Charlie Hebdo

By now we have all heard the awful news from Paris. Time prevents me from commenting at length just now, but my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was, if not more so. This horrific attack is not only an assault on the prevailing social philosophy of the West, but it is also a consequence of it; and given that there has already been a great stirring among the native people of Europe in recent years, and particularly in recent months, it may be a historical watershed, and the beginning of the end of the political hegemony of radical universalism. Mass Islamic immigration into the nations of the West was the most destructive idea of the second half of the twentieth century, and this terrible shock may be what finally breaks the grip of the wasting memetic disease I have called ‘cultural immunodeficiency’.

There is a tremendous, and rising, sentiment among the common people of Europe against the plainly destructive effect of this disease, and resentment of the globalist ruling class who ensured its progress, and who have so effectively stifled dissent. Like a super-critical solution, such popular sentiment wants only a shock, a seed upon which to crystallize, to induce a ‘phase transition’ that can happen with tremendous rapidity. If history is any guide, I fear that this reversal, when it comes, may not be a gentle one.

I am tempted to say that “it didn’t have to be this way” — a little more common sense about human nature could have prevented it without much difficulty — but perhaps it is an unavoidable consequence of the moral and intellectual skepsis that began in Europe three hundred years ago, and of the great rhythms of history. It is also clear, I think, that a great deal of the blame for the radical universalism and cultural immunosuppression that has brought Europe to this point can be laid upon the moral effect, on all decent people, of the horrors of Nazism.

We will see what happens in the days and months ahead.


  1. james says

    my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was

    I doubt it.

    It is simply too late.

    In most European countries, a huge proportion of those under 25 are immigrants or children of African/ Asian immigrants.

    In addition the natives under the age of, say, 40 have been schooled to believe that living in a multi-cultural society is intrinsically good and undoubtedly better than the homogenous society of their parents.

    In general, they cannot conceive of anything different.

    Watch and see how, in France, there will be a general disapproval of religious “extremism”, as if the small minority of the French who remain practicing Catholics are as much to blame for this as Muslims.

    In Britain, the UKIP party mainly attracts older people who are disaffected with these and other orthodoxies.

    What you might interpret across the Atlantic as the stirring of something significant (UKIP, the marches in Germany, and whatever happens in France) is, more likely,just the panic of the frog who realises that the pot of water, whose increasing temperature he has tried to ignore, is actually nearing boiling point.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
  2. JK says

    I’m curious Malcolm … anybody … are the demographics of *those most likely to vote* anything like here is the States?

    (A common refrain re Ferguson was/is, “the government isn’t reflective of us” which, given the demographics, I’m continually amazed that instead of holding hands up in the street the voters ought be asked, “Who needs a ride to the polls?”)

    But I think you’re right this time – being a watershed I mean.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  3. fnn says

    “Europe to this point can be laid upon the moral effect, on all decent people, of the horrors of Nazism.”

    But the “decent people” didn’t reflect much upon the horrors of Communism-because the govt and MSM/Hollywood never paid much attention to them. Oddly, neither did the anti-Communists of the Second Red Scare. They emphasized the treason aspect of Communism. Conquest, now proven right beyond all doubt, was a virtual pariah for much of his career.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
  4. Troy says

    I’ve been lurking here for a few months. Love your blog.

    my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was

    I agree. It will either wake people up or they will choose to shed even more freedom for the illusion of security.

    My fear is that as explicated in your awesome “A Progressive Disease,” Americans seem very willing to roll over.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  5. “…, it may be a historical watershed, …”

    Sadly, I don’t think it will be.

    I do think, however, that a response to this post from the OEM would be a good predictor of whether or not it will prove to be a watershed. I also think that no response from him would be equivalent to a negative response.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says


    There are limits to the cognitive dissonance that even the most deeply indoctrinated population can maintain — especially when they are being slaughtered for it, and see their civilization falling down around their ears. There is a tremendous stress now building in Europe, as the tectonic plates of universalist ideology and plainly evident reality grind and strain against each other. A shock such as this may cause the plates, at last, to slip. And the energy released may be tremendous.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says


    This is an important point, and probably worth its own post. The simplest explanation is that although Nazism and Communism were both socialist movements, Communism was explicitly universalist, while Nazism was rooted also in particularist and exclusionary ethnonationalism.

    Add to this that a great many in Hollywood, the press, and academia were Communist Jews, and it’s easy to understand the preference.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says


    Peter and I have argued this to death already. (See, for example, the enormously prolonged argument we had in the comment-thread here. We’ve done it elsewhere as well.)

    I think Peter might just let this one pass by in silence, rather than beating this horse again. Life is short.

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink
  9. Yes, I remember that 101-comments “discussion”. And if he does “let this one pass by in silence”, I think that would predict “a historical watershed” will not materialize. There are far too many others who think like him. Sigh …

    Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    Troy, thanks for reading and commenting.

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 12:02 am | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    Malcolm..and right on time with your article–

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  12. To paraphrase what used to be a very popular advertising slogan ‘over here’, “Calm down, dear, it’s only another terrorist attack!” And in the grand scheme of things, no more serious than countless others from all sorts of different directions.

    I agree that it will have effects on popular feelings and that the rise of some ‘nasties’ on the extreme Right will be assisted but in Europe they were on the march anyway because of the madness that is the euro currency debacle.

    When all about you are losing their heads it’s important to take cover, stay calm and think!

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  13. Having dashed that off I then read a very much more thoughtful article by a British ‘Leftie’, Dan Hodges. He may be Left of centre but he usually writes good sense as he does here:

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  14. Dom says

    Hi David. I’m not sure I understand that Dan Hodges article. What does he say we need to understand why Muslims are not assimilating? Their beliefs are incompatible with ours, that’s why. You can see this in the way they talk about “Muslim land”, as though any country with a sizable Muslim presence must be Muslim ruled, and everyone else must be reduced to dhimmi status.

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  15. Troy says

    Been watching the news. I don’t know which disgusts me more: These Muslim murderers or their Pink-Shirt apologists who want to throw me in prison for “hate-speech” for daring to call out Islam.

    Regarding the marches in Germany. Are these people right wing nazis? Or are they being portrayed as right wing nazis because they dare step off the multiculturalism plantation? Or a mix?

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  16. From the Maverick Philosopher (January 08, 2015):

    What Explains the Left’s Toleration of Militant Islam?

    “In their dangerous naïveté, leftists think that they can use radical Islam to help destroy the capitalist USA, and, once that is accomplished, radical Islam will ‘wither away.’ But they [the leftists] will ‘wither away’ before Islamo-fanaticism does. They think they can use genuine fascist theocracy to defeat the ‘fascist theocracy’ of the USA. They are deluding themselves.

    Residing in their utopian Wolkenskukuheim — a wonderful word I found in Schopenhauer translatable as ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ — radical leftists are wrong about religion, wrong about human nature, wrong about the terrorist threat, wrong about the ‘fascist theocracy’ of conservatives, wrong about economics; in short, they are wrong about reality.

    Leftists are delusional reality-deniers. Now that they are in our government, we are in grave danger. I sincerely hope that people do not need a ‘nuclear event’ to wake them up. Political Correctness can get you killed.”

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  17. Whitewall says

    Troy, it is a mix. The PC multi-culti crowd is more threatened by anyone speaking truth about evil, and calling them by name. When our own western authorities come to arrest us for speaking out, then that plays into the Islamist’s hands. They use our malformed “integrity” against us. The “Pink Shirt” Left uses this against anyone they feel threatened by, calling them “far right”. This term is meant to freeze and isolate the opponent, make him unfit for association. Depending on the country in question, “far right”…from what? From whom? Is there an equal “far left”? Is there somehow an odd scarcity of Far Left? If so, why? Who gets to have the stature to make that call?

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  18. Troy says


    Thanks. So what is a European “right winger?” I could tell you what a Republican or a SoCon is who is from the USA, but I have know idea how that translates to Germany.

    I lived in Babenhausen from 1986-1990. The nation seemed very left of center. I.e. their welfare.

    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  19. Malcolm says


    In my opinion a too-narrow focus on violent jihad misses the real threat of an ever-expanding Muslim presence in the West, which is demographic, cultural, and political. Indeed, terrorism can be highly counterproductive to the long-term goal of Islam (which is, of course, a universal ummah). “Moderate” organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR, understand this, and so they take pains to distance themselves from terrorists.

    That said, look at the contortions our lives have already undergone to accommodate the constant, and very real, danger of jihadi violence. Look at the humiliations we must endure at the airports. Look at the cowing of our media with regard to a single religion, while all others are fair game for ridicule.

    Here’s the late Lawrence Auster, way back in 2004:

    This is the unchangeable reality I pointed to in my 2004 article, “How to Defeat Jihad in America.” We will have terrorist attacks and threats of terrorists attacks and inconvenient and humiliating security measures and the disruption of ordinary activities FOREVER, as long as Muslims are in the West in any significant numbers. The Muslim terrorists are part and parcel of the Muslim community. According to a survey reported in the Scotsman, 24 percent of Muslims in Britain (I never describe them as “British Muslims”) believe the July 2005 London bombings were justified. Imagine that. Not only do these Muslims in Britain support terrorism against Britain, they’re not afraid to say so openly to a pollster! The unchangeable fact is that wherever there is a sizable Muslim community there will be a very large number of terror supporters and therefore—inevitably—actual terrorists as well.

    This is our future, FOREVER, unless we stop Muslim immigration and initiate a steady out-migration of Muslims from the West until their remaining numbers are a small fraction of what they are now and there are no true believers among the ones that remain. Travelers from Muslim countries must be tightly restricted as well. Muslims must be essentially locked up inside the Muslim lands, with only carefully screened individuals allowed into the non-Muslim world.

    The enemy are among us, in America, in Britain, in the West, and will remain so until we remove them from the West and indeed from the entire non-Muslim world. As extreme as this sounds, it is a no-brainer. There is no other solution. All other responses to this problem add up to meaningless hand-wringing. The hand-wringing will go on FOREVER, along with the terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorist attacks, until we take the ONLY STEPS that can actually and permanently end the threat.

    Finally, I find it wearying to see the world divided into a) those who welcome mass Muslim immigration to the West, and b) ‘Islamophobes’. Where once ‘tolerance’ meant acceptance without endorsement, it seems now that the range of possible orientations toward any group or cause whatsoever has been narrowed to only two: enthusiastic support, or ‘hate’. But one doesn’t have to ‘hate’ Muslims to prefer that they live in their own countries, under their rules and customs, while we live peacefully in our own. I don’t ‘hate’ antelopes, for example, but that doesn’t mean I want them in my house.

    Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:20 am | Permalink
  20. JK says

    (Or maybe, just the older “complacent Over-There’r”

    … so long as Taunton is a place English can still negotiate petrol

    Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:51 am | Permalink
  21. IMHO, Bill Maher is, in general, a jackass. Nevertheless …

    Bill Maher on Paris: “This Is Like Groundhog Day, Except If The Groundhog Kept Getting His Head Cut Off”

    Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  22. The Universal Law of Consequences

    For Computing: Garbage In, Garbage Out

    For Immigration: Barbarians In, Barbarism Out

    Posted January 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  23. Musey says

    Thoughtful discussion here amongst you clever people. Your thoughts are thought provoking.

    But the OEM stays silent because he will not be goaded in to an intemperate response because as Malcolm admits, it has been done to death.

    Sorry guys, but disagreeing around here, is to be on a hiding to nothing. Not from Malcolm, but mostly coming from a particularly aggressive commentator who obviously doesn’t realise that sometimes people have taken enough personal abuse.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  24. Malcolm says

    Musey, I don’t think the commenter you have in mind is keeping anyone away. (“A dog may bark, but the caravan moves on.”)

    It’s more to do with the problem I described as follows, after a particularly, but also typically, unproductive and wearying argument:

    [A]rgument only has the possibility of being “effective” where there is a foundation of agreement about axioms, intuitions, and valuations. Even to make congruent enumerations of the raw “facts” of the world is impossible without this, because the categories and objects we pick out will differ — and so agreement on the higher-order social, moral, and narrative “facts” around which we organize our lives and communities becomes an impossibility.

    …Here we are: two educated, well-read, intelligent, reasonable, thoughtful men. For ten years of our lives, each of us, by means of “effective argument”, has tried to persuade the other to abandon his ideological framework, and the narrative structure according to which he organizes his view of human affairs, in favor of something closer to our own.

    What, then, are the results? Would you say that, as a result of all this carefully reasoned argument, your views have shifted? Have you come to doubt any of what you were once so certain about? Ideologically speaking, would you say that I have budged you even an inch?

    Nah, me neither.

    Hey there, you liberal readers, lurking in the shadows! Have I changed your mind about anything?

    And you conservatives and reactionaries! Has the One-Eyed Man persuaded you at last that your entire worldview is based on myth, and not fact?

    Didn’t think so.

    So: how to explain this result? It’s because the facts of the world are normatively neutral — there are no ‘oughts’ in Nature — and so there are many, many ways to filter and organize them into a historical narrative and a coherent worldview. It all depends on your axioms and intuitions, your preferences and priorities, your affinities and aversions. This explains why two different people, both reasonable, both intelligent, can look at, say, the Trayvon Martin case and see two completely different narratives — and draw two completely different conclusions. It’s not an overstatement to say that they live, and want to live, in different worlds.

    It’s hard work, arguing with people. When there is insufficient agreement on first principles and normative postulates, the game isn’t worth the candle.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  25. Musey says

    Malcolm, you know who I mean. No doubt, so does he, because really it’s not subtle.

    I may be a little different around here in that I don’t have fixed views and although I am clever enough to survive, I am not an intellectual. You lot are, plus a bit.

    It may surprise you to know that my views can be shifted, and I have been influenced by your views, maybe because they are put forward in such and eloquent, reasonable way but also because the world is changing.

    I have listened to carefully reasoned argument all my life and what it has revealed to me is that the clever one will always win, even when he is wrong. Isn’t that what debate is all about? Not that you’re right, but that you win the argument. When I was at school we were pitted against each other, to speak about something or other, and told to go with it. Argue the case, whether or not it reflected your personal views. So you could find yourself arguing against your inclination because it was just an intellectual exercise.

    We know already what OEM would say, so he doesn’t need to respond.

    I was listening to ABC (Australian news) yesterday, and one of the presenters suggested that maybe we should be more sensitive to Muslin sensibilities and not inflame things. To me, it translated as: these guys who got shot, brought it on themselves.

    Excuse my French, but fuck that.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 1:08 am | Permalink
  26. Malcolm says

    Thank you, Musey. You are a thoughtful and intelligent person, and I’m glad to have you as a reader and a commenter.

    And oh yes indeed: fuck that.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink
  27. Malcolm says

    One other thing: the world is changing — much, much faster than it ever has. I fear that a great storm is gathering. Much will be lost.

    We are the stewards of the world our children, and our children’s children, will inherit. If we care about them at all, it is of terrible importance to understand what is worth preserving, and why. Not all that glitters is gold.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink
  28. I will not deign an intemperate response to Musey’s unsubtle goading. But I won’t shy away from a few measured observations.

    My former direct interactions with the OEM predate by several years the occasional asides that I make about his worldview, which he has amply described here. Anyone who has witnessed those direct interactions knows that the so-called “personal abuse” was bi-directional.

    I am not a good debator — I certainly could not argue any case that did not reflect my personal views. But I do speak out on issues about which I feel passionately. Sometimes I do so to my personal detriment, if I know the response will be dismissive or ad hominem.

    Nevertheless, I am not averse to admitting a well-taken point made by any adversary. I have even done so, albeit rarely, when the OEM has made a reasonable point. But I have yet to witness the OEM admit the slightest hint of fallibility in his strongly held positions. The closest he comes to that is no response.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  29. “I am not a good debator”

    I am also not a good speller:

    “debater” NOT “debator”

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  30. Troy says

    RE: Finally, I find it wearying to see the world divided into a) those who welcome mass Muslim immigration to the West, and b) ‘Islamophobes’.

    FWIW, I am a libertarian. And I have always championed the idea that people should be able to go to and fro as they please. But I’ve found there is an error in my reasoning. One of my premises is that those who go to and fro share the exercise of the Non-Aggression Principle as I do. However, if those traveling, i.e. immigrants, do not share the NAP and have no intent on assimilating in a culture wherein NAP trumps religion, then I see no reason to limit their movement. I don’t see anything unreasonable to start with a rebuttable presumption that if someone identifies as Muslim, then they are dangerous.

    So, I’ve been finding myself moving toward what is called, apparently, neoreaction. Though I do not have a firm grasp of what all that entails.

    Posted January 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  31. Malcolm says


    So, I’ve been finding myself moving toward what is called, apparently, neoreaction.

    Welcome aboard.

    Though I do not have a firm grasp of what all that entails.

    The website The Dark Enlightenment has gathered some of what you might call “founding documents”. You might start with Mencius Moldbug’s Gentle Introduction, here.

    Two books I consider essential are Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Time, by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, and Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, by Julius Evola. There are of course a great many others.

    Nick Steves puts out a weekly roundup of posts from the broader NRx community, here.

    I will caution you, though: there is far less overlap than you might think between libertarianism and neoreaction.

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  32. Musey says

    Eh up, Henry! I thought you might be lurking.

    No offense intended, just a reflection on your rather straightforward, go for the jugular style, which is not so obvious in what the OEM writes. He does seem to address the issues without anger so he doesn’t need to admit fallibility because everything he says is based on logic rather than emotion.

    Passion is good, Henry. Don’t apologise for it.

    I think I have been perceived as being an aggressive commentator who might have a few real life problems. Especially remarked upon when people realise that I’m not a man.

    Do I care?

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 12:36 am | Permalink
  33. Musey,

    Perhaps some of our communication problems stem from my unfamiliarity with Aussie expressions. For example, I have no clue whether “Eh up” is a friendly greeting or something similar to “Up yours”. Anyway, in online parlance, “lurking” implies observing but not actively participating. Since I had already submited several comments in this thread, it is not appropriate to say I was lurking here.

    In my opinion, addressing an issue with anger is preferable to addressing it with sarcasm and conceit. If nothing else, anger strikes me as more honest.

    As for a logical presentation, I presume you don’t mean to include logical fallacy (such as “a distinction without a difference”). Moreover, it doesn’t follow necessarily that a logical presentation is infallible — the premise may be false. It often is. Furthermore, the only person who has a claim to infallibility is the Pope, and only on Church-related issues.

    Another possible source of our miscues is that I have a New-York style sense of humor (I lived half my life, so far, in NY), which doesn’t “translate” well online without an overabundance of emoticons. So if I say something really outrageous, I am either being really outrageous, or I might just be keeding.

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 2:19 am | Permalink
  34. Musey says

    “Eh up” is Yorkshire/Lancashire parlance which wouldn’t be understood here either. It’s not unfriendly, and maybe a little bit jokey, and if I’m honest, it’s not something that I would ever say.

    By logical, I mean reasoned, not necessarily right. There is always a logical counter argument. Everyone has a point of view. One man’s truth is another’s logical fallacy.

    I’m only keeding.

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 3:08 am | Permalink
  35. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  36. Troy says

    Thanks for the tips.

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  37. the one eyed man says

    Henry and Musey: I didn’t respond to this post because I didn’t read it until just now. My business has been taking up an increasing amount of my time, and I have less time for distractions. My last visit to the site was about a week ago.

    What typically prompts me to come here is the three year old next door, named Malcolm. I constantly hear: “Malcolm! In the car, Malcolm! Malcolm! I mean it this time!”

    I am sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t have much of a response. I don’t entirely disagree with Malcolm, but I don’t entirely agree either. I would simply state that France and Europe are different from the US in any number of ways, and the mass immigration of Muslims into the more cloistered societies there will have different repercussions than they would in America. However I haven’t been following the news much lately, so I don’t know much more than what has been in the headlines.

    While I don’t have much grist for anyone’s mill, perhaps I can amuse you with a discovery which our gracious host and I made a long time ago.

    We were sitting in my apartment on West 73rd Street, and wondered who the last person in the Manhattan phone book would be. So we looked it up: Nick Zzyzzygy.

    Malcolm picked up the phone.

    “Hi, is Nick there?”


    I’m not sure if there are phone books where you live – they are as obsolete these days as carbon paper, travel agents, and encyclopedias – but if you do, check to see who the last person in the directory is. Then call him and report back on what happened.

    Posted January 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

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