Suicide Cult

With a hat-tip to Bill Vallicella, here’s a review of Douglas Murray’s new(ish) book on the murder of Europe by its political elites: The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam.

Back in May, we excerpted an essay by Mark Steyn, writing on the morrow of the Ariana Grande concert-bombing in England, in which he mentioned this book. Mr. Steyn spoke of the way that gradual decline can be imperceptible:

As I asked around Europe all last year: What’s the happy ending here? In a decade it will be worse, and in two decades worse still, and then in three decades people will barely recall how it used to be…

My own gloomy response was this:

Mr. Steyn is exactly right. It is, sadly, the brevity of human lifespans that makes such decline so easy. The world is new, and therefore normal, to each generation; it is only the old who can see clearly the value of what has been, and is being, lost and forgotten. But they are old, and weary, and soon they die.

European civilization is old, too, and soon will do the same.

I’d made a note to myself to read Mr. Murray’s book at the time, but it slipped my mind. I am grateful to Bill for the reminder.


  1. Murray is/was a neocon. We have read some of his earlier books (rather short) and quite a lot of his columns. He has some good things to say and he is quite honest and is clearly upset. One can definitely see a change in him over the last ten years or so and especially in the last two to three years.

    Now, here is the neoreactionary critique.

    Firstly, Murray (and Bill) advance either an ideological explanation or a moral one (“white guilt” “malicious liberals”). While it these things are real to a certain extent, the key is understanding that the left needs immigrants as clients (votes being a part of it) into to retain their power.

    In our terminology, adapted from Bruce Mesquita, is that the left are the “Elite” and the “patriotic Americans” or “traditional Europeans” are the Essentials. The Elites rely on the Essentials, of course, but their interests differ and Elites always seek to limit the number and power of Essentials.

    How this is achieved is by increasing the pool of potential Essentials – hence immigration, equality and diversity etc.

    This is Moldbug’s High, Middle and Low frame (derived from On Power), though Mesquita comes to the same model, though via different means.

    The pessimistic conclusion is that the left will make use of their “Expendables” and new Essentials up until the point where they are threatened with being overthrown, then, or so the theory predicts, they will make use of a new batch of Expendables.

    Who the new batch will be depends on a number of factors. In America, it will be Mexicans and Indians. Europe is in a much tougher position. They will likely be use of Africans, Indians and some Chinese to balance the Muslims. Also, they will have plenty of angry white ethno-nationalists that they can use as well.

    This is pretty much what will happen, so long as the basic political paradigm continues.

    Posted January 6, 2018 at 1:57 am | Permalink
  2. bomag says

    The Elites rely on the Essentials, of course, but their interests differ and Elites always seek to limit the number and power of Essentials.

    In days of yore, the Elite benefited from largish numbers of Essentials hewing wood; growing food; and filling the ranks of the military.

    Today, with machines and technology, many fewer Essentials are needed to keep the lights on; thus the Deplorables are expendable if they vote wrong.

    Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  3. Whitewall says

    Generally speaking, the use of “Deplorables” omits the other word that HRC used in her infamous put down of millions of people…the word “Irredeemable”. This is a very deep and dangerous condemnation. A man may laugh off the first word but the deep meaning of a man who is beyond redemption might soon sink in to him in just how worthless and expendable he is regarded. This man might just decide if he is so beyond any good purpose, he might as well give a blunt bloody and brutal example of what “irredeemable” can look like. Most Elites won’t survive this kind of lesson.

    Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink
  4. Whitewall:

    “Generally speaking, the use of “Deplorables” omits the other word that HRC used in her infamous put down of millions of people…the word “Irredeemable”. This is a very deep and dangerous condemnation”

    Exactly right:

    “In 2009, Travers outlined his “fascination” with the kinds of people Clinton calls not only a “basket of deplorables” but morally (theologically?) “irredeemable” in the following paragraph:

    I should explain that my fascination with wingnuts is fairly specific. There are dozens of right wing bloggers who are merely stupid or repellent, and there is also a correspondingly sizable army of leftists who take on the task of mocking them. I’m not very interested in playing that game. The right-wingers on my list are those that exert a peculiar fascination on me, those whose raving seem to say something about the human condition, or at least my condition. Those who seem to be radical enough, in the sense of wanting to get to the root of things, that they have something new to say. Mencius Moldbug may be the prototype of this class, but I am discovering others.

    This is what Travers had to say, however, about Clinton’s deplorable remark:

    …here՚s my concrete and personal reaction: Yes, I find Trump and most of his supporters deplorable, and I don՚t have any problem with making that judgement, or the idea that this particular political contest actually is a fight against a very real form of evil.”

    Clinton, of course, says she is a Christian, but she is no such thing. Christians are supposed to believe in redemption.

    However, we see that this language has genocidal implications.

    Posted January 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    Imperial Energy,
    “However, we see that this language has genocidal implications.”

    It seems easier all the time to move from disposable innocent life, to enabling frail elderly to kill themselves, to disinterest in thousands of minority youth murdering each other. Then there is attempted removal of an entire people because of their religion. All of these events taking place within the space of one lifetime. Civilization sure seems to extract a high price and may demand more.

    Moldbug does have a way of getting to the root of many things even if his style is very long winded.

    Posted January 6, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
  6. Jimmy says

    Good for those interested

    Posted January 9, 2018 at 1:32 am | Permalink

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