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In America there is really very little knowledge of the literature of the rest of the world. Of the literature of Latin America, yes, But that's not all that different in inspiration from that of America, or of Europe. One must go further. You don't even have to go too far in terms of geography - you can start with the Native Americans and listen to their poetry.
Europe is equal to its historical task. Against the anti-spiritual, anti-heroic 'ideals' of America-Jewry, Europe pits its metaphysical ideas, its faith in its Destiny, its ethical principles, its heroism. Fearlessly, Europe falls in for battle, knowing it is armed with the mightiest weapon ever forged by History: the superpersonal Destiny of the European organism. Our European Mission is to create the Culture-State-Nation-Imperium of the West, and thereby we shall perform such deeds, accomplish such works, and so transform our world that our distant posterity, when they behold the remains of our buildings and ramparts, will tell their grandchildren that on the soil of Europe once dwelt a tribe of gods.
Whatever your opinion of the post-9/11 wars, the need to invade Afghanistan or Iraq, none of that changes the decades old strategy and ideology of Global Jihad. Long before there was a Bush in the White House, Muslims with a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam declared war on all that is Un-Islamic, be it located in the Middle East, Europe or the US. Theirs is a totalitarian ideology, as universalist and absolute as anything Hitler or Stalin came up with, albeit with a holy sanction and promise of salvation.
Hubert Ronson, as I was to discover later, is the sort of European you are always coming across in Africa. I never made up my mind whether such men leave Europe because their talents are unappreciated in the politer civilisations, or whether they develop them after they arrive. Bullies, thugs, warm-hearted layabouts, at heart they are all the same sentimental, anxious extroverts, with the same endless fund of dirty stories, and the same secret loathing and longing for the cultures they have escaped.
That no one who had followed the events of the Great War could help realising that while it had resulted in overthrowing the three great monarchies of Europe, its effect on the British Empire had been to strengthen the bonds between king and people and to leave the British Throne more deeply seated in the affections of every class of His Imperial Majesty's subjects.
The nineteenth century moved fast and furious, so that one who moved in it felt sometimes giddy, watching it spin; but the eleventh moved faster and more furiously still. The Norman conquest of England was an immense effort, and its consequences were far-reaching, but the first crusade was altogether the most interesting event in European history. Never has the western world shown anything like the energy and unity with which she then flung herself on the East, and for the moment made the East recoil. Barring her family quarrels, Europe was a unity then, in thought, will and object. Christianity was the unit.
It seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? The Christian attitude is reflected in the words Robert Bolt's play has Thomas More saying to the headsman: 'Friend, be not afraid of your office. You send me to God'. For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence.
The Federation of Nigeria is today as corrupt, as unprogressive and as oppressive and irreformable as the Ottoman Empire was in Eastern Europe over a century ago. And in contrast, the Nigerian Federation in the form it was constituted by the British cannot by any stretch of imagination be considered an African necessity. Yet we are being forced to sacrifice our very existence as a people to the integrity of that ramshackle creation that has no justification either in history or in the freely expressed wishes of the people.
When Europeans put millions of their brothers (Jews) into ovens under the Nazis, the chickens were coming home to roost. Such behavior inside of democratic Europe was not as strange as it is sometimes made out to be. There was always a contradiction between the elaboration of democratic ideas inside Europe and the elaboration of authoritarian and thuggish practices by Europeans with respect to Africans.
A society in whose culture the Ancient Greeks played such an important part was bound to have a view about the Modern Greeks. The inhabitants of that famous land, whose language was still recognizably the same as that of Demosthenes, could not be regarded as just another remote tribe of natives or savages. Western Europe could not escape being concerned with the nature of the relationship between the Ancient and the Modem Greeks. The question has teased, perplexed, and confused generations of Greeks and Europeans and it still stirs passions to an extent difficult for the rational to condone.
I always loved the grand dichotomies of life. Dogs and cats. Cats and mice. Like Tom and Jerry. But as someone who grew up in Central Europe I never understood how a mouse can live inside a wall. Walls are made of bricks! They are not hollow. Way later I came to understand, when I learned that US-American houses are just made of wood, and their walls are really hollow.