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October 17th 2016 print

Merv Bendle

The Suicide of the West

A treasonous, self-lacerating and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout academia, the press and political class, which funds with taxpayer dollars the very activists and agitators whose goal it is to sow the ideological contagion of shame and self-loathing

west suicide IICan the West save itself? Or will it decline and collapse, like all the great civilizations of the past? There are many components of civilizational decline, but one of the most important is demography, involving a plummeting birthrate and a large scale invasion of legal and illegal immigrants, as I pointed out in an earlier Quadrant article, “How Civilisations Die”. This is complemented by another component, which involves the collapse of the culture that sustains the civilization, usually involving the treason of the intellectual and political elites. These become cultural quislings, turning their backs on the very culture that sustains them in their privilege, proudly declaring themselves enemies of their own civilization, and working actively to undermine it, effectively handing over control to the aggressive invaders.

The paradigm for this intellectual treason was established by the Comintern nearly a century ago, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, when Lenin decided that the new Soviet Union slave state would only survive if it was able to foment revolution in the West and could mobilize the intelligentsia to achieve this. The poisonous message these intellectuals were to carry, an ideological contagion, was enunciated vividly by the leading French communist ideologue, Louis Aragon, in 1925:

We will destroy this civilization that you cherish … Western world, you are condemned to death … We will awaken everywhere the germs of confusion and malaise. We are the agitators of the mind … those who will always hold out our hands to the enemy.”

This treasonous, self-lacerating, and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout Western academia and it has an ideological stranglehold over political activism, as we see in Australia with the Green-Left. These academics and activists live in a parallel universe where the source of all evil in the world is their own society, in which they posture as reluctantly privileged rebels. Consequently, as Pascal Bruckner observes in The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (2010), “nowadays all it takes to attack Europe is a bit of conformism” to the all-pervasive hatred of the West that constitutes the intellectual monoculture of our society.

The West must repent continuously and unreservedly for the vast litany of sins for which it is held responsible. Indeed, “from existentialism to deconstructionism, all of modern thought can be reduced to a mechanical denunciation of the West”, which is depicted as “the very figure of Satan”. According to this fashionable nihilism, “we Europeans are born with a burden of vices and ugliness that marks us like stigmata”.  Indeed, “a curse is hidden behind our civilization that corrupts its meaning and mocks its grandeur … The whole world hates us, and we deserve it.”

This grotesque vision of their own civilization as a global predator has been systematically promoted throughout academia, the schools, and the media for decades and has poisoned the intellectual atmosphere. Excellent current examples of how this self-lacerating ideology operates at the personal level is the infamous Safe Schools program and the new $22 million ‘respectful relationships’ education program that is also presently being imposed on Victorian school students. It exemplifies Bruckner’s observation that the white male is now a pariah, a monster “genetically determined to kill massacre and rape; he has split himself off from the rest of humanity in order to enslave it”. Consequently, under the new program boys and girls will be taught that males are violent, powerful, and privileged predators:

“Proposed lessons will introduce students to the concept of ‘privilege’, which is described as ‘automatic, unearned benefits bestowed upon dominant groups’ based on ‘gender, sexuality, race or socio-economic class’.”

In particular, boys will be taught in Years 7 and 8 that they enjoy “male privilege” that encourages “control and dominance”, and that:

“Being born a male, you have advantages — such as being overly represented in the public sphere — and this will be true whether you personally approve or think you are entitled to this privilege.”

As with the Safe Schools propaganda, this new program is really just an ideological Trojan Horse dominated by radical ideology, as Kevin Donnelly points out (“Marxist Agenda in Anti-Violence Campaign”), Apparently, whether they are just intellectually thick or utterly cynical, Premier Daniel Andrews and his education minister, James Merlino, are proud to preside over the pedophile grooming, ideological indoctrination, mass brainwashing, and terrorizing of school children.

Nothing however, can trump the all-pervasive anti-Americanism that has an intellectual stranglehold over the Green-Left, academia and the media. For them, as Bruckner explains,

“…evil America condenses in a single place, a single people, and a single system all the abjection of which Europe used to be capable. Parasitical, murderous, arrogant, America seems to bear all the signs by which we recognize the West’s guilt: as rich as it is inegalitarian; dominating, polluting, and founded on a double crime, the Indian genocide and the Black slave trade … it is entirely devoted to the worship of the almighty dollar, the only religion in this materialist country.”

America, in brief, is the global anti-Christ.

The strategy of ideological subversion has proven very effective over the past century, but the cultural demoralization and decline it produces has accounted for many previous major civilizations. In general terms it follows the model of internal cultural disintegration identified by Edward Gibbon in his magisterial Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the comparison is now routinely made, especially with respect to America. https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2008/05/america-as-the-new-rome/

It seems clear however that it will be Europe that will go first, that the ancestral home of Western Civilization will be Ground Zero in the decline of the West. As Mark Steyn observed a decade ago in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (2006), Europe faces the “Four Horsemen of the Eurocalypse”:

“Death—the demise of European races too self-absorbed to breed; Famine—the end of the lavishly-funded statist good times; War—the decline into bloody civil unrest that these economic and demographic factors will bring; and Conquest—the re-colonization of Europe by Islam.”

And, of course, the situation has only gotten worse since then – far worse, in fact, as the never-ending Muslim insurgency and endless jihadi massacres reveal. Indeed, according to Daniel Pipes, writing this week in The Washington Times, “Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe’s Destiny”. And sadly this outcome is because

“some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world [have] willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries.”

Tragically, these interlopers share no heritage whatsoever with the essential values, conventions, institutions, sexual mores, cultural, political, and legal systems that underpin and are integral to the liberal democratic societies that they are so eagerly invading. Even worse, they are neither interested in them nor have any respect for them. To them, these open societies are simply an easily transgressed staging post, a place where they can set up their closed monocultural and theocratic enclaves and grow stronger while living off the largess of the welfare states that so eagerly welcome them. Moreover, their community leadership is guided by a firm belief in Islamic supersessionism, the notion that Islam supersedes, surpasses and must displace all previous religions and the civilizations based on them. As Diana Muir Appelbaum explains:

“Islamic supersession can be understood in two senses, as replacement and as erasure. Going forward, Islam will supplant all other faiths. But Islam also controls the time before the birth of Muhammad; it claims to have preexisted all other faiths with the Qur’an pre-existing all other scripture … The claim that Islam has always existed effectively erases all that went before Muhammad. The notion that Islam is the final, true faith, divinely ordained to rule everywhere, has driven Islamic imperialism for 1,400 years.”

It is simply astonishing that purportedly sophisticated societies would so eagerly embrace such a large, aggressive and religiously-driven mass of invaders, especially when the historical record about the inevitable disastrous outcome is so clear. Indeed, this type of civilizational suicide finds a parallel only with era of the ‘Barbarian Invasions’ that undermined and ultimately destroyed the later Roman Empire. At that time, the ruling elites had become decadent, over-indulged, effete, and crippled by self-doubt, lacking the inclination and capacity to confront the external challenges that eventually overwhelmed them, swept their once great civilization away, and ushered in the Dark Ages, from which it took Europe a millennium to recover. Like many of us, Pipes is bemused at this civilizational death-wish:

“Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many Establishment politicians, most notably Germany’s Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasingly worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead?”

It can lead only to civilizational destruction.

Pipes blames the complacency of the Establishment, pointing out that “what I call the 6Ps (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insist that everything will turn out fine”, when it is obvious that this is an illusion, as the enclaves, alienation, aggression, and welfare costs grow exponentially. Compounding the problem is the iron rule of political correctness that forbids criticism or even questioning of these policies:

“The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe’s civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The Establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists.”

And this torrent of abuse only exacerbates the crisis by forcing rigid postures of militancy and intransigence onto apprehensive people who initially only wanted to have their voices and concerns heard and respectfully regarded.

In Bruckner’s view, the Western intelligentsia has become “the penitential class par excellence”, and intellectuals “officials of original sin”. In academia and government bureaucracies they preside over a vast ideological apparatus designed to ensure that this secular penance is honoured repeatedly with meaningless ceremonies and hollow observances kowtowing to anything non-Western, however vacuous, while the unparalleled glories of that civilization are ignored, scorned, and disrespected. This contrived world of make-believe is protected and reinforced by laws prohibiting freedom of thought and speech, and by aggressive government agencies that monitor and regulate every act and utterance, threatening criminal charges against those who fail fully to embrace self-hatred or adequately abase themselves before all things non-Western.

In this fashion, a vast cultural discourse of guilt, remorse, and repentance has been created and elevated to a supreme status where it lurks like a supernatural presence, with bureaucrats “appointed to maintain it like the ancient guardians of the sacred flame and issue permits to think and speak”, as Bruckner observes.

What of the future? In Europe, Pipes sees some hope in the rise of anti-immigration political parties, which are now typically winning some 20 percent of the vote but could poll over 30 percent if current trends continue. Such a trend could develop in Australia, especially as the state and federal governments continue their kowtowing to minorities while ridiculing and disrespecting a growing mass of mainstream voters. Whether such a bloc would be able to guide effective political change remains unclear, however, especially in Europe and Australia where so much power is now vested in virtually autonomous, anti-democratic, quasi-judicial, regulatory, punitive, and propaganda agencies, all of which are committed to the debilitating guilt-ridden anti-Western ideology.

Sadly, however, Pipes thinks that Europe’s future will be determined not by statesmen (there are none), but by violence. For him, the greatest question facing Europe is whether it is the elitist cultural quislings or the masses that will decide the continent’s future. If the jihadists continue their reign of terror then the political momentum might swing towards the people; if they are suppressed then the Establishment will remain in charge: “Ironically”, he concludes, “the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe’s destiny”.

Bruckner concludes that the battle must continue in the realm of ideas, and that the balance must be restored:

“We must have done with the blackmail of culpability, cease to sacrifice ourselves to our persecutors. A policy of friendship cannot be founded on the false principle: we take the opprobrium, you take the forgiveness. Once we have recognized any faults we may have, then the prosecution must turn against the accusers and subject them to constant criticism as well.”

These are fine sentiments, and the ideological battle must continue to be fought, however one-sided it is. But Bruckner seems excessively optimistic that there is good will on the side of those who seek continuously to undermine the West and seek to exploit the burden of guilt it has so unwisely accepted. In fact, there appears to be little or no good will there at all and absolutely no openness to criticism or compromise. Indeed, since Bruckner wrote the situation has only become more intransigent and unforgiving.

Ultimately, it seems that the West is caught up in a zero-sum game where there can only be one winner. As it has been for the past century, we are engaged in a fight to the finish with external and internal forces that want only to destroy our civilization and build their tyrannies upon the ruins.

Comments [25]

  1. Patrick McCauley says:

    The silent majority wait silenced for the leader to appear … and so far must make do with Trump .. to maintain hope. Whilst Abbott lives so does hope. The enemy has come so quickly and so silently – we do not yet believe he/she is so close. We are shot through with traitors everywhere.. in every family and in every household .. there are traitors … my brother is a traitor .. our lovers are traitors. Every feminist is a traitor. The Gay community are traitors.The inner city intellectuals are selling out the bush – the country. The evil face of Daniel Andrews hangs over the state like a Kim Jong Il sending out the gender police to bully the children in schools. The people are utterly confused. Soon we will realise that it is of no use worrying about the world we are leaving for our grandchildren …first we must find (again) our existential will for the fight. Watch out for Islamic teens with large knives walking down our street … take our children out of state run schools.

    • skerrioz says:

      The fear engendered by the traitorous and tyrannical purveyors of lies and misinformation within the main stream media and our institutions is today almost overwhelming. Thank you to Quadrant for your courage in publishing such an important article. Thank you to the brilliant and incisive Merv Bendle and to Patrick McCauley for your equally courageous commentary

  2. Don A. Veitch says:

    Cheer up!
    That is Weimar Republic defeatism. Do you want Hitler?
    Once there was the Dark Ages, then the Golden Renaissance.

  3. Alistair says:

    Patrick, I think (as usual) you are correct. The flaw in the argument here is that the West no longer consists of “Christian” countries – we live in a post-Christendom world where Christians in the West have been reduced to “Dhimmi” status within progressive Leftist States. They have circled the wagons into isolated inward-looking communities, trying to come to grips with the new (anti)religious paradigm. Do not expect any leadership from the Christians in fighting Islam – Islam is actually closer to them than the Left is. Christians have had to fight their own existential battle here and have lost.
    The only hope is from the “right-winged” secularists who still value western ideals. Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson. We have to work with what we have got – and who is willing to stand up and take up the fight.

  4. Jody says:

    I had to laugh at a critique of Mike Baird recently in ‘The Conversation’. It said he was an ‘evangelical’ when it came to power and decision-making and that he’d swallowed whole the ‘neoliberal economics of Sydney University’ pervasive in the 1970s. Highly amusing how they can be critical of others when it suits them, but totally lacking any kind of objectivity or self-awareness of the damaging consequences of their contemporary ideologies!! Oh, but who’d have thought…??

  5. johnhenry says:

    I would probably agree with most of what this article says if the author had bothered to give citations for his many quotes. Yes, I see his links. Not quite the same thing as chapter and verse footnoting.

    • Alistair says:

      Its not rocket science – You would probably agree with the author if you bothered to do your own research. Buy Bruckner’s book and read it. Try Quigley and Spengler. There has never been an easier time to do research or find books. All you have to do is make an effort. If we are going to reverse the death of the Western civilization someone is going to have to invest a bit of effort.

  6. Warty says:

    An insightful article, and keep them coming, I say, until we have an avalanche of conservative invective aimed at the unpicking of decades of left wing infiltration.
    On the other hand (perverse waffler that I am) I think Merv Bendle has his cause and effect a little muddled up. We need to put first things first: ‘the collapse of the culture that sustains civilization’ most definitely comes first, as it gives rise to this structural flaw, this low birth rate that demands regiments of migrants to fuel the industries that keep our economies ticking over.
    Without the rise of feminism, the pill and the sexual revolution you would not have this western phenomena of women wedded to their careers, waking up too late and realizing the fact that they are unmarriageable at the age of forty, certainly fifty, and that their reproductive organs have already begun the process of shutting down.
    So, this promised sparkling future, where women can compete with men on equal terms in the work area has an unexpected flaw: no self respecting male would want to marry such women, and furthermore, having children demands a degree of sacrifice (unless you seek to usher generations of neglected, disturbed, maladjusted kids into the world). These are the kids who seek a Green utopia, that promises much but would invite in legions of Islamists to finish off the job.

    • Julian says:

      “it gives rise to this structural flaw, this low birth rate that demands regiments of migrants to fuel the industries that keep our economies ticking over.” Exactly. With said economy based on non-stop urban sprawl and apartment construction in order to house said migrants. And all other considerations such as social cohesion, crime rates, trust, environmental preservation and so forth, marginalized. (See Melbourne at the moment and things such as the’Apex’ – read: African migrant – gang, etc.)

      With, btw, Japan showing us the way of a relatively prosperous and cohesive society that has kept a majority of their manufacturing industry and prudently resisted mass immigration.

  7. Alistair says:

    The point I try to make above is that, as a Post-Christendom society, the west has lost its all-important spiritual basis. I often read about the collapse of the Aboriginal “civilization” when it lost its religeous roots – it lost its will to continue, without the need of a genocide. However, I would argue that western civilization without its spiritual basis will fare no better. All the hand-wringers about the collapse of Aboriginal society should take note.

  8. Bill Martin says:

    This is another superb article by Merv Bendle, clearly narrating the cancerous malady afflicting the white western civilisation, making it a devastatingly depressing read.

    All that notwithstanding, it is surprising and disappointing that the historical analysis goes back only as far as the rise of Marxism or thereabouts, omitting any reference to what predates it and which actually brought it into existence as a tool for the furthering of its own agenda. That entity is often referred to as the Illuminati but better known today as the Bilderberg Group. I call them the Elitocracy. This is the cabal of the 30 or so wealthiest families, having been in control of the finances of the world for millennia and thereby shaping its history.

    Their aim, to put it into a nutshell, is to establish One World Government with absolute power in their own hands. The rationale behind it is that they alone are capable of properly managing humanity’s affairs and all would benefit as a result. They launched several attempts before but failed each time. (Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and most presidents of the USA, to name only the more significant of their puppets, were all set loose on the world by the Elitocracy. Hitler reneged on them, so they utilised their other vassals to eliminate him. The Chinese and the Americans are still “works in progress”.) The insurmountable obstacle was always the white western civilisation of European origin. The aim of their current campaign is the elimination of that obstacle.

  9. ianl says:

    Merv Bendle has done his usual work of exactitude here. In my view, what is missing is the motive for this self-hatred … I really don’t understand why the hysterics, the neurotics, self-described as intelligentsia (FFS), are so obsessed with this historical self-hatred. If somehow this nihilism manages to supplant existing culture without civilisational collapse, what is the expected outcome ? I really don’t see an answer to that question.

    Although obviously I don’t think the loss of Christian religiosity is the root cause of this, I do think that the classical Scientific Method (enquiry, data, hypothesis, prediction/testing, theory) has been the core of progress over the last 200 years and this is now in real danger of being destroyed by the Gaia religion.

    • Jody says:

      The ‘answer’ is much simpler than you think. The so-called Left intelligentsia wants to promulgate its own ideology solely to silence conservatives and the establishment. For the establishment/conservatives to continue enjoying economic ‘success’ means that the capitalist free market and its ideologies have to persist. The motivation of the Left is to remove those support systems, values and ideologies, thereby hindering as much as humanly possible the ability of the status quo to continue and for successful people to continue enjoying economic success. The academic world view of endemic victimhood has become the new rights’ bigots bible.

      I don’t have footnotes and libraries of books to cite; I make this judgment based on my over 60 years on this planet as a social observer and reader of contemporary commentary – either through books, essays or good newspapers.

      • ianl says:

        Yes, but too simple I fear, Jody.

        These neurotics surely have a more erudite answer than (paraphrased): “Naah, your mother wears army boots”.

        Perhaps Norway is the model they aspire to. Economically based on North Sea oil, as it is …

    • Alistair says:

      Your last point ianl – Quigley (The evolution of civilizations) would argue that a civilization declines when its instruments of expansion become “institutionalised” – taken over by self-serving vested politcal interests. Thus if science is the instrument of expansion of the west – the decline comes when scientific method becomes corrupted by self-serving political necessities. Sound familiar, global warming enthusiasts?

  10. Brett_McS says:

    “The decline of the West” can be more accurately described as “the (inevitable) decline of institutions run by the left”. We have to make sure that the demise of these institutions does not bring the whole show down. The process of replacement of zombie husks (or ‘skin suits’, for those familiar with Iowahawk) by responsive alternatives has begun to pick up steam.

    The thing about the left is that they have no experience running a business; they typically work in academia or public ‘service’ or companies that are hooked onto the government teat. They are therefore unfamiliar with the push back that happens if a commercial company stops focussing on their customer’s wants. When the left finally succeeds in taking over an institution they think that they are free to do with it as they wish, with no consequences. They are like the life-long employees who dream of opening a shop so that they can finally ‘be their own boss’ (Ha!). They think that customers will just have to keep lining up like it’s the Post Office in the grand old days.

    Few, if any, trends are linear. When I see a trend I look for the evidence of push-back. I note the way in which rivals to organizations taken over by the left are popping up all over. The push-back against the decline has already started.

  11. Keith Kennelly says:

    Don A.
    I’m with you. The end of the invasion will come when the Islamists among us, start their fighting among themselves, as they have done since the inception of Islam. Our dumbass elites will be slaughtered as they try to create a peace amongst them.
    Once that starts the elites will turn to the cowardice of hiding away from them. Their will and beliefs will crack. Theylll turn to themselves and find themselves wanting. The rest of us will encourage the interislamic rivalry and hatred.
    It will implode.

  12. Don A. Veitch says:

    KISS. Stop the wars. Stop the ‘humanitarian bombing. Stop the refugees.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    Stop religion

  14. Ian MacDougall says:

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2016/10/suicide-west/

    In Bruckner’s view, the Western intelligentsia has become “the penitential class par excellence”, and intellectuals “officials of original sin”. In academia and government bureaucracies they preside over a vast ideological apparatus designed to ensure that this secular penance is honoured repeatedly with meaningless ceremonies and hollow observances kowtowing to anything non-Western, however vacuous, while the unparalleled glories of that civilization are ignored, scorned, and disrespected. This contrived world of make-believe is protected and reinforced by laws prohibiting freedom of thought and speech, and by aggressive government agencies that monitor and regulate every act and utterance, threatening criminal charges against those who fail fully to embrace self-hatred or adequately abase themselves before all things non-Western.

    I agree with much that Merv Bendle has written here. However, the Swamp of Political Correctness is not all water and crocodiles. There are some islands of dry land in it. For example, few I think would disagree with antiracism, antisexism, or other antiprejudicial movements: and after all, these did ‘privilege’ some sectional groups. And those who fight against the ‘privilege’ of one camp have been known to set up the privilege of another. Some of those whose class led the overthrow of the French and Russian aristocrats shortly became the lords of new, and far greater empires in which promotion was not available to just anyone.
    But this article has motivated me to get hold of a copy of Bruckner’s essay.
    In Bruckner’s view, the Western intelligentsia has become “the penitential class par excellence”, and intellectuals “officials of original sin”.
    I think that the Islamists and Islamics who think that Western Civilisation will fall into their hands are unsadly mistaken. The Golden Age of Islam (750-1250 AD) has passed. Mohammad, like Moses and Joshua before him, was a warrior-prophet who proclaimed a new faith, which broke the power and privilege of the patriarchs and tribal clerics of the defeated one. But as the power of the new Islamic clerical ascendancy grew at the expense of the intellectual vitality and creativity of Islamic civilisation; and it is most pertinent to ask here: what was that ‘original sin’?
    Ask your local priest, parson, mullah, imam or rabbi, and you will be referred to the oldest Abrahamic source of all: the Book of Genesis, in which we read of ‘The Fall’, which was all about Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Except that that disobedience was originally and more likely not to God (Himself) but to the learned men who spoke for God, and created the scriptures in the first place: whose heirs are the very same rabbis, priests, parsons, imams, mullahs etc who are sermonising from them today.
    We read in Genesis 2,17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
    This tree was clearly not your run-of-the-mill botanical specimen. Its fruit was strange and dangerous. But what can this mystical “knowledge of good and evil” be other than free thought: that is thought independent of the control of the clerics and their scriptures? The clerics of modern Islam being rightly savaged by Bruckner do not believe in any education that liberates the mind to explore the Universe. They want confinement of mental explorations within channels acceptable to them. They believe in teaching people young and old what to think, and what to not question and explore, rather than discussing how to think and explore.
    This brings me to my personal view of the Original Sin. It was nothing more nor less than philosophy, a rather important component of which is science. So it cannot be overstressed: the Original Sin was philosophy and science. Professional preachers of all religions tend disapprove of both, for philosophy and science both have drastically whittled back their authority over matters pertaining to humanity, nature and the Universe. All the clerics’ fights with philosophy and science to date have been losing ones: though in the case of Islam vs science, the cost has been carried by the people making up the nations in the thrall of Islam. Those nations have remained scientifically, technologically and industrially backward for centuries, having understandably missed out on the benefits of the same Enlightenment that broke the political power of the Christian clerics in the Western World.