Davenport-Hines agrees that Britain is indeed fallen, but Dalrymple, in playing to American neocons, cannot name the cause. This ogre is supposedly American popular culture. Britain was civilized into the 1970s, argues Davenport-Hines, so it was less the welfare state (built up in various stages over the last century, perhaps the most important being in the 1940s) than the spread of American television, fast food, and, more recently, political correctness that are to blame for the present moral crisis.
I tend to think that the font of delusive thinking is the desire to pinpoint blame for our universally fallen condition, to scapegoat while dressed in the respectable veneer of historiographical debate over fundamental causes. The real question is less what has gone wrong and who caused it? - things always go wrong, we are fallen - as why are people in a certain place or time without the creativity to save themselves once they come to recognize the problem?
Some are presently writing off France, as if the death of certain societies were a historical inevitability. Predicting her death is no doubt the safer bet, but in history there are no inevitabilities because humans are free. Will Britain save itself? The answer may depend on people finding the proper understanding of freedom, a freedom that is not understood in terms of the many romantic myths and lies that trap "individuals" in anthropologically false ideas of "their" personal freedom, but in terms of the recognition that we are free to act because at times we must act (lead and follow) to save ourselves. Once this recognition is sufficiently widespread a people can indeed do whatever it takes to get out of deep holes.
Reading Davenport-Hines, I was reminded of this quote that I picked up from Gil Bailie's Cornerstone Forum. I'm not a serious follower of Catholic debates on "the culture of death". But it strikes me that these words are as good as any for summing up our present moral crisis:
The culture of death is thus not the result of hedonistic excess. We lack the souls to be hedonists, which, in present circumstances, would be a moral achievement. Rather, in both its normative and exceptional guises, the culture of death is the poison fruit of excessive despair, born of a world made boring by our ‘freedom’ and a freedom made deadly by our boredom. – Michel Hanby
BRITAIN'S first black Archbishop has made a powerful attack on multiculturalism, urging English people to reclaim their national identity.English urged to reclaim identity
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said that too many people were embarrassed about being English. "Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains," he said.
The failure of England to rediscover its culture afresh would lead only to greater political extremism, he said.