“One measure of a civilization, either of an age or of a single individual, is what that age or person really wishes to do. A man’s hope measures his civilization. The attainability of the hope measures, or may measure, the civilization of his nation and time.” – Ezra Pound
(It is) the masochistic tendency to regard with a sense of guilt and a sense of worthlessness one’s own ethnic group, one’s own people.
Ethnomasochism is similar to shame of oneself and self-hatred. It is a collective psychopathology, triggered by a long propaganda effort to foster a presumed fundamental sense of guilt felt by Europeans vis-à-vis other peoples, of whom they are assumed to be the “oppressors”. It is therefore necessary to repent and to “pay the debt.” This effort at repentance, a veritable historical sham, has been undertaken by the Churches, as well as by the European States.
Ethnomasochism is also the basis of anti-natalistic policies that surreptitiously aim to limit the reproduction of European populations. Implicitly then, it can be likened to a type of “self-racism”. The European man can be said to have been struck down by an original sin, an intrinsic racial stain: he is guilty of being what he is.
Ethnomasochism provokes the systematic defense of cross-breeding (“métissage”) and cosmopolitanism. Curiously, it denies to Europeans the idea of ethnic identity, but grants it to others. Europeans are duty-bound to dilute themselves, but other peoples, Africans for example, are not. Ethnomasochism is the counterweight of xenophilia (love and overestimation of the foreigner, the “other”). It is related to ethno-suicide.
In history, ethnomasochism is not new; it was the symptom of peoples tired of life, tired of perpetuating themselves; of aging peoples who pass the torch to others. The European elite are afflicted with this collective illness. And this illness explains the laxness towards the colonization by migrants and the idea that we have both a duty and a need to welcome the new occupiers.
The Metaphysics of Memory
“Memory” is a much abused word. But so too is the word “love,” which doesn’t mean it can’t be used in its fullest sense. It’s the force of “memory,” transmitted within the bosom of the family, that enables a community to endure, despite all that seeks its dissolution. It’s the long “memory” of the Chinese, the Japanese, the Jews, and other such peoples that has enabled them to surmount the perils and persecutions to which every people is heir. To their disadvantage, due to the rupture of their history, Europeans have been deprived of their memory.
I am reminded of this rupture every time students ask me to speak about Europe’s future. For whenever the word “Europe” is pronounced, it evokes a host of ambiguities. To some, it evokes the European Union, either positively — or negatively insofar as it’s not a “power.” To avoid confusion, I always specify that the Europe of which I speak is not Europe in its political sense. Guided by Epictetus’s principle of distinguishing between “that which depends on us and that which doesn’t depend on us,” I know that it depends on me to base my life on authentic European values, whereas I have no say on what politics Europe pursues. I also know that without an animating idea, there is no coherent action, [political or otherwise].
Continue reading ‘The Animating Idea’
From A Hermitage
Symbols are very important. The symbol of a true thing is a beneficent thing, is worthy of all homage; the symbol of a false thing, a crude thing, is worthy of all reprobation. A gibbet has come to be the noblest symbol in the world, because it symbolises the noblest thing that has ever been done among men. The red coat of a soldier, a gallant thing in itself, has come to be a symbol of unspeakable evil import because such unspeakable things have been done by the empire for which the red-coated soldier fight, such murders perpetrated, such tyrannies upheld for centuries. Thus, a shameful thing may come to have a glorious significance, a ridiculous thing may achieve venerability, while a goodly thing may become so degraded that the stomach of a strong man heaves when he looks upon it. Consider this: if a man were to walk down O’Connell Street wearing a double-pointed conical hat a full foot high and of a glaring yellow colour, we should laugh, yet when a man mounts the steps of an altar with a hat of that precise pattern on his head we are dumb and reverent, for we see in the preposterous headgear the awful symbol of apostolic succession. This matter of symbols came into my mind today as I watched a bishop administer confirmation. The Church to which I belong, the wise church that had called into her service all the arts, knows better than any other institution, human or divine, the immense potency of symbols: with symbols she exorcises evil spirits, with symbols she calls into play for beneficent purposes the infinite power of omnipotence. And those of her children who honour not her symbols she pronounces anathema.
A nation should exact similar respect for its symbols. Free nations do. They salute their flags with bared heads; they hail with thundering cannon the nincompoops that happen to be their kings. A man with whom you would not sit at meat if he were a private individual, whom you would cut every time you saw him approaching you in the street, receives your homage, and justly receives your homage, when he symbolises the majesty of your Nation. A man whom, as an individual you would consider too insignificant to be an object of your dislike, becomes an object of holy hatred when he symbolises some holy thing that oppresses you or yours.
Tyranny of The Economy & Pseudo-Antithesis Between Capitalism & Marxism
What must be questioned is not the value of this or that economic system, but the value of the economy itself. Thus, despite the fact that the antithesis between capitalism and Marxism dominates the background of recent times, it must be regarded as a pseudo-antithesis. In free-market economies, as well as in Marxist societies, the myth of production and its corollaries (e.g., standardization, monopolies, cartels, technocracy) are subject to the “hegemony” of the economy, becoming the primary factor on which the material conditions of existence are based. Both systems regard as “backward” or as “underdeveloped” those civilizations that do not amount to “civilizations based on labor and production”—namely, those civilizations that, luckily for themselves, have not yet been caught up in the feverish industrial exploitation of every natural resource, the social and productive enslavement of all human possibilities, and the exaltation of technical and industrial standards; in other words, those civilizations that still enjoy a certain space and a relative freedom. Thus, the true antithesis is not between capitalism and Marxism, but between a system in which the economy rules supreme (no matter in what form) and a system in which the economy is subordinated to extra-economic factors, within a wider and more complete order, such as to bestow a deep meaning upon human life and foster the development of its highest possibilities. This is the premise for a true restorative reaction, beyond “Left” and “Right,” beyond capitalism’s abuses and Marxist subversion. The necessary conditions are an inner detoxification, a becoming “normal” again (“normal” in the higher meaning of the term), and a renewed capability to differentiate between base and noble interests. No intervention from the outside can help; any external action at best might accompany this process.
A 105 year old Acadian agrees to be filmed one Sunday as she goes about her daily routine and ruminates on life. Filmed by her great-grandson, Aldéa Pellerin-Cormier comments wisely on politics, sex and religion. From getting ready in the morning to drinking her nightcap before bed, every moment is punctuated with a witticism or existential thought. Respectful of the old woman’s privacy, Daniel Léger’s first documentary looks at wisdom, serenity and enjoyment of life.