Living in the shadow of fascism
Mark Wegierski considers the ideological consequences of the Second World War
Seventy years after its end, World War II continues to shape the world. One of its main ideological results was the general discrediting of Western traditionalism and the delegitimizing of the possibilities of a “democratic Right” — or of a “social conservatism of the Left” — that is to say, various possible symbioses of traditionalism and liberal democracy.
Although it may seem quite remote from many persons (especially young people) today, we are in fact living in the shadow of the anti-traditionalist consequences of the Second World War. Recoiling from the horrors of Nazism, an evil ideology that was buried in the rubble of Berlin, Western countries such as Canada have reacted viscerally against anything that smacks of “right-wing” or “traditional” notions (albeit often misconceived and caricatured) with the result that an almost continual, uninterrupted, unremitting left-liberal surge has overtaken those societies.
Indeed, countries such as Canada today are on the “cutting edge” of late modernity. Canada is increasingly becoming a nation without history, or historical memory. Lacking a context or mooring in a richly textured sense of history, most Canadians today are cast adrift on an ever-thinning, improvisational present moment, driven by consumerism, pop-culture, and a few “politically correct” clichés about the past.
As a person of Polish descent who has studied history extensively, the author hopefully has a certain insight into totalitarianism – whether of the Nazi, Soviet, or politically-correct left-liberal variety. Although the latter is ostensibly non-violent and does not produce mounds of corpses – it is extremely thoroughgoing in the upholding and imposition of its ideas, as well as being what its critics would call “soul-killing”. And some would indeed cite the vast number of abortions in current-day Western societies as suggestive of actual mass-killing. As J.R.R. Tolkien has acutely observed — “evil always takes on another shape and grows again.”
The new evil was not only the manifest cruelty of the Soviet empire, to which East-Central Europe had been notoriously betrayed, but also a rising miasma of trends and tendencies that would eventually drive most Western countries into a socially disintegrative mode. Three major prophets of this new mode were Dr. Kinsey (who — according to perceptive critics like Judith Reisman — manifestly misrepresented the reality of sexual behavior in an attempt to create the very tendencies he purported to describe); Dr. Spock (who introduced highly distempering errors into the understanding of how to raise children); and Dr Timothy Leary (the Sixties’ guru and “youth drug culture” advocate).
Although many European patriots, conservatives, and traditionalists had fiercely opposed Nazi Germany, as of 1945, the entire “right-wing option” stood discredited in the eyes of the broad masses of most Western countries. In today’s world, those who continue to hold the ideals of such World War II heroes as Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, or Wladyslaw Sikorski (the preeminent leader of the Polish Government-in-Exile and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed forces in the West) are often considered retrograde reactionaries.
It is possible to see the respective histories of a country like Poland since September 1939 (the beginning of an ongoing calamity for that nation whose consequences continue even to this day) and Canada since the 1960s as being tragic in the case of Poland and tinged with tragedy in the case of Canada — owing in both cases to forces, which although apparently dissimilar, often end up being quite alike in their disdain for living, breathing, actual societies and peoples.
Many Western countries such as Canada – under the direction of their “politically-correct” elites (or pseudo-elites) — appear to have lost their confidence and their belief in them selves. They have embraced low birthrates, and high immigration policies, which, when coupled with the refusal to exert meaningful assimilatory pressures on the new immigrants, may indeed render these countries long term future increasingly problematic. What may be particularly troubling is the unidirectional nature of developments such as social liberalism, multiculturalism, and high immigration, all of which tend in one direction, i.e., towards the ever-increasing subversion of traditional society.
Indeed, it did not take too long for the Left’s “long march through the institutions” to get underway. During one year at the alleged height of “McCarthyism” in the United States, a young William F. Buckley, Jr. went around talking to thousands of professors in the social sciences and humanities at prestigious U.S. universities. Only two or three actually admitted to being “conservative” and that was at the height of the “reactionary Fifties”! What may be concluded from this is that, in almost every sector of society, left-liberalism has been winning one spectacular victory after another, rapidly pushing further and further into all areas of social terrain. Authentic traditionalist conservatism in the U.S., but especially so in Canada, has, despite some apparent electoral successes, been run ragged for at least the last quarter century. As to the outlook for some parts of Western Europe, it is evidently dystopic indeed.
The only exception to this appears to be the economic sector. However, it should be understood that, with their manifest social prevalence in educational, academic, media, cultural, judicial, and administrative sectors, especially in Canada, left-liberals can well allow the existence of a large, dynamic private sector that functions to efficiently produce the economic goods that they want to give to themselves and to their client-groups. There is also a major difference between social conservatism (emphasizing family, nation, local communities, and traditional religion), and fiscal/economic conservatism. If one looks closely enough, one can see that fiscal/economic conservatism alone can, in fact, coexist with varieties of left-liberalism (as typified by the many technocrats in the Canadian Liberal Party today). And, while the Canadian Liberal Party held the federal government for many decades of the Twentieth Century, it embraced, for most of that time, what could be called a “traditionalist-centrist” consensus. So-called “right-wing Liberals” (such as John Turner, who invoked residues of a more substantive Canadian patriotism in his resistance to the Canada – U.S. Free Trade deal), as well as “social conservative” Liberals, had fragmentarily persisted into the later decades of the Twentieth Century. However, by today, it is manifestly clear that such residual tendencies in the Canadian Liberal Party are being driven out, especially social conservatism.
It may also be noted that such parties as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the predecessor to today’s ultra-politically-correct New Democratic Party in Canada) were social democratic in economics, but mostly socially conservative on issues of family, nation, and religion. Some of these residues may be considered to have persisted in the NDP’s criticisms of globalization, and their stated concern for “average, ordinary Canadians”.
As for today’s Conservative Party, it in fact appears to have embraced fiscal/economic conservatism as virtually the sole “permissible” manifestation of conservatism. The leadership of the party has been running away from any overt manifestations of social conservatism.
We have come to a social environment in Canada today where any more substantive notions of traditionalism and conservatism, have been purged with particular thoroughness from the academic world – as well as from the education system and from most of the news media, and from both high- and pop-culture. And, for a number of decades now, it could be perceived that the Canadian administrative and juridical structures have been deployed mostly on behalf of left-liberalism. The result of this is that conservative and traditionalist ideas, especially those embracing a more substantive patriotism, are usually only inchoately expressed, in an untutored fashion, by some of the general populace, and so can be easily subjected to pejorative scorn and discredited.
The question that now faces Canada is sharp. Is it going to be “politics-as-usual”, a continuing slide in the direction the country has been going for at least the last thirty years, or will there be a belated attempt to generate some real countervailing tendencies – such as an attempt to tame the excesses of multiculturalism and of social and cultural anomie? It is possible that an uninterrupted continuation of the slide will result, in the next twenty to forty years (a mere sliver of time in terms of world-history), in the almost-inevitable social and cultural dissolution of Canada.
MARK WEGIERSKI is a Toronto-based writer and historical researcher