For decades, the West’s leaders insisted that the way to end the terror and subversion caused by Islamic migrants was not by reversing Muslim immigration but by sending armies across the world to help “good”, “moderate” Muslims like Erdogan and Imran Khan win the Middle East and South Asia—the beating heart of Islamic civilisation—from “bad”, “extreme” Muslims like Bin Laden. Once Western-style liberal democracy was established in these places, the American, Australian and British governments insisted, its values would radiate out to every Muslim community in the world, including the Islamic diasporas in the West, just as a freshly inserted pacemaker pumps send blood to every part of the body. And so, rather than erect a mosquito net over one’s own tent, Washington, London and Canberra said it was more sensible to march halfway around the world and spend blood and dollars trying, as they felicitously put it, to “drain the swamp” that is Islam’s “heart of darkness”.
This essay appears in the latest Quadrant.
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The possibility that, given the nature of “moderate” Islam, “moderate” Muslims may no more want or be capable of liberal democracy than “moderate” members of the Manson Family or the Khmer Rouge seems never to have occurred to our Western statesmen and strategists. Nor has it ever occurred to their opponents in the bien-pensant chattering classes, who have always so passionately supported Europe and Australasia’s immersion in a Muslim migrant tsunami.
Like the subsidariat and salon Left, who are beguiled by a form of anti-racism born of the racist belief that non-Western cultures can be extrapolated from our own, our political leaders have assumed that everything they don’t know about must be just like everything they do know about. Hence their belief that Islam—a political system that is, in fact, an alternative, not to Christianity, but to democracy—is just a pale version of Jesus-freakery and, as such, the ideal basis for a Swedish-style “democratic experiment”.
Meanwhile, Islamic immigration—or rather, Islam’s conquest-driven invasion (for the faith does not distinguish between the two)—has gone unchecked. It has been much more successful in transforming the West than the Western interventionists have been in “Westernising” the likes of Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, in some Western countries, the impact of Islamic colonisation recalls the historian Will Durant’s famous description of the Muslim breakthrough in the medieval subcontinent:
The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilisation is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organise their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India’s boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in.
But what are the “religions” we have adopted in the West, and why do they “unnerve” us for “the tasks of life”? Why, like HIV, do these “religions” tend to suppress the auto-immune system that would otherwise protect our frontiers, our capitals, our wealth and our freedom from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about our boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in?
Contrary to the idea subscribed to by the multicultural Left no less than the neoconservative Right, Western “religions” like democracy and human rights are not universal panaceas like cannabis or penicillin that can be coaxed out of every environment and which produce the same miracle if sprinkled on every type of man. Like the coca plant and the opium poppy, they can only take root in certain soils, bear fruit in certain places, and produce positive effects in certain human beings. As Montesquieu noted in The Spirit of the Laws: “Freedom is not a fruit of every climate, and it is not therefore within the capacity of every people.” Rousseau added in The Social Contract that history proves that freedom can grow from, and survive within, only a very specific human milieu, one which must be ruthlessly defended from adulteration. Change the population and you will destroy the constitution. It is not ideas that are important, but specific peoples.
In 1932, the French philosopher Henri Bergson published a book called The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. He pointed out that mankind is at present divided, and always has been, into “closed” and “open” societies. (It was Bergson who coined these terms and not, as is widely believed, Karl Popper, whose book The Open Society and its Enemies appeared in 1945.)
Bergson wrote that, in “closed societies”—communities, like those in the pre-migrant West that grew organically from specific roots—the links between human beings are spontaneous. They are unbidden, indeed irresistible, because dictated by history and nature. In “open societies”—such as those under communism and Islam—they are theoretical: “the open society is the society which is deemed in principle to embrace all humanity”. They depend on an imposed ideology that comes from outside, that does not arise from the human heart. Or, as Bergson put it: “In the former [that is, the closed society], each rule is laid down by nature, and is necessary: whereas in the latter only one thing is natural, the necessity of a rule.”
According to Bergson, the “closed society” and the “open society” are eternally at war. As a universalising ideology is by its nature imperialistic, it is in the nature of “open societies” to try to absorb others. The “closed society”, meanwhile, is, according to Bergson, built for defence, because, as Bergson puts it: “it is primarily to oppose all other men that we love the human beings with whom we live”.
Nonetheless, the closed society is generally vanquished, according to Bergson. Understanding only themselves, closed societies have a suicidal tendency to confer their own attributes and hence their own native rights on cynical representatives of the open societies that mean them harm, like wrens when their nests are colonised by cuckoos. For the closed no less than the open society can see all men as brothers: the closed because it falsely extrapolates a universal principle from the local world it knows; the open because, like the cuckoo, it is a parasite and has to know the worlds of many. The result, of course, is that the wren ends up feeding the monstrous cuckoo in its nest because, being “a bird”, it is “just like” its own young, whose corpses lie blackening at the foot of the tree.
Intriguingly, we find that this “closed society” blindness is no more a new phenomenon in the West than it was in India. Ammianus Marcellinus was the last great historian of imperial Rome. Some of his most famous remarks concern the year 376 AD, when the Emperor Valens took pity on the Goths, who had been driven from their Black Sea homeland by the Huns. The Gothic barbarians were begging leave to cross the Danube so they could “seek asylum” on Roman territory. Once it was granted, they would proceed to burn and loot half of their rescuer’s empire and massacre thousands, including Valens himself, when he and his army tried to restrain them. Eventually, in 410 AD, they would sack Rome itself, dealing the Western Empire a blow from which it never recovered. And all because the Goths’ hosts predicated global barbarian behaviour on that of the “closed society” of a newly Christian Rome. As Ammianus notes of the Danube crossing:
With these high hopes various officials were sent to transport this wild host, and the greatest care was taken to ensure that, even if he were suffering from some mortal illness, none of those destined to overthrow the Roman Empire should be left behind.
Do we not see the same deluded, atavistic response—driven by solipsism and divided from a still active common sense that looks on appalled—when we study the vessels piloted by government officials or private altruists escorting thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean or the English Channel? And is the same horror not felt when these “refugees” are tenderly greeted and escorted to free medical care, free legal support and free housing in the infidel states they despise and may well bring down, countries whose human rights regime, conceived with only natives in mind, would never permit the removal of a parasitic enemy, no matter how much havoc it might wreak? Brahim Aouissaoui, a Tunisian “refugee”, rewarded his benefactors by beheading worshippers in a Nice church on October 29, having arrived by boat in Italy only a month before this deeply pious Muslim act. Italy’s government found him unworthy of asylum and should have deported him, but instead gave him the means to proceed to any European country he chose.
Not that he may have needed the cash. Before reaching the coasts of northern Africa or France, most of these bringers of joy invested thousands of dollars in traversing a dozen safe countries, and turned their noses up at each, money with which they could have lived comfortably in an untroubled land close to their own had they really been the “asylum seekers” they say they are. Everyone knows what is going on here and what a scam it all is. It is a scam, moreover, that every one of their unwilling hosts knows could well lead to his own society’s demise. And yet, as the French news magazine Le Point pointed out in its August 13 issue, the rulers of the invaded homelands remain “tétanisés”—paralysed—even as they heap the cynical trespassers with every good thing. They are paralysed in the way that a parasitised wren is paralysed. Do Europe’s leaders actually desire their continent’s destruction? Why else do they seek to ensure that usurpers are appeased rather than their own people, who certainly do not want them?
Institutions created by and for one population break down if exposed to human groups which behave in a different way. The written law is only half of the law. If it is humane, its mildness depends, not on its own merits, but on the virtues of the pre-existing homogeneous population. In liberal Western states, the law presumes the innocence, not only of the accused, but of society. But with mass immigration, society has changed. In Britain, for instance, anti-terror legislation which worked with the native wrens of the IRA has proved incapable of containing Islamic cuckoos, and so Wrenland has become Cloud Cuckoo Land by default. Repressive laws only necessitated by recently arrived, uninvited enemies have been imposed on the innocent, indigenous many, much as one might attempt to “cure” a tapeworm patient, not by removing the parasite, but by poisoning the human host.
Bergson wrote: “Human beings were designed for very small societies.” Human rights were also designed for very small societies. Indeed, the very term human rights—like the word multiculturalism—is an oxymoron. Circumstances always conspire to ensure that human rights can never be enjoyed by one group of people unless they are denied to another. Why follow Europe’s practice of sacrificing one’s own people on the altar of defending the interests of an intruder? An intruder that may well be a “human rights abuser” to boot? I am sure that, for some in the French elite, the recent beheading of Samuel Paty and the innocents praying in Nice is a small price to pay for the inestimable treat of hosting their destroyers, but I wonder how the French people view this amazing bargain.
We note, too, the occasions on which British judges have specified that Islamist terrorists cannot be deported lest they be tortured in their homelands, while conceding that this decision may lead to the murder of native Britons. Such “human rights” judges certainly do not believe in “human rights”, that is, that there can be rights for all humans simultaneously. They acknowledge in their modus operandi that the allocation of such rights is necessarily a “zero sum game”, and they effectively admit that, this being the case, they wish to prioritise the rights of criminal strangers over those of innocent natives. There can be British rights or French rights or Islamic rights, but there never have been and there never can be human rights.
The view that all individual human beings are “born” with rights as they are born with pituitary glands is ludicrous precisely because such rights can only exist within, and be defended by, a specific, pre-existing state. There are no individual “rights” absent these particular states because, in historical and political terms, such states preceded and created what we know as “the human being” and “the individual”. Therefore, the only entities with intrinsic rights are these very rare societies that begot and still protect the individual and the individual’s prerogatives: the world’s existing democracies.
The idea that any such state is obliged to confer its protection on all the earth’s inhabitants equally regardless of their behaviour or agenda is absurd, as it would soon be destroyed, though first it would find itself in the trap that the nations of Western Europe have dug for themselves. Constrained by the European Convention on Human Rights to place hostile, barbaric aliens on the same privileged level as natives, France and Britain have effectively ended up discriminating against the natives in favour of the aliens. Would justice and reason not suggest it should be the other way around? As the philosopher of law Carl Schmitt writes in The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy (1923):
Until now there has never been a democracy that did not recognise the concept “foreign” and that could have conferred its equality on all human beings … To illustrate this principle it is sufficient to name two different examples of modern democracy: contemporary Turkey, with its radical expulsion of the Greeks and its reckless Turkish nationalisation of the country, and the Australian commonwealth, which restricts unwanted entrants through its immigration laws, and like other dominions only takes emigrants who conform to the notion of a “right type of settler”.
Carl Schmitt was writing in 1923. In a radio interview in 1955, the Prime Minister Robert Menzies said that the country’s 1901 Immigration Restriction Act (to which Schmitt referred) was still necessary. Although Menzies believed, as a Christian, that every man and woman was equal before God, unlike God, Australia could not “confer its equality on all human beings” because, as he put it: “I don’t want to see reproduced in Australia the kind of problem they have in America or increasingly in Britain.” Schmitt put it in a similar way:
Equal rights make good sense where homogeneity exists. But the “current usage” … implies something else: every adult person, simply as a person, should eo ipso [eo ipso = because of that alone] be equal to every other person. This is a liberal, not a democratic idea; it replaces formerly existing democracies, based on a substantial equality and homogeneity, with a democracy of mankind … However great an injustice it would be not to respect the human worth of every individual, it would nevertheless be an irresponsible stupidity, leading to the worst chaos, and thereby to even greater injustice, if the specific characteristics of various spheres were not recognised. In the domain of the political, people do not face each other as abstractions, but as politically interested and politically determined persons … politically allied or opponents.
What Schmitt and Menzies are both saying—though Schmitt says it philosophically—is that no country can offer settlement and voting rights—much less “human rights”—to any and every individual on earth (“the democracy of mankind”). Any state that did would empower actors who can’t or won’t assimilate to what is a very specific political “family”. This could mean giving power over the local “politically allied” family to “opponents” who remain loyal to a different and hostile family. Schmitt and Menzies are saying that a country that treats unfiltered aliens as natives is playing with fire.
In 1955, Menzies was defending the “White Australia policy”, which the 1901 act had made possible, not because his aim was racial homogeneity (between 1949 and 1964 he progressively opened settlement to gifted individuals of all races), but because he saw that it was easier to establish a general loyalty to the state (“political homogeneity”) in a country that was culturally unified. He also noted how conducive to political disintegration the heterogeneity of the US and the growing diversity of Britain were.
The only way that a nation can achieve political unity without cultural homogeneity is by forcing those not of the ethno-cultural group that founded the state to conform to that group’s racially-coded culture if they want to join it. Despite claims to the contrary, there is nothing “culturally neutral” or “universal” about “Western values”. The laws, mores, ethics, languages and constitutional and political arrangements of all Western countries, while related, arose within a specific European microsystem. They are the organic fruit of local European roots, and are only “universal” in so far as non-European societies and transnational bodies have adopted them, or absorbed them as part of a Western empire. This is especially true of the values and politico-constitutional features of transplanted “settler-colonial” societies like Australia and the United States.
The term “settler-colonial” is supposed to be pejorative, but history cannot actually identify many communities that have not been “settler-colonial societies”. There are few parts of the earth which are not, ethnologically speaking, palimpsests. Almost everywhere the original population has been conquered and then either exterminated or absorbed by a later wave of settlers from somewhere else who have themselves then been replaced or absorbed. In most places, this process has been repeated several times. The discovery of globally unique DNA in the oldest human remains ever found in Australia—those of “Lake Mungo Man”—suggests that even the Australian Aborigines, previously thought to be the group longest established in a specific location, may not, in fact, have been the original inhabitants of the continent.
Nor, contrary to received wisdom, is the fact that Australia was conquered by foreigners who travelled a vast distance to usurp its then natives unusual in historical terms. The Turks mentioned by Schmitt were a people from Mongolia which crossed thousands of miles of land in the middle ages to dispossess the ancient Greek and Armenian natives of Anatolia, creating a backward dystopia on the ruins of a high civilisation and killing and expelling millions of the advanced locals in the process. A little earlier, Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, was invaded by a people from the Malay archipelago who still speak a Malayo-Polynesian language, and who fought Bantu tribes from nearby Mozambique to retain it. Strangely enough, the Austronesian usurpers of Madagascar and the Islamised Altaic tribes that seized what is now “Turkey” are never reviled as “colonisers”. I wonder why.
The fact that Western civilisation was originally alien to the Americas and Australasia can therefore hardly compromise its right to survive in those places. What culture, after all, has been the genius loci of its current homeland from the beginning of time? Western culture’s right to survive everywhere derives, however, not from its similarity to all other civilisations but from its superiority to them. Were it not superior, why are Western societies preferred by non-Westerners to their non-Western equivalents as models to emulate and as places of residence, relaxation and protection? Is it not because of their unique and uniquely European cultural, legal, financial and political attributes, access to which non-Westerners should surely be willing to pay for by giving up their own civilisation, or features thereof? How can such a sacrifice be onerous? How can they regard their own non-Western culture as being other than inferior to the West’s if they are among those who want to move to a Western country and obtain its citizenship?
It would be hard to imagine a more successful, peaceful and attractive example of Western democracy than the Commonwealth of Australia. Globally, competition for Australia citizenship and the right to settle in Australia—even for a short period—is intense. This mecca is entirely the creation of the continent’s Anglo-Celtic colonisers. What does modern Australia owe to the “indigenous” people, or to the non-Europeans who have sought its shelter precisely because it is a European outpost?
Australia’s leaders are today confronted, on one side, by a broken Aboriginal remnant, which largely survives on official handouts, and, on the other, by aliens willing to offer anything to be allowed to enter the elysium to which it alone holds the key. How strange, then, that the country’s rulers have made European Australia the contrite and cowering servant of both these suppliant groups. How startling that it is precisely the promised land’s gatekeepers who seem so dismissive of Australia and Australians as they have always been traditionally understood, whether within Australia or beyond it. Is it not unsettling that all the world has heard for years from this mecca’s elite is that its civilisation is a racist destroyer whose existence is hard to rationally defend, given what it did to the incomparably more advanced and humane Pleistocene culture that preceded it? This is what Paul Keating, when Prime Minister, said in a speech to Aborigines in the Sydney suburb of Redfern in 1992:
As I say, the starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians. It begins, I think, with that act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice.
To which the only rational response is: “So what?” Would anyone on earth wish to live in pre-conquest Australia, a primeval Gehenna well described by William D. Rubinstein in the October edition of Quadrant, where perpetual warfare and starvation were “the traditional way of life” and where “mothers” and “children” were always disgustingly abused and not infrequently culled or eaten? No community in history committed more “murders” proportionate to its numbers than the pre-contact Aborigines. Rubinstein notes that the Aboriginal population was always overwhelmingly male, as the men had the first claim on comestibles, into which category they naturally placed all females and infants. According to Rubinstein, the consumption of children alone must have led to at least 100 million deaths between the Aborigines’ arrival on the continent and 1788, when this bountiful idyll was brought to so cruel an end.
Once a country has been taken by force in this way—as Australia was by the ancestors both of the nomenklatura and of the tattooed men in thongs—there can only ever be sovereignty for the descendants of the conquerors: unless they wish to give their acquisition up to a new conqueror or to the people from whom they took it in the first place. The policies that Australia’s deeply provincial rulers have recently adopted towards non-European immigrants and the Aborigines imply that they are indeed about to hand the continent over to one or both of these groups. They have sown subversion and confusion in the very foundations of the state.
Harry Cummins, who wrote on the modern Muslim slave trade in the September issue, is the author of the soon to be published Suicide Blonde. Published by Connor Court it examines the self-hatred that, among global civilisations, is unique to the West and especially so in Australia