Related to Alain de Benoist’s interview on the Big Mother-Therapeutic state, I recently received an email commenting on a recent Red Ice interview where I talked about two of the major trends in European culture, the Indo-European heroic warrior culture of aristocratic-egalitarianism and the northern hunter-gatherer culture of individualist-egalitarianism. My correspondent writes:
It seems to explain many casual observations that I made.
For example: why we can’t rent a horse to run full gallop? And not only in California but also in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Apparently this is because of the disdain which herb gatherers feel for the nomadic horse which symbolizes oppression for them. One can retort that it is because of the lawsuits for injuries. But what motivates the lawyers? Mere greed? It could also be hatred for horse and horseman. And why do the people let it happen? I should add that the only place in the USA where I could gallop was Tennessee. And you actually said in your interview that the South is different.
Why can’t we solo Mount Rainier? [Actually, it is possible to solo Mt. Rainier, but it requires written permission from the superintendent.] Messner soloed Everest. But in this great country on God’s green Earth we are not even allowed to solo Rainier. Genuine concern for our safety? Or, perhaps, this is the wish of the duck hunters [egalitarian hunter-gatherer types] to pull down anyone who stands out? You spoke at length about this trait in your lecture.
And why was Snow Summit closed for downhill biking for over five years? I could continue for an hour, but this may get boring.
I have written several articles on extreme sports as a context for implicit Whiteness (e.g., here and here). Putting this all together, the nanny state described by de Benoist and my correspondent has the effect of suppressing a critical aspect of traditional European culture — death-defying deeds in pursuit of personal glory. This restless Faustian spirit of the West is linked to exploration, invention, military exploits, and conquering the unknown.
As Domitius Corbulo notes in his comment on the vast overrepresentation of Europeans as explorers:
Exploration is not only a popular subject, but one filled with fascinating stories of human greatness, heroic will, and stamina against immense odds and hardship—exactly the sorts of traits that, according to cultural Marxists, should not be found to be unusually common among Europeans. …
Roughly speaking I counted about 75 great European explorers in the period from about 1800 to the present, men (and a few women) who dedicated themselves to the discovery of the unknown, reconnoitering every place of the planet, climbing the highest mountains, penetrating into the deepest crevices of the oceans and high above in space. This history is rarely taught in our schools and universities; it has been virtually banned, or slandered by charges of imperialism.
All these men were engaged in very dangerous activities. And we are the better off for it. The campaign to suppress the history of Western heroic deeds in the universities dovetails with the campaigns to force people to live safe lives while wallowing in the consumer culture so aptly described by de Benoist. Both can be thought of as battles in taming the West, the ultimate victory of radical egalitarianism—and really the end of the traditional culture of the West.