Did you know? That, “Racism is the creation of white people”?
Of course you did, if you are young, woke, and poorly educated, like the
white woman who is now the British Library’s Chief Librarian. (“Liz Jolly.”) Her statement, in a video to staff last
summer, promoting her Decolonizing Working Group, though perfectly acceptable
to subscribers, was mocked by several
African and Asiatic scholars who have depended upon that library’s resources
over the years. Noting that history is more complicated than Ms Jolly was ever
told, they criticized her as “pig ignorant,” &c.
But her explicitly racist “anti-racist” programme proceeds, with
aggressive “anti-racist” exhibitions, new “anti-racist” signage, and so forth.
The demand to de-acquisition authors who do not reinforce the current
ideological stereotypes has not yet gathered to full force, but has started.
The capture of essentially major cultural institutions by unhinged
political fanatics with daddy issues, is among the signs of our times. Those who resist are driven out of
employment; those who accede have a lock on the splendidly-paid positions, for
which beleaguered taxpayers are billed. The consequences to Western Civ are not
Perhaps I am unfair to single out just the one career arts bureaucrat,
when there are thousands to choose from. I may even be prejudiced, not only
against white people like Ms Jolly, but against those of the scheduled races
who have cooperated in trashing the institutional heritage of the Big Wen.
For London was my Athens, back in the day, and I take these
things personally. My
British Museum Library ticket was among my most cherished possessions, and the
old Reading Room among my favourite haunts. I am now so old that I can
remember when such places were ruled, and staffed, by respectably boring
establishment types with Oxbridge degrees.
Yet this is the very class that has suborned itself to the
Revolution. It still works on old boy and girl networks, and has become
dramatically more smug. But now it dismantles what its ancestors built. The
fish-rot starts at the head of British society, as it has in Canada, and
throughout America and Europe.
The odd thing, about this morning’s intemperate effusion, is
that I meant to write an Idlepost defending printed books. It was only because
I was looking something up on the Internet that I tripped into this recent
egregious scandal, in what we might call the swamp life of the mind.
For a new generation of reactionaries, old printed books can
provide a way to preserve the culture and knowledge now being systematically
“re-curated” (i.e. censored and physically destroyed) everywhere I look.
But of course I meant small private libraries, that will have to
be hidden from public view, and guarded against electronic penetration; not the
extravagant starchitectural wonders that pass for “highbrow” among people who
never formed the habit of reading.
Too, as in Aldous Huxley,
and the age of Homer, we should be memorizing our most treasured works for the
dark age to come. Intelligent schooling, even rote learning must, like the
Catholic Church, survive underground. It is a task from which much good might
emerge. Or at the least, it will give us something to do, while we await the