This dictatorship of the present has been enabled by around thirty years of material abundance and relative peace following the conclusion to the Cold War. As John Keegan, the military historian put it, Britain and American can afford our universalist idealism and our fantasies of a benevolent world united and ameliorated through commerce, given our good geographical fortune of being separated from continents by bodies of water. We can forget that the tides of history have pulled whole cultures under in violence and war, instead indulging in an imagined progressive history, moving ever upwards towards ever greater enlightenment and prosperity.
Our leaders, if they deserve the name, have forgotten the lessons of history, because they do not know history. They do not know the fate of nations and peoples. They are ignorant of the importance of the landscape of the world and the moral landscape of the heart, and how the interplay between the two shapes the destinies of civilisation. It is not to engage in nostalgia for a vanished age that never existed to reckon with the fact that those who governed us in the past were well aware of life’s tragic nature, of the reality of necessity and the ultimate goal of the avoidance of anarchy, its own form of tyranny. Our leaders in the 19th and up to the mid-20th centuries had been baptised in the fires of historical experience and therefore knew that the maintenance of right order, in accordance with the good, true, and beautiful, was the precondition for any liberty. Utopian, romantic ideas of universal rights, spreading democracy and natural freedom were dangerous in their unbounded idealism, leading nations and government astray in the quest for moral perfection.
History never ended, in the sense Francis Fukuyama meant it. Hegel, and his disciple Alexander Kojeve, were both wrong in discerning a direction to human History that would see the creation of the perfect liberal democratic regime and state of being in our world. History is the story of the deeds men and women do and accomplishments achieved together as clans, tribes, cities, empires, and nations. It is a story that will only end at the end of all things. Awareness of the living past reminds us that our lives are part of the weave of time, stretching back across the years, our own lives and the actions we take adding the threads that continue into the future.
This is an excerpt from “Mayday! Mayday!”. To continue reading, visit The Mallard’s Shopify.
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By Jake Painter — 1 year ago
“Do not cast me aside in my old age; as my strength fails, do not forsake me.”Psalm 71:9
I, like many others, am no stranger to a family member who has suffered an undignified death. To see a loved one who previously beamed with vitality and independence to go out in a certain manor is inconceivably hard. At one point, I did think would it not be best if my loved one and the loved ones of many other people, have the chance to die with dignity. That is what it comes down to for many people who are in favour of euthanasia – giving dignity to those who have lost it. I have no doubt that many have good intentions when it comes to euthanasia. What I fear and wish to highlight however is that in our desire to bring dignity to those who are nearing the end of their lives, we’ll be exposing a great many more people to an even worse indignity.
We see this indignity play out in real life – most notoriously – in Canada. Perhaps the most famous example came in February 2022, when a Canadian Woman by the name of Sophie (from Ontario) ended her life after she was unable to secure affordable housing because of her chronic illness and was unable to live with her meagre disability payments. This is far from an isolated case either as there have been other Canadians in a similar position who have felt they’ve had no choice but to end their lives. When discussing bringing about greater indignity – we’re not just talking about on a personal level for these poor individuals. As tragic as the individual cases like Sophies are, the question must be asked what are the structural problems within Canadian society that cause such tragedies such as these to happen?
It should be no surprise to anyone that Canada has some of the lowest spending on social care out of any developed nation; with waiting times being unbearable. Palliative care is also only being available for a select few. It is no coincidence either that this deteriorating situation in both sectors comes off the back of Canada’s liberalisation of euthanasia over the past several years. The numbers suggest this to be the case. Before the 2021 Bill C-7 entered into force, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer published a report about the cost savings it would create. Whereas the old system (based around the 2016 C-14 law that legalised euthanasia in the first place) saved $86.9 million per year – Bill C-7 would create additional net savings of $62 million per year. Healthcare, particularly for those suffering from chronic conditions, is expensive; but assisted suicide only costs the taxpayer $2,327 per ‘case’.
Why – with the obvious financial advantage outlined above that euthanasia brings – would the state in Canada have any incentive to fix the serious issues with its healthcare system? For that matter, why would any state that legalises euthanasia do so either? Simply put, if the state finds it cheaper to simply let you die, then it will more often than not allow for public services to deteriorate. This is what creates the indignity for the greater number of people. It creates indignity for those who can’t proper healthcare, it creates indignity for the disabled who can’t get the care they deserve, it creates indignity in general for the vulnerable in our society who quickly become viewed as a nuisance and would be better if they simply went away.
This is ironic considering that since – for most of Joe Public at least – euthanasia is propagated on compassionate grounds. That compassion is almost out of a sense of social duty towards our fellow man that they should be able to die in a dignified way. What cases like in Canada should demonstrate however is that there is a massive difference between the principle and practical implementation of euthanasia. I would argue however that the practical implementation of euthanasia demonstrates a much more sinister motive amongst our ruling elite. One utilitarian in nature.
Jeremy Bentham is not a widely known philosopher – at least not when you’re referring to Joe Public. He’s not as widely recognisable as say Marx or J.S.M. He is arguably however one of, if not the most consequential philosopher in modern history. The basic premise of Bentham’s philosophy is that society and the state should base its decisions on creating the greatest good for the greatest number. Whatever serves the majority interest is in of itself correct. Euthanasia is arguably the purest embodiment of the utilitarian method. As we see with Canada, Canadian law makers see euthanasia (or MAID, as they call it) as a means of saving money and gradually emancipating themselves from the responsibility of looking after the most vulnerable in society. The greatest number in this case is the Canadian tax payers and the greatest good is saving them a load of money. From a purely utilitarian point of view, this is perfectly fine; but I would argue that this is far from the moral thing to do.
Again, utilitarianism may be not a well-known philosophy but it is one of the most consequential in human history. From the workhouse to the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century – many of the evils in recent human history have based their understanding on the basic utilitarian premise: providing the greatest good for the greatest number. This is not to say that any application of the utilitarian method is bad. It is to say however that you cannot base policy purely on this method – whether it is in the benevolent desire of allowing people to die with dignity or whether by the more sinister application of ridding society of its undesirables. Any application of the method should always be tempered by a strong moral value system.
For Those who have read ‘A Brave New World’ would know one of the things that makes the world of that book so dystopic is its prolific use of euthanasia. Once one reaches the age of 60 in the book, citizens are – whilst not explicitly mandated by the state –heavily encouraged to end their lives. Once you reach past that age, you are seen as more of a burden to society; so it’s best for everyone if you died. This highlights another consequence that will arise from the legalisation of euthanasia. Not only (as highlighted above) would euthanasia encourage the state to rid itself of its duties towards the citizens it governs over but it would make society more brutal in general. A new zeitgeist will form amongst the public, where the value of life is greatly diminished. People will also lose their sense of duty towards their fellow man and start thinking why they should their tax money be spent looking after the most vulnerable in society when they can so easily be disposed of. If the state doesn’t have the idea first, then I should imagine that the state will face grassroots pressure from the public to negate its duties towards the vulnerable. Far too many aspects of A Brave New World have already become a reality in our modern society: I would rather if this didn’t become another prophetic part of our everyday life.
Arguably though, the greatest philosophical/moral argument against euthanasia is that death in of itself is undignified. As a close friend of mine working in policy said to me, there is no dignity in dying. Ever. Dying is always a great humiliation; which can only be alleviated by a clear conscience, family, friends, and having your affairs in order. Death is a sentence passed on all of us: it is the great equaliser. Whether you die soiled and limp or die through sedation and euthanising drugs; the result is ultimately the same: death. As such, euthanasia is a trick to con people into thinking they have agency over that humiliation, but they don’t. That is the great lie that is propagated.
But do we have reason to believe that many of the real world and theoretical issues associated with euthanasia would become a reality in the UK? Yes, the precedent is there in spades unfortunately.
Possibly the most notorious example in the UK is the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). Created in the late 1990s in order to provide good palliative care for those reaching the end of their lives, the LCP was initially well received. It became clear by the early 2010s though that things were seriously wrong. There were multiple scandals of malpractice; including purposefully dehydrating patients for days or leaving them sedated, meaning they were unable to ask for food or water. The Pathway was announced to be ending by July 2013 by ministers but by December 2013 it was clear that the programme was simply being rebranded. What’s worse is that the new draft guidance from 2013 stated that any patients unable to swallow could be denied food and fluids by tubes unless a hospital team decides it is in their “best interests” to have them. This goes further than current laws which only allows such practices for patients assessed and found to lack mental capacity. One eery similarity that was found with the LCP and the Canadian experiment is that it was found in 2012 that many patients were sent to the LCP without their or their families consent in order to save money. An additional financial incentive to encourage patients to end of life care has also been present since the 2001 Palliative Care Review, where hospitals get more funding if they put more patients on end of life care.
This is not even mentioning the NHS’s history of ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) orders. Around the same time when the LCP was unravelling, there were scandals with NHS Trusts misusing said DNR orders. From May to December 2011 for example, eight Trusts were warned because of such malpractice. University Hospitals Birmingham were warned twice in the previous two years alone and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – one of the hospitals that came under the Trust – was found in June 2011 by the CQC of not always involving patients or relatives in DNR decisions.
Perhaps one of the most famous and tragic cases of the NHS’s misuse of DNR orders is the case of Janet Tracey in 2011. Janet Tracey had been diagnosed with lung cancer and had fell and broken her neck in February 2011. She died 16 days later. Her husband David Tracey launched allegations that the medical staff at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge where his wife resided, unlawfully issued DNR orders without his wife’s consent – cancelling the first DNR order after she objected and days later adding another to her medical notes without her consent or any discussion. David Tracey took the hospital to the Court of Appeal and won in 2014, with the court ruling that the hospital acted unlawfully. The Tracey judgement did set the precedent that hospitals/Trusts had to inform patients if DNR order has been placed on their records but that judgement doesn’t seem to have been respected fully. Recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, 508 DNR’s were issued from March 2021 to March 2021; ignoring the legal precedent set by the Tracey case. Only last year did a long-term anti-war and peace activist Eric Levy pass away from a double tragedy of having a DNR placed on him and him being put on a rebranded Care Pathway.
This – I must stress – is not an exercise of trashing the NHS in particular. In fact, it’s safe to assume that many issues the NHS has faced and would face if euthanasia was legalised would be faced by most, if not all healthcare systems across the globe. This being said though, with the prospect of euthanasia being legalised becoming more apparent in the UK, looking at the precedent set within our own healthcare system is vitally important, and if we’re being honest here, the picture is not good. One can talk about the need to implement proper safeguards if euthanasia was legalised in this country – which would certainly be pertinent to do. The problem is that the NHS has – on multiple occasions – failed to implement proper safeguards for patients who were reaching the end of their lives in the past; so what makes one think they will implement the appropriate safeguards when/if it’s legalised? It may sound harsh but it’s far from an unfair question to ask, people’s live literally depend on it after all.
The concerns around euthanasia do not just potentially affect those who are of unsound body but also of ‘unsound’ mind. Turning back to Canada, Canada’s C7 Bill will, by March 2023, allow for assisted suicide for people with a whole range of mental health issues; which include but not limited to depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, personality disorders, or schizophrenia. Unlike in the Netherlands however, there is no need for a doctor to agree that euthanasia is necessary, it’s entirely subjective and based on the afflicted feelings at the time. Even in the aforementioned Netherlands, where the regulations for psychiatric euthanasia is nominally much more strict, the practical checks and balances are sketchy at best. After euthanasia has taken place, the doctors have to submit a report to one of the 5 regional review committees, but the positions on the committees are not full-time roles and they cannot be a specialist in every case, as they have to handle around 6,500 per year (which is not a small number considering the Netherlands size). As a result, the doctor is always right in effect, with there only being one case where a doctor has been prosecuted for breaking the 2002 law. This is in a country that has significant more experience with psychiatric euthanasia and still struggles. One can only imagine the huge amounts of extra bureaucracy that would be needed in the UK to make sure such a practice was properly regulated.
Which poses the question, how do you properly regulate it? Unlike physical illnesses, a medical professionals opinion on mental illness is much more subjective and less definitive. This is a question that needs to be satisfactorily answered because the real world application of euthanasia demonstrates that psychiatric euthanasia will eventually come. I particularly worry about this since we live in a world of millennial/Gen Z nihilism. Sure we like to joke on the internet about it but the sort of satire culture that has emerged around this nihilism amongst the younger generations is based of a genuine feeling of despair much of the time. Legalising psychiatric euthanasia without the necessary safeguards (if the ability to create said safeguards are even possible), along with the growing nihilism and mental health problems arising from the younger generations, is a recipe for disaster. We already see this in part in the Netherlands again where 1 in 5 psychiatric euthanasia’s were not previously hospitalised and a significant minority did not receive psychotherapy. With the NHS being under-resourced as it is currently, I would imagine this ratio could potentially be even higher.
The slippery slope is far from a fallacy. Indeed, I fear that euthanasia, if it is legalised, will initially be legalised based off the desire to allow those in the most incurable suffering to end their lives, but then will gradually become more and more liberalised beyond the original intention of that legalisation. This is not without precedent. With euthanasia this is particularly dangerous because it will potentially mean an industrial scale slaughter of the most vulnerable in our society. We must recognise that whether we are talking about the practical, philosophical, or the moral implications of legalising euthanasia; there are problems at every turn. As such, we must exercise the greatest conservative principle, that being caution, when pondering whether or not we should legalise euthanasia; because once it’s done, it’s done; there’s no going back.
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By Nathan Wilson — 1 year ago
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, many have turned their attention towards Taiwan and China. It has been no secret that since 1949, China have sought to reunify the island with the mainland and that Taiwan has sought to resist. However, I argue that for Taiwan this decade will be vitally important and that if it can survive the next ten years then it will probably outlast mainland China.
Regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I argue that demographics play a greater role than what has been initially stated. When you have a largely aging society like Russia has, the nation’s political elites know and understand that there is a limited timeframe in which they can act. The reason for this is because, they understand the current size of potential army recruits remains at the largest it is going to be for the foreseeable future.
As too it has been argued that Russia sought to invade Ukraine now because of this reduction in young people and the need to secure the nation’s geographic security gaps that are presently open. Consequently, I argue that China is no different with these problems and the need to secure its own political goals regarding Taiwan.
Subsequently, since 1949 China has been defiant about its position on Taiwan and its strategic messaging to the rest of the world about it. Alongside this, China will have needed to take Taiwan by the latest 2027.
This is because of similar demographic reasons that an aging China has started to face, mirroring the structural conditions that plague Russia’s desire to act while it still can.
If we take the fact that China is the fastest aging society in history, and that it needs to achieve all its goals by the year 2049, we are left with two very interesting intersecting factors at play.
If we work backwards from the year 2049, the targeted symbolic year of a hegemonic Chinese nation we can start to be presented with a better image and a potential reunification timeline that could unfold. That gives us a twenty-seven-year gap from present, in which they will need to achieve this.
Typically, it takes twenty years for a generation to occur, as noted by Strauss and Howe. This period will be important because it will be the benchmark for which unification normalisation will start to begin. What this will allow is the full political annexation of Taiwan over to mainland China. This is because a full generation of normalisation needs to happen, to make sure all political issues can be worked out and solved when being cored happens.
We can observe similar processes occurring in both Hong Kong and Macau, but as shown China does not have fifty years to fully transfer sovereignty to the mainland. Therefore, a mere generation will be the minimum for which China can hope to achieve this change.
We do not have much historically to compare too when regarding modern Island nation invasions but if nations like Ukraine and Afghanistan are to be models for Post-Cold War invasions and occupations, then it is deeply unlikely that an invasion’s success would be achieved in the space of a month.
However, working on the core assumption that China can peacefully walk straight into the island and the straight the process of sovereignty transfer right away. This would leave us with the year 2029 to start this process immediately in theory.
Secondly, if a drawn-out conflict would occur to fully control the island, this would take arguably two-five years depending on the resistance put up by Taiwanese soldiers and citizens alike. If we take a conservative estimate and say it will take two years of conflict to fully pacify the nation (something unprecedented in modern history). This would leave us with the year 2027, just five years from now, for which invasion can occur to reach China’s own deadline of 2049.
I argue that Taiwan will have plenty of time to both prepare and acknowledge a basic timeline of how China will seek to act. This becomes especially relevant due to the geographic conditions of the island and its 180km distance between itself and the mainland. It will be almost impossible to sneak up on the nation or launch a full amphibious assault. In addition, any Chinese military build-up will be noticed and will give the Taiwan several months to directly prepare for an invasion.
This is not withstanding neighbouring nations, that will be brought into interfering in any potential conflict, especially with the QUAD nations being heavily reliant on Taiwanese business.
Yet, we have ignored one core thing that still matters and that is China’s demographic position. The nation similarly to Russia is approaching a massive demographic bust moment, in part due to its over thirty years of negative fertility rates. Subsequently, the chances of China invading Taiwan remain unlikely at 20%, in the long term when regarding the next five years. As such, this has been best documented by both Hoie and Darley, both have demonstrated the difficulty on China’s part towards achieving this aim.
However, if they do China will not be able to hold the nation, just like how both the Soviet Union and the West could not hold Afghanistan. The outcome of this will be catastrophic for the Chinese nation state, on not just a political level but on a civilisational one too.
Taiwan will continue and will eventually survive, against Chinese aggressions. This is in part because of the decreasing likelihood of China of securing its desired timeframe due its fast-approaching demographic bomb.
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By Tom Sullivan — 3 months ago
I’m warming myself by the fire where pork shish-kebabs crackle, as I gulp down sweet homemade wine with cured belly fat and black village-bread. We are at a friend’s dacha about 150 miles southeast of Moscow. As we drink the talk gets more political. Eventually a bearded armchair expert starts explaining a theory involving different ethnic groups having innate biological proclivities. He explained Englishmen were ‘sailors’, they live on an island, and they sailed around the world and settled new lands. Jews were ‘traders’ and therefore became widespread but remained on the outside. Russians were the ‘forest men’, who conquered the Eurasian steppes, uniting Slav with Turk in a forest-steppe continuum – or something like that. I didn’t realise until much later that this was a bastardised layman’s understanding of a genuine, developed school of thought now popular in Russia and beyond.
The once-obscure theories of Lev Gumilyov, the Gulag-surviving Soviet social scientist and son of influential poets, are now deeply embedded in the Russian mainstream. Gumilyov conflated nationality and ethnicity into ‘ethnos’ – a universal element of history that makes its foundation. He believed that each ethnos acquired ‘behaviour stereotypes’ in its early stages of development or ‘ethnogenesis’ (presumably what my drunk acquaintance was referring to), connected to geography but also to another concept – passionarity. Passionarity can loosely be defined as an intrinsic motivation towards purposeful activity. Putin has described it as ‘the will of a nation’; its ‘inner energy’. This became the ontological framework for Eurasianism which, part-philosophy part-ideology, is newest part of the story that Russia tells itself. In practice, Eurasianists believe that the post-Soviet states of the ‘near abroad’ are Russia’s natural allies, and not the Slavs or others to their West. They believe Russia and the states that surround it make up a unique, ‘Eurasian’ civilisation united by a ‘Tatar-Mongolic’ heritage, making up the heartland, destined to be in constant battle with the outer rimland.
This might sound like (and likely is) wishful ahistorical nonsense, but there are worse examples. Hungary is an observer state of the Turkic Council, and every year hosts the ‘Great Kurultay’ event, where participants from across the Turkic states and Turkic regions of Russia gather to ride horses and dress like Genghis Khan. The debates over Hungarian pre-history are as confusing and they are endless but basically, they also involve a lot of Eastern-European Turkophilia and dubious historiography. The Turks themselves are split between being a reincarnation of an ancient nomadic people in the body of a Kemalist republic or the rebirth of Islamic power rising from the Ottoman ashes. We might find all this story telling strange, but what stories do we tell ourselves today? What is the level of our ‘inner energy’?
One of the stories we tell ourselves is that ‘the West’ exists as a civilisational bloc due to a shared European and Christian culture, but how true is this now? Our leaders almost never define us in this way. We are instead liberal, democratic nations united by ‘shared values’. The power of ‘the West’ is invoked only when we are being convinced of virtues of the latest war. In this values-based understanding, Taiwan is just as much a part of the West as Israel and Japan are. When that loose definition can’t be convincingly stretched enough (thinking for example of our good friends Saudi Arabia), then we simply become ‘the international community’. All of this is collapsing in front of us, as forgotten civilisations re-emerge with powerful narratives. The West’s old stories do not even convince any more, let alone inspire.
If we look under the hood of this artificial construct of the modern West, we see that it’s held together by little other than the political, economic, and military ties of the globalist regime. I shouldn’t have to say that this does not diminish the magnitude of the West’s contribution to art and science, but a culture must be lived to exist. When it ceases to be, it becomes mere history. We must look at the reality of what today’s West is and not just where it came from. We can divide the modern West into roughly three parts (if we exclude for now the strange parallel Western world that is South America) and they are the Anglo-Saxon countries, the ex-communist states, and the rest of continental Europe. Let’s look at them one by one.
The nations that spent decades under communism are undergoing what can only be described as a cultural renaissance. Hungary and Poland are notable examples, but the pattern is at play across the former Warsaw Pact countries. Being frozen off from the rest of the West for all those decades has unexpectedly left these societies uninfected by the viruses of cultural guilt, atheism, mass immigration, degenerate pop culture and third wave feminism, just to name a few. In fact, the repression of national cultures, religion and traditional family life has led people to embrace and guard those aspects of their identity and lifestyle with a militant zeal. I am aware that most of these countries suffer chronic demographic issues of some kind, but unfortunately most of the world are now victims to a similar fate, so let’s park that for now.
These countries suffered occupation and oppression from many empires across the past centuries, all engaging in national struggles, only to engage in new ones as the red yoke fell. They are therefore not short of stories to tell themselves. The revival of Christianity in these lands only adds to the spiritual rebirth that is evidently sweeping this part of the world. Gone are its Orwellian regimes and rigid state ideologies, very obviously authoritarian, offensively so to our Western sensibilities. Yet the Brave New World-style totalitarian society that we now live in is less obvious, most of us refusing to see it despite it being all around us. It may well be the case that the future will see a new Iron Curtain, where EUSSR citizens try to escape to the sunlit uplands of Eastern Europe. This is what the direction of travel indicates.
Next up is the rest of continental Europe. For all its faults and afflictions, countries like France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and even Sweden, are in better positions to get out of the mess they find themselves in than, say, the UK (which finds itself in a near-identical mess). It turns out that the European system of proportional representation and regionalism is a far better bulwark against globalist top-down policies than the much revered Westminster system of government, as the success of Meloni, Wilders and other patriotic populists shows. Here, the inferior status of the English-language along with inherent protectionist tendencies have acted as shields from the extremes of financialised progressivism. Not having the world’s lingua franca as your native tongue adds a filter between national cultures and the globalist monoculture.
Despite most European capitals being marked with giant conquering rainbow flags, thousands of non-metropolitan regions maintain the standards and traditions of their forebears. Culture is preserved on the local level, with much disdain and distrust directed towards the centre. An understanding that traditional way of life relies on a healthy nation, rather than on liberal democratic values, is pervasive and comes naturally. Folk music, national dress, culinary customs, community events, religious occasions and even superstitious traditions are more prevalent and taken more seriously on the continent. These countries are locked in a tug-of-war between the chauvinist East and the emasculated West. Preserving these rich cultures by reclaiming the nation-state seems like a motivating purposeful activity and compelling story.
So, what do you do when you are a country made up of four nations? What if your language is not a delicate national treasure but the universalist tongue of billions? What if your country was set up by people from one part of the world, but is now populated by people from a different part? These are just some of the identity crisis challenges that face the Anglo-Saxon world today. What stories can these countries tell themselves about their place in history and their destiny as a people, outside of materialist comparisons? GDP rankings aren’t the stuff that give you goosebumps. Christian heritage holds these societies together, but actual belief in Christianity is largely missing. Other non-religious ‘values’, like ‘tolerance’ and ‘belief in the rule of law’ are as perverted as they are meaningless. Even Ireland with its unique story was until recently one of the most cohesive, vibrant, and successful of the English-speaking countries, but has now followed its cousin-countries down a road of ruinous self-flagellation.
The United States likes to tell itself that its constitutional system is so perfect that it has been able to melt the peoples of the world into a nation based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the official narrative. Like many official narratives, not only are they instantly challenged by people’s reality, but they are fundamentally untrue. The country was founded by settlers from a very small triangle of the world roughly covering England and Holland. Its system has worked only insofar as the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture has dominated. As we are realising to our horror today, our social order is not based on what laws we have, but on how ordinary people behave. Yes, it is illegal to commit rape and murder, but that fact is not the only thing stopping me from doing those things. Somehow, I also don’t want to.
America seriously struggled with integrating first German then Irish and Italian immigrants, due to what were then considered as huge differences in culture. In time, the shared aspects of European culture proved to be enough of a basis to integrate these masses of people into a new nation. Yet it was the efforts of a handful of Ashkenazi Jews in the early 20th century that would cement the homogenous American identity and bring it to life. Through the studio system, the barons of Hollywood’s golden era created folklore for a virgin country, projecting an Anglo good life and WASP values across the land and world. The American dream was not about getting rich but raising strong God-fearing families behind a white picket fence.
This America has long been lost and its 21st century replacement is on a trajectory to become part of Latin America. Like Brazil now, it’s set to become a country where the south is populated largely by White European evangelical Christians while its coastal cities are made up of wealthy gated communities and skyscrapers, separating the liberal elites from the mixed favelas and shanty towns. Adopting Spanish as a national language also adds to this analogy. Part of this region’s problem is that, with Europeans, Africans and natives mixed throughout the arbitrary post-colonial borders, it lacks convincing stories to tell itself. This is probably behind the Latin American habit of entering abusive relationships with radical ideologies.
This leaves us with the rest of the English-speaking countries, the British Isles, and their offspring. The British identity formed with the union of kingdoms and came into its own with the growth of empire. The Scots, Irish, English, and Welsh spread out from their small corner of the globe and settled its far-flung frontiers, producing developed and orderly societies. Far from diminishing the British identity, the loss of empire should have been an opportunity, a released burden, from having to govern large masses of alien people. The British world, with its shared state structures, language, and history, should have been a proudly embraced inheritance, ensuring the culture of these small islands lives on across the world. Instead, America took our place as the mother country, and along with the other realms we have all become part of the American world. Yet the American dream is now clearly a nightmare.
Interest in increasing ties between these extremely similar countries was revived during the Brexit campaign, with the idea of CANZUK, a proposed political alliance between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK being one of the more promising projects. Its proponents argue that it makes sense for countries with similar economic, political, and legal systems to increase cooperation. Yet these systems have brought the same ills to all these countries. All these countries have had decades of mass immigration and state multiculturalism. All these countries engaged in inexcusable tyranny and criminal negligence during the covid years. All these countries are fully signed on to serving the military-industrial complex and the agenda behind the climate scam. All these countries are losing their identities far quicker than anywhere in Europe or even than America. Is there a common cause of this? It seems more likely than not that a once shared-cultural space left us victim to the same cultural decline, and the extreme liberalism of today’s CANZUK nations (even in comparison to ‘progressive’ European countries) suggests there’s something running through all that ties us together and has sent us all down the same wrong paths. It therefore seems unlikely that further integrating these countries in their present states would make anything better. There’s been such a demographic shift, an erosion of national sentiment and a detachment from the traditional culture of the British Isles, that the populations of these countries would reject this.
Another trait shared by these countries is the seeming inability to think outside of modern ideologies; leftism, capitalism, socialism, liberalism, secularism, nationalism, etc. These all take different objects of study, be it class, the individual, the nation, and increasingly in our post-modern world, race, sexual identities, and other perceived oppressed characteristics. What lies outside all these largely Western constructs is traditionalism. Traditionalism isn’t an ideology but rather a school of thought. It’s of course entangled with right wing politics, but it is a separate prospect. Time to the traditionalist is not linear but cyclical. We’re not going somewhere in the future but instead always coming back to a past. It’s seeing the immaterial in the material. The inherent virtue of tradition and moral good of beauty. It is possible to embrace this mindset without believing in God, but it’s easier when you do. Either way, it requires a breaking out of our utilitarian conditioning. Shun the bugman world!
There is a clear difference between the health and overall robustness of modern British and Turkish cultures, to give an example. This can be demonstrated in how cultures collide. In Turkey, the native culture reigns supreme, forcing all forms of art and entertainment to conform to local tastes or bend itself in some way. Netflix and Disney plus can’t just dish out subtitled versions of their usual fare, they must create locally produced, Turkish-oriented content or they won’t survive. Likewise, foreign music is a rarity on the airwaves, with outside genres being morphed and orientalised out of recognition before taking final form. International fast-food chains perform well but will never outcompete the legion of local takeaways with their motorcycle delivery armies. Even then, country-specific modifications are common. The point is, this is a robust culture that absorbs and bounces away outside elements. Modernity is only accepted once it has been infused with tradition, or domesticised.
Unfortunately, modern British culture does not absorb and shape incoming elements but rather accepts and is taken over by them. Such is the dogmatic nature of the near-official state ideology of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, that the concept of a supreme, native culture is a thoughtcrime. If you told a Turk that Britain’s national dish was something called ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’ he would look at you with a mix of bemusement and disdain. Multiculturalism does not have to mean accepting foreign cultures as they are and putting them on a pedestal, but in the absence of a muscular home-culture this becomes a fait accompli. Britain, a country that just a few decades ago was a net cultural exporter, has undeniably lost its mojo. The reasons for this are likely to do with our modern economic system and the various cultural and sexual revolutions visited upon it in this period. Adding many millions of immigrants from the most incompatible parts of the world to the population in a short timeframe has undoubtedly contributed to the decline in shared identity, but it is not the root cause. Few offer a compelling way forward. Traditionalism offers a way to relook and renew.
There is something universalist in this perspective that deserves appreciation. Traditionalism has a ‘to each their own’ attitude that is especially attractive those of us who are sympathetic to non-interventionism and realism in international relations. At present, we ‘the West’, have not given up our position of the constant moral lecturer of the world. This position becomes ever more absurd as the reality of our corruption and social decay is further exposed. We lament the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny and other political dissidents in Russia yet have nothing to say about the imprisonment of Julian Assange or the death of David Kelly. We condemn the primitive corruption of local officials in the third world yet have nothing to say about the institutionalised corruption of our military and pharmaceutical industries and their revolving door self-regulating agencies. We scare ourselves with stories of China’s ‘social credit system’ while living in a comparable digital dystopia ourselves. We invade countries on false pretences, only to bait-and-switch into a Darwinian superiority battle of civilisations.
Our reaction to spending trillions of dollars, two decades and thousands of lives to replace the Taliban with the Taliban, is to Twitter shame Afghanistan for being culturally backward. It is therefore no surprise that Israel has done its own bait-and-switch, abandoning its anti-Hamas line in favour of posting pictures of gay IDF soldiers kissing, therefore demonstrating its cultural superiority compared to the backward homophobic Arabs. All this hypocritical and psychopathic nonsense is thrown out when you view the world through the traditionalist lens. It accepts the world as it should be; differing realms with their own ways of life. The world will not end if we simply let the Arabs be Arab and let China be China. The important thing is that we let Britain be Britain. We should own the right to be ourselves and drop the self-imposed burden of trying to change others. Live and let live – at the moment we do neither.
As far as cultural inheritances go, these islands are luckier than most. The rich tapestry of clans, tongues and kingdoms are genuinely ‘diverse’, and when you drive out of the big cities their beauty is on full display. This is a great lot to work with. As modern urban life becomes increasingly unbearable, it will be to the countryside and villages where people will escape and try to reconnect with the eternal. In the last few years especially, people of individual, independent, conservative, and alternative persuasions have (ironically) used the power of the internet to become part of a revival of traditional ways of eating and living. These people are entitled to (and do) make their own meanings and tell their own stories, but a nation is like an organism and relies on all its constituent parts to function properly. For this, we need grand narratives not of a brighter material future, but of a deep, spiritual, and eternal connection to the land and the people we share it with. It doesn’t particularly matter what stories we tell, but we need to think of some new ones because the old ones don’t work anymore. It will not make me popular to observe that the Second World War, for whatever reason, is no longer the unifying national myth that it once was (at least for Britain). Even countries like Russia, which treats the Second World War as a sort of national religion, needs other tales and stories to tell itself in addition to that. We need big narratives about who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Celebrating St George’s Day and Margaret Thatcher isn’t going to cut it. We are faced with a fundamentally different country at a critical time in its history.
Britain is a nation with extraordinary prospects that are being wasted because there is no vision. It has, to use Gumilyov’s terminology, low passionarity. Many British people to do not feel that group-specific inner biocosmic force inside of them, and that is a failure of culture over anything. My few childhood years spent in an Irish primary school imbued me with more of an appreciation and affection for that island and its culture than I ever got from a lifetime of secondary and higher education in the UK. The stories of my parents and grandparents, who as immigrants are more inclined to engage in cultural propaganda, instilled in me a visceral feeling of belonging and connection with my ancestors, and their cultures and histories. Yet I only truly connected with the traditionalist mindset after a long process of consciously deprogramming myself from the globohomo monoculture. I now experience a complete synthesis of my various identities, without succumbing to shallow partisanship. I see the beauty in and take strength from them all. The stories and traditions sustain me every day. These bedrocks of any culture need serious replenishing in our country. Our future depends on it. It won’t be an easy task and there are no overnight fixes. The many decades and multiple generations it took for the long march through the institutions to bring us to our current state can only be counteracted through an equally long period of renewal. As the cultural Marxists attacked the family and hijacked education, watching the consequences ripple through to the rest of society, so too must we rebuild the family and reclaim education over a long period of time. If this is viewed as a political project with goal posts, we will be doomed to fail. Instead, this should be viewed as an unending, cyclic process of passing on and telling stories to inspire meaning and bravery. So, reject modernity, embrace tradition!
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