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Are you a narcissistic, clueless, West-hating oikophobe?

(Friday blog)

A few months ago, I introduced readers to a word they might not have known – “Kakistocracy”. A kakistocracy is a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens. Every time I see hopeless Matt Hancock, gormless Gavin Williamson, grasping Grant Shapps, pretty useless Priti Patel or bumbling Boris, for some reason I think of the word “kakistocracy”.

Today I’d like to introduce another word with which you might not be familiar – “Oikophobia”. And no, it doesn’t mean a loathing of oiks.

Oikophobia is the hatred or dislike of one’s own cultural home. 

The simplest way of defining oikophobia is as the opposite extreme of xenophobia. As xenophobia means the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners, so oikophobia means the fear or hatred of home or one’s own society or civilization, oikos being the ancient Greek word for home, house, household. The term was coined in this sense by British philosopher Roger Scruton in 2004, in his book England and the Need for Nations. He calls oikophobia “the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’”

Oikophobia is not unique to Western civilisation today. Instead it is a natural outgrowth of the way cultures develop. It occurred in ancient Greece, in Rome, in the French and British empires, and now in the West.

In the beginning, a people relatively uncivilized and uncultured, but possessed of great mobility and untested strength, awakens and, as it were, goes to war in service of its deities. Initial successes against surrounding peoples lead to greater wealth and prestige, and a national identity is forged, accompanied by literary epics and other accoutrements of culture. Eventually, the people reaches its pinnacle of success, with so much wealth that a broad and permanent leisure class can be established, and this era of greatest political power will generally coincide, more or less, with the pinnacle of the nation’s cultural and scientific achievements. 

This is where oikophobia sets in. Diverse interests are created that view each other as greater enemies than they do foreign threats. Since the common civilizational enemy has been successfully repulsed, it can no longer serve as an effective target for and outlet of people’s sense of superiority, and human psychology generally requires an adversary for the purpose of self-identification, and so a new adversary is crafted: other people in the same civilization. Since this condition of leisure and empowerment, as well as a perception of external threats as non-existential, are the results of a society’s success, success is, ironically, a prerequisite for a society’s self-hatred. What Freud has called the “narcissism of small differences” (in Civilization and Its Discontents)—the urge to compete against others even through minor distinctions like a virtuous action or the newest gadget—becomes one motivation through which a particular interest expresses its superiority over others.

We see daily examples of oikophobia – the desecration of statues, the mudslinging at historical figures, the loathing of our own history, the ridiculing of concepts like patriotism and pride in one’s country, the abject surrender to invading cultures that are clearly inferior to and often totally opposed to our culture. The mainstream media – the BBC, C4 News etc – are active promoters of oikophobia as they sh*t on everything that has made Britain and the West great. And our schools indoctrinate our children with their oikophobic, West-hating, UK-loathing propaganda.

Oikophobia reveals a civilization that has stopped believing in itself, that hates itself, and that is therefore unwilling to defend the values of individual freedom, democracy, and scientific and scholarly skepticism that have been handed down to us since antiquity. How can it have come to such cultural self-hatred? The answer lies in an oft-repeated historical process that takes a society from naïve and self-promoting beginnings to self-contempt and decline.

In the West we have created the most enlightened and advanced civilisation in history. So, pride in our civilisation is entirely justified—which does not negate an awareness of its shortcomings and of past crimes. To defend what we have achieved we must understand the phenomenon of oikophobia, since by understanding it we can finally hope to combat it. We need to realize that oikophobia is a sort of pathology that develops under distinct socio-historical circumstances and does not involve any particularly interesting independent thought. Once we understand this, we are better equipped to face it in our everyday lives.

As the West tears itself apart with its internal culture and identity wars, a rising, increasingly self-confident and aggressive China must view the West’s self-destructive oikophobia with delight.

4 comments to Are you a narcissistic, clueless, West-hating oikophobe?

  • david brown

    Prior to the demise of the Soviet Union the famous American writer Gore Vidal said that the central fact at the end of the 20th Century will be the rise of China.
    The racial Darwinists of the 19th Century and Bible scholars said the same. What Briton was in the 19th Century ,America in the 20th, China aims to be in the 21st. The pre-eminent global power.
    Coronavirus leaked out of the Wuhan Virology Institute yet the mostly cowardly decadent western leaders refuse to say so. They will just stand by as China via front companies buy up our assets at bargain prices.

  • David Craig

    I agree with every word you write.

  • A Thorpe

    This is a thought-provoking piece, one of your best. It might be a better subject for a book, and the ideas are linked. The environmental movement and climate change have left science and rational thinking behind and turned it into a movement that hates modern life. There might be some justification for their views but the present thinking of going back to living with nature is the path to oblivion. We have never lived with nature, just the opposite. Everything we enjoy today has come from using nature for our benefit. There are problems, but not the ones the green movement is trying to solve.

    The idea of a leisure class is a factor, but I think for many people it is because they are more reliant on the state for basics, such as childcare and health. This means they have free money for leisure – sitting on a beach doing nothing and being served by poorly paid foreign workers. The real problem is the continued growth of the state. In the west it is the expansion of socialism through democracy. It is the only direction it can take when the politicians effectively buy votes through handouts. Eventually the state cannot take enough money from us to keep welfare going. This happened in Rome, because of the size of the army and the various handouts to keep the masses under control. Failure of the economy will bring it all down. It is like a giant plate spinning act.

    It is difficult to know what China thinks, but they still depend on the west for trade. They have used our education system and our ideas to catch up, but to create wealth they have to trade.

    The view that we need to reduce poverty has been with us for a long time, but poverty is our natural state, and we have to work to create wealth. China still has a lot of poverty as do many areas of the world. Bringing everybody to our standard of living through more consumption does not seem sustainable to me and we will not have the energy to do it with the present zero carbon nonsense. This is also a big part of understanding where humanity is heading.

    Returning to your theme, I saw this quote from Thomas Sowell recently “We are among the biggest fools in history if we keep on paying people to make us hate each other. Whether it is called by pretty names like ‘multiculturalism’. ‘diversity’ or ‘gender awareness’, that is what it all boils down to.”

    Politicians are the problem, and it is because they serve a party. The Tories, Labour and the CCP are all the same. Political parties need to go, and our elected representatives should be serving us directly, not the parties.

  • The Roman Empire was over soon after the Emperor Constantine made Christianity, a slave morality and the religion of pity that spawned communism and socialism, the Empire’s official religion.

    The Christians were the lowest of the low in Roman society – the oppressed, the ill-constituted, the weak, sick and the physiologically-exhausted. Christianity did the same to the Romans as what political correctness is doing to us – replaced the highest, the most able with the lowest.

    As soon as equality – the highest is equal to the lowest – came knocking at the West’s door the outcome was inevitable. What we have now is its logical development. The self-absorbed herd ruled over by the physiologically-exhausted who have a natural inclination for establishing decadent values, the corrupt statists, the People of the Lie who were allowed to creep into every institution and make it rot away from the inside in abortive efforts to implement the lie, the slave morality of equality.

    The state of affairs looks too far gone to be reversed. It looks as if we will just have to live through the consequences, as was the case in Europe when the Romans were forced to leave centre stage.

    At the moment it looks as if the ruling decadents are attempting to gain control of the human DNA of the planet by using a virus as the excuse to get the DNA-editing tool, known as CRISPR that was developed from the ability that some bacteria have to edit their own DNA, into everyone.

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