Thursday 14 September 2017

The decline of the West and the loss of Homeric virtue


"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice."
G. K. Chesterton

People are too apt to think war is a great evil and no cause worth dying and killing for, and yet the West has launched a number of disastrous and foolish wars recently, not from self interest but for liberal values. The older I get I see how few wars were worth fighting. Worth fighting by England at any rate, which has almost never been endangered since 1066.

On the other hand men (how I dislike inclusive language) are very frightened of moral corruption which they identify with being racist, sexist, ageist, Islamophobic or Eurocentric.

Edward Luttwak has written a fine essay about Europe's loss of heroic, Homeric virtues.

Feminism and pacifism have made cowards of us all. That wonderful, tear-jerking film 'Oh What a Lovely War', made by a far leftist, must take a fair bit of blame. Edward Luttwak is one of the very few really intelligent political analysts - along with Bernard Lewis, Douglas Murray, David Goldman, Paul Gottfried. Possibly Steve Bannon? 

"Many elite Europeans hold that Somalis have the right to leave the cruelties of Somalia, inflicted by fellow Somalis, to come to Europe with or without travel documents, as do all other Africans and, indeed, non-Africans—not to mention war refugees from Syria, even though the right of asylum which they truly do have under international treaties only applies to the first country they reach, and no country of Europe shares a border with Syria. That would be dismissed as a mere technicality by many contemporary Europeans, including Mario Bergoglio, the bishop of Rome, aka Pope Francis, who vehemently insists that all immigrants must be welcomed with open arms—a sharp departure from the views of his predecessor, Benedict." Our time lacks the strength of character needed to face the incompatibility of human values in a tragic world. Where severity is needed, we choose sentimentalism."

I finally read the Iliad in my early thirties, jumping from one translation to another - a very great and very draining book, very far from the zeitgeist.

We are a long way from the ideals of the Iliad, but in 1914 we were not, despite 1600 years of Christianity. Europe has arisen in many ways since 1914, but in many ways has been in steep decline. It all depends how you look at things.

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