Friday, 9 July 2010

Declining The West

Identity politics is an odd one, isn't it?

Maybe one of the reasons I dislike identity politics is looking across the pond (where most of this stuff comes from, not the 'Euro fags' that metropolitan softies like to snigger at) and seeing my Eastern Orthodox cousins and their bizarre views of victimhood.

Essentially, one thing I've learned in life is that the best way to be liked is not to be unlikable. Thank you oh Greg of the mighty intellect for showering us with your great wisdom, you might say. You're welcome. But the whole point of identity politics seems to be to whinge that you are unlikable and people think you're unlikable because they are wicked.

Just read this

I did get the logic here right, didn't I?
-Hello, I'm collecting money for a blowup doll to make love to; wondered if you'd have £50 on you?
-Ugh, that's pretty grim. Anyway, I think I have better things to spend my money on.
-Typical paedo scum!
-Don't you know Mr Wilson down the road was found with his hand down a boy's underpants?
-No, I didn't know that and why I should pay for you to-
-Then you are a paedo. I just want an artificial girlfriend and you won't give me anything, and there you are ignoring Mr Wilson. Evidence if any was needed that you're a paedo.

Now, you might be asking, this is about Israel. Why is an Orthodox Christian website blabbering on about Israel when Israel's major interaction with its Orthodox neighbours in Palestine and Lebanon is dropping incendiary bombs on them?

Well, that's what identity politics is. This movement of fanatical conservative converts has no interest in Orthodox religion, far less Orthodox brotherhood when it clashes with neo-conservatism, because their religion IS neo-conservatism.

Yet, mark the tone of self-pity? I only pity these people for being so stupid.

One of the things I love about Europe is (and I say this carefully) what an irreligious place it is. That isn't to say that I think its apostacy rates are good or to deny that I think Christianity should play a greater community and intellectual role in the continent. But that I am pleased that religion plays such little role in legalism, censorship or politics here.

Yet the Yanks try to combine religion with politics and in the end have neither Athenian political ethics or Christian religious scruples.

An ideal model of Athens and Jerusalem, or a trainwreck?

I think I can guess that will be an easy one for my readers, but it does demonstrate why identity politics will always work for the right in the end.


  1. Good post. Every year, my fellow Yanks and I have to endure the War over Christmas. Every Christmas season, we have militant humanists and angry Christians fighting over Christmas. Of course, the GOP and the rest of the conservative media has a field day convincing Middle America that the godless Commies on the Left are trying to destroy Christmas. FOX News becomes a veritable Christmas War Room. I have seen folks in my own family yell "Merry Christmas!" to random strangers to make the point that, damn it, it is Christmas! To hell with "Happy Holidays."

    The funny thing is, I think both sides are wrong. The humanists act as if some Catholic firemen putting up a Nativity creche is a sign of creeping theocracy, while the angry conservative Christians actually think there is a Red plot to destroy Christianity and turn the US into the USSR.

    Sometimes I seriously contemplate getting a hold of my long-lost relatives in Italy and seeing if they have an extra room available.

  2. Thank you for your comment John. I agree with you that both sides should be more mature and thick skinned about the whole thing.

    As for moving to Italy, I think in Britain things are already almost as bad and Europe is going the same way. I hope I don't sound anti-American, but I just dislike the way in which some very narrow types of American culture are treated with religious awe in Britain, whilst I do think that there is much we CAN learn from America (ideas of community, care for the unborn, personal responsibility) it seems that we firstly want to take the wrong things (free market insanity combined with war on terror and litigation) as well as use it to blot out the interesting and complex popular culture we developed in post war Britain which both contained a lot of quality and a lot of genuinely proletarian culture.

  3. @Gregor,

    Great points. No, you don't sound anti-American. The United States, like all countries, has good and bad points. The real problem in the US, and what I think is being exported abroad, is the kind of culture created by a society that is becoming increasingly dominated by large corporate and financial interests while at the same time collapsing at the lower level of actual organic communities. The result is an increasingly atomized society that is spawning an unhealthy culture, in my opinion. I think this trend helps explains why escapism so dominates American entertainment today.

    I am sad to hear that Britain and Continental Europe are adopting some of America's worst aspects. Europeans really ought to avoid the McDonaldization of their culture. In my own neighborhood we used to have a vibrant, local, working-class culture that has declined greatly as the old family-owned bars and social clubs have been replaced by chains.