What makes nations, and breaks them

Many people argue today that the Hispanic and illegal alien population of the United States is so large, or that the birthrate of Muslims in the West is so high, or that the pressure of Third-World immigration is so great, that there is nothing for us to do about these things but “adjust” ourselves to them and accept, step by step, the loss of our civilization and of our historical existence as a distinct society. Such people are thinking in materialist terms and are failing to understand the spiritual factors that determine the outcomes of the small and great contests of history. Whether we’re talking about a football game or a war, it is not mere numbers or physical strength that decides the winner, but belief, confidence, and will. Further, just as belief in the rightness of one’s cause leads to victory, belief in the rightness of the other side’s cause and the wrongness of one’s own leads to defeat.

David G. gives a fascinating historical example of this idea that is highly relevant to our present situation. He writes:

I have found the discussions at VFR regarding the dissolution of Britain fascinating yet repellent.

It is hard for me to reconcile the stories of Britain during WWII with the seemingly pusillanimous collapse of a great culture in the face of multiculturalism.

Recently, I came across a fascinating analysis regarding the defeat of King Harold in 1066 by William the Conqueror which may apply to the situation today. According to David Howarth in his 1978 work entitled 1066 The Year of the Conquest, King Harold was psychologically defeated by William when Harold discovered that William was invading England with the approval of the Pope. With the actual papal banner firmly in hand William symbolically declared that Harold was King against the will of God and that England as a whole was subject to excommunication. He notes that, “The battle of Hastings was indeed a trifling thing in the downfall of a nation.”

To the medieval English the papal banner proved to be an incredibly powerful deterrent to defending themselves against a military force that was tiny compared to the resources of an entire nation. Think about the fact that the Norman invasion changed the course of England forever and that William accomplished this with an invading force of about 8,400 men, reduced to 5,400 after Hastings, against a nation of over a million and a half inhabitants!

Fortified towns, such as Dover, surrendered to William without a fight, and Howarth, seemingly mystified by his own thesis, describes this as a “baffling silence” on the part of the English. Fighting in winter, without food and desperately ill, William’s army “could still have been beaten” for it was “absurdly vulnerable.” Howarth adds: “Yet to this puny force, London and England surrendered, not in a fight but in morbid guilt and confusion.” William’s “psychological weapons were working for him…. The concept of national sin was nothing new: popes in the past had pronounced anathema on entire nations…. The safe way [for the English] was to preach repentance and submission.”

And finally:

“Of all the novel weapons the Conqueror brought, the most effective was not the archery or the horsemen but the papal banner. It was this authority, won by false pretenses and granted as a political bargain, that first broke the will of Harold, then of the church, and then of the English people.”

Substitute the term “papal banner” with “charge of racism” and you have the state of the English today. Liberalism is the equivalent of the medieval papal banner. It provides the argument against nationhood and justifies the invasion of aliens to the guilty nation. Such is the power of an idea whose time has come. Are we in America really so far behind? Unlike the medieval English, I refuse to believe that the conservative mind is out of ammunition on the issue.

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Terry Morris writes:

You wrote:

“Further, just as belief in the rightness of one’s cause leads to victory, belief in the rightness of the other side’s cause and the wrongness of one’s own leads to defeat.”

This is very good. It is a principle I’ve taught my children and have believed for a very long time. It is true on an individual level, and just as true, if not more so, at the various collective levels. I’ve been in any number of physical confrontations during my lifetime and every time I knew I was in the right I was supremely confident and determined to win, whereas when I knew I was in the wrong I lost all confidence and determination. And I’ve been in the wrong more than once.

James M. writes:

Something needs drawing out in the parallel between papal approval of William’s invasion and the racism charge: not just the way official approval of the invader drains self-belief from the invaded, but the way it adds self-belief to the invaders. In the UK, “incitement to racial hatred” is a crime but it’s committed daily by the government and media, because non-whites are encouraged to see whites as racist oppressors who deserve retribution. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, one of the UK’s most dedicated anti-racists, has had the honesty to admit this:

I have talked with some black and Asian inmates serving time in prison for such [non-white-on-white] crimes; most [attempt to] justify their actions as collective retribution for attacks on “their people”. A knife for a knife, they think, will make for a better world.

Racism is like original sin, but only for whites. They’re born with it and they deserve to be dispossessed because of it. As Susan Sontag put it: “The white race is the cancer of human history.” Mass immigration is the chemotherapy that will cure the world of this cancer by smothering the white cancer-cells in their homelands.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 06, 2008 04:43 PM | Send

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