Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Nation of What

The London riots are yet another episode in the slow disintegration of Europe. London is no longer an English city, it's just another pin on a map. Much of London is a bunch of Third World cultures living in a geographical area that they have no cultural or emotional connection to. The culture around them is as shamelessly materialistic, vulgar and violent as anything in the dark ages-- with the occasional tip of the hat to politically correct values involving the environment or tolerating gay people. And the same goes for the rest of Europe's capitals. Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and Oslo are all obvious examples.

The real showdown in London was not between opportunistic rioters and the impotent police, but between African looters and Asian storekeepers fighting a purely materialistic battle. And if the UK's immigration trends do not change, in a generation or two, the battle will have a much more open character. A struggle for ownership of the city.

The problem with London is the problem with Chicago and Paris and Los Angeles and most of the rest of the free world. It's not enough to stick a nametag on a city and assume that its population can be swapped out with no social chaos or consequences.

A culture is a consensus. Change the culture and you change the consensus. The elites imagine that the consensus can be programmed by throwing enough TV ads, school courses and social media games at whatever bunch of people happen to be living in a geographical area. And they're invariably shocked to realize that it doesn't work that way.

The human being is not a machine. He is a member of a group. And groups are naturally exclusive. Gangs are the group at its most primitive. Feral packs of young males on the prowl. And above the gang is the tribe, the community from which the group comes. Above the tribe is the nation.

Multiculturalism leaves the nation part vague and strengthens the tribe. And the tribe naturally leads to the gang. The multicultural vision insists that populations can be defined by political identities regardless of their culture, race and ethnicity. And that is clearly not so. Nor can cultures be stripped of all their politically disapproved elements to create a harmonious multicultural paradise.

The USSR tried that experiment already and failed. But what the USSR tried to do with massacres, secret police and rigidly controlled schools, its more moderate leftist colleagues are foolishly trying with rainbows and wishful thinking. And while you can line up a color spectrum of immigrants in an ad, shovel them into the same educational system and pat yourself on the back when some of them spend time together outside of class-- you haven't really changed anything. What you have created is every bit as shallow as the multicultural ad so ubiquitous in our time. A phenomenon all surface, and no depth.

It's not that the multicultural society is an unreal thing. Africans and Pakistanis have been changed by their exposure to England. And England has been changed by its exposure to them. But it is generally the worst qualities that have been passed to each side. This hybridization has made the youth culture in Europe's major cities so relentlessly ugly.

Popular culture transmits negative values far more easily than positive ones. When the popular culture is also values free and built on shock so that people with low attention spans and high filters will pay attention to it, all it communicates is the romance of the animal impulse. The thrill of doing what you want. Education would have a long way to go to counter that, but an educational system reflects the values of its elite. And they don't have any.

The multicultural society's values are political not cultural, ideological not moral, and subjective rather than objective. These values are expressed in ritualistic behaviors such as volunteering, recycling or not making openly racist remarks (unless you are a victim of racism, in which case it's okay), but not in anything deeper than that. Compliance with these ritual behaviors is compelled, but unlike meaningful moral education they do not change those acting out a hypocritical rite.

The rituals of liberal education do not answer the larger questions that lead to a moral worldview. Instead they inflict the burden of universal responsibility for everything on everyone, but the idea of universal responsibility is indistinguishable from universal irresponsibility. And the addition of political gradations based on race and class assigns different levels of responsibility creating a moral upper class, which is responsible for everything that goes wrong, and a moral lower class, which is oppressed and responsible for very little. Children of a lesser god.

The multicultural society's common culture is based on sports teams and popular entertainment, and you cannot build a nation on that. However you can build a riot and looting spree on it. And from there on in it splinters into gangs. And gangs are what happens a portion of society collapses and is recreated at the most basic level.

This culture of bits and pieces, scraps of popular entertainment and some form of tribal identity, isn't limited to gangs in the ghetto. Think of Breivik hammering together ancient history, video games, personal grievances, political agendas and popular culture into the leadership of an imaginary gang. The Templar Knights.

When the nation stands for nothing, then the gang emerges. The invader barbarian gangs on one side, and the nativist gangs on the other. Multiculturalism brings this to the surface very quickly. And if not for general prosperity in the West, there would be far more nativist gangs in the streets. It is likely no coincidence that Breivik suffered economic setbacks, before trying to pick up the pieces of his life and turning into a serial killer. And economic turmoil in Europe will only further sharpen these tensions.

The spiraling violence is a burning sun in the sky. A warning that nations are sliding into the abyss. America has been able to survive the loss of some of its major urban centers, and even to revert some of those losses in the nineties, but that has only dampened the pain of the underlying problem.

Europe has less territory and more centralization. New York may seem like a major city, but it isn't even the capital of its state, and its influence on national elections is insignificant. Similarly Los Angeles is not a capital, neither are Chicago or Philly. It's one reason Michigan isn't as dysfunctional as Detroit. American major cities are surprisingly expendable. Many of them were all but discarded three decades ago. London and Paris are not.

While the media outlets ponder why the looters did what they did, the answer is fairly simple. There was no reason for them not to. Their formal education taught them that they have grievances and that violence is a legitimate response to such grievances. Their informal values of popular entertainment taught them that being smart means grabbing what you can, and the idiots are the ones who let themselves be robbed. The two sets of values combine neatly in just about any robbery or crime.

The moral of popular culture is that life is a game and that its only rule is to do whatever it takes to succeed while trying to stay loyal to your friends. These values are hopelessly primitive and hopelessly ubiquitous. They can be found in gang culture and the machinations of reality stars on programs watched by tens of millions of people. They are the new moral code.

Values are now almost as antiquated as the telegraph. What schools really teach is tolerance, which is the code by which the gangs interact outside of violent encounters. The mores that allow the tribes to do business with one another and even occasionally socialize.

Pre-Mohammedan Mecca was a tolerant place. And then one family with a gang based around a fanatical ideology took it over. The rest is Islamic history.

Social media strengthens these forms of tribal and gang organization. The flash mob forms raids out of thin air. It decentralizes the rank and file organization, while allowing leaders to manipulate a much larger group. The real world takes on the characteristics of the video game environment with teamwork, points scored and a complete lack of empathy for the victims. Life is just a game. And there's nothing to do with it but play it.

But why shouldn't it be this way? What is London now but a set of noises derived from a dead language used by a dead empire, and why should the gangs and third world tribes who roam it care? And why should the radical brats who have been taught that borders are evil and all of humanity is one tribe? This is about how power derives from identity. And it's a clash of two identities.

There are two Londons. The city of brick and steel occupying a set of coordinates in space and time. And the consensus of what London meant, the idea of it, and with it the idea of England. Take away the consensus and you're left with brick and steel. And what can't be smashed, can be burned.

Why not steal from those outside your tribe and why not loot with your gang? When the police push, why not show them what you can do by taking over portions of the city, and looting as much as you can? The answers all involve morals and larger ideas about values. But mostly they come down to the idea of the city as a larger community. And the gangs and tribes have never accepted that idea. They have their own community, and their own identity. And that's what they fight for.

This is a question that faces not just England or Europe, but much of the civilized world which used immigration to import people from tribal cultures, and have discovered that the tribes are back. Not the polished experimentation in Celtic or Morris dances, but places where no revival is needed. Where the tribe is instinctual and the laws of the tribe are natural. Islam is the dominant form of this organized assault on Western civilization, but that is because it is the most organized and the best funded of the bunch.

The final irony of it all is that the attempt to leapfrog nations and cultures to a transcendent global form of social organization-- instead led back to primitive savagery. Globalism empowered the gang and multiculturalism turned modern nation states into tribal enclaves. That is what the mobs are really about. The raider has turned. The tribals are back. And native Europeans are the Romans watching the barbarians come through the gates.


mindRider said...

.........and like Rome, the steel & brick even smashed shall remain, for distant generations to visit and admire but it shall have it's culture vanished. Which, if one reconsiders the case of Rome was not all that bad as it already had turned into an intolerant, corrupt, destructive, a-moral power hungry entity. The only thing about Europe that shall be missed is the achievements of the enlightment, already under heavy decay.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, it's on track for that. Except the people left behind are not likely to admire it.

The end result is more likely to be Turkey. Churches and major buildings turned to mosques. The rest occupied, dirtied and turned into a hive.

Quentin C. said...

"New York may seem like a major city, but it isn't even the capital of its state, and its influence on national elections is insignificant. Similarly Los Angeles is not a capital..."

Despite the decentralization made possible by modern telecommunications, NYC and LA remain important business hubs. New York City is still the center of the nation's financial industry, and still one of the world's financial capitals, despite the diminishment of its reputation and status in recent years. New York City's financial industry has clearly had a great effect on national politics.

New York and Los Angeles are also cultural and media centers, and important bastions of the advertising industry. As such they have a direct effect on the national culture and psyche, and therefore an indirect but strong effect on the political process.

Granted, their influence is weakening even as we watch.

aryeh_z said...

Somehow, considering the way "The Empire" has treated us, I can't really bring myself to mourn its final disintegration. During WWII they did everything they could to protect the death camps. In Israel, they did everything they could to murder us or encourage the Arabs to murder us. My only response to what is happening there is: Burn baby, burn!
Aryeh Zelasko
Beit Shemesh

Trencherbone said...

There is evidence that the the riots all over England (not just London) are being stirred up by Muslims:


"Islamist extremists are trying to capitalize on the riots engulfing Britain, calling on their followers to help incite further violence so that a terror attack can be launched amid the chaos.

Via “jihadist” websites, the extremists say English-fluent Muslims should infiltrate social media with messages that encourage the rioters so that the police remain “preoccupied” by the disturbances, according to the Washington-based monitoring group SITE.

The extremists are characterizing the violence as “useful” for London-based terror cells, saying the rioters are young and impressionable, and can be easily manipulated if the messages appear to be the sort of things they would write.

The extremists reason that by extending the violence, the police will drop their guard against jihadist terror planning.

The increased chaos could also force the British government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, some of the sites say.

“The events in London are an opportunity for the mujahedeen to make a move in London and attack,” says one prominent entry, adding that continued violence “may weaken the position of (the British) staying in Afghanistan, because the soldiers will be needed in London.” also a t

Yet another tactic in their ongoing campaign of subversion, sedition, infiltration and social sabotage.

Halcon said...

A hard-hitting piece, Sultan Knish. But I feel it's not quite balanced and fair an assessment.

It isn't quite the war of all against all. You had news organizations like Sangat TV that weren't just reporting live, but actively helping out. As you can tell from the name, it is an organisation run by an ethnic minority.

There were people of all different creed working to help clean the streets in a strong show of community spirit.

Even the Muslims were working with other ethnic groups in figuring on how to deal with these riots.

After the death of those three young Muslim men; there were calls for retribution. But they decided against it.

I don't deny that race and culture aren't big issues here; but this is more of a generational rift.

This was the materialistic, irresponsible youth from as young as 11 who are acting with impunity.

It's a society without discipline where the authorities from teachers to the police face legal retribution and have a fear that paralyses them.

But I'm surprised that you didn't try to use the Youth Bulge theory to explain all this. Britain has one of the worst rates of teen pregnancies and many of these riots happened in dense urban locations.

dave s said...

Interesting and perceptive. The one absolutely certain result of the rioting in London will be a flight of white English families to areas such as mine- the Hampshire Avon valley.
Individual decisions taken by families will make a nonsense of any government "initiatives" .
London is finished as an English city. It already was and the riots will just expedite the process. A hollowed out ceremonial, political and business centre is all that is left.
How long will we be able to maintain our way of life in my valley? Two or three generations perhaps.
What is interesting is that many people here seem already to have forgotten London. They have stopped visiting, stopped even thinking about it. The riots seem to be happening in a foreign land which I suppose they actually are.

ericcs said...

This piece brilliantly ties many threads together about where Western societies are headed (and yet many people, e.g., Halcon, continue to avoid reality by making the same banal excuses for what are quite obviously the evils of progressivism).
"The rituals of liberal education do not answer the larger questions that lead to a moral worldview." This is because progressivism is inherently a shallow set of ideas, that does not attempt to answer life's most fundamental questions, nor does it even care, because it refuses to recognize that there are any.
Will anything change this dismal outlook? No... I am now firmly convinced that it's impossible to attempt to argue logically with a leftist, because they are clinically insane. No matter how many times someone attempts to reason with them, the insane cling stubbornly and energetically to their fantasies and narratives in their desperate attempt to avoid reality. They keep on returning with more nonsense, thus ultimately exhausting anyone who is not a trained psychologist. It wouldn't be a problem except that the left has been steadily gaining power, and steadily dragging down the rest of society with it for the past 70-odd years. The end result will be total societal collapse.

Anonymous said...

aryeh_z, although a bit cinical, I agree with you. Apart that most europeans won't understand that they are the ones digging their own grave...but they will blame guess who for it.


John said...

"A culture is a consensus. Change the culture and you change the consensus..."

Wise, really wise Daniel, I like your word very much.

Anonymous said...

Bob in the UK Says

How true is this phrase?
Those who do not learn from History are condemned to repeat it.

Hold that phrase in your mind and think of this:
Francisco Pizzaro the Spanish Conquistador, who conquered the Inca Empire of 30 million people with just 2 boatloads of Spaniards. 632 Spanish soldiers of fortune against 30 million Incas, who had a standing army of 400,000 soldiers.

How on earth was that possible? How could just 632 men bring down a civilization of 30 million?
The answer is that by making alliances with subversive elements within the Inca Empire he encouraged the Incas to conquer themselves. And then he took over and the Inca Civilization was no more

Islam has the oil revenue at it's disposal and is making alliances with our subversive elements
1. The media
2. The goverment
3. The Left
4. Converting prisoners in the Jails

Islam has 31 Million people in Europe and they are going to do to European Civilization what Francisco Pizzaro did to King Atahualpa and his Incas.

The implications for the future of Europe are so profound that we are going to find ourselves going the way of the Incas

We can only survive by standing with the other Nationalist peoples of Europe

Those who do not learn from History are condemned to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Your point of view is extremely fascist. Do you realize that?

I also notice with the comments you are getting that you are preaching to the choir. That's actually reassuring knowing that you are not changing minds of shaping opinions, but reassuring racist and separatist of those that already had them.

Keep spreading the hate!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your comment is nonsense. Why is criticizing the ones who torch innocent people shops and small business racist? How is opposing violence against other people property fascist?

You say: "Your point of view is extremely fascist. Do you realize that?"

No, we don't. Daniel and most of the commentators here value freedom and liberties of individuals more than anything else: it's not fascism.

If these rioters were really angry at the police, why are they destroying and savaging other people properties? What has this to do with a revolt against the authorities?


Edward Cline said...

What helps to further “legitimatize” the gang/tribal/barbarian mindset is a culture’s art. One notable example is 2002’s “The Gangs of New York,” another “vehicle” for Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis, which depicted not only actual rival gangs of thugs and tribalists (the “natives” vs. the immigrants) as the “foundation” of New York City in pre- and Civil War New York, but depicted Boss Tweed and the middle class as gangs in their own right, competing for power. This was a purely Marxist take on the capitalist foundation of New York, with the sympathy heavily weighted on the gangs. The last scene is narrated by DiCaprio as a gangster who avenged his father’s death during a brutal gang battle years earlier, with a time lapse montage of New York’s skyline rising from the 1860s to 2002. The final gang battle is interrupted by Union troops fresh from Gettysburg and by a naval bombardment. My point here is that the depicted gang warfare supposedly imparts a moral veneer on the poor, helpless thugs and gang leaders, who are supposedly victims of the “system,” when they are nothing more than social carnivores ready to pounce, loot, maim and kill, and multiculturalism didn’t even exist in that era – except in the minds of contemporary Hollywood directors and screenwriters. I’m betting that this film is some of the London rioters’ favorite.

Anonymous said...


John K said...

Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw for sale in a Miami gas station:

Would the last American to leave Miami please bring the flag?

Anonymous said...

People without G-d are dangerous animals. Most of the young people rioting are the new pagans. Not to forget that all the new trends including miniskirt, Beatles,later pankists, drugs and all the antisocietal behaviours come from England.
Arie Z. is right.

DP111 said...

Brilliant essay.

Quote: Change the culture and you change the consensus..."

Or change the people and one changes the culture/concensus.

Edward Cline said...

Anonymous who remarked: “People without G-d are dangerous animals,” and then went on to disparage a menagerie of disparate phenomena, and charged most of the rioters with paganism. In rebuttal, first, I’d wager that most of the rioters believe in some form of God (see, I can spell the word without having a stroke, no hyphens). Thugs are usually superstitious, and mystical to the core. Second, I’m “without God,” and not a particularly “dangerous animal.” So I take offense at the suggestion that an atheist is necessarily without morality. Stand me in a room with a representative of every faith under the sun, including agnosticism, and I would claim that I was the most moral man present.

Anonymous said...

I'll be happy to stand in a room next to you with my Faith in Jesus Christ and the morality that comes from that Faith and I personally have no fear that your atheist morality will encompass me.
Of course the Godless claim of wisdom and humanist morality goes a long way in explaining the mindset of many in this generation.
When 'Gods' are made of wood or stone or are 'images of men' or 'the thoughts of men' they will always have a flawed morality. But Faith in the True God gives a True morality something many deny or just plain want to ignore in our modern culture of entertainment and self-satisfaction.

Rose21 said...

@Edward Cline: "I would claim that I was the most moral man present."

And you would be mistaken if one of the measures of morality is humility.

Keli Ata said...

It would be reassuring to think that the US will bail the rest of the dysfunctional world out of this mess but I just don't see that happening.

We've become too resigned to defeat and our enemies too resigned to conquer and ultimtately the end of the world.

OT: Have you read Mitchel Reiss's book about negotiating with evil? It's quite interesting.

Dedicated_Dad said...

"... native Europeans are the Romans watching the barbarians come through the gates..."

Actually, these "romans" not only tore down the gates, and the walls, but they even went out seeking the barbarians and provided them transport and all the needs of living upon their arrival.

This was suicide - not murder!

CarlJ said...

Bravo! Daniel's commentaries I have found to be extremely enlightening and prescriptive for the ails of woldly views. Annoymous thank you for your stand there with the moralist humanist guy attempting to be all that! Hey keep up the great job Mr Greenfield!

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