resistant to Islamization. I also think that Poland, the Baltics, and Ukraine are already rather stiffly resistant to the threat, as is Russia.

The longer it takes for the resistance to strengthen, the higher the price Europe will have to pay to preserve itself. The Europeans have been hitting the snooze button recently every time the alarm sounds. Once they smell smoke, they will wake up -- even Spain.

In my admittedly Protestant opinion, here's a political issue on which I think Pope Benedict XVI can exercise enormous influence. He is precisely the sort of man who can help turn the tide against Islamization the same way his illustrious predecessor helped turn it against Communism. Who can forget the way Jaruzelski trembled next to JP2 when they were being photographed together? The Pope leads no armed divisions, but then on this issue he doesn't need to.

In my admittedly Protestant opinion, here's a political issue on which I think Pope Benedict XVI can exercise enormous influence. He is precisely the sort of man who can help turn the tide against Islamization the same way his illustrious predecessor helped turn it against Communism.

I wouldn't hold my breath.

All indications are that the Pope is content with attempting to reason with Islam, to find common ground for the sake of peace. Does anyone honestly believe that that is going to work? What is needed, of course, is a counter-jihad, of which Wilders (almost alone) has raised the standard. I believe that a good litmus test for any world leader, including the Pope, as to whether they will be an effective force against Islam is whether they will support Wilders or not.

Another fine post, Jeff. I myself am closer to Bauman's view -- that is, a bit more hopeful of European recovery.

Lydia is perfectly correct that a capitalist economy presupposes a vast welter of cultural norms that might be impossible to articulate completely. This seems not to matter to Western elites, whether in Europe vis-a-vis Islam, or in the United States, vis-a-vis Mexico, inasmuch as they are primarily concerned with the resolution of short-term 'problems', such as generating a higher rate of return and avoiding imminent irruptions of social discontent. Insofar as any long-range thinking has been indulged, the assumption seems to be that they will remain ensconced in the commanding heights of government and economy, presiding over vast, integrated, multinational/multicultural market-states. So enthusiastic are they at the prospects of financial gain, they cannot perceive even the patently obvious perils of such integration. In other words, to the extent that the realties are acknowledged, it is only as ephemera, deliquescences that cannot but be dissolved by the manifest superiority of our materialistic culture; or, as occasions of necessary compromise: a multinational market-empire is worth our patrimony; a mountain of mammon a little sharia, no?

I actually agree with Michael and Paul to this extent: Europeans will eventually rouse themselves from their post-national torpor, and when that awakening comes to pass, it will likely occasion conflicts across European society in its totality: between factions of the masses, those who will resist Islamisation and European integration pitted against those who will continue to fly the white standard of tolerance, and between factions of the establishment itself, those who will summon reserves of patriotic sentiment - or conjure it to ride the popular sentiments of opposition - pitted against those committed to integration, inclusive of the financial powers themselves. When the real Europe rises, she will have virtually the whole of the moneyed establishment against her; bankers and multinationals, after all, are loyal to their sources of revenue, and to nothing else.

Given that we agree on the cultural norms for capitalist success, though, Jeff, doesn't it seem that these bankers, etc., that you mention are being foolish about the long-term bottom line? France, for example, would hardly be an encouraging picture to an investor who wanted to bet on its long-term stability and prosperity.

I believe that such short-term thinking is emblematic of an entire economic culture. The relatively recent practice of compensating god-king CEOs with stock options has engendered a reductive focus on stock valuations, which stand in no necessary relationship to long-term viability, let alone profitability. Globalization itself promises a slow-motion hollowing out of the middle classes, which will result in negative effects on demand curves. And yet both practices/processes usually enhance short-term profitability. The enormous overhang of financial speculation, much of which is debt chasing returns on other debt, or the placing of bets on currency moves and suchlike - most of these things do not actually augment the productive capacity of an economy, but are really forms of wagering, which presuppose an underlying economic architecture. Which, I suppose, is fine in moderation, at least from the standpoint of increasing the amount of 'information' decision-makers have to play with (but this is to presuppose that capital should be as liquid and mobile as it is under globalization and financialization, which is a separate question.). The attraction this realm of finance holds for many of our best and brightest mathematicians, who end up writing complex algorithms to monitor these arcane variables, enriching themselves via speculation instead of strengthening the financial base which undergirds this elaborate superstructure, is also indicative of systemic short-term thinking.

In the end, the stance of Western elites towards Islam is of a piece with other tendencies toward short-term thinking, and toward a discounting of variables that either cannot be accommodated within the Western secular paradigm, or will be, at our expense.


Could you please give an idea of what might make Europeans to "rouse themselves from their post-national torpor"? As much as I would love to I can't see anything remotely indicative of the beginning of the "rousing" process.
The "masses" view the Danish Muhammad cartoons and Geert Wilder's film as, more or less, pranks - not sign of slow, but imminent change. Many may even chuckle approvingly, but not so few denounce the authors as "irresponsible" for damaging the relation between the Muhammedan minority and the "natives". The amazing thjing is that the public debate stirred by the Danish caricatures and Dutch film never allows the most essential question; "how true (or false)is their message". It is because the underlying and however grudgingly accepted by the vast majority belief is that Islam is, not only "here to stay" because we want it, but regardless whether we want it or not. Its growing presence here is accepted as a part of the package deal accompanying the “next evolutionary step” of Europe. The message about Mohammed, or horrid sides of Islam may, or not be true, but must not stand in the way of the greater truth of the “progress”.
The post national-torpor, like the post-Christian torpor, is frighteningly deep one. The main source of the power of its grip is precisely because it is perceived as liberation (or arousing) from the torpor of Christianity and the national.
John Paul II did not have to wake the masses from their torpor – they were not asleep. He only had to say to them: “be not afraid”.
Benedict XVI, sadly, speaks only of co-existence and dialogue and mutual respect. Such prose may put one to sleep – it arouses no one.

Regarding Islamism, Jeffery Hodges' blog is one the very best, bar none.

Check it out:


Regarding Islamism, Jeffery Hodges' blog is one the very best, bar none.

Then you, Mr. Bauman, and perhaps Mr. Hodges, only people in the world who can explain difference between Islamism and Islam.

After 7 years one would think that all thinking non-PC people know that the only difference is "ism".


The difference, mik, is a matter of degree -- in this case, taking a thing (Islam) to an unnecessary extreme (Islamism), such as the move from being rational to rationalism, or from science to scientism. The two things are related, but they are different. It hasn't got anything at all to do with being PC. It has everything to do with distinguishing one thing from another.

I'm sorry if the point was too abstruse.

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.