Those who realize that the current power and financial elites are incapable of solving the pressing problems of Western civilization (or even contributing significantly to their solution), and that Western civilization cannot be saved without an absolutely radical shift in power, tend to long for disaster. Something terrible will come, people will be snapped out of their stupor, and everything will be different, they hope.
I’m afraid that’s naive. When a major catastrophe comes – whether natural, economic, military or otherwise – most will perish rather than be snapped out of their stupor. Those who survive are more likely to survive at the expense of others than through the advocacy of change. It is certainly extremely unlikely that disaster will improve the ability of the lower classes to organize and struggle for power. Those who are incompetent now will be incompetent after the disaster.
And the really big horrible event is not that likely. A more realistic (and less threatening) scenario is one of gradual deterioration. More expensive energy every year. Every year even less affordable medicine. Every year more migration violence. Every year another industry collapses. Worse and worse schools. Less and less freedom. Gradual eviction of people from homes that don’t meet some green regulation. A complete ban on cars. And so on.
Each time, a large part of society manages to cope. Some will accept a worse standard of living. Some get around the regulation somehow. And there will be those who have already lived beyond their means who will sink to the bottom. And then there will be some group of people who will learn a whole new set of things and change their lifestyle. New opposition groups will form. And the next year, again and again.
Expect more of a gradual disaster and a gradual reaction.
On Anglo-Saxon racism
National cultures differ, and this includes issues such as attitudes to human races and racial belonging. In Anglo-Saxon thought, race is an absolutely key concept, and across the political spectrum. The only difference is who is a fan of which race. In Russia, on the other hand, they cannot understand why it should matter what shade of skin someone has or how straight or slanted their eyes are. Other Slavic nations also have a very reserved attitude towards the idea of race. Even the Czech environment is essentially non-racial. There are sometimes problems with the behaviour of different ethnic groups, or with what behaviour is attributed to them (even unjustifiably). But we don’t know of any “racial purity” being addressed here at all. Even the most extreme groups don’t deal with such things.
When we do encounter real racism in the Czech environment, we feel an element of foreign (Anglo-Saxon) culture. Kind of like McDonald’s.
The objection is that race is special in that it cannot be hidden. At first glance we see that someone has black skin and someone has white skin. At first glance we see the shape of the face and possibly slanted eyes (or straight eyes). Really?
I’m afraid it’s a matter of how the brain is trained. If we lived in a society where skin color or face shape didn’t matter at all, the brain wouldn’t perceive it at first glance. Just like our brains don’t constantly search for who is a redhead and who isn’t. We may notice it, we may find it sexy, but we don’t attach much importance to it.
Which is not a theoretical consideration. There was a time when people didn’t even notice that someone was “very tan” and someone was “not tan enough”. People’s brains just weren’t set up for it.
About world civilization
Today I return again to the thoughts of Guillaume Faye. Specifically, that alongside the individual civilizational circles, we can also speak of a “world civilization” resulting from the expansion of the Western one. Many Western elements have penetrated Latin America, Africa, China and elsewhere. Almost everywhere they have democracy, or at least pretend to have democracy, which is a Western element. Economic rationality, and the related view of man – that too is a Western thing. All civilizational circles seem to have acquired a Western accent. Except perhaps in some parts of the Muslim world and North Korea.
Faye’s right, but she’s talking about a disappearing world. Times are changing, and most civilizations are taking on a more Chinese accent – slow, deliberate, pragmatic, technically oriented. More and more countries stop pretending to be European. We in the West help ourselves with terms like ‘dictatorship’, panic and want to solve it with wars against the whole world. How about getting used to the fact that the world has stopped being Western and thinking more about building our own civilisation with our own values and our own way of life?
About nations – monsters
“The more I dig into the history of this so-called Ukraine, the more I realize why that region between the Carpathians and the Don is a bit of a hellhole. There have been too many brutal murders, resentments, population transfers, blood feuds, betrayals and genocides over the past century,” so wrote my colleague Martin Konvicka, and he is right.
It shows well what an unhappy people Ukrainians are. And how similar they are to the Palestinians. Two nations created by foreign sponsors. There would still be nothing wrong with that. When the opportunity presents itself, and when the supporters are there, every nation should take advantage of it to gain and strengthen its independence.
Only in this case, the foreign supporters had a very specific interest – to create a killer monster to fight someone else. They did not support the creation of a nation with a culture that would hopefully encourage people to marry, have children, study, build factories, dance, build houses, grow crops… just build their nation state. That was never the point of the supporters. They needed to create a nation whose culture would be based on killing, massacre and torture.
Just as the Czechs commemorate President-philosopher Masaryk and his humanitarian ideals, so another nation commemorates someone who killed hundreds of thousands of Jews and other ethnically unacceptable subhumans. They do not erect statues to artists or inventors. They build statues to mass murderers of defenseless people.
When the war is over, it will be most difficult for the Ukrainian people to transform their own culture. To stop being a killing monster for the interests of a foreign power and start working for itself. To build their own state, to build a good life.
For the Palestinians, it will be much harder.
Ivo Budil: A better world is possible!
At the dawn of the modern age, it seemed that Western civilization would be able to use its potential to build a democratic, free and prosperous society, not through revolutionary violence or militant activism, but by simply using its productive forces and creative reason. Unfortunately, in the twentieth century, elitist ideologies spreading emotions of irrational rage and genocidal hatred were unleashed on the world in the name of maintaining caste inequality and global apartheid. The disintegration of contemporary Western society, the economic decline, the slavish indifference of the broad classes, the fanatical activism of the sycophants and the greed, arrogance, stupidity and irresponsible militarism of the ruling class, all appear as punishment for the abandonment of a vision that opened up unsuspected prospects for humanity. Yet there is hope. The tradition of originally Western efficiency and ingenuity seems to be reviving in the dynamism and aspirations of some non-European, especially large Asian countries, which are rapidly establishing a global community that is defining itself against the neoliberal and militaristic West. The strategy of the Euro-American rulers of crippling the rational and productive forces of Western society in order to preserve their privileges and prerogatives is turning against them. The pandemic of stupidity they have unleashed has hit them alone. They are losing the ability to govern and to manage public affairs effectively. The only tools of hegemony they have left are hatred, persecution and war, to which they will increasingly resort. Let us be under no illusions. They have no way out or backup plan, or are incapable of devising one. They are in a historical trap. That makes them all the more dangerous, ruthless and insidious. On the other hand, they have shown their true colours and fewer and fewer people can resort to the alibi that they are ignorant of the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves. This struggle will be implacable and merciless. But a better world is possible!
Peter Hampl: That there is a positive scenario does not mean that it will happen.