niemi in Chi Chi’s, they despise Mexicans, whom they lumprntogether with Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and BraziHans into therngeneral categon,’ of “wetbacks.”rnTliese bourgeois obsessions, bv themselves, do not especialKrntrouble me. I was brought up to believe that it is ungentlemanly,rnif not unmanly, to pry into other people’s moHves. But I preferrnto sec racialism for what it is: A search for a tribal cult to displacernthe religion of two millennia that has contaminatedrnEurope, so they insist, by its semiticism.rnIt is tempting to describe the race cult as neopagan, but thatrnwould be an insult to Alain dc Benoist, a humane intellectualrnengaged in the painful pursuit of truth. In the most recent issuernoi elements, he and his collaborators address the question “Avecrnoil suns Dieu,” complaining that manv people have confusedrnhis “pagan” inquest into European origins with mere atheism orrnnatcrialism. But the basis of American racialism is nothing butrn”materialisme de fond”; it shows no inclination toward whatrnelements calls “an areheological passion for the origins and popularrntraditions of European civilization, an aesthetic taste for thernbeauty- of the world or the harmou)- of nature, a philosophicalrnreflection on Being and the diversity of its manifestations.” Scientificrnracism is, in terms of both civilization and humanity-, arndead end, like positivism or socialism or “the social gospel,” andrnChristians and Jews who attach themselves to such a creed arernas gidlible as the followers of Simon Magus and as doomed asrnthe Gnostics he inspired.rnRacism is, in other words, just another cult to distract us fromrnthe faith. In the same special number of elements, Massimo Introvigne,rna Catholic expert on cults, points out that deracinatedrnpeople —immigrants in parhcular—are prone to fall for NewrnAge cults. Those who are not rooted in a real and lived traditionrn—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, even secular, says Introvignern— “run a great risk of straying into the spiritual paths artificiallyrnconstructed by the modern world.”rnAmerica is the one country that has nrade a virtue of deracination,rnwith disastrous residts. Introvigne was thinking primarilvrnof Polish immigrairts in France who join Jehovah’s Witnesses,rnbut he could be describing the F.llis Island Americans whornfall for Scientology or the equalK’ deracinated Plymouth Rockersrnw ho arc running into the arms of racial scientolog}’. I canrnimagine the response which the Christian Simon or one of thernprophets woidd make to the adxocates of a white American renaissance.rn”Wliite folks of America, know diis: Your world is gone, becausernyou and your parents and probably your grandparentsrneared only for money and comfort. You flooded your eountr}’rnwith cheap alien labor, and your government schools kept thernimmigrants’ children ignorant and coarse. Your political leadersrnpandered to the lowest level of Irish bootieggers and turnedrnone of them into the American King Arthur. You watered, sugared,rnand adulterated the rich wine of your religion until it wasrnindistinguishable from the Coke and Kool-Aid of the Boy ScoutrnOath and the Four-Way Test. You contented yourself withrncheap books, cheap music, and cheap booze, and your Americanrncivilization, just as it was rising to tiie level of an Englishrnmarket town, collapsed 100 ‘ears ago, driving its brightest spiritsrninto exile. Now you want to whine and blame the Jews,rnblame the eoloreds, blame the Mexicans. Grow up and blamernyourselves. Perhaps tiien you just might begin the slow andrnpainful process of rerooting yourself in the real traditions of thernWest.”rnDICTATIONSrn”This Straiige Disease of Modem Life”rnHow long have wc been modern men, living in modernrntimes, experiencing the trials of modernity andrnmodernization? What self-obsession! Althoughrnthe people of any brilliant age —Elizabethan England,rnFrance under Eouis XIV, Augustan Rome—lend to exerciserntheir bragging rigiits too freely, none of them went on,rngeneration after generation, talking about itself in this way.rnWliat does ii mean to be modern, anyway? The clue isrnto be found in the word “modernization,” the process b’rnwhich men left the plow or put down the adze and went torntown to take up work in a factor-, abandoning their religionrnin favor of a trade union, movies, and a dailv newspaper,rnand dreaming of the dav thev could pack the whole thingrnin—wife, kids, job—and lic off Social Security in Florida.rnTo be modern, in other words, is to be rational, rootless,rnand above all restless because niodernit’ is always redefiningrnitself. It is idle to .speak of anything as “postinodern” becausernthe irrationalisru and ethnic or gender yahooism ofrnthe postmodernists is easily al.)sorbed by modernity. AsrnChesterton said of jjrogress, modern is “simply a comparativernof which we have not settled the superlative.”rnEtymology tells the tale. Late Latin modennis, formedrnfrom modo (“prescntlv,” “now,” or “lately”) on analog}’ withrnhodiernus (from hodie, “today”) meant something likern”pertaining to the present time.” By the end of the 18thrncentury, it was commonly used to contrast the writers andrnartists of the Renaissance and after with those of the ancientrnworld, and the Battle of the Books was, of course, a strugglernbetween ancient and modern authors. But in an age ofrnwidespread Latinitv, “modern” could not entirely escape itsrnultimate origin, the word modus, “measure,” which camernto mean “manner’ or “fashion,” hence “mode” and “modish”rnin English. The Enlightenment made modeniists ofrnus all, conservatives and liberals alike. Roger Scruton sumsrnup HegcTs analysis of modem man as “the character whornholds history before himself and himself before histon’ andrnreflects upon whether the two are in liannonv.”rnAs earlv as the 16th centiiry, “modern” can imply uj)-todaternor even trendy-Shakespeare even seems to use it inrnthe sense of “evcndav” or “commonplace”—and that is ultimatelyrnthe real meaning of moderniK’: the obsession widirnbeing fashionable coupled with a repudiation of the past.rnBig Bill Broonzy, in one of his talking blues songs, tells ofrnseeing a man throwing his clothes out the window. .Askedrnwhat he is doing, the man tells Bill that all those clothes “byrnthe time they hits the ground they’ll be out of .style.” Thatrnman was a true modernist, willing to dcstro’ what is usefulrnsimply for the sake of fashion and change. “Ending is betterrnthan mending. Ending is better than mending.”rn—HiLmpt}’ Diimpt}’rn12/CHKONICLESrnrnrn