The return of the primitive

According to multicultural myth there are no civilized cultures, and therefore no primitive ones. Like most leftist articles of faith, this one runs against the great weight of evidence. At birth, we humans are neolithic creatures.  Biologically we need socialization before we can become full members of our families and cultures. And so every society has found ways to tame the neolithic primitive in us.

In every new generation, the possibility of regression to the primitive makes another try at revolution.  Primitivism can be a creative force, because cultures do become stuck, like the great hierarchical empires of the Incas and Aztecs, which sacrificed children to ensure the next day's rising of the sun. The high Egyptian culture of the Pharaos lasted for three thousand years, with only occasional invasions by more primitive peoples to force adaptation and change. By 1900 the Beijing Imperial Court had become so isolated in abstruse ritual that it simply refused to believe that the real China had sunk into anarchy and powerlessness.  The word "civilization" does not always mean "good."

All around us we see the constant tug of war between the primitive and the civilized. The Hebrews of early Biblical history were warlike invaders, who slew their enemies to the last survivor. By the sixth century BCE they had produced high religious works that continue, contrary to the American Left, to shape our lives today. They developed a high ethical and moral code.

Beginning as just another warrior people, they produced Isaiah and a body of civilizing law, driven by a conception of Deity that was far more civilizing than the Roman gods Jupiter and Mars. For centuries European Christians conducted savage massacres against each other, and during the Crusades they destroyed civilized Islamic centers of culture in Spain and Portugal. What we call Judeo—Christian tradition today is the end product of twenty five centuries of struggle and debate. The Left, which often represents the primitive, would like to destroy it all in one generation, because in the mythology of Rousseau all revolution is good.

Radical Islamism is a kind of primitivism, as remarked by the President of Iraq this week, when he scornfully referred to the Saudis as "camel riders from the desert."  As in every human culture, there is a struggle between primitivism and civilization within Islam. That struggle will determine the outcome of what some have called the Fourth World War ——— the war of Islamofascism against the modern world.

Islam has a greater task  because it is nominally an absolutist faith, insisting on total adherence to a creed written by a religious warrior from the Arabian desert. In fact, of course, Islam has produced a vast body of practical law, much like Rabbinical or Church law, which claims validation from the earliest sources, but which serves to tame the wilder precepts of the desert. Yet any Islamofascist can read Koranic verses that support genocide and slave—raiding against the infidel. In the Sudan and parts of Saudi Arabia those verses are still read literally.  Some neighborhoods in France and Holland are out of bounds to police, because there, too, the words of the desert are read to justify war against the West.

So in the Third Millenium of Western civilization we are seeing a return of the primitive. Islamofascism is not the only face of regression today, just the most dangerous at the moment. On the other side of the world, in China, the government's "one child" population policy has allowed millions of male babies to grow up while female babies were aborted or allowed to die. That imbalance of the sexes will raise a generation of untamed young men, who will not have young women in their lives to soothe and civilize them.

In Europe, the native population has been seduced into a welfare stasis which represents the over—control of industrialized society. To pay for its pensions Europe must import immigrant workers who may lack the social discipline of Western culture. Airplanes and instant communication now allow the fanatical preachers of the desert to be heard throughout in the world.

America is hardly immune to a return to the primitive. We can see it in our movies over the last thirty years, in the out—of—wedlock birth rate, in the rise of cities where drugs and despair are the order of the day.  Over the last two centuries the Anglosphere has generally managed to find a better balance between regression and civilization, without the traumatic injuries that still haunt Continental Europe and Asia. Nobody knows if the English—speaking world will continue to find a way — all we know is that the race between education and catastrophe will not stop soon.

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.

According to multicultural myth there are no civilized cultures, and therefore no primitive ones. Like most leftist articles of faith, this one runs against the great weight of evidence. At birth, we humans are neolithic creatures.  Biologically we need socialization before we can become full members of our families and cultures. And so every society has found ways to tame the neolithic primitive in us.

In every new generation, the possibility of regression to the primitive makes another try at revolution.  Primitivism can be a creative force, because cultures do become stuck, like the great hierarchical empires of the Incas and Aztecs, which sacrificed children to ensure the next day's rising of the sun. The high Egyptian culture of the Pharaos lasted for three thousand years, with only occasional invasions by more primitive peoples to force adaptation and change. By 1900 the Beijing Imperial Court had become so isolated in abstruse ritual that it simply refused to believe that the real China had sunk into anarchy and powerlessness.  The word "civilization" does not always mean "good."

All around us we see the constant tug of war between the primitive and the civilized. The Hebrews of early Biblical history were warlike invaders, who slew their enemies to the last survivor. By the sixth century BCE they had produced high religious works that continue, contrary to the American Left, to shape our lives today. They developed a high ethical and moral code.

Beginning as just another warrior people, they produced Isaiah and a body of civilizing law, driven by a conception of Deity that was far more civilizing than the Roman gods Jupiter and Mars. For centuries European Christians conducted savage massacres against each other, and during the Crusades they destroyed civilized Islamic centers of culture in Spain and Portugal. What we call Judeo—Christian tradition today is the end product of twenty five centuries of struggle and debate. The Left, which often represents the primitive, would like to destroy it all in one generation, because in the mythology of Rousseau all revolution is good.

Radical Islamism is a kind of primitivism, as remarked by the President of Iraq this week, when he scornfully referred to the Saudis as "camel riders from the desert."  As in every human culture, there is a struggle between primitivism and civilization within Islam. That struggle will determine the outcome of what some have called the Fourth World War ——— the war of Islamofascism against the modern world.

Islam has a greater task  because it is nominally an absolutist faith, insisting on total adherence to a creed written by a religious warrior from the Arabian desert. In fact, of course, Islam has produced a vast body of practical law, much like Rabbinical or Church law, which claims validation from the earliest sources, but which serves to tame the wilder precepts of the desert. Yet any Islamofascist can read Koranic verses that support genocide and slave—raiding against the infidel. In the Sudan and parts of Saudi Arabia those verses are still read literally.  Some neighborhoods in France and Holland are out of bounds to police, because there, too, the words of the desert are read to justify war against the West.

So in the Third Millenium of Western civilization we are seeing a return of the primitive. Islamofascism is not the only face of regression today, just the most dangerous at the moment. On the other side of the world, in China, the government's "one child" population policy has allowed millions of male babies to grow up while female babies were aborted or allowed to die. That imbalance of the sexes will raise a generation of untamed young men, who will not have young women in their lives to soothe and civilize them.

In Europe, the native population has been seduced into a welfare stasis which represents the over—control of industrialized society. To pay for its pensions Europe must import immigrant workers who may lack the social discipline of Western culture. Airplanes and instant communication now allow the fanatical preachers of the desert to be heard throughout in the world.

America is hardly immune to a return to the primitive. We can see it in our movies over the last thirty years, in the out—of—wedlock birth rate, in the rise of cities where drugs and despair are the order of the day.  Over the last two centuries the Anglosphere has generally managed to find a better balance between regression and civilization, without the traumatic injuries that still haunt Continental Europe and Asia. Nobody knows if the English—speaking world will continue to find a way — all we know is that the race between education and catastrophe will not stop soon.

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.