There was a story I once read of two close friends who traveled together by ship to Spain. The year was around 1936 and they shared a cabin as they made the six week voyage across the Indian Ocean. They were going to fight in the Spanish civil war which attracted combatants from across the globe, passionate in their beliefs for their political cause. The two friends spent the time discussing politics and arguing as friends do, but it was all done in good nature. Finally the ship docked in Spain and the two friends shook hands before they each went to fight on opposing sides.
Our Western civilization is founded on the idea of good faith. We assume good faith in our opponents, and although we may disagree, we agree to disagree. This is particularly true when applied to the collective whole. When we look at an entire culture or a religion or a race we find it difficult to imagine that an entire collective could be lacking in good faith. Our natural instinct is to assume good faith right up until the point where we are violently disabused.
Western civilization has faced many ideological opponents in its history. Some were foreign, such as the Japanese in World War II, and some rose from within its own ranks. The Nazis were and still remain the best example of this kind. In all cases the great majority hoped that it was all good up until the moment when the guns began to fire. They never listened to the few voices drawing attention to the dangers.
Today we are facing both types of opponents at the same time. While the far-left has risen to extreme influence with its push for cultural Marxism and socialism, concurrently we have Islamic supremacism that has successfully breached our borders, both in a physical manner and in a cultural sense, aided and abetted by those on the far-left who view it as a convenient vehicle to further their own political agenda.
But we also have a West which is bloated and fragile economically. Twenty years of central bank manipulation of national and international money markets has resulted in a legacy of record debt, both for governments and for individual households. Our ideological opponents around the world are in similar financial positions. It appears to be a world on tenterhooks.
But in our present age our assumption of good faith in foreign cultures does not extend to our opponents within our own culture. While Islam gets a pass mark no matter what its adherents practice or believe, we are now witnessing the conservative movement in the US turn on its own in a desperate attempt to prop up its hollowness. This article in The Federalist titled, Yes – the alt right are just a bunch of racists betrays the conservatives’ lack of ideas and complete failure over the past 25 years to live up to what they supposedly stood for.
The alt-right are their readers. They are the members of their organizations. And as The Z Man writes there comes a time when the ordinary man won’t put up with it anymore:
When people who have been loyal to conservative causes and conservative politicians their whole life find themselves being called racists and bigots by those people they supported, they start to feel like they have been conned. When ruling class organs publicly argue that vast parts of the culture must be destroyed, that traditional America must be wiped out, people hear a declaration of war. The response is not going to be “yes sir, may I have another.” The response, to quote the late Andrew Breitbart, is going to be “Fuck you. War!”
The Spanish civil war was nasty, brutal, and long. All ideological wars are of the same ilk. Territorial wars are quite easy in comparison. The really nasty ones though are when a society reaches a tipping point and collapses in upon itself, destroying the old world order in the process. Think of World War 1.
Our civilization has reached an internal tipping point just at the moment when our walls are being breached by outside invaders. I wonder how long our collective good faith has to last.