Culture is shared understandings, shared beliefs, shared observances, and shared values. 

In the West, these are under sustained attack.  Since postmodernist relativism, nihilism and cultural Marxism invaded the West, those of us who have succumbed, in varying degrees, have consigned themselves to having no culture.  No values, no beliefs, nothing to affirm and defend.

Nietzsche, in The Gay Science (1882) gives a Parable on the Death of God, in which he outlines the implications of life without a sacred beyond (a foundational source of values that comes from outside ourselves and gives meaning to our lives).  In Nietzsche’s Parable, a madman runs into the marketplace screaming that we have killed God.  In a series of demented questions he spells out the implications:

“How were we able to drink up the sea?  Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?  What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun?  Where is it moving now?  Where are we moving now?  Away from all suns?  Are we not perpetually falling?  Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?  Is there any up or down left?”

Nietzsche understood very starkly the absolute rootlessness, the existential void that comes from our “killing God” and with that, our culture.  He says we have to make the ethical basis up ourselves, and goes on to advocate the Will to Power – a view that Hitler found attractive.

On the ABC’s TV program Q&A in October 2012 during the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, an American “intellectual”, Jesse Bering, wowed the panel and audience with this piece of postmodernism:   “Free yourself of the illusion of God.  There’s no such thing as good and evil.  And there’s no such thing as free will.”

Now the first sentence of his comment is a debate we will put to one side, but the second and third sentences are pure SOCIAL SATANISM.  They are absolute destruction of values, and of any need to take personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own actions.

Cultural Pessimism

The Left pushes “cultural pessimism,” what in Australia we call a Black Armband view of our history, in the context of the treatment of Aboriginal people since white settlement in 1788.  This asserts that the history of the West and of derived countries like Australia, the USA and others contains nothing good.  Our history is nothing more than a story of colonialism, racism, and genocide, and any alternative “triumphalist” narrative is just the “hegemony” of past victors.  The ABC’s spokesturd Laura Tingle told the Sydney Writers’ Festival in April 2024 that Australia is a “very racist country.”  For people like her, and the excremental Greens, the West is the cause of all evil in the world, and non-Western cultures are peopled by grievously wronged “noble savages”.

A manifestation of this Black Armband mindset is in “white guilt” – whereby people today who are in no way responsible for evils done generations ago, apologise to the descendants of people several generations on from those who were allegedly wronged. 

It is Virtue Signalling and tokenism and achieves not a single thing to improve the lot of those descendants.   It does, however, whiteant the culture by riddling it with pessimism.

Existential Chaos Of Contemporary Western Culture

There is a profound spiritual truth in the story told in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God told Adam and Eve that they had free run of the Garden of Eden, but they must not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  This is a metaphor directly relevant to where we are today.  By denying an absolute moral law, and arrogating to ourselves the right to make up our own ideas (for as long as it suits us) of what is “good and evil”, we have subjected ourselves to chaos and destruction.

Jordan Peterson, a Canadian Professor Psychology from the University of Toronto, titled his 2018 bestseller 12 Rules for Life:  an antidote to chaos.   His clinical experience in dealing with patients, shows that there is tremendous angst in our society coming from existential void.
Mankind was given free will, the ability to choose good or evil.  In Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground, part 1, chapter 8, the Underground Man sums up our task thus:  “It seems to me that the meaning of a person’s life consists in proving to himself every minute that he’s a person and not a piano key.”  In other words, you’re not just the plaything of external forces, you have power over your own life, so choose to be positive and take active control.

The American conservative intellectual Thomas Sowell points out that under the pernicious ideology of multiculturalism, you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture, and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

And on top of that, the Leftists and relativists tell us that all cultures are equal.   Equal?!

Decline And The Alternative

“Passionarity” is a term coined by the Russian historian Lev Gumilev to refer to a country’s strength of belief in itself, strength of will to affirm and defend its own culture and spread its influence.

In recent years, Western Europe, and America under Obama and since, have been in catastrophic civilizational decline.   They no longer know what they believe and what they stand for.  In some extreme cases, like Sweden under its previous long-serving socialist government, there has even been an evident preparedness deliberately to allow the replacement of the native population by immigrants with an alien and hostile culture and values.  The same malaise, perhaps not yet to that extent, has afflicted other Western democracies like Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Western countries have been allowing catastrophic subversion and whiteanting from within through ruinous multicultural policies and cultural invasion. Our society is going to hell in a handbasket. The barbarians are INSIDE the gates – because our treasonous political and administrative class has invited them in.

The Contrast With Post-Communist Russia

Russia, despite its demographic problem, is at present prepared to assert what it sees as its essential national interests.  Since the fall of communism, the destruction of the command economy and the barren years of economic and social implosion of the 1990s, Russia has rediscovered pride in its history, its culture, and its thousand-year-deep roots in Orthodox Christianity.  

This was the annual Velikoretskaya Cross Procession of June 3, 2024 in Kirov, Russia:

And here is a typical winter religious procession in Russia:

The contrast with present day America is stark.  Russia today shows virtually no taste for the Cultural Marxism which is destroying socially conservative values and institutions in the West with wokeness and gender fluidity nonsense. Russia today is virtually immune from cultural pessimism.  We could do worse than learn from this experience.

This article was first published at Freedom and Heritage Society.