She’s gone from the left-wing establishment to celebrity status on the right.
Islamists, Leftists, and Neocons
Islamist extremist groups, such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hizb ut-Tahir, Indian Mujahideen, Jamaat-e-Islami, the Muslim Brotherhood, and ISIS (or ISIL), among many others, are spreading disorder wherever they exist in the world. From beheadings to terrorist attacks across the globe, to active genocide of Christians and the destruction of ancient villages and monuments in Muslim countries, to the kidnapping and forced marriage of young non-Muslim girls and the pedophile rape gangs of young White girls, to forced conversions, crucifixions, and mass killings of non-believers, ‘moderates’, and different Muslim sects, to the Sharia occupied territories in Europe, the Trojan Horse plot in Britain, and violent riots, arson, and looting, to demands of religious, legal and cultural accommodations from European majority populations and claims of Islamophobia or victimhood when those demands are not met, to placing severed heads on stakes and gates in Islamist conquered areas in the Middle East such as Syria and Iraq.
Some people call Muslim extremists ‘terrorists’, others call them ‘freedom fighters’, still others call them ‘barbaric animals’ and ‘psychopaths’ while others call them ‘liberators’ or ‘soldiers of Allah’. Whatever you may name them they are certainly no friend of the European peoples. Like the Leftists, some European New Right thinkers, such as Pierre Krebs, suggest Europeans ought to make an alliance with ‘moderate’ Muslims in an effort to counter the hegemony of America over Europe and the globe, which is rapidly destroying the diversity of peoples and forcing them to align with the homogenizing utopian New World Order. These thinkers consider ‘moderate’ Muslims to present, as an ethnic group based on religion, a strong identity in opposition to this American implemented and European compliant secular ‘brave new world’. They think this strong traditional identity is a matter of admiration and they therefore would make good allies in the fight. Although it is hard to disagree that there is something to be said about the strength of Muslim identity, it is completely illogical that European peoples should become allies, even for just a moment, with Muslims to counter a common enemy. Muslims and their varying strategies of violent and non-violent counter-hegemony (moderate or not) are no better than the Neoconservatives and the Leftists they are fighting against.
These three ideological groups are all vying for global hegemony. Each one has already decided how the whole world ought to be and how all people should behave. Their worldviews, regardless of their differences, systematize all people into a homogeneous ‘humanity’ as if all peoples of the world were like some mass-produced shop window manikin, while at the same time they make the Manichean mistake of claiming that if individuals or a people do not comply with their ideology there is something wrong with them – mentally, morally, intellectually, psychologically, or whatever - and split peoples into two moral groups of good and evil, civilized and barbaric, human and subhuman. They all claim they have the ‘Truth’ that will solve all ‘human’ problems, and present it as a new enlightening revelation that is good for humanity, but are totalitarian in some way or another, bent on eradicating all opposition to their ferocious appetite for world supremacy and moral superiority. All think that the demolition of existing situations and peoples is necessary to achieve their global aims, whether through direct destruction by war and genocide, or indirect annihilation through cultural, economic and demographic engineering.
While Neoconservatives maintain their warfare policies in the Middle East and middle of the road liberals (The Economist) press on for global markets and cultural standardization against traditional organic life, Islamists sustain their pernicious creed of violent death Jihad against the West and Leftists remain committed to furthering the spiritual nihilism and historical famine of European culture and ethnicity. These three groups are separate but interlinked anti-European ideologies. On the one hand, we have Neoconservatives, corporations, Fox news, Republicans, Sun News, and libertarians fighting European traditional conservatism and Islamism, and, on the other hand, we have Islamists and Leftists fighting American militarism and corporate globalization.
Neoconservatives promote immigration for economic ends and thus indirectly fund the Leftist utopian dream of stripping regular people of their ethnic and national identity for a new global order by spreading abstract man: homo economicus. Although Leftists are supposed to be in opposition to American-led hegemony, they contribute to the corporate agenda by supporting mass-immigration and miscegenation, end of Whiteness, multicultural rights, claims of racism and Islamophobia, and limits on the free speech of majorities. Leftists really are either useful idiots or willfully committing treason.
In addition, although Leftists are supposedly against capitalism, they make alliances with capitalists; many prominent socialist writers and institutes have and are funded by millionaires, such as the Soros Institute, the Frankfurt School, and the Fabian Society. Leftists also use Islamism (not necessarily the violent Islamism of ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated groups) to counter Western Neoconservative global hegemony. In turn, Islamists employ the Leftist cultural and political discourse of white privilege, white racism, affirmative action, human rights, and collective multicultural rights, so as to gain further ground on all spheres of life in their attempt to counter Western hegemony inside and outside the West and establish a world-wide Caliphate. Although Islamists utilize Leftism for their cause, Islamists ultimately consider Leftists as decadent infidels who produce spiritually and morally vacuous societies and thus ultimately rejects them.
Londonistan and The World Turned Upside Down
With these general points in mind, let us now examine a prominent Neoconservative opponent of Islamism: British journalist Melanie Phillips. She has written several books, including Londonistan (Encounter Books, 2006) and The World Turned Upside Down (Encounter Books, 2010).
In Londonistan you find a bunch of material on the history, people, and groups involved in the rise of Islamism, information about London being the hotbed of terrorist activities in Europe, and a relentless critique of Leftism and its destruction of traditional values. However, you would think that from the title of the book you would be reading details of the radical transformation of Britain into a Muslim enclave by mass-Muslim immigration and how the indigenous Brits are suffering as a consequence. But no. Instead, Phillips devotes most of the book to the plight of Israel and the Jewish people in the face of Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism and terrorism.
Although she does address the pernicious effects of Leftism, the ineptitude of the British intelligentsia on dealing with homegrown Islamic terrorism, and the complicity of politicians in the tragedy by seeking the Muslim vote, not once does she meaningfully mention the white working classes, the ethnic identity and interests of the British masses, or how Muslim subversion is affecting them on the day to day level other than a passing comment or two about the demise of their traditions and culture in the face of Islamism. So why call the book ‘Londonistan’ without first and foremost a distinct and wide coverage of the issues everyday native Britons are experiencing?
It seems that Phillips used the title to pay lip service to the issue of the Islamization of Britain so she can get to her primary aim of steering the critical discourse about Islamism in general and elicit Western support for Israel in its conflict with Palestine and the Muslim-Arab world in particular. In this process, she conflates two separate issues regarding Islam – the problem facing the West and the problem facing Israel. But this is necessary for her argument: on the one hand, she dismisses the ‘Arab view’ (also shared by Leftists) that the oppression of Palestinians by Israel and the alliance of Israel with Neoconservatives is a strategic reason for Muslim aggression against the West; but, on the other hand, her focal point is Leftist and Muslim aggression against the nation of Israel and Israel’s main supporters, the Neoconservatives of Britain and America.
Rather than addressing the Neoconservative foreign policy in the Middle East and Western global hegemony, the point Phillips makes is that the West and Israel are targets of Islamists because Muslims have a religious hatred for the Jews, and because Westerners and Israelites share religious roots — Judeo-Christian roots — they face the same religious enemy, “this hatred lies at the core of the war against the West” (104).
She also writes:
It is not that Israel’s behaviour has inflamed the jihad against the West….It is rather that the jihad, which views the West as a threat to Islam, sees Israel’s existence as living, breathing proof of the Western and Jewish intention to rule the planet. The battle with Israel is thus conceived as a metaphysical struggle between good – the Islamic world – and evil – the Jewish-backed Western world. Israel’s struggle to defend itself against this monstrosity is therefore the West’s struggle to defend itself against the same monstrosity. Israel’s struggle is simply being played out in a unique place where metaphysics and geopolitics have become fused (102-103).
Of course she refers to several other reasons as to why Islamists are aiming their aggression against the West and Israel, which are not wrong, such as the degeneracy of Western culture, the decadence and spiritual vacuity of progressive Leftism, the historical 1400 year war waged by Muslims against Christendom and the Jews, as well as overall Muslim anti-Semitism and anti-Westernism, but she uses these reasons to dismiss the pivotal connection between the geographical fact of land and ideological identity (e.g. Israel and Judaism versus Palestine and Islamism) and thus denies as relevant a vital contributing factor to Muslim violence against Israel and the West. She writes,
It is not a national or territorial conflict but a historical, religious, cultural and existential conflict between truth and falsehood, believers and infidels, prosecuted through jihad until victory or martyrdom (109, my emphasis).
There is no doubt that the existence of the territory of Israel is a thorn in the Islamist flesh, but Phillips insists that Islamist terrorism against the West is only a struggle about metaphysical principles, rather than being also driven by the physical existence of Israel and the military support of it by Western Neoconservatives. Although religious factors, which provide a moral imperative for Islamists, are indeed a central influence, Phillips will get nowhere by dismissing the other facts involved in this bloody affair. While she claims that land is not the issue, in The World Turned Upside Down she claims that the territory of Palestine never really existed anyway, that it was a recent invention and thus Palestinians are not really Palestinians as a legitimate racial ethnicity with a long heritage that could defend the legal claim to the land as a ‘people’, but a mixture of different ethnicities, including Jews, such as “Arab…Greeks, Syrians, Latins, Egyptians, Turks, Armenians, Italians” (58) and so on. In any case, she thinks the Palestinians had plenty of opportunities in the past to form their own independent state.
This argument of arbitrary national construction however does not apply to Israel, or so she argues. Jews lived in the area prior to its creation in 1948 and, more importantly, Israel is the ancient historic homeland of the Jews, as found in the Old Testament, and is thus determined by racial ancestry. Phillips defends this claim on land as determined by ethno-religious ancestral factors:
The Jews’ aspiration for their homeland …. derives from Judaism itself, which comprises the inseparable elements of the religion, the people and the land […]The unique Jewish entitlement to Israel is not just a Biblical story but historical fact. The Jews are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national homeland (55-56, The World Turned Upside Down).
She further defends this racial-religious factor in the creation of the state of Israel by emphasizing the legal construction of Israeli territory, upheld by the British and bound by international law:
The legitimacy of Israel rests not on the United Nations vote of 1947, which finally established it as a state, but on the setting up of the Palestine Mandate in 1922 by the precursor to the UN, the League of Nations, which paid recognition to ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country’ (56, Ibid).
This claim of legitimacy by an appeal to the League of Nations, which is now a defunct international organisation, is confusing considering that in Londonistan she repeatedly criticizes supranational organisations such as “the European Court of Human Rights, the European Union, the United Nations or the European Court of Justice” for increasingly becoming the “sole sources of legitimacy” (26).
What is more, Phillips seems to be saying that the only nation that is legally (and religiously) allowed to be ethnonationalist is Israel. For example, jumping on the Leftist bandwagon of decrying White pride and preservation, Phillips calls White Nationalists, such as the British National Party, the National Front, Combat 18, and the White Nationalist Party, far-right “racists,” “white supremacists”, “neo-Nazis” or “neofascists” as they attempt to maintain their distinct ethnicity in the face of various forces, such as Leftism and Neoconservative Americanism. And part of the reason why she says this is because some have made an alliance with Islamists, like the Leftists, due to their criticism of the perceived influence of Zionism on American and Western foreign and domestic affairs:
These ultranationalist, racist and anti-Jewish groups saw in the Islamists something beyond their wildest dreams: a global force, armed and trained, committed to the destruction of both Jews and the Western political order (217, The World Turned Upside Down).
Now, as mentioned above, it is not logical for any European Right-leaning counter-hegemonic group to join forces with Islamists in order to combat American global hegemony and cultural Marxism for they merely aim to supplant one global hegemonic order with a utopian version of their own.
In contrast to accusations that ethnonationalism is racist and must be eradicated, it must be said that every nation should have the right to self-determination, such as independent decision making in accordance with national and ethnic interests, and that every ethnicity should have a homeland that is safe and secure and therefore have the right to defend that territory. However, just because Islamism and Leftism are a threat to the Western nation states as well as to Israel this does not mean that the West has to necessarily form an alliance with the Neoconservative view of Israel in the fight against these pernicious ideologies.
But this is exactly what Phillips appeals to in Londonistan. She tries to promote an inter-religious cooperation between Israel (Judaism) and the West (Christianity) in the face of Islamism and Leftism. She repeatedly and informally, like it is an irrefutable fact, states that the West has Judeo-Christian foundational values based on the Mosaic Code (Ten Commandments) and thus, she claims, Israel and the West are closely united according to these shared values:
Jews were at the very heart of those Western values [and] At the core of those Western majority values lay the Mosaic Code, which first gave the world the concept of morality, self-discipline and laws regulating behaviour (118-119).
She then uses this as a main premise to argue against Leftism and promote a Western-Israeli alliance (the civilized ‘free world’) against a shared religious and historical threat, the barbarism of Islamism:
As [the Left] took aim at morality and self-restraint, it seized a golden opportunity to pulverize the very people [the Jews] who invented the rules in the first place [and] the far left and the Islamists have become a marriage made in hell….[they] use each other to fight the West (119).
Phillips’ claim that the West is Judeo-Christian at heart is simply not true. Europe and the West do not derive their core historical values from Judaism; they may share the Ten Commandments but that is about all, and, furthermore, many more foundational morals actually come from the Classical Greeks, Christianity itself, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. Christianity may have arisen from Judaism but developed independently thereafter, and Judaism was merely one strain of historical influence on the rise of Christianity, others include Greco-Roman religions, Hellenic philosophy, and European paganism. In addition, not only do Christianity and Judaism differ in fundamental ways, such as the rejection of Christ by Jews, but before Europe was known as Europe it was known as Christendom not Judeo-Christendom.
In fact, the West is majority White European by ethnicity and majority secular Christian by ethics, thus the West primarily ought to have an interest in preserving and protecting the European people’s native homeland in particular and the European character of the West in general, not Israel. European interests are what matter but Phillips wants these interests to become subsumed by the interests of Israel and its conflict with Islam.
Although Phillips denies that the territory of Israel and British and American pro-Israeli foreign policy are destabilising elements that contribute to the militant strategy of Islamism against the West, the aggravation they elicit from Muslim communities across the world (civil unrest, war, terrorism) is increasingly hard to contest, and this aggression is being transported into the Western world by Muslim mass-immigration, such as seen in the recent, massive and violent pro-Palestinian protests across Europe.
In her criticism of Leftist practices such as mass-immigration of Muslims into Europe, political correctness, the human rights victim culture, and feminism, Phillips suggests that they stem only from the writings of one person. She writes in Londonistan:
During the 1960s, the decade in which so many of our current leaders remain firmly stuck, the most influential thinker was the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci […] Antonio Gramsci, the philosopher who became the iconic thinker of the 1960s, laid down the blueprint for exactly what has happened in Britain (71, 118).
While she is not wrong to claim that the Marxist and Lenin inspired Gramsci was responsible for outlining a pernicious plan to subvert Western civilization by infiltrating all of its institutions, a plan that manifested first with the counter-culture movements of the 60s, it is quite deceptive of her to suggest that Gramsci is solely to blame. Many others contributed intellectually to this subversive plan, and have come to be known as cultural Marxists or Frankfurt School Critical Theorists, such as Felix Weil, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, Friedrich Pollock, Leo Löwenthal, Otto Kirchheimer, and Franz Leopold Neumann. These theorists centered their anti-Western cultural Marxism on the philosophy of Karl Marx, and were significantly influenced by Sigmund Freud and George Lukacs. And, in fact, rather than Gramsci being ‘the iconic thinker of the 1960s’ it was Herbert Marcuse who was considered as the ‘guru’ of the New Left.
Phillips may criticize the Leftist ‘long march through the institutions’ but never mentions the Frankfurt School out of which this strategy was further developed, incorporated, and disseminated. She may have no clue about these connections, it does not really matter. What matters is that in her effort to rally support for Israel (and demonize any criticism of its dealing with the Palestinians) there is an obvious misrepresentation of the causes of Western and European cultural demise. On the one hand, she laments and vehemently critiques this degeneration but on the other hand she skips a major cultural force, the Frankfurt School. She rails against Leftism in an attempt to unite Western anti-Islamists with the causes of Israel but she does not acknowledge the seminal contribution of Frankfurt intellectuals to the decadence of the West.
Furthermore, in terms of preserving European ethnicity and culture, Phillips’ criticism of Islamism and Leftism does not go far enough. She goes on and on about how Islamism and Leftism are bent on destroying the traditions of the West, which is not wrong, but Islamism and Leftism are only two destructive mounts. Neoconservative globalization is another destructive mount. Phillips is an avid supporter of American corporate capitalism and American-led Western hegemony. She is outright pro-American regarding foreign policy and, even though she is anti-Leftism, she is actually for open borders and mass immigration if it is about minorities assimilating into the majority culture and adopting liberal individual rights and not multicultural rights. It seems she has no problem with Britain and other European countries being swamped with a multitude of non-European ethnicities from the whole World, as long as they don’t demand any kind of religious or cultural accommodations.
Her plain support for American-led and British foreign policy in the Middle East (war on terror), and for global capitalism pits her against Leftists and Islamists. But the New Right, although it is also (or mostly) anti-Islamist and anti-Leftist, rejects as well American foreign-policy, the spread of Western values around the world, and economic globalization. It suggests ethno-nationalism as a solution to cultural and ethnic genocide and the preservation of real diversity in the world.