These are trying times. There can be no denying it. Perhaps this is what everyone thinks in the times in which they live in. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that there is something profoundly wrong with the West — something that did not just happen in the last few years, as some have argued.
There is a deep division in both the U.S. and in Europe. Differences that seem irreconcilable have forced us to drift further apart. There is a rot that has been allowed to fester for decades. People in different countries have endured — until they could no longer. Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of conservative populist parties across Europe are all manifestations of the anger that individuals feel as their way of life has increasingly been taken away from them without their approval or desire. The response of the Establishment, in turn, has deepened such divisions, with corporate, media, and political elites preying on the weak and uninformed.
The belief that Trump won through supposed collusion with Russia (combined with the support of “white supremacists”) and that Brexit was a vote cast by the ignorant, xenophobic masses has incensed those on the left who see the Establishment as their God. And when their God orders them to march in the streets in defense of, say, open borders, or free healthcare and education, or a communist utopia to be achieved by any means necessary, they have done so without thinking. Truly, the Establishment’s hold over people can be as strong as that of any cult.
A recent manifestation of this are the riots and looting driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the “cancel culture,” both of which have been exported to Europe. A broad coalition of anarchists, Marxists, and street thugs has caused chaos and mayhem. Such destruction is necessary, the thinking goes, because it is done for the sake of creating a better future — one that shall be free of all forms of oppression and unencumbered by tradition and history. In this “better future,” reparations will be paid for the mistakes made by people centuries ago.
Who would not want to live in such an idyllic future? And yet, is this not precisely what communism promised at the expense of 100 million lives?
According to the social justice activists, what they have been protesting this spring and summer are the many injustice against the black community. They are the only ones who are justified in speaking out and expressing any kind of rage. All whites should simply “shut up” because they are all guilty simply by virtue of their skin color.
But is this not racist thinking? Is it not unjust to tell an entire race that their opinions do not count and that they are all guilty for past historical sins? Isn’t responsibility supposed to be individual rather than collective?
The Black Lives Matter movement has been using precisely this kind of reasoning to justify their violent protests against racial injustice. Yet, at the same time, they have continued to vote for and listen to white people — wealthy, white members of the Democratic Party — condemning other white people as bad and racist. As some have observed, it certainly seems as if some white people are trying to use the black community as a political tool.
At the same time, one wonders why the Black Lives Matter organization does not speak out about ‘black on black’ crimes in the U.S. In fact, there are numerous related questions that no one dares to ask for fear of the “cancel culture,” such as:: Why is the black on black crime rate higher in cities governed historically by the left? Why has the unemployment of the black community reached record lows under a Republican President? Why have more than two million Africans migrated to the U.S. in the last 50 years if it truly is so racist? Every honest individual should be asking these questions.
Instead of empowering blacks, instead of encouraging them to seize opportunities, take risks, and have faith in themselves, the left has actually been telling them that they have no chance of success without government support. Black communities are told that they have little if any social mobility because “systemic racism” and “white oppression” has made them all victims.
Similar propaganda is directed at whites as well, in order to shame them into submission. By telling them that their history, culture, and traditions are all evil, the left seeks to erase them from social reality — and, instead, create a new soulless individual, one that is part of the herd, one that will submit. Such a person — one without an individual identity — will be entirely dependent on the Establishment, on government, on the state.
History shows that a nation with a strong identity — with a deep sense of responsibility to all its citizens, with a firm grasp of its cultural traditions and historical roots, with a love of country — is a strong one. The left knows that historic ties are powerful and not easily broken. Thus, it always seeks to destroy history, piece by piece. The first step then in re-inventing a nation is to erase its memory, censor its books, revise its history, and cancel its culture.
The current campaign to eradicate the past — in both the U.S. and across parts of Europe — similarly seeks to create soulless individuals and increase their dependence on the state. But this is not new. It has been going on for decades.
Communism in my native country did exactly that for nearly half a century, leaving deep scars, destroying institutions, and dealing a huge blow to historical memory. Those in power promoted fictitious events and left others in obscurity. This is the kind of rot we have today in our societies.
Fomenting division is an ideal weapon because a divided nation with a polarized society, warring groups, and antagonistic factions will not be focused on preserving what is truly good and important. By having well-intentioned people brainwashed with alternate versions of history, taught to hate themselves, the left is assured that they will have the support of a very large segment of the population.
By making wild accusations of racism, xenophobia, collusion, and homophobia against their opponents, the left also ensures that the brainwashed will see others as “the enemy,” as perpetrators of evil. It does not matter, for example, that Republicans were actually the ones to abolish slavery and that Democrats were the ones who voted to keep slaves (while also supporting the KKK). It does not matter that communism killed 100 million people and brought misery, famine, and destruction to a 100 million more. To the Establishment and its brainwashed supporters, it is irrelevant that Churchill saved us from Nazism, or that George Washington fought for freedom.
If it suits the left’s purposes, they are willing to declare anyone evil (i.e. sexist, racist, misogynist, bigot, anti-Semite, etc.). This is why history must be canceled. The goal is to abolish the facts so that new facts, revised and rewritten ones, may be the ones that matter.
There is a solution. It is time that we encourage individual thinking. We have such a great tradition of using reason and applying the power of logic to analyze facts with objectivity. We have learned (particularly in the West) to rely on our own talents and abilities, on the accumulated wisdom of the ages, and to make decisions for ourselves. No one truly needs the welfare, payouts, and bribes that the government provides in order to be successful. It is the government bureaucrat that needs each and every one of us to survive. People of all races, religions, and creeds have the ability to do something creative and enterprising with their lives — if they could only discard the victim status that has been imposed on them by left-wing elites.
Perhaps nowhere else is the possibility of such a life better represented than in the U.S. In no other country would a black person become a President (like Barack Obama) — or Secretary of State, Senator, Congressman, successful businessman, and so on. The American model is a meritocratic one that is built on entrepreneurship. It may not necessarily be exportable to all countries around the world; but it offers a glimpse of what is possible when people are allowed to pursue their dreams creatively, independently, and freely.
At the same time, it is important for us in Europe — and in the West, generally — to embrace our culture, heritage, history, and traditions. We are who we are precisely because of the past. By embracing our historical achievements and failures, we learn more about not just our ancestors but about ourselves. Without history, there can be no political order, no civilization, no future. And as Eric Voegelin once said, “the history of order is the order of history.”
In the times we live in, it is easy to forget, choose radicalism, and attack those who think differently. Yet we simply have to remember that if we try to embrace the love of family, and respect for neighbor; if we find value in our achievements, in our countries, communities, and environment; and if we re-awaken a dormant dignity, we can be one step closer to a more prosperous, meritocratic, and peaceful future.