-- ...the Owl of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall (Hegel)
No civilization is immortal. All civilizations, like the humans who comprise them, die. One of the subtler, yet most searing, signs of a civilization's imminent demise is when its better & brighter succumb to the disease of the Age.
One example out of thousands one could cite in this regard, marking the knell of the latest and greatest civilization in human history (our dear old West): Matt Ridley, a remarkably sharp analyst of various trends, ideas -- and problems. More specifically, he's a science journalist, Oxford graduate, and a member of the House of Lords. His essay, The Climate Wars' Damage to Science, is an amazingly concerted stroke of brilliant diagnosis of a complex problem -- all the more admirable for the fact that Ridley is not a "denier" of the climate change thesis per se, only what he calls a more reasonable "lukewarmer" (who agrees that climate change is happening, and that some of it is man-made -- but that it is not a dire emergency requiring radical reconfiguration of geopolitical & economic policy). His TED talk, When Ideas Have Sex, would give the reader a good glimpse into his capability sufficiently superb as to merit a flirtation with the compliment of genius.
And for all that, what do we find when we search his website using that dreaded key term islam...?
An entry, for example, dating from 2013 in the aftermath of the grotesquely alarming beheading of a young off-duty English soldier Lee Rigby on a pleasant afternoon in a pleasant suburb of London, followed immediately by the Muslim zombie filming himself on a phone cam holding the bloody knife, blood spattered on his jacket, informing his viewers, the world, that he did this in the name of Allah and Muhammad; then followed months later by the English judge who sentenced him subjecting him to a scolding lecture in order to officially disabuse him of his silly notion that his assassination of Rigby had anything to do with Islam. And what does Matt Ridley glibly opine, in the context of his rosy title, "The Civilising Process"...? Let us see:
"...Anjem Choudary and Michael Adebolajo are similarly caught out of time — both wanting to push the moral clock back to a time when eye-for-eye revenge against the innocent was honourable or pious. The question responsible Muslims need to answer is why some followers of Islam are so keen on reversing this inexorable, progressive evolution of morality."
That is why the West is done, burnt, toast: the self-replicating phenomenon of Quantum Ignorance, a kind of beneficent cancer of fooling oneself, a willful Denial of the full catastrophe of Islam. I used to think, as I plodded along these past 14 years on the H.M.S. Hesperado hoping for the West, that this mass neurosis otherwise known as PC MC would eventually decompose in time in order to save the West from the global revival of Mohammedanism.
I've realized like a slap of cold water to the face that I was fooling myself, vastly underestimating the extent of this Denial, since it feeds itself on a loop and has become a closed system -- a system of such complex stability interlocked with its ethical narcissism about Itself and the Other, that only a cataclysmic shock -- in the form of a concatenation of attacks by Muslims so numerous and horrific it amounted to the edge of the blade of existential mortality -- could deconstruct it.
If one is looking for it, if one attunes one's frequency on the wearily jaded & cynical dial while watching the aforementioned TED talk by Matt Ridley, looking beyond & behind the glint of brilliance in his wire-rimmed spectacles of genius to the Fukuyamish foolhardiness invigorating it, one sees that closed loop in action, exuberant with vital verve, built to last precisely by virtue of its intelligent élan -- a superiority amazingly adaptable for progress, with only one flaw, one Achilles heel: its inability to break free of its phobia of "bigotry", rendering it paralyzed when it comes to facing the horrible prospect that 1.3 billion people on this planet -- all of them, every last one, including the nice, friendly, clean-shaven and unhijabbed ones (including the "responsible Muslims" of Matt Ridley's preposterous phrase) -- are members of a psychotic cult dedicated -- by hook (overt violence) or by crook (feigning moderation) -- to our destruction.
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The only and slenderest hope, as I say, for that desideratum of destruction to effect our wake-up call, rather than our ultimate demise, would be if it happened at just the right time and in just the right way. For such a concatenation of shocks to work that way, however, is an implausible scenario. Much likelier will be the destruction of this precious civilization we worked so hard to build for so long, overrun by a metastasizing vortex of forces worse than mere Barbarism -- a sophisticated Savagery singularly networked, infused by psychotic fanaticism, an enemy invited in, uniquely in mass numbers and trusted to be friends, to settle deep within the gates of our societies.