I’ve spent a fair bit of time traveling in the non-Western world. One thing that strikes me is that non-Western people, and their political leaders, are all deeply proud of their culture and history. The contrast between this and the self-loathing Western liberals is very striking. Returning from Istanbul, I browsed the Turkish Airlines in-flight magazine. There was an article mentioning the upcoming anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish state, and the role Kemal Attaturk played in it. Each time he was mentioned, the commentary tone was nothing short of reverential. Hours later, I landed, checked Twitter, and found that the Labour Party were describing Winston Churchill as a vile racist. This was a clear demonstration that whilst non-Western countries love and revere their heroes, past and culture, Western countries do not.
Loving your culture is a bit like loving your children. It doesn’t mean you hate other people’s children, or think that they have always been perfect and never misbehaved. It just means you love what is yours. You only realise how strange and unnatural the left’s war on our culture and history is when you try to imagine it happening in non-Western countries.
Let’s suppose Turkey decided to start teaching its children that the Ottoman Empire was a terrible thing. Suppose they decided millions of immigrants should be allowed to enter Turkey no questions asked. Suppose they proposed changing the Turkish flag in case the Muslim crescent moon offended any of the many non-Muslim newcomers. Suppose they insisted on Catholic Masses being celebrated in the Blue Mosque.
This is of course, complete nonsense. Turkey is a proud, culturally confident nation that would never indulge in such self-loathing cultural masochism. However, Western liberals do this. Everything I floated as a bizarre thought experiment in the theoretical example of Turkey has actually happened, or at very least been seriously suggested by Western liberals with regards to their own countries.
The British are constantly told that their own empire was a cauldron of wickedness and oppression.
In Switzerland, it was proposed that the Swiss flag be changed from a white cross, because non-Christian immigrants might find it offensive.
In the United States, there was recently a Muslim prayer service in Washington Cathedral.
At the root of this is cultural masochism i.e. the enjoyment the Notting Hill elite, and their equivalent in other Western countries, get from hating the civilization that cradles them. And significantly, this cultural self-loathing is most strongly felt amongst the ruling elite. The politicians, the journalists, the playwrights and film directors, the teachers, the judges. In other words, the people who most shape our political culture are people who hate our culture. This is serious. It’s a bit like being operated on by a surgeon who has repeatedly said in public that he doesn’t like you, thinks you’re responsible for a list of bad things and deserve the hatred other show you. Just how hard do you think such a surgeon would fight to save you if complications arose during surgery?
The problem is we are that patient, with our future and national life in the hands of a team of surgeons who hate us. What was routine surgery, managing the economy etc has developed complications. ISIS want to kill our people. Violent crime is sweeping our inner cities. Yet the people charged with our safety will not take the necessary steps.
American comedian Evan Sayet tells a story. Suppose you have an acquaintance who always tells you he hates his wife. You laugh this off has him simply being slightly over the top. But one night, as you dine together, you look out of the window and see someone assaulting his wife in the car park. When he sees it, he casually remarks “Yeah…she’s done bad things in the past, she deserves it”. Sayet was speaking in comparison to American liberals cold-hearted response to the 9/11 attacks, as their self-hatred bubbled over. Our own leftists responded similarly on 7/7.
The BBC went out of its way to tell us the 7/7 bomber Shezad Tanweer liked cricket and computers, and printed comments about what a “nice lad” he was and what a “kind and calm person” he was. When America was attacked by the Boston bombers, arch-leftist Michael Moore tweeted about how bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an “accomplished pianist”. In other words, our cultural leaders and media outlets went out of their way to portray murderous enemies of our civilisation in the most sympathetic light they could. When you hate your own culture, you just can’t help but sympathise with other people who hate it.
One might contrast this with the way culturally confident China dealt with a terrorist attack on its people. In March 2014, 29 people were killed and 139 wounded when Islamic extremists carried out mass attacks at a railway station in Kunming in China. Chinese state media did not flood the airwaves with accounts about what “nice lads” the attackers were. Unlike Britain and America, China is not led by cultural masochists. The Chinese media described the train station attackers as unambiguously bad. The Chinese then paraded the attackers on TV before executing them. To return to our surgeon analogy, China faced complications, and its cultural leaders, driven by love, reacted decisively to deal with a threat.
In short, we need to love our culture, history and its heroes. We cannot and must not sit back as our cultural and political leaders let it die on the operating table because they hold it as a contemptible thing not worth saving. We can learn a lot from the culturally confident societies outside of Europe.
“As long as we keep loving and cherishing ourselves, our history, our legacy, our language and our culture, Russia shall remain invincible”
– Vladimir Putin speaking on 70th anniversary of Battle of Stalingrad