For more than a century, since the First World War, authors, notably Spengler and Toynbee, have announced the decadence of the West. Spengler shows that civilizations, like living organisms, are vitally destined, after birth, growth and aging, to death. According to Spengler’s historical morphology, the Faustian civilization, which stems from the imperialist excess of technoscience and the delirious, satanic and all-powerful will to despise and dominate nature, is the flagrant symptom of the sclerosing crystallization of culture. in civilization, of the turning against itself of the vital will. According to Toynbee’s historical scheme, the symptom of decadence is, beyond the debilitation of the elites, incapable of taking up the great challenges of their time, the falling asleep of glorious civilization on its laurels before the external proletariat comes to strike at it. Move of mercy. All this had thus been perfectly conceptualized and announced. The decline of the West was certainly particularly slow, no doubt commensurate with the glory and prosperity specific to the West itself, but its inevitability no longer needs to be demonstrated.
One of the symptoms of decadence is, moreover, according to Toynbee, the psychic and social disintegration giving rise to the subjective illusion of the universal. This illusory universality is twofold. It is both political and religious. It is on the one hand the elaboration, by the elites who have lost their authority and their charismatic driving force, of a totalitarian universal State aiming to maintain, by the force of institutions and fear and no longer by creative genius, social order. On the other hand, it is the elaboration, by the interior proletariat, of a universal religion whose spirituality is foreign to civilization. It is these two illusory universalities which are the ultimate symptoms, before the final destruction from outside, of decadence.
Two contemporary books describe the process of totalitarian sclerosis from which modern Western states are already suffering. In the novel Le Réveil (Calmann-Lévy, 2022), Laurent Gounelle draws an analogy between the dictatorial management of the pandemic on the one hand and American propaganda during the Great War and communist totalitarianism on the other. In his essay Post-modernism and neo-fascization: the great reversal (Kimé, 2022), Gilles Mayné establishes, using the study, by the philologist Klemperer, of the rhetorical procedures specific to Nazi discourse, an analogy between the “phagocytage” Hitlerite of opposing ideologies, including Christian ideology, and the ideological “jamming” proper to the “at the same time” Macronian. Mayné thus shows that, beyond the antithetical character of the macrono-post-modernist and Hitler-Nazi ideologies, the ideal of openness of the first being opposed to that of the closing of the second, it is the same process totalitarian that is at work. This process is still what is already called triangulation, namely the systematic and silly amalgamation, in political rhetoric, of references and ideas specific to the adversary, the refusal of the clear and assumed democratic fight .
Today, it is no longer just mere aging but it is now the death of the West that is taking place before our eyes. The interior Moslem proletariat makes prosper, within the Christian West, a foreign Islamic spirituality. The European states borrow from the totalitarian states of the world the mode of institutional domination through fear and intimidation. Beyond these two symptoms of announced death, even before the destructive invasion of the external African proletariat, two other symptoms of civilizational death affect us and are already destroying us in depth. On the one hand, it is the totalitarian ecological ideology which, allied to the ideology of the deconstruction of the authorities and minority victimization, very clearly aims at the self-destruction of Western traditions. On the other hand, it is the economic and financial imperialism of China which, allied with the great capitalists of the world, has programmed the impoverishment of the Western middle classes, the dynamic and global displacement of wealth which should bring about the prosperity of the new Eastern middle classes. .
The agony of the West is there. In a world where Christianity no longer prospers except in South America, we are condemned to wait, in Europe, for our eventual salvation by Providence alone.
Patrice Guillamaud, philosopher, author notably of Joy and Hope (Cerf, 2019) and The nation (Kime, 2022).
© LA NEF n°354 January 2023