Reading of the latest “Allahu Akhbar!” attacks (so far this week) in Germany, Turkey, Jordan, Libya, and Switzerland, one is struck by the politicized incompetence of the authorities. This is true both East and West, but in plainer view to us in the West. News reports carry information that even I know they should not be carrying, about police suspicions. We learn that — at the usual frightful expense — additional security measures are in place at e.g. Christmas markets in several hundred cities, including a couple of miles away in this one.
The idea is to put the general public back to sleep, as quickly as possible; to restore what President Harding called “normalcy”; to make the people feel safe in their beds, or waking, busy with their toys and pacifiers.
Apart from the enemy, however, I do not know who can benefit from such information. Too, unnecessary “editorial advice” is provided to the news agencies, not only to keep their language ideologically hygienic, but more systematically to slant and select what is presented. In particular: doubt must be cast on the motives of the perpetrators, and Muslim celebrations of the attacks must be ignored. The general public see through this, partly, but are by now accustomed to the many little lies that shield the big ones on which our liberal-progressive “values” are based.
The people want numbers. In Switzerland, for instance, people were shot, but no one died. That makes it a non-story. The two bombings in Libya of which I am aware happened against the background of a larger terror war, and thus don’t count. The shooting in Ankara made the grade because the dead man was the Russian ambassador, and we know that Putin takes things like that very seriously. Jordan has no background war (yet), but Muslim countries don’t count unless the carnage is very large; a death toll like Berlin’s would be dismissed as mere “local news” from Morocco to Indonesia.
On 26 February, 1993, a slight miscalculation defeated the first attack on New York’s World Trade Centre. Had that massive truck bomb succeeded, in tipping the North into the South tower, fifty thousand would have died that day. Instead it only blew a big hole at the foundations, killing only six. Therefore hardly anyone remembers. But everyone does remember 9/11, because three thousand corpses were created.
The people want numbers. And if they are sufficiently patient, they will get them.
Stuck with the consequences of their immigration and refugee policies (in response to the demography of contraception and abortion), governments across Europe have found themselves in a political pickle. People haven’t become used to terror hits quite yet; and while the numbers are only modestly rising, they are still at the stage where they wonder if something effective could be done. For that and a dozen allied reasons, they threaten to throw all the “natural governing parties” out of power.
There is a real threat to the “smuglies,” as I call them (short for something more rude). Things like Brexit and the Trump win in America have wiped the smiles off their faces. Across the Continent, once secure politicians are asking, “Could it happen here?” They’d be happy to write off a few hundred a year, like traffic accidents. But now something infinitely more important is at stake: their own careers.
From their view, the whole order of the world is threatened, as a direct consequence of their assumptions about it, and they have nothing in their intellectual arsenals to defend it except smears and slanders. This is what we have learnt since the Hillary defeat, on this side of the great salt river. She was no flaming leftist herself; but she found herself surrounded by a party machine long since appropriated by the hard Left, now succumbing to the comforts of lunacy. They have been working to undermine Western Civ for decades, finally forgetting that the parasite needs a living host. They manoeuvred her, or she vacuously manoeuvred herself, into a position where the Trumplings are more credible. It is the same for the “mainstream” politicians in Europe.
Calling people “fascist,” “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or just “deplorable,” no longer works. It does not inspire them to vote for you, once it becomes clear that these terms must apply to more than half of the electorate. We now have hyperinflation in such terms, and of the phantasies that underlie them: the final extension of the old Communist agitprop. And as the cussing loses its effect, the cussers can only reveal their bewilderment. The tree these beavers were felling is falling on them.
I am not editorializing. What is coming will come, regardless of my opinions; I try only to draw the scene, from one angle after another. We have never known what the future will hold, and the only advantage of the present situation is that, for a moment, we understand this. Our entire political swamp seems not draining but overturning; and everywhere we notice the changes, not necessarily for the better.
For a precedent I would turn, most optimistically, to the eleventh century. Europe was transformed — by a collapse of security from multiple invasions (Vikings from west, north, and east; Muslims from east and south; roaming tribes within, &c) — into small feudal statelets. Even (and especially) within the descendant Charlemagnian realms, local and regional “warlords” took charge:
For why? — because the good old rule
Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.
The result was exactly the opposite of conventional expectation. It was the emergence of an unprecedented trans-European unity; of a coherent Catholic Christendom made without human foresight; of a vibrant and self-confident, a chivalric sense of belonging to something beyond the authority of any local ruler. Yet this is something that is not studied, because it strays beyond the comprehension of any modern academic discipline, requiring a synthesis of political, military, economic, social, intellectual, and religious history. I think Christopher Dawson (1889–1970) was the last to expound it worthily.
Surprisingly much of Europe remained unChristianized, on the eve of this “cultural revolution.” Christianity infilled the pagan pockets, and passed over the pagan frontiers, because it offered the very universals for which people longed. It could do so again, for it still offers the only possible groundwork for civilizational recovery in the West, whatever the outward events. (We can see where “secular humanism” has got us.) Or rather, the only alternative would be an Islam, that could only be imposed by force and fear.
China, too, became coherent in this way: through successive disintegrations into feudal statelets, under the hammer blows of barbarian invaders. The principle at work is not formulaic, but can be glimpsed by the mind that is not a prisoner to purely material causes. It is a natural process, but one so broad that we may look through it only to the stars. It reflects the mysterious fact that the universe itself is ordered, at each level on every scale.
The formation, and reformation of a civilization is not done by planning. It does not depend on the efficiency of the police. It happens under no political regulation, but by a trillion trillion tiny acts of human decency. By faith.
Which is the only way I know to proceed: by faith. Stop wrecking and scout beauty again; reject evil and embrace the good; withdraw your support for the false gods, and seek only the True. This is in fact the central message of Advent. It is a voice crying in the wilderness: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”