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 Tony Abbott is right. Feeble and challenged. Those two words pretty much descibe Australia and most of the West in 2024. But why? How did this come about.

This hasn’t just happened overnight.

I think you can follow the trail of breadcrumbs from the hippy movement in  mid 60’s through until today.

Those same people, many now retired or retiring have been in critical positions in government, the media and the universities and have been on a mission for close to 60 years. Exhibit A would be the way in which the ABC has been hollowed and taken hostage.

The people who in their youth raged against the establishment have beome the establishment. But worse.

I benchmark the beginning of the decline of the West to  the Vietnam war. With the advent of television in the late 1950’s, it was the first war beamed into loungerooms across Australia and America and that is where it was lost. In the lounge rooms of the West. Not on the battlefield.

The politicians came under scrutiny while at the same time distancing  and firewalling themselves from their own commitment to the war while setting set up commissions, committees, tribunals and inquiries  like never before as morally virtuous, media outlets like the ABC and Fairfax, busybody lawyers and international bodies like the ICC Monday morning quarterbacked the play and interfered by remote control. All designed to sap the morale of the warriors on the battlefield.

Think, the ICC indicting Benjamin Netanyahu as a war criminal as he leads his country in an existential moment and Israels darkest hour.

Notice how many wars the west has won since WW2? None.

Because all the action was now recorded for posterity and the internet never forgets, after events like the My Lai massacre in March 1968, warriors have been warned off and are reticent to do what is necessary. This causes reticince at critical moments as they start to second guess, doubt and wrongfoot ourselves. In previous wars the action was out of sight and out of mind. Even fom the Enola Gay at 30,000 feet.

Righly or wrongly, what took place on the battlefield, stayed on the battlefield.

While the enemy doesn’t have any rules of engagement apart from whatever it takes and win at all costs but armies of the West must remain honourable and abide by rules of war that have no bearing or take into account the split second decision making and timing on the battlefield. The prase, the quick and the dead has particuly resonance.

It’s Marquis of Queensbury against anything goes. It’s the defeatist, “we’re better than than that” or “thats not us” mindset which is a receipe for disaster and defeat. The point is that you had better become “that” or you will continue to lose as the enemy, fully aware of your self imposed restrictions will simply do whatever it takes.

Instead of Shakespeares, “cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war”, it’s almost as if the West sees itself as illegitimate and doesnt want to win and has curled itself into the foetal position. They ‘re scared of winning. Like the dog chasing the car they don’t know what to do with victory when its achieved.

Notice how Israel whose wars are always, literally existenial and the fight as if their life depended on it? That’s because it does.

As Tony Abbot writes today – “..One  of the reasons ­Israel is bogged down in Gaza, hesitant to destroy the Hamas leadership, is because its friends (the US) can’t quite grasp the moral distinction between a liberal democracy prosecuting a just war against a terrorist statelet pledged to its ­destruction, and an apocalyptic death cult that uses civilians as human shields. Somehow, civilian deaths in Gaza are not the fault of the terrorists who put command centres and military stores underneath schools and hospitals but of the Israeli Defence Forces..”

In the West we’ve become to fat, lazy and comfortable

We’ve lost our confidence and our capacity and ability to believe in ourselves and what, over hundreds of years, made Western civilisation preeminent.

We’ve been intimidated by supposed experts and intellectuals and have failed to call out their bullshit.

Over the last 15 or 20 years this has all been put into hyperdrive and turbo charged by the internet and social media. Everyone with a smart phone is a video journalist.

Back in my previous life 20 years ago, I could see this coming and used to talk about it the analogy of removing bricks out of a wall.

Just a few, one here and one there, nothing much happens but over time with enough bricks removed the integrity of the wall is jeopardised and weakened and eventually and inevitably it comes crashing down.

Thats where we are. The wall of western civilisation is crashing down. This has been aided and abetted by a timid and risk averse political class who see politics as a career not a calling.

Our standards, such as they are, have fallen away to the point where they’re non-existent and anything goes. Lack of respect for institutions and ourselves is prettyy much the norm

Mediocrity is now king and excellence is frowned uppon.

Part of that is this idea that you must be tolerant, that “you mustn’t be judgemental, you shouldn’t criticise” and that you should accept everything, even that if it flies in the face of logic, reason and decency. If a man thinks he’s a woman, then he’s a woman and your innate faculties and powers of logic and reason must be suppressed otherwise you’re some kind of, “ist”  “ism” or “phobe”

We have willingly lowered our values standards and expectations along with our IQs. We have been deliberately dumbed in a lowest common denomiator, race to the bottom.

That is why we are, where we are.

Into that witches brew, came the postmodern movement whereby everything is relative. Postmodernism has in effect tturned everthing on its head

The ugly and obscene is equal to the magnificent and beautiful. Morality and Truth have become  relative concepts to the point that they don’t exist anymore. Postmodernism was the  forerunner to political correctness and then cultural Marxism.

Back  in 2016, the word “post-truth” was nominated as the word of the year by the Oxford dictionary and many people wrestled with this at the time (and still do) and were left wondering, what is post truth and how the hell did we get here?

The Washington Post at the time wrote it up, thus:

“..It’s official: Truth is dead —- The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief..”

With truth now relative and subjective, all that matters is “your truth” and your feelings. Its now also accepted in the postmodern age, that all cultures are equal and that western culture is no better than any other. That facts and personal observations not withstanding, are subordinate to feelings.

Now, by way of example — The entire universal, raisin d’être of our court system, in one way or another, is to decipher and get to THE truth not A truth on any given occasion based on the evidence. Who is guilty or innocent.

Which party is telling the truth, and which is lying, spinning, distorting and exaggerating.

The idea that there are many truths is another arrow in the quiver of postmodernism, designed to break down, twist and distort reality and confuse so as to create and sow seeds of doubt as to what’s right and wrong and try and establish an alternative reality or alternative “truth”. And of course if theres no truth there cant be lies or falshoods. Its all a matter of how you see the world.

They advocate that science, history, language, etc should be viewed through a lens of an individual’s personal experience and particularly their feelings instead of the actual facts themselves and that by asserting that there is a real truth, you are excluding the perspectives of others.

Your experiences, “your journey” as they call it and your feelings equals your truth. Everyone’s truth has equal weight and value and one truth is no better than another.

All of sudden the values that are central to the Judeo/Christian ethos and the Enlightenment have  shifted and anything goes.

Postmodernists believe that the values, practices, and principles of the Enlightenment era in the West, things like scientific inquiry, rationality, logic, reason and objective truth, suppress the alternative and the crazy which they believe should be viewed as bieng of equal value.

To the postmodernist, belief and opinion is equal to truth.

On top of all of this we can add Divsersity, Equity and Inclusion. DEI – which simply turbocharges, elevates and celebrates mediocrity.

I think it can be turned around but we need a community and non risk averse people in politics that above all understands the problem and how we got here.

In the context of Australia it is symptomatic of the problem that  Anthony Albanese could become prime minister. He is the quintesseential Post Turtle. A turtle sitting atop a post on a country road. No one knows how he got there or who put him there.

Something I wrote some while ago and added to it earlier this week—

Truth is NOT a left wing virtue, quality, value or characteristic so much as whatever it takes. It never has been.

It bears repeating and people understand –Truth, in the sense of “THE” truth, not “A” truth, because to the left is Krptonite. Truth is a relative concept where each person has their own truth and is equally right. Even in the face of inconvenient facts.The way they view the world, truth and facts are fungible, interchangeable and can be forced to conform to fit their preconceived notions, bias or world view.

To the left, truth is simply a strongly held belief or opinion.“My opinion or belief is that X is true therefore X must be true”.

In this world of therapy and anxiety in which many live, that is their infantile, guiding principle. My feelings equals my truth.

Finally, I was always a big fan of Giles Auty who died back in 2020. He was the art critic for The Australian at one point and spent some years with The Spectator Magazine, he wrote in Quadrant back in 2000:

“..The rhetoric of radicalism is one of the most potent forces in society today, yet is essentially anti-intellectual. Perhaps its most damaging effect is the way it manages to sell the idea that ill-conceived and destructive initia­tives are automatic examples of progress and all who resist or obstruct them are reactionaries, conservatives or worse. 

Auty asks: – how did Western society allow itself to tumble into such an intellectually dishonest morass? The answer as in so many other cases, has been a general lack of vigi­lance and vision or will to safeguard our freedoms. By contrast, most of those who have been swept along by cultural fashions and catchphrases fail to foresee the likely consequences of their actions. Frequently they are too young to do so and lacking knowledge of other political systems—an almost universal problem for young Australians—they have no idea of the value of the sys­tem they are attempting to destroy.