A drum-roll announces the Communist Manifesto : Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa…. a ghost is stalking Europe, the ghost of Communism…. The opening line of the Introduction, written in 1847, might better and more prophetically have referred to an implacable Poltergeist rather than a ghost, since it has in the intervening years contributed to the production of vast amounts of rubble.
A few years ago, a contributor to The London Review of Books wrote, “For the first time in its history, the European Left no longer has a project“. Not so: the Left has never lacked a project. When it divorced its white working-class constituency, it did so in order to channel its passion into the greatest of all social projects: to make amends for colonialism and WWII by declaring all accidents of birth, wherever they might be found, null and void. Redress could be had simply by migrating to Europe.
There is no such thing as the non-tribal condition. When postmodern Man boasts of having gone through the process of ‘de-tribalization’ to become a ‘citizen of the world’, he fails to notice that induction into a different type of tribe is unavoidable: the alternative being cultural statelessness. The new allegiances are drawn along axes other than ethnicity or dependence on one cultural patrimony or another. The willing, de-tribalized outcast immediately becomes an ‘antifascist’, a ‘feminist’, a radical free-marketeer, a ‘gender-bender’, a no-borders anarchist, a human rights advocate, an inner-city cosmopolitan, or a ‘chardonnay socialist’. Or any or all of them. These are the sirens that drown out any concept of home, culture, or civilisation. But the new abstract categories are no less tribes than the pseudo-religious cults that shore-up membership by vilifying outsiders and freezing all relations with them. Dialogue between xenophiles of this or that exotic culture is endlessly fascinating. But de-tribalised, Occidental, Postmodern Man — Hommo Nullius — has no conversation at all.
The American writer, Tom Wolfe, is described in this interview in Le Figaro, as an ethnologist of postmodern tribes — a profession that began in earnest in 1970 with the publication of Radical Chic.
Greens MP and Vice-President of the Bundestag, Claudia Roth (left, in case there were any doubt), at the Berlin Christopher Street Day.
Politischer Kitsch (Political Kitsch) Cicero Magazin für Politische Kultur, 25th February 2017. Mass production and the mass-media raise kitsch to the level of æsthetic criterion for our society. Politics can’t escape it either. Its kitsch is moralistic. We must simply be in favour of peace and justice. It costs nothing, and makes us feel good. Continue reading “Kitsch as Aesthetic Criterion”
Returning to the economist Thomas Piketty’s blog entry for 30th June, 2016, in Le Monde, he begins thus: “Let’s be honest: until dawn on 24 June 2016 nobody really believed that the British were going to vote for Brexit. Now that the disaster has struck, it is tempting to feel discouraged and to abandon any dream of a democratic and progressive re-foundation of Europe. However, we must persevere and live in hope, for we have no other choice: the rise of national self-seeking and xenophobia in Europe leads straight to disaster.” [The Europeans’ italics]. And then: “[…] there is something profoundly nihilist and irrational in this attitude of reverting to xenophobia, […]”
Roger Scruton’s little book of lucid prose, How To Be A Conservative, is his first work to have been translated into French. Extracts from De l’urgence d’être conservateur were recently published in Le Figaro under the introduction, Our heritage is also the property of those who have not yet been born. “Although Roger Scruton is a prominent figure in the intellectual life of Britain, he is little known in France. None of his books had been translated into French until Les Éditions de l’Artilleur repaired the omission. Rich, nourishing, stimulating, like the most captivating of conversations, this essay offers a rare pleasure: to explore the sharpness and depth of an intellectual position.”
In How To Be A Conservative, Scruton leaves a coherent intellectual trail. But the scent crosses a river and loses its way when he appears to genuflect before one of the great shibboleths of Leftist orthodoxy: the independence of race and culture.