Pit of Truth

Musings from the shadow of the Cathedral

The International Order Is Broken And There’s No Fixing It

Robert F. Kennedy once remarked that there is an ancient Chinese curse “May he live in interesting times.” Those words would accurately reflect today even more so than when they were first uttered. A resurgent Russia flexes its muscles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. A newly rising China engages in increasingly aggressive cyber warfare against the West while encroaching ever further into the South China Sea and the Pacific. A growing proxy war between the Sunni Gulf states and Shiite Ayatollahs of Iran that fans the flames of an already burning Middle East. Everywhere one looks it seems the international order that seemed so invincible just a few decades ago is coming apart at the seems. Francis Fukuyama’s claim that we have reached the end of history no longer even sounds like a bad joke as much as a bitter testament to our former arrogance.  Read the rest of this entry »

Islam Isn’t The Problem, The Post-Modern West Is

In a stopover in Poland on his way to the G20 summit, President Trump made a speech. It was quite good, especially by the president’s often uneven standards. One section in particular stood out: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”

Certainly there is no question that the West is in any immediate danger either economically or militarily. As much as a resurgent Russia and rising China and Islamic terrorism are creating an increasingly volatile world stage no one seriously believes we are in imminent danger of seeing Russian troops dipping their feet in the English channel any time soon, or witnessing a column of Chinese tanks drive up Pennsylvania Avenue. However much we might fret over the division of the spoils, there is no question that the West as an entity is wealthier than ever before. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Not Just Have Children?

The Western world is facing a demographic winter. We’re getting married and starting families later in life (if at all) and having fewer children. Every major Western nation has a birthrate below replacement level. From slowing economic growth to the long-term fiscal sustainability of the welfare state, this greying of the West’s population is at the centre of many of its future challenges. None of this is breaking news. Read the rest of this entry »

Globalisation Has Lost It’s Social License

To say that the Western world is undergoing a bit of a revolt against globalisation these days is a bit of an understatement. From Warsaw to Washington DC we are witnessing the rise of populist insurgencies railing against open borders, free trade, and the decline of national sovereignty in favour of supranational organisations. Additionally, it has become almost a cliché to observe that the driving force behind this backlash we are seeing is often those who have lost out most from our increasingly global and mobile world; those who formerly would have been considered the blue-collar upper working/lower middle class who have seen their economic and social positions slowly erode. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is To Be Done?

In my latest post on the aftermath of the Manchester bombing I lamented the false pledges that we in the West would carry on as ever before; it was a pledge proven to be a lie by every new armed patrol of soldiers, every ever higher concrete security barrier, and by the visceral feel of morbid dread that has come to descend upon us and comes to weigh slightly more with every new attack (since then there have been a pair of simultaneous knifing sprees in London carried out by jihadis claiming “this is for Allah”). We haven’t carried on as before, we’ve simply begun to normalise these times of danger and terror we live in and responded by slowly getting quieter, and smaller, and more shut in bit by little bit. The lines at security checkpoints have gotten longer, the armed presence of the military in our public spaces has become more visible, and we’ve become ever more hesitant to go out and about and travel abroad. We mouth the empty cliches that we shall not be divided and we shall not be intimidated, but even the ones speaking them no longer believe them. Read the rest of this entry »

One By One The Lights Go Out Across Europe

What is there really to say at this point that has not been said before, and before, and beforeand before, and BEFORE? On Tuesday evening, a nail bomb went off in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Twenty two people are dead, the youngest of which was eight years old (her mother has apparently not yet been told as she is in critical condition from the same attack), and many more are injured.  A twenty-two year old named Salman Abedi has been arrested, the British born son of Libyan refugees. The terror threat level in Britain has been raised to critical, and for the immediate future members of the British armed forces shall be posted at all public events, as has been the normal state of affairs in France for over a year now. Read the rest of this entry »

Kingsman and Aristocratic Virtue

Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is easily one of my favourite movies of recent years. It certainly is one of the most openly reactionary films I can recall in my lifetime, possibly rivalled only by “The Legend of Korra” television series for having such a blatantly critical message on modernity from a traditionalist perspective. One area in particular that stood out (and is particularly relevant to today’s debate on populism versus elitism) is its promotion of the concept of what it is to be a gentleman in the context of aristocratic virtues. Read the rest of this entry »