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January 15th 2018 print

Paul Collits

Our Darkening Hour

In his new bio-pic, actor Gary Oldman reanimates a man who rallied his people against an external foe. With another enemy inside the gates, installed and presiding over schools, universities, the media and -- Good Lord! -- even the armed forces, what we lack is the Churchillian will to fight them

churchill IISome time back the estimable James Delingpole of The Spectator and Breitbart News lamented that while the various forces of the Left fully comprehended they are fighting a war, the various forces on the right do not. Never were truer words spoken. What, then, are these wars?  There are many, many battles and many fronts, but few theatres.  By my reckoning there are six key wars, all of which must be identified, understood and, most of all, fought.

First, there is the war that must be won against political correctness in all its forms.  This is a fight between the elites and the punters.  It is a battle for the heart and soul of our society.  On one side are the careerists and ideologues of the fevered swamps of Washington, Canberra and so on; on the other, the deplorables, the Reagan Democrats, the Howard Battlers, the Struggle Street listeners tuned in to talkback radio, the small businessmen and women, the two-income families who want what is right for their kids. They aren’t ashamed to celebrate Australia Day and they like the ways and culture of the country in which they grew up.  Quite a few probably like Tony Abbott, and maybe vote for Pauline (no surname required). They cannot stand what is happening to their world, their countries, their neighbourhoods.

Second, there is the war against environmentalism in all its guises.  The god of “sustainability”, born in the 1980s and whose origins and trajectories the journalist Rupert Darwall has catalogued in several marvellous books, is now so embedded in schools, universities and media it is not remotely clear how one might fight back.  The god of sustainability has delivered to us the scourges and nonsenses that are “peak oil”, “climate change” and “renewable” energy.

Third, there is the war between Islam and the West.  This takes many forms – from global migration of economic refugees, to sharia law, welfare fraud, gangs and terrorism.  Its fronts are the banlieu of Paris, the bookshops of Lakemba and the streets of Melbourne.  Taking the side of Islam in this war is politics 101 for today’s “leaders”.

Fourth, there is the war against the Administrative State.  The State’s overreach is now all but complete.  The nanny state rules our lives.  It is the tool by which political correctness is enforced, by which freedom of speech and freedom of belief are purged and personal conduct regulated. Paranoia, you say? What other country defines how one must dress to mount a pushbike?  The State’s nannyism combines with political correctness to haul the innocent before the faux courts of our time, nailing people from Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant to Archbishop Julian Porteous and Andrew Bolt. Their crime? Saying that which others do not want heard. Free speech, in other words.

Fifth, there is the war between globalism and nationalism. The Davos brigade, the Soros network of lavishly funded activists, and their many lackeys in politics, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, lead the charge. Their weapons are globalisation and technology.  Their institutions are global, not national. Their aim is global governance and the end of the nation state, with its old fashioned values of patriotism flag and family.

Finally, there is the war on truth. This is the biggest of them all. Pope Benedict a decade or so ago spoke of the “dictatorship of relativism”.  He was referring to the victory of Derrida, Foucault and their fellow-travelling Marxists and neo-Marxists who occupy the commanding cultural heights of our society and have succeeded in embedding and seizing our key institutions – the media, political parties, schools, universities, Hollywood and now even the corporations. The whole phenomenon of fake news bespeaks their success.  As does Safe Schools. As does Victorian Police’s passion to pursue semantics rather than thugs.

The relativists’ biggest victory of all was over our poor dumb millennials, now two generations removed from any proper understanding of Western values and virtues, and the core value of the West is truth. Earlier, when I spoke of schools, I did not say “our” schools, for they no longer are. They, too, have been colonised. Their graduates will list the ills and crimes of the West and rattle them off by Pavlovian rote, and thus do we hear of a past populated by the likes of Simon Legree but seldom if ever of Wilberforce. The ease with which, for example, the young are convinced of something patently untrue can be seen in the numbers of our young who lazily embrace the ersatz version of marriage now de rigueur.  This ever-so-rapid revolution in thinking — or rather, the emergence of subjectivism as a guiding principle — can only have occurred in a society which accepts as its fundamental operating system the philosophy that “your truth is no better than my truth”.

There are other battles outside the six wars, of course, but it would be hard to find a front or even a minor skirmish that is not a theatre of these six conflicts.

Winston (no surname required) knew he was in a war.  He knew his enemy and what it represented. He knew those he had to enlist to fight and win that war. And he understood his own side’s strengths and weaknesses (there were many of these). In those “darkest hours” Churchill certainly did not believe that checking and defeating an existential threat to the very being of the British Isles would be easy, nor that it could be avoided. Everything was on the line. His own War Cabinet was divided.  A serious argument was made – by Halifax and the, by then, ailing Chamberlain, not to mention the initially reticent King George VI, that the Britain should seek an accommodation with Hitler.  Much of the British army was stranded and exposed in a foreign land, albeit only 22 miles away at its closest. Not merely far from assured, victory would be deemed by any reasonable appraisal as most unlikely.

Things were decidedly not straightforward then. The two wars since – Vietnam and the second Iraq War – featured murky enemies, often hard to find and certainly hard to destroy, and new technologies. But far more telling was the lack of consensus at home about whether those wars should be fought at all — whether the enemy was, indeed, “the enemy”. What Churchill could count on was a united and angry populace who, when the fashionable pacifism of the Nineteen “I will not fight for King and country” Thirties was negated by the appearance of an enemy with no such reservations, committed to the fight with heart and soul — “blood, sweat and tears”, as he put it.  They identified an enemy, decided they didn’t much care for him and his designs on their lives, and committed to giving him better as they got.

Who do we have manning the barricades today?  Justin Trudeau.  Macron.  Merkel. Theresa May. Jean-Claude Juncker.  Turnbull.  The Davos set.  The UN.  Pope Francis. Mark Zuckerberg. Oprah (no surname needed there either). Prince Charles. These are the figures that flit across the world’s TV screens and its collective frontal lobe, mouth their platitudes and move on to the next sound byte, their pronouncement’s on Islam’s amity or the wickedness of cheap power seldom questioned by a media imbued with the same views, the same agendas, the same presumption that projected virtue can trump the precedent of history. Just how they never explain. These leaders, so called, are almost to a man or woman, batting for the enemy by word and deed and silence.  The worst of them of them actively collaborate and work against the interests of their own people.

The actor Gary Oldman has brought back to life a man who led from the front, the middle and the back and for this we are in his debt.  If, on the off-chance, our young people might be cajoled to see Darkest Hour, they just might begin to see with a clarity not previously available to them how we are, indeed, involved in a number of lethal wars. To lose them will destroy their futures in ways even more insidious than Hitler or even Stalin could have imagined.

And they might consider voting for folks who might be minded to fight the battles that matter now.  An outsider?  One hated by his own party?  Someone who sees enemies and understands how to fight them.  Someone willing to spare the niceties?  Someone willing to make his country great again?  Err, wait a minute

One can only wonder what Winston would make of today’s wars, and how the heck he would try to fashion strategies and battle plans.  Who he would enlist.  What would Winston do?

Comments [14]

  1. John Gardner says:

    It took about decade for Hitler’s rise to lead to WW2, and it appears that for most of that time almost every UK politician was either ignorant of the nature of National Socialism and Hitler’s ambitions, supported his ‘strong leadership’, or thought that if push came to shove he could be appeased. Only Churchill and a very few others realised National Socialism and Hitler for what they were, and had any kind of plan to engage him. Unfortunately, today’s enemies of Western society are diverse, intangible and obscure, and IMO the threat that they pose will have to become far more tangible before leaders can emerge that can unite us despite the political and intellectual torpor induced by decades of financial comfort, political correctness, the nanny state, and the barrage of ‘fake news’. It will take more than one visionary leader in one country to achieve this. The roots of WW2 were formed out of the financial hardships of the Great Depression and the terms of the WW1 armistice. Maybe the trigger for a sea change will be the next global recession, maybe some other major world event, but with the buffer of welfare keeping us comfortable despite economic reality, it seems unlikely to happen any time soon. But will that be soon enough?

  2. Biggles says:

    I can’t recommend too highly a doco made in 1983 by Yuri Bezmenov, a KGB defector. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE8g). The fact that the Soviet Union has since collapsed is irrelevant. Bezmanov reveals the KGB’s method of subversion of other political systems. There are four stages: ‘Demoralisation’ (takes about 20 years), ‘Destabilisation’ (current situation in Australia), ‘Crisis’ (then the tanks roll in) and ‘Normalisation’(control by the conquering polity). Have a look at the doco, then sit down with pencil and paper and list all the things from Bezmenov’s summary which obtain in modern Australia. You will be horrified, but worse still, you will realise that the Left has already won!

  3. Lilybeth53 says:

    I may not be as eloquent as Mr Collits, but I would like to add a further observation to his excellent article and that is the seventh war being waged against society. The slow but sure disintegration by the progressives of the institution of marriage. Beginning with the Whitlam’s government Family Law of the 1970s to now, when we see the absurdity of two people of the same sex becoming – er man and man? That is the other war that has somehow succeeded in convincing everyone from the Prime Minister down that marriage is no longer the institution once designed for a man and a woman but in effect you can marry anybody or anything – your dog or cat if you want – or even your car maybe. This is the worst and greatest war being waged on society because it completely undermines the bedrock on which society stands and inevitably that will bring society down – especially Western society and you can take a guess as to who will ultimately fill the vacuum left.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      lilybeth53, you are right and in that sense marriage predates Christianity. Richard Dawkins’ explains very clearly in his book, ‘The Selfish Gene’, why marriage is necessary for the survival of homo sapiens. Legislation to change the definition of marriage is to legalise a lie: that same-sex and heterosexual relationships in humanity are the same or are equivalent and equally deserving of the same treatment in law. The only thing they have in common is the congruence of love and sex between people (currently two but since that limitation is artificial in the case of same-sex couples we can expect it to disappear), which does not require any provision in law at all. The provision in law is there because raising children is difficult and all of society benefits when it is done well. Richard Dawkins explains it very clearly in terms of our biology and genetically driven behaviour. Undermining this relationship and its recognition by society is not in the interests of our genes and they will let us know over successive generations by producing poorer specimens of homo-sapiens.

      • Mohsen says:

        gardner.peter.d, the following is with utmost respect!

        If marriage is necessary for the survival of Homo sapiens, and if legalization of same-sex marriage is adversely going to affect marriage, hence the survivability of Homo sapiens; then I hope same-sex marriage will be adopted everywhere: Homo Sapiens’ survivability has been just too good; they’re everywhere; there are 7.5 billion of them, ravishing the planet, and one another!

        Homo sapiens, what a funny word : Homo + sapiens! :-D

      • whitelaughter says:

        We can calculate when marriage entered humanity by considering that in monogamous species, males and females are of about equal size; looking at fossil evidence it seems that humans have been monogamous for between 1/2 to 2 million years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogamy_in_animals#Sexual_dimorphism_2

  4. Bran Dee says:

    Is Senator Elect retired Major General Jim Molan our Winston Churchill? The Liberals need to make him Party Leader and then he contests a safe Lower House seat and so becomes Australia’s next PM.

  5. Jody says:

    I preferred Gary Oldman when he played Beethoven. Brilliantly.

  6. Salome says:

    I went to see the film last Friday and enjoyed it immensely. Of course, there were trailers for other, likely less enjoyable offerings, before it started. One is about a teenage boy ‘coming out’. In the course of the trailer he asks the question (which I suspect is rhetorical): Why is heterosexuality the default? I leave you all with the task of answering that question without offending anyone.

    • gardner.peter.d says:

      Answer by referring people to Richard Dawkins’ book, ‘The Selfish Gene’, in which explains very clearly why heterosexual marriage is necessary for the survival of homo sapiens. He is a darling of the agnostic Left and the politically correct. How could they possibly be offended by what he wrote? I avoid offending Christians and Muslims and believers in every other religion by saying they each adopt marriage as a self-evidently societal good.
      I am still in danger of offending the religious by reference to Dawkins. I would say only that as an agnostic he is precisely the sort of person they should take unto their bosom to show him the light, because he does not say God does not exist, only that he has not found the evidence. If confronted by the evidence, he says, he would accept it. So there is hope for him But it begs the question of defining God in a way amenable to human scientific proof or disproof, which if one accepts general systems theory is not possible because God is outside human systems so God’s existence is not provable by human science. If it were the subject would not be God. The answers will just have to wait until we get to the other side and are no longer human.

    • Wayne Cooper says:

      If heterosexuality were not the “default,” exactly where would the next generation come from? In Darwinian terms there is no contest.

    • Biggles says:

      Dear Salome,

      To hell with ‘offending anyone’! That is precisely our problem. No one will speak up because of ‘political correctness’. We have become a nation of cowards.

  7. Doc S says:

    Thank you Paul Collits for putting it all in an analogous nutshell. Churchill was certainly a flawed individual but exactly the man needed to lead against the democracy-exstinguishing threat of Hitler – as so well portrayed in ‘Darkest Hour’. He also recognised Stalin and the Soviet Union as the other side of the same socialist coin. Against that threat he was much less successful. Those you name manning (or is it ‘personning’?) the barricades are enough to make one despair – most are actually part of the threat rather than defending Western civilization against it. I would not forget Obama who used the Saul Alinsky playbook and who’s eight years of Presidency have inflicted incalculable damage – as much for what he failed to deliver as what he did. The media still fawns over him and I don’t think we have heard nearly the last of the 21st century’s greatest conman.

    Wither our Churchill? We are in desparate need. Things have come to such a low point that for conservative politics to succeed in Australia in the future we will need a wise old head (Jim Molan?) or a smart and principled young one (Andrew Hastie?) I am depressed at reading your excellent article but still retain a glimmer of hope. Its still unthinkable to surrender to the forces of Marxist socialism, the progressive Left, political correctness etc, etc, that constantly assail us from every angle.