Dark Thoughts

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.

7 thoughts on “Dark Thoughts”

  1. This Roger Simon post: it’s the thirties all over again–time to blame the Jews is also relevant and depressing reading. I think that when the attitude of “find someone to blame” spreads, it tends to latch onto traditional targets, even when these targets are buried deep in the subconscious.

    The blamethrower in chief, Barack Obama, is creating a very toxic psychological climate. If this man ran any organization whatsoever, whether a Little League baseball team or a small store or a large corporation, the attitude of blaming would rapidly permeate the organization and destroy its functioning.

  2. Europe is the past, Asia and the Pacific is the future. The next time the Euros decide to committ suicide, let them. They’re most of the way to self-inflicted asphyxia as it is. anyway.

    It is not possible to save a psychotic who refuses to take his meds, and insists on lying down on railroad tracks every chance he gets. Eventually, he will succeed in the termination he so earnestly craves.

    So it is with the place so many of our ancestors fled to get away from and come here.

  3. I really do worry a bit about what is going on between Obama and Muslims. I don’t think he is a Muslim but he has some emotional link. I think he likes them more than he likes us.

  4. British trade union calls for boycott of Israel
    One of Britain’s largest trade unions passed a motion at its annual conference in Bournemouth last week accusing Israel of lying over the Gaza flotilla incident and has called for a complete boycott of Israel and for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, it was confirmed on Thursday…One attendee said that the few Unison members who spoke against the motion were heckled. UNISON member Lilach Head, a care worker from Devon, spoke against the motion and was heckled. She said the atmosphere was intimidating and the vote was called before more people could speak against it.”

    Note that this is a *public sector* union, not a traditional industrial union.

    Link here

  5. “When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.” Augusto Monterroso.

    Europeans have always had many good qualities and a few but very ugly congenital defects: egocentrism, nationalism, racism and anti-semitism and adding to all that, a profound and deep entrenched anti-americanism. And although those traits of their society were inhibited for a time after the horrors of nazism, they are still there and have not disappeared at all.

    I remember once years ago when my wife and I traveled to Europe, I don´t speak french so I tried to speak in English to some affable french people at a place where we stayed for a couple of days, and we got the “no English” from them, which was a common occurrence during our trip, and so once again we had to resort to spanish and mimicking in order to have our meals and some wine ordered. One of them spoke a little bit of spanish, the others understood a few words, the sooner we started talking, the conversation over an excellent dinner and wine turned into a discussion about cultures, and europeans like to talk a lot, even in situations when they are limited by language, and for a while we had an interesting conversation, though with some mimicking, but the sooner we turned to the economy, they started blaming the jews for their economic troubles. It was incredible to hear those interesting and gracious people speaking in that way about an entire people, blaming an entire ethnic group for their troubles. It was so much in contrast with the long idealized image of the universally educated, peace-loving and tolerant European individual.

    The funny thing for me and my wife was that, in the middle of our pathetically limited part spanish part mimicking conversation with them, they took some calls and spoke in English on the phone taking reservations from some americans. They spoke English perfectly.

    Sometimes when I am drinking wine and listening to Bach, I remember this and other things about europeans and it just turns me off, then I switch for John Fogerty and the Creedence Clearwater Revival and open a Corona!!!

  6. It’s also particularly bad in Britain. I just got back from a year at school in London, and… damn. The usual cover is that “No, we don’t hate Jews, we just disagree with Israel,” but that gets thrown by the wayside when these same protesters are shouting things like “death to the Jews.”

    By comparison, we in the US are a bastion of tolerance. And for those few who truly disagree with Israel without hating all Jews and yet associate with these types, it does far more damage to their cause then they realize. There are a number of perfectly legitimate criticisms of Israel you could level, and lord knows I disagree with a good deal of some of the recent Netanyahu policies – but when the only alternative to unconditional support appears to be advocating the destruction of the entire country, I know which side I’ll take.

    Anyways, I’ve been trying to chronicle what I’ve seen in the UK; check it out here and here.

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