We've all seen this kind of bogus outrage before. I remember some years ago, when Theresa May formed a flimsy coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party, I was in London visiting a friend. I wandered into a bar for a drink and was met by a shabby, smiling young man who was in Westminster protesting the coalition. I listened with polite indifference to his version of Irish history and politics, which was untested by reality, and got the impression that, probably having never even heard of the DUP before last week, he'd just jumped on a bandwagon. The delicious irony, of course, came when this self-proclaimed champion of social injustice and progressive values said that I looked like a leprechaun (I was wearing a tweed jacket), which, if I were that way inclined, I might have taken as a racist slur. At a guess, I'd say he was ten years my junior but our brief, painful, interaction brought to my mind a lot of concerns about the state of education in this country (and at a guess the entire western world). When I was at school, the only literature we read in higher tier English was To Kill a Mockingbird, so that covers race relations; the only history we read was about Nazi Germany, so that covers Jews (and to some extent other minorities). If you think about it, if the only two references in your education cover how nasty and evil western civilisation has been towards minorities, of course you're going to be obsessed with social injustice! You're also likely to despise your own country. In my case, I am the counter product of my education. Everything I know that I consider to be of value I taught myself, not only because I felt decidedly welshed by my teachers but because deep down I thought there was much more to our civilisation than what I read in Harper Lee and second-rate history textbooks. As for our impressionable young man in the bar, what can I say? If, as seems likely, his education was as bad as mine, why should we take his protests seriously? They aren't based on real knowledge or grievances at all.
Let me show you some of the things that I've seen on social media in the past week.
Blocked by a young woman, a British Pakistani politics graduate who administers an account dedicated to the Romanov Martyrs (of all things!). Before I was blocked, she declared in her story that black and ethnic minorities aren't capable of racism because racism is a prejudice invented by white people. She then used her Romanov account as a platform to spout partisan political slogans and racialist hashtags, even attributing a kind of anachronistic, uncharacteristic support the Romanovs would have for the protesters. Needless to say, I disagreed and asked why she was using an historical account and not her personal one to advance a political agenda. I didn't get an answer; I was just blocked.
This one is more personal, as the young lady is a friend of mine interested in becoming Orthodox. But her position is a parody of the truth, and I think ideologically demonstrates the long reach of blessed Augustine of Hippo over western culture, being in a sense an inversion of his understanding of Original Sin. It doesn't matter that you might be a law abiding and respectable person. If you're white, you have a cultural debt towards black people because your ancestors were slave owners (even if they weren't); your ancestors oppressed native people. It's irredentist, ill-informed and totally skewed. Chattel slavery happened long before I was born; it has nothing to do with me. How can you possibly argue that a private proprietor has no right to defend his business and livelihood just because black people were slaves in the distant past? It's grotesquely obscene!
I like beagles and labradors so I was formerly subscribed to some enthusiast accounts. Notice one of the comments with the racialist hashtag. I'd be interested to know how coordinated "Black Lives Matter" is because they're clearly capable of applying intense political pressure. Shortly after this, the account administrator posted a black image with another hashtag. I removed my subscription.
Yet another cultural and art historical account, bandying partisan slogans as if they spoke for their subscribers. Once again, I condescended to inform the account administrator that I was removing my subscription, and gave the reasons. Please note the disparity between the quality of our English.
I took other screenshots but I'm sure you get the idea. The latest one was a petition calling on the British government to make "anti-racism" compulsory in schools, as if freedom of thought wasn't already under threat. This sort of stuff is Orwellian!
So far I have "unfollowed" 69 accounts. You may think I'm taking it all too seriously; in fact I am giving serious thought to giving up my Instagram account altogether, but if my devotion to the Imperial Martyrs has influenced me in any way, it is to oppose Marxism in whatever form it takes. It is obviously what this all is; the dialectic has simply shifted from haves vs have-nots to oppressors vs oppressed. One crucial difference between these two is that the latter is largely based on myth. Racism, as practised by white people against minorities, is largely non-existent. How could it possibly be an issue in countries with meticulously enforced diversity laws? On the contrary, I think that white people are scared of minorities. We may not have gulags or concentration camps but we do have sackings and social ostracism. We live in a society completely emasculated by this doctrine, running scared from its history, its culture and from the Church. And this, for me, is the worst of it. Whenever I come up against Diversity and Inclusion, I have no recourse to the faith of my country because my country is not Christian, where once it was. I have no just cause to discriminate between a married couple and a pair of homosexuals because laws based on the Bible no longer apply.
You may think that I digress but this is all part and parcel of the revolution-by-stealth that we have endured in the western world, largely since the 1960's but set in motion long before. Of course, I am not excusing racism or police brutality in this post. It behoves the
This illumination by Jean Colombe (1430-1493) depicts the defeat of the "People's Crusade." The Crusades remind me of the the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who once said:
"To do evil, a man must first of all believe that what he is doing is good...Ideology - that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honours."Like most ideologues, Peter the Hermit had good intentions and intelligible motives but the destruction caused by this populist movement cannot be measured by a raw body account but by the retarding of western civilisation forever. He went on crusade in the name of Christ; now people march in the name of Floyd, transformed in death from the banal into the sublime. Some people think that revolution is good, that the creation of equality in this life and worldly utopianism are attainable by taking to the streets. I don't and history shews that attempts to create these things have left behind hecatombs of the innocent. If these people shut their ears to all the racialist slogans and looked to their souls, they might realise that they're not angry because they are discriminated against but because they have abandoned the Church. If they reformed themselves first then perhaps their material lives would improve as well. Otherwise, I have nothing more to say other than to offer my condolences to the family of George Floyd.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1John 2:15.