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.

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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 problem of Britain, the problem of nationalism

The western world as a whole is in a state of crisis but while things are bad everywhere they seem to be particularly bad in Britain.

All western countries today have problems with their elites but Britain is unique in having elites that are not merely treacherous and corrupt but motivated by seething hatred of their own society, their own culture, their own heritage. Britain’s rulers, its political establishment, its elites, are united in one thing – they all believe that they have a duty to hate Britain.

This hatred seems to have permeated the whole nation. Quaint old-fashioned beliefs, like believing in a duty to love your own country, are virtually unknown.

Even Britain’s “far right” “nationalists” don’t seem to love Britain. Their loyalties seem dubious at best. They might hate immigrants, and some immigrant groups in particular, but that’s not really enough of a basis on which to build actual nationalism. To build a genuine powerful populist nationalist movement you have to have something a lot more positive to offer. Opposing immigration and multiculturalism certainly can be, indeed must be, vital parts of such a nationalist movement but they are not enough. You need to capture people’s imaginations. You need to give people something worth sacrificing for, because people want something that is worth sacrificing for.

There is no sign of this kind of positive nationalism in Britain. Even Brexit was essentially a negative thing. Brexit was important and worthwhile but it wasn’t accompanied by any real enthusiasm for a new positive direction.

Why don’t Britons love Britain?

I’m inclined to think that at least part of it was the shock of losing the Empire and being reduced to the status of an American vassal. The whole idea of British-ness suddenly became pathetic. Britannia no longer ruled the waves. The sun had well and truly set on the British Empire. Britain’s last attempt at an independent foreign policy in the Suez affair ended in humiliation at the hands of the U.S. and Britain thereafter accepted its rôle as Washington’s lapdog. If you were a member of the British ruling class it must have seemed that there was simply nothing left worth ruling over.

There’s an interesting awareness of this in one of John le Carré’s best-known spy thrillers. The British spy who has sold out to the Soviets is not motivated by personal greed and he’s certainly not motivated by any belief in communism. During World War 2 he realised that Britain was becoming an American puppet state and he decided that by serving Britain he was really serving the United States, and he decided that he’d rather serve the Soviets than the Americans. I found that motivation to be oddly plausible.

The British ruling class may have developed an ambivalent attitude towards their new American masters, a mixture of fawning admiration and bitter resentment. And therefore an ambivalent attitude themselves, despising themselves for their servile obedience to Washington and perhaps dealing with this by despising their own country for being so weak. British nationalism seemed to be a futile waste of time.

It may also have affected the ruling class’s attitude towards the working class. The British ruling class always hated and feared the working class but at least in the days of Empire they felt that the poor served a purpose. The Empire always needed cannon fodder. Without the Empire the working class seemed to be a useless menace.

I don’t claim to have definitive answers but I do think we need to ask ourselves why our elites became so hostile, and why the British elites took that hostility to their own nation to such extremes.

could the British Empire have survived?

Historical might-have-beens are always fun. Of course they seem futile to many people, especially those who subscribe to either the Marxist or Whig views of history. Since I most emphatically do not subscribe to either of these views I can indulge myself in historical hypotheticals.

When you look at the mess we’re in now it seems obvious that at some point we must have reached a fork in the road and we must have taken the wrong fork. Speculating about hypotheticals can be a way to try to identify those forks in the road.

Britain at the start of the 20th century definitely faced a fork in the road. The British had two choices. They could maintain and defend their empire, or they could play the game of European great power politics. But they could not afford to do both. If they chose the empire that meant avoiding, as far as possible, any entanglement in Europe. It meant continuing the policy of Splendid Isolation that had served Britain so well in the past. If the British chose to play at being a European great power then sooner or later the empire would have to be sacrificed.

Faced with this choice between Europe and the Empire Britain chose Europe. With catastrophic consequences, but not just the immediately obvious ones of being dragged into the futile farce of the First World War. There were long-term consequences for the Empire, and especially for relations between Britain and the Dominions.

Australians for example up until 1914 considered themselves to be pretty much British. In theory Australia was semi-independent (it was not a fully independent country since it did not control its own foreign policy). Australians thought of themselves as being part of the British Empire and in general were fiercely loyal to the Empire.

That attitude took a bit of a knock during the First World War. The sheer scale of the bloodletting was a shock and then there was Gallipoli. Gallipoli was seen by many Australians (including my grandfather who was there) as the first great British betrayal.

Then came the Second World War and for Australians Singapore was a British betrayal on an even more spectacular scale than Gallipoli. That was the point at which Australians in general ceased to believe in the British Empire.

These betrayals were not really so much actual betrayals as simply consequences of the choice Britain made in signing the Entente Cordiale in 1904. Britain had chosen Europe and the Empire’s fate was sealed. Britain was utterly unable to defend the Empire due to her involvement in Europe.

If the Empire was ever going to have a future in the latter part of the 20th century it was going to have to be more an equal partnership, especially as far as the Dominions were concerned. The two world wars had made it painfully obvious that Britain had neither the capability nor the will to defend the Empire, so after that the Dominions had zero interest in the Empire.

Which was a problem for Britain because in the post-WW2 world Britain’s only hope of remaining an independent power lay in transforming the Empire into a geopolitical bloc that could rival the Soviet and American empires. The United States was of course, for that very reason, absolutely determined to destroy the British Empire. But there might still have been a chance for the Empire if the Dominions had still believed in it. But their trust and their confidence in the Empire had vanished. Which left only one alternative for Britain, being an American vassal. The choice made in 1904 was perhaps the most spectacularly wrong foreign policy decision in British history.