White-Hating Politics

Ilana Mercer

White-Hating Politics

By Ilana Mercer 

In “It’s Not ‘Identity Politics,’ It’s Anti-White Politics,” I questioned whether the term “identity politics” vaguely comports with our racial politics on terra firma. The answer was a resounding “no.”

For, “Whatever is convulsing the country, it’s not identity politics. Blacks are not being pitted against Hispanics. Hispanics are not being sicced on Asians, and Ameri-Indians aren’t being urged to attack the groups just mentioned. Rather, they’re all piling on honky.”

Since the ire of America’s multicultural multitudes is directed exclusively at whites and their putative privilege, not at each other, anti-white animus is the more appropriate term.

The term “identity politics” term was hot-housed in the postmodernist university. Yet commentators, conservatives too, cleave to abstracted definitions developed in citadels far removed from reality. Duly, the author of “Why Identity Politics Kills Democracy” harps on the “political selfishness” that comes with a “fanatical fetishization” of “group identity.” Continue reading

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Letter to the Editor, 20th September

Letter to the Editor, 20th September

SIR

In Westminster and in Bruxelles, the song remains the same. Our “true” values are “tolerance” and “an open door” to anyone who wants to settle here. On Friday 13th September 2019, accordingly, The Daily Telegraph published an editorial, in thematic lockstep with an article the same day in The Guardian, penned by Daniel Trilling, attacking EU and UK restrictions on mass-settlement from Africa and Asia.

“Presenting her EU Commission nominees to reporters, president-elect Ursula von Leyden said: ‘This is the team, as diverse as Europe, as strong as Europe.’ Every single one of them was white,” groaned the so-called “Tory” newspaper. “Was the specific European quality she was looking for ‘dog-whistle racism’?”  After all, it added – complacently, in view of the terrorist threat level and ethnic crime-rate disparity – “the UK is genuinely, comfortably diverse”.

The Telegraph quoted Belgian ex-premier Guy Verhofstadt, who fears a future dominated by China or India and who argues that Europeans should gather together in self-defence. However, such a view, according to The Telegraph, exhibits “paranoia”, lacks “generosity” and reflects the “apocalyptic ‘death of the West’ nonsense published at the beginning of the 20thcentury”.

But what was actually written, well before two Anglo-German wars contributed to a catastrophic loss of life, cultural confidence and external influence? In 1893, Charles Henry Pearson forecast an eventual deterioration in manners, intelligence and family duty, with science and politics only bringing nearer a time “when the lower races will predominate, when the higher races will lose their noblest elements, when we shall ask nothing from the day but to live” (National Life and Character, p.363).

No less pertinent was the data-rich analysis of population and migration probabilities by Professor William McDougall, in support of the argument that the adoption of universal above national interests would ultimately “result in the practical extinction of the white race in all of the two Americas”, with the Europeans led “along the primrose path of domestic comfort, miscegenation, and race-suicide” (Ethics & Some Modern World Problems, 1924, pp.74-76). His prophecies have been recently echoed by Patrick Buchanan and Douglas Murray.

Nearly a century ago, McDougall considered Frenchmen the major villains in the racial transformation on this side of the Atlantic. But today its most vigorous critics are French, to wit, Renaud Camus, Eric Zemmour, Jean-Yves Le Gallous, Jean Raspail and Marion Marechal. Painted as “far right extremism”, their concerns have nevertheless drifted into “mainstream” discourse, thereby alarming the cosmopolitan establishment (see “Juncker criticises his successor..,” Daily Telegraph, 13 September).

Brexit or no Brexit, dangers remain. Angola plans to join Rwanda and Mozambique (combined population 74 million) in the “Commonwealth”, within a “new network of partners”. Having announced their planet-saving decision to have no more than two children, the tax-funded celebrities known as Mrs and Mr Markle are jetting off to Angola as “fantastic” FO ambassadors to the “extremely young” populations in the “vibrant” continent of Africa (Sunday Telegraph, 15 September).

Extending trade with non-European regions does not make the Afro-Asian migrant or “refugee” or transnational criminal flows ipso facto less likely, nor any more desirable. Oswald Spengler’s magnum opus the Decline of the West (1918/23) did not focus on demographybut his Hour of Decision (1934) envisaged “race war and class war”, ultimately combining to “make an end of the white world”. Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

From David Ashton

   

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ENDNOTES, September 2019

Lord Berners

ENDNOTES, September 2019

Stuart Millson on the film music of Lord Berners

In 1944, the directors at Ealing Studios (Basil Dearden, Alberto Cavalcanti and Michael Balcon) were working on a new production, The Halfway House– a story set mainly in a rural location, this time at a remote Carmarthenshire inn, far from the madding crowd and far from the war – or so it seems at the beginning of the story. The story is one of wartime – and of a connection to an ethereal dimension. Yet the spirits in The Halfway House appear as everyday, “real” characters (played by Mervyn and Glynis Johns) – guardians of a gateway to a dimension, a year back in time, in which someone can find again the chance to re-live and re-adjust their life.

Suggested by a play by Denis Ogden, The Peaceful Inn, Ealing’s supernatural and rural journey to Wales, begins at a concert in Cardiff, at the famous New Theatre. Orchestral conductor David Davies (played by Esmond Knight) leads his players in a sparkling, thrilling passage of music – the actual score, especially written for the film by the English composer, Lord Berners. After the applause dies down, Davies addresses his audience, telling them how proud he is to be back on home soil after so long. Seemingly exhausted by his efforts, he drags himself to his dressing room, and we soon learn (his doctor is standing by) that he has been given just a few weeks to live.

The conductor, still a young man, contemplates the awful news, but is determined to take his orchestra on an important British Council tour. Willing himself to squeeze every drop out of life, he refuses to ‘see reason’, but does agree to take a short break from his busy schedule, having been reminded by his elderly backstage attendant of ‘the old ‘alfway house’ – the perfect place, not far from Llandeilo, in which to recharge the batteries. Davies is distracted, and absent-mindedly plays a few notes of a Welsh folk-song on the piano in his dressing room, a small but significant moment in the film, deeply suggestive of old memories and half-forgotten places summoning the characters to their mysterious rendezvous. It is time to go home: Davies puts on his overcoat and hat, and like a shadow, leaves through the artists’ door – a stage direction in itself, and a symbol of what awaits him.

The landlord of the inn, Rhys (Mervyn Johns) materialises, like a figure from the shadows and the air. He is pleased to see his guests arriving, but seems to be absorbed by other thoughts, gazing through time and space. Then a warm, tender, pastoral theme from Berners introduces the arrival of Rhys’s daughter, Gwyneth (played by Glynis Johns). For this moment, Berners produces what must be one of his warmest, most romantic passages: a short tone-painting of hardly any length, yet which manages at a stroke to conjure a feeling of summer air and light, and a touching sense of the love re-uniting two people.

The film also includes a séance, for which Berners composed a gentle, subdued waltz – music from the shadows and footlights. At other times in the screenplay, in which some of the visitors quarrel with one another (two unhappy marriages, and an ardent courting couple, who discover political differences) the composer produces bitter-sweet themes: music of great sadness, at odds with the beauty of the surroundings. The camera also captures magnificent views of wild, hilly country, with suitably uplifting (and, perhaps, slightly out-of-character) music from Berners, but which then subsides into a Bax-like brooding and sense of mystery and Celtic landscape.

The Halfway House concludes with a bombing raid which leads to the destruction of the inn, but not before the principal players have been granted (by Rhys) the chance to re-live the last year of their lives. Actor Esmond Knight is brought to the fore again, to read the words of the 23rd Psalm: ‘The Lord is my shepherd… he maketh me to lie down in green pastures… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…’ It is here that Berners reaches a rare spiritual intensity and, for once, a non-tongue-in-cheek Englishness, with celestial voices guiding the characters through the wartime flames, with a fleeting glimpse of heaven, and back into what Rhys describes as ‘a good world’.

Rarely in British cinema – even in the Walton-Olivier Henry V – can we find such an uplifting conclusion.

Stuart Millson is the Classical Music Editor of The Quarterly Review

Lord Berners, film music (including The Halfway House), Chandos, CHAN 10459

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Scents and Sensibility

Leon Kosavic as Masetto and Erwin Schrott as Don Giovanni. Photographed by Mark Douet

Scents and Sensibility

Don Giovanni; Ossia Il Dissoluto Punito, opera buffa in two acts, music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, a further revival of the 2014 production, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen, directed by Kasper Holten, Royal Opera, Monday 16th September 2019, reviewed by Leslie Jones  

Don Giovanni, played by bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, suitably demonic and over-powering, wants sex with as many women as possible. His appetite is somewhat indiscriminate, as his conquests (1000 in Spain alone) range from the young to the old, from the rich to the poor, from the fat to the thin. “Leave the women alone?”, he asks Leporello, rhetorically, “You’re mad! You know they are more necessary to me than the bread I eat! Than the air I breathe!” This compulsion, sometimes called satyriasis or Don Juanism, lends itself to a psycho-analytic interpretation. Indeed, according to Freud’s biographer Ernest Jones, Don Giovanni was his favourite opera. Freud doubtless considered the killing of the Commendatore, Donna Anna’s father (performed by Brindley Sherratt) as evidence of the Oedipus Complex. And there are voyeuristic elements evocative of the “primal scene”, as when Masetto, en catimini, spies on his fiancé and Don Giovanni. Continue reading

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White Guilt and Christianity

Ilana Mercer

White Guilt and Christianity

By Ilana Mercer

Is white guilt a Christian affliction? Edward Gibbon would probably have said so.

In “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” 12 volumes, 1776, he saddled nascent Christianity with the downfall of the Roman Empire, no less.

By so surmising, Gibbon brought upon himself the wrath of “bishops, deans and dons”—not to mention that of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell. Boswell called Gibbon an “infidel wasp” for “the chapter in which he showed that the fall of Rome was hastened by the rise of Christianity.”

And, indeed, Gibbon seems to point toward Christianity’s self-immolating, progressive, pathologically inclusive nature, remarking on the courting by early Christians of “criminals and women.”

Even more infuriating to his detractors was Gibbon’s prodigious scholarship. “No one could disprove Gibbon’s basic facts,” notes American author Willson Whitman. Whitman, who wrote the 1943 Foreword to the abridged version, remarks how “Gibbon outraged the Christians of his era by suggesting the ‘human’ reasons for the success of Christianity.”“Among these reasons [Gibbon] noted that Christianity … attracted to its ‘common tables’ slaves, women, reformed criminals, and other persons of small importance, in short that Christianity was a ‘people’s movement of low social origin, rising as the people rose.” Continue reading

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Blake, Envisioned

William Blake, The Angels Hovering over the Body of Christ in the Sepulchre c.1805. Credit Pinterest.com

Blake, Envisioned

William Blake, an exhibition, Tate Britain, 11th Sept 2019 to 2nd Feb 2020
William Blake, by Martin Myrone & Amy Concannon, Tate, 2019, reviewed by Leslie Jones

William Blake was born in London, on 28th November 1757, at 28 Broad Street, where his father James ran a hosiery shop and haberdashery. Blake’s family were dissenters and as Simon Schama points out, he was buried in a dissenters’ cemetery (Radio 4, 9th September). Although the approach taken by Martin Myrone and Amy Concannon, curators of this exhibition and authors of the accompanying book, “is determinedly historicist and materialist” (page 14), they overlook the influence of Dissent over Blake’s thought. Not so Alan Moore, who in an afterword, refers to “…Blake’s Moravian parentage…[and] the dissenting Christian faiths that he grew up with…”

For Nonconformity informs Blake’s vision of the world, which is essentially eschatological*. The German mystic Jakob Böhme (1575–1624) endorsed the Lutheran view that “humanity had fallen from divine grace into a state of sin and suffering”. He emphasised the role of the fallen angels who had rebelled against God. Fifth Monarchists, likewise, were ever mindful of Daniel’s prophecy that four successive kingdoms will eventually be replaced by God’s kingdom. They constantly referred to the Number of the Beast. All of these themes are explored by Blake. Angels, fallen or otherwise, throng throughout his oeuvre. Continue reading

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

 SIR –

How should Boris Johnson deal with the Bill which requires that he seek a further extension from the EU, expected to be on the Statute Book by Monday 9th September?

When asked “What will you do if Parliament passes a Bill which obligates you as PM to go to the EU and seek an extension to the leaving date?”, Johnson has made some indeterminate responses, such as “I would rather die in a ditch”. At no point before the 31st should he say that he will ignore the new law. Rather, he should continue making indeterminate statements and for two reasons: (1) because if he says that he will not obey the law, that will probably prompt legal action from the likes of Gina Miller and John Major and (2) because if he has not flouted the new law or said that he will flout it, it will be difficult for the Remainer gang to take any political action against him.

On 31st October, Boris Johnson should simply decline to ask the EU for a further extension. That will get us out of the EU with a no deal Brexit because the Remainers will not be able to act quickly enough to stop the UK leaving by default.

At that point Johnson, on the face of it, would have failed to obey the law. But what penalty could he incur? It is a fair bet that there is no penalty stipulated in the Act. Likewise, what other criminal offence will he have committed? That being so, all that the Commons could do would be to launch a vote of no confidence.

A vote of no confidence could also result in a general election, if no new government can  be found within 14 days, the thing Remainers fear most. But whatever happens, after the 31st October, by using the strategy I have laid out, the UK would have left the EU and could only be drawn back in by a future UK government applying to re-join. Moreover, it is difficult to see how such an application could be made without a new referendum, given that the decision to leave was itself made by referendum.

Robert Henderson, 6th September

*************************************

Editorial endnote.  Stop the press! The Prime Minister has reportedly stated that he is prepared to break the law. Tempus fugit… 

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Kubrick’s Final Film

A mask, from Eyes Wide Shut

Kubrick’s Final Film

Ilana Mercer grabs more shut-eye

Stanley Kubrick’s farewell film, Eyes Wide Shut, has turned 20. I reviewed it for a Canadian newspaper on August 9, 1999, and found it not only pretentious and overrated, but something of a snooze. This flick is the last in a series of stylized personal projects for which the director became known. Given the mystique Kubrick acquired or cultivated, this posthumous flop is unlikely to damage the legend.

For all the film’s textured detail, its yarn is threadbare and its subtext replete with clumsy symbolism. The screenplay consists of labored, repetitive and truncated dialogue, where every exchange involves protracted, pregnant stares and furrowed brows. “I am a doctor,” is Dr Bill Hartford’s stock-phrase. An obscure, campy, hotel desk clerk delivers the only sterling performance. This is cold comfort, considering the viewer is stuck with over two hours of Hartford’s halfhearted, libidinous quests.

“Eyes” is really a conventional morality play during which Hartford, played by Tom Cruise, prowls the streets of New York in his seldom-removed undertaker’s overcoat, in search of relief from his sexual jealousy. His jealousy is aroused by a fantasy that his wife Alice—played by then real-life wife Nicole Kidman—relays in a moment of spite, and involves her sexual desire for a naval officer she glimpsed while on holiday. So strong was her passion, she confides, that she would have abandoned all for this stranger. Continue reading

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Labour Day

Ford Madox Brown, Work

Labour Day 

Mark Wegierski returns to class

In Canada and the United States, the holiday honouring workers and the union movement is celebrated on the first Monday of September, as Labour Day, to avoid the radical connotations of May Day. In some parts of Europe, by contrast, May Day is still celebrated with enthusiasm by socialist and far left parties who share in the idealism of earlier, nineteenth-century workers’ struggles. However, relations between “the progressive intelligentsia” and the proletariat have always been problematic. Even leaving aside the excesses of Soviet Communism (and its various offshoots), the record of Western “progressive” intellectuals with regard to real workers has been questionable at best.

The valuations of the various social classes required by Marxism were, to a large extent, arbitrary. For instance, the “petit bourgeois” (the lower middle-class) were utterly despised, even though they often had to live a hardscrabble existence, and despite the fact that many in the intelligentsia themselves came from well-to-do backgrounds. Moreover, when confronted by the social conservatism of much of the proletariat, left-wing intellectuals fell back on the concept of “false consciousness” and the notion of what Marx had derisively termed the lumpenproletariat (the lowest substratum of society, especially criminals and vagrants). The 1960s generally, and in particular the thought of the psychiatrist and anti-colonialist intellectual Frantz Fanon, marked the repudiation of the “embourgeoised” proletariat in favour of what mainstream Marxism would simply have called the lumpen. Continue reading

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Deadly Rift between Dems and Israel

Ilhan Omar

Deadly Rift between Dems and Israel

by Ilana Mercer

“A toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel,” blared a Washington Post headline. This, “after the nation refused entry to two members of Congress.” The two members are representatives Rashida Tlaib, Democrat from Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, Democrat from Minnesota.

And the “rift” is toxic only to Democrats—and to the many neoconservatives and establishment Republicans who’ve aligned with them against Israeli nationalists and Trump nationalists.

Properly distilled, the divide is between hardline nationalists (Israeli and American) and the globalists (Democrat and Republicans). Liberal pro-Israel groups were likewise exposed for their disdain for any Israeli display of sovereignty.

For “Deplorables”, however, this division is delicious.

First: There was nothing wrong with the Israeli government’s refusal to allow the two entry into its country. Similarly, there would be nothing amiss if the American government refused to welcome into our own country a party of agitators with terrorist sympathies. The “Miftah group that planned the Tlaib-Omar Israel trip once referred to suicide bombing as sacrifice ‘for the cause.’” Continue reading

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