The Beginning of the End

One Apocalypse and a Culture to Go, Please

 

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra warned us, “The good have always been the beginning of the end,”* but it seems the message was lost somewhere in the shuffle of anti-German propaganda. Just the same, we know it to be true even as we passively watch the good tell us we must integrate, tolerate, and beg forgiveness. We also know that the end is merely a new beginning. Is this what we long for, a chance to rise from the ashes just to see if we can do it? Is this the end game of the West’s so-called Faustian soul?

Der Wille zur Macht, he called it. The Will to Power; it is this which drives man forward, particularly Western European man, but will it drive him forward off a cliff? Perhaps. Originally, we moved forward toward external mastery, then master over one’s self became the goal. This ambition, like most, can only be realized through the control of instinctual impulses, delayed gratification, and knowledge of self. Here I posit an idea: has Western man created this crisis with Islam as an external manifestation of his last battle with himself? Did we need something so Other against which to firmly define ourselves? Is the refugee merely a monster that we must first release and then defeat, like some goaded beast once locked away in the bowels of our collective Coliseum? The beasts’ handlers, the social justice brigade and their kind, want us to lose and they have trained their beasts well; ‘tis a dangerous game we play.

If the refugee is Western man’s last frontier made manifest, whence begins the conquest? When we realize that what we are doing is not a game. Our conscious selves have forgotten our own philosophies, forgotten that self-actualization comes to us via hardship; but our souls remember and so we’ve opened our borders and invited hardship to live with us. When Zarathustra spoke he said,

“I am that which must overcome itself again and again.”

Is that what we are doing now? Did we in the West grow so complacent without significant challenge that we created challenge to the point of suicide?

Prometheus Unbound missed his tethers; he needed a challenge and quite frankly, modernity with all its ease, is boring. Everything has become far too civilized, except the refugee. Here is a beast roaming and stalking; another example of the perennial conflict between barbarity and civility, between being and becoming.** Western man is bored with being and desires to become again. It is curious but possible that we have invited beasts to live among us in hopes of awakening and releasing the slumbering beast within ourselves. Are we looking to the only barbarians we can find to challenge us, to wake us finally from our complacency and decadence?

If so, the refugee crisis is a subconsciously requested wake-up call, only thousands upon thousands of us are still asleep while the beast roams. This will not do. Wake up! Face the challenges so brashly created. In overcoming, we will become again and this is what Western man needs. This decline of the West, what many call an apocalypse, is just that – a lifting of the veil, for that is what the word means. What do we see when it is lifted? We see that this ending is but a new beginning. Wake up. Grab your swords. Start the world.

 

* Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. There are countless editions of this book. Read it!

** This idea was promoted in the writings of the historian William McNeill, who is know for his works on Western Civilization. McNeill was a professor at the University of Chicago.  He died less than one year ago.

 

Rachel Summers