Excerpts from Srdja Trifkovic’s presentation at the International Conservative Round-Table Conference held in Milan, Italy, on June 13, 2017. The event in the Lombard capital was co-sponsored by the Lega Nord and the Russian Party of Action.
It is in their cultural and moral diseases that Europe and America certify that they share the same chromosomes, that they belong to one culture and one civilization. The same traits of decrepitude on both sides of the Atlantic include the primary cause, the loss of religious faith, and a number of secondary ones. They include their ruling elites’ hostility toward all forms of solidarity or coherence of the majority population based on common ancestry and traditional culture; the loss of a sense of place and history; rapid demographic decline that goes hand in hand with rampant Third World, especially Islamic immigration; the collapse of private and public manners and morals; the imposition of “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and “sensitivity” by despotic means; and the radical demonization and criminalization of any opposition to any of the above.
?The loss of meaningful religious impulse started with the Renaissance, made a quantum leap in the Enlightenment, and was near-complete when the guns fell silent in the West in 1918. The result is that, in today’s Britain, France, or Germany, more people pray in mosques on Fridays than in churches on Sundays. Two thirds of Americans still define themselves as “Christian,” but those who have no religion of any kind dominate the academy, the media, the entertainment industry, “the arts,” business, and politics. Dechristianization creates neurotic, addictive people, prone to excess and self-abuse. Young Westerners in particular are estranged from their parents, ignorant of their culture, ashamed of their history.
The Westerners’ loss of a sense of place and history is facilitated by the emergence of a transnational hyperstate in Europe and the obsession with global dominance in the U.S. These two mindsets, seemingly at odds, are but two aspects of the same syndrome. Euroelites advocate “multilateralism” in the form of an emerging “international community” Both neolibs and neocons share the same distaste for traditional societies and cultures. Echoing the revolutionary dynamism and the historicist messianism common to fascists and communists, Michael Ledeen thus says that “creative destruction” is America’s eternal mission and the reason her “enemies” hate her: “They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.” The proponents of this eccentric view have staunch allies in Europe’s cultural-Marxists. They share the goal of establishing an universal institutional framework which denies naturally evolving communities based on vertical, hierarchical and traditional structures.
The end of the Cold War has cleared the way for the rise of a new global empire and the realization of new possibilities to the revolutionaries who want to move beyond the Gramscian “long march.” They have found that global empire paves the way for a cultural-Marxist paradigm by eradicating traditional structures capable of resistance. Global empire destroys the remnants of the old order, as Ledeen gloats, and it contains the germ of another form of globalization: the counterempire made possible by demographic change within the West.
The revolutionary character of the project of global empire is revealed in the mantra of “Race, Gender, and Sexuality.” It is now elevated to the status of the postmodern philosopher’s stone and the Force that moves the linear historical process forward, toward the Gleichschaltung of all nations, races, and cultures that will mark the end of history. “Race, Gender, and Sexuality” have replaced the proletariat as both the oppressed underclass (hence the cult of nonwhite, non-male, non-heterosexual victimhood) and as the historically preordained agent of revolutionary change. Classical Marxism found the dynamics of revolution in the inevitable conflict between the owners of the means of production and the proletariat that has nothing to sell but its labor and nothing to lose but its chains. Latter-day Marxist revolutionaries go beyond any recognizable variety of dialectical materialism, however, by introducing a wholly metaphysical concept of victimhood and an array of associated special-rights claims. Those claims are invariably based on the alleged victim’s “otherness” vis-à-vis the normal European.
?As for demography, the grim statistics are familiar to the curious: Europe is dying. “Child-free” is used as a legitimate lifestyle term among Western yuppies, on par with “fat-free” and “drug-free.” At the same time, the share of the world population of the misnamed “developing countries” will exceed 90 percent by the middle of this century. If these trends continue, within a century, there will be no “Europeans” as we know them, in the Old World or New—members of coherent, defined groups that share the language, culture, history, and ancestors and inhabit defined territories as compact majorities. In the process of Euro-annihilation, immigration is an essential tool of revolutionary change. By allowing a vast subculture of often-hostile immigrants to emerge within their societies, the Western elites have permitted the emergence of an alternative social and political structure, of which Islamic terrorism is but one consequence. By seeking to appease newcomers in the name of diversity, the host countries only whet these aliens’ appetites for more concessions from the aging baby boomers ever more dependent on imported labor to keep them fed, clothed, washed, and medicated. In all cases, the newcomers share the same contempt for what they perceive as a supine, degenerate host society.
For the elites, the outcome—a multiracial melange—is preordained; the process of reaching it is “democratic.” Anything likely to disrupt it, or any questioning of its assumptions, is a priori criminal. Hence the hysterical insistence, on both sides of the Atlantic, that the deluge is really a blessing that enriches a bland and culturally deprived host society. Multiculturalism has ensured that Western nations have lost the capacity to define and defend themselves vis-à-vis others, just as most immigrants demonstrably have no sense of kinship with their host societies. They have no desire to establish any such kinship, except to partake in their wealth, know their women, and eventually take over their lands; and they nurture a healthy contempt for a society willing to grant them every indulgence without a fight. As Jean Raspail says in the Afterword to his Camp of Saints, “the proliferation of other races dooms our race, my race, irretrievably to extinction in the century to come, if we hold fast to our present moral principles . . . because they are weapons of self-annihilation.” Those “moral principles” produce utopian yearning for a God-like freedom that leads to the freedom to choose death over life.
Can a gigantic reversal happen? A Christian would say that a miracle can and, God willing, will happen. But to a political scientist, the model of recovery frankly requires a catastrophic event—specifically, a colossal, rapidly spreading global economic crisis. The meltdown would have to be so rapid as to destroy confidence in the ability of governments to offer relief. A breakdown of the “global economy” would force millions of people to reexamine their lives and assumptions. Becoming painfully disillusioned of progress, they would rediscover the value and force of tradition. The ensuing brutal struggle for diminishing resources would make them drop the neurotic becoming in favor of just being, or surviving. A global economic collapse would reaffirm the values of historical man in the teeth of his progressivist reduction to technology and intellect. Amidst collapsing political structures, all ideological “propositions” would be recognized as empty abstracts. Communities linked to their native soil and bonded by kinship, memory, language, faith, and myth would be revived, and hostile alien ghettos would be dispersed. In adversity, the eyes of men would be lifted, once again, to Heaven.
?In the meantime many Western conservatives are discovering Russia as a natural ally. For a quarter century, Russia has been trying to rearticulate its goals and define its policies in terms of traditional national interests. By contrast, the early 1990s witnessed the blossoming of America’s strident attempt to assert its monopolar dominance. That a “truly democratic” Russia must be subservient to the “propositionalist” matrix is still axiomatic on both sides of the Atlantic. “Democracy” thus defined has to do with one’s status in the ideological pecking order, rather than the expressed will of the electorate: in line with the Leninist dictum that the moral value of any action is determined by its contribution to the march of history. The reshaping of Russia’s soul is the final stop. In this respect no gap exists between the Sorosite “left” and neocon “right.”
This period of “primacy” was marked by military interventions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The exercise of hegemony was validated by the rhetoric of “promoting democracy,” “protecting human rights,” “confronting aggression,” and by the invocation of American exceptionalism. That bipartisan consensus has been codified in the official strategic doctrine grounded in ideological assumptions of exceptionalism, impervious to rational discourse. In the meantime, in Europe we have seen an ever-growing transformation of the European Union from a pragmatic project initially based on open borders and a free flow of people, goods and capital, to a mechanism of political and ideological indoctrination based on cultural Marxism. The EU elite is zealously promoting an agenda of gay rights, multiculturalism, and neo-Marxist replacement of the “proletariat” by colored migrants. We are witnessing a progressive collapse of Europe’s will and urge for self-preservation, Spengler’s Decline of the West on steroids.
What we are witnessing is unparalleled in history. In all ages, societies have sought to protect themselves from intruders, especially those who are culturally and religiously alien; but the Euro-elite is charting a new course. In its attitude to the migratory influx it demonstrates its moral and civilizational decrepitude. Its members seek to dictate and enforce their model of self-hate on millions of EU member-countries’ common people, and to prevent any attempt to defend and protect their patrimony: their nations, land, history, collective memories and assets. Any attempt to articulate defense is immediately criminalized.
Absurdly, in Europe’s elite people like Emanuel Macron have given up all pretense of preserving their nations’ identity and culture. They are at the same time forcing others to adopt their suicidal model. The name of his movement, En Marche! (“On the Move”) expresses an ideology of permanent movement and this preference of the nomadic over the sedentary. In short, Western elites, on both sides of the Atlantic, are deeply committed to the politics and indeed to the metaphysics of disorder: nothing is what it is but is instead another thing, everything is in a state of permanent flux. National borders are ephemeral creations while nations themselves are pure constructs. Strobe Talbott wrote as far back as 1992 that “Unity will prevail . . . within the next hundred years . . . nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority . . . A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century—’citizen of the world’—will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st.”
Sexual orientation is fluid too, and even gender is now said to be a matter of choice and not biological fact. As John Laughland notes, “There is an increasingly open campaign in favor of racial mixing, as politicians and other social engineers seek to break irredeemably the ethnic base of the nation by encouraging mass migration into Europe.” German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, thus defended the current Afro-Asian mass migration into Europe by saying that, without it, European society would descend into “degenerate incest.” This is the “liberal” mirror image of the National Socialist racial theory.
In contrast to such ideological chaos and revolutionary zeal, today’s Russia embodies order and stability. This explains the paranoid, hysterical quality of the public discourse on Russia and all things Russian in today’s West. This narrative has two key pillars. In terms of geopolitics, we see the striving of maritime empires (Britain before World War II, and the United States thereafter) to “contain” and if possible to control the Eurasian heartland. Equally important is the cultural antipathy, the desire not just to influence Russian policies and behavior but to effect an irreversible transformation of Russia’s identity. This mania tragically prolongs the European civil war that exploded in July 1914, continued in 1939, and has never properly ended, not even with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It needs to end, so that the existential challenge common to all—that of resurgent jihad and Europe’s demographic crisis—can be properly addressed.
Let me conclude. We are faced with a global problem that is a synthesis of all others, and goes beyond Culture Wars. It is the looming end of culture itself. For many millennia people lived in communities in which links were direct, and emotional. Those communities eventually merged into “society,” in which relations were formalized; but the “real” human being nevertheless remained the subject of his own activity generated by his emotions and needs as a living, feeling, thinking creature. Today, from the subject of activity Western man is reduced to a mere element of it—the ‘human factor.’ Impulses for activity still pass through the individual, but they are dictated by the System. The real world becomes symbolic rather than substantial, the natural is squeezed out, with nature merely providing the building blocks for the artificial and relations with nature assuming a primarily functional character.
The primary task of genuine conservatives everywhere is to reaffirm relations between people which are regulated by feelings, customs, faith, love and hate, by considerations of good and evil, sin and punishment, beauty and ugliness. We must, first of all, prevent substitution of culture by ‘content,’ by standard operating procedures, because our society’s metamorphosis into technos would signify its end. The game is not up. Cultural and demographic death is not the inevitable end of the road for all of us. We are endowed with feelings and reason, with the awareness of who we are: the heirs to the best, most creative civilization the world has ever known. The struggle of true Europeans to defend themselves against population replacement and cultural suicide is just, even if the outcome is uncertain. In the face of this uncertainty the first task of a conservative is to hold on to life, and beauty, and truth.