In his book The Suicide of Reason, Lee Harris points out that communities composed of “rational actors” – those who have rejected the fanaticism and unity of the tribe and instead embraced individualism and reason – don’t know how to cope when confronted by “the return of the jungle.” Valuing nonviolence, compromise, and tolerance, they deny such threats or seek negotiation. But the “tribal actors,” who value commitment to the pack, violent intolerance, and hatred of the enemy, view the opposite values as weakness, which encourages them to attack.
As Harris puts it in regard to Islamic fundamentalists:
The fanaticism of radical Islam… is teaching and training alpha boys to be willing to die. It is steeping them in myths of heroic self-sacrifice and martyrdom. It is producing a new generation of Muslims who bitterly resent Western modernity, and who have dedicated themselves to destroying it.
Fanatical devotion to their tribe is the source of their power. This also holds true for racial tribes and helps empower the Occupy tribe. Harris’ law of the jungle, which these mobs embrace, is increasingly gaining ground in England while the authorities cling to politically correct denial and expect civility to prevail. This does not bode well for national self-preservation. But the great essayist Fjordman wrote recently that self-preservation
is now systematically being denied to Europeans. If you are a person of European extraction, you become an ‘extremist’ not by wanting to colonize other people’s countries, but simply by resisting the colonization of your country by others.
A hundred years ago the sun never set on England’s empire; more recently it still stood tall under Churchill and kept its chin up under Thatcher. Thanks in part to its multiculturalist elites, who are either complicit with England’s enemies or in denial about them, it’s been reduced to a shadow of its former glory. Melanie Phillips declares that Britain is “sleepwalking off the edge of a cliff”; her tribute to the Diamond Jubilee is entitled, poignantly, “This is the Britain We Fear We’ve Lost.”
Churchill once promised that the English people would fight on the beaches and the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets, and in the hills, and would never surrender. I believe the average patriotic Brit-on-the-street can still be counted on for that. But increasingly, he is concluding that that might require embracing his own tribal mind. As Harris says,
If there is a tribe that hates me because they see me as a member of an enemy tribe, then my only hope of security lies in standing firmly with my own tribe.
England is not alone in this. The return to the ways of the jungle is evident throughout Europe. And as Thomas Sowell puts it in his essay “Learning from Britain’s Moral Rot, America’s “own politically correct elites are pointing us in the same direction.” Those elites are instilling in American youth the emasculating lie that defending yourself or others against bullying is no different from bullying itself; it is considered a case of two wrongs not making a right. A generation of Americans is being conditioned not to stand up for themselves or to defend the helpless, but to appeal to a mediating (preferably international) authority for peaceful resolution.
Our “tribal” enemies operate under no such self-restraint, and don’t respect authority or peaceful resolution. Unless England, and by extension America and the rest of the West, embrace what Lee Harris calls our own “enlightened tribalism,” and begin defending our culture as ferociously as our enemies are striving to destroy it, then we will witness the crash of civilization in our lifetime.
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