7. ABOUT POLITICS
WTM FAQ 7.6 What does Jeremy Griffith think about what Russia is doing in Ukraine, and China is doing in the Pacific, and about how the world ‘tunes out America’ now (to quote a recent headline in The Wall Street Journal), and how white patriarchy is being rejected everywhere? In fact, what are Jeremy’s thoughts on the assault that’s going on on the whole Judeo-Christian Western tradition that gave humanity the greatest flowering of thought the world has known?
When WTM founding member Anthony Gowing read this response from Jeremy Griffith he said, ‘Only Jeremy could have got to the bottom of all of this and given us the solution, as he has done, and if you don’t believe me, read this and weep with relief at the power of Jeremy’s immense clarity of thinking’. Note, this response from Jeremy appears at the end of his book , and we recommend you read the book to have the full context of this Addendum 2.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I’ve decided it might be very helpful to add a second Addendum, this one explaining why the Judeo-Christian Western culture, like the right-wing in politics, has been one of the main targets for rejection by the pseudo idealistic, politically correct, ‘woke’, identity politics, cancel culture movement.
The British author and political commentator Douglas Murray gave a good description of this rejection of the Western tradition in a summary he wrote of his 2022 book The War on the West: ‘In a few short decades, the Western tradition has moved from being celebrated…to being something shameful…while the West is assaulted for everything it has done wrong, it now gets no credit for having got anything right. In fact, these things – including the development of individual rights, religious liberty, and pluralism – are held against it…The culture that gave the world lifesaving advances in science, medicine and a free market that has raised billions of people around the world out of poverty and offered the greatest flowering of thought anywhere in the world is interrogated through a lens of the deepest hostility…All aspects of the Western tradition now suffer the same attack. The Judeo-Christian tradition that formed a cornerstone of the Western tradition finds itself under particular assault and denigration. But so does the tradition of secularism and the Enlightenment, which produced a flourishing in politics, sciences and the arts…these inheritances are criticised as examples of Western arrogance, elitism, and undeserved superiority. As a result, everything connected with the Western tradition is being jettisoned. At education colleges in America, aspiring teachers have been given training seminars where they are taught that even the term “diversity of opinion” is “white supremacist bullshit”…this war on the West…now exists at the very top of the American government, where one of the first acts of the new administration was to issue an executive order calling for “equity” and the dismantling of what it called “systemic racism”. We appear to be in the process of killing the goose that has laid some very golden eggs’ (The Australian, 30 May 2022).
Yes, the Judeo-Christian Western tradition has ‘laid some very golden eggs’, BUT, the problem is, it seemingly hasn’t laid THE ‘golden egg’ it was entrusted to find, namely the reconciling, redeeming and human-race-liberating understanding of the human condition. I say ‘seemingly hasn’t’ because understanding of the human condition has actually been found and is presented in my book FREEDOM, but that breakthrough is yet to be widely known.
The explanation of the significance of this seeming failure to solve the human condition by the West begins with recognition of the fundamental, extremely difficult situation the human race has been in. This situation is that while the good reason for the corrupted state of the human condition wasn’t able to be explained it was too unbearably condemning and depressing to admit the truth of the existence of that corrupted state—and not being able to admit it, it obviously wasn’t possible to acknowledge that the fundamental objective of the human race was to find the redeeming explanation for why we corrupted our species’ original innocent state. We couldn’t acknowledge our corrupted condition and so couldn’t admit that our fundamental task was to find the explanation for why we corrupted it. Nevertheless—and this is very important—while we’ve had to live in Plato’s metaphorical dark cave of denial of our corrupted condition and task of solving it, all humans have carried a deep intuitive awareness of the truth that we do suffer from the corrupted state of the human condition and that our fundamental task has been to find the redeeming explanation for why we became corrupted. All truly great literature, art and music is imbued with awareness of our species’ great objective of finding understanding of our corrupted condition—from Dorothy’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow dream to ‘wake up where the clouds are far behind me, where troubles melt like lemon drops’ in The Wizard of Oz; to Schiller’s words in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony of a time when the ‘magic [of understanding] reunites…[and] all men become brothers…all good, all bad…be embraced, millions, this kiss [of reconciling understanding] for the whole world’; to Christ’s Lord’s Prayer that ‘Your [integrative Godly] kingdom come, your will [that we be integrative] be done on earth’.
And since everyone has intuitively been aware of the corrupted state of our human condition and task of finding understanding of it, it makes sense that everyone has also been intuitively aware that each individual, gender, race and culture is going to vary in how much they have been exposed to, and thus become adapted to, the upset state of the human condition—and therefore that individuals, genders, races and cultures are going to vary in how functional they are under the duress of the human condition. Some are going to be more innocent and thus naïve about life under the duress of the human condition, while others are going to be more adapted to, and thus more operational in, a human-condition-afflicted world, and still others are going to be overly adapted to that upset life and become cynical and opportunistic as a result. and of FREEDOM describe these differences in alienation and functionality between humans, especially between races, while describes the different roles of men and women in the human journey.
And it also follows from this that everyone is going to be intuitively aware that those who are most functional are the 30 to 40-year-old equivalents who are not too naïve and not yet too cynical, which at this stage in the human journey are the so-called ‘whites’, especially white males. And being the most functional everyone is going to be intuitively aware that these white males are the ones who must especially undertake the task of finding understanding of the human condition.
So what this means is that everyone has intuitively been waiting for these white male developers of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition to solve the human condition. And, further, since everyone has been intuitively aware of the critically important task this group has, everyone has been prepared to tolerate a degree of extra material good fortune and colonising power that the exceptional functionality afforded this group.
BUT THIS TOLERANCE HAS ITS LIMIT: if this group is seen to be failing to deliver the answers that it was especially tasked with finding, then disenchantment with it, and resentment of its good fortune, would occur. And this is exactly what has occurred, the ‘deepest hostility’ and ‘denigration’ ‘of the Western tradition’ Murray wrote about.
My favourite contemporary author, Sir Laurens van der Post, wrote about this situation as it existed in Africa, and beyond that, as it has existed in the whole world. In his 1955 novel Flamingo Feather, Sir Laurens wrote, ‘I was old enough to remember some of the feeling of wonder and hope that the coming of the European had brought to many parts of Africa. The white man had been almost a kind of god to the African and, alas, subtly and fatally tempted as a result to exceed his common humanity. For generations the African had been happy to live in the hope of something better coming to him from the white man. But that hope was now running rapidly dry through our persistence in denying him his dignity and his own special capacity and honour as a human being…no human being could live indefinitely without honour and dignity…what was needed was someone, something big enough to straddle both [heal the divide between blacks and whites]’ (p.311-312 of 320).
Through the characters in his novel, Sir Laurens then went on to write about how his white Dutch Boer ancestors had been ‘always venturing courageously on and on into African’s dark interior. [And wondered] Is this how the Great Trek for a better life is to end?…Is there no one great enough to take over the adventure and carry it on in some other dimension, to carry it on from world without to world within? [the world within being the issue that had to be confronted and explained of our corrupted human condition]’ (p.313). A few pages later he wrote more about this inner ‘search which brings a man to the threshold of his private and personal task, the task that life demands of him day and night in his blood: to live with love out of love; to live the vision beyond reason or time which draws him from the centre of his being…To serve this vision, to protect it against all plausible substitutes, reasonable approximations and coward compromises is still, I believe, the knightly duty of contemporary man. If he shirks it I believe he shall never know inner peace. If a man accepts the challenge…of a cause beyond himself, then he has only to remain steadfast in pursuit of it and his life will achieve…something which is greater than happiness and unhappiness: and that is meaning’ (pp.318–320).
Yes, what Sir Laurens has recognised is that ‘the knightly duty of’ the ‘contemporary’ white male developers of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition has been ‘to serve this vision, to protect it against all plausible substitutes, reasonable approximations and [pseudo idealistic] coward compromises…to remain steadfast in pursuit of…something which is greater than happiness and unhappiness: and that is meaning’.
So thank goodness ‘the knightly duty of’ the white male upholders of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition has remained steadfast long enough to find that ‘which is greater than happiness and unhappiness’, namely the ‘meaning’ of the human-condition-stricken ‘world within’. Condemned as being ‘pale, stale males’, the white male upholders of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition can finally be recognised as the heroes, legends and saviours it was always hoped they would be
And I should say that it wasn’t just the relatively innocent, 20-year-old, or thereabouts, equivalent black Africans who became exasperated with the white male upholders of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition. The overly upset 50-year-old equivalent Arabs and Chinese, and the Russians living between them, have also become exasperated with the West’s seeming failure to deliver the reconciling, redeeming and healing answers to the human condition, and as a result have hardened their pursuit of the old artificial substitute power, fame, fortune and glory ways of sustaining their sense of self-worth.
I would like to make this point about China’s very late appearance on the colonisation world stage with its global ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which they assert is ‘to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future’ (Xinhua, 28 Mar. 2015). Firstly, in paragraphs 1043–1044 of FREEDOM I explain that now that we can understand the human condition and acknowledge the various states of upset, we can admit that while “there is no doubt [the West’s] colonialism had negative, exploitive repercussions, some truly terrible, like the slave trade”, “colonisation under the rule of 30-and-40-year-old equivalents did make significant sense. The ‘races’ who were most functional under the duress of the human condition tried to help the less functional become more materially developed—that is, advanced in the many arts of living with the human condition needed to progress humanity towards greater knowledge, ultimately understanding of the human condition. As Sir James Darling [my headmaster when I was at Geelong Grammar School, who is regarded as Australia’s greatest ever educator] has written about the British Empire, ‘the function of Empire is to educate rather than to oppress’, and the [relatively isolated and thus relatively innocent] British have ‘an unbeaten record in the history of civilization’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, ed. Michael Persse, 1962, pp.134, 136 of 223). Sir Laurens van der Post similarly wrote that ‘Great Britain’ created ‘the largest, the greatest and, I still believe, the best-organised, and most civilized empire in the history of the world’ (The Admiral’s Baby, 1966, p.108 of 340).” What is significant about this is that being overly upset 50-year-old equivalents does mean that the Chinese form of colonisation is not likely to be primarily concerned with advancing “the many arts of living with the human condition needed to progress humanity towards greater knowledge, ultimately understanding of the human condition”, like the Judeo-Christian Western tradition has been, but be more concerned with trying to salve an extremely insecure ego through winning power, fame, fortune and glory, a wrong emphasis that actually takes humanity away from rather than towards ‘a brighter future’. Colonialism practised properly was all about progressing the world towards the redeeming and reconciling understanding of the human condition, not about power and glory and domination. I might add that in 2022, China’s President Xi Jinping reasserted his deluded and extremely dangerous vision when he claimed that his, and Russian President Putin’s, authoritarian, thought-oppressing culture ‘can calm a troubled world…play a guiding role to inject stability and positive energy into a world rocked by social turmoil’ (The Australian, 16 Sep. 2022).
Yes, Singapore’s former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew argued that ‘Asian authoritarianism, rather than Western-style democracy, is necessary to produce the sort of economic growth East Asia is now experiencing’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 1994), with the reason being, as he said in an interview, that ‘democracy [in Asia] leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions’ (Swarajya mag., 28 Mar. 2015). He even went on to claim that ‘Democratic procedures have no intrinsic value. What matters is good government, whose primary duty is to create a stable and ordered society’ (ibid)! Certainly authoritarianism is effective in creating order amongst some overly upset 50-year-old equivalent Asian societies, and amongst relatively innocent 20-year-old or thereabouts black African societies (as has been done recently in Rwanda through Paul Kagame’s leadership), but the truth remains that shutting down freedom of opinion, expression and individualism is actually an abandonment of humanity’s fundamental task of searching for knowledge, ultimately for self-knowledge, the understanding of the human condition needed to bring about a truly ordered, happy, secure world—which Lee Kuan Yew actually partially acknowledged when he wrote about China that ‘its creativity may never match America’s because its culture does not permit a free exchange and contest of ideas’ (TIME mag., 4 Feb. 2013). The ‘primary duty’ of the human race is actually NOT ‘to create a stable and ordered society’, but to find enough knowledge to end the human condition and human suffering forever, which is what the Judeo-Christian Western tradition has been tasked with doing and has now completed.
It again needs to be emphasised that while we couldn’t explain and defend the upset state of the human condition it was far too dangerous to acknowledge differences in alienation between people—because it only led to the more innocent being prejudiced towards the more upset who to them seem ‘bad’, and to the more upset retaliating with prejudice against the less upset for their either direct or implied condemnation of them. However, with the defence of upset found, it finally becomes both safe AND NECESSARY—if we are to truly understand ourselves and free ourselves from living in Plato’s horrible cave of soul-deadening darkness—to acknowledge differences in upset.
Standing back and looking at our overall situation, the human race has been in an absolutely desperate situation. Philosopher Antonio Gramsci certainly got it right when he said, ‘The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born [the human condition seemingly hasn’t been able to be confronted and solved]; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appears.’ Clinical psychologist Maureen O’Hara also highlighted the horror of our plight when she said that ‘humanity is either standing on the brink of “a quantum leap in human psychological capabilities or heading for a global nervous breakdown”’ (Richard Eckersley, address titled ‘Values and Visions: Western Culture and Humanity’s Future’, Nov. 1995); as did the psychotherapist Wayne Dyer when he said, ‘We’ve come to a place…where we can either destroy ourselves or discover our divineness’ (The Australian Magazine, 8 Oct. 1994); and as the journalist Doug Anderson also did when he wrote, ‘Time may well be dwindling for us to enlighten ourselves…Tragic to die of thirst half a yard from the well’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 Oct. 1994)! And finally, Benjamin Disraeli, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain, perfectly summarised the agony of our situation when he famously said, ‘Stranded halfway between ape and angel is no place to stop.’ So it truly is an astronomical relief that the human race is no longer stranded in a hellish position and the redeeming explanation of our seemingly horribly flawed condition has finally been found!