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Besieged Macron Regime Passing Legislation to Ban Free Speech on Social Media
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Despite a moderate economic recovery, President Emmanuel Macron’s government continues to flounder in unpopularity. A recent poll found only 1 in 4 people had a positive view of the French president and his government, while 66% had an outright negative view. Every regime under siege has a choice: improve its performance and unify the country or . . . crack down on critical opposition. The Macron regime has decidedly opted for the latter, proposing yet another law to destroy that pesky last bastion of free speech in France: the Internet.

The person charged with drafting this new legislation is Laetitia Avia, an MP of Togolese descent, with the support of Parliamentary Undersecretary for Digital Economy Cédric O [sic], a Franco-Korean. The law will require social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to provide “a single alert button, common to all big platform operators” for users to report “cyber-hate” (presumably more visible and uniform than what exists already).

More seriously, tech companies will be liable to massive fines if they do not immediately remove content which might be considered “hateful.” If a platform does not remove such content within 24 hours of notification, it could be fined by the French High Council for Audiovisual (Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel) to the tune of 4% of their global annual turnover. For Twitter for example, this would mean fines of up to a whopping $120 billion. Social media are also expected by the French government to artificially suppress the diffusion of hateful content, by limiting their “virality.”

This renewed push for censorship comes at a time when anti-Zionist critics like the civic nationalist Alain Soral and the comedian Dieudonné are being threatened with years of imprisonment under existing censorship legislation.

Avia defines “cyber-hate” as “any content that is manifestly an incitement to hatred or a discriminatory insult on grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.” But free speech watchdogs have already pointed out that French law is notoriously vague as to what constitutes “hate.” Judges have had to improvise the concept as we have gone along. The combination of the scale of the fine and the swiftness of expected response may mean a devastating chilling effect against free speech: tech operators will have a massive incentive to auto-ban any and all content which might conceivably be considered “hateful” by a CSA bureaucrat or some litigious ethnic lobby. Needless to say, much legitimate content would also be banned.


The Committee to Ban Your Memes: Gil Taïeb, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Mounir Mahjoubi, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, Laetitia Avia, and Karim Amellal.

À propos of litigious ethnic lobbies hostile to the interests of the indigenous people of France: Avia indicates that the Macron regime prescribed two partners to co-draft the legislation with, Karim Amellal and Gil Taïeb. Karim Amellal is the son of an Algerian high civil servant who moved to France during the 1990s civil war between Islamists and the military in his country, who has become a writer specializing in diversity activism lecturing the indigenous French population on how racist they are. That is the reward the French get for being generous enough to welcoming Amellal into their country.

Gil Taïeb, hailing from Tunisia, for his part is the vice president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), the country’s notoriously powerful, liberticidal, and well-connected Jewish-Zionist activist organization. Taïeb has reason to be pleased: even as this new law is being passed to crack down, notably, on native French ethno-nationalists, the Macron regime is also moving to criminalize anti-Zionism. The CRIF’s dream is being realized: support for Jewish ethno-nationalism and opposition to French ethno-nationalism will soon be the only authorized opinions on these issues expressible in the “French” “Republic.”

The law is also being supported by the slug-like Franco-Israeli member of parliament Meyer Habib, who far from being troubled by accusations of ‘dual loyalty,’ has always made clear that his engagement in French politics is first of all in service of his homeland of Israel. Habib recently demanded in the National Assembly that Avia’s liberticidal legislation be expanded further to cover historical revisionism as well, emotionally recalling how “as a young Zionist activist” he had received the following message from Robert Faurisson: “For this thug [nervi de choc] who in my own country is treating me like a Palestinian.” Apparently, decades later, Habib remains deeply triggered by this experience of a gentile who dares to speak up for himself.

Meyer Habib in Parliament, demanding gentiles be prosecuted for their thoughts
Meyer Habib in Parliament, demanding gentiles be prosecuted for their thoughts

Avia tells us that her proposal is driven by her own personal story:

If I have made this draft law proposal, it is because I have myself encountered this phenomenon: a wave of racist messages that I have received on social media. This law of course aims to go beyond my personal case. There is an increase in hateful content on the Internet, on social media. An increase of 30% since last year. The report by SOS Homophobia tells us that 66% of homophobic attacks [sic] take place online.

I am always struck by our official victimocratic regime’s infatuation with meaningless figures to justify its tyrannical measures, a habit that goes back at least seven or eight decades. She adds that she hopes that schoolchildren will be taught about her ‘anti-hate’ alarm button, presumably to encourage snitches and intimidate free-thinking teenagers. In France, the video game forum jeuxvideo.com saw the emergence of a whole generation of identitarian activists, race-realists, and Internet trolls – roughly the equivalent of 4chan – for only such a venue provided young men with a genuinely free space to think for themselves, rather than the tyrannical matriarchy of official schooling and HR departments of the totalitarian Nanny State.

Anyway, this whole law provides a revealing snapshot of the coalition which is ruling over the West and under whose leadership our nations are dissolving: globalist deracinated whites tied to big business (Macron), resentful and/or fearful token people of color (Avia, Amellal), and Jewish elites (Taïeb). Avia also closely collaborated with Twitter over the past 18 months and Mark Zuckerberg himself went to meet Macron at the Élysée Palace recently, the top issue of course being “cyber-hate.”

All this begs the question however: Why do the French not rule themselves? Why don’t the rulers of France rule to promote the interests and freedoms of the French? What would happen if the indigenous French majority were to awaken? I suggest that the Macron regime and its collaborators are playing a dangerous game.

 
And the Quest for a New European Spirituality
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In November 1940, a six-member delegation of Hitler Youth visited Japan, tasked by Adolf Hitler himself with a single task: “The only thing you need do is thoroughly experience the great spirit of the Japanese people that has arisen in their national polity.”[1] In honor of their visit, the Japanese composed a song entitled Banzai Hitorā Jūgento (Long Live Hitler Youth!, video here). As part of their mission of spiritual and cultural exchange, the young Germans were allowed to stay overnight at Eiheiji, one of Japan’s two most important Zen temples, to observe and get a taste of the life of the monks.

The visit was recorded in a Japanese article entitled “Hitler Youth (Blue Eyes Spend One Night as Zen Guests).”[2] The text is a fairly fluffy report. The author claims that the Japanese guests ate more skillfully with chop sticks than some visiting Chinese monks had previously. The following happened as the Germans sampled the monastery’s Buddhist vegetarian cuisine:

[Head of the Hitler Youth Delegation Heinrich] Jürgens went on to say that there were many vegetarians in Germany though not for religious reasons. While the vegetarianism of the Führer Adolf Hitler was well known, Jürgens explained that he personally leaned in that direction inasmuch as he normally ate only fruit for breakfast. Hearing this, Zen Master Katō asked, “Does that mean that Führer Hitler is a Zen priest?” With that, everyone burst out laughing.

Zen masters are famous for their sense of humor!

Jürgens went on to observe that the people of the Third Reich were seeking a new spirituality (journalist’s summary):

The people of present-day Germany are no longer satisfied with the religion they have had up to now. However, a new religion that can fully satisfy the German people has yet to be born. Therefore, until a new national religion appears, they have, albeit reluctantly, to depend on the religion they’ve had up to now. The Hitler Youth take the same position.

Hitler Youth delegation with monks at the head Zen temple of Eiheiji, Japan
Hitler Youth delegation with monks at the head Zen temple of Eiheiji, Japan

These events and documents have been unearthed by Brian Victoria, an American Zen priest who is very critical of the Japanese Zen establishment’s support for the Japanese war effort during the Second World War.[3] Whatever one thinks of Victoria’s opinions, he has done valuable work as a historian in bringing to light this perhaps surprising relationship between Japanese religion and German fascism. The present article largely draws on his pioneering work.

While the Hitlerians were notorious for their national chauvinism, they also could recognize a gifted foreign people and culture when they saw one. Victoria observes that, from both a spiritual and cultural point of view, many leading National Socialists actually were extremely admiring of Japanese society and culture, in some respects even considering them superior to Germany’s.

Hitler reportedly told his minister of armaments, Albert Speer: “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good?”[4] Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s amiable deputy-führer, argued that melding into the community came easier for the Japanese: “We, too, [like the Japanese] are battling to destroy individualism. We are struggling for a new Germany based on the new idea of totalitarianism. In Japan this way of thinking comes naturally to the people.[5]

The German people themselves came to be greatly impressed by the Japanese war effort. An August 1942 Situation Report by the SS’s Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service, the SS’s intelligence agency) worried that positive reports of the Japanese’s heroic efforts were beginning to intimidate ordinary Germans:

The former view, that the German soldier is the best in the world, has been confused by descriptions of the Japanese swimmers who removed mines laid before Hong Kong or the Japanese pilots who, with contempt for death, pounce with their bombs on enemy ships. This has partially caused something like an inferiority complex. The Japanese look like a kind of Super-Teuton [Germane im Quadrat].[6]

The Germans ultimately tied the Japanese’s exceptional capacity for patriotic self-sacrifice to their culture and spirituality, namely the legacy of Shinto, Buddhism (especially Zen), and the samurai.

German nationalists in fact often had a very conflicted view of German history and culture. Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity as a Jewish-inspired slave religion – emphasizing meekness, humility, the righteousness of the wretched, and otherwordly salvation – had widespread currency in the Third Reich. Piously Christian National Socialists sought to purge Christianity of Jewish and slavish elements, emphasizing the religion’s Germanization in the early Middle Ages[7] and the work of German Christians like the Zen-like mystic Master Eckhart and the zealous anti-Semite Martin Luther.

Heinrich Himmler, the head of the elite military and police forces known as the SS, sought to create some kind of neo-Pagan spirituality for his men, drawing from ancient Germanic Paganism, Hinduism, and even Buddhism. If you browse the publications dedicated to the SS elite – notably the various Leithefte (“Lead-Journals” a kind of magazine) – one is struck at how ecumenical these may be in terms of their civilizational inspiration. In addition to articles on German, Viking, or ancient Germanic history and art, one may also find ones on Japan (not surprising as an ally) or indeed ancient Greece, Rome, Persia, and India. This is because the latter four civilizations were founded by the Aryan conquerors – today known under the more politically correct term “Indo-European” – which the Germans fiercely identified with (indeed, sometimes terming this people the “Indo-Germanics”). Himmler was fairly serious about this, organizing a famous 1938-39 research expedition to Tibet and carrying with him the ancient Hindu epic the Baghavad Gita, considering its ethos of perfectly willful but detached action to be perfect for the SS man.

In short, German nationalists were frustrated by the fractious nature of German cultural and spiritual history – long torn between different states, religions, and civilizational influences. Christianity in particular was often criticized as a universalist religion hailing from the Middle East, relatively indifferent to the racial struggle for survival.

In contrast, Japanese history and culture was – and is largely still – marked by a great coherence and congruity, a self-contained ethno-cultural world. Victoria notes:

By comparison, the Japanese side clearly believed they already possessed an unshakable and powerful spiritual foundation, one eminently suited to mobilizing the Japanese people in the war effort. Although not directly discussed in this article, this widespread belief in the strength of its spiritual foundation, including a divine emperor rooted in Shinto, allowed Japan to entertain the idea the country could prevail over the West, despite the recognized material superiority of the latter.[8]

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Buddhism, Japan, Nazism, World War II 
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We should not underestimate the power and logic of globalism. The fact is that, while Western nationalists lament diversity, the West’s wealthiest places are extraordinarily diverse and are growing richer: I am talking about our so-called ‘global cities’. These include such places as New York City, London, Paris, and, beyond the West, Singapore or Dubai. In some sense, we might consider the greater Bay Area in California surrounding Silicon Valley to be a kind of global city. We should try to understand the prosperity of these places and their future prospects.

Western nationalists associate ‘diversity’ with black and brown people with low average IQs and comparatively high welfare use and criminality. Western globalists however – who form a solid 20% of the white population, often the most educated and intelligent portion – associate diversity with the ‘global cities’ they live in, which are perfectly functional from an economic point of view, and that is typically enough for them. For a nationalist, ‘diversity’ might conjure up grisly images of the victims of Islamic terrorism or the treasonous mass sexual abuse by Pakistani gangs against English girls. But for a globalist, ‘diversity’ means the kebab shop down the corner, a kindly Mexican nanny, or the competent Asian guys at the office. And they can only think: Why are you being such a hater?

Global cities are typically ‘majority-minority,’ no ethnic or racial group being a majority on their own. In Paris or London, it is true, the prevalence of European migrants means that whites form a small majority, but the native British or French whites certainly form a minority.

The Île-de-France region of France has a GDP per capita 177% the EU average, for London the figure is 187%. Unemployment in such regions is typically low. Their achievement is all the more remarkable in that these regions typically have seen a growing population over the years. Note: I am not justifying global cities. I am merely observing that their ability to provide jobs and social services for their highly diverse populations is high . . . and getting higher.

Why do global cities work? The explanation I find most persuasive is that of cognitive elitism. Cities are where people get together and connect, then being able to exchange, collaborate, and specialize, thus producing wealth and innovate, in a way which would be quite impossible for individuals isolated across various villages. In a modern economy, this means intelligent people gathering in innovative, wealth-creating, and/or wealth-siphoning institutions, such as the great tech and financial services companies, or really all the multinationals whose products and services we take for granted. I for one do not dismiss the accomplishments of Google, Carrefour, and IKEA.

Within the United States of America, to simplify somewhat, educated people are leaving the often Trump-voting heartlands in favor of the West Coast (especially California), Texas, and the Northeast.[1] In Europe, the southern and eastern periphery of the European Union is being strip-mined of its human capital, Portuguese nurses and Romanian doctors preferring to move en masse to secure the better wages and public services of northwestern Europe (they move, it is true, not necessarily to the big cities, but often to more suburban settings).


Tim Ball and Ginger Hervey/POLITICO

A stark fact is that global cities seem to be getting more rather than less viable as they get more diverse. After a sharp rise in criminality in the final Obama years – partly it seems due to a loss of nerve on the part of the president, who preferred to scapegoat law enforcement officers rather than face the reality of black crime – homicide has been steadily declining over the past two years, perhaps not coincidentally, since President Donald Trump has been in office. New York City’s murder rate has been steadily declining, partly thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policies targeting black and Mestizo young men.

A point I want to make: global cities’ diversity challenges can, in large part, be managed through a regular dose of liberal hypocrisy/cognitive dissonance. New Yorkers instituting racial profiling in their police force to keep themselves safe is only one example. Another is the wider phenomenon of gentrification, whereby the more problematic minority groups can simply be priced out of wherever affluent liberals live (typically imposing said problematic minorities onto neighboring white middle or working class towns).

Another solution is racial self-segregation, a very popular practice in all global cities, particularly among white liberals. You can find innumerable maps documenting residential self-segregation: whether in the United States (notably New York and Los Angeles), London (where, interestingly, white European immigrants seem to mostly settle in white British neighborhoods), or Brussels (where European and Muslim immigrants typically settle in separate neighborhoods).

In general, the authoritarian state’s ability to manage diversity has still only been partially implemented. Mass surveillance, gun control, censorship, and welfare can do further wonders in domesticating mankind and making us almost completely docile. European blacks, while not particularly academically or socially successful, are typically much more docile the American blacks, I believe because of lack of guns, ample welfare, and, perhaps, survival of traditional African culture (is there any data comparing crime by Caribbean vs. African blacks?). In another genre, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, as authoritarian states, can manage their diversity problems very well.

In the global cities, whatever negative economic effects there are to unskilled immigration appear to be more than offset by the benefits of gifted immigration.

Beyond brains, global cities attract money, namely, Third-World money. All the wealthy people in the world – from Latin America through Africa, the former Soviet space, and much of Asia – wish for themselves and their children to enjoy an economic, personal, and legal security which can only be found in the Western world, with our attachment to fair play and the rule of law.[2] Various nouveaux-riches from China, India, Russia, the Gulf states, and elsewhere are then buying up property, media, and football clubs in the West and sending their children to our universities. This is driving up property prices and, hence, contributing to the poor-minority-removing gentrification mentioned above. The owners of Third-World money are typically not stupid but are often vicious and corrupt.

 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Diversity, Elites, Globalism 
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Reading the letters of the young Charles de Gaulle, I recently came across an interesting passage describing life in interwar Poland. Actually, there is something charming about these letters in general. De Gaulle writes to his “bien chère Maman” (dearest mum or mummy) all the while using the formal vous. After spending half of War War I in German POW camps, he is eager to get his military career back on track, and so has volunteered to move to Poland to train the officers for the newly-formed Polish army. He complains of the cold trains and the bureaucratic inefficiency of the French military, while his mother pressures him to find a girl and get married.

Here is my translation of the letter:

Modlin, [Poland, near Warsaw,] May 23, 1919

My dearest Mum,

I have still received nothing from you! Here the postal service is nonexistent, as is everything else. Literally everything remains to be done from top to bottom. The Russians, when they occupied this country, had systematically prevented the Poles from doing anything, whether in trade, industry, administration, or the army. These people, when left to their own devices, are good for nothing, and the worst is that they think they are excellent at everything. We will need much, much effort to rebuild a country with such people. And yet we have such an interest in achieving this that it is worth making the attempt. Warsaw is a city without charm or character, yet quite pleasant and very animated, filled for now with a whole crowd of more-or-less decorated people hailing from Russia, White Russia, and Lithuania, where the Bolsheviks have occupied their lands, and who despite their misfortune are frantically enjoying themselves.

The well-off families of Warsaw, whose wealth has been chipped away at by the recent agrarian laws, war, and a profligate lifestyle, help [the Russian émigrés] with all their means and imitate them. All these people are incidentally very friendly towards us, and receive us more often than we would like. Everything is extremely expensive – about three times more expensive than in Paris – and the smart set here do not deprive themselves of anything. Lower down, the city is swarming with 500,000 impoverished people. One wonders just how they are able to get by, given that there are no working factories, nor any commercial traffic, nor any building works underway.

And in the middle of all this innumerable [. . .], hated to death by all classes of society, all enriched by the war, which they took advantage of on the backs of the Russians, the Boches,[1] and the Poles, and quite disposed to a social revolution in which they would receive a lot of money in exchange for a few dirty tricks.

Our students arrived on June 1st. We are ready to receive them.

A thousand affections for you, Dad, and all of you, my dearest Mum. I very troubled by this lack of news from you.

Your very affectionate and respectful son.

Charles de Gaulle[2]

I don’t know why the term of “Jews” has been marked “[…]” in the text. Did the publishers censor it? Or did De Gaulle bowdlerize himself? My edition containing this letter does not make this clear at all. This is however a significant marker of an educated French officer’s opinion on Eastern European Jewry as being disposed to both communism and unscrupulous business.

Much later, De Gaulle would effectively stand up for Jewish interests by moving to London during the Fall of France of 1940 and thus found ‘Free France’ as an integral member of the Allies and an unconditional enemy of Hitlerism. Raymond Aron, a liberal-conservative Jewish journalist who had also moved to London during this time and pursued the struggle against Hitler from there, later strangely wrote that at the time in that city “the Jewish question was present with a kind of obsession.”[3]

Later still, as President of the Republic – in comments spoken in the wake of the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and the Arabs, and the rising prominence of the Zionist lobby – De Gaulle would say of the founding of Israel: “Some even feared that the Jews, until then dispersed, who had remained what they had always been, an elite people, self-confident and dominating, would, once they were reassembled at the site of their former greatness, change into an ardent and conquering ambition the very touching wishes they had expressed for 19 centuries: next year in Jerusalem!”

I’ve been struck at the revulsion which Polish Jewry in particular has tended to inspire among Europeans. Among Germans, this long predates the notorious Nazi film The Eternal Jew, some of the footage of which is quite shocking.

The famous Prussian king Frederick the Great carefully maintained a policy of limiting the number of Jews in his realm and despised Polish Jewry’s way of life, despite harboring no religious sentiment against them (the king was equally contemptuous of all religions).

The great Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz would voice his disgust in a letter to his wife, with a striking premonition of a holocaust:

The whole experience of the Poles is as though bound and held together by torn ropes and rags. Dirty German Jews, swarming like vermin in the dirt and misery, are the patricians of this land. A thousand times I thought if only fire would destroy this whole anthill so that this unending filth were changed by the clean flame into clean ashes.[4]

More recently, the French anti-Zionist nationalist Alain Soral has claimed there is a unique hatred stemming from Polish Ashkenazi Jews in particular, evident in people like Bernard-Henri Lévy and Alain Finkielkraut. Certainly, there is a stereotype of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews being more laid back, sleazier, and less intelligent (represented in France by the vulgar radio jock Cyril Hanouna, the grotesque Jabba-the-Hut-like Israel-firster politician Meyer Habib, and obnoxious jeans-salesmen).

Whatever the reason, the relationship between Europeans and Jews seems to long have been the unhappiest in this eastern part of Europe.

Notes

[1] A derogatory term for German, roughly equivalent to “Krauts.”

[2] Charles de Gaulle, Lettres, Notes, Carnets: 1919-June 1940 (Paris: Plon, 1980), p. 27-28.

[3] Article in Raymond Aron, Essais sur la condition juive contemporaine (Paris: Éditions Tallandier, 2007, [originally Éditions de Fallois, 1989], p. 32.

[4] Peter Paret, Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His Theories, and His Times (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985), pp. 212-13.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Charles De Gaulle, Jews, Poland 
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There are books that defy categorization. This is one of them.

The artist known as Bronze Age Pervert (henceforth ‘TAKABAP’) is a Twitter personality who used to lurk around the Return of Kings forums. Little else is known of him, but I am assume he is some sort of senior American political consultant, receiving large sums from Republican ‘dumb money’ with minimal effort, spending most of the day working out and chilling poolside.

TAKABAP says from the outset: “I declare to you, with great boldness, that I am here to save you from a great ugliness” (p. 4). You don’t need saving? He rejoins: “Spiritually your insides are all wet, and there’s huge hole through where monstrous powers are fucking your brain, letting loose all you life and power of focus” (p. 6).

TAKABAP has nourished himself from a steady diet of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Houellebecq, and, above all, Hellenic philosophy and weight-lifting. From this, he has produced a book of brilliantly-written essays and aphorisms, at once hilarious, bitingly perceptive, and motivational. You get a whirlwind tour of today’s world and the philosophical peaks. Themes include religion, late liberalism, the limits of Darwinism, the nature of woman, the Buddha, the impotence of science, the importance of intuition, and much more. Bronze Age Mindset is ever original, provocative, and stimulating, and will get your own creative juices going.

TAKABAP is thoroughly disgusted with the lies and faggotry of the modern world. He sees broken, domesticated men, psychological castrati everywhere. Everywhere, coalitions of women, the old, the weak, and the ugly conspire to smother the best, to destroy independent thought, beauty, and, above all, vitality and power. According to the author, much of this is not new to the modern world. The same dynamics could be seen in obese-mammy-worshipping pre-Aryan Europe, the primordial tribe, the miserable peasants stunted by vicious ‘tradition’ in the Third World, or the ‘cities’ (masses of people) of China.[1]

The parable of Mitt Romney is worth the price of the book alone.

Having observed TAKABAP over the years, the thought had occurred to me that his philosophy boiled down to “Alcibiades did nothing wrong!” This is confirmed in the book. This is a sustained argument, in classic Nietzschean mode, against the conventional ‘rational’ and altruistic morality that has prevailed since Socrates and Plato. Against a world in which the best men feel guilty for being better or for not working (hence the cultural sterility of the Anglo-American world), against a mindset in which these men no longer trust their instincts and intuition.

Perhaps TAKABAP’s most striking contribution to political philosophy is to give us a much better sense of freedom, which was Hellenic freedom, in contradistinction with the impoverished Modern concept.

Freedom is not a laundry-list of entitlements for those who submit to an effeminate society’s totalitarian demands against truth and beauty, up to the destruction of independent thought itself. Rather, freedom, both individual and collective, is something very different. Individually, freedom is a man’s honor-bound determination to prefer death to slavery, to live gloriously and well, according to his nature, rather than submit. Collectively, freedom is a coalition of such men, a band of brothers, securing a living space, establishing a sanctuary within which their people and themselves can flourish, enabling leisure and the pursuit of excellence. I cannot resist quoting TAKABAP at length:

[A]ncient “public-spiritedness” [is] free men accepting the rigors of training together so they can preserve their freedom by force against equally haughty and hostile outsiders and against racial subordinates at home. Any “racial” unity of the Greeks was therefore only the organic unity of culture or language, but never became political: such people would never tolerate losing the sovereignty in the states they and their recent ancestors had established to protect their freedom and space to move. But to draw any parallels to our time is absurd: these men would have never submitted to abstractions like “human rights,” or “equality,” or “the people”as some kind of amorphous entity encompassing the inhabitants of the territory or city in general. They would have rightly seen this as pure slavery, which is our condition today: no real man would ever accept the legitimacy of such an entity, which for all practical purposes means you must, for entirely imaginary reasons, defer to the opinion of slaves, aliens, fat childless women, and others who have no share in the actual physical power. (p. 128)

TAKABAP has no illusions about the darkness of the times we live in and yet, a rarity on the Right, is also inspirational. He wants you to live well, you must first flourish individually, and then with a band of brothers, if the West is going to be reborn. Thus, work out, do what you love, make friends, cultivate your skills, amass power. TAKABAP provides, quite lovingly, a good deal of sound life and relationship advice (particularly for budding thought-criminals), for the young men he does not want to see broken by our evil culture.

Don’t, he adds, destroy yourself in some, as of now, pointless political signaling (in America, no rallies). The real America, he points out, was not the Constitution, but the spirit of the Frontier, of the pioneers and cowboys who conquered the Wild West.

TAKABAP prophesies a time when “piratical bands and brotherhoods” will break free from the constraints of modern civilization and torch and plunder all these cities of excess, sub-par, miserable ‘life.’ There are great precedents for this: the Sea Peoples, the Germanic tribes . . .

Who knows what will come. In the meantime, all we may do is ‘flourish in the muddy water,’ like the lotus flower. TAKABAP says: “In the end, nothing can be trusted, that you can’t see and feel yourself” (p. 100). “Constrained and dependent people don’t have real thoughts” (p. 125). “All you need to do is give in to desire for great things” (p. 135). This book is a summoning, an appeal to authenticity and joyous effort, that we may live more beautifully and intensely.

I recommend you buy the book before its inevitable ban by Amazon. I foresee great things will come from the very select few that can hear his message.

Notes

[1] “Matriarchy and anonymity are the principles of these piles of biomass – never call them hives!” (p. 73)

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Feminization, Philosophy 
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I discovered Zen a few years ago. I had never encountered anything quite like it. I had been possessed by the frenetic, over-stimulated nature of life today, which we are all familiar with, particularly in the age of the Internet and social media. I was both restless and aimless, and consumed by the petty anxieties about professional life, where ultimately very little is really at stake.

And then I found Zen, where one is invited to sit down and . . . nothing. How shocking to be told that one should stare at the wall for an hour. And yet, I was not ‘bored,’ and I often came back to the meditation hall.

During zazen, seated meditation, one sits down in a particular posture (legs cross in half or full lotus, back upright, chin tucked in), one follows the breath, and one learns to let go of thoughts – not to suppress – but simply to be detached from them, to watch them go by, like clouds drifting across the sky.

If you ever meditate, you’ll soon find that you cannot repress your thoughts even if you try, that you have little control over your thoughts. The mind is ever-buzzing with our daily plans, daily worries, daily duties, daily frustrations, past memories, and future fantasies. In fact, one can be rather embarrassed at the obsessions which return again and again, surging forth from our subconscious, like strange fish regularly jumping out of the troubled waters of a pitch black lake.

‘Doing nothing’ in zazen actually then entails quite a few activities, quite a few exercises for the mind. One trains oneself in:

  1. Patience
  2. Self-control
  3. Steadiness of will (maintaining posture, returning to the breath)
  4. Detachment from our thoughts (and thereby, from all things)
  5. Self-awareness (observation of our own consciousness and glimpses of our subconscious)
  6. And, finally, the quieting of the mind

Actually, to speak of ‘training’ is in one sense improper, for zazen is practiced without any goal at all. It is a gratuitous waste of time. This is an exercise in self-lessness. The ego is not suppressed, but seen in a different light, as inseparable from the cosmos, which itself, in one sense, exists only through our particular subjective consciousness. Perfect interdependence.

There are many scientific studies claiming that meditation has beneficial effects on mental health and even certain cognitive abilities. I cannot say whether these are credible or not. Perhaps Zen meditation is a mere placebo – a ritual and exercise which can still appeal to and convince the secularized European – but then there are also plenty of studies showing that placebos, in many cases, can help people overcome pain and even depression. I have no doubt that the communal rituals and chanting of religions also can have powerful psychological effects.

All I can say for sure is that the effects for me have indeed been powerful. With regular practice, your way of being during zazen redounds on your way of being in daily life. One is more detached, more tolerant, more sovereign in the face of circumstances. One is less dispersed and has greater self-control. After one meditative retreat, I must say I felt genuinely transformed: I was no longer at war with the world, my contempt for certain colleagues subsided and I was even genuinely happy to see them, I was no longer offended by ‘wrong opinion,’ I was able to genuinely dialogue with others. When you really are happy to see someone, they will be similarly happy to see you. If you work from their starting point – rather than expecting to impose your own – you can actually converge and build something together. In short, you become again a member of your community, while keeping your individuality. You become, at your humble level, a node of positivity and power in this often senseless world.

This feeling faded after a couple weeks. Had I achieved genuine insight? Had I really been more open-minded and altruistic? Or was this a kind of mystical blindness, an indeed altered mental state which, like some drug, led to a merely superficial bliss? I cannot say.

Pythagoreans celebrating the rising sun
Pythagoreans celebrating the rising sun

I can say however that I have faith in Tradition and in the accumulated experience of our ancestors. Spiritual practice is by no means an Oriental monopoly. From the ancient Pythagoreans and Stoics to the medieval Christians, Europeans have worked to alter and train their minds to better reflect the order of the cosmos, the divine. It is only we Moderns who have faltered in this respect. Spiritual exercises gave our ancestors strength to survive and thrive, to persevere in their actions and their principles, in a world which was much more brutal than that of today.

Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy – which has invariably resonated much stronger with me than the Modern – is deeply concerned about the cultivation of the soul. As perfectible beings with a degree of agency, our mind is what we should improve, our actions (which are the only things we might otherwise control) will then necessarily improve. The rest is of no concern to us. For the Ancients, there were not ten thousand ways of producing a good human being: one needed to be well-born, to have a good education, to be socialized with the right people, and train every day. Modern science has added nothing to these insights. As Pierre Hadot has shown, ancient philosophy was deeply concerned, from Pythagoras to Julian, with self-perfection through “spiritual exercises.”

I hasten to add that, unlike many meditators, I personally have no need for any supernatural explanations for spiritual practice’s positive effects. (Which, conversely, does not mean I deny the possibility of the supernatural.)

In this I follow the ancient Stoics, whose practice did not depend on the gods existing or not. Stoic philosophers such as Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius simply observed: almost everything in this world is outside of my control, I should then focus on what is in my control, namely my own state of mind, and focus on entirely detaching myself from the rest and perfecting my own will. (The doctrine of samurai, as most powerfully expressed in the Hagakure, is by the way quite similar in this respect.) Thus, the Stoics developed spiritual exercises (usefully summarized by Massimo Piggliucci), such as premeditating on the ordeals you will face, contemplating the impermanence of things and the vastness of the cosmos, and being ever aware of our inevitable impending death.

Stoicism however always remained the private practice of a part of the Roman elite, never systematically followed, nor spread to the masses. Stoicism could not survive the emotional power and mass appeal of Christianity. Buddhism by contrast offers the strange sight of a movement, in fact a variety of different schools, which can appear either religious or philosophical. Beyond exceptional individuals, a spiritual practice cannot be systematic if it does not take on a religious form. Where the Stoic exercises remain very ‘cognitive’ and ‘cerebral,’ too diverse and wordy in a sense, in zazen there is the purest philosophical exercise: the unflinching contemplation of the void.

The pious Muslim solemnly takes time five times a day to think about his community and his fundamental values. What do you do?

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Buddhism, Philosophy, Stoicism 
Europe Polarizes Between Nationalists and Globalists as Old Parties Fritter Away
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The day is here! After five years, a new European Parliament has been elected! What is the European Parliament? That doesn’t matter too much. On the human level, it is a retirement home for has-been politicians and a trial area for the new generation of (increasingly rootless frequent-flyer) whippersnappers. In terms of policy, it influences the regulation of the European Union’s substantial common market, one of the three largest economies in the world. However, these elections are of interest to us primarily as a snapshot of Europeans’ minds and an indication of future political prospects.

In 2014, I wrote about the breakthrough of about 200 nationalist or soft-euroskeptic MEPs (that’s ‘Members of the European Parliament’) and the consequences over the last five years have been basically zilch. Other than giving said nationalists and soft-euroskeptics are more secure financial and political base.

Anyway, what happened this time? Turnout around was 50.9%, bucking the secular trend of ever-declining amounts of voters. This is the highest proportion of voters in EU elections since 1994 (56.7%). It seems – in the age of Trump, Macron, and Salvini – people are more convinced of the urgency of voting.

For the big picture results, I may as well quote Wikipedia:

The traditionally-dominant center-right conservatives (“European People’s Party,” sounds decidedly virile in the original German: Europäische Volkspartei) and the center-left Social-Democrats have suffered significant setbacks, losing about 40 seats each. Neither has any kind of narrative or distinguishable set of values, but have got along by inertia. Manfred Weber is a colorless party figure hailing from Bavaria (his election slogan in that region: “A Bavarian in Europe!” . . . this ‘good European’ did not use that slogan elsewhere). Nationalist parties in Italy and France have fully replaced the conservatives as the dominant force on the Right. Put simply, there’s nothing “Christian” about these Christian Democrats (and most Europeans are not meaningfully Christian anymore anyway) and represent nothing more than stability and big business, which are not very compelling.

Personally, I was again disappointed to see how badly the French conservatives did (unperforming the polls) despite their new EU election spokesman, François-Xavier Bellamy. “FX,” a 33-year-old philosophy teacher, is high-brow conservative highly critical of immigration. Evidently his brand of conservatism did not resonate with voters however, preferred to go for either Macron or Le Pen.

Frans Timmermans, who is also the current vice-president of the EU Commission, is a fanatical multiculturalist who has issued dark threats against all those who wish to have a homeland of their own: “Diversity is humanity’s destiny, there is not going to be, even in the remotest places of this planet, a nation that will not see diversity in its futures.” Well, everyone except the Jews, Timmermans as Dutch foreign minister took a leading role in opposing non-violent economic measure against the Jewish ethnostate of Israel.

The Social-Democrats are crumpling just about everywhere, having been virtually annihilated by the kiss-of-death of François Hollande’s term as président fainéant, and hitting unimpressive double-digit lower-bounds in the major Western-European countries. Even the relatively-ideological, but unclear on Brexit, Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn did rather badly with 14.1%. The Social-Democrats represent nothing if not moderate “gibs” for the people. But a redistributive program is not very compelling when just about everyone’s basic needs are actually met (housing, fridge, smartphone…) and, anyway, you’re committed to open borders and, therefore, submission to rootless international capital (outsourcing and unskilled immigration undercutting wages, facilitation of tax evasion via “the free movement of capital,” economic submission to bureaucrats in Frankfurt and Brussels, as well as international high finance, in the context of the Eurozone…)

Incidentally, the arch-Zionist Socialist former prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, tried to switch to Catalan politics (his nation of birth…) by running as mayor of Barcelona in a simultaneous election. He finished… fourth.

There was a breakthrough however in the actually more globalist Liberals led by the arch-globalist Guy Verhofstadt, who claims to dream of a “federal” Europe, but certainly a Europe in which all the indigenous ethnies have been blended into one big, brown, insipid global soup. Anything else would be Nazism, you see. The biggest gains were made in France through Emmanuel Macron’s “Renaissance Coalition” of liberals, EU federalists, and globalists, winning 22.4%, far ahead of the conservatives and socialists, consolidating the presidential party’s status as the default party of government. Macron’s European optics – with a voluntarist rhetoric demanding an Europe puissance, for a “sovereign, united, and democratic Europe, able to go toe-to-toe with the United States or China – often have downright Spencerian undertones even as it is highly unlikely he will ever deliver.

The Greens, who if anything are even more diversitarian than the Liberals (they even have two group leaders, IIRC for gender equality reasons), also made significant gains, whether in Germany, France, or Britain, doing better than the Social-Democrats and/or the conservatives. The Greens in both France and Germany did best among the youth, highlighting their idealist streak.

Salvini celebrates, as one commenter notes, in front of Christian, Trumpian, and Putinist iconography.

Of greatest interest to us, the Nationalists (“Europe of Nations and Freedom”) made significant gains with 22 extra seats, essentially reflecting Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s massive breakthrough in Italy with 34.3% of the vote, far and away the biggest party, achieving double that of his vague-populist coalition partners, the Five-Star Movement. I invite people to browse Salvini’s Twitter feed to see why he is so appealing to normies despite the widespread leftist rage against him.

In Belgium – where there were simultaneous elections to the national and EU parliaments – there were big gains in the region of Flanders, with Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) winning some 18% of the vote, sextupling their presence in parliament and becoming the second-biggest party in the country. Much of the credit for this must go Dries Van Langenhove, the 26-year-old activist whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for Unz, who has does so much for Flanders’ identitarian awakening among Flemish youth and on social media. VB’s performance if anything exceeded his expectations and Van Langenhove has been securely elected to the Belgian parliament. The new nationalist party Vox in Spain has entered the EU Parliament with 6.2% of the vote.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Emmanuel Macron, EU, European Right 
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Aristotle in blue.

The consensus among political and economic leaders today is that we must maximize economic growth. This assumption affects virtually the entire political spectrum, with the exception of a radical minority of anti-growth Greens advocating décroissance (“de-growth”). Everybody would like more money in their personal pocketbook, on their company’s balance sheet, and/or the government’s finances (if nothing else, to halt “austerity” programs). In this, U.S. President Donald Trump’s obsession with the stock market’s latest numbers is not much different from E.U. President’s Jean-Claude Juncker’s mantra of “jobs and growth.”

It is true that economic growth feels good, at least in the short term. Business leaders’ perpetual anxiety about making a profit is assuaged and they can enrich themselves through bonuses or stock options. Families can more easily makes ends meet each month. The government, raking in more money in taxes, has more money to spend on welfare, education, and healthcare.

The trouble is that humans’ desire for money and financial security can never be satiated through economic growth. The more a society has, the more a high level of wealth and comfort is taken for granted, the more extraneous luxuries we have, the more money we have to spend simply to keep up social appearances. Whereas past generations lived without cars, today this is considered a necessity. Whereas only a minority of people in the 1920s graduated high school, now almost half of Westerners go to the university – at the cost of public or personal debt – for an education and diploma whose value are often dubious. Whereas past generations may have gone hungry, since the Second World War obesity has spread across the world like an epidemic. Man works, and chases after growth, for the sake of “goods” which are inherently inflationary, or which become outright “bads.”

As the French say, l’appétit vient en mangeant: the more you have, the more you want. The belly is a bottomless pit. There can be too much of an apparently good thing. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say that postwar society is characterized by both physical and spiritual obesity.

Don’t get me wrong: while I am in awe of the voluntary poor – the Spartans, Diogenes the Cynic, or Mahatma Gandhi – I am not a primitivist who believes we should be living a subsistence lifestyle. However, I think we have forgotten a basic traditional insight: that while a minimum of material wealth is certainly necessary for a healthy human existence, after a certain level, increased wealth leads to rapidly diminishing returns, if not outright harmfulness.

This is suggested by the above chart comparing GDP per capita and life expectancy: at around the $20,000 a year per person mark, increased wealth ceases to have much effect on life expectancy. Actually, the benefits of GDP as such may be overstated by this chart, because GDP per capita is often a decent proxy for competent socio-economic organization in general, which may the underlying cause of better healthcare and safety. Thus, a competently organized country not aiming to maximize wealth might have a high life expectancy at an even lower level of GDP per capita (a good example of this is Cuba: Cubans’ life expectancy [79.1 years] being slightly higher than Americans).

I would like to propose another view of economics and economic growth, which in fact is no more than the traditional view of both classical and modern republicanism. In a word, economic growth and purchasing power are not ends in themselves. Rather, wealth is merely a means for particular ends, to be determined by citizens. The ends I propose are eudaimonic (as first posited by Aristotle): to ensure that we, as individuals, nations, and the human race, “flourish” and fulfill to the greatest extent our biological potential and faculties. This eudaimonic public good was defined by Charles Darwin as follows:

The term, general good, may be defined as the rearing of the greatest number of individuals in full vigour and health, with all their faculties perfect, under the conditions to which they are subjected. As the social instincts both of man and the lower animals have no doubt been developed by nearly the same steps, it would be advisable to take as the standard of morality, the general good or welfare of the community, rather than the general happiness; but this definition would perhaps require some limitation account of political ethics.[1]

The advantage of eudaimonism is in giving an end to our otherwise aimless economic trajectory, characterized by the accumulation of stuff. A eudaimonic economics in contrast would be aimed firstly at ensuring human survival and secondly at promoting human excellence.

This begs the question: What is human “excellence”? There can be some debate on this. Our societies however express an implicit belief: that rational and conscious creatures are more valuable than the merely animate (animals) or the vegetative (plants), and that is why humans (and possibly other sentient species) ought to enjoy certain “rights.” This reflects the belief that humans’ rationality and capacity for knowledge and consciousness are our highest faculties. This is not a bad starting point.

Human beings’ rationality, knowledge, and consciousness are furthermore developed and passed on through training, research, and culture. For Aristotle, having to work for a living was a terrible thing – he even wished that there might be divine robots to do the work for us, a dream well within the realm of possibility in the age of automation – and humans should instead, to the extent possible, engage in leisure. But leisure for him did not mean, being a pothead on the dole, but rather fulfilling humans’ potential as rational and social beings, notably by practicing philosophy (the love and pursuit of wisdom, hence the training, research, and culture mentioned above) and rational self-government (civic politics).

This eudaimonic yardstick puts a definite limits on the demands for ever-more things, ever-more growth, ever-more “economic justice.” Today’s mainstream Left, characterized by a limp social-democracy, is as obsessed with purchasing power as is the capitalist Right. Yet the fact is that, callous as it may sound, today your average unemployed northwest European lives in more comfort and security than did a king three centuries ago. That is why social-democracy has become morally exhausted.

Eudaimonic economics gives us a definite sense of what economic justice might be: to ensure collective survival and well-being, to promote excellence in all individuals to the extent possible, but indeed prizing exceptional individuals’ excellence above that. (If I had to choose between giving a thousand proletarians cars and funding a Da Vinci-tier genius’ research program, I would not hesitate for one second.) Eudaimonism means a fertile balance and dialectic between public good and individual excellence, because it both recognizes the inequality of human beings in excellence, and their fundamental interdependence as members of the community. That is to say, eudaimonism affirms the unity and diversity of human societies, rather than the social atomization and fictive equality of the today’s societies.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Economists, Poverty, Universal Basic Income, Wealth 
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Prevalence of Sub-Saharan, North African, and Levantine DNA among indigenous Europeans

I recently came across a very interesting study on the presence of African and Middle-Eastern genes among indigenous Europeans, performed by a dozen American and European academics. The article, entitled “Gene flow from North Africa contributes to differential human genetic diversity in southern Europe,” was published in July 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. While it is somewhat old, I believe the findings are still of interest to observers of Europe.

The authors write:

Human genetic diversity in southern Europe is higher than in other regions of the continent. This difference has been attributed to postglacial expansions, the demic diffusion of agriculture from the Near East, and gene flow from Africa. Using SNP data from 2,099 individuals in 43 populations . . . The gradient of North African ancestry accounts for previous observations of low levels of sharing with Sub-Saharan Africa and is independent of recent gene flow from the Near East. The source of genetic diversity in southern Europe has important biomedical implications; we find that most disease risk alleles from genome-wide association studies follow expected patterns of divergence between Europe and North Africa, with the principal exception of multiple sclerosis.

What is the opposite of “genetic diversity”? I suppose that would be “homogeneity” or even “purity.” Two thousands years ago of the Roman historian Tacitus notoriously claimed that the Germanic tribes were the “purest” race in Europe. More recently, the Nordicist racial theorist Madison Grant argued that there is no hard racial break between the “whites” of Europe and the swarthy Caucasians of the Middle East and North Africa.

The authors go on to say that the genetic differences largely corresponded to classic racial/ethnic categories and to estimate the prevalence of non-European DNA in these populations:

[T]he ancestry assignment differentiated between non-Jewish European populations (from now on referred to as “European”), European Jews, Sub-Saharan Africans, and a group formed by Near Eastern and North African populations. . . . Southern European populations have a high proportion (5–35%) of joint Near Eastern | North African ancestry . . . Southwestern European populations average between 4% and 20% of their genomes assigned to a North African ancestral cluster, whereas this value does not exceed 2% in southeastern European populations. Contrary to past observations, Sub-Saharan ancestry is detected at <1% in Europe, with the exception of the Canary Islands. . . . European ancestry is also detected in North African populations . . . it ranges between 4% and 16% in the rest of North Africa, with notable intrapopulation variation and is absent in most Maghrebi (western North African) individuals from Tunisia and Western Sahara.

Proportion of North African ancestry and estimated minimum time of North African gene flow into Europe
Proportion of North African ancestry and estimated minimum time of North African gene flow into Europe

The authors conclude:

We have shown that recent North African ancestry is highest in southwestern Europe and decreases in northern latitudes, with a sharp difference between the Iberian Peninsula and France, where Basques are less influenced by North Africa. Our estimates of shared ancestry are much higher than previously reported (up to 20% of the European individuals’ genomes). This increase in inferred African ancestry in Europe is due to our inclusion of seven North African, rather than Sub-Saharan African populations. Specifically, elevated shared African ancestry in Iberia and the Canary Islands can be traced to populations in the North African Maghreb such as Moroccans, Western Saharans, and the Tunisian Berbers. Our results, based on both allele frequencies and long shared haplotypes, support the hypothesis that recent migrations from North Africa contributed substantially to the higher genetic diversity in southwestern Europe.

This would obviously correspond to that little event known as the Islamic Conquests, which resulted in the extermination of Roman-Christian Middle East and North Africa. Spain and Portugal survived by the skin of their teeth with the Reconquista. (By the way, Spain has recently apologized for conquering Mexico some five centuries ago. You can bet it would never ever occur to Moroccans, or any other Arabs or Muslims, to apologize to Spain for the aggression of their ancestors.)

These findings should not undermine the case for European solidarity. In terms of ethnic-genetic interests, southern European immigrants generally represent a huge net gain compared to Sub-Saharan African, East Asian, or even Middle-Eastern ones. As the authors note, the presence of Sub-Saharan DNA among southern Europeans is practically negligible. And, obviously, today the presence in Europe of African and Asian genes is most prevalent in relatively-prosperous northwest Europe, due to the massive and ongoing arrival and high fertility of African and Asian immigrants.

The European regions with historically high North African and/or Middle-Eastern DNA have rather different socio-economic and political outcomes as compared with northwestern Europe. In some respects, such as clannishness, corruption, and administrative competence, they can be considered intermediary between northwest Europe and the Middle-East/North Africa. Things change much more rapidly than you might think as you get further and further away from the Hajnal Line (the European equivalent of Moynihan’s Law of the Canadian Border).

In terms of economic development, Portugal, southern Spain, southern Italy, and Greece are all economic laggards. Among the former communist countries, whose economic development has been deformed and retarded by decades of Marxist-Leninist misgovernment, the Balkan countries east of Croatia are by far the worst performers, while Czechia, Slovenia, and the Baltic states look set to converge with the west-European mean.

I have never met a person from the southernmost parts of Europe or the Balkans who expressed any hope their homeland would ever catch up in this respect. The more thoughtful of them dutifully go to conferences on how to fight corruption and misgovernment, on how they might “get to Denmark” as Francis Fukuyama says, and find few answers, at least for the foreseeable future.

Of course, it’s possible the correlation in the genetic and developmental differences between northern and southern Europe are purely coincidental. If some truth-loving oligarch would give me a few million dollars a year, I would happily set up a research institute dedicated to investigating society, psychology, and heredity, in Europe and elsewhere, complete with genome analysts, psychometricians, and real social scientists. Eventually, someone will have to do the work our current “academia” is unwilling to do.

 
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The recent fire which destroyed much of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has led to a great outpouring of emotion. Social media were also ablaze and the government was quickly able to raise a €1 billion in donation pledges to rebuild the iconic monument. Some people I know were quite affected by the sight, being practically reduced to tears. Others were less moved. Quite a few people have been indignant about the money raised: Why not spend such sums on poverty or the environment rather than a mere pile of stone? One person even joked that the edifice should be razed to the ground to make way for something new.

Yet, Notre-Dame resonates. Partly, no doubt, for shallow reasons: Paris is the most-visited city in the world and Notre-Dame is one of the City of Light’s most-visited attractions. As such, millions of frequent-fliers, however godless or anti-Christian they might otherwise be, feel some emotional connection to this great cathedral.

And yet, I think there is something more. Notre-Dame is simply and objectively a national and earthly masterpiece: the intricately semi-controlled chaos of the the Gothic, the delicacy of “stone made into lace” (in the words of Jean-Yves Le Gallou), those gloriously Christian and European luminous flowers of stained glass, so suggestive of the transcendent . . . all this expresses, more viscerally and better than any book, the best that the French soul has had to offer to the world. Notre-Dame is a collective work of art, meticulously built up and maintained from generation to generation.

In much the same way, a nation is a collective work of art, each generation having a responsibility to protect and pass on this inheritance, and add their piece to the edifice. The Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran, a perceptive observer of national character if there ever was one, once said: “France is Notre-Dame Cathedral reflected in the Seine . . . a cathedral which spurns the sky.” We will have occasion to meditate on the meaning of these words.

Notre-Dame has a significance going beyond France however. Given France’s remarkable contribution to humanity’s cultural heritage, it is not too surprising that the art historian Kenneth Clarke chose Notre-Dame for the opening of his classic 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. “What is civilization? ,” Clarke rhetorically asks. “I don’t know. I can’t define it in abstract terms yet. But I think I can recognize it when I see it . . .” He then turns to Notre-Dame, adding: “. . . and I’m looking at it now.”

Notre-Dame burning then is a symbol, a shocking reminder, of the impermanence not merely of old monuments, but of nations and civilizations. Growing up, I had the firm feeling that France was a living, vigorous, and timeless nation, and I was often moved reading the old Gaullist rhetoric of the need to fight for la France éternelle. When I saw those great monuments of brick and stone found in all major European cities, I had a feeling of solidity, of an immovable heritage, of a stable world. But all this is an illusion. Nothing is eternal, least of all nations and civilizations, although we may present things otherwise to reassure our selves. That is also why Notre-Dame burning was such a shock: there is the most graphic reminder that France is mortal and indeed Western civilization itself is mortal. This is not a new observation of of course, as the philosopher Paul Valéry said in 1919: “We civilizations now know that we are mortal.”

I must then admit that I was not particularly moved by Notre-Dame burning. I’ve already made my peace with impermanence. I already know that the rot that is consuming France will in all likelihood kill this fair nation within my lifetime. My heart has already been broken. I have already wept for this. Who can claim, in all sincerity, that in a mere hundred years a nation will still exist on this soil – let alone a nation worthy of the name “France”?

And I have wept and raged at my countrymen and my fellows who would persecute those wish to prevent this. How then may I cry for Notre-Dame? This is the despair of all identitarians, most often a silent despair. And I’ve not done much to express my concern, besides a few scribblings and conversations. But others have. You may be crying for Notre-Dame, but others have wept long before you, at the prospect of our nation, indeed our entire European civilization, sleepwalking into nothingness. It is not a coincidence if Dominique Venner, a great historian and European patriot, took his own life in Notre-Dame Cathedral, the spiritual heart of France, in May 2013, in one final effort to awaken the French people. But how many listened then? That was then. We have today, and tomorrow.

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: France 
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