Category Archives: imperial sensibility

Liberal supranationalism is dangerously dictatorial

Dalrymple notes that José Manuel Barroso, while head of the European Commission, on one occasion

let fall the true nature of the European Union. It was, he said, an empire, albeit an empire of an entirely new type. He said that for the first time in history nations had agreed to pool their sovereignty.

To what end, Barroso did not say.

Judge not these intellectual and moral minors

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 23.46.24Dalrymple asks (of certain people of the Levant and Mesopotamia):

  • Are they full members of the human race?
  • Do they reflect on their circumstances and act on their reflections in the way that fully responsible and potentially culpable people do?
  • Do they have the capacity for independent action?
  • Should we exculpate them?
  • Should we forgive them?
  • Do they have a fully developed moral sense?
  • Should we regard their misdemeanors with a degree of indulgence?
  • Do people who explode bombs, resulting in scores of deaths of people chosen merely because they are (most of them) of a different religious confession, appreciate what they are doing, any more than a dog appreciates what it does when it knocks over a porcelain vase?
  • Are bombings in the Levant and Mesopotamia as inescapable as the weather?
  • Are those who carry out the bombings blameless?
  • Do those who carry out the bombings consciously decide to do so?

There is, writes Dalrymple, an

inability to take seriously the culpability of men and women who, as a matter of policy or tactics, kill large numbers of passers-by and bystanders.

This inability, he points out,

is a hangover of the late-Victorian imperial sensibility, which viewed much of the world’s population as intellectual and moral minors.