‘Heaping Up Its Own Funeral Pyre’: Britain, Islamic Terror, and the Cult of Pacifism
“Fail, and that history turns into rubbish,
All that great past to a trouble of fools.”
— W.B. Yeats, Three Marching Songs
In 1937 the great Anglo-Irish poet William Butler Yeats was visited by a professor from India who, after lengthy discussion over lunch, requested a message to his country. ‘Let ten thousand men of one side meet the other. That is my message to India,’ replied Yeats, who then seized a Japanese sword and shouted, ‘Conflict, more conflict!’ To twenty-first-century ears, the message might seem bizarre, and may even have jarred the constitution of Yeats’s visitor. It was rooted, however, in the context of the poet’s Romantic and nationalistic belief system — a belief system in which conflict was both natural and good, and essential to the prevention of tribal decay, pollution, and decadence.
We are now, of course, far removed from such an understanding. It has been exiled from artistic and political expression, and driven from instinct by a weak and perverted culture. In the present, to be angry is ‘to let your enemy win.’ To hate is to commit the most grievous of sins of personality. To assert yourself and your interests is to perpetrate a pathological level of selfishness. Yeats would be repulsed. He would have understood that whereas conflict offers at least the opportunity for victory, and thus assumes a heroic quality, the pacifism currently inculcated in the West offers only ignoble defeat and death.
The Yeats anecdote recurred to me in the early hours of the morning as I cast my eyes over emerging media commentary on the latest jihadist attack in London. With depressing regularity the mainstream media, politicians, and cultural personalities ascended into the airwaves like insects disturbed from a nest, all carrying the same poison. To be sure, no-one dared express surprise at the latest Muslim atrocity — we are, perhaps fortunately, getting to the point where that particular affront has exhausted its viability, although faux expressions of ‘shock’ continue to reverberate. Instead, the narrative advanced by these elites was based around the idea that terrorism “should not divide us.” Quite apart from the fact that a multicultural society means that there is no longer any ‘us,’ and the fact that terrorism aims to terrorise rather than ‘divide’ a population, the statement itself should be read as containing a subliminal message: “Do nothing.” It is an enjoinder to pacifism — to surrender.
There is nothing noble about refusing to be moved or motivated by terrorism. If a man broke into my home and assaulted my family I am not made heroic by standing in the corner and pretending that nothing has happened or pretending we’re brothers after all. In the last twenty-four hours social media has been awash with liberals appealing to images of British stoicism during the Blitz of the Second World War. Such allusions are flawed for two reasons, the first being that the stoical, ‘stiff upper lip’ Blitz narrative is nothing more than a myth and a cultural trope. The late British historian Angus Calder’s masterpiece, The Myth of the Blitz, clearly demonstrated that far from showing the British at their finest hour, the Blitz disrupted the lives and broke the will of the vast majority of Londoners, causing a quarter of the population to flee to the countryside. And rather than encouraging national solidarity, both Winston Churchill and the Royal Family were booed while touring the aftermath of air-raids. If the aim of the German air raids was to instill genuine terror, weaken morale, and disrupt the life of the city, it largely succeeded in these goals. And if contemporary Britons believe that they can survive Islamic terror by appealing to a fictional ‘Blitz spirit,’ then they are horribly mistaken.
The second reason why such allusions are wrong-headed is that stoicism is not a healthy attitude in conflict unless it is accompanied by aggression. Even though it has been exaggerated as part of national myth, there was an element of stoicism in British society during the Second World War — but this stoicism existed within the context of warfare. The public braved aggression in the knowledge that vengeance in some form would be visited up the aggressors. Bombs would be dropped on enemy cities. Enemy civilians would be forced to ensure the same hardships, and the same terror. No sane person would have advocated simply taking the bombings, much less taking great pride in the fact that they refused to retaliate or avenge their dead.
What masquerades as stoicism in Britain and much of Europe today is not actually stoicism at all. It is a particularly insidious form of pacifism, spread via cultural code. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the untroubled progression of the multicultural project. It should be made clear that this pacifism is not entirely autochthonous, by which I mean that this gutless passivity is not culturally native to Europeans. It has been taught and disseminated among our people via a system of language described by Jonathan Bowden as a “grammar of self-intolerance.” When you weaken a people’s sense of attachment to its own culture, you weaken the desire to defend that culture, and distort even the perception that that culture might be under threat. Liberals, Leftists, and the generally un-informed reach wildly for the things that they believe to be under threat from Islamic terrorism, but these never include the tangible interests of their own people. ‘Tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ are most often the abstractions of choice, but most recently one Guardian journalist even declared Islamic terrorism “a war on joy.” So while Whites are made a minority in London, are mangled under vehicles, and have their throats cut open in restaurants, they are uncomfortable perceiving themselves as targets or victims of Islamic invasion. They displace their own victimhood onto abstract concepts or values.
Aside from cultural indoctrination, which is intense throughout Europe, pacifism is also enforced and promoted via legal means. It shouldn’t escape the notice of the attentive that every Muslim atrocity is accompanied by the introduction of some form of government initiative purporting to make the nation safer. What these initiatives actually do is make the multicultural concept safer. Laws to monitor the internet, ‘hate preaching,’ and travel, which are sold to the public as a means of tackling radical Islam, are diverted with malice into coordinated efforts to stifle nationalism and any criticism of the diversity agenda. These laws are often pre-prepared by organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and their European equivalents. One can be certain that after every Muslim atrocity nationalist websites will be targeted for censorship, lone nationalists will be targeted for arrest for ‘hate speech’ against the troublesome minority, and travel bans (introduced with fanfare as a means of preventing the entry of radical Imams from Pakistan) will be imposed instead on people like Richard Spencer.
Right on cue, within twelve hours of the latest attacks, Theresa May announced that she would be seeking measures to tackle ‘extremism’ online, a measure that will undoubtedly target nationalists more than Islamists. The country, of course, isn’t made safer by the employment of any of these measures. Terrorist attacks continue, and the pattern is repeated. The jihadist threat and ethnic crime against native Brits intensify, while nationalism is muzzled, gagged, and weakened , drip by drip, step by step.
The combination of legal repression and cultural numbing produces a truly horrifying inertia. At first, there was some small, dark humor to be squeezed from the stereotypical aspects of responses to Muslim terror — the social media filters, the candles, the vigils, the clichés and non sequiturs. I’ve noticed recently among friends that we are laughing less at these responses, a sign perhaps that some of us are realizing that our situation may be more bleak than even we had previously thought.
Our own problems and pathologies aside, we are indeed at war, and at war on a number of fronts. At the best of times terrorism finds a poor foe in pacifism. Even moderately efficient terrorists, despite often possessing demographic and logistical weaknesses, often achieve a significant portion of their goals if they press long and hard enough at a particular weak spot. And all governments have their Achilles Heel. The most primitive goal of terrorists is often simply the violent expression of their anger against a population or government. The three dead Muslims lying on London Bridge achieved this goal with relative ease, their enmity against the West, whether religious, racial, cultural, social or economic (or a combination of all), quenched in one eight-minute frenzy of bloody and zealous fury.
Which brings us to a unique difficulty presented to the West by Islamic terror — the fact that its soldiers do not care if they go home and in fact welcome death. Liberals believe they stumbled on a piece of choice wisdom when they proclaim that ‘to give in to hate is to let your enemy win.’ The true, but demonic, genius lies with Islam, which proclaims that individual death itself (and thus the most personal form of defeat) can offer victory.
Aside from the narrow goal of personal vengeance, a particularly alarming aspect of Muslim terror is that it cannot be conceivably negotiated away. When the British government engaged in conflict with the Irish Republican Army it did so knowing the IRA’s war aims — the withdrawal of the British government, in all forms, from the entire island of Ireland. While the ‘hot war’ carried on for much of the twentieth century, there was a ‘cold war’ of negotiations and diplomacy behind the scenes, designed to ameliorate the violence via discussions and concessions that touched on aspects of the war aims of the terrorists — devolved government, gradual removal of British troops, and concessions to political prisoners. Crucially, the demands of the IRA were significant but not entirely inconceivable, and there were practical political means of dealing with them. A similar case is that of the Basque separatist group ETA, which employed terrorist methods against the Spanish government with clear geo-political objectives.
However, when one attempts to consider the war aims of militant Islam one is struck by their scale and inconceivability. Islamic terror is perpetrated with the intent of paving the way for a global Islamic Caliphate, to slaughter non-believers, and to ensure that the West enjoys no peace as long as there is suffering in the Middle East. In July 2016 Islamic State was unequivocal: “The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam.”
None of these war aims can be negotiated, since none offer the prospect of a reasonable middle ground. The desire for a global Islamic Caliphate is intrinsic to Islam and encouraged by it. A Muslim possessing the blunt desire to slaughter non-believers can hardly be bargained with since his bargaining chips are counted in body bags. Meanwhile the Middle East has always been a hotbed of social, political, and economic dysfunction. Solving problems there is an impossibility, not to mention the fact that it is not Europe’s responsibility to fix the national failings of peoples in another continent.
Islamic terror cannot be negotiated with, and nor can it be fully extinguished from the Muslim population. It is now entrenched in Islam, some parts more than others, and it will therefore form an element wherever significant Muslim populations are to be found. The elites governing Britain and much of Europe have decided that vast Muslim populations are to stay in Europe, and are therefore complicit, in every possible sense, in the ongoing perpetration of terror on European soil. Their immigration policies, their refusal to act against Muslims generally, and their active suppression of dissenting elements of the native population form a veritable witches’ brew of treasonous activity. The nationalist therefore finds himself in conflict not only with the Muslim terrorists attacking his kinfolk, but also with those cultural and political elements which bolster, increase, and protect Europe’s Islamic colonization.
This war on many fronts may give rise to a feeling of pessimism. However, some small comfort can at least be derived from the knowledge that we, at least, know that we are engaged in conflict — and that conflict is natural and good. Marginalized, gagged and jailed, we know that we are in a fight, and what we are fighting for. We know that we are not witnessing attacks on ‘joy’ but on our people. We know that we are not fighting against people who want to damage ‘tolerance’ but who want to seize our territory and resources. Far-reaching though the war aims of Islam might be, we at least recognize them for what they are. And this knowledge will, in the right context, prove extremely useful. A great fight lies on the horizon; one greater than any of our fathers or grandfathers could have imagined. What fate lies beyond that fight is a great and dark unknown. But we will be better to approach it headlong rather than in the manner of the sheep around us, ignorant of their own rapidly deteriorating position. If nothing else, we will be better prepared.
If Yeats were here today, I’d ask him for a message to Britain. I’d like to think he’d reach for the sword as he did in 1937, hold it aloft, and repeat those immortal words: “Conflict, more conflict!”
 A. Calder, The Myth of the Blitz (Pimlico, London, 1992).
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