Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Complacency = death"


Rod Dreher, "The End of Our Time" (The American Conservative, November 17 2015):
A reader sent that cartoon to me. It’s by Joann Sfar, a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, and it’s a response to people around the world who are offering prayers for Paris. No sir, Parisians like the atheist Sfar have no desire for prayers. Religion, you see, is the problem. If only everyone would be a thoroughly secular person like Sfar, these difficulties would resolve themselves.
The other day, a musician with a peace sign painted on his piano set up outside the devastated Bataclan nightclub, and played John Lennon’s nihilistic ballad “Imagine”
... I credit the sweetness of the anonymous musician’s spirit, but the more I thought about that gesture, the angrier I grew. Why angry? Because this — and the Sfar cartoon — are emblematic of the decadence and despair and emptiness of the post-Christian West. I keep saying, “You can’t fight something with nothing,” and that’s exactly what “Imagine,” and the Sfar cartoon stand for: nothing. Believe me, I celebrate music! kisses! life! Champagne and joy! too — it’s one of the reasons I love Paris madly — but it is not enough, and it will never be enough.
... Russian novelist Evgeny Vodolazkin ... told me that just as World War I wasn’t really about an assassination in Sarajevo, so too is the West’s current crisis not truly about Islamists who shoot up concert halls. He added that the West has never seen a migration like the current one, with so many masses of people moving from East to West, at once. He described it as “a great historical event.” “Nobody knows how this experiment will end,” he said. “The best thing we can do now is to pray. To tell the truth, I don’t see any way out of this tunnel.”
... Houellebecq [in his recent novel, Submission] depicts a France where people do little more than shop, have sex, and talk about eating, drinking, real estate, and getting ahead in their careers. There is no purpose for individuals other than pleasing themselves, no animating vision for society. This, for Houellebecq, is why the West is dying: people have ceased to believe in their civilization, and do not want to make the sacrifices necessary to continue it — not if it is going to cost them the thing they value the most: individual liberty to choose one’s pleasures.
... As Douthat, Houellebecq, Ferguson, and Vodolazkin all aver, in their different ways, these scattered events that trouble us all have their roots in a fundamental breakdown of civilizational order and confidence. This is about the Western mind, but more importantly, it’s about the Western soul. The breakdown, the crack-up, will be painful, violent, unpredictable, and long-lasting. But it’s coming. In fact, it has begun. I believe that the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, in his 1923 book The End of the Modern World, in which he prophesied the rise of a “New Middle Ages,” is telling us what is to emerge out of the chaos of our cultural suicide. [Berdyaev writes]:
[F]aith in the ultimate political and social salvation of mankind is quenched. We have reached settlement-day after a series of centuries during which movement was from the centre, the spiritual core of life, to the periphery, its surface and social exterior. And the more empty of religious significance social life has become, the more it has tyrannized over the general life of man....]
... We have been walking this Enlightenment road for far too long, and it has us now in a dark wood.
[Hat tip to J ]


4 comments:








Anonymous

said...

Indeed.





Joe Piotrowski

said...

Life is a cabaret, old chumps!





Joe Piotrowski

said...

Enough of this crap! Christianity and Islam were mortal enemies for centuries.

Then Christianity abdicated its responsibility and chose to become the good doggie of liberal democracies and secular despots.

But it doesn't matter, because Islam hates despots (unless they wear rag caps and yammer bullying bulls through their beards) and democrats just as much as they hate Christians.

Islam is still Islam, and it remains rabid for the blood of non-Islams. "Moderate Islam" only means cowardly Islam, and cowards do not lead. 15 centuries of these basic truths -- compared to this, Communism was an afternoon idyll.

So we are back to Vienna 1930 only this time it is Paris 2015. History repeating itself in the form of projectile vomits. President Hussein, bring in the Syrians! Pass out the welfare checks!! Even homemade bombs cost money!!!





Mark Citadel

said...

It is becoming clear that the delusions of the West run too deep to be dug out with tools at present. Their pathetic secular culture is being cut down and their solution is more secularism.