The Phoney Victory: The World War 2 Illusion

Peter Hitchens has been threatening for some time to write a book on the Second World War. The Phoney Victory: The World War 2 Illusion is as provocative and unsettling as you would expect.

I’ve read a great deal on this subject so much of what he has to say comes as no great revelation to me but Hitchens does make a couple of important points that I hadn’t come across before.

The first is that World War One not only left Britain broke, she has never actually paid for that war. Britain ran up enormous debts to the United States which have never been paid. In fact no payments at all have been made since 1934.

The second point is his claim that far from being a doddering old fool who cravenly tried to avoid war Chamberlain was actually a doddering an old fool who actually sought war and was determined to get it. Hitchen’s contention is that the infamous and disastrous Polish Guarantee of 1939 (a guarantee that Britain shamefully never intended actually to honour) was a cynical and dishonest ploy to bring about war.

The details of the Poles’ own cynicism and folly are certainly not new to me but Hitchens’ demolition of the myth of Plucky Little Poland will doubtless come as a shock to many readers.

The third crucial point is that the Second World War was actually two separate wars. The first war began when the British and the French declared war on Germany in September 1939 and ended less than a year later with the total defeat of Britain and France. They were not merely defeated. They were destroyed forever as Great Powers. Henceforth both countries were minor powers of no consequence.

The second war was fought and won by the Soviet Union with some assistance from the United States. Britain played no significant rôle.

The intention of the book was to demolish the many myths that make up the average Briton’s understanding of the Second World War. As Hitchens explains it has long been common knowledge among historians that most of the official story of the war was a collection of myths but these myths are remarkably persistent.

One of the myths at which the author takes aim is the one that surrounds U.S. policy before and during the war. He makes the point that there was nothing particularly immoral about U.S. policy. It put America’s interests first. Britain’s interests were not considered at all. Of course no government has any obligation to consider the interests of foreign states. The problem was that people in Britain, including many who should have known better, convinced themselves that the Americans really did see them as cousins. In fact the U.S. regarded Britain as a troublesome rival that ideally should be stripped of its power and its empire. But the propaganda of the time stressed the fantasy that Britain and America were two branches of the same family and that propaganda is still believed today.

Hitchens doesn’t claim to have undertaken any original research. As he explains, everything in the book has been well known to professional historians for decades. Well known to professional historians but unknown to the general public. The war’s dirty little secrets have been hidden in plain sight. More seriously, the myths surrounding the Second World War are still being used by politicians and the media to manipulate the public into acquiescing in dangerous and futile foreign policy adventures.

The most upsetting parts of the book for many people will be the chapters dealing with the Battle of Britain and the strategic bombing of Germany. Of all WW2 myths none is more sacred than the Battle of Britain myth but Hitchens points out that it really was largely a myth. Hitler never had the slightest intention of attempting an invasion of Britain.

On the bombing offensive Hitchens pulls no punches. It was barbarism, pure and simple. And it was not even effective barbarism.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Winston Churchill emerges as a man not only entirely lacking in honour and decency but equally lacking in good sense.

Perhaps just upsetting will be the account of the ethnic cleansing of millions of Germans from eastern Europe in 1945, which cost the lives of between half a million and one-and-a-half million people, the vast majority of them women and children. It was a tragedy but it was no accident. It was a deliberately planned and entirely unnecessary act of savagery.

The most important point which is made again and again is that you cannot use one evil to excuse another. You cannot even use a great evil to excuse a slightly lesser evil. Evil is evil. The fact that Britain’s leaders were willing to commit acts of unequivocal evil is in Hitchen’s view part of the reason for Britain’s postwar moral decline (and the evils committed by the other victorious allies have also doubtless contributed to their moral decline as well). It is not just the acceptance of evil that has been the problem, but the stubborn refusal to acknowledge the lies and the deceptions.

What makes it all worse is that the final victory was, for Britain, no victory at all. Poland was not saved. The British Empire was lost. Britain was reduced to the status of a third-rate power and an American vassal. The country was bankrupted. The world was not made safe for democracy. Postwar Britain looked more like a defeated nation than a victor.

The book will doubtless will be greeted with howls of outrage. It is important to note that Hitchens deserves no pleasure from demolishing these myths. It is an unpleasant but necessary task since these very same myths continue to be the basis for British foreign policy.

A book that I recommend very highly indeed.

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Culture War 2.0 and demographics

The Culture War has been lost. There’s no question about that. One thing however needs to be borne in mind – winning or losing a war is not always the end of the story. Quite often a war simply sets the stage for a second war. This is true of purely military or political conflicts and it may well be true of culture wars as well. Culture War 1.0 is over and perhaps Culture War 2.0 is yet to be fought.

One thing that stands out about Culture War 1.0 is how easy the victory was. Social and cultural attitudes changed dramatically in a very short space of time. In 1960 marriage was the cornerstone of western society. Most people got married and most people had children and almost everybody agreed that this was the formula for happiness. Within twenty-five years the institution of marriage had crumbled. Marriage was no longer regarded as something permanent and sacred. It was now an option, and was widely regarded as being not exactly a permanent or even a very significant arrangement. What mattered was love and everybody knew that love meant sex. The secret of happiness was lots of sex. Children were seen as an encumbrance. Fertility rates plummeted. Women who considered having children to be the most important thing in life were thought of as being a bit odd and vaguely disapproved of. To feminists women who wanted children were traitors.

Twenty years ago homosexual marriage was a bizarre and laughable fringe idea. Now it’s the very bedrock of our civilisation and anybody who disapproves of it is regarded as being  an evil nazi.

What happened? The answer is very simple. People conformed. In the West we had long since abandoned the ideas that religion mattered and that there were eternal moral values. What mattered was being popular. You didn’t need to worry if your opinions were correct, you simply made sure that your opinions conformed to what was popular. Or at least to what you were told was popular.

The key point here is that if social and cultural attitudes can be changed almost overnight in one direction then logically and obviously they can be just as easily and just as quickly changed in the opposite direction. Most people will conform to what they see as the dominant ideology. The dissenting minority is then forced to conform. If the dominant ideology changes then, like magic, social and cultural attitudes change.

The objection to this is that the dominant ideology of the present day is so dominant that it is unlikely to change. To believe that is to ignore the lessons of history. The most important lesson of history is that the future is always unpredictable. If you had a time machine and you transported someone from the year 1914 to the year 1939 they would find themselves in a world that would have been entirely unimaginable in 1914. Entire empires had vanished. Entirely new countries had appeared. Strange and incomprehensible political doctrines were now considered to be perfectly normal.

This was largely a result of the First World War but wars are not the only ways in which everything can be changed in ways that could not have been predicted. Demographic change is another. Whether demographic change is a good thing or a bad thing is not relevant here (I think it’s a bad thing) but it’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Thirty years from now the United States will be a different society. It will be a very hispanic society. There is no way of predicting exactly how that will play out but it will cause major political changes and could lead to significant social and cultural changes. Will the social attitudes of an hispanic United States be the same as the social attitudes of the U.S. today? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the extent to which those numbers can be turned into cultural power. It also depends on the extent to which the hispanic segment of society conforms to the ruling ideology of liberal atheism. Could hispanic immigration fuel a religious revival? Even a Catholic revival? Who knows.

Then there’s western Europe. Islam is going to be a much bigger presence thirty years from now. Again the question is the extent to which this will translate into political and cultural power. There’s also likely to be a race between, on the one hand, a growing secularisation and on the other hand the likely emergence of powerful strains of political Islamism. Will a Britain with a much larger Muslim population continue to conform to its current ideology of rainbow unicorn feelgood soft totalitarianism? Again the answer is maybe, or maybe not.

In my next post I’m intending to address the question of soft cultural power in more detail.

antiracism at home, racism abroad

A subject I’ve touched on before is the extraordinary hypocrisy of the modern West. In our domestic policy we have elevated antiracism to the status of a state religion. But when it comes to our relations with foreign countries, countries which are sovereign states, our policy seems to be one of hysterical xenophobia and even out-and-out racism.

We go into paroxysms of guilt at the thought that a non-white person’s feelings might be hurt in our own countries but we think nothing of bombing non-white countries that have the temerity to want to run their own countries their own way. And we never stop lecturing foreigners on how they ought to treat their own citizens, even as the West becomes more and more a cultural and moral sewer.

Peter Hitchens offers an interesting recent example.

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2019/01/peter-hitchens-think-flogging-drug-dealers-is-barbaric-we-could-soon-be-doing-much-worse-here-1.html

A British citizen has been arrested in Singapore for drug trafficking. He visited Singapore and knowingly and deliberately broke the laws of that country. As a result he is likely to be punished by flogging. That’s the penalty under Singapore’s laws. The fact that Singapore has tough laws and actually enforces them is well known, and should certainly have been known to a young man who was expensively educated at a fancy school in Britain. Now the British government is protesting. How dare Singapore presume to have its own laws and presume to expect people visiting Singapore to obey those laws! How dare Singapore presume to have different laws from Britain!

Whether one thinks that flogging drug dealers is a good idea or a bad idea is immaterial. This is Singapore and the fellow was given a fair trial and convicted in a Singaporean court. Whether the British government approves or disapproves of Singapore’s laws is irrelevant. Britain should mind its own business. But it won’t.

Similar things have happened in Australia. The Australian government has in the past protested when Australian citizens have been tried and convicted in Indonesian courts and then sentenced under Indonesian law, for offences committed on Indonesian soil.

There is a breathtaking degree of arrogance involved. There is an assumption that only western values and western laws and western ways of doing things are valid. The West assumes it has the right to impose its values on the non-western world.

No wonder non-western countries despise the West.

If we want to argue that we in the West should be allowed to retain our own nations and our own cultures then we do need to take a long hard look at our behaviour towards other people’s cultures. If we believe that we deserve to be permitted to cherish our cultural values then we need to accept other people’s rights to cherish their cultures, even if we don’t happen to like some aspects of those cultures. It isn’t our business. The days when western nations would routinely send a gunboat to bully non-westerners into doing what they’re told should be behind us.

As Steve Sailer never tires of pointing out, we need to stop Inviting the World but that can’t happen until we stop Invading the World. And we need to stop imposing our cultural values on the world.

some Michel Houellebecq quotes

“It’s my belief that we in Europe have neither a common language, nor common values, nor common interests, that, in a word, Europe doesn’t exist, and that it will never constitute a people or support a possible democracy (see the etymology of the term), simply because it doesn’t want to constitute a people. In short, Europe is just a dumb idea that has gradually turned into a bad dream, from which we shall eventually wake up. . .”  – Michel Houellebecq (I’ve shamelessly stolen this quote from A Political Refugee From the Global Village).

“Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more.” – Michel Houellebecq

““I am persuaded that feminism is not at the root of political correctness. The actual source is much nastier and dares not speak its name, which is simply hatred for old people. The question of domination between men and women is relatively secondary—important but still secondary—compared to what I tried to capture in this novel, which is that we are now trapped in a world of kids. Old kids. The disappearance of patrimonial transmission means that an old guy today is just a useless ruin. The thing we value most of all is youth, which means that life automatically becomes depressing, because life consists, on the whole, of getting old.” – Michel Houellebecq

“It is interesting to note that the “sexual revolution” was sometimes portrayed as a communal utopia, whereas in fact it was simply another stage in the historical rise of individualism. As the lovely word “household” suggests, the couple and the family would be the last bastion of primitive communism in liberal society. The sexual revolution was to destroy these intermediary communities, the last to separate the individual from the market. The destruction continues to this day.”
― Michel Houellebecq

The British Empire will rise again! Or, perhaps not

The British Empire will rise again! At least in the fevered imaginations of elderly expatriate Englishmen.

I was rather amused to see John Derbyshire’s post at Unz Review floating a suggestion for  an Anglo-Australian-NZ-Canadian alliance which he calls CANZUK. He goes further, suggesting it might also include the U.S. and it would then become CANZUKUS. The reasoning behind it is presumably that Brexit will leave Britain in desperate need of friends and trading partners.

This seems to me to be one of the most spectacularly silly and wrong-headed ideas I’ve heard for a very long time. In fact it’s a combination of several silly ideas.

Firstly, it’s yet another example of inane British fantasising about the lost glories of their Empire, and the good old days when Britain still counted for something. Maybe the Empire was glorious, maybe it wasn’t (that’s a whole different can of worms), but there’s one thing for certain – the Empire is dead. Derbyshire seems to think that the Empire could be recreated around the nucleus of the white Dominions. That’s an idea that might have had some merit in the 1930s. Maybe even in the 50s, except that the U.S. had made it quite clear that the British Empire was not going to be permitted to exist in any meaningful form, and it certainly was not going to be permitted to exist as a trading bloc. In any case the British were desperate to join the Common Market and turn their backs on the Dominions and the Dominions are not ever going to forget that. Now that things that have turned sour with Britain’s cool new European friends they can’t expect the friends they were so anxious to dump to forgive and forget. Britain, like the U.S., is not a nation that one could regard as a trustworthy friend.

The notion of extending this fantasy alliance to include the U.S. is the revival of the absurd and dangerous Churchillian nonsense of the English Speaking Peoples. The reality is that while the English Speaking Peoples might share some common history they have no economic, political or military interests in common. They never did.

Derbyshire is also buying into an even more absurd and even more toxic Churchillian idea, that of the Special Relationship between Britain and the United States. In fact it was never anything but wishful thinking on Churchill’s part. There were some deluded fools who persuaded themselves that there was a Special Relationship between the U.S. and Australia. These Special Relationships were nothing more than the relationships between an empire and its vassal states.

Australia no longer has anything but vague sentimental ties to Britain and even those ties are fading fast. Australia is also beginning to realise that its relationship to the U.S. is not particularly important and is going to become steadily less important.

Neither CANZUK nor CANZUKUS has anything to offer Australia. Australia would be well advised not to become entangled with failed states like Britain, and would be well advised also to distance itself from the U.S. Empire.

the succession of western civilisations

When we talk about the problems facing the world today we find ourselves talking about the fate of western civilisation. I do it myself frequently. In actual fact there is no such thing as western civilisation. There have been a series of western civilisations, differing from each other very markedly indeed.

Even if we accept that there has ever been at any time a single European civilisation we still have to accept that the history of European civilisation is the history one civilisation succeeding another.

There was Bronze Age European civilisation (the Myceneans, the Minoans etc). They left some impressive ruins but we have little direct knowledge of them. The Minoans for example were literate but their written language has never been deciphered.

These civilisations were followed by the Classical Civilisation of the Greeks and Romans. In western Europe that collapsed entirely in the middle of the first millennium AD. 

Eventually a new civilisation took its place, the Medieval Civilisation. For at least two hundred years we have been taught to worship the Classical Civilisation and despise Medieval Civilisation. Quite wrongly. Medieval Civilisation was in many ways more advanced and more dynamic than Classical Civilisation.

Then came the catastrophe of the Reformation, followed by the even greater catastrophe of the Enlightenment. There was no sharp break, as there had been when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, but there is no question that the European civilisation of the ancien régime on the eve of the French Revolution was an entirely different civilisation compared to the Medieval Civilisation that had produced Dante and Chartres Cathedral. Despite cataclysms like the French Revolution that version of modern European Civilisation was still more or less intact in 1914. It has now gone forever. We now have what might be called postmodern European Civilisation.

Of course all civilisations change over time. The point I am making is that in the case of European civilisation the changes have been so profound and so far-reaching as to represent the replacement of one civilisation by another.

Whilst all civilisations do change most are based on the principle that while change can be beneficial stability is also very desirable. The Medieval Civilisation is the only European Civilisation that really valued stability. It was not in reality a stable civilisation but there was at least an appreciation of the notion that change was often a very bad thing indeed. The European Civilisations that followed the Medieval have not valued stability at all. In fact you could say of Postmodern European Civilisation (and of Modern European Civilisation as well) that it is a process rather than a thing. It is a process whereby everything that has been proven to work and to produce good results is trashed in favour of something new that may or may not work. European civilisation is a constant search for novelty. It’s the sort of civilisation that might be produced by a society of precocious infants, constantly hurling their old toys out of the pram whilst crying for new ones.

So the problem with wanting to save European Civilisation is that any European Civilisation worth saving no longer exists. A civilisation that bases itself upon crude materialism, even cruder hedonism, a celebration of sexual degeneracy, the joyful trampling into the dust of the family, naked greed and the embrace of a variety of scientific, pseudoscientific and totally non-scientific superstitions is not a civilisation that I would consider to be worth saving.

Which means that the kind of conservatism that is based on the belief that we need to apply the brakes is worse than useless. If we are to have a civilisation that is worth saving we will first have to create one. That might mean hoping that what currently goes by the name of European Civilisation does not survive.

identity and subcultures


On various right-leaning forums people are always expressing their bewilderment that whites today don’t have a sense of white identity, or a sense of national identity. People seem to be especially surprised that white elites lack such a sense of identity. How can anyone not have an identity?

In fact white elites and aspiring elites (or wannabe elites) do have a sense of identity but it’s not based on ethnicity, race or tradition. Elites and wannabe elites identify as being members of the elite. They may also identify as members of the gay community or the arts community or the activist community. They may identify as antifa, or as Democrats or Labour supporters. They may even identify as belonging to the vegan community.The only ethnic identity recognised among the elites is Jewish identity but even that is not as strong as some on the alt-right suppose it to be.

What stands out about these identities is that they are mostly strongly class-based and they are artificial. They are not based on a shared history or culture. They are not even based on a clear-cut ideology. You will find a few who will tell you that they are marxists but you’ll soon discover that they know nothing but Marxism. They’ll you they believe in social justice but you’ll find that this is mostly status and/or virtue signalling. They will have great difficulty explaining exactly how social justice is going to work – social justice just means blaming white people and/or heterosexuals for every problem.

These are identities based on feelings. They allow people a sense of belonging but the main attraction is that they offer a feeling of moral and intellectual superiority and self-righteousness. They offer a warm inner glow.

It’s tempting to blame relentless propaganda in schools and the media. This is of course a major cause but this is not the only factor and the roots go back quite a long way. As far back as the 1950s we saw the beginnings of youth subcultures. There were the Teds or Teddy Boys in England, and later the Mods and the Rockers and later still the Skinheads. In Australia there were the Sharpies. And of course there the Hippies, followed by the Punks and the Goths. These were all attempts to create synthetic communities and they were an obvious sign that traditional communities were breaking down.

Interestingly enough the early youth subcultures were heavily working class, which may be an indication that working class communities were the first to begin to disintegrate. Teds and Mods were very much working class. This started to change at the end of the 60s. The Hippies were much more likely to be middle class. The Punks, despite their image, were often drawn from the middle class art school set. Goths seemed to have been predominantly middle class.

The two world wars obvious played a part in dissolving traditional communities but it may be that government policies in the post-war period also contributed. in Britain longstanding communities were broken up and the people relocated into new housing estates which soon became high-rise slums. Employment patterns were changing also with people more inclined to move to seek better jobs. Women were now a substantial part of the workforce with catastrophic results for the family. The nuclear family reigned supreme with extended families seen as old-fashioned and oppressive and boring.

There was of course a huge emphasis on consumerism while religion continued to decline.

People lost the connection to the places in which they were born and raised, and they lost the sense of wide-ranging family ties.

If traditional family and community ties start to decay it’s hardly surprising that people will also find it more difficult to feel a sense of regional identity, ethnic identity and national identity. People become alienated and without religion they become isolated individuals. It’s hardly surprising that they then try to construct artificial identities.