Friday, 20 May 2016

COUNTER-COLONIZATION - From Hubris to Humility

The following is the unedited version of an exposé currently featured in the 19th revised edition of Malleus Maleficus'  [title withheld] *** (see below): If you wish to report intrusiveness, racism or inaccuracies, please email MalleusMaleficus@aol.com  To make a formal complaint under IPSO rules please contact IPSO directly at ipso.co.uk .  
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           O’Brien thought about it for a moment longer, then shook his head and continued with a cold and sustained deliberation. “Once favoured with nine lives and the persistent powers of the luck of the devil, it is an undeniable historical fact that  western Enlightenment is of Hellenistic origin and of Caucasian heritage.” Nor did the  supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon rest upon political causes. “The genius of his megalopolitan intellect was denied to either the Asian or the African. Of course, they averred that he was an infliction from hell, God’s own curse and a visitation of the devil. But the Soul
of the West was an idea of which no other race or culture gave  even the merest  hint, the idea of the tribute that power pays to reason. In fact, it is impossible to do justice to this declining human genus without reaching the conclusion that it has brought into existence laws and rules of behaviour we now recognize as universal; liberties, not so much of Greeks, Romans or Englishmen as of all men; rights that are constituent elements of any other nation, race, or people, to whom the term 'civilized' can with justice be applied. Indeed,  if it was his peculiar distinction to have formulated an ethos which, today, covers almost the entire globe, Western man has managed to impart to modern history not only his skill as a builder of nations, but also his constitutional  flair for institutionalising that which is  representative of  a people’s liberty.”
            But  even without invoking the much maligned sense of entitlement of the Caucasian races - and their past history, O’Brien said, was part of the indictment against them - it was nevertheless the case that they were the true upholders of the surpassing human values, the purveyors of a finely-tuned hereditary sense of inquiry and method, to say nothing of the pursuit of knowledge, ripping their fingers raw clinging to razor-sharp holds halfway up the precipice. For at the heart of the matter was their ever ceaseless and impatient sense of enquiry.
            O’Brien turned himself fully towards me: “Curious but austere, virtuous rather than religious, the soul of this race is heretical by temperament and founded, like the original sin, upon a tendency towards the forbidden. Entering deeply into the womb of the cosmos, the white man’s intellectual drive  is the truly Faustian legacy of this frail humanity -  to say nothing of his great, unconscious surge towards the infinite, the last creation of Promethean religiousness. It is the price he pays for being a participator rather than a mere observer.”
            There was no trace of prejudice or chauvinism in his manner. To the extent I was able to understand and detect,  he possessed none of  the misanthropy, cynicism, and hatred that distinguishes the rise of the neo-fascist movements in one country after another. Rather he delivered himself, in a flat, monochrome voice, as though everything was self-evident, a sort of predetermined mechanism whose outcome was long since known to him. Indeed, I can’t remember a more dignified or inspired and rich tribute to something that has gone, that is no longer and is essentially irretrievable, or irreparable, like a shattered mirror.
            “But these are irrelevant phenomena of no ultimate significance,” he said, and I could feel myself dying inside, “it makes no difference either way to the fact that the indigenous soul of the West is fading and its slide into decline irreversible. Zero velocity, an object at rest, Western man  has lost the initiative - which is his highest intellectual possession.” Far from having given leave to Africa and the East, the West, today, was sleepwalking into another dark age, standing, as it did, at the receiving end of the intercontinental Vőlkerwanderung from poor to rich countries that was
comparable in scale only to the great resettlements of the classical past.  Nothing would turn the barbarian tide. As the Romans themselves found out, massive citizenship grants became an inescapable cause of their own demise. Roman identity had always been plagued by a sense of her own adulteration, and if the Babel of foreign tongues in her public places, was bound to cause demographic apprehension as well as considerable cosmopolitan pride – “then, Europe today, must assume the same swagger at her peril. It’s hard not to sympathise, Malleus, but what you are experiencing, quite simply, is counter-colonisation.  Your people are about to become a subject race, absorbed into the bloodstream of the world’s manifold rivers, a riven remnant, celebrating the only passion which the highest form of civilization has been left to express: Remorse.”

            “Thus the oppressor of the world became the most abject servant of the most infamous slaves,” I said, quoting a Weimar classicist. There was a sense of familiarity about Western  humble pie acts and an abject policy of kowtowing to revisionists. Subjects, I knew, included the shame of third-world exploitation, racial paranoia, the familiar sins of white discrimination, and post-colonial stress-syndromes. The aptitude for detached historical judgment had given way to government apologies, lawsuits and compensation settlements.  I was profoundly taken aback by the thought of it
all.  For abject contrition seemed to me to have had the opposite effect. What it denoted in historical terms might well be the rapid fading of a major anthropological tradition and its veneration for evolutionary fitness. And the facts that underlie that line of reasoning are well transparent. Clearly, the West has lost its nerve. The psychological foundations of Western history have shifted from hubris to humility. A  depressing combination of  deference and disingenuousness is  the ultimate linctus for post-colonial guilt. But  I had not the capacity, then,  to consider that without reference to the hindsight that I have now. Nor did I disagree with O’Brien. It just occurred to me that there was no future to anything that the descendants of Athens and Rome might be allowed to remember with pride, but that instead we had become the ultimate historical personification of the feeling of shame.    


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*** is available on Amazon. Malleus Maleficus is the  anonymous author of an historiographic apology of the British Empire. 

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