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Why the West will refuse to fight Citizens won't sacrifice themselves

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


April 25, 2024   5 mins

Western politics is defined by a conflict that is always awkward and sometimes cringe. On the one hand, our leaders are full of loud-mouthed passion, warning that the days of peace are over and that we now need to prepare for total, generational war. On the other, it’s beyond obvious that nobody cares. Across Europe and America, politicians now openly exhort their populations to feel righteous patriotism and to answer the call of duty, but all seem to accomplish exactly nothing: our militaries are shrinking due to a lack of recruits, polling shows a massive disinterest in fighting for King and Country, the young in particular remain completely unmoved. Even in embattled Ukraine, young men are choosing to dodge the draft and go clubbing instead.

How did this state of affairs come to pass? Most “analysis” starts and ends with a bit of hand-wringing about the moral decay of the youth. But this doesn’t explain much. There were countless complaints about the sad state of young people in the late 19th century — but that didn’t translate into a society-wide lack of patriotism and disinterest in defending one’s country.

More useful, perhaps, is the model supplied by British historian Arnold Toynbee, whose life’s work mapped the lifecycle of human empires. In particular, one concept is of interest here: the idea of the internal proletariat, a group of people who tend to grow in number as empires begin to stagnate and decline.

The internal proletariat is not a Marxist term (both Marx and Toynbee took the word “proletariat” from the Roman proletarii, the name of the poorest class of urban dweller). In Toynbee’s model, developed in his 12-volume Study of History, it denotes a group of citizens who live inside an empire, but for various structural reasons no longer benefit from it — and so are unlikely to rush to its defence. This is, after all, what happened in Rome: as the empire began to fall on hard times and the decline of the slavery-based economy started to bite, a mix of high taxes and painful labour shortages conspired to make Roman citizenship feel more like a yoke and less like a privilege. Once the barbarians came, many were disinclined to put up much resistance; and why would they?

A more obvious example can be found in the annals of the Aztec empire, which had subjugated a large number of peoples and tribes. When Hernán Cortés overthrew it, he did so by leading a coalition of disgruntled subjects for whom Aztec rule had few upsides. In other words, his army was made up of internal proletarians: people who lost more than they gained from the continuation of empire, even though they were formally part of it in the first place.

Why, more than 500 years later, is any of this relevant? Consider for a moment the recent vote on foreign aid in the US house of representatives. This caused quite a lot of bitterness on the American Right, and for quite good reason: the speaker, Mike Johnson, violated his own party’s rules in order to pass a foreign aid bill with the help of the Democrats, even though more than half of his own party was opposed to it.

Many, let’s not forget, believe America is heading for bankruptcy. The deficit is massive, the national debt is exploding, and underneath it all lies the underreported but truly eye-watering figure of $175 billion, which is what the US Treasury projects it will need to actually fund its social safety net. And what is America’s political class doing in the face of this looming fiscal disaster? They are quite literally borrowing money to send to Ukraine and Israel instead — a move that, in the corporate world, would be considered asset stripping. Ordinary American voters are no doubt starting to feel what the put-upon Romans did: the empire is no longer working for them.

Previously, such measures would have been justified with bromides about freedom and democracy, but such rhetoric no longer commands the same authority. Americans, just like Westerners in general, are checking out and refusing to do their “duty” towards rulers who have seemingly abandoned any notion of giving them anything in return. The centuries come and go, but these basic social dynamics are as true now as they were in the ancient world: the less valuable citizenship becomes, the less people are willing to stand up and fight for it.

What makes this situation so intractable today is that our political elites have more or less made themselves immune to the negative consequences of their own policies. They neither apologise for mistakes nor accept responsibility for them. To take just one example: the war against Ukraine was supposed to be won quickly, and those who warned about the negative economic consequences of introducing sanctions were ridiculed and marginalised. More than two years later, those measures are wreaking havoc on ordinary people, and yet there is seemingly no contrition whatsoever from those who got it wrong — just more calls for the plebians to sacrifice more.

“Our political elites have more or less made themselves immune to the negative consequences of their own policies.”

Of course, to say that this is somehow a unique aspect of the Ukraine war is far from the truth: the war in Iraq, which cost the United States massive amounts of blood, sweat and treasure, is now widely recognised to have been based on lies and misinformation, and yet few were punished. It was the same story after the great financial crisis of 2008. Lack of accountability is at this point endemic.

Thus, we find ourselves in a situation that has much in the way of historical precedent: an insulated, out-of-touch ruling class protected from the ill effects of its own policies, and a general population that is sullenly withdrawing from public service and both mentally and physically “checking out”. Because it’s happened so often before, what happens next is not a great mystery: at some point, yet another crisis will roll along, one that the elites will simply not be able to manage without the active support of the people they rule over, only to find that said support doesn’t arrive. The terrible revolutionary years that Mexico suffered after the botched election of 1910 is one example of where this dynamic can eventually lead.

In another dramatic example of this dynamic playing itself out, Alexis de Toqueville took to the podium in early 1848 to warn his fellow Frenchmen that they were all “sleeping on a volcano”. Even as obvious revolutionary activity had ceased, the way in which bitterness, dissatisfaction and loss of faith in king Louis Philippe I had spread all across French society was, in de Toqueville’s mind, a sign that things could explode at any moment. And half a year later, they did: not just in France but across the majority of Europe.

Of course, trying to predict the specific crisis that will tip things over the edge is always a fool’s errand — in his case, de Toqueville could hardly know that some fairly insignificant political banquets would be the thing that ended up setting France on fire — but once the tinder is stacked to the ceiling, all it takes is a spark. Today, just as during de Toqueville’s time, many people still take some comfort in pointing out that people, however dissatisfied they may be, are still “just” grumbling about it over the kitchen table. But that sense of safety is illusory at best.

Survivors of tsunamis point out that before the wave actually hits, the water dramatically pulls back and recedes from the shore. And when that happens, one doesn’t have long to run away. For human societies entering periods of chaos, history shows a fairly similar dynamic: an increasing number of citizens choose to retreat. They stop serving and caring; they become sullen, uncooperative and uninterested in coming to society’s aid. This is not a problem of morals, nor a situation that is helped by blaming the young. Instead, the withdrawal of the people, just like the withdrawal of the shoreline, is a sign that a tsunami is approaching.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

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Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago

Dearie me, let’s summarise this article as follows:

“Across Europe and America, politicians now openly exhort their populations to feel righteous patriotism and to answer the call of duty,”

“What makes this situation so intractable today is that our political elites have more or less made themselves immune to the negative consequences of their own policies. They neither apologise for mistakes nor accept responsibility for them.”

“For human societies entering periods of chaos, history shows a fairly similar dynamic: an increasing number of citizens choose to retreat. They stop serving and caring; they become indeed not a problem of morals, nor a situation that is helped by blaming the young. Instead, the withdrawal of the people, just like the withdrawal of the shoreline, is a sign that a tsunami is approaching.”

Well, well. What better exemplar of the famous quote from Jefferson:

“What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

Elites beware.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

You’re not wrong. I basically want the entire establishment – the BBC, the uniparty, the judiciary, the CPS, the police, the entire civil service, Border Force, the looniversities – liquidated. Every last filthy one of them. And then to start again.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I have to say though that not all Unis are as mad as portrayed. I do some visiting lecturer work and so far haven’t encountered any issues when discussing controversial topics.
Civil servants would be the first against the wall come the revolution.
Sadly Rome is already ablaze, the politicians are fiddling (in more senses than one) and the people are placated with bread and circuses.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
1 month ago

The Kremlin must be have learned Jefferson’s lesson.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
1 month ago

Elites who have imposed their Anywhere philosophy, denigrating nationalism.and celebration of national culture, should not be surprised when the Somewheres refuse to take up arms. They have effectively made their own bed. Hopefully their bunkers will be.comfortable places to lie in them.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

They are not elites, they are wealthy and affluent. If we go back to the end of Roman Empire, the leaders were the military aristocracy, fighting defined their status. A gentleman had a coat of arms to identify to his followers where he was on a battle field. The connection with the military and navy in Britain carried on with the working class and the landowning gentry and then public schools. As Orwell said , in the pre WW2 public schools the greatest honour was to die for one’s country.
The rise of financiers and a liberal urban class, such as Asquith, a barrister, and those living on dividends, such as the Webbs, created an effete affluent impractical  class who despised physical courage, patriotism and British culture. The massive increase in the service sector and humanities departments in universities has resulted in the left wing middle class intellectuals view of despising physical courage, practical action, patriotism and British culture ( especially boxing- the manly art of self defence and rugby). . As Arthur Bryant stated, in the 1820s a gentleman was expected to be able to clear a lane with his morleys. The boxing ring was considered the nursery of manliness.
Today we have what Ibn Khaldun noticed in the 14 century.When men are protected by walls and garrisons they lose their manliness and uprightness. He was comparing town Arabs with Beduin.
The reason why the Boers( they inspired Churchill to create the Commandos) in the Boer War and New Zealanders and Rhodesians were such effective special forces in WW2 was their tough upbringing which encourage independence of thought and action. It was worth listening to WW2 Commando officers who fought on the St Nazaire Raid to appreciate the decline in the manliness and uprightness of most of the ruling class in the Western World.
Jeremy Clarkson’s the Greatest Raid of All – the FULL documentary | North One (youtube.com)
The Commando officers were extremely tough brave gentleman. One does not need to be coarse or crude to be tough.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Thank you for the YouTube link! I agree with every word you wrote. There is a meme that’s been floating around online for some time now, and although some self-identified “intellectuals” despise it for its simplicity, I find the simplicity poignant. The truth doesn’t have to be complex. The meme goes like this: Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.

Alexander Thirkill
Alexander Thirkill
20 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Sounds good, but doesn’t stack up.

Hard times – – > WW1 and the interwar period – create broken men who create even harder times – – > WW2.

The idea that a purgatory improves people, or that a period of suffering results in a pay off is just sublimated religion.

Did Mao causing the deaths of 30+ million people through starvation lay the bed rock for future success?

Hell no, it was the comparatively sane and, for want of a better word ‘softer’ moderates who came after who started to make things better.

You can’t base everything around the Greatest generation and Baby-boomers.

Alexander Thirkill
Alexander Thirkill
20 days ago

Moreover, the harsh times that the new internal proletariat are experiencing – precarity, the decades of neoliberalism, you name it – aren’t producing a ‘strong men’ generation to put things right. The article suggests otherwise.

You want the meme to be true, because the meme would help to make sense of the situation.

But the situation isn’t one we resolve.

Things will continue to get bitter.

Alexander Thirkill
Alexander Thirkill
20 days ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

I’m not sure I agree

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 month ago

Editor – first line!!

T Bone
T Bone
1 month ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Ha. I’m actually glad he didn’t fix it. Good article. The error only enhanced the authenticity.

Amos B. Haven
Amos B. Haven
1 month ago
Reply to  T Bone

That’s how I’m spelling it from now on.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

What do you mean? A typo?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Have no idea what is being referred to here but “disinterest” makes me cringe. In fact, it is used wrongly at least twice in the article.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago

I think our elites should show us how it is done just like in 14-18.
Conscript the children of Blair, Cameron etc. give them guns and dispatch them to Ukraine

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago

Pour encourager les autres . . . I like it!

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
1 month ago

In 22yrs in the army my husband obviously met many who served, including a surprising number of sons of the titled aristocracy for whom service seemed to be a tradition. Some of those men had everything, money, land (brains even – and looks – you’d be surprised). There was also a number of the untitled but historically monied.
 As I watched them shipping out to pile into tanks for the first Iraq war I found the ‘noblesse oblige’ surprising. I understood Cpl.Flanagan better. Though in our amiable chats I could barely comprehend his Glaswegian brogue, I still remember his character and courage. His brothers were escorted to his funeral by prison personnel. The army could have provided a way out, a way up, a trade (HGV licence, vehicle maintenance etc) even a family of sorts. But the UK government was determined to civilianise every ‘trade’, cut out every perk, rename/rejig every regiment that held history/loyalty. In his later service, my husband was pushing a desk – fighting in Whitehall and during visits from MOD sponsored business consultants for everything they were determined to hand over to SERCO&Co.
   The one person my husband never met in uniform was the son of a politician. Perhaps they were all too busy engaging with SERCO.
   

Sophy T
Sophy T
1 month ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

..’brains even – and looks – you’d be surprised)’
Why would we be surprised?

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
1 month ago
Reply to  Sophy T

Ref: the depiction of upper class characters like George and General (Lord) Melchett in the brilliant Blackadder. One encountered the concept of witless, ‘chinless wonders’ not infrequently. Jocular, as a rule, but there.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

Th MOD civil servants and politicians appear to have an inferiority complex with those who have served and take a perverse pleasure in making their life difficult.
The family coat of arms was often given for bravery on the battlefield, not giving money to political parties, as today.

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago

Can’t we just dispatch them to Ukraine without the weapons?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  A D Kent

That would not be sporting.
But here’s an idea, we could seek out the children of the elite and challenge them wherever they go as to why they are not in the Ukraine

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago

27% of Harrovians who fought in WW1 were killed, the record for any public school. The death rate for aircrew in WW2 was 55%. To make matters worse aircrew needed a high level of education for entry( most were grammar and public schools ) school, so we lost the bright and brave.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
1 month ago

Speak for yourself, I have land, sheep, family and a gun. Very happy to defend them all

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago

Real useful against a fighter jet or cruise missile I’m sure

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’ve obviously never experienced being savaged by a dead sheep

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t know about sheep herders, but the goat herders won against the fighter jets and cruise missiles Billy.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Those goat herders were a battle hardened well trained militia with bombs and rockets, not a few farmers with shotguns

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Oh you are funny. They had hardly anything more to work with than small arms. I knew a couple of guys who got shot at with old fashioned muzzle loaders a time or two. They may have had some battle hardened vets but their “training” was garbage. By the time we left the country, we had killed off all of the stupid and incompetent ones. Also they seemed to get better trained as time went on like they were adaptable or something. I don’t know. Maybe a lot of the ANA that US Marines were told to train just so happened to be Taliban or something. Turns out cheap small arms, improvised explosives, and dogged determination counts for a lot.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

We’re going to ignore all the weapons and training the Americans gave them while they were battling the Soviet Union are we?

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It would take an awful lot of cruise missiles to take out every 50 acre sheep farm in North America….about 122119479 in fact

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 month ago

Gun sales in the USA are up dramatically….

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 month ago

In which order, if I may ask?

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
1 month ago

🙂

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 month ago

Why would the elites care? They have already set themselves up to jump on the global ship.

I was reminded of a crucial moment in time whilst listening to an ANZAC school service where the idea of putting others before ones self was announced as a way to keep and foster a close community.

That moment was in about 1971 or so when we were taught that ” my friend and I” was no longer the correct use of the English language; it was now “me and my friend.” As an 8 or 9 year old I instinctively knew this was going to promote greed (dog eat dog/greed is good).

About the same time our lady teachers went off to be educated about feminism prior to our return to school after the Xmas holidays. Of course I didn’t know that at the time, but I do remember many of our female teachers coming back with negative attitudes towards the boys in the class that had not been there the previous year. We all know this attitude has only grown and the effect is seen everywhere. Race has been and continues to be used in a similar way.

Then of course we all became consumers instead of citizens and there was no such thing as ” society.” In other words, our leaders have pitted us against one another for their benefit and now the wheels are falling off, they are readying themselves to leave us in the lurch.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

Julius Evola popped up on my YouTube feed last night and I watched a short video summarising some main points of his ‘far-right’ philosophy. It combines Eastern mysticism and monarchism, psychoanalysis and ‘caste-ism’; a veritable smorgasbord of different elements.

His main work ‘Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga’ has a lot of interesting things to say about democracies, capitalism, socialism, psychoanalysis and the decline of all previous traditions. A lot of it is not miles away from the comments I frequently read here in reaction to the world we currently live in.

He’s a real outlier but a lot seems a fairly accurate analysis of many of our current problems. Maybe that’s why Candace Owens has nailed her flag to the Catholic mast ( although Evola saw ‘clericism’ as another social evil). He thought religious awareness at least gave you some sense of something beyond yourself.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I will have a look. Thanks for your reply.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

It’s entirely possible to have “religious awareness”, or a profound sense of something beyond oneself without subscribing to the manipulative machinations characterised by organised religion; or indeed, subscribing to an invented concept of a deity.
I’d argue that those of who have such awareness are actually more spiritually aware than those seeking solace in pieties and the “god bless” mentality.

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Behave as if there were a God. Whether there is or isn’t one is missing the point.

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

I grew up in 1970’s/1980’s UK, I had feminist teachers in high school openly state in class that ‘boys were stupid’ and said that they wouldn’t help them learn anything, and they didn’t. Throughout my life I have watched the UK and its assets being squandered, it’s Males treated as dirt, but as now, when it suits suddenly this shallow, narcissistic garbage society expects men to step up and want to sign up. Sorry, not our country, and never was, it’s just a postal address. The UK could be taken with barely a shot fired.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 month ago

“I had feminist teachers in high school openly state in class that ‘boys were stupid’ Bullshit you did. They might have explained that boys often copied their fathers violent behaviour for example but they would not have stated that “boys are stupid”.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

In other words, we are all guilty.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

If the rich “leave us in the lurch” and take their pets (the politicians) and all their money with them, we would all be better off without them.
I hear that Mars is awfully nice. And there’s no capital gains tax!

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago

It’s even worse than that in the United States. See, my government took the most driven and patriotic men in generations and squandered and abused them in twenty strait years of counterproductive wars after it had pretended to appreciate them. As soon as they started to complain about our foreign policy as if they had seen it firsthand or something, they were treated like dirt. They lost friends, suffered lost limbs and TBI and they stacked bodies for their country. Then my government decided they could replace them with the DEI crowd. It’s working about as well as you would expect. You know where the vast majority of the boys who serve and die for this country in the infantry come from? The overwhelmingly come from the South followed by the Midwest and the West. You know, flyover country. Now we have multigenerational military families telling their boys not to enlist because their own country hates them and the people who run it care nothing for their country.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Thanks for that Matt, sadly you are correct. We are living in a ‘civilisation’ here in the west where inequality is blatantly out of control, people are being used and abused by elites and their corporate backers, we are just commodities to be exploited, in the case of our veterans they are literally paying for corrupt foreign policy with their lives, but we are all paying! Lets fight back by abstaining from Amazon and Facebook, improving our lives whilst hitting them in their pockets!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

The American military leadership is feckless as well. Secretary of Defense Austin couldn’t even notify the President of his medical leave also oversaw the Afghanistan debacle. Add in the stupidity of General Millely and we’ve got huge problems of trust and accountability.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

You know it’s almost like if someone disappears for few days and no one notices, they weren’t important in the first place.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Lets fight back by abstaining from Amazon and Facebook, improving our lives whilst hitting them in their pockets!

Close the tax havens.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Slightly bizarre comment. I’m all for Amazon; it provides goods at excellent prices and has good customer service. Go and live in your self sufficient bubble – if you can!

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Sorry it was a lazy comment.
I was offering an alternative to a boycott. We buy stuff off amazon too. I think a boycott is impractical and not very economical. I buy stuff there because it is the cheapest place to buy stuff quite often. They employ quite a lot of people too, I don’t have a problem with amazon or any big businesses. I have a problem with the tax system.
It would improve our lives if they paid their tax and they make a fair amount of money, so that’s a fair wedge of tax. Then we could cut tax on small businesses. Or at least make big business pay the same rates they have to.
Self sufficient bubbles don’t really exist.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Congo produced fine goods. Pity they had to use slaves whose children’s hands were cut off. A boycott was simply to impractical.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

A noble sentiment but unfortunately one that will NOT appeal to the Gynarchy that rules this little planet of ours.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago

Gynarchy? What an odd remark. I didn’t know you thought men could just become women? Isn’t Pierre Trudeau a man, for example?The overwhelming number of world and corporate leaders are men. So don’t blame women (as such!).

As usual, so many quixotic people on the Right just have no understanding of the world. No wonder they are losing hands down, at least in what we used to call the West?

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Pierre Trudeau was undoubtedly a man but I’m not sure about Justin.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

He is a effeminate though…

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago

Charles that really does not make sense, has your wife been on your laptop?

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

For a young man growing up in today’s Britain it’s difficult to explain why he should risk his life to protect the country and the women who don’t need him; a country ruled by an out-of-touch self-serving globalist elite that denigrates nationalism and celebrates globalism.
In a country populated by illegal immigrants and man-despising feminists, for whom would he be fighting?

alan jones
alan jones
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Succinct and brilliantly put.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

A teacher in a primary school in London recently asked her class of mainly Muslim students asked them ‘who hates the UK?’ More than 30 put their hands up.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Is there a source for this that you could share?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I experienced the same working at a school with a predominantly muslim population. They’re nice enough kids for the most part, but come from a background where they’re raised to look down on anything that is non-muslim.

Andrew F
Andrew F
29 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Disgusting savages.
Come here to turn this country into another Islamic shithole like one they left behind.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Really? sounds like some click bait from the Daily Mail

PAUL SMITH
PAUL SMITH
1 month ago
Reply to  PAUL SMITH

Although she did lay the blame for this at Brexit and Andrew Tate strangely.

Ken Bowman
Ken Bowman
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

I believe it was from an article in The Times by a teacher recounting his own experience.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

I believe it, because I have seen and experienced this attitude and the resulting behaviours myself. Not just recently, but some 10 to 15 years ago.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

I think it was in an unherd article a few days ago.

Andrew F
Andrew F
29 days ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

But we still keep importing Muslim and African low IQ savages in ever increasing numbers.

hugh shull
hugh shull
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

In raw numbers, not per capita, the state’s supplying the most membrs of the military in the US are:
CaliforniaTexasFloridaNew YorkGeorgia
Texas, Florida and Georgia are also not just rural “flyover” country. Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, big cities. And many African Americans and hispanics serve from these states and urban areas. Percentage wise, yes, south etc supplies more per capita. And agreed, the leadership of the country has gotten many killed in wars with little benefit overall. Of course, then again, we wouldn’t need as much military otherwise. And it also seems that a Republican governor from one of those states, Texas, got us into some of these wars. And he had supporters from those areas.
Some of he DEI crowd is also opposed to these foreign wars. Sometimes there are strange alliances.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago
Reply to  hugh shull

Couple things, I did not say raw numbers. I referred specifically to percentage of infantry members and multigenerational military families. Also, Texas, Florida, and Georgia are still the South. Finally, Bush and his neocon buddies are still hated by most service members I know. They supported him until they were betrayed by him. Funny how that works.

hugh shull
hugh shull
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

No ofense tyo you and your overall point, but you did not specifically refer to percentages: “You know where the vast majority of the boys who serve and die for this country in the infantry come from? The overwhelmingly come from the South followed by the Midwest and the West.”
And California is the West, although I have a feeling since you mention flypover country you didn’t mean Cali. California and New York are 1 and 3 in absolute numbers. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois all pull their weight. Of course many from rural areas. Blacks make up 30% of the military, well above their population level. Hispanics 17%. They likely skew conservative compared to their ethnic peers but I imagine mostly still Democrats.
The miltary stays out of politics, generally speaking. While some DEI obviously creeps in, still largely merit based. And it’s a shame that policies the majority do not support get pushed by the leaders of both parties.I just do not think it’s a flyover thing necssarily. A black corporal from the Bronx may not get too worked up over DEI, and be patriotic, but still not want to risk being deployed to, say, Taiwan if the shooting starts.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
1 month ago
Reply to  hugh shull

In which branch of the military did you serve and when?

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 month ago
Reply to  hugh shull

I suspect the majority of people from New York and California in the military are from upstate NY and rural CA. And Texas, Georgia and Florida are the south. Historically, even during times of the draft, the US military has been dominated by people from the south, west and mid-west. That is a fact.

Y Chromosome
Y Chromosome
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Matt: Your analysis is succinct, and spot-on. Unherd would be well-served to publish essays by people like your good self who make clear arguments without getting lost in wandering, academic prose.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It should be noted that American women also have served in the military, been wounded, traumatized and killed during this period, albeit in much smaller numbers. But their sacrifice should not be overlooked.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I add that many young people are taught that the United States was founded in 1619 based on slavery, our industries are causing climate change that will much life on the planet, that we are racist, anti-trans and misogynistic. At work you get DEI shoved at you and you can be subject to discipline and discharge for misgendering someone.
Why bother to defend a country that is bad and knows its bad?
Actually, I think the United States has fought its last big war. Where are we going to put troops in harms way? If we now have to live by Gaza rules, where if an enemy puts its war fighting material under civilian targets and we attack such targets, campus protests will ensue.

James S.
James S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Indeed. Both sides of my family have sent loved ones to serve in the US military since WW1, but I’m glad that my daughter is not interested. I pray for her cousins, two of them in the Navy, one contemplating Air Force, especially as our political class seems to lust for getting into a direct shooting war with Putin and seemingly ignores China.

The military used to be one of the most respected groups in American society, and has been an example of meritocracy and putting country before self. No longer, it seems. Twenty years of “forever war,” spurning the grunts who bled for DEI, and politically-motivated senior officers like Milley have put paid to Duty, Honor, and Country.

Little wonder why a hell of a lot of Americans are not buying the “bipartisan” calls for burning up ever more money in Ukraine, and the creep towards committing ground forces there, all while we are literally being invaded from the south.

Kasandra H
Kasandra H
1 month ago

This’s quite a clarifying article. Thank you. Actually ‘my’ own tiny island I live in- there’s a lot of policies thrusted on the populace over decades with no concern of the impact. The difference is here the heads-in-charge say we are thinking wrongly if we disagree. In a way, they are right. The people in power are thinking ‘rightly’ for their own benefit. This leads to apathy and a very competitive nature of society. I think perhaps in a time in history, some laws were actually passed that benefit society and foster people’s love for their community such as freedom of speech laws in the ammendments a long time ago in the States. X

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
1 month ago

In Israel we thought we were at that point before Hamas attacked us and everything pulled back together. There is still deep resentment at the lack of accountability of those who got us here, but when the chips came down, people realised that they were fighting for themselves, not the Prime Minister who got us here.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Planned, funded and orchestrated by the CIA to create the pretext. How do I know?
I just do. And I’m right.

L Easterbrook
L Easterbrook
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Helps that you have a solid understanding of your Isaeli and Jewish culture, which continues to evolve in different manners. Even though there are huge differences between secular/liberal and the haredinin Israel, you can see the connections still, especially in demographics. Even secular Jewish couples have larger families and overall help keep birth above replacement level, unlike here in Europe.
I’m not sure that USA and a lot of countries in Europe have much connecting them as the polarisation is so marked

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Maybe your survive or be killed choice focuses the mind, whereas our society is likely to just collapse in on itself with no obvious target to fight.

You also have military service; our lot wouldn’t know which end of a gun to take hold of.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

But Mike, we wouldn’t need to hold a gun in the first place if we had politicians making decent foreign policy…

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

…as in surrendering to the people who don’t mind guns? No thanks…

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Ever heard of “speak softly and carry a big stick”? Well, sometimes you also need to use the big stick. That’s what it’s like in the real world.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Is that what they do in Israel? in the UK we don’t need big sticks(yet), No one has tried to invade us since WW2 despite the sh*t stirring the USA does! The American government is doing a good job of winding up Russia and China at Europe’s expense… Will Biden provide an ‘aid package’ for our big sticks??

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

The people who hate Israel hate the UK too.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Chamberlain did everything possible to prevent WW2 but it failed. After Dunkirk Churchill realised we needed to go onto the offensive so he created the Commandos – butcher and bolt and the SOE- set Europe Ablaze. Perhaps there is no more thoughtful and insightful discussion on war than by Cheshire VC.
RAF CASPS Historic Interview | Group Captain Leonard Cheshire (youtube.com)
Victoria Cross Recipient | Leonard Cheshire V.C | World War Two | In Valour | 1985 (youtube.com)

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Chamberlain did everything possible to prevent WW2 but it failed. 
Well, he tried gullibility and cowardice, but neither worked.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Re read your history ! He knew we weren’t ready in 1938. Certainly not psychologically ready for another massive war.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Nup. The guy knew what he was doing, and he was no coward.

Martin M
Martin M
27 days ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

So that “piece of paper” nonsense was all an act? He knew all along Hitler would utterly ignore it? If so, why did he resign?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I doubt it.

The British guarantee to Poland was a tool specifically crafted to produce a reason to declare war.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Tell that to the leaders of China, Russia and Iran.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

At least there are some practical measures in place for the protection of the Israeli civilian population. In the UK there is nothing and no talk of anything ever being provided for civilians. Knowing that your family is being provided with somewhere to go to shelter from air raids at least shows that your politicians place some value on their lives, and thus provides some incentive for people to fight.

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
1 month ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

What I find mind boggling is the size of the British army. Israel, a country of a little less than 10 million people, mobilized around half a million soldiers (conscripts, professional army and reserves) after 7th October. Britain, country of 67 million can mobilize just over 100k on a good day? That will never be able to defend you.

Rob C
Rob C
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Realistically, do you see any foreign army invading the U.K.?

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob C

Jihad. It’s happening!

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob C

There’s an irregular army invading the UK right now. Tens of thousands of military-age foreign men.
Weirdly, the RAF fly from Akrotiri to shoot down drones in defence of Israel, but no UK force patrols the channel to stop the invasion.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob C

An enemy could cause an awful lot of damage and loss of life without ever setting foot in the UK. That’s why drones and nuclear bombs were invented.

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob C

Then why do you have an army at all?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

‘Then why do you have an army at all?’
To legitimise America’s wars of course! doh

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

As I recall, the UK managed to get themselves into WWI and WWII all by themselves with no help from the USA, not that the UK had much choice in WWII.

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

It enables the royal family to wear uniform and display medals. It performs well at state ceremonial events (cf Queen’s funeral)
Tourists in London seem to find Guardsmen very good photographic props.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Yes. Our defence budget has been subjected to austerity cuts along with every other public service over the last 14 years. Not that we have any politicians who are capable of providing leadership in a war situation. The days of Churchill are long gone. All we have are vain arrogant idiots who are only interested in filling their own pockets.

Stewart Cazier
Stewart Cazier
1 month ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

The military budget has been in constant decline as a proportion of GDP since the 1950s – the last 14 years are no different to the 60 before them.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Stewart Cazier

The annual US military budget is now less than the annual debt.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Israel is surrounded by hostile nations, but has a population who believe in it.
Britain is surrounded by water, but has a population who no longer believe in it.

Addie Shog
Addie Shog
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

I’m ‘liking’ your post but disagreeing too. I think there are still many people in this country, including the youth, who love and believe in this country but are too afraid to say so – such is the amplification given to those who wish to see the demise of the West in the media such as the BBC and Sky and in so many official communications.

David L
David L
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

And it’s been busy importing a population that hate it.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Some of us know. My father was an officer in the Dragoon Guards, in the early 1970s, and he always lamented the lack of readiness. Of course, his service was during the Cold War when politicians and the general public were more realistic about the potential of an attack (Prague Spring had happened in 1968, and ended with Soviet tanks rolling through the streets), but even then we didn’t have sufficient numbers of troops to ensure our defence.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

Given that we are an Island, the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are more important. The British Army is for expeditionary matters (beating up Johnny Foreigner) whenever our govenment decides that this is once again necessary.

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 month ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

…from my experience of my twenty-year old student son and his pals…I rather think that’s about right. My own sense is that the UK is abouit where it was in 1936 when the Oxford Union voted overwhelmingly not to “Defend King and Country”…three years later they were flying Spitfires over Kent…three years after that, tankbound in the Western Desert, on the Arctic or Atlantic Convoys, or falling back to the border of British India…and two years on, going ashore at Gold, Juno and Sword.
At the moment he’d poo-poo the idea. But he is my Son, and I know him. But then he’s not called Tarquin and doesn’t go to the LSE…

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  R S Foster

The difference was that in 1936 boys from the grammar and public schools were much tougher due to the sports played, boxing, rugby and cricket. Someone who has played rugby and boxed or even better rugby, rowed and boxed at school has the fitness of the average soldier. It is upper body fitness, pull ups, and strength of the spine to carry packs, which take time to develop. 

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  R S Foster

In 1936 those were just trendy dilettante arts undergraduates who have always postured thus, and the rest of the country was recognisably Britain and was theirs.
That’s not true today. The class that goes and does the fighting is literally hated by the class that expects them to keep doing it. And it knows it, so this time, it will not do its duty.
We might then find out whether women, gays, ethnic minorities and the mentally ill really are all just as good at everything as white males. But somehow I don’t see any of them fighting either. They haven’t sought equality of outcome so they can share in all the dirty and dangerous jobs, have they?

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  R S Foster

In 1936, the UK was, more or less, still a cohesive monoculture. We no longer have that luxury thanks to the push for `multiculturalism’; a push that came about because certain demographics were not interested in integrating into the host culture. But hey, we don’t have to leave the UK to find a decent Greek, Indian, or Chinese etc restaurant….
A monoculture is like porridge, it might be bland but throw it against the wall and it sticks (more or less) together. Multiculturalism is like jellybeans throw them against the wall and they scatter in every direction.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

Not another UnHerd writer happy to take a cheque for doing Putin, Xi and the other Autocrats work?
Now some lessons from History – first the most immediate – nobody would have said Ukraine would resist and fight the way it has. This sort of Author would no doubt have said they’d fold and fail to rally not caring too much about the outcome. Wrong big time.
Second lesson – in mid to late 30s the idea UK or US young would rally to support another war was unthinkable. Society was riven with division, economic depression and memories of mass slaughter. US was a melting pot of immigrants then too. Yet is this not now the ‘greatest’ Generation?
The nature of any future conflict will of course be different and unlikely to involve mass mobilisations. But the West is sleeping giant that is slowly awakening and if it came to it would rally much more to our fundamental freedoms than we might self-critically think. One should have a bit more faith. The issue for the Totalitarians is they can only push forward their forces with a gun behind their back and brain-washing. That only ever gets them so far.
(Obviously the new meme of many Right wing commentators is the ‘elite’ conspiracy twaddle, forgetting they are largely funded by v rich elites themselves)

David L
David L
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

You are deluded. I’m white working class. I will NOT fight for a society that threw me overboard 25 years ago.

I know who my real enemies are.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  David L

You should be aware that the very worst outcomes for the working class were in the “People’s Democracries” of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with their fake elections, fake trade unions, appalling housing and absence of workplace safety. Or the same again in China.
Your immediate enemies here (I’m not disputing your main point) are still standing between you and worse options.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  David L

Exactly how I feel. As a nearly 70 year old woman I wont be sent to the front line – but,they are getting desperate,but many of us could find ourselves “mobilized” they didn’t slip that weasel word past me. That could mean anything from being forced to work in a munitions factory like women had to in WW1+2,the popular myth is they loved it because it was independent work and not “in service” and well paid,but what is kept silent about is that Emmeline and.Christabel Pankhurst did a deal with Lloyd George for the vote in return for keeping the women in line and in those factories. Any woman who objected got abuse and shame not support.from those two and their acolytes.

J Dunne
J Dunne
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

I didn’t know know this. I wonder if that had anything to do with the ghastly Pankhurst being an avid supporter of the disgraceful white feather movement?

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

First they’d have to build those factories as most of our industries have been shipped overseas in search of ever higher profits

J Dunne
J Dunne
1 month ago
Reply to  David L

Same here.

And I think there are obvious differences between us and the Ukranians.

Have Ukranian men been repeatedly told that masculinity is toxic, or bombarded daily with propaganda telling them it is shaemful not to embrace mass immigration and diversity? I wonder if Ukranian TV shows have included a ridiculously disproportionate number of gay characters, or whether white men have been largely expunged from Ukranian advertising (unless they need someone to play the part of a complete moron or someone who can’t get an erection without medical help).

That probably explains why Ukranian men -like British men in the pre-woke era – have been prepared to fight for their country.

Andrew F
Andrew F
29 days ago
Reply to  J Dunne

Ukrainian situation is more complex than that.
Poland is full of Ukrainian men of military age (many hundred thousands, some people say over a million) who clearly have no intention of fighting for their country (I spoke to quite a few of them; many uber drivers are Ukrainian).

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

It’s a typically lazy article (appalling first paragraph – where were the proof readers ?).
Lazy in its assumption that people in the West are not prepared to fight – or take other measures to maintain their wealth and freedom – to defend their freedoms. As usual, stated as fact without substantiation.
Yes, the West has become lazy, complacent and distracted. And lost sight of its core priorities. But some of that is inevitable after such a long period of peace. History shows that people do stand up for their interests when really pushed. We just haven’t been pushed quite far enough yet. Hopefully it won’t get that far.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Most of the conflicts and wars all over the world since the official end of WW2 have been fomented by the USA,mostly covertly,in order to maintain USA economic supremacy and regarding Ukraine and Israel,no change there. Mr Putin is actually the unlikely wearer of the White Hat,standing out for Truth and true Freedom. Which seems counterintuitive to our Pavlov trained dumbed down brains.
But that’s about the level people who have to go out and buy a burger in a bit of bread or even have some chump on a bike deliver it gone.cold can manage.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

Reality check !
Did the US start the Korean War ?
Did the US invade Hungary in 1956 ? Or Czechoslovakia in 1968 ?
Did the US cause the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan in 1979 ?
Did the US start the Iran-Iraq War (the bloodiest conflict since WWII) ?
Did the US cause Saddam Hussein to invake Kuweit ?
Did the US cause China to attempt to invade Vietnam ?
Did the US actually start any of the Arab-Israel wars ? Or actually benefit from any of these ?
Doubtless you’ll dig up some obscure conspiracy theories to claim that the answers to these questions are all “yes” !
Yes, the US has done some bad stuff since WWII. But they’re not the only ones – and far from the worst.
You should be asking yourself just why the US has so many allies who freely choose to join it in NATO. And why countries like Russia and China have so few. And why people are queueing up to get into the US if it’s so goddam awful. And want to leave countries like Russia and China.

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Re all your list and the US. Each one of those conflicts took place in places that were (and as far as I know, still are) thousands of miles and at least one ocean away. Most were a similar distance from the UK. What do any really say about ‘us’ protecting ‘ourselves’?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I really don’t know. They weren’t our conflicts !!!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Comintern was formed in 1919 to promote communism. Up to 1942, Britain was the defender of the free world and democracy. By 1942 Britain was bankrupt and the USA became the defender of the free world and democracy . JF Kennedy in his inaugaration speach accepts America’s responsibility as did those presidents post 1942. The reality was that post late 1960s many of those influential middle and upper class, or one could say, the affluent classes, refused to accept their responsibilities, hence our problems. It is like the children who have enjoyed the wealth from the family business who in their twenties suddenly find they become responsible for running it. They have to give up some of their pleasures and make sacrifices, resulting in temper tantrums.
To whom much is given, much is expected.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Your last sentence also explains why the US gets so much flak. It’s held to a high standard than everyone else.
But I’m not sure the US really does have all these worldwide responsibilities as you (and JFK) suggested. Nor that Britain or the US was ever – or should ahve been – the sole defender of the free world and democracy. States need to defend themselves first.
Not sure how the Cominterm was relevant here.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

It spread communist revolution, Vietnam and various terrorist organisations in the late 1960s an
The English speaking World was the only part which was democratic, free, meritocratic in part, relatively free from corruption, law which was applied blindly and stable.
The proof was that the English Speaking World did not succumb to Nazism or Communism. The ESW provided a united front to Nazism and Communism. France only had a stable country post 1945.

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Its amazing how often the US has come “to the rescue” and only extended the duration of every conflict it enters, leading to millions more deaths, rarely “winning” but filling the pockets of its MIC every time.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  R.I. Loquitur

What utter rubbish.
“Came to the rescue” in WWI and WWII without extending those conflicts. For which most of the world is very grateful. Also helped rebuild Western Europe. And would have done the same for Eastern Europe if not blocked by the Soviet Union which insisted on keeping those countires in effective slavery for 40 years. But I expect you’re OK with that, cause the US is always the bad guy.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

I love it!

Andrew R
Andrew R
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Who should we fight for JW, the very Rich right wing elites or the very rich Left wing elites? I know they’ll be hiding in the bunkers of their gated communities or private islands, when their incompetent policies and preposterous ideologies lead to social collapse.

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

The West is not a ‘sleeping giant’ – it is a hollowed-out, mostly de-industrialised, debt-ridden, rentier, financialised swamp of oligarchies. It’s hubris, sanctimony and endless aggression continues to write cheques that it’s industrial base is now no longer able to cash.

The US of the 1930s had spare and easily transferable capacity everywhere – from relatively fit New Deal workers to huge factories & shipyards all over the country. They’ve transferred all those assets to East Asia now.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

War is wonderful for those that have no experience of it…

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Defeat and occupation isn’t much fun for those who have to experience it either.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

No true, but war started it…

Marc Ambler
Marc Ambler
1 month ago

The 175 billion is actually 175 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
1 month ago
Reply to  Marc Ambler

I can see the coming Tsunami. Sometime in the 2032-2034 time period, the U.S. Social Security trust fund will not have the funds to pay benefits as promised. If we can call it a promise. If the US does nothing, benefits will automatically get cut. Sustaining benefits at current levels would require increasing taxes on the younger working population. Do you think they’ll support that? Probably not.
Then we’ll have a large cohort of elderly going into poverty or having to sell other assets to sustain themselves. Elderly are large consumers of healthcare. Same issue if the Medicare Trust Fund runs dry sometime between 2028 and 2030. Sustaining benefits at current levels would require increasing taxes on the younger working population. Do you think they’ll support that? Probably not. Then taxes will need to go up in other areas. Or the US will need to ration care. A further mess would result if more elderly stop seeking care and the healthcare providers see less business.
What a mess. And as an American, i feel we need to confront it. We cannot tax a smaller younger population into poverty to sustain a larger more well do to elderly population. I expect benefit cuts.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

The elderly will have to be expropriated. There’s a reason why assisted dying is rising up the agenda everywhere. The state will have to assist the dying of old people who don’t want to die. It needs their money.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You’d think they’d encourage smoking.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

And their housing

Arthur King
Arthur King
1 month ago

Canada’s numbers are worse. Our Medicare system is already in collapse. Seniors are euthanizing themselves regularly.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

Sadly, there is no will to confront it among either the political class or the electorate. Even now, Team Biden is floating out the idea of a ridiculously high capital gains tax along with a wealth tax that would put a levy on unrealized gains/profits. This is what passes as deep thought in DC.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
1 month ago

And what is wrong with ‘selling assets to sustain oneself’. A person accumulates assets when of working age and consumes them when no longer working.
A greedy older generation seems to expect the young to pay high taxes to keep them in houses, cars and holidays that the young cannot afford themselves. This same generation has used it’s power to destroy pension prospects of anyone under 40 who doesn’t work for the state.
And now the young are expected to fight to preserve a lifestyle that they will never see for a generation who have never had to fight for anything.
Almost 60 myself so not a whinging youngster.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
1 month ago

Probably your leaders will look at Canada and realise they can euthanise the country into financial sustainability.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 month ago
Reply to  Marc Ambler

Medicare/ Medicaid funds are soon to hit-the-wall triggering automatic cuts. This will be interesting.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
1 month ago

“ This is not a problem of morals, nor a situation that is helped by blaming the young.”

A problem of morals is exactly what it is, that and the inability to see how lucky we are and how transient civilisation could be.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago

The lack of accountability is not a bug – it’s a feature. When was it last a reasonable expectation that a MP or Minister would resign after being found guilty of unacceptable behaviour, and even resign from public life?
And that perception rolls over in the public’s attitudes. “If the Great and Good are no longer great or good why should I heed what they say?”

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Very good point. Wellington said England’s greatest asset was her honesty.

M Shewbridge
M Shewbridge
1 month ago

f*****g bring it on; I’m tired of this decadence and torpor.

Alan B
Alan B
1 month ago
Reply to  M Shewbridge

Speak for yourself. Or maybe get up and do something? There’s no need to rush Armageddon if you’re sure it’s coming anyway

M Shewbridge
M Shewbridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan B

I AM doing something. I’m doing everything I possibly can, but I’m only one insignificant person.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 month ago

Yep, I’ve already “done an Emily Dickinson”.
Still wrestling with the question of whether it’s worth voting. Do I fully commit to the attitude of “I’ll just learn to deal with anything that comes” and cut those ties to society or is that last bit of duty towards that society worth doing?
10 years ago, the answer to that question would have been a no-brainer. But now? It’s a quandary. Too much has happened that has chipped away my faith in democracy; too often, it’s been exposed as a sham.

Chris Whybrow
Chris Whybrow
1 month ago

I’m miserable, dissatisfied and very unwilling to contribute to this society. But I despise Vladimir Putin and everything he stands for, and I would happily see every country in the western world go bankrupt just to get rid of him.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Whybrow

If every country in the western world went bankrupt, they would eat themselves from the inside out and you wouldn’t be able to finance your war.
If you are very unwilling to contribute to society, why do you feel that everyone else should go bankrupt to save the society you are unwilling to even participate in.
If you despise putin and everything he stands for, yet hate your own society enough not to participate in it, what sort of society do you think we need instead.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

I was a forward pioneer in this,not by choice but by fate,and by genetics too, actually. When I attained the age of 30,and that was 40 years ago and realized with an epiphany of blinding clarity that I didn’t fit the narrative or the narrative didn’t fit me I took an alternative route. What I mean is I saw that SOCIETY the one I was born into and had been taught or rather had the idea subtly inculcated and indoctrinated into me that if you did ABC you got the reward or pay or return of XYZ. Simples. But it’s not.
So seeing that I was never going to have a partner which I know shouldn’t matter and being alone is inhabiting the moral high ground and is like being a movie star,ha ha, and means you’re head and shoulders above da common people etc etc,all the things people put on Facebook about how great it is living alone with no friends but really it’s more like a more obscure song by Simon & Garfunkel “I am a Rock”. But the partner thing was the least of it. I was earning money,good money but the gate keepers of property ownership were keeping me at arms length with,you can’t buy a house on your own,you’re a girlie,you’re on your own,it’s raining,it’s Teusday, whatever…plus in that day there was no.access to financial advice or if you knew where to find it you didn’t need it plus my social ineptitude was such that I.didbt know HOW to travel even going to a restaurant or to the theatre was “People like us Don’t do that ” So realizing I was going to have NOTHING EVER that was the promised reward or return or point of being part of society (which already told me I wasn’t,),well,sadly it seems like everybody in the younger generations now is turning into ME ,dreadful fate,or a version of what I had. If you’re being required to work 12 or even odd 14 hour shifts 5 days a week and sometimes 6 but you’re never going to be able to own a house etc is that a system of living youd go to War to.support.or send your grandsons to,or see your great-nephews sent to. None of the elites offspring will be put in the front line and those of us educated in the 1960s.weve read the poetry of Wilfred Owen,weve seen Oh What A Lovely War,you can’t pull that”it’ll all be over by Xmas” + Domino theory on us. We’ve had our inoculations.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

I hope you find the Lord someday. That’s the only reward worth fighting for. May God bless you, Jane!

M Doors
M Doors
1 month ago

In the UK our Prime Minister saw nothing wrong with holding a document which allowed him to live & work in a foreign country & his wife to be registered as a “non dom” for tax purposes. Why would I answer a “call up” from a man like that ?

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago
Reply to  M Doors

How shallow. You’d not be answering “a call up for a man like that”, but to defend your family, your home and your tribe.

M Doors
M Doors
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

whoooosh

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

A land that Rishi and the globalist cabal who put him there have sold out. I expect that Labour will finish the job when the are elected in the autumn.

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago

 I think the explanation can be expressed rather succinctly: The populations of the West are not, in general, Neoconservative.

Which is to say that they don’t, in general, feel that it is up to us to promote (our version) of democracy all over the world and even if it was, that doing so with the force of arms is not the best way to go about it. They do not feel threatened by ‘the jungle’ out there ‘growing back’ , or believe that all that bombing ‘out there’ really protects us ‘back here’. They don’t’ believe in domino theories and almost certainly don’t know or care what an oblast is.

The West’s populations are right.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  A D Kent

No, they’re spoilt and complacent. European welfare states are running out of money, and yet at the same time hampering personal growth and entrepreneurship by over-taxing the smart and hard-working. In the meantime they are also trying to expand their tax-bases through failed mass-immigration policies that result in the thoroughly predictable loss of culture and social cohesion. Moreover, Europe’s best and brightest are emigrating in unprecedented numbers for more prosperous shores. Unless things change soon, European nation states will start to resemble open-air prisons in which those who obey the rules will be rewarded and those who disobey will be targeted as enemies of the state. We’ve already experienced a taste of this during COVID lockdowns and political protests where naysayers received hefty fines or their bank accounts got frozen.
The West’s populations are suffering from slowly boiling frog syndrome.