The wokeness that is upon us, the critical race theory, the self-loathing, it’s been building up for a while. More than 20 years. I started to see it when I was a student in the 1990s. 9/11 was actually a key moment in that, an inflection point. I’m not sure if we knew it then. I could see some of it at the time.
I remember I read something not in 2001, which is when America was attacked, the twin towers, the Pentagon and the plane over Pennsylvania. I remember reading something in 2002, in The Independent, a U.K. paper I read online.
In 2002, there was a terrorist attack in Bali, which is an Indonesian island with a strong tourism industry. A bomb blew up a night club, so obviously they were targeting foreigners. 88 Australians were killed, 23 Brits, many others. Obviously Indonesians too. The U.K. would later get their own special attack, in 2005, which they still call their 7/7 bombings. A series of attacks including on the subway.
Madrid, Spain had the same a year earlier.
I think there was some moral clarity back then, before we became numb to all this. Before we became tired of all this and accepted all this. And I read something by Harold Jacobson, who I had never heard of before, in The Independent. And he’s a Jew, as you could guess by the name. And the way he talked about it tapped into a Jewish way of thinking — of people hating you and you hating yourself.
I know that sounds neurotic and boring and like a Woody Allen movie, but I think our entire intellectual class is infected with that way of thinking, and here was a guy who could see it in himself and talked about it clearly. I want to read some of it to you, 20 years after I read it, because I think about this article a lot. Then I want to tell you some good news/bad news — how we Canadians hate ourselves, but how those who come here haven’t yet learned to hate us.
“Choking in the stink of our own self-hatred.”
This website says 2014, but I can tell you I read it right after the Bali bombing. Let me read most of it to you — but please stay with me, because I really do have news for you too.
What did Cain think? We know what he said. He said he was not his brother's keeper and that his punishment was more than he could bear. But what did he think? I'll tell you. He thought he had done a heinous thing. Why invoke brother-keeping at this hour unless you understand brother-keeping to be sacrosanct? By his shamed denial of the obligations of humanity, the first murderer proclaims the wrongness of murder.
OK, that’s interesting. And I think he’s right. He had a guilty look to him. But look at what Jacobson does next:
In this he is more morally refined than many who take life. What there is no sign of in his thinking is that he was right to kill his brother, that it was brought about by the inequality of things – God's preference for Abel's incense, an unfair distribution of the goods of Eden, or Israel's moving its tanks into Hebron. Many are the causes of our discontents, but murder in the heart is murder in the heart.
Is that great, eh — an unfair distribution of the goods of Eden. But look at this next part. I think this is a smart man writing this:
And Abel? What do we suppose was going through his mind as his brother rose up and slew him? That in some labyrinthine way it was all his fault? That he had brought his brother's violence down upon himself? That there is no doing without our calling for it to be done? Is Abel the first instance, in literature at least, of Jewish self-hatred?
Here’s the Jewish part. But bear with me — I’m telling you that we’re all infected with self-hatred now:
I've been thinking about Jewish self-hatred in recent weeks, reminding myself that the phrase is out of favour now – properly out of favour – that it smacks of those 19th century German accusations of Selbsthass, finding confirmation of the detestableness of Jews in the fact that they detested themselves. And out of favour, too, because we all accept that we can't go around accusing Jews of hating themselves every time they demur from the policies of an Israeli prime minister. Except, except, it seems to me, that that depends rather on the vehemence of the demurral.”
I wasn’t really familiar with the concept of selbsthass — self-hatred — until I read this. It’s a way of coping, really. If someone hates you so extremely much, so much that it doesn’t make sense, you either reject it and fight back or if you’re too reasonable, too intellectual, you get a sort of Stockholm syndrome, and you say, well, if he’s that mad about it, maybe he’s right? Maybe I did something wrong? It’s a kind of battered women’s syndrome, as it used to be called. Women justifying, making excuses for the men who beat them. I’ll read more from Jacobson because he’s better at this than me:
...You see, you read, you breathe in the evidence of an unimaginable crime done to you and yours, and you can't comprehend that such a thing could come, causeless, from nowhere. So you become the cause. There must be reason in the universe, so you become the reason. It's partly altruism: you cannot bear the thought of random being, so you supply the system. In that way you also supply the God. Never mind Dachau proving that God doesn't exist: that's baby stuff. A sophisticated Jew can, by the subtleties of self-hatred, show you that Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen – name your own names – establish beyond all doubt the existence of a moral universe.
So again, this is Jewish. You say you’re to blame for the hate against you. But surely aren’t we all doing that in Canada, and across the West? Hating ourselves, our history, denouncing ourselves? Being anti-Semitic is out of date; being anti-white, anti-western, that’s the new frontier.
Too much mind, that was what I decided on that day in Dachau. We had made ourselves too interior for more physical peoples to bear. Did I get this from Nietszche? Maybe. But it felt all mine. The idea of too much mind issuing with that perfect circularity of self-hatred from my own mind. And proving the case all over again. I'm still here, I could boast to the sightless spirits of those who'd built this place. Still here, you bastards, and still thinking. But when one of the things you're thinking is that you've brought all this down upon yourself, it's not much of a boast. And for thinking along these lines you hate yourself yet more. It stinks, self-hatred, and its stink debilitates you because it's your stink.
Do you see what I mean? This is neurotic stuff, obsessive stuff, too intellectual, too many fancy words, too much psychological trickery. I think it’s a mental disease of the Jews — but now it’s a disease of the West. We all overthink things. Gender. Race. Now we’ve invented Transgenderism. It never ends. I’ll read more. And this is what I thought was amazing. Again, remember, he was writing this after a bunch of young men and women were blown up in Bali, at a night club.
[image] The past flows through us as certainly as the future. A genetic no less than a theological truth. But that's not the same as taking blame when there is no blame to be taken. An obscene act of arrogation, I now realise, making one's culpability the heart of everything. Unjust to one's immortal soul, which wants no part of it. And unjust even to the Nazis and their like, who must be allowed to sin egregiously on their own behalf and go to hell unmolested.
Here it is. I’m going to read this so slowly. Look at this. This is the best thing I’ve ever read about blaming yourself, blaming the West, blaming society. He’s talking about who really did the crime in Bali — but who is taking the blame:
Ditto those who blew apart the however many hundreds of kids dancing the last of their lives away in Bali. It behoves us to stay out of their motives. Utterly obscene, the narrative of guilty causation which now waits on every fresh atrocity – "What else are the dissatisfied to do but kill?" etc – as though dissatisfaction were an automatic detonator, as though Cain were the creation of Abel's will. Obscene in its haste. Obscene in its self-righteousness, mentally permitting others to pay the price of our self-loathing. Obscene in its ignorance – for we should know now how Selbsthass operates, encouraging those who hate us only to hate us more, since we concur in their conviction of our detestableness.
Here is our decadence: not the nightclubs, not the beaches and the sex and the drugs, but our incapacity to believe we have been wronged. Our lack of self-worth.
Do you understand that? He’s saying: how dare you explain away terrorism, when the terrorists themselves don’t. How dare you blame someone else — how dare you make excuses for them. How dare you put your own self-loathing ahead of justice for the victims.
I think I’ve read that essay every year for 20 years, whenever I think about 9/11.
Jacobson thinks about these things all the time. It frankly feels out of date. The Jewish intellectual feels like something out of the 20th century. The 21st century has moved on from that. I don’t think we have intellectuals at all, really. Just anti-intellectuals. We don’t build statues, we tear them down. We don’t write books; we barely even read them. We ban them now. Not a lot of room for intellectuals.
And I thought of all this because of news.
I saw in my favourite Ottawa news source, called Blacklock's Reporter. Their headline was: 53% Blacks Proud Of Canada which catches the eye. I read their story and I read the underlying Statistic Canda study they cited.
It’s from General Social Survey – Social Identity, 2020: A snapshot of pride in Canadian achievements among designated groups.
That’s great. I mean, you hear the word pride a lot, in reference to gay pride parades. But is anyone allowed to just be proud to be Canadian? Not Trudeau — he thinks we committed a genocide, He thinks our flags should remain at half mast indefinitely.
But Stats Can is still asking Canadian if they like Canada, which is interesting. Here’s what they say:
Canadians are most proud of Canada's health care system
Alright, that’s sort of pitiful. I mean, it’s a government program, a sort of welfare. That’s what you’re most proud about? But still, it’s better than hating Canada for it:
At a time when Canada's front-line workers were treating COVID-19 patients in clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals, Canadians were most proud of their health care system. The highest share (74%) of respondents who said that they were very proud or proud of an achievement reported feeling proud of Canada's health care system. People who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities were especially proud, with 82% reporting feeling proud of Canada's health care system, compared with 71% of non–visible minorities. Among the different visible minority groups, Filipino (96%) and South Asian (87%) respondents were the most likely to report being very proud or proud of Canada's health care system.
A lot of Filipino Canadians work in health care, as you know.
But how about pride in how we treat people of different backgrounds? Trudeau specializes in pitting us against each other; he calls us racist or sexist or whatever. But Canadian’s don’t share his hatred — at least most of them don’t. Check this out.
The people who are the least proud of how we treat minorities — are white people. 43.9%. Compared to visible minorities — 63.6% are proud of it. They’re much more likely to love racial relations than guilty, self-loathing whites, the kind Howard Jacobson was on about.
West Asians — which is another way of saying Arabs and Turks — are literally the most happy with race relations in Canada. 76.6%. That’s almost double what white folks say.
And look at this:
Almost 7 in 10 Canadians (68%) said that they felt pride in the way democracy works in Canada. This increased to close to 8 in 10 (79%) for respondents who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities, compared with 64% of those who did not belong to a visible minority group.
And look at this:
Immigrants who arrived to Canada within the past five years are more likely to feel pride in how Canada treats all groups in society
Nearly 8 in 10 immigrants who arrived in Canada 5 years ago or less (78%) expressed pride in this achievement
So where is the self-loathing coming from? Where is the hate coming from? I mean, apart from Trudeau, pitting us against each other.
Well, you know the answer. From the schools. From the universities:
Younger Canadians are less likely to be proud of Canada's treatment of all groups in society and the way democracy works ... Canadians aged 15 to 34 were less likely than those aged 35 and older to report pride in the way democracy works in Canada and pride in Canada's treatment of all groups in society. While 62% of Canadians aged 15 to 34 reported pride in the way democracy works, 70% of those aged 35 and older reported feeling proud. Canadians aged 15 to 34 were also less likely than older Canadians to be proud of the way all groups in society are treated, with 43% of 15- to 34-year-olds saying they were proud of this, compared with 53% of people aged 35 to 54 and 50% of people aged 55 and older.
They’re being taught this. Taught to hate themselves; hate what we’ve done, what we’ve built. They’re the ones who blame us for the world’s woes; they’re the ones Howard Jacobson warned us about.
GUEST: The Climate Depot's Marc Morano (@ClimateDepot on Twitter) on a story from the New Yorker encouraging environmentalists to engage in sabotage.
FINALLY: Your letters to me.