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446. The joyous (VI)

If you survey the radical right, you will find a generalised hostility to “the Anglos”; the hostility comes from Nietzsche, who specifically denounced the English as an unmusical race: Napoleon’s “nation of shopkeepers”, a bourgeois people who only care about shopping, respectability, and cosiness. The English are stuck in their Hobbit holes—mentally, if not geographically—and so have small souls; there could never be an English Wagner, and even Haydn was Austrian.

The most English composer is Elgar, whose music is best appreciated set to a Spitfire barrel-rolling across the screen; if you want to understand the English soul, listen to Elgar. I have climbed the same hills as Elgar, literally—the hills near the English-Welsh border; and those hills are in his music. Yet, as Nietzsche would observe, Elgar’s music is contained and cosy, just like the English countryside—it has no grand scope, and there is, as with all cosy bourgeois things, a sentimental and dishonest strain in Elgar.

The Anglos are also too much like the Jews—with whom they get on better than many Continental peoples—because the English are a commercial and mercantile people who like to troop around the world; the English, rather like the Jews, like to impersonate people—think Lawrence of Arabia. You could never imagine a Pole or Croatian, or even a German, going in for that in the same way. So the Anglos are demeaned for being cosy, cosmopolitan, and small-souled people who count their money and enjoy their ale and indulge in sentimental hypocrisies.

However, there is considerable hypocrisy in this regard. As the Twitter user Weltgeist on Horseback pointed out, just as people who attack “capitalism” from an app on their iPhone are hypocrites so too are the people who decry “the Anglos” in English. If you are really against the Anglos, you would not use English—language is structured thought, to use English is complete surrender to “Anglodom”; so people who use English to attack “the Anglos” are involved in some narcissistic status game, or perhaps cannot make it in the Anglo societies in which they were born—possibly as immigrants—and so counter-signal the establishment. Just as the kid with the iPhone will change his tune when daddy stops paying for his toys and he acquires his own money, so the Anglophone “Anglo hater” will change his tune when he gets sufficient social credit in his Anglophone community.

However, there are some people who are seriously and sincerely anti-Anglo: the French. I have noted before that France is much less “woke” than the rest of the West, partly because she has her own nuclear weapons to grant her independence; yet she also has a more independent intellectual tradition, too—and this is because the French reject English consistently. Wokeness is an Anglo-Protestant heresy; it is difficult to be “woke” if you refuse to speak English. This is why “French postmodernism” is a red herring; the French are bewildered at how Derrida and Foucault were used in America, because the American belief system, progressivism, just overlaid postmodernism with its own idea that pre-dated postmodernism: straight white men are evil.

French right-wing politicians, such as Le Pen and Zemmour, will refuse to give interviews in English—even though they speak English. “How arrogant,” some say—well, as Nietzsche might have observed, if you stick to your guns the mob will call you “arrogant”. So the French, so far as I know, are the only people to have followed Nietzsche’s dictum; they refuse to speak and think like the English—and this makes sense because Nietzsche admired the French above all and thought the Germans needed to become more French; he based his aphoristic style on La Rochefoucauld. This is why the French are the great European hope when it comes to “wokeness”; if you do not speak English you cannot really be infected by English ideas so easily, if at all—and so all the surveys say the French are terribly “racist”. Zut.


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1 comentário

11 de dez. de 2021

Another great post. I think it was Voltaire who said the English have one hundred religions and one sauce.

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