Western Civilization Is Destroying Its Historical Heritage,
We have no standards to judge what are “good” and “bad” forms of being a human, since there are no subjects existing outside the contingencies of historical time and power relationships. All we can do is engage in “discourse analysis” so as to uncover existing hierarchies by analyzing the fields of knowledge through which they are legitimated. We can engage in questioning how we came to be the “humans” we think we are, such as how we came to think that we have natural rights to life, liberty, and happiness, but such a questioning can only show us how our current way of being human is historically contingent and thus changeable. Since the current way of being is not rooted in biology, it is also possible to reconstruct new ways of being.
Yet, while denying progressive concepts about “freedom,” “justice,” “liberation,” and “improvement of the human condition,” Foucault was a Leftist activist who regularly protested abuses of human rights, participated in anti-racist campaigns, and all in all was committed to questioning every abuse of power. It was this reliance on an implicit Enlightenment form of “critique” of power that prompted Habermas to argue that Foucault’s thinking does not self-examine its moral-normative assumptions.
My view is that from Foucault we can see that liberal progressivism is no less driven by a power dynamic than other ideologies. His The History of Sexuality has been very influential in queer theory, the deconstruction of maleness and femaleness, and the imposition of new relations of power against traditional forms of biological sexuality and marriage. The very notion that humans are totally “constructed” by society, that ideas do not refer to reality, and that there are no principles of morality outside power relations cannot but lead the Foucauldian to seek to win the contest for power by reconstructing humans as they wish. Universities today are the epitome of the disciplinary society Foucault condemned in their effort to produce docile students who take all the boosters while wearing masks and writing essays about the blessings of transsexualism and diversity.
The professionalization of history, specifically academic specialization in archival research, persuaded historians to abandon “philosophical speculations” about the “laws of history” and its purpose or goal through much of the twentieth century. We would have to wait until about the 1970s-80s to witness the reemergence of the uniquely Western tradition of seeking to explain the broad patterns of history. But if the earlier accounts by the Scottish historical school, Condorcet, Kant, Comte, and Hegel remained almost entirely focused on Western history, the post-1970s universal histories would be purposely aimed at “provincializing” the West by emphasizing, above all else, the study of past “connections in the human community,” mass migrations, imperial links, long-distance trade, and how much the West borrowed from other civilizations, as well as how the “world-capitalist system” of exploitation made the rise of the West possible. The progression of history would now be premised on the “common biological nature of humanity,” the universal ecosystem of the Earth, and how the “integration of humanity,” economic and cultural globalization, the Internet, smartphones, international trade agreements, mass migration, and the spread of “human rights” were leading to the “unification of humankind” under a world progressive government.
We could say that the first major attempt at a new universal history that would relegate the West to a provincial place, based on a growing number of specialized works, was Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West (1918/23), which argued that all civilizations go through an inevitable cycle of “childhood, youth, manhood, and old age,” and that the West was entering its declining period. Spengler consciously set out to provide a new world history which “admits no sort of privileged position to Classical, or the Western culture as against the Cultures of India, Babylon, Egypt,” identifying eight world civilizations that “count for just as much in the general picture of history,” and that have indeed surpassed Classical culture or the West “in spiritual greatness and soaring power.” But Spengler was no liberal multiculturalist. He was a Nietzschean historian who rejected the facile Enlightenment and Marxist idea that there was a directionality or purpose in history: “Mankind . . . has no aim, no idea, no plan, any more than the family of butterflies or orchids.” Civilizations were fundamentally different in their cultures and spirits as well as differentiated in terms of whether they were in their youth or their twilight. He distinctly saw how uniquely different the West was with its “Faustian soul,” restlessly pursuing knowledge and continually creating new forms of art, architecture, and literature, driven by an indomitable will for limitless expansion and technological change. If Europeans could no longer produce great artists, musicians, and philosophers, they could still struggle for geopolitical and financial power in a world increasingly overshadowed by the yellow peril.
It was for reasons such as these that Arnold Toynbee set out to outperform Spengler, writing the ten-volume A Study of History (1934-54) in which he distinguished 26 civilizations, of which he estimated that five had survived into the present: the Hindu, the Islamic, the Sinic, the Orthodox Christian of Russia and Eastern Europe, and the Western. In this “history of mankind” the West was not at the center of human progress, and the driving force of history was not some Faustian soul or any other civilizational spirit, but the fact that civilizations are energized to “respond” to “challenges” from other civilizations. He detested the crass, materialistic modern West and the capitalist-driven, technologically-minded United States, instead looking forward to an ecumenical religion of love that would teach compassion and tolerance and would be built by a new creative minority that was contemplative, peaceful, and otherworldly.
While there were still centrist liberals around who believed in the centrality of the West, most attempts to explain the meaning and logic of history would start coming after the 1970s-80s from Leftist progressives and multicultural world historians. J. M. Roberts, a centrist liberal admirer of the Allied powers, unabashedly asserted in his The Penguin History of the World (1995) that the history of Africans and Amerindians was not central to world history and that the modern era saw the “triumph of the West.” But Roberts was not interested in a “directional” theory of history, and his liberalism was already old, incapable of withstanding the proliferation of women’s history, black history, ethnic history, peasant history, the history of homosexuals and Third World peoples — and the postmodern decentering of everything Western.
The Grand Liberal Narrative that reigned supreme in the United States between 1920 and 1970 came to be seen as a manifestation of “odious” assumptions of white racial superiority – “the Aryans are peculiarly the race of progress” — that belittled the histories of non-Western peoples. It was no longer persuasive for a new generation of liberal progressives in the 1970s to be satisfied with the view that developments within Europe — Newtonian science, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution — were liberating the “human mind” from superstition and obscurantism. The idea that the “central motor of historical change” was the interaction between civilizations, reawakening and fertilizing each other, was now very popular — an idea that would be further radicalized, or rather pushed, in a more progressive direction by the historical researches of “dependency” theorists, who argued that it was the systematic conquest and exploitation of the Incas and the Aztecs, and the extraction of gold and silver from the Americas in the sixteenth century, that boosted the fortunes of Europe to begin with. This included the “brutal” importation of African slaves to work in plantations between appoximately 1600 and 1850, coupled with colonial trade, which “allowed Europe” to earn “massive profits” that were reinvested in industrial development. A. G. Frank gained worldwide fame when he coined the term “the development of underdevelopment” to argue that Europe developed by under-developing the rest of the world and blocking their developmental paths.
The three-volume work The Modern World System (1974-89) by Immanuel Wallerstein elaborated this idea into an argument that history needed to be understood along global-systemic lines which recognized how the world had been tied together since the era of world empires through wide networks of trade supported by means of military and political coercion. This was in tandem with the view that the “world capitalist economy” that had originated in Europe during the 1500s was structured by a new division of labor wherein the West forced its colonies to provide cheap labor and raw materials as well as markets for its products, which kept the non-Western world in a state of impoverishment while allowing the West to stay at the top. This attack on the Grand Narrative was the work of many groups: feminists fighting Western patriarchy, Frankfurt School critical theorists, postmodernists, and Foucault-inspired new historicists and anthropologists pushing the multicultural idea that no culture should be deemed to be superior.
World multicultural history thus came to spread in the 1980s and 1990s, with Western civ courses fading out. The World History Association was founded in 1982 and the Journal of World History in 1990, with one of its founders, Patrick Manning, expressing the view in his own historiographical survey, Navigating World History (2003), that Wallerstein should be acknowledged as one of the “fathers of world history.” William McNeill declared in 1998 that “the historical heritages of every people of the earth are of equal value, even if, or especially if they were mistreated by European imperialists in the recent past.”
It would take too long to go over the countless books published in the last decades about how Europeans came to establish hegemony over the world and how non-European cultures sometimes “succumbed” to European “numbers, weapons, and disease,” but sometimes fought heroically against European “deculturation.” The end result was that the idea of progress was inverted, and the main pattern of historical evolution came to be seen as “largely regressive”: the standard of living, quality of work, and degree of social equality had deteriorated for most of the peoples of the Earth; hunters and gatherers and simple horticulturalist tribes were “the truest democracies.” This argument was initiated by Marshall Sahlins in his celebrated thesis that the “original affluent society” was hunting and gathering. Jared Diamond completed it by arguing that “agriculture was the worst mistake in history” and that Europe’s uniqueness consisted in its “guns, germs, and steel,” while mocking the Greek achievement by arguing that “gorillas have had ample free time to build their own Parthenon had they wanted to.” Martin Bernal’s Black Athena: Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece (1991) likewise persuaded thousands of students and academics that the “Greek miracle” was a product of Egyptian and Semitic influences, rather than a home-grown “Aryan” phenomenon.
The idea of progress was not rejected, however. What we then had was a more progressive idea against the “ethnocentrism” of the Grand Narrative for a newly-emerging diverse America that would fulfill what multiculturalists would call the universal human need for equal cultural recognition. As liberalism progressed in a multicultural, postmodernist, environmentalist, and globalist direction, and as Western governments formally declared that the continued improvement of the West required immigrant diversity, centrist liberals who wished to avoid accusations of racism and remain relevant were compelled to redefine their “conservatism” in a “neoconservative” direction in the 1990s by arguing that the directionality of scientific, technological, and democratic progress was not a manifestation of the Western peoples per se, but a manifestation of humanity’s deepest needs and aspirations. This led to the creation of a “Universal Civilization” where race, ethnocentrism, and tradition would be displaced by adherence to liberal universal values. This idea was originated by Leo Strauss and his pupils. The major text of this neoconservative interpretation was Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, published in 1992.
Fukuyama gave expression to a resurgent optimism among centrist liberals that the American defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War signified the triumph of liberalism over its last ideological adversary, Communism, after having defeated its other enemy, fascism, in the Second World War. While this was a victory for the West over the Soviet Union, it meant that the ideology of liberalism was now destined to be universal and without major ideological rivals. Fukuyama anticipated that in the future more and more governments would adopt liberal democratic institutions and that we would thus witness the actualization of Kant’s project of a “Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View,” with nations less concerned about their traditions than about increasing their wealth through capitalism and scientific knowhow. National identities would be diluted in a way resembling what the European Union was already doing in Europe, transcending, in his words, “sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law.”
Fukuyama defended the idea of history as progress toward more scientific knowledge and more democracy and individual rights. He insisted, against multicultural relativists, that it was possible to construct a “coherent and directional history of mankind that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy.” This was not, however, a victory of the “rise of the West” with its uniquely Greek, Roman, Christian, Renaissance, Newtonian, and Enlightenment heritage; it was a victory for the universal aspirations of humanity. Fukuyama offered two reasons for why this history was universal. First, there was already a general consensus in the world, among former Communist, fascist, or traditional nations, that science was cumulative and directional and that it augmented the power and wealth of nations. The scientific method was no longer “Western,” but universally accepted. The social and economic effects of technological change were similar in every society, and were thus a demonstration of its universality. Second, the decision of an increasing number of nations to adopt, if partially and slowly, liberal democratic institutions was a reflection of a universal human need for recognition — that is, for all humans to have their voices heard, their property protected under the law, and their right to seek their own happiness.
Fukuyama was confident that traditionalism, meaning governments and institutions operating according to long-standing customs and religious beliefs, would give way to liberalism as societies embraced a universal education based on science, and thus encouraged a rational understanding of all things: “Modern education . . . liberates men from their attachments to tradition and authority . . . This is why modern man is the last man.” Even if this last man of history loses his ancestral ties, or can no longer live a life of Nietzschean heroism, he will be contented with technical advances, entertainment, therapy, consumerism, longevity, and freedom of choice while still having the opportunity, if he so desires, to engage in “risky” sports.
Postmodernists and Leftists were furious, but Fukuyama correctly saw that his universal liberalism recognized the individual rights of everyone regardless of race and gender, that it contained the institutional framework for the extension of individual rights to transsexuals and the like, that it accommodated the valuing of the environment, that it allowed individuals to create their own civic associations for a sense of belonging and identity, and that it met the postmodernist rejection of Eurocentrism by recognizing the multicultural right of immigrants to enjoy their customs as citizens within the framework of liberal institutions. Fukuyama was also an advocate of mass immigration and diversity. His main preoccupation today is support for the “liberation of Ukraine” and the extension of these universal values against Russian “authoritarianism and traditionalism.”
The inbuilt progressive tendency of both neoconservative and postmodern liberalism lies in their commitment “to free the individual from the traditional restraints of society” or any institution, norm, custom, or “prejudice” that constricts the right of the individual to choose his own beliefs and happiness as long they do not infringe on this principle of liberalism. (It should be stated parenthetically that postmodernism did offer non-Western historians, including the philosopher Alexander Dugin, with concepts to interpret their traditions in a positive light by decentering the “totalizing” narrative of the “logocentric” West. Postmodernism in the West, however, encouraged the affirmation of non-Western ways inside the West, not the reaffirmation of Western traditions inimical to progressivism.) Socialistic liberalism aimed at enlarging the scope of free action on the part of those who lacked the economic means to exercise their freedom of choice. They called for the “positive” right to a good education, work, paid parental leave, an adequate standard of living, and medical care. Freedom was no longer defined as “negative freedom,” or protection from an oppressive government, but as the right of everyone, including foreign immigrants, to be afforded “positive” freedoms by the government for their self-actualization.
The civil rights movement that abolished racial segregation and disenfranchisement, and called for affirmative hiring to remedy the “injuries of the past” and persistent “systemic racism,” was consistent with liberalism. So was the abolition of white-only immigration policies treating immigrants differently based on their race in violation of “the right and dignity of all humans to be treated as individuals with equal rights to comfort and happiness.” Postmodernist demands are also consistent with liberalism in striving for the right of individuals to decide which sexual identities they prefer, rather than being restricted by a male-female collectivist “binary.” Conversely, the Enlightenment’s “emancipatory project,” despite its ostensible defense of a “totalizing narrative” of rational progress, shares with postmodernism an attempt to overcome the “ethnocentric” power of European peoples. Habermas, after all, is an ardent supporter of immigrant diversity in Germany. The same logic applies to the way critical race theorists use racial categories. They believe that, in our current society, minorities are “racialized” by dominant whites and that overcoming this racial hierarchy necessitates racial identity politics. Their aim is to transcend altogether any form of racial identity for the sake of a society in which everyone is judged as an individual. The aim of multiculturalism is to afford immigrant minorities with resources to enhance their opportunities for individual integration while encouraging members of the “dominant” Western culture to respect their ethnic identity and customs as long as the principle of individual rights is not trampled upon. The replacement of whites simply means that individuals with equal rights and dignity who have a different skin color will replace individuals of another skin color.
This explains why not a single historian today, not matter what school of history they belong to, has cared or dared to examine critically what is undeniably the most radical transformation ever witnessed in human history: the willful replacement and demonization of the indigenous populations of the West by foreign immigrants at the behest of the liberal ruling classes. There are no conceptual tools available in the West for such a critical stand. Historians can certainly complain about some of its perceived negative consequences, about “illegal immigration,” about the inadequacy of public schools to handle endless arrivals of new immigrants, about lack of public housing, and the like, but liberalism precludes them the right to question immigration in principle. The arrival of millions of immigrants has been going on at an intense level for about three decades, offering enough time for historians to start reflecting on its origins, nature, and consequences. And they have, although not a single one has deviated from the accepted liberal narrative. I can’t think of a book in Canada by an academic working at a university that is critical of immigration as a matter of principle and for the sake of defending the ethnic interests of Western peoples besides my own book Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Eurocanadians (2017). The price to pay for challenging immigration replacement is very high. I experienced an academic mobbing in 2019, which forced me to take early retirement, not to mention many other forms of suppression and exclusion from multiple social media venues. About 70 customer reviews of Canada in Decay have been deleted at Amazon as well.
The arguments put forth by liberal academics have invariably been along the following lines:
- Immigration is about creating a more liberal-minded Western world and overcoming the persistence of “nativism” and “racism,” thus bringing about the realization of Western values of tolerance, equality, and human rights. Opposition to immigration control in the name of nationalism threaten to undermine the fundamental values of liberal democracies.
- “Anti-immigration” sentiments are a painful reminder of the “long history of immigration restrictions rooted in the racist fear of the ‘great replacement’ of whites with non-white newcomers.”
- There is nothing new about current immigration patterns; the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were founded by immigrants. “We are all immigrants.” In fact, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Spain were also founded by migrants over the course of their histories, and their original inhabitants came out of Africa, the Near East, and the Eurasian steppes.
It should suffice for me to offer a few of the titles of history books that have been published in recent years about immigration, along with quoting a few words from their editorial endorsements, to convey my point. White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the US from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall (2021) by Reece Jones is about “the United States’ racist and xenophobic underbelly” from “the ‘Keep America American’ nativism of the 1920s to the ‘Build the Wall’ chants initiated by former president Donald Trump in 2016.” Peter Gatrell’s The Unsettling of Europe: How Migration Reshaped a Continent (2019) “reminds us that the history of Europe has always been one of people on the move.” Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life (2022) by Roger Daniels shows that the US has always been a nation of immigrants “whose contributions are as varied as their origins.” Undesirable Immigrants: Why Racism Persists in International Migration (2022) by Andrew Rosenberg shows that “the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 officially ended the explicit prejudice in American immigration policy that began with the 1790 restriction on naturalization to free White persons of ‘good character’,” and “how racial inequality persists in global migration despite the end of formally racist laws.”
The permanent transformation of Western civilization into a “universal” civilization away from its European ethnos and historical roots is now an almost irreversible reality. The presence of millions of people from different cultures, the relentless denigration of Europeans as racists, the malicious rewriting of the European past to be “inclusive of the diversity of the classrooms” in violation of the basic protocols of historical scholarship, and the absurd claim that all Western nations are “immigrant nations” have radically undermined the integrity of the West. The West, which is now thoroughly under the spell of progressive liberalism, does not have the ideological resources to counter what’s going on except to revive an earlier version of liberalism — what Alexander Dugin has called Liberalism 1.0. This is a liberalism that emphasizes negative liberties without excessive wokeness, without seeking to obliterate sexual differences between men and women, without critical race theory targeting whites, and without anti-Christian attitudes. But this is not easy given the almost complete control Liberalism 2.0 has over our institutions, the continuously high levels of immigration, and the inbuilt progressive tendency of liberalism writ large. This ideology grew only out of the West and is based on the disappearance of those kinship ties which prevailed in all human societies, and still do in the non-Western world, is historically grounded in the creation of monogamous families, the dissolution of tribal groups and norms, and the creation of civic associations based on trust regardless of sex, religion, race, and nationality, along with universal rules applied equally to everyone. This did work well for a few centuries, and was the reason for Western civilization’s immense success. The only alternative seems to be traditionalism, which is quite difficult for a Western world without ethnocentrism and a strong Christian religion, and that is bereft of any solid customs, marriage ceremonies, patriotism, and ethnic folkways.
Liberalism 1.0 worked because it was still supported by traditional marriage, churchgoing, and a high level of participation in civic-liberal organizations, with most of the people of Australia, Canada, the United States, and Europe rooted by birth in their communities and through their civic participation in churches, schools, town halls, universities, museums, neighborhoods, and political parties — across towns, states, and within cities. Traditionalism on its own is not very appealing, especially if we look at how it has manifested in the non-Western world, where it left those societies rather ossified after the Axial Age (600 BC to 200 AD), without science and without intellectual vitality. But a way must be found to integrate traditionalism with modernization, for it looks as if Western peoples have no option but to recapture some form of traditionalism. This is ultimately about recreating families and civic networks. This may seem like a return to Liberalism 1.0, but this time around this civic traditionalism should be enforced, and the cardinal principle which holds that Western nations are constitutionally based on individual rights should be discarded for a principle that prioritizes the right of the ethnos to freedom from destruction and demonization by a globalist capitalist ruling class — as German Historicism called for.
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