Managerial Suicide

In The Spectator (June 24, 2016) Charles Moore, the Grand Old Man of British journalism despite his relatively young age, writes, “How much longer can it go on?  Deaths caused by terrorism are always followed now by candlelit vigils, a minute’s silence, victims’ families/government ministers/emergency services/clergy/imams all clustered together, walls of messages, flags at half-mast.  Instinctively I feel uneasy because the meaning of it all gradually suffers attrition, and also, perhaps, because it asserts a solidarity which isn’t quite there.  Yet the fundamental cause of mourning is true and deep enough—it is first for the dead, then for a civilization which may be dying.”

The poignancy of the last sentence lies in its suggestion of what a great many people feel, while recognizing that it need not be so.  The death of European civilization—Western civilization—is a theme, confined until very recently to “pessimistic” conservative journals and other fora where it has been a familiar one for decades, that only recently has become a popular one.  Though it is, of course, a tragic theme, what makes it poignant as well is that the death of the West needn’t happen, that people can prevent it if only they are the right sort of people—and that the sort presently in charge are very far from being the right sort.  Following...

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