Things are spinning out of control
Robert Avrech has a story about blatant anti-Semitism in Holland, the land of Anne Frank:
Anti-Semitism has gotten so ugly in The Netherlands that Jews walking along Amsterdam’s street are being harassed by young Muslims who yell insults or give Nazi salutes…A TV programme broadcast on Sunday by the Jewish Broadcasting Organisation showed rabbi Lody van de Kamp confronted by Moroccan youths giving the Hitler salute.
“Jews are deserting Antwerp,” headlines De Standaard. The Belgian newspaper predicts that in fifty years there will be no more Jews living in the city. Due to an increase of Anti-Semitism, many young Jews are leaving the city to study in London, New York or Israel, where “working with a skullcap (kippah) isn’t a problem”, and they never return.
The sharp increase in anti-Semitism is only one among many indicators of social disintegration and dysfunction throughout the Western world. It is increasingly clear that (although there are individual honorable exceptions) our political elites lack the wisdom and courage to deal effectively with the problems confronting our societies. The ongoing appeasement of jihadism is one primary example; the orgy of financial irresponsibility is another.
Reading Robert’s post, I was reminded of a passage from Sebastian Haffner’s memoir. Haffner, as you may recall from my review here, grew up in Germany between the wars and wrote an indispensable book about his experiences and observations.
In the spring of 1933, right after the official Nazi takeover of Germany, Haffner attended Berlin’s Carnival, hoping to find a girlfriend for the night or maybe something longer term. But:
All at once I had a strange, dizzy feeling. I felt as though I was inescapably imprisoned with all these young people in a giant ship that was rolling and pitching. We were dancing on its lowest, narrowest deck, while on the bridge it was being decided to flood that deck and drown every last one of us.
The flooding of the lower decks in our time has more of incompetence and less of sheer malevolence to it than did the flooding to which Haffner referred, although malevolence is by no means absent. It is more a matter of arrogant fools on the bridge ordering the turning of valves and the throwing of switches of whose functions they have no understanding. But drown we will, nonetheless, unless trends are reversed.