Monday, 27 January 2020

Nobody will lift a finger for a world dedicated merely to functionality and efficiency, to comfort and convenience

Hitler is a criminal lunatic... yet Hitler has an army of millions of men, aeroplanes in thousands, tanks in tens of thousands. For his sake a great nation has been willing to overwork itself for six years and then to fight for two years more, whereas for the common-sense, essentially hedonistic world-view which Mr. Wells puts forward, hardly a human creature is willing to shed a pint of blood. 

by George Orwell, 1941.

Since Orwell wrote, the ruling Establishment have spent decades discrediting and demonising Nationalism and even natural patriotism - especially among European whites of the primary nations (The Anglosphere, France and Germany).

The consumer society and mass media have made almost everybody addicted to the kind of merely common sense, hedonistic society that Orwell attributes to HG Wells. Consequently, as Orwell predicted, nobody will suffer in any significant way to protect the conditions necessary to maintain this society (after all; why should anyone suffer discomfort and inconvenience for a society dedicated to comfort and convenience?).

But in addition, Westerners are insufficiently patriotic to suffer for their nation either: a Hitler, appealing to the mystical destiny of a people or place, has become impossible.

All this has rendered The West (by design and according to plan) feeble, demotivated and cowardly; lacking even the most basic level of self-protection and the most basic prudence about the real, inevitable threats of the future.

It turns-out that when a population has abandoned all belief in God and the spiritual, and believes itself to inhabit the accidental and purposeless universe of mainstream materialism; then people go quietly crazy; come (rightly) to despise themselves and their society; and alternate between a desperate/ futile attempt to stave-off old age and death; and the covert embrace of personal and national suicide.

This was something that George Orwell failed to recognise, in his own life as well as his society; because there was still sufficient residue of Christianity to maintain a coherent and purposive world view. But we are now two or three generations beyond such a buffering effect.

The burning, urgent, crucial task for The West is to become aware of what it lacks and which is killing us, what we personally most deeply yearn for, and what would satisfy our deepest needs.

Continuing as we are is not an option. There is nothing more important than this task - because all other questions depend on it.

8 comments:

Cererean said...

Gallows humour is definitely a big thing among younger generations. Take from that what you will.

Bruce Charlton said...

@C - Well it was for my generation to, and that led nowhere. Youthful cyncics nearly always become middle aged bureacrats, in my experience.

Epimetheus said...

I wonder if Heaven is also purposely crippling our energy and motivation, so as to prevent us from doing more evil. There are many, many people in our society who are as evil as Hitler, but they only have the inner energy to post on Twitter, thank God.

Maybe the West has already been condemned to death, to be carried out by a de-motivation squad at dawn, and the only thing to be sorted out is whether we repent or not. But maybe that's a bit grim... I've been hoping that repentance would lead to re-motivation.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You just made a good case for why the Left accuses Trump of being a Hitler. Not that he deserves the label, but for why they apply it.

-Bookslingr

Unknown said...

Agreed. I've thought about this a lot, and the question I keep returning to is whether the same thing is happening outside the west, just delayed. I see three possibilities:

1- The West wakes up again and progress resumes.
2- The West slips being nothing but Lotus Eaters and some other civilization takes over the reins of the world.
3- The entire world gradually descends into hedonism until the world either ends in a bang or a whimper.

Jake said...

There will be no "awakening" before the collapse of this meaningless thing we call a civilization. Some Swedish engineers were visiting my hometown. Nice guys and a gal. Fun. Boring but fun. I was talking to one of them about how many Swedes immigrated to this area 100 years ago. The visiting Swedes talked about how terrible and rough life seemed for these pioneers. I disagreed: I said that life was hard, but that they had meaning. That with meaning, you can do anything.
The engineer didn't understand, I could tell, because he responded with,
"Yes, you need to find your own happiness."
He literally didn't get it. The pioneers had meaning, not happiness. They didn't focus on personal happiness. The thought would not have occurred to them.
But they were far happier than most boring Swedish engineers.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jake - That illustrates it very well.

I have commented before about the attitude that sees history purely in terms of comfort and convenience, which people of other times and places certainly did not. For example, the Middle Ages. Life was seen through, lived inside, Christianity - it was probably the single most important thing for most people, most of the time.

If it take that away - then of course life seems nothing but toil and suffering - but that wasn't how life was experienced. Consider Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with its full spectrum of Medieval society - still a bye word for 'Merrie' England.

Jake said...

@bruce: Thanks for your reply. Your blog is one of my favorites now. I have very few other blog's that I like. Cambria Will Not Yield is also good. I used to like Amerika dot org, but that guy is very much against dualism and Christianity other than as a "symbolic" religion which has to be rescued from its egalitarian faults (there is some truth to that of course).
God bless you.