Subscribe
Notify of
guest
205 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Troi Anderson
Troi Anderson
2 months ago

It’s so rare today to feel you are reading a brilliant mind, but each time with Paul, it feels EXHILARATING. One of those moments where the author seems to be reading your mind or allowing yourself to express what you have not been able to properly express. Greatness still exists. The “overturning of the overturned” that Paul speaks of, still exists within the Mystery we all desire. Thank you again Paul.

Jane Hewland
Jane Hewland
2 months ago
Reply to  Troi Anderson

He’s part of a day long seminar about these issues to be held at Benburb Priory in Northern Ireland on September 1st. I think Calvin Robinson is also going to speak. I urge people to book if you are anywhere near. Like PK, I believe the myths we need to reconnect with are those of the Christian religion that shaped us. Of course other religions offer different ways of getting to roughly the same place. But Christianity is our set of stories and not lightly to be set aside. I understand that Paul has joined the Orthodox Church. I’m back worshipping at a 900 year old City of London church, more for its incredible choir and for all the souls who worshipped there before me, than what goes on there today. Faith isn’t about whether or not those great stories are literally true. That is the misunderstanding – that Darwinism somehow “disproved” Christianity. It was never a case of either/or. The two are perfectly compatible. Faith is about understanding what those stories tell us about the human condition, our purpose and our own place in this spectacular universe. Peterson is another one who gets this right. He’s a proper traditional Puritan. Of course the established church of England has “decolonized” itself more than any other institution and needs to be taken apart. But it can and should be done.

John Kirk
John Kirk
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane Hewland

Thank you. Wish I was nearer Benburb, this seems like the future.

Aaron James
Aaron James
2 months ago
Reply to  Troi Anderson

It really wasn’t that good because it was based on a false statement.

“Western culture was now doing to itself what it had long done to others: colonisation. The methods that Western colonial administrators had used to demolish and replace other cultures — rewriting their histories, replacing their languages, challenging their cultural norms, banning or demonising their religions, dismantling their elder system and undermining their cultural traditions”

The writer mistakes Colonialism with destroying; I suppose like the Mongols Colonized, wile in reality British Colonialism was quite benign, not intentionally destructive. This is not benign.

Rebecca Bartleet
Rebecca Bartleet
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

I totally agree with this point, I don’t think the British Empire did seek to destroy the societies and cultures it colonised. Far from it.
However, I think this is simply a misguided analogy in an otherwise excellent article

Cantab Man
Cantab Man
2 months ago

This article reminds me of some insightful tweets by Nikole Hannah-Jones. She’s the New York Times 1619 Project author who somehow won a Pulitzer Prize for her disturbing non-historical publication:

Tweet 1: “The 1619 Project is not about history. It is about memory.”

Tweet 2: “I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not a history.  It is a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge the national narrative and, therefore, the national memory. The project is as much about the present as it is about the past.”

Tweet 3: “The fight here is about who gets to control the national narrative and, therefore, the nation’s shared memory.”

——–

In Hannah-Jones’s own words, the 1619 Project is purely a political operation to change the ‘memory’ of America – from what is historically accurate to bias-selected slanted narratives that progressive propaganda journalists wish to place in our collective brains.

And because many Americans don’t know their own history, they completely fall for her false narratives.

But this begs the question: What’s the incentive?

As George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

Jp Merzetti
Jp Merzetti
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Not knowing history is what made this imagined collection of deconstructed facts ever work in the first place. When enough people are essentially illiterate and ignorant of useful and important information, it is relatively easy to convince them with whatever you wish to implant. Not knowing the history of others is perhaps, forgivable. Not knowing your own is a crime against the strength and solidity of a nation. Only slightly short of a collective pedagogical act of treason.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jp Merzetti

Agreed – when educational institutions are captured by politics or capitalism the decline is assured…

Hillary Hegarty
Hillary Hegarty
2 months ago
Reply to  Jp Merzetti

Not knowing history is what made this imagined collection of deconstructed facts ever work in the first place.

As a graduate of history myself I agree but whilst I also agree that there is an agenda behind organisations like the 1619 Project, the fact remains that most Americans DON’T know their history.
They know a sanitised version of history that goes a bunch of good and wise white men decided to create a utopian society, they largely did so, and any minor problems like slavery were eventually resolved and that nice country built by the nice white men is the greatest nation on earth and if you challenge that version of history you are somehow a traitor or a communist.
Now you really don’t have to be a traitor or a communist to know that that version of history is largely bolleaux and not shared by hundreds of millions of citizens of the United States, including the descendants of the indigenous people of that land and almost half of the original newcomers that built the country that the nice white people enjoyed.
I really don’t think it unreasonable for historians to pull back the great curtain of US history and expose a few dirty secrets about the founders and major beneficiaries of the US system of government. Anything else is not history, its smug propaganda.

Cantab Man
Cantab Man
2 months ago

This seems to be a bit more straw dog or trope than reality.

In a very regular high school history class, my teacher had us reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” And this was many years ago.

The 1619 Project is now being taught in K-12 as history even as its author admits it is anything but.

“You begin to liquidate a people by taking away its memory.  You destroy its books, its culture, its history.  And then others write other books for it, give another culture to it, invent another history for it.  Then the people slowly begins to forget what it is and what it was.”

– Milans Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Russ W
Russ W
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

That is what is happening.

Ghozt Wolve
Ghozt Wolve
2 months ago

Yeah, but amidst all the rewriting of history, some inconvenient truths are omitted. Slavery did not end on Juneteenth — even WP admits that the Choctaw kept slaves for another year (whoops, there goes the self-righteous term BIPOC).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth#History

Jo Nielson
Jo Nielson
2 months ago

It’s true that most Americans are ignorant of history. But this version hasn’t been taught since probably the 1950’s. I’d argue it’s probably the version that very early elementary kids get. But it’s not reflective of the history courses my teen son has taken (and will continue to take) in school . His courses are much more nuanced than anything I got in the gen Ed social studies classes of the 1980’s/1990’s. What’s wrong with a society having heroes? It’s not like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were inherently bad men. (No, I don’t judge 18th century men by 21st standards. That’s just dumb.).

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago

Firstly, the Native Americans did not live in some prelapsarian paradise, for example being in an almost constant state of war. They didn’t of course ‘deserve’ to be dispossessed any more than the Anglo Saxons did by the Norman invasion, but I am not sure your narrative of good ‘red’ and ‘bad’ white men helps a great deal.
I agree that some of the ‘traditional: accounts were also simplistic; the interaction of the ‘red’ and ‘white’ people (for short) was far more complex than the caricature of either side in this debate allows, including complex and shifting alliances between different native American peoples and the various European ones.
The indigenous inhabitants were largely defeated by the diseases Europeans brought in, and ensuing demographic collapse.
Then there is the ‘original sin’ of slavery, well that phrase captures it well and the African American population was not a free one by design. However eventually the slaves were emancipated en masse which was hardly a common phenomenon – if it had ever happened – outside European civilisation. The British should certainly get more credit there than the Americans, but of course they don’t receive any either in the guilt-tripping revisionist anti-Western histories!
Then, the big one: millions of people voluntarily emigrated to both major nations in North America and however poor they were the vast majority soon became much less poor than they had been in their home nations, and, not a minor point, becoming free citizens for the first time who could help to select their local, state and federal governments. Not something that Tsarist Russia offered. They were freer than any ordinary people had ever been. That is a true achievement of the United States, however fashionable it has now become to deny it. And still people want to come, not so many migrants desperately trying to get into the Middle East or China, you will note.
Someone somewhere can always find some support for the claim that the United States is the worst civilisation ever. But as Douglas Murray always asks, compared to which others? And finally, the United States provided a liberal relatively benign power opposed, in however sometimes self-interested a manner (like all states), effectively opposing totalitarian tyrannies of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that between them killed hundreds of millions of people, dwarfing the sins of the white Americans. The eventual failure of these powers to completely dominate the world was not some accident, it took masses of treasure, some blood, and not a little ruthlessness. And now China poses an even greater threat.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Fisher
The Gries
The Gries
14 days ago

the USA is everything from manifest destiny to rugged individualism…the idealistic guys wrote the constitution and dec of independence…the bureaucrats used god to claim the entire land mass was meant to be using manifest destiny!….and here we are!!……in reality we are a young country and are growing up…democracy is messy and that scares a lot of people…we did do a lot of nasty stuff, and probably will do more…and it was white guys…..but we also do lots of good stuff….some white guys, but now the non white crowd is coming on….thanks to chauvin and trump,,,whities are looked at as not trustworthy…..and the racists use that on us all…..but,the pendulum is always in motion…where it goes gets debated daily…hold on..its gonna be a wild ride…

Simon England
Simon England
14 days ago

What a superb piece. I could have written this myself, but not so concisely.
The commentary of denial, deliberate misunderstanding and misrepresentation just speaks for itself and proves how sharp your observations are.
The foundation of the US seems to rest on the idea that the founding fathers were escaping religious persecution. That they then fought a ‘revolution’ against ‘tyranny’ and that these newly freed, wise and far seeing American paragons wrote their constitution from scratch, while the European Monarchical tyrants looked on in fear and wonder at the emerging new order and fresh philosophies. I could go on for several pages, but that’s enough to make the point. However, I’ll just say that the American Constitution is about as American as their national anthem, or apple pie.
If we were fed these kinds of lies, implicit within a cult indoctrination ceremony at school every morning, had the infallible greatness of our nation represented as a holy symbol and stamped in red white and blue on any and every available surface, what chance would we have of untangling ourselves from fact and fiction? Even if you could, your emotions would take a long time to catch up. I have worked with many Americans around the world (it’s one of the first things they tell you, very useful, coz it’s hard to work out from the volume, whooping and adenoids) it doesn’t matter how long they have lived away from home, how cynical or how angry they are at their own country, they remain fiercely and rabidly Merican when they perceive they’re challenged. Telling them how England was a melting pot long before Cabot had a great idea is one such example. The amount of lectures I’ve had on that topic!
It’s really quite sinisterly impressive when you look at it dispassionately.
If Europe turned their backs on US cultural colonialism, stopped importing it, we might just be in with a chance of escaping the worst of what is in store for them. I watched an Austrian film about Archduke Franz Ferdinand and was shocked and horrified to hear them using American cultural references and language. Same with French, German, Dutch and, of course, UK films and TV. It’s our fault, not theirs. We import their madness, willingly, and pay for it.

Paula G
Paula G
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Most of us probably are not “the best candidate,” so we use what we can, like racial quotas, or shaming, or connections to the people in charge—and everyone wants it all now. We all have our charming story to present, like Pete and Chasten, those adorable kids.

We know we have had bad educations that did not train us to do a job well, nor compete, so we use any means necessary. Bending the rules, breaking the rules….

I Guess the truly elite think that they can bargain their way out of the line of the firing squad if China takes over?

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

It has a resemblance to the first verse of Yates ‘Second Coming’. especially the part about the best of us lacking all conviction whilst the worst are full of passionate intensity.
Oddly, his was written in the aftermath of the Spanish flu epidemic.

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

It’s Yeats.

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

It also begs the question, “what is the true story?” Or is that not relevant?

Simon England
Simon England
14 days ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

‘Begging the question’ is a philosophical tool to describe circular logic.
Pardon the intrusion, but it’s almost as annoying as ‘decimate’ being used when complete annihilation is meant.
As they say in Oz, ‘no offence mate’.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
2 months ago

Its a tall order indeed to stand up to this decline when virtually every single institution has been ideologically captured by a corrosive mixture of Postmodernism and Crtical Theory.

But I do think there is hope.

One of the key tactics used by the left, and critical theorists in particular, was/is to ‘accelerate the contradictions’ – which meant in practical terms continuously drawing attention to supposed (and to be fair actual) flaws & injustices in the existing system so as to create an impression of perpetual crisis – the essential pretext for them to then present themselves as the only solution to this ‘crisis’.

Now that they themselves set the tone and make ‘the rules’, the very same tactic can be used against them; the crushing weight of their progressively unhinged perspectives, and the applied on-the-ground effects of their ideas must be continuously highlighted. At the same time it should be made crystal clear that these proposterous, dangerous, depressing situations and general direction of travel are not just avoidable, but have resulted directly from a rejection of the things that we are now fighting for.

For despite the best efforts of the media and our captured institutions, the public at large is against these ideas and cultural shift, and If enough people become aware of what is happening theres no doubt that we can turn the tide, if only by a populist uprising which – though having its own problems – is to my mind infinitely preferable.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Jam
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Perhaps the fact that most high school graduates in the USA do not go on to college will be the country’s saving grace? These people are not being indoctrinated and are and will fight the ‘colonizers’. It actually reflects the political parties today – the Dems with their ‘elites whites & blacks’ and the Republicans now consisting of the working class and increasingly a growing group of minorities especially Hispanics. The game is definitely on.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cathy Carron
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Hmmm. I thought most high school grads DO go to college, whether they qualify academically or not (and that in itself is a problem). They may only attend a year or two, but it’s still enough time to do the irreparable damage these schools are proliferating. I sincerely hope the newest would-be victims of propagandized “education” and their parents have been paying attention and act to create their prosperity outside of academia. The world is going to need them.

Terry M
Terry M
2 months ago

Too damned many go to college, or as it is more aptly called “expensive babysitting and propaganda”.

Jo Nielson
Jo Nielson
2 months ago

It really depends on what category you are in. Yes, everyone is encouraged to go on to college, but a lot of young men drop out. Mostly for cultural reasons. Women tend to complete their degrees at higher rates. It also depends on what kind of university you go to. Public universities are way different than private. A lot of the privates are also very small, conservative and/or religious.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

If you believe that Hispanics will save America you might be disappointed.
Just look at California and their school system.
Having mass immigration of low IQ people from crap countries into the West is not going to end well.
Why anyone believes that importing millions of people with little history, culture or achievements into Europe or America is a solution to any problem we are facing is a mystery to me.

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Low IQ people? Spoke like a member of the true master race

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 months ago

He might just be stating fact in general, however uncomfortable it is to accept, when those countries in question have a less developed education system and society which promotes child marriage for example. Education by informed and qualified teachers improves the general IQ level of the population. If this is deficient or not present then the IQ level will suffer. Take Afghanistan and the backwards striving Taliban, or countries in East Africa plagued by dictatorships and endless civil and tribal wars. Jumping on the anti-racist bandwagon is a pathetic display of lack of understanding.

Dominic A
Dominic A
2 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

The facts are that immigrants tend to have higher than average intelligence, and climb up the socio-economic ranks faster than the indigenous people. A fascist with a brain would know this.

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Sweeping generalisation! Many immigrant groups are from countries with developed education systems and you’re just cherry picking those. I was reasoning on why IQ levels in less developed countries were so. Why the “facist” ? – does it indicate your rabid obsession on racist issues?

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

The Taliban are not Afghanistan. They may have gained the upper hand at the moment but there are tens of thousands of highly educated, culturally sophisticated Afghans around the world and many still in the country because they were abandoned by the international community who encouraged them, especially girls, to go to school and adopt our views on science, politics and commerce. Many of the African countries you reference are only 80 years old. What kind of shape was England or the US in after only eighty years? And IQ is not the same as intelligence. Look it up.

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 months ago

I’m not disputing the educated ones in AfghanIstan who have been and are now having a rough time in their country. I’ve worked with an afghan in a qualified professional environment but he received his education once removed from that environment. 80 years old? The African countries were the cradle of humanity! Look what up? You don’t seem to understand the logic and trying to explain it to those with equality-only complexes is futile.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 month ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Bull. We just don’t know. Many think that intelligence was higher in the distant past, and amongst poorer, more challenged groups – for fairly obvious reasons. You seem to be confusing intelligence with formal knowledge – the reason so many deride immigrants. Ironic that there is a direct correlation between low IQ (& low socio economic success), and being anti-immigrant/xenophobic (not the same, but often together, as seems to be your case).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 months ago

Spoken like part of the problem and in need of a resolution

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

“countries with little history, culture or achievements”
What countries would those be, Andrew? I can think of plenty of achievements by Hispanics in art, literature, science …
As for innate intelligence, you might be interested in this quote from Aristotle:
[Politics 7.1327b] The peoples inhabiting the cold places and those of Europe are full of spirit but inferior with regard to intelligence and skill, so that they continue to be comparatively free, but lack civic organization and the ability to rule their neighbours. The peoples of Asia, on the other hand, are intelligent and skillful in temperament, but lack spirit, with the result that they continue to be subjected and enslaved.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ludwig van Earwig
stephen archer
stephen archer
2 months ago

I’m absolutely no friend of Donald Trump but one of his quotes hit the nail on the head re. immigration from Central America : ”They’re not sending us their best”

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 month ago
Reply to  stephen archer

That’s debatable. If you’re running from a corrupt society., where the thugs are in control, it’s at least open to debate whether the people who prosper in such societies are in fact their “best”. Don’t you think? If we had a quality bar for residency, of course the entire wooden-headed Trump clan would be on the first ship out.  

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Just what the WASP elite in the US said about Irish, Italians Jews and Slavs in the early 2Oth Century. Read a book man.

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I totally agree that most high school graduates do not need a 4 year liberal arts degree. What they need, and what is not available to them here in the US, are industry or union sponsored apprenticeship programs which would give them skills and a sense of accomplishment which are useful for being a satisfied and successful adult. Instead, many high-school leavers and college drop-puts are thrown on to a low wage service economy or gig-economy which give them neither. And since they have also not been given an array of critical thinking skills which is, after all, the point of higher education they fall prey to political demagogues who turn their resentments against the ‘liberal elite’ (at this point a hackneyed phrase) instead of the true authors of their misfortune, the corporate monied classes and their henchmen in the legal, finance and consulting professions. It is absurd to rail against ‘lefty’ college professors when private equity firms have been scraping the bones of the American worker for decades. They certainly have a stake in the culture wars by focusing the rage of the working classes against the intellectuals instead of against the predators. If people were more educated they would know the difference.
As for the value of the liberal arts, someone once said, “a liberal arts education makes your mind an interesting place to live.” What’s wrong with that? Are television and Tik Tok the only other option? No thanks.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago

Excellent points! In Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns Germs and Steel’ he wrote about the vast innate intelligence of the indigenous people of New Guinea. The IQ issue is such a hoax (says I from an Ivy- saturated family)..

Elizabeth Burton
Elizabeth Burton
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The ignorance of real history is introduced at the grade-school level, and civics has been eliminated for decades in the public school systems as the need to train students to pass standardized tests has replaced any real effort to provide them with any more “education” than is necessary for their being capable of performing whatever jobs are available. It’s been that way since the 1980s.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Great post.
Unlike many others naively hoping that having conversations etc will stop march of NeoMarxists through institution and academia.
Most important thing is to recognize the problem.
You are dealing with vermin infestation of the West.
You don’t reason with vermin.
You call Rentokill.

Russ W
Russ W
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Bless you

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
2 months ago

Yes, indeed, an excellent and thought-provoking article. One factor that has led to this state of perpetual adolescence is the professionalization of youthful rebellion in today’s NGOcracy, DEI industry, and the “awareness-raising” antics of the activist class, all of which are premised on moral hubris and a determination to find fault with others. We were better off with Christianity.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago

Another fine essay from Paul Kingsnorth.
I find Bly to be very much indebted to the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, almost to the point of plagiarism. Nonetheless, I agree with Bly’s assessment that the way out of our cultural collapse is through story and myth.
As Paul Kingsnorth notes, this is intergenerational work. There is no quick solution to the culture wars and no clear path forward. In the language of Joseph Campbell, we have received the call to adventure. The question now is whether we dare to answer the call.
Campbell told us what happens if we fail to answer the call: life dries up and loses meaning. We’ll be stuck in a world of global consumerism where everything is sacrificed on the altar of economic efficiency and our technocratic rulers will homogenize culture to that end.
Only artists of all types–writers, musicians, sculptors, painters–can point the way. Somewhere out there are young artists with visions for the future that will resonate with their own culture and perhaps beyond. Let’s hope the globalist technocrats and their censors allow those visions to be shared.

Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I see the way forward is for people to talk in person. This is the only way I see traditional values spread. Most people have not heard of and are much less engaged in a ‘culture war’. True discussion allows the best ideas to win so long as the participants aren’t too far down the rabbit hole. This can have an exponential effect. Without preaching, people who read and agree with articles like this must be brave enough to let others know, when appropriate, that they believe in a set of values different to those acceptable in the media.

The Internet is no place for discussion and most people don’t read much non-fiction. Ideas must be spread in other ways and I would suggest engaging as individuals as members of communities. I would love to know how a sculptor, musician or painter achieves change. I am no artist but I have a vision of the future.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Could you put your vision into words in a book/pamphlet?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Artists help achieve change the way they always have done; by pointing towards human and cultural significance in a way that societies aren’t yet fully aware of (and which they themselves aren’t necessarily consciously aware of) but which is a pre-requisite for that awareness to become manifest. Words themselves alone aren’t sufficient for this task.
I’d also argue that it needn’t be young artists who will achieve this, but those who straddle the cultures of both the 20th century and the current whirlwinds, with a greater insight into how we’ve arrived at this juncture. Of course, many of those artists are yet to come to the fore, or are only just beginning to.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Can you give just a single example of an artist or artists achieving change in this way? I admit to being stumped here.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Weeden

There’s plenty of examples of what i referred to, but it’s not the artists that achieve the change as such but who presage and prepare their societies for the psychological adjustments needed to effect change.
A typical example would be Cezanne, whose picking up of impressionism but making something more radical by way of examining the structural integrity of the visual field presaged not just Cubism and modernism but the revolutions that followed as societies needed to examine their social structures in the light of industrialisation. And before him, Turner (see Rain, Steam and Speed)
Further back, those names that resonate from the Renaissance do so for a reason, and not because they were simply able to depict the visual more accurately but to imbue it with new meaning. Botticelli is to my mind the finest example, in his portrayal of the feminine and showing how a sense of humanity no longer required the intervention of a god in order to convey beauty – that the beauty, in fact, lay within ourselves.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Murray
Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Weeden

DaVinci, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Rabelais, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Picasso, Beethoven, Hemingway…dare I say it, the Beatles.

Bella OConnell
Bella OConnell
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

There are speakers such as Professor Jordan Peterson who are making inroads in this regard with his lecture series ‘Maps of Meaning’. You tube lectures and long form podcasts seem to be gaining momentum with these in depth highly intellectual speakers which gives me hope. I wonder however if it is too little too late?

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
2 months ago
Reply to  Bella OConnell

Peterson is worth listening to, but is highly intellectual and may not be attractive to those who most need to learn.

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Excellent comment Sonny, I totally agree.

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’ll reply to you as I don’t seem to be able to put any new comments (due likely to some kind of software bug or glitch) but I can reply – sorry about that.
In any case, I agree with you, it’s a fine article indeed. For my part I’ve come to see what’s happening today as a “purity cult”: the pursuit of a beautiful (set of) idea(s) to the exclusion of everything else. I think this brings about the infantilisation since part of being adult is being able to do the right thing even when things are messy, and this is impossible when beautiful ideas are radically pursued.
I’d earlier thought that some of the craziness in US was due to religious radicalization from Puritanism. I’m now beginning to see that even as belief in God is fading away that Puritan streak remained there and so we have some people called “liberals” who are in fact (non-theist) Puritans radically pursuing the next beautiful idea. Consider for example that because of that perhaps 1/1000000 individual who may be a trans-men giving birth, an entire society is being asked to eradicate the concept of something as fundamental as “mother”. No sane person should think this a good idea – it is a purity cult.
US and to an extent UK now seem to be joining a long line of secular purity cultists following the steps of the French Revolutionaies, Soviet Bolsheviks, or the Maoists. The only positive thing is that material deprivation today is not that bad compared to those earlier examples – and that may be the one thing that may stop a much worse outcome.

Last edited 2 months ago by Emre Emre
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Emre 0

To comment on your last sentence, I think that the current NetZero initiatives are designed to do exactly that. What better way to starve off entire populations than by telling them their food sources are ‘bad for the planet’?

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I’d agree there are signs of a purity cult in 0-emission targets. I personally believe there’s a climate problem but the solution to the problem is being politically “infantalised” to the point of ideas being headlined by a child.

Russ W
Russ W
2 months ago
Reply to  Emre 0

I agree. Also, you may enjoy this recent SEC hearing testimony. Read the evidence sections – they support the claims.
or this senate testimony
or my favorite: “Apocolypse Never” by Micheal Shellenberger – short, well written, may change how you see the world.
or “Unsettled” by Steven Koonin
These may change how you see Climate Change.

Last edited 2 months ago by Russ W
Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
2 months ago
Reply to  Emre 0

You mist one “purity” cult out, maybe the most apt, that of the Khmer Rouge and the ‘elimination’ or ‘eradication’ of the existing population, so that it might be replaced by a NEW, ‘unsullied’, ‘pure’, form,

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Excellent point – well spotted – corrupt Europeans to be replaced by the true indigenous of the land – apart from WEF etc.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

You mean like Putin is trying to do now by wiping out all opposition to his utopia of everything being Russian?

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

You may be right, I only know superficially about that episode.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
2 months ago
Reply to  Emre 0

Bertrand Russell seems to have missed the point in thinking that we could all live lives of leisure. Who will produce the food and all the other products of a society? Idealist claptrap. It’s like the news on about working from home. Tell that to the farmers and manual workers whose efforts feed, clothe, house us etc.

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Tony Sandy

The big risk there I think is that it may indeed turn out to be that we’ve enough advancements in robotics and AI to take humans out of the loop even for most of food production. But I fear that wouldn’t in the long term lead to lives of leisure but the political disempowerment of individuals – a kind of reverse suffrage bringing back of feudalism in post-modern form.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, another trenchant piece by Kingsnorth. J Bryant – your references to history, myth, and art are highly relevant. But we would do well to consider that these things “nest” within the material world and complex evolutionary dynamics, also. It has been said that “to predict a thing is to know a thing”; to the extent that this is true, UnHerd readers might consider that people from very different domains, citing very different – though connected – underlying reasons/drivers, predicted the decline and (potential) collapse of the West and/or Western systems of cultural and socio-political organization. Just 2 quick examples:

  1. Generational scientists Howe and Strauss and their “Fourth Turning” hypothesis (published 1997; pre-dotcom, pre-9/11, pre-Iraq, pre-GFC, pre-‘Rise of China’), based on generational archetypes.
  2. Entomologist Peter Turchin, the founder of the new field of Cliodynamics (“mathematizing history as science”) who predicted, using complex models of insect colonies, system decay within and possible collapse of the West citing excessive “intra-elite competition via an oversupply of elites” as a key driver.

Both even got the timing right.
But the point is even a prediction like that of Carl Jung on the “psychology of the man child” nest within or are subject to complex and innate drivers that need to be taken into account if any serious effort is to be made to arrest the decline.
This is not 1968

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Well there is an old one, who has been ignored for years – me.

Jane Hewland
Jane Hewland
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Disagree. The field of art and culture has never been so barren. Mainstream movies are all Marvel derivatives or sequels of decades old franchises like Bond or Top Gun. Who today would make Groundhog Day, Back to the Future or When Harry Met Sally. Think what you like of them, but these were movies that combined box office appeal with something to say. Same with music. It’s been stuck in versions of House/Garage/Grime for thirty years. My grandsons are listening to pale imitations of what what my son liked and meanwhile every teen with a mobile phone is grinding out wannabe pop songs on Tik Tok. Visual arts? That became about shock rather than beauty or even interesting ideas, and the best work of the proponents – Hirst, Emin even Banksy – is behind them now. We have nothing to say to one another any more. As long as that remains true, no artist is going to come save us. Artists are just people too and of their time.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Bly gave much credit to Campbell.

Gordon Hughes
Gordon Hughes
2 months ago

I am perplexed as much by the comments as by the article. Bluntly, it is all literary cobblers written for readers who have little or no experience of the real world. Perhaps it helps some people understand our history and culture but ultimately, to paraphrase Rhett Butler, who gives a damn?
How does this matter to the engineers who will have to keep the lights on when we have no reliable sources of generation? Or to the investors who are deciding whether to expand their plants in Britain or in Vietnam? Or to whoever, if anyone, is concerned about ensuring that our education and health services actually educate and heal people.
The key point is that our culture has become entirely focused on consumption. It is completely ignorant of the day-to-day realities of production and earning a living that does not depend the redistribution of money and resources that appear as if by magic.
The author is correct in observing that society, culture, politics, media, etc have been infantilised but it goes much further than cultural expressions. It is reflected in the fact that the archetypal BBC editor has no more than the vaguest understanding of either the technology that he deploys or how his comfortable level of consumption is really generated.
That is the real difference between the way things were 50 or 150 years ago. In the past there was snobbery and class antagonism but ultimately most of the elite realised that their incomes did not come from a magic money tree. Today most of the elite rely on technological fairy tales. They are children who are patted on the head and told not to worry about things they don’t understand.
Under the surface everything that really matters is moving away, certainly from Europe, and will be controlled by those who are prepared to put in the work. And for the avoidance of any doubt that is entirely how the Chinese see Britain and Europe – as a historical and self-obsessed backwater. Remember too that they draw on a culture that is far richer and older than ours.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gordon Hughes
John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Hughes

“I am perplexed as much by the comments as by the article”

I would say “irritated” rather than “perplexed”, but yes.

Dennis T Kaplan
Dennis T Kaplan
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Hughes

Totally agree, people here seam to be too smart for their own good.
Things are not that complex. The problem is the USD. Take away the easy money, and people will grow up swiftly. Satoshi has brought us the solution. Hard money with a cap of 21,000,000 Bitcoin.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago

Bitcoin is not a solution to anything.
It is Ponzi scheme where early buyers are selling to bigger fools down the chain.
Actual distributed ledger technology has some value but is too resource hungry in current form.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Hughes

I agree with technology angle as of now.
But culture which is far richer then the West?
Please enlighten me.
Where are the amazing Chinese composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner or Verdi?
What about great literature, philosophy or art?
What is China contribution to science, anything really, in the last 500 years?

I am sorry but stealing intellectual property of the West is not a sign of great culture.

Clearly, debate as to why useless Western leaders allowed China to steal and cheat is very important.

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Perhaps you are right regarding the last 500 years but if you pull the lens back to say 2000 years you will see that China was far more technologically advanced than the West for most of that period. To underestimate Chinese creativity and ingenuity is a dangerous path. Sure they have had to play catch up and use some dubious means to do so. But they also feel they were cheated and exploited for centuries by foreigners. I am no fan or apologist for the current Chinese regime, but having studied Chinese history, art and philosophy I can admit they are not an inferior civilization. Quite the contrary. Furthermore they now control the earth’s supply of rare earth minerals and most copper production. If they were to invade Taiwan they would also control most advanced microchip production. Our greed has played right into their hands, and our money will finance the education of the next generation of scientists and artists. They’re no dopes.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Hughes

<i>How does this matter to the engineers who will have to keep the lights on when we have no reliable sources of generation? Or to the investors who are deciding whether to expand their plants in Britain or in Vietnam? Or to whoever, if anyone, is concerned about ensuring that our education and health services actually educate and heal people.</i>
And if these engineers, investors, and administrators don’t have a grounding in fields like history, philosophy, and rhetoric, they’re going to be wide open to political and other forms of manipulation.
To coin a phrase, you may not be interested in the humanities, but the humanities are interested in you.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago

nobody wants to hear white men explaining things anymore.
Has anyone asked people? I’m happy to hear anyone who is competent and has the necessary expertise or experience explain things about which I know next to nothing, and I think the same is true for most people.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago

It seems like a minority of radicals is espousing the stupidity you reference, that said the leftist press gives them a huge megaphone. (It’s a good reason to unsubscribe to the NYTIMES paper and other such nonsense- which I did after 40 years of readership- such papers are no longer the so-called ‘paper of record’ – these are where the crybabies work, infantilism at its finest,’)

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Me too, in 1998. Good God, have you tuned in to NPR lately? It’s hilarious! The brilliant SPY Magazine couldn’t keep up with it. Of course, the insufferable intoners have no idea how ludicrous they are, making it that much funnier.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago

Exactly.
Just watch lord Clarke “Civilisation” and compare it to woke nonsense of “Civilisations” presented by some dreadlocked idiot and two others.

Somehow, “Civilisation” is no longer available on Iplayer, so buy it when you can.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andrew F
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I watched “Civilisation” when it was first broadcaste, and I watched “Civilisations” when that was broadcaste. I really wanted to like the latter, I expected it to fill the blanks left by the former, but it was awful; it was so cursory that it didn’t do justice to the cultures that were covered. Also, I didn’t like the thematic approach; Mr Clark’s chronological approach was more informative. It seemed as if they were going through the motions just so that they could place a tick in a box to say – yes, we covered these other cultures. It would have been better to, sa,y concentrate on one cultural area, for example the Middle East or the Indian sub-continent, and give a chronology of artistic and scientific developments.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
2 months ago

What disturbs me the most, is that much of this present ‘culture’ war seems to have crystallised around the notion that ‘ALL’ that is, and was, bad in the world, whether it be conflict, slavery, poverty, climate change, you name it, is purely down to the lack of pigmentation in one’s skin. I suspect the Jews might have something to say about where this sort of demonisation leads. Of course, the big difference is that the Jews were a minority, used as scapegoats for the failures of the majority, !

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Lewis
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

However, it appears that most American Jews have abandoned their religion and behave ‘secularly’ voting with the ‘colonizers’ – at about 70%. Seems like these folks are okay with ‘demonizing’. In fact, many are leaders in ‘purity spirals’ in book publishing, the hand knitting industry, publishing, etc. Don’t look towards Jews per se to be the ‘adults in the room’.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

I am fond of giving the following description which mentions no ethnic group: A group defined principally by ancestry has been more successful in terms of material, scientific and economic attainment than other groups. And ideology arises which holds that this group is responsible for most of the world’s miseries, for centuries at least, if not millennia, and that their success is not due to any praiseworthy cultural characteristics that should be emulated, but to connivance and the oppression of others. The more radical adherents of the ideology hold that only eliminating the group will repair the damage they have caused to humanity.
Jews or white people? Naziism c. 1932, or wokeness c. 2022?

Edward Williams
Edward Williams
2 months ago

To me it is all about size. When anything grows too big, a business, a community, a country a plant it loses connection with its centre, its identity and starts to whither. We were never meant to be a global community. Think of where you live or where you grew up and you would know how far you would walk before it started to feel ‘other’ or alien. Often very short distances. That is the human scale.
This is a fascinating article. It leads me to think that we are in the realm of the mind. Living in ours and others thoughts. Creating images that influence what we do.

Peter Buchan
Peter Buchan
2 months ago

Great point. In complex systems – like human organization – system risk is an exponential function of the scale of the system. Through a combination of drivers such as relentless pursuit of “efficiency”, “productivity”, corporatization, globalization and, even more insidiously, cultural homogenization (a pillar of the modern western canon) is akin to systematically puncturing the water tight compartments of a ship sailing into iceberg-infested waters.
In part, this is what made Steven Pinker’s hypotheses is his book “Better Angels of Our Nature” so fantastical.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peter Buchan
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago

Which is why the ‘colonizers’ promote ‘open borders’ – it makes it easier to fracture communities. Look what’s happening on the southern USA border. Hilariously, the Texas and Arizona governors are shipping illegals to Wash DC (a self-proclaimed ‘sanctuary city’) – about 5,000 so far – and oh has the howling begun.

Stephen Saucier
Stephen Saucier
2 months ago

The time has come for you to take part in the new, horizontal sibling society of eternal adolescence. Hierarchy is a worthless encumbrance, authority is imagined, resistance is futile, and God is dead.

You are a highly individualized individual floating in a bright ocean of individuals, and we just love your vibe. So as a next step, join us and become a credulous pack-follower in perpetual puerility. Consume vapid, provocative pop media, identify with shared-experience non-events. Imbibe grotesqueness, sequels, and sadistic fantasy; let your angst smolder without a clear object, and vent it whenever the urge arises.

Treat yourself to just a bit of gluttony in all things. Constant stimulation is essential, and smartphone absorption is natural. Worship fame and sex and wealth and vanity and safety. Reject impulse control as the senseless puritanism it clearly is.

Value, of course, comes from a bit of activity mixed in with immediacy, mass appeal, and scalability. Fake it til you make it with ceaseless action, hustling, surface knowledge, facade and veneer. Accept spirituality, not religion; novelty, not precedent. Decry and ablate tradition. Absorb and exude flippancy, sarcasm, snark, belligerence, disrespect, and memes. Never stretch to take another’s perspective. All views are equal, and yours is valid; when challenged, you are entitled to take offense and either swirl into a rage or pout.

There is nowhere to rest but in envy. There is no fulfillment until greed is satiated. Desire those who give the appearance of perfection. Impress peers; there is no need to build for the generations. Have it your way: customize, accessorize, and personalize your uniform. Remember to take a selfie. Discover yourself. Adopt a cause, make your mark, change the world, and use your voice; like, subscribe, and share. Achieve immortality without help from immortals.

Popularity indicates trustworthiness: trust the wisdom of crowds; #resist by obeying the establishment. Men and women are indistinguishable, and true passion comes from spur-of-the-moment feelings.

We’re all #adulting together now. Store up for yourselves treasures on earth to secure the future for your family and give your children a head start. Disdain motherhood (birthing) and fatherhood (patriarchy and misogyny). Children are primarily a (costly) part of your personal fulfillment: be friends with them; don’t discipline them — introject and coddle them; ask for their assent and grant their wishes. Follow the norms for your hand-picked day care, school, career path, and nursing home. Avoid risks, don’t make a scene, stay out of trouble. Don’t offend, don’t be harsh; be nice. Criticize either via shit sandwich or in subterfuge. Be fearless in anonymity.

Embrace equity, self-love, and pride for the flavor of the day, and shame the rest. There is no expert, no hero, no higher power. You can do anything anyone else can do. Condemning the past as senseless, worthless, and racist, perform cultural revolution and destruction. Have faith in technology, scientism and Progress, for they will give us peace. Demean and ignore the past, spurn existing culture, adore the modern, re-route society to utopia.

We will be comrades without elders; fellows without betters; a perfectly even field of poppies.

Mike K
Mike K
2 months ago

Excellent!

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike K

It’s well constructed for sure, and there’s much I agree with.

But it also holds a mirror up to the level of groupthink amongst those who bemoan the shallow groupthink of “today’s yoof”.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago

“Don’t offend, don’t be harsh; be nice”

But if anyone suggests the original article is word salad, hit the downvote!

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago

Very good summary thanks !

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
2 months ago

Living in Canada, I always read UnHerd several hours after the locals in Britain have their say. I can’t claim any originality for agreeing with everyone that this article is brilliant beyond comparison with anything that I’ve yet read on the topic of what I might have called “collective suicide.” I found it deeply moving, in fact, merely to know that someone else out there understands the titanic problem that faces us and is not ready to give up the struggle against eternal childhood (let alone chaos).
I do have one minor quibble. Although I found Robert Bly’s Iron John (and Sam Keen’s Fire in the Belly) useful in connection with my research on men–that is, on both maleness and masculinity–I found it ultimately disappointing, certainly in the ways that many of his fans interpreted his insights. Yes, we need to acknowledge the universal need for myth and ritual. But simply ransacking world folklore for isolated motifs or ceremonies that we like, ones that have no relation to our own history or traditions, is probably not the best way to go about doing so. I was not particularly hopeful, despite the hoopla that emerged in some circles, by bonding techniques that the “mytho-poetic” men’s movement fostered: urban men going into the woods to “share” with each other and beat their tom-toms (thus imitating women joined witch “covens” to perfect their supposedly innate healing techniques). It occurred to no one that Western religions had created their own myths and rituals. As a Jew, for example, I realized that the bar mitzvah could have been a powerful coming-of-age experience for at least some modern men (whether Jewish or not). But its reliance on the notion of demonstrating adult masculine competence by seeking holiness through study was taken seriously by no one except the Orthodox Jews who required no new model in the first place. Similarly, no one tried to revitalize even Christian equivalents, such as holy communion, which is about ultimate love not as a sentiment or a sensation but as a self-sacrificial duty. Wisdom, apparently, had to be more exotic than either of those traditions. The result was sentimentality (and, frankly, more than a little ridicule).
My own research suggested a more intriguing source of myth than pseudo-anthropology. Western civilization has never stopped creating myths (often with accompanying rituals). These are mediated not by churches, unfortunately, but though popular movies (and more recent technologies) or songs. Some of them have been very rich artifacts, heavily laden with meaning that taps into centuries of Western thought. My dissertation was published as Over the Rainbow: The Wizard of Oz as a Secular Myth of America. (Apart from anything else, that movie is about both coming-of-age but also about being at home in the world.) But The Wizard, which came out in 1939, was the product of a culture that was suddenly and quickly disappearing into a cultural black hole. In another publication, I traced the immense gulf between Rebel without a Cause (1955) and The Graduate (1967). The former was about coming of age in the classic and universal sense of demonstrating competence to enter adult society; the latter, though said to be in the same genre, has nothing to do with adult society; on the contrary, it’s about abandoning adult society to indulge in hedonism.
My point here is that we need to do more than collect mythic fragments from other cultures and either revitalize Western ones or create new ones that support our continuing need to believe in ourselves and celebrate our own achievements (which have been all the more remarkable because these were possible only by overcoming our own flaws).

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul Nathanson
John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

“My point here is …”

Hmm. Passes me by.

Dennis T Kaplan
Dennis T Kaplan
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

People like you who think culture can be created, have created the most manipulative religions, and created more division, and have been responsible for wars, and death. I include your religion and believes in this list. Go to Cappadocia and learn about your past for example.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

But surely problem is that leaders of Western societies (not just political but industrial and cultural) not only abandoned any attempt to defend Western achievements but take proverbial (or actual, yes you Kier Starmer) knee to placate mob of BLM, gender or climate protesters.
Why should anyone not take pride in Western culture over all other cultures?
Indian cast system anyone?
What exactly Africans ever achieved?
Why should we listen to people who come to the West from crap countries?
Which are rubbish because they are full of people like the ones invading the West.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

<i>As a Jew, for example, I realized that the bar mitzvah could have been a powerful coming-of-age experience for at least some modern men (whether Jewish or not). But its reliance on the notion of demonstrating adult masculine competence by seeking holiness through study was taken seriously by no one except the Orthodox Jews who required no new model in the first place. Similarly, no one tried to revitalize even Christian equivalents, such as holy communion, which is about ultimate love not as a sentiment or a sensation but as a self-sacrificial duty. Wisdom, apparently, had to be more exotic than either of those traditions.</i>
Reminds me a bit of “Eat, Pray, Love”, where the author goes to India to get in touch with her spiritual side (the “pray” part of the title), despite having just spent four months in Rome, the centre of western Christianity for the past two thousand years.

Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

There are plenty of new myths being created here in the U.S. #1, that the last election was stolen. #2 that climate change is a hoax, 3# that college professors are more influential than hedge fun managers and lawyers in the decline of civilization, #4that liberal democrats are communists #5 that all conservatives are racist mouth breathers. The internet, like the printing press before it, has rattled the cage of civilization. It is a meme machine and a myth generator of cosmic proportions and we haven’t quite yet learned to manage the controls. It’s our economic system not our educational system which has turned us against one another. Scarcity is at the heart of our system and scarcity breeds conflict. The fact that most of the most outspoken ‘conservative’ voices in the US government, Cruz, Hawley, DeSantis are ivy league educated millionaires who pander to the resentments of the white working class is just absurd. They have inflamed the culture wars in order to protect their corporate paymasters. They fly off on vacations to Mexico while ranting against Mexicans. They and their fearless leader Trump are the real rot at the heart of the American ‘experiment’ and the gerontocracy that is the Democratic party is no better. We need a new saner, fairer, forward looking world order. Where will it come from. Not from the current pack of idiot grifters and political opportunists.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 month ago

I should have defined “myth.” It doesn’t refer to either lies or childish mistakes. (If I thought that anyone would be interested, I’d trace the history of that word from the ancient Greeks to the early Christians and the eighteenth-century rationalists to modern popular parlance.) What you’ve listed are not myths, at any rate, but propositions, claims or ideological rants. Myths are symbolic stories, an oral or literary genre. They’re about universal features of the human condition–ultimate origin, ultimate destiny, being at home in the world, coming of age and so on–not current controversies or conspiracy theories.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
2 months ago

“we are living in a period of radical technological change: then, the printing press and the end of censorship”and now, I’d argue, the Internet and the reimposition of censorship. Contrary to what the author suggests, a new era of forced conformity, not anarchism, beckons. The current culture war might look like the anarchy ushered in by technological change, but it is merely the interim fight for who eventually controls the coming censorship. From identity to money and travel, the digital age is about to transform the way you live to one more akin to a serf than a citizen.

Neil Chapman
Neil Chapman
2 months ago

“The result is that we squabble like children, fighting over toys in the mud.”
Beautifully put 🙂

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 months ago

Absolutely spot on! What a wonderful piece of writing and a template for all conservatives to renew belief in humanity and themselves. Personally I feel a great weight lifted from my shoulders Thank you Paul.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 months ago

In an extraordinary assertion, the author states that the “West’s ongoing decline has caused its elites to lose faith in their cultural inheritance.” I say that’s completely inverted: it is the elites who have destroyed pride in our cultural inheritance, our successes, our achievements, our varied cultures, our very selves.
We can regain that pride by losing the elites – again. What the new revolution will look like is hard to predict, but it’s on its way.

Last edited 2 months ago by Allison Barrows
Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
2 months ago

The infantilisation Paul speaks of is even expressed in the clothes that adults wear. I think it was Jordan Peterson who said that whereas adults used to take their children shopping for clothes, today the reverse is true. Anyone who visits the US cannot help but be struck as to the appearance of adults, with or without their children in tow. It seems fashionable that grown (and often obese) men, scamper about in baseball caps, tee shirts, white socks and trainer shoes – all in bold primary clours, all dressed as toddlers. Grown women, mothers and grandmothers, wearing tight jogging pants with enough bare (and often obese) midriff to reveal the all-important “tat” above the bottom cheeks or the stud in the navel. These are people who have nothing to teach and nothing they wish their children to emulate, since they, like their children, are the wards of the State. I single out America but the UK is not far behind in dressing as though even our appearance has to be free of all the old norms. This ludicrous form of dressing is lauded as an example of how free we are to dress however we like (uniform of course, but with the illusion of freedom).

Last edited 2 months ago by Edward Seymour
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

What a very succinct and excellent point?!

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 months ago

Many on the left were triggered by Kemi Badenoch’s talk about taking personal responsibility.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 months ago

And why is that surprising or worthy of note? Surely it goes without saying that the entire purpose of the left is to renounce personal responsibility.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes. Of course it is. You could have saved the author thousands of useless words with this one simple, erudite observation.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago

It’s like pouring water on witches or exposing vampires to light. How delicious.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Are you sure about witches?
Maybe in America.
In Europe you floated them in a pond to see if they sink.
Shame we couldn’t try it with Diane Abbott or Harriet Harman

Nick Collin
Nick Collin
2 months ago

Excellent article! And great comments too – mostly. Much food for thought. I’m not sure what the answers are – if indeed there are any answers – but I think the current filling of the void where religion used to be, by the Net Zero Climate Emergency narrative, is perhaps a good example of the infantilism to which Kingsnorth refers.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
2 months ago

Superb. We are experiencing the attempted colonisation of female territory by males, in Law. Physical territory; safety, not spheres of work or play.

Tomorrow I go to Speakers Corner where women are starting to meet physically as well as online. Learning to be adults again. Our feet back on the ground.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Melissa Martin

Mentally ill men.
That what trannies are..

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Given all your comments here today, I think many would agree you may be the one needing to seeking help.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
2 months ago

It may be time to grow up, but when the bosses of Meta etc are refining ways in which humans can escape into virtual worlds, why would they bother? The era of the kiddult is here to stay. Too many don’t want to believe their actions have consequences, and rather than consuming less and taking care of the finite planet, they scream like babies at any encroachment on their ‘freedom’, abandon their children, throw their trash out the car window, and hit anyone who asks them to behave responsibly. Rather than introspect on personal failings and sins, as religion once invited them to do, they look outwards and blame everyone else for the mess their lives are in. There is no corporate identity, only conflicting egos: and politicians no longer bother appealing to a sense of common purpose and identity; they just offer to cut you a deal. No wonder China and Russia see the West as decadent and ripe for exploitation, if not eradication. There is little need: we are doing it to ourselves, as the article points out. And it is very hard for an adult who has regressed to childhood to become an adult again, especially when society seems to reward the irresponsible and attack the blameless. As Yeats said, the strong now lack all conviction and the centre cannot hold.

Lewis Neilson
Lewis Neilson
2 months ago

Pretty harsh and limited view on VR. VR opens a pathway for a great many things. It is still early days of course and I will probably be dead before it gets where I want it to be.

The shear scope what could be achieved is amazing, games and behaving like a Muppet in a VR chat room being the least of it.

Although even the games I play on it are useful, boxing for example.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago

the zombie apocalypse is here…

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
2 months ago

I wanted to say this about another post on South Africa’s descent into gangster ridden chaos because what is happening is that the brakes have been taken off everything.

The disgruntled sound like a Monty Python sketch of what have the Romans ever done for us? This includes the Commonwealth as well as the importation of American youth culture, leading to idiots in this country dressing like Britain is Miami, even when it is snowing (I live in the Highlands of Scotland by the way).

Nobody seems grounded in reality anymore. In fact I had something in my newsfeed about that this morning, where students were protesting about abortion and chanting the same thing, over and over again, like mindless robots.

Talking of Jack and the Beanstalk, in my childhood, a rival gang member climbed twenty foot up a tree to cut a rope that he was hanging onto. My brother saved him from serious injury by throwing a half brick, which hit him in the head, causing him to slide back
down the rope. Failure to think is not a new phenomena therefore but has become a pandemic.

Identity crisis? Children don’t have such strong sexual identity as teenagers on their way to becoming adults do they? b**b jobs, bum jobs, piercings, botox – will the real human being stand up? Artificial intelligence? Maybe we should inject them with robot DNA through Nanotechnology (no, I am not being serious).

By the way, George Romero made the same point about mindless shopping in one of his zombie movies too.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Tony Sandy

Perhaps then, what we are seeing IS a zombie invasion-they have eaten the brains of most of the population under 60years old -and are closing in on the rest of us – i hope I croak before they finally overwhelm me…..

Brooke Walford
Brooke Walford
2 months ago

The pieties and shibboleths of progressivism need to be quietly taken down, dismantled by logic and and a confident certitude bolstered by patient winnowing of the dense available record. A good place to start interrogating post colonial polemics is Peace, Poverty and Betrayal: a New History of British India by Roderick Matthews which, at the very least, contextualises the headline grabbing assertions of Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire. Trouble is, to do that properly you would have to engage with an immense amount of historical detail which weaves complex multidisciplinary strands Into a coherent analysis over 400 pages. Today it’s much easier to simply be fed the trending YouTube or Twitter feed that has been algorithmically selected for your progressive prejudice.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
2 months ago

Well, this is an interesting exercise… but if rebellion against all things ‘vertical’ is really what’s driving the cultural revolution, why do the woke have such a passion for categorical–and decidedly hierarchical–classification; and why do the hierarchies of identity politics and intersectionality exhibit the rigidity of a Thomistic metaphysic (God at the top, followed by angels, and so on down through humans–the saved and the lost–and various categories of animals to, at the very bottom, demons and Satan–Trump, presently?–himself)? There’s a strange medieval cast to this supposed rebellion against western tradition, with social justice warriors aping crusaders, witch-burners and inquisitors out to expunge heresy (“Are you Christian or pagan?” has become, “Are you left or right?”–careful how you answer!). Have the rebels actually succeeded in putting western traditions behind them, or, in most ignorant and confused fashion, unwittingly adopted the very worst of them? Are we witnessing acts of creative destruction, or simply a great forgetting?
 
There’s no doubt that the west, particularly America, which for better or worse has been the west’s de facto cultural leader for the past century, needs to grow up; but this is hardly a novel insight. American pundits’ bumper-sticker snipes at each other make you wonder to what extent Americans ever manage to shake off high school. At the apex of the social pyramid the country had a president who, instead of having an actual affair with a cultured, intelligent woman–which might have featured an apartment for her, and sparkling conversation over wine, Brie, and white tablecloths–settled for groping an intern in a hallway; and the way America’s self-proclaimed champions of inclusion practise exclusion plainly has its roots in the rigid hierarchy of who gets to sit with whom in the high school cafeteria.
 
So, no… the revolution doesn’t seem to have left vertical society behind: it’s just substituted a trivialized set of criteria for establishing table arrangements in the new order; and the enforcement mechanisms, far from being something new in western history, are right in the historical groove. What’s novel are the technologies available to the enforcers, and what we’re currently witnessing is a struggle for control of them and–ultimately–of The Narrative.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark Kennedy
Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
2 months ago

All the people preceding me in their comments, have expressed well their approval of this fine article.
The state of confusion we are living in is in part due to our success as human beings to solve some of the worries that previous generations had to face. It si more difficult today to identify the new frontier and hence this may be a transition period. “Luckily” totalitairian systems ( which we ourselves helped to create ) are putting in danger our way of life. Maybe not before long new leaders will emerge to cope with the new challenges.
A 2022 “Animal Farm ” anyone ?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

‘A 2022 “Animal Farm’ anyone ?’

Although I wouldn’t compare it to Animal Farm I have tried with The Mighty World of KRAK. For the price of a latte on Kindle or a breakfast roll on paperback!

Apologies for the self promotion.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

Original one and 1984 should be required reading at schools.
I remember in 80s London you could easily infuriate South American or Asian lefties by asking them why are they in London instead of Cuba or Moscow?
However, most of them were really gorgeous.
So i had to pretend to be lefty.
Well, it was worth it.

Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I fully understand you, luckily in my time there were also plenty of possibilities with non lefties. So I did not have to make ideological compromises.
As to the “Animal Farm”, to the famous question ” aren’t we all the same ? “, my teacher in high school rephrased it:” Yes, but we are samer”.

Nicky W
Nicky W
2 months ago

excellent piece that feels spot on in term s of cultural inversion,
As I see it we’re in a compressed version of the period from the reformation through to the ECW and the academics change management mistake in unpicking national ids and rewriting national myths is it does not (outside perhaps the USA) create a blank page to write new stories and new myths but rather unleash the pre existing local ones, which is becoming more visible with local flags even town flags now appearing to take precedence over the union flag.
Playing this as a game of a big cultural change, Johnson fits a Henry8 character, Cummings a Thomas Cromwell, Blair a Cardinal Wolsey, but then like now whether we get an Edward6, Mary1 or Charles next they’ll still have a lollard country to try and rule.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
2 months ago
Reply to  Nicky W

I had to look up Lollard and am glad I did. Thank you, you’re right about that.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 months ago

A completely compelling article. And a very grim outlook because we don’t really know how to do the repair. Nor I suspect have most people `the will, the bread and circuses are just too tempting.
The furnace will almost certainly consume us and only from that will a new civilisation arise – looking I suppose like most previous ones.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 months ago

If the woke, the decolonisers of curricula, the critical race theorists, the Anti-Racists™, the intersectionalists, and all the rest of that ilk are our modern day Roundheads, I’ll proudly declare myself a Cavalier, and look forward to the day when, with the typical level-headedness the English speaking peoples always eventually exhibit, the Restoration comes.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Yetter
Nicky W
Nicky W
2 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

I always thought the talk of ECW post Brexit vote was premature especially in declaring who is a cavalier or roundhead as its still evolving, especially premature while we appear to be stuck in the reformation like period of Catholic vs Lollard and still defining who stands for what..
Although since covid the Lollard types look like they are evolving from individual heretics into leveller looking networks..

Mark Vernon
Mark Vernon
2 months ago

“Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through Eternal Death! and of the awakening to Eternal Life.”

William Blake saw that the relationship between life and death, love and hate, verticality and flatland, expansion and inversion is asymmetric – though in the sleep of Ulro, the notion looks risible.

Life embraces death, though in his epic poem, Jerusalem the Emanation of the Giant Albion, Albion lies down to die several times before realising that Jerusalem is never not at his side.

And maybe that’s the message: it is repeatedly falling into an eternity of seeming death, which reveals how the eternity of life shines, in the desperation, rekindling love and space for it. Maybe for an exhausted age, there is no other way to rediscover that.

Jp Merzetti
Jp Merzetti
2 months ago

I’m more inclined to believe that if the Anglo world or even the extended western world itself gives up on “modernity” or “reality” or whatever else that a culture war of sorts can mess around with, we can happily remind ourselves that there is perhaps anywhere from two to possibly six times this population in the world decidedly not Anglo, or western, or even white, who decidedly do NOT wish to give up at all on modernity. As if it ever belonged exclusively to not much more than one sixth of the world’s population. Massive globlal migrations have been proving this point for the past half century, at least. And we westerners can remind ourselves that many of the people who migrate to the west do so to escape the hells of oppression and persecution that even the most ardent “warrior/activists” have never ever known in their wildest dreams, but instead the most astonishingly consistent and reliable conditions in which to safely fantasize their imagined but useful oppressions into existence (at least in their own minds). But of course, the immigrants don’t agree. Because they know better and have not forgotten. And their numbers are growing.

JP Floru
JP Floru
2 months ago

I compare the culture wars and wokeism to the intolerance of religious fanaticism eg the iconoclasts, Savonarola; and elitism with feudalism.
In other words: holier than thou fanatics are nothing new.
The idea that the masses need to be protected from their own deeds and thoughts by an enlightened elite is surely neo-feudal (as in feudalism, many among the masses quite like ‘being protected’ from themselves, and happily surrender their freedoms and money in return – as we saw with lockdowns).

David Mottershead
David Mottershead
2 months ago

A brilliant article. Worth my subscription in itself entire.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
2 months ago

If the English Civil War laid the foundation for the eventual demise of the Ancien Regime and the emergence of a more enlightened, more egalitarian, more democratic – in other words, a better – society, then the current phase is to be welcomed. Cause for optimism!

Nicky W
Nicky W
2 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

that’s exactly the positive outcome I see, but the elite do like setting themselves up for great falls, henry7 planning to put put a king Arthur on the throne of Camelot to rule over a golden humanist age for Europe ends with henry8 & the Reformation, both driven to elaborate risks to keep their bums glued to the same seats of power but in doing so are not able to deal with the unintended consequences, just ass the western elite are lining up to do today.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 months ago

There’s a great (1000 page) book called The Final Pagan Generation that describes that it was like to live as a pagan in the generation of Constantine. Ancient Romans didn’t wake up one day in AD 320 and find all their temples closed. Instead, Constantine and his bureaucracy taught their new Christian theology and philosophy through imperial schools. Literate Romans formed the upper-echelon of society, so “corrupting” their kids for Christianity was critical (sound familiar yet?). It worked. The “final pagan generation” actually lived the vast majority of their lives with little to no change to their religious practices. They still sacrificed to Jove/Jupiter/Zeus while their kids smiled at the weird religious eccentricities of their elders all the way to AD 350+. The reason Julian the Apostate failed to repaganize the imperium was that the entire bureaucracy was thoroughly Christian.

Alasdair Macintyre describes the collapse of Rome this way: “A crucial turning point occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and set themselves the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained”. I believe this is what we are living through now, which means there’s still a dark age to survive. We haven’t even had our Julian the Apostate yet; I doubt the casting of Trump in that role, but history may judge differently.

Paul Kingsnorth’s theory calls for a far deeper catastrophe (he hints at it when he says “the end of modernity”), but whether you foresee a political dark age (as I do), or an ecological and economic one one (as he does), we’re a long way from new mythmaking. Of course, St. Benedict was busy categorizing knowledge while Rome collapsed around him. Maybe that’s our goal today. In that sense, the most important thing you can do is buy a paper copy of Plato, Homer, Virgil, Augustine, and Dante and read them (Wendell Berry too). Defend our own myths in your own family. Make sure your kids know why they’re important. Make sure you know.

Last edited 2 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 month ago

Very interesting reflections, Brian, on the parallels between our current cultural revolution and that of the later Roman Empire. As a student of history, I have noticed similar connections.

Perhaps most fundamental was the embracing of Christianity – a religion which celebrated suffering and victimhood as a path to God’s grace, by the elite youth of the 4th century. The guilt gun was turned on them by proselytisers, as the perpetrators of the suffering of the underclasses – upon which the whole structure of the Roman Empire depended.

Complemented by the disastrous military defeat of Adrianople in 376,. that paved the way for its disintegration, youth saw in it the just recompense of Rome’s “unjust” and “sinful” behaviour. The bright young things turned to rabid cultural warriors in the form of bishops or ascetics for a new mythology to explain their world, and it conveyed a message of apocalypse.

It culminated in the shutting down of classical civilisation at the instigation of Emperor Theodosius, under pressure from Bishop Ambrose of Milan. Temples, universities and athletic games were all closed in conformity with a blatantly fascist Christianity.

While there may not yet be a formal mythology to replace the canon of Western civilization, the dismantling of the old order and it’s underlying mythology is well under way. We are somewhere in the mid 4th century at this point.

Last edited 1 month ago by Douglas McNeish
Paula G
Paula G
2 months ago

Basically we have lost integrity and accountability. We cheated on tests, we manipulated to pad our resumes and to get into college, and it all became the norm. Then we decided that rioting and stealing was just as normal for some as cheating in school.

We say, like Kamala, “it was a debate,” when we say anything to shame a front-runner candidate and get him to hire us or face approbation. Or we front slave labor constructed Olympic Games in like David Beckham, because our peers also would do such, in order to make more money for the next must have purchase and to stay high-ranking on the rich and influential list.

There are no disincentives, because every clubby subgroup knows the rules, and only punishes for show.

Catholic or not, write “JMJ” on top of everything you write for two whole days, and see if your words are truthful and worthy, if sat before Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This exercise won’t change society, but might change our individual souls.

James Bussey
James Bussey
2 months ago

No wonder Paul joined a troop in the Parliamentary army, with this hectoring and puritanical essay on the Decline of the West obviously being the result of that experience. Books about the New Model Army try to analyse how much religious observance contributed to that army’s battlefield successes, but enforced discipline, sound training, better welfare and excellent leadership were the other parts which made them so formidable.
However, that period of the Stuart monarchy, exile and Jacobite rebellions of the 17th and 18th centuries is one of the interesting, and arguably the most important one in the history of the British Isles, bringing us into the modern era of industry and political thought.
The effects of the wars of the three kingdoms have persisted into modern times: I served with the British Army in Northern Ireland in that country’s last phase of its ongoing civil war during the 1980s.
At the time the security forces in the Province had their share of detractors, but successive UK governments stuck with the aim of suppressing terrorism and eventually completing the Peace Process in the 1990s. Despite the ‘Culture War’ about the rights and wrongs, those governments weren’t effected by it, or dissuaded from implementing the military and political aims of that campaign.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
2 months ago

Truly, for me, a very thought provoking article. Thank you Unherd – it’s another reminder of why I subscribe.
My nagging fear is that any one person’s knowledge and experience is but a minuscule part of the sum of human knowledge and experience and that the same is true for a committee of even a thousand souls. So I tend to believe in free societies where the combined knowledge experience and hence the wisdom of huge numbers of people can have their effect. The outcomes can seem chaotic and at times incoherent but can – if operating within the confines of a sound set of moral principles ( which is where some form of religion comes in) – result in tremendous sustainable progress. It is when an individual, committee or cabal seeks to impose a certain direction on the population that things usually begin to go very wrong. I realise this might seem like a plea for anarchy – but it is not. It is rather a plea for trust in human ingenuity coupled with an acceptance of the importance of a moderating moral code plus the rule of law rooted in the principles of that code. It is maybe agreeing with the conclusions of this fine essay. The irony of course is that mine is just the view of one very ignorant person!

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
2 months ago

I think we live a protracted adolescence and that we do start to mature much later in life just around the time that our comfort zones are shrinking and we feel we must have it all bought to us. The young (born after 1990) already resent the old because they have been given nothing and had everything taken away or priced too highly. The ageist backlash will force us all to pretend that we are still adolescent even when we want to finally grow up…enter the crone-ager.

harry storm
harry storm
2 months ago

Interesting article, but let’s remember after Cromwell came the restoration, and after 1789-1794 came Napoleon and ultimately democracy.
I’m not quite as pessimistic as the author. Sense and reality usually prevail in the end.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

‘When the King enjoys his own again.’ Turned out to be a bunch of merchants, though, and a Dutchman for the throne last time.

James Kabala
James Kabala
2 months ago

That Bly quotation certainly lumps a number of very different things together. Is Freud a key part of Western Civilization now? I would think he would be the kind of person Kingsnorth would want to bring down.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago
Reply to  James Kabala

I’m with you there. I’ve read the Jeffrey Masson books that dig alludes to, and they persuaded me. Besides, I agree with Karl Popper on Freud.

Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald
2 months ago

Extremely Interesting essay. Painful to have the truth and origins of our cultural collapse so clearly exposed. Conclusion attempts to point to a hopeful way forward, but one wonders if the Giant won’t in the end have his way, as in 17th century England.

Trevor Locke
Trevor Locke
2 months ago

“censorship has ended”. What! Why wasn’t I notified?

Geoffrey Hicking
Geoffrey Hicking
2 months ago

But the most striking argument that Bly made as he analysed our cultural collapse was that Western culture was now doing to itself what it had long done to others: colonisation. The methods that Western colonial administrators had used to demolish and replace other cultures — rewriting their histories, replacing their languages, challenging their cultural norms, banning or demonising their religions, dismantling their elder system and undermining their cultural traditions — were now being used against us. Only we had not been invaded by hostile outside forces: this time, the hostile forces were within.

Surely this is a sort of conservative anti-imperialism? I fear that certain anti-wokists will reject this so completely that his words will not be heeded. All colonialism by Westerners is seen as good by some…. even if it is by the maniacal modernising left.

Nick Singer
Nick Singer
2 months ago

“..demolish and replace other cultures — rewriting their histories, replacing their languages, challenging their cultural norms, banning or demonising their religions, dismantling their elder system and undermining their cultural traditions..”
As someone with a passing interest in Britains’s time in India, I feel this is both a very American and a rather unfair summing up. But that’s another story..
It is however, pretty much what we do appear to be doing to ourselves – or allowing to happen – and in a rather sinister way.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Singer

I agree, certainly in India (which is all I really know about) languages were not replaced, religions were not demonised (the opposite as far as Hinduism was concerned), and history was not re-written, in fact, it was studied with alacrity by British scholars. Some cultural norms were challenged, such as sutee and thugee, and you can argue that the British had no right to do this if you want. Perhaps things were different in the African colonies, I leave it to others with more knowledge than I to comment, but as you say this does seen a particularly American view of British colonialism.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 months ago

Seems accurate enough regarding pre-Colombian American populations though.

And Ireland, of course, from where the author writes (I believe).

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Singer

I can’t speak for all of that passage, but India is a democracy whose Lingua Franca is English. It’s not entirely wrong, IMO.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave Weeden

Colonial administration was conducted in English as the “over lords” spoke that language, but Engliah was adopted as the lingua Franca by the independant Indian government to avoid one linguistic group having dominance over the others.

Geoffrey Hicking
Geoffrey Hicking
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Singer

The problem with this is that the Indians at times respected us, liked us, but didn’t like being made out to be victims of their own culture all the time. There are narratives of empire that reduce them to just that. Certain British lefties dethroned princes out of modernising bigotry, and British conservatives stepped in to stop that.

Certain Indians had to resist the British left, but no one talks about that. A passing interest on India won’t always bring that up.

Warren Hill
Warren Hill
2 months ago

Paul, if you haven’t read it, I commend a recent book by a man born a Brit and now an American, Carl Trueman – The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. He digs deep, maybe deeper, into the transitions you outline, back to the Enlightenment.

Pete Rogers
Pete Rogers
2 months ago

It certainly is a problem of adulthood, and do we need to grow up? Absolutely!!
We do not educate our children in how to use the mind to ensure they can know that what they believe truly holds water and they can explain why. We teach them instead what to think and that they may take it that it does hold water; that is to say they should take as so if they want to be normal like everyone else and wish fit in rather than go against the grain.
This is carried through our lives and it is rare for us to realise that, within narrow elastic limits, we are really psychological colonies of those who decided the content of our instruction.
Conformity becomes so widespread and dominating that people who object are seen as unwelcome, disruptive and antisocial. Free speech becomes understood as a home for absurdity and whacky statements rather than the principal learning tool because it confers upon us the right and obligation to hear what objections there may be for us to consider about our position and those of others.
Child minds in adult bodies reproduce more children who are taught the same beliefs in the same way and that’s ensures the narrowness of cultural belief that we live within.
This all happens by design because our rulers could never justify themselves to a population of questioning people so the whole point is to obtain docility instead, and always has been.
Cromwell as a man of Power and Property after the victory, did as the US did after the war of Independence and all have done throughout history having promised their supporters release from oppression and ascent to higher ground; he took the vacated power for himself and became the new boss deciding how we would think in order for things to be as he personally wished them to be.
The Diggers and the Levellers were the questioning adults, but there is nothing as lethal to grown ups as rule by “The Big Baby”. A creature that wants what it wants because it wants it and is both without empathy and strong enough to take it.
The Ancient Greeks warned about this as they showed us that Society was a Minotaur, whereby the brute controls humanity because of the intimidatory belief system.
The child in us wants little more than the obvious to make him feel good – nice stuff that people will envy, ok relationships and entertainment would be good.
When you say to a child mind as I have often done – to see what happens…
“Did you know that after the 7/7 outrage the Senior French explosives expert, Cristophe Chabout, was asked to help by the Met and after examining the blown up tube trains he reported that the explosions were caused by military grade plastic explosive, not fertiliser explosive as we had been told. He managed to recover some unexploded material and detonators as further proof.”
… the owner of the mind will look at you a bit oddly and quickly move on to talk about its holiday or stuff. It will ask itself “Why did he tell me that?” and find no answer in itself and the interchange might just as well have never occurred from his ;point of view, because it was not harmonious with what he needed to think, so it will not gain entry. He was not taught what to think about that – just that we must support our leaders.
The grown up mind will say “That can’t be true, because we were told that the explosions were all known to have been caused by fertiliser bombs carried in backpacks by known terrorists and the security services know exactly where they were made and who made them!”
You would then suggest to the adult mind that he will find that it is nonetheless true if he looks it up e.g.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/explosive-used-in-bombs-was-of-military-origin-498495.html
When that adult authenticates the information his jaw will hit the floor and the whole trajectory of his thought processes will sharply change because he needs to consider what working hypothesis fits the new facts and it is impossible to find one that does not implicate our own Government in the events.
If there were many adult minds as we might expect – particularly in influential positions and in the Media – there would have been pandemonium about this at the time but there was not and more damningly of our state of immaturity, there still is not.
If we included the further fact that all but one of the surviving witnesses from the three blown-up carriages said they were detonated from beneath because the floors came up and not by terrorists that would be a recipe for adult uproar.
We hear nothing, however, so again there are no adults in the room therefore.
Grown ups don’t invent reasons to drop bombs on people and call it the “National Interest”, but the people who do and see that it is done are richly rewarded with stuff and prestige.
That’s how badly we need to grow up; to stop stuff like that: because if we don’t then its Big Baby all the way from here, just as it always has been so far.

Last edited 2 months ago by Pete Rogers
Guy Aston
Guy Aston
2 months ago

I have no compunction in telling people I was a member of Robert Overton’s Regiament of Foote in the English Civil War society for 26 years and often stood in the line of battle beside John Bright’s Regiament. It never leaves you, as I too have ben drawing similar parallels to the English Civil War.
For internet, read pamphlets; for iconoclasm read tearing down of statues. Instead of killing our enemies, they cancel them. Literacy levels were low in the 17C so the people who had relied on the pulpit in church, now listened to tub-thumpers and extreme pamphlets, and they believed. It is no different today as students and young people believe their ‘lecturers’ or what their activity group tells them. They seem to have lost the capability to analyse the facts, i.e. history, (they’ve cancelled it) and draw their own conclusions. What they are told is ‘gospel’, their religion.
Like the English Civil War, the old things were hated but the trouble will come when determine what to replace them with; that is when the trouble will start. To quote, Sir Jacob Astley, the commander of the last Royalist Army in 1646, after his defeat at Stow-on-the-Wold; “You have done your work, boys, and may go play, unless you will fall out among yourselves.” Fall out amongst themselves they certainly did!

Elizabeth Burton
Elizabeth Burton
2 months ago

I can’t speak for the other Western countries, but in the US it’s been clear to me as I watched it happen over the last 6 decades that the infantilization has been deliberate because becoming an adult requires the development of critical thinking skills. That development came to an end via public education with the launching of “education reform” that placed measurement of learning outcomes solely on the results of standardized tests designed to ensure students were trained to view any issue or topic as true/false or resolvable using one of four options provided by an outside mediator. Original conclusions are automatically “wrong”.
Youth has been so elevated to the epitome of desirability, and even the concept of death, that being a function of old age, painted with such a level of horror, is it any real surprise people don’t want to “grow up”? Fortunately, they live submerged in constant messages they don’t have to. Just buy the right cosmetics, wear the right clothes, embrace the right music—well, I’m sure everyone knows what I’m writing about.
It’s terrifying.

Robin Haig
Robin Haig
1 month ago

Two comments, one general and one more specific. First, I’d like to think that PK is a bit pessimistic in saying that cultural conservatism, Christianity etc are all more or less verboten, and worse, that attitudes are rapidly hardening. All it needs is for sensible people to stand up for these things.
Secondly on his rather misguided comment about ‘colonisation’. The colonial governor Lord Lugard wrote that the whole purpose of the British Empire was to ‘maintain traditional rulerships as a fortress of societal security in a changing world.’ For the most part it wasn’t in the business of ‘demolishing and replacing other cultures’. Lugard’s system of ‘indirect rule’, developed in northern Nigeria and then copied in other parts of Africa, retained traditional institutions and co-opted them as part of the ‘colonial’ system of rule.

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago

Good article, but it’s frustrating to click on the links only to meet a paywall. I happily subscribe to Unherd, but I’m not about to sign up to all those other platforms. It seems a little ironic that the word “elite” is used so much in the article.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 month ago

I blame the internet, and the decline of organised religion. The hoi polloi aren’t too bright, and there was a good reason why societies evolved to keep most people’s opinions shut out of serious discourse. You’re not supposed to say that, but, unless you’re a serial woke bullshitter, that’s a mere truism. It’s why we have representative democracy. Many people simply are too intellectually lazy, too emotional, too inclined to favour simple solutions, to be trusted with direct (plebiscite) democracy. And most ordinary folk have an innate religiosity which regulates them rather more than reason ever does. Once deprived of a conventional outlet (such as regular churches), the hoi polloi’s innate predilection for irrationality will find an outlet in some other area, such as identity politics. Pretty much all of the identity politics manifestations, from critical race theory through trans rights to metoo, have all the hallmarks of cults, rather than anything rational.
Brew all these aspects together – mix a vast un-curated tower of “my truth” internet babel, and add in a generous dollop of frustrated religiosity, and you have 2022.  
Of course, it all provides rich picking for fascists. All the tools of mass brainwashing are there, provided by naive Silicon Valley capitalists.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago

This is a great and perceptive essay, but, as it seems with Robert Bly’s book, perhaps rather overblown. Ordinary people are of course influenced by this (very malign cultural nihilism) but living in a very diverse London, I’m not sure we are exactly close to a state of civil war. And, with the analogy of the English Civil War, let us not forget that the radicals decisively lost within a few years.

There is one quote from Bly’s book that is not entirely accurate “War had been declared on all aspects of “the Indo-European, Islamic, Hebraic impulse-control system”, – clearly this has NOT proved true with respect to Islam, although any respect given to it (probably more accurately grovelling before it) is based on a complete ignorance of the beliefs of that religion. (The fantasy ‘rainbow coalition’ the Left holds with gay people together with Muslims has always been a hilarious concept!).

Iris C
Iris C
2 months ago

I did a Social Science course (OU) in the early 1980s in which we were encouraged to see society through the lenses of Marxism or Feminism and not, as one would have expected, through Marxism and Liberalism.
The writers of the course and the tutors who enforced those ideas bewailed the fact that our state institutions – governance, judiciary including the police, religion, monarchy and family were too strong and respected in the UK for a revolution of the masses to succeed. .
This article has made me realise that, since then, every one of those institutions has been battered and weakened by the power of the left-wing press and politicians like Jeremy Corbyn who have support in parliament and at huge gatherings, like music festivals.
..

Methadras Aszlosis
Methadras Aszlosis
1 month ago

Radical Marxists have done a fabulous job of rewriting history to suit their own needs. To indoctrinate and inculcate two successive generations into believing the utter garbage they call reality and history. turning these generations into dependent slaves to the government where they will beseech their every whim for a little safety and security. The government is seen as a parent, not a useful tool to keep, advance, and protect society. Now it’s your mother and your father. The very thing that the government has spent trying to break up so it can worm its way into your life to become the very thing it destroyed.
This fight isn’t about keeping the old ways, this fight is about fighting back government from becoming the sheer overlord of us all.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 month ago

We inhabit the Era of the Victim, when victimhood is prized above all virtues, and is rewarded with obsessive attention from those who idolise it. It attracts entitlements from those who fancy themselves the authors of the oppression which torment the victim, and it can win arguments simply by declaring itself, because it surpasses all reason in the hierarchy of cultural priorities.

This is a clear marker of a civilisation in decay.

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
2 months ago

America, said Bly was “the first culture in history that has colonised itself”
Pretentious drivel. Bly must have been busy reading and researching frantically since his childhood to present such a statement. He had read about every culture ever on the planet and created a methodology to calculate that none before had ever colonised themselves.

Stephen Moriarty
Stephen Moriarty
2 months ago

Guilt.

Preston Lennox
Preston Lennox
2 months ago

it was an interesting read. i learnt some stuff. particularly regarding history. and the affairs of how we treated other countries people.the bit about the mismatch adults or children. to grow up. or to not grow up as the case maybe. i quite liked.

he could have quoted others less i felt and used his intellect. it would have helped if a bit of time spent defining what he meant when using certain words and themes.

but we have lost the ability to think. he is right. thinking and the ability to think is a skill. many people aka elites give the outward impression they think. and are able to think.but its just an impression.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago
Reply to  Preston Lennox

I can’t speak on your ability to think, but you’ve certainly lost to ability to find the shift key.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
2 months ago

To talk in philosophical terms, these are Bishop Berkeleys who think nobody else exists but them and everyone else is just an extension of their will. That is sophists who think we are extensions of them, to do their bidding and fetch their rattles when they throw them out of the pram and breast feed them on demand. By the way a sophist is someone who doesn’t believe anyone else exists but them, until something goes wrong, when it becomes your fault. It’s Dunning-Kruger and Donald Trump multiplied a few million times.

Haydn Reiss
Haydn Reiss
2 months ago

Be on the lookout in next few months when I finally get my films featuring Robert Bly streaming online probably on the Vimeo platform. ‘ROBERT BLY: A Thousand Years of Joy’ (2015) covers Robert’s long and highly productive life. Great to read Paul’s sharp insights especially around Sibling Society. That book was indeed prescient and was rejected at the time of its publication by the critics for the warning it sounded.
Haydn Reiss

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago

Thanks again, Paul, for a timely and penetrating overview of the contemporary situation. I remember leading a men’s group in a metal health facility in the early 90’s around a Robert Bly video series in which many of these themes were explored. I firmly remember one of his scenes Robert is sitting on a beach reading a poem plunking on his little mandolin thing – the thrust of the poem was that no matter what sh*t might be hitting whichever fan – the sea would always be there (relatively) unchanging and providing objective perpsective and permanence to whatever temporary foolishness homosapiens might be creating. I now sail my boats often and leave most of the foolishness on land……RIP Robert Bly – you are doing a good job of carrying on his wisdoms thanks Paul

My 2 cents
My 2 cents
2 months ago

The reason why we employ historians is that history is always under constant revision? Great idea, rather than defund history maybe we need to refocus on this complicated art to influence our narrative with all the awkward discussions and implications that may come of it.

Vince B
Vince B
2 months ago

Brilliant essay, and I greatly appreciate the author quoting Bly so deeply. He was a very wise man.
Let us recognize that as all revolutions are civil wars, the cultural revolution of “the Sixties” was also a civil war, pitting the revolutionaries against everyone who believed and championed the existing order, structures, beliefs and mores. I’m 57 years old and my society has been fighting these wars all of my life. Much of the legislative and electoral arguments, while taking on the look of fights over policy differences, are really fights over the old order and the revolutionaries.
We’re at the end of that civil war, and the elite Left has indeed won. It’s all over but the shouting.

Last edited 2 months ago by Vince B
Caroline Gregory
Caroline Gregory
2 months ago

I agree with much of this, but I think it needs to be acknowledged that it was the way many of those older norms and loves were being used that actually caused the disintegration. It hasn’t come from nowhere.

Allan murray-jones
Allan murray-jones
1 month ago

Could not agree more; great article

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 month ago

Tried posting indepth. No go. Bly was right. Big gov and big corp neo liberlism hated liberalism and destroyed it for the globalist agenda. Self colonised.

John Kirk
John Kirk
1 month ago

Coming to this discussion late, there are – some – great comments below. But the huge point is that this is a staggeringly brilliant article. 90% at minimum of current political or economic commentary is reduced to “footling whimsy” beside it.
It hardly helps in any immediate practical sense. Yet I feel a great weight has been lifted off me. Just because I really think I do at last see what’s going on.

Kerry Bindon
Kerry Bindon
2 months ago

As an Oztralian Self Realised Tantric Yogic Master of Being, its my view we are not just witness to the morbid Materialistic decline a la Splenger of the West but the whole sorry world its colonised globalised and de Moral ised Matterised cesspool…..Thank God these things last for a time and then change……..for instance this Coming Monday August 1st we will have a Triple Conjunction of Uranus Mars with Rahu the Nth Node of Destiny the first since 324 BC when Homosexual Alexander the Great brought in this fallen culture, only to see it Rise again with the Dawning of the Aquarian Parousia about and ready to unfold now.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
2 months ago

Why would anyone want to be a leveller? Treasonous behaviour

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 months ago

Brilliant.

john c
john c
2 months ago

Participation as a teenager years ago in the weekend activities of the English Civil War Society does not seem the slightest bit embarrassing to me, at least not when compared to the participation as adults of many men years ago in weekend activities inspired by Robert Bly’s Iron John.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
1 month ago

The Boomers are a disaster they represent the death of our culture, wicked brother and wicked sister are now in charge, absent a miracle (and I believe they are possible)we won’t be here in 50 years, because the Boombers weren’t just cultural destroyers – they have stolen the future by robbing unborn generations through the huge debts they have wracked up. They received everything from prior generations, money, culture, love and they are leaving a desert.History constantly repeats itself: They remind me of the pampered Eloi in H.G. Well’s Time Machine or Isaiah’s (Chapter 5) parable of the vineyard-
My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
He dug it all around, cleared it of stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
And He built a tower in the middle of it,
And also carved out a wine vat in it;
Then He expected it to produce good grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.
So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:
I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;
I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.
I will lay it waste;
It will not be pruned nor hoed,
But briars and thorns will come up.
And strangers will eat in the ruins of the wealthy.
Bernard Shaw once said ‘a civilisation rarely outlasts its gods’

Last edited 1 month ago by Melanie Mabey
Paul Blowers
Paul Blowers
1 month ago

Superb essay. Thanks! I resonated with so much of it since I teach 20-somethings from mostly culturally conservative backgrounds who are constantly tempted with the new myth of colonizing decolonization because, well, it’s the Zeitgeist, but it will have no future because it will have no past.

John Riordan
John Riordan
27 days ago

This is as usual a thought-provoking article, but one thing I’d love to know is what on earth do people get out of doing battle re-enactments? I’ve always thought you’d have to be a bit soft in the head to bother doing something like this but Paul Kingsnorth is very obviously nothing of the sort, so I’m intrigued.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
2 months ago

Oh dear. A lot on here seem to believe this confused rambling is the work of a fine intellect, rather than the simple projection of yet another spoiled narcissist.

“The West needs to grow up …
… I spent weekends dressed in 17th-century costumes and oversized helmets…
… We have forgotten how to behave like adults”

Bizarre.

The “culture war” is the result of a *deliberate & unsolicited attack* on Western society by Long March neo-Marxists. The vast majority of citizens have never consciously enlisted – not even realising any such thing was happening – and, even now, most would deny such a “war” even exists. Certainly it’s vehemently denied by the gaslighting perpetrators.

The most dangerous people right now are those deluded fools who believe themselves to be “the adults in the room”. In fact they are fence-sitting cowards who think there are 2 sides to every story. The ones who realise something is badly wrong, yet believe in “man made climate change” and that everyone should take the jab – “no one is safe until everyone is safe”.

Most people have never been “adults” in the condescending sense that the author uses the term, and any meaningful definition in 2022 would necessarily be very different than from most of Human history.

So a generous 1/10 from me.

Russ W
Russ W
2 months ago
Reply to  John Sullivan

My, what a courageous retort! I agree with much of your perspective, but not all. You lost me in the last paragraph and also “spoiled narcissist” seems over the top. The guy can write!
I enjoyed reading the article though it seems romanticized to me. The low point for me is the implicit finger pointed at “capitalism” as if greed and corruption are solely within its purview! So many fools think that socialism/communism is bereft of corruption. If so then how does one explain the enormous death toll?
One more thought:
“The “culture war” is the result of a *deliberate & unsolicited attack* on Western society by Long March neo-Marxists. The vast majority of citizens have never consciously enlisted – not even realising any such thing was happening – and, even now, most would deny such a “war” even exists. Certainly it’s vehemently denied by the gaslighting perpetrators.”
— I think that is right except I’m not sure about “unsolicited”. The West has done some dumb, dumb, stuff.

Last edited 2 months ago by Russ W
John Croteau
John Croteau
2 months ago

No offense, Paul, it seems you’re still playing out your Civil War fantasies. A better analogy is the liberal flower children of the 1960’s/70’s. That, too, was a Cultural Revolution that faded into reality. The world and civilized society is only changing for the overeducated without marketable skills in today’s economy.

Nicky W
Nicky W
2 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

I bounce between the cultural changes wrought during the late Victorian or dark England phase, which is where I feel the USA is right now, the 60s/70s period you mention and the unfinished cultural changes started during the reformation/ECW period of popular sovereignty that was blocked by parliamentary grandees.
I find it interesting that I’m seeing a rise in localised identities that track to all the periods of cultural change as though they are the next layer of the onion.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
2 months ago

If you want to “get on” in Britain — which means to win the approval of the upper-middle class elite which runs the show

Which planet are you on?… I lost interest in this article at this point

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

I can’t speak to Britain, but the author’s characterization is spot on as far as American elites are concerned. If you want to “get on” in large corporate America, you may not:

1) Go to a church unless it flies the rainbow flag.
2) Express any reservations about putting kids on puberty blockers.
3) Suggest that police aren’t racist.
4) Suggest that black people can be racist.
5) Express any reservations about sexual behaviors of any kind.
6) Imply or suggest that America isn’t a terrible, racist nation.

These things are never stated explicitly, of course. It’s always, “Wouldn’t you like to put this BLM sticker on your office door? Everyone else is…” or “What’s the problem with the rainbow pride jersey? The whole team’s wearing them.” But make no mistake, if you want to “get on” you must “go along”.

Last edited 2 months ago by Brian Villanueva
Michael Keating
Michael Keating
2 months ago

Dear Sir, thank you for your reflections but I stopped reading at this: We are going to have to learn to be adults again; to get our feet back on the ground, to rebuild families and communities, to learn again the meaning of worship and commitment, of limits and longing.” I am sorry but this is simply platitudinous and Jordan Petersonesque. There is nothing essentially adult about being a Christian. In fact one can make the case, as many have, that Christianity and other creeds actually infantilize the human. Taking the knee before an invisible, and to be honest, unknowable deity is a kind of mental capitulation that has served demagogues and charlatans from time immemorial. I would say that an adult is someone who has embraced the terrifying reality of a godless world and goes about the really difficult task of constructing meaning and figuring ways to constructively engage with the world rather than just being handed a 2000 year old playbook written by messianic desert dwellers. Being an adult is being willing to question all the lies and deceptions which our forefathers have bequeathed us and to understand, for example, how colonialism is having a blow-back moment and perhaps a deserved one. Men need to understand the utter destruction that the ‘patriarchy’ has had on women’s psyches over the centuries and we need to teach our children to be little Ronald Reagans, i.e. trust but verify. One can experience grace and wonder without the guardrails of religion: one finds them freely interacting with the Other, be it person or the natural world. Speaking of platitudes, how about ‘you can’t step into the same river twice.’ Nor should we seek to retreat into a bygone world where we can never really be at home. Instead we have to embrace the moment, chaotic as it may seem, and construct new meanings and paradigms suitable for the current age. We need a new Enlightenment not a tail between our legs. (And perhaps a fair amount of psychoanalysis paid for by the NHS.)

Max Price
Max Price
2 months ago

I think I’m going to throw up.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Price

in the ” toylitte” I presume?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

as soon as I got to ” The upper middle class who rule Britain”, I stopped reading…. If only!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago

It is not a good idea to stop reading/listening just because there is one thing that you disagree with or dislike in an argument, unless it is a foundational premise of the argument, and in that case you need to say why that premise is wrong. You are not the first to post on here that “I stopped reading when …”, but it does indicate a closed mind to not listen to the whole argument that someone is putting forward.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago

You are absolutely right, and I was being facetious! I did read the superb and erudite piece.. most enlightening

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 months ago

They do. But they are not what they were, the enlightened but patriotic, independently spirited, classically educated, generalists, who respected liberty and the will of the people. Over the last hundred years that has gone and now we have servants who know better than their masters and will impose that “wisdom” on us all

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago

OK then, who does rule the country?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Weeden

Pooteresque bovine bearded lower middle class woke, sorbo rubber backboned, internet indoctrinated, woke, detritus.

simon gordon
simon gordon
2 months ago

The trauma is so great that the Conservative mind is becoming more irrational and authoritarian. Instead of blame it on the boogie, it’s blame it on the Sixties. Viktor “nazi” Orban is now the shining star for the hard right in both Britain and America. We live in a liberal society and it’s multi cultural. It’s no longer two dimensional, it’s multi dimensional however much Orbanistas may wish it not to be.

Last edited 2 months ago by simon gordon
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago
Reply to  simon gordon

Let the Hungarians live the way they want. They voted for the guy. Take no offense that they might not want to live in your multicultural utopian vision. Move on.

jane baker
jane baker
2 months ago
Reply to  simon gordon

Best cut down on the substances. I don’t find the bit of “our” society very Liberal,and as for being multi-cultural,you do realise that many black people are sincere church goers who live by high moral standards and many Asian ones attend mosque and also live by high moral standards,thus are not particularly drawn to being “liberal”. The Elite,whoever they are,but “they ” are real are playing a long game,it may be another decade before it’s conclusion. Yes,blame it on the 1960s because thar was when most of the old Nazi ideology that had been repurchased and repackaged in academia was unleashed back into the world,rebounded as popular culture,or “if it feels good,do it”.
Having successfully destroyed all moral standards and compromised the population the Elite are now going in for the kill,literally. I wonder how many are going to die of cold this winter?