The Temptations of Backward-Looking Security
Illusions, especially if supported by selective evidence, can blend into a brew that gives a “feel good” sensation to its paralyzed consumer. Europe, which most define to be the western strip of the continent, offers a case study. The same applies to America — the difference being that the Atlantic and the Pacific improve her chances to awake late and then still to act in time.
In these cases, we are encountering an earlier advantage that causes an illusion that can convert into a disadvantage. Since geography and the past record matter, the following emphasizes Europe, as the US is a “lucky country.” The case of the recovery from Pearl Harbor proves the point. That blow, made possible by negligence, would have wrecked a normal country — which the USA is not.
Unlike the Central and Eastern Europe, that continent’s western rim has escaped the region’s sad fate. This good fortune includes that it skipped the worse of the world war. Even more crucial is that the “West” has not been a colony of history’s two most murderous systems. Hitler followed by “Lenin Stalin & Sons, Inc.” have not killed as in “collateral damage” but murdered as a matter of prioritized principle. With that, they can take pride in having anticipated and reduced to copycat status the Islamic State.
The toppling of most successful states can be explained by their inability to decide to defend themselves and not by the might of their foes. While tempting, soothing backward looking forecasts that assure “it cannot happen here” bring ruin.
An extended leading role can convert into a disadvantage. The crisis of “Detroit” and of traditional Swiss watches, make the point. For decades, by definition, a modern automobile was a Detroit product. “Swiss” and “watch” — as in “perfect” — were synonymous. These attributes undermined the ability of their producers to identify a rising challenge, and then the capability to counter by adjusting to new conditions.
The failure is understandable. For a long time the definition of a modern car had been what Detroit presented as next year’s model in the fall. Similarly, a watch worth its name had to be Swiss. An experience that makes one sit on trophies is poisonous. It is difficult to abandon the tricks of success and to recognize that the terms of the game are changing. The western world has been spared much of the vicissitudes that others had to absorb in the past. To conclude that the world’s problems end by God’s will at the water’s edge or along Europe’s arbitrary east-west dividing line is, under changing conditions, more than wrong. It is naïve. The uncomfortably realistic motto should be “it could happen here.”
Nowadays, “feel good” delusions that feed upon a lucky and misinterpreted past are not the only threats to the developed world’s existence. Other fantasies circulate that make what would be easy to defend difficult to protect.
One of these is that “hostiles” can be made to change their mind. If only one “communicates” that one wishes them well, and that, to prove that, one is willing to “share” with them on a “multicultural” basis, then enmity is expected to dissipate. In real life, there are forces whose hostility is not based upon a misunderstanding or on “not having it.” Instead of “sharing”, the program can be “annihilation.” The plain existence of another system can be a command to crush that “Satan.” To these, multiculturalism signals the decadence of those that are “willing to negotiate their extermination.” Denying in principle that non-negotiable projects for total war can exist and that these are immune to diplomacy are, while not new, a source of peril.
Besides questioning the importance of clear threats (“Death to…”) we find a self-blame enhanced by an “understanding” of grievances. The upshot is flagellation for sins such as colonialism and the claim of responsibility for the widespread failure to construct successful societies in the many decades since independence. Therefore, the poisonous illusion is supported that, regardless of what “they say”, there is no threat. It is followed by the suggestion that, if there would be — as in the case of uncontrolled immigration — a threat, then it would be non-PC to counter it.
The challenge is denied, or redefined as justified moral outrage, and so it expresses the frustration of internal critics of our way of life. From where does this dissatisfaction come? Its source is the inability to attain the power to change the way of life of advanced countries. More: the success of these societies contradicts the Marxist model for mankind’s felicity in an ideal society.
Europe’s and America’s intellectuals and leftists — if there is a significant difference — are in opposition to the open society. To the degree of their openness, through their popular sovereignty, these produce uncontrollable results. To the extent that these decisions are self-generated, we meet an upshot that ignores the elites’ claim to moral purity and thereby it denies their claim to power derived from it.
Many frustrated “leaders” prefer to fight anything that is locally to their right rather than the Islamist invasion by migration that unfolds along the borders. Even the values of homophilia, agnosticism, and feminism are sacrificed.
This stance expresses a fear from the neglect by indigenous skeptics, which is greater than their dread of Islamist practice. Not wishing to be proven wrong, they refuse to concede the strategy of fanatics. Furthermore, the Islamists being anti western, they appear to be — as are un-integrable illegal migrants — allies to combat the common enemy. To the imams of official culture in advanced countries, the religious mullahs, whose might flows from a kidnapped idea, are more compatible than the indigenous but skeptical practical common man who, being uppity, ignores its “leaders.”
As the avant-garde of the masses from other continents inundate Europe and its welfare services, a conclusion emerges. The boat is not sinking because “it is full.” The vessel takes water because those that should propel it by rowing delight in drilling holes through its bottom.
Complacent elites control the command posts of several political parties, which enhance their ability to pooh-pooh the problem. This power is boosted by the ability to determine the tone and the content of the mainstream press that depicts the news worth printing. Significantly, the combined control of mainstream politics, the media, and education, enable the deniers of ongoing events to assign the title of “good person” and “bad person.” The labels correlate with “virtuous humanitarian moderate” and “rampaging right wing extremist.”
Throughout the developed world, a grass-roots revolt against the economic policies of deficit financed ruin, one-sided physical and moral disarmament, and uncontrolled migration is rising. Given the still apolitical citizen’s tacit, disinterest and confidence fed trust, the electoral consequence has not yet unfolded. The mass of those that wish to conduct their private lives remote from “politics” is sizable. This unconcern, which amounts to neutrality toward their fate, is fed by an experience whose relevance is being eroded. Until now, “they” have governed well, no irreversible peril has struck, and life kept getting better. So, apparently, the gentlemen what make leadership their business “know what they are doing.” That being the case they are trusted to keep harm from seeping down to “Average Joe.” Our trust, distilled from past good fortune, becomes under changing conditions, the greatest peril to our autonomy, well being and freedom in an evolving world.