The 14 Words

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Surviving Multiculturalism

By Vijay Prozak
11 January 2005


In the end stages of every great civilization, several things happen. First, impetus is lost: people no longer have an urge to create civilization as, heck, it's already here, let's enjoy it and not think too hard, because the people that made this place, they took life too seriously, man. Second, consensus is lost, in that people accustomed to appreciating the benefits of society no longer have the singular focus on maintaining it that comprises a healthy goal set. Once consensus is lost, what we commonly call "values" cannot exist, since there's no agreement about what is valued. After this, the symptoms set in, namely internal division, loss of learning and culture, and of course, bad breeding, first within the bloodline and then miscegenation.

This is how great civilizations fall, and you can see their ruins today all over the earth. T.S. Eliot was correct to note that "it ends" with a whimper and not a bang, because by the time the ancient structures are falling, there are few left who can actually realize what's happening. Most of the population have already transitioned to the idea of living among the ruins in a more primitive state, and lacking most qualities of discernment in themselves, aren't much concerned about how all finer things are crumbling around them, because they still have their fast food and television and are content with that. There is rarely a sudden appearance by the forces of evil to sweep into the streets and crush a vibrant culture; rather, the collapse of a great civilization is as anticlimactic as the death of a terminal cancer patient.


As always, there is writing on the wall, for those who remember how to read it. Lacking a goal, people become obsessed by novelty and personal conceits, so instead of having hearty, strong people who can create, you have very trendy people who adorn themselves excessively and are neurotically obsessed with appearance. This is a natural consequence of having lost consensus, because since there is no longer a goal to the society as a whole and an agreement about how to reach it, people focus on living in a society of disorder. To gain power in such a society, one entertains and flatters, and this requires a decadent but "different" lifestyle in order to distinguish oneself in any way. Bread and circuses for the poor, trinkets and fads for the wealthy.

One can survive such a society, but it requires doing something most free-willed people find abhorrent: dedicating themselves in the largest part toward earning money, and sacrificing most of their time to this goal. Work six day weeks and bring home a fat paycheck, and you can get out into the suburbs where most people are gentler. You can afford the Alta Dena organic dairy milk, the no-pesticide vegetables, the finer clothes; you can drive a nice car, and buy memberships in places where the screaming rabble don't congregate. However, ultimately, such a lifestyle requires increasing amounts of money as the rest of the economy collapses and thus such finer things become aberrations in a consumer environment rewarding goods that above all are cheap -- quality becomes second to quantity.


In effect, this destroys the middle class, because it raises the bar on the cost of living outside of the undifferentiated mass. You're either wealthy, and living in a gated community, or you're with the rest living in a technological third-world environment. With the loss of the middle class comes a loss of the ordinary, hardworking decent people in the world, because they are turned into either whores for money or semi-impoverished scatterbrains like the rest. When that occurs, the base of support for the finer things in life -- the arts, culture, and learning -- falls entirely into the hands of the wealthy, who are not really concerned with getting it right; they're concerned with finding a way to make millions so they escape the hoi polloi. Culture dies; art dies; learning dies.

Of course, the mutant corpses survive. There will be "art" -- but it will be little more than decoration, "unique" patterns and styles designed to shock or amuse: the kind of stuff that Hitler, being an artist, had no problem ordered being destroyed. There will be "culture," but it will consist of going to places where you buy things to participate in cultural events with all of the decorum and depth of a Nirvana concert. The institutes of higher learning will continue but will devote most of their time to teaching the ways of the new society, re-interpreting the older knowledge to fit the new rubric and, consequently, destroying it as a system of thought. It, too, will become aesthetics, and although it will exist in reference books (if not burned by the "progressive" newcomers) there will be only a handful who understand it, and none who can add to it.


This is the future that T.S. Eliot and other writers of his generation saw in the 1920s, when America first became obsessed with money and fads, and the first wave of "mostly-white" immigrants rode into the middle of a fair complexioned Northern European stock. Currents in thinking changed, then the population changed, and that cycle begat another. What T.S. Eliot was fortunate enough not to see is the dimension to which modern society has grown. Thanks to industrial technology and greater transportation, this is now a global society, with counterdependent economies and military alliances. It probably does not pay to wonder if the domino theory will apply in nations falling to decay, but it's clear that most nations are on the same liberal democratic, global industrial society path, and thus will suffer similar fates.


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