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Civilization at War with Itself

If there is one guiding motto for modern liberalism, it is Pogo's, "We have met the enemy... and he is us". That core paradigm usually rendered in more poetic and radically charged prose traveled from radical salons to become embedded in the educational system and popular culture. And its message is very simple, our values, our way of living, our traditions, our nation and our civilization are responsible for most of what is wrong with the world. We are the enemy and we must defeat our values, our nation and our civilization for the sake of the world and the future.

What has followed since then has taken place on the grim battlefield of a civilization at war with itself, at war with itself in college campuses, on editorial pages, on movie screens and books, and everywhere that the "We are the enemy" meme of liberalism has penetrated. And the bad news is that in the name of tolerance, the environment, the moral high ground and a thousand other liberal pieties, we are being defeated. Civilization is losing the war.

The tide of car burnings, gang rapes and bombings flowing across the streets of Oslo and Sydney, Jerusalem, Paris and London, do not mark the victory of barbarism over civilization, but rather a poisoned distorted version of civilization over itself. The celebration of the savage, the mad bomber and the rapist, the bearded dole taker who preaches the virtues of Jihad and his smooth Oxford educated colleague who does the same in far subtler consonants, is civilization dancing around the fading bonfire it has made of itself. Throw on the canon, toss on every ancient value and virtue, pile on technology and achievement, then step back and dance madly to the wailing strains of the music of some invisible Nero while it all burns.

This is no random madness, no Mansonesque sickness of the spirit, no deranged chemical flows along the gaps in the nerves of the brain. This is a carefully cultivated ideological madness, supplemented with drugs and the self-consciously nihilistic imagery of a culture that has fallen in love with its own self-destruction, that sees no frontiers remaining to it, but the final one of its own annihilation. The death of a civilization. The dark undiscovered country that follows when all that has been built is finally torn down.

Like a willful cancer with arms and legs it attacks every element that can keep civilization alive with furiously self-righteous malignancy. If your national security offends you, cut it off. Throw open the borders as wide as you can, and make sure that those you bring in are the very dregs that no sane country would take. Shout on behalf of terrorists, beat the drum for cop killers and rend your clothes for serial killers scheduled for execution. If the schools teach any useful skills, put an end to it. If there is truth to be found anywhere, mock it until it goes away.

And when you have finally bankrupted your country to its very utmost range of debt, when you have finally made it impossible for anyone to earn a living without the intervention of the government, when you have made it illegal for anyone to have a stray unconventional thought, then you will have finally brought the edifice of civilization to the point at which there is nothing left to do but to bring it all crashing down under its own weight.

And what is behind this ideological madness? What is behind a crisis in which the best and brightest are doing their very best to bring down their own civilization, swinging their hardest against the very beams that keep them from crashing to the ground? But it is easier to ask why lemmings rush forth off cliffs into the sea.

The instincts of lemmings drive them to their death, and the cultural instincts of generations of the left, shaped in part by the Soviet Union whose genuine wish was to bring down Western civilization and anything allied to it, drive them to destroy their own roots. The hatred of the left for the countries in which they live and the moist civilizations in which they thrive is not some fad that began when George W. Bush won Florida or Richard Nixon whomped McGovern. It did not happen 20 years ago or 40 years ago or even a 100 years ago. It is far older than that.

It is a sickness that has been crawling up the bowels of Western civilization, a mad parasite ranting about revolutions and utopias that somehow inevitably lead to bureaucratic tyrannies, gulags and guillotines. Either its most extreme incarnation is given a chance to set up a totalitarian state to implement its maddest revolutionary credos, or it will devour and destroy everything in its path seeing it all as the enemy. And in the process it has come to embrace and celebrate its own destructiveness and bloodlust, just like the people's mobs brandishing severed heads in Paris, the Moscow trials and the hysterical frenzies of anti-war rallies.

The politics of the left is a car that always swerves further and further left. And to go left means to always denounce your own, to condemn your country and your society as examples of all that is wrong with the world and must be destroyed. The radical left's reading of history is a series of atrocities and horrors committed by human greed, nationalism and capitalism. Citizenship is nothing more than entitlement and values are nothing more than privilege. And the further left the car swerves, the more extreme the hatred becomes.

One can no longer "steal the thunder" of the left for long, as conservative governments once did to radical socialists by passing just enough of their programs to cut off their base of support. The left has long ago passed from protesting against actual injustices, to creating its own injustices to protest against, and creating entire narratives of injustices, in which the ultimate injustice is the continuing survival of the country and civilization associated with the narrative. And to steal their thunder, is to swerve left, only to find that the left is already ahead of you.

The ideological madness of the left, flowing into the educational system and the culture, turning up on musical shores, in novels and plays, shining forth on the movie screen and in every circle and classroom, is the distillation of their poisonous hatred for a civilization that can never go left enough to satisfy them. That hatred has now become a whip, a goad, and moderates and conservatives alike run before it in the futile hope of avoiding its barbed blows.

What it all adds up to is a great echoing thanatos pulse, a death call that tells civilization to die, that tells its inhabitants that their lives are worse than worthless, but an actual malignancy, a crime against the environment, the third world and the oppressed. That pulse echoes now in the streets of every city in the civilized world. It flows along fiber optic cables, hums on radio waves and bellows on the floor of a hundred legislatures. It is a mad cry of an ideology gone mad with death. It is the insanity of liberalism rebounding against its own structures, progressing not to a better world, but to the destruction of everything that keeps us alive.

Yet this is not theoretical, it is very real. It is the wellspring of the contamination of our political and intellectual systems. When police club protesters against Islamism or the Settlement Freeze, when politicians denounce as criminals anyone who speaks out against their destructive policies, when the public is told by the press that their greatest enemies are those who would save them-- you can hear the death cry of civilization.

A postscript.

The award for the strangest Israeli Supreme Court case goes to an Israeli named Shlomo Avni, who petitioned the high court for the right to be eaten by wild animals after his death, saying he was only repaying a debt to nature as a lifetime consumer in the food chain. In their 772-word decision, three Supreme Court judges wished the 80-year-old plaintiff a long life and unanimously rejected Avni’s petition. The justices quoted Jeremiah 9:21 and the prophet’s warning of dreadful times when “carcasses of men fall as dung upon the open field.” Avni said he’d take his case to the international court at The Hague.


  1. That rite was practiced by the Canaanites and was abhorrent to the Jews. The Left's hatred for the Judeo-Christian roots of the West must inevitably (and has) lead to a resurgence of paganism.

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

  2. Anonymous14/1/10

    Absolute true, and we Jews lead the crazy world by apeasing, bowing and scrapping before any terrorist-Holocaust denier, tinpot dictator that raises his brows at us. Only one observation, most rabbid liberals in the west and in Israel are seculars who deny the existence of G-d, just like the nut Shlomo Avni. Pnei ha olam ke pnei ha kelev.

  3. Anonymous14/1/10


    Absolutely terrific stuff.

    You are on a roll.

  4. Chelly14/1/10


    The roots of the Western civilisation are pagan, not Judeo Christian, which is an American invention of recent times. Nobody in Europe calls themselves "judeo Christian" and America was founded upon secular non religious principles.

    It's more correct to say, the West is going back to it's roots by adopting paganism. The Moslems in the west will become pagan too.

  5. Anonymous14/1/10

    I inclination not concur on it. I assume polite post. Particularly the appellation attracted me to study the unscathed story.

  6. C. Kaufman14/1/10

    The "left" is what happens when a nation begins to take in those who are not indentical to the original founders of the nation.
    When Rome gave citizenship to anyone, when Israel takes in strangers, any nation which waters itself down with strangers will find that those strangers will eventually consume them and ruin them.
    It happens without fail.

  7. Anonymous15/1/10

    Easy to understand; human nature is incompatible with freedom.

    1. The poor can always be convinced to rise-up against the rich.

    2. People prefer the certainty of servitude to the responsibility of freedom.

  8. Sultan,

    Wonderful post, and absolutely right about the left's hatred for everything that is good, beautiful,and true in Western civilization.

    Wrong, however, about lemmings.

    The idea that over-populated lemmings rush in a mad frenzy to die in the sea was promulgated in Disney nature films (1955 and 1958) that many of us saw in our childhood, but it is absolutely unverified by ethology. Even the Wikipedia knows that: "A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, Cruel Camera, found that the lemmings used for White Wilderness were flown from Hudson Bay to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they did not jump off the cliff, but in fact were launched off the cliff using a turntable."

    When the lemming population increases (they bear as many as 10 young, and have as many as 7 litters a season), they do migrate in search of new habitat, and some do perish along the way. But there is no lemming urge for mass suicide.

    That alas is a behavior limited to the Western intellectual.

  9. Morry Rotenberg15/1/10

    The veneer of civilization is only as thick as a piece of toilet paper. There was no TP to be found in Auschwitz. There is also no TP in Cuba, the people’s paradise. So the left, as you so aptly point out Sultan will at it's worse lead to the former and at its best to the latter. The madness continues.

  10. Strange as the Israeli court case is, it's nice to see judges invoke something from the bible.

  11. For some reason, as I read this The Rolling Stone's song Sympathy for the Devil comes to mind and the repeated "Who? Who?" "Hope you guess my name."

    And though I would not normally quote the NT, this phrase seems appropriate re Pogo's quote:

    "Call me Legion, for I am many."

    People need to return to Hashem and stop making themselves little gods on earth because when they do, they're more like demons.

    Hope that makes sense.


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