Western elites deny their own exceptionalism, and deny any reason for their own privilege other than the easy private guilt of citing the Holy Trinity of “race/class/gender.” They dare not associate Islam with the self-professed Islamists of ISIS who wreck the world’s archaeological treasures and who behead, burn alive, drown, and dismember Christians and supposed heretics. Indeed, Western op-ed writers go so far as to offer heated advisories that we must not confuse the source of this nihilist furor with radical Islam.Yes, self-despising multiculturalism enables all sorts of freakazoids. This, too, will pass.
At least for now, we are in a cycle of Western decline, waiting either for another Churchill, Thatcher, or Reagan to scold us out of it — or for an existential enemy, foreign or domestic, of such power and danger that all our progressive pieties will dissipate in the face of danger. If, God forbid, Putin moves into the Baltic states, if Iran launches a nuke into Israel, if North Korea shoots chemical shells into Seoul, if China absorbs Taiwan, if, in another 9/11, a dozen 757s take down the Sears Tower, if the interest rate on a soon-to-be-$20-trillion national debt hits 7 percent, if Social Security checks start to bounce, or if Wall Street trumps its 2008 implosion, then Miley Cyrus will go the way of Britney Spears, Barack Obama the way of Jimmy Carter, and Black Lives Matter the way of It’s a Black Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand. Then the televised presences of Caitlin Jenner and the Kardashians would vanish as the decadent indulgences of a society that could no longer afford them.Yes, although each ascendance might bring with it conventions for the next cohort of the bored or the decadent to push against.
Bounty to boredom to decadence to panic to reawakening to ascendance has always been the cyclical way of the West.
Its curse has been that the cycles of nihilism are as long as they are unnecessary.