I’ve quoted this before, but it’s so insightful, I’d like to do so again. Here’s historian David Levering Lewis lamenting the victory of Charles Martel at Tours:
Had [Muslim general] ‘Abd al-Rahman’s men prevailed that October day, the post-Roman Occident would probably have been incorporated into a cosmopolitan, Muslim regnum unobstructed by borders … one devoid of a priestly caste, animated by the dogma of equality of the faithful, and respectful of all religious faiths … [T]he victory of Charles the Hammer must be seen as greatly contributing to the creation of an economically retarded, balkanized, fratricidal Europe that, in defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of religious persecution, cultural particularism, and hereditary aristocracy.
But what if religious persecution, cultural particularism, and hereditary aristocracy really are virtues? Would it not then be best that some people cultivate them? We have dealt with the first and third; what about the second?
Most people have been attached to their nations and folkways, but the West is distinctively conscious in its particularism. We know that our ways are not the only ones, and we have lived most of our existence adjacent to powerful rival empires: the Persian Empire for the Greeks and Romans, the Islamic Caliphate for Christendom. Dante imagined the center of the world to be Jerusalem, which was not even part of Christendom. Even amongst ourselves, we have usually been organized around warring city-states or nations. It has made us acutely conscious that the continued existence of our people is secured not by natural or positive law, but by the fortunes of war. We are a uniquely violent people, as all our enemies say. But are there not virtues proper to a warrior people?
Hence, other peoples call us fascists. As Francisco Franco, the savior of Spain, put it
Fascism, since that is the word that is used, fascism presents, wherever it manifests itself, characteristics which are varied to the extent that countries and national temperaments vary. It is essentially a defensive reaction of the organism, a manifestation of the desire to live, of the desire not to die, which at certain times seizes a whole people. So each people reacts in its own way, according to its conception of life.
Fascism is inherently defensive, and since nations like people are mortal, ultimately doomed to failure, as its adherents well know. Franco himself could save Spain for only a generation, but this didn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing. Communism/progressivism, the ideology of the anti-West, is always on the offense, as implied by its very name, that it always expects to be progressing deeper into enemy territory. Aggression is the defining feature of the progressive. Odd that everyone should think that gives him the moral high ground.
I have hoped that someday particularism will become one of the West’s gifts to the world. Since everyone seems to find our culture the most unloveable, who better to teach that great lesson about love, that it doesn’t need, and cannot have, a reason?