Sunday, 21 June 2009

Degenerates

To depict this age faithfully is an aesthetic sin, and I am therefore often reluctant to sully the page with any unsightly instances of it. Nevertheless, here is another:
My politics comes from Marxism and feminism; it’s republican, it’s gay and it’s green. It isn’t about ‘good works’, but its works are all towards the good of society. And that can’t be realised without the most radical transformations. [1]
As these blighters approach their goal of the radical transformation of society and state in line with their savage atavism, the pitch of their antipathy increases. Where signs still exist of former ways of thought, a great hysterical anger is raised, and the hysteria becomes the greater the fewer the signs that remain. Sometimes, the more that society and state are transformed towards their ways, the more inclined they are to believe that success is slipping away, as their eyes fix jealously and narrowly on what still remains outside their control. Therein is hidden something old and primitive, a savage instinct, a contempt wholly without noble aspect, which is roused to frenzy at the sight of weakness; but therein is also something quite new: this savage atavism is cultivated and treated to every defence which sophistication can muster.
Retrogression, relapse—this is in general the ideal of this band who dare to speak of liberty and progress. They wish to be the future. That is one of their chief pretensions. That is one of the means by which they catch the largest number of simpletons. We have, however, seen in all individual cases that it is not the future but the most forgotten, far-away past. Degenerates lisp and stammer, instead of speaking. They utter monosyllabic cries, instead of constructing grammatically and syntactically articulated sentences. They draw and paint like children, who dirty tables and walls with mischievous hands. They compose music like that of the yellow natives of East Asia. They confound all the arts, and lead them back to the primitive forms they had before evolution differentiated them. Every one of their qualities is atavistic, and we know, moreover, that atavism is one of the most constant marks of degeneracy. [2]
At the disposal of these degenerates are all the advantages of their inheritance, and, like profligate wastrels, they fritter it away.

[1] Beatrix Campbell, “Why I accepted my OBE”, Comment is Free (The Guardian’s weblog), 16th June 2009. (One of the commenters (“whatithink”) put it rather well: “Our honours system is now used entirely as a way of identifying people who are a complete menace to the rest of society.”)
[2] Max Nordau, Degeneration (London: William Heinemann, 1898), p.555.

11 comments:

James Higham said...

I fear we're all blogged out now about these people. You still seem capable of articulating your disdain though. Well done.

xlbrl said...

Burke lives.

Perhaps in time the Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own-
George Lichtenberg

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

There was an article in The Australian, Thanks for the gong, bloated imperialist which had some additional material upon the subject to make any decent person retch in disgust.

Ms Campbell appeared on an ABC [Australian Bolshevik Corporation] radio show where she was the recipient of some loathsome fawning by host, Philip Adams.

(Philip Adams for those fortunate not to have heard of him is an ex-Communist, Atheist, Australian Republican, a frequent commentator on the need to sever the ties between Australia and the Mother Country, and unfortunately, an immovable part of the Australian cultural scene (and related government bureaucracy). You may be familiar with the type - just imagine Gore Vidal without the wit, charm or originality.)

"Later on Tuesday she joins Phillip Andrew Adams AO (1992), AM (1987), DUniv (Griffith), FRSA, author, broadcaster and filmmaker, on ABC Radio National's Late Night Live:

ADAMS: Now Bea. First of all, the OBE.I'm so proud of you. Were you astonished?

Campbell: Um, when I was warned, my nearest and dearest said, "Um: Now you're in for a shock. Sit down. Not a bad shock. But it is a shock."

Adams: Oh, isn't that lovely? But look, it does my old heart good. We must talk about it more quietly on another occasion. But, look, great waves of congratulations from your antipodean fan club, of which I'm proud to say I am the treasurer."

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Probably Treasurer, President and only member of the Beatrix Campbell fan club!

Deogolwulf said...

"Beatrix Campbell fan club" -- what a revolting idea.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Let us not forget that nowadays a martyr, a reformer, is a man who smells of perfume, a man who sits with a wreath on his head and gorges at banquets, a man who is comfortably well-off, a man who actually ventures nothing at all and yet acquires everything, even the title of reformer.

- Kierkegaard, The Book on Adler

TGGP said...

I was reminded of the documentary series Lefties recently and got to thinking: "What is the deal with Britain?" Those types of characters just seem bizarre to me as an American. I invite others to highlight the worst of my prominent countrymen though.

Deogolwulf said...

Britain and the Western European nations are beyond redemption, as far as I can see. It is as if they are willing their own destruction. I would welcome some kind of reactionary secessionist movement to preserve in some small corner of the continent a small degree of old Europe, but since it would include just me and a few other loonies, I do not put much hope in it.

MR. OBSIDIAN said...

Excellent post.

It smacks of Lothrop Stoddard's sentiment as speckled throughout The Revolt Against Civilization: the Menace of the Under Man.

The atavistic under man cannot integrate himself with civilization, he cannot comprehend or appreciate its ways; and so he knows only how to destroy and undermine progress. He is human entropy manifest, expressing naught but chaos and reversion--moving ever backwards, towards the Hobbesian state of nature.

Deogolwulf said...

Mr Obsidian,

The other week I downloaded Stoddard's The Revolt Against Civilization from archive.org, but I haven't read it yet.

MR. OBSIDIAN said...

It's certainly worth a read, with many quotable passages.
More than a few of Stoddard's general observations remain quite applicable.

Of course, the work is also a product of its time and the science is severely dated.