Category Archives: iconoclasm

Why young occidentals hate

Cretinous iconoclasm

Youth in the West, writes Dalrymple, is deliberately kept from any deeper knowledge of civilisation by the

ideological self-hatred that has been so strong a current of Western intellectual life for the last three or more decades, that precludes any pedagogic affirmation of the Western tradition.

This self-denigration

explains in part the kind of hatred (and contempt) that young Muslims feel. Not only does the ideological self-hatred of Western intellectuals prevent them from learning anything of the Western tradition, other than Radio One and McDonald’s, but it supplies them with the tropes with which to justify their pre-existing anger and violence.

Dalrymple notes that the self-hatred of Western intellectuals

is not genuine or sincere: they do not really want to beat our supermarkets into souks, as swords into ploughshares. Rather, the intellectual’s expression of self-hatred is directed at other Western intellectuals, to prove the self-hater’s broadness of mind, moral superiority and lack of prejudice. It is not only rebellious youth who experience peer pressure; and anyone who pointed out, for example, that for a very long time now the Western medical tradition has been incomparably superior to all other medical traditions in the world combined and multiplied a thousandfold, would forfeit approval, even though what he said was true, and obviously so.


Insincere ideas can become official orthodoxies, with very real consequences. The Muslims of the West

are hardly to blame if they do not realise that the posturings of our intellectuals are not intended to be taken literally. When Western intellectuals express no admiration for or appreciation of the cultural achievements of their civilisation’s past, when only denigration and iconoclasm appear to advance an intellectual’s career, when moral stature is measured by the vehemence of denunciation of past or present abuses, real or imagined, it is hardly surprising that Muslims conclude that the West is eminently hateful; it must be, because it hates itself. They haven’t heard of Marie Antoinette playing shepherdess.

The insincere play with fire

Those who claim to hate and despise themselves

will very soon be taken at their word by others, particularly by those who believe themselves to be in possession of an all-embracing creed. Far from promoting reconciliation and tolerance, therefore, multiculturalism breeds contempt, hatred and violence.

No attempt, writes Dalrymple, is ever made to explain the West’s hitherto overwhelming superiority in many fields

except by reference to injustice, exploitation and colonial depredation. That the phenomenal and unique inventiveness of the West might be connected in some way with its long philosophical and cultural development, going back to ancient Greece, is a thought that is never for a moment entertained.

In the mental world of many young people in the West, and especially Muslims,

the difference in the wealth of nations is the result of plunder, not invention and innovation, to be redressed by more effective plunder in the opposite direction.

No attempts are made at school to induct young people into the tradition of Western civilisation,

for fear of offending their parents’ cultural sensibilities if they are, say, Muslim; though no more efforts in that direction are made on behalf of kafir youth. Both kafir and Muslims enjoy the fruit without ever knowing the tree. They are like the East End boys of old, who thought that milk came in bottles because they had never seen or heard of cows.

Closing the stable door after the prude has hammered

Before and after: Epstein’s Wilde tomb at Père-Lachaise is, writes Dalrymple, an 'aesthetic abomination'. He points out that 'an Englishwoman, outraged by the sight of the carved figure’s genitals, destroyed them with a hammer,  confirming the French view of the English as a nation of hypocritical and unsophisticated prudes and puritans'. The tomb is now protected 'by screens of what looks like bullet-proof glass'

Before and after: Epstein’s 1914 Wilde tomb at Père-Lachaise is, writes Dalrymple, his worst work — an ‘aesthetic abomination’. Dalrymple’s French guide claims that an Englishwoman, ‘outraged by the sight of the carved figure’s genitals, destroyed them with a hammer, confirming the French view of the English as a nation of hypocritical and unsophisticated prudes and puritans’. The tomb is now protected ‘by screens of what looks like bullet-proof glass’. The act of testicular vandalism seems to have been perpetrated in 1961

The barbarians

Piano lesson

I’m going to do this to your pleasant little market town. It’s my vision, you see

They want to turn the whole world into Dubai

Renzo Piano (pictured) is a barbarian.

Jean Nouvel is a barbarian.

The greatest barbarian-desecrator of them all is Lord Foster. The buildings Foster foists on us are of course modern — grotesquely, charmlessly, incongruously, inhumanly so. But he is broadminded where his own person is concerned, for he also likes ancient stuff, such as his title. He is Baron Foster of Thames Bank. (The rank was introduced in England by William I.)

These architects, writes Dalrymple, like the ISIS iconoclasts or the Chinese Cultural Revolutionists,

are barbarians, albeit using a slightly subtler method of destruction, namely that of entire townscapes in order to impose their so-called vision, which is indeed visually inescapable, on what already exists, thereby in effect destroying it, turning the whole world into Dubai.

A Steinway with its legs cut off. Around it, a bracelet of fæces

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 08.48.16Cloacal revolt against civilisation

Dalrymple describes a visit to Monrovia in an interregnum of the civil war there.

There were no telephones, no banks, schools or hospitals open, there was no running water or electricity supply, and every institution had been destroyed with a thoroughness that I have never seen equalled.

The Holy Virgin Mary. Chris Ofili, 1996. Oil, elephant dung, polyester resin, glitter, collaged pornographic images

The Holy Virgin Mary, Chris Ofili, 1996. Oil, elephant dung, polyester resin, glitter, collaged pornographic images

Dirty protest — or possibly an art installation

The Centennial Hall

was, of course, deserted when I visited. In the centre of the floor was what was probably the country’s only Steinway grand piano. Its legs and pedals had been carefully sawn off and disposed around it, the body of the piano lying flat on the ground. Around it in a ring, like a necklace or a bracelet, the people who had done this, or those of like mind, had disposed their fæces.

We have come a long way from the covering up of piano legs in order to preserve the purity of the thoughts of men in the drawing room.

Piss Christ, 1987, Andres Serrano

Piss Christ, 1987, Andres Serrano

Centennial Hall