After four years of writing a ‘controversial’ column for the Telegraph, Ed West is no longer at the Telegraph. [Hat tip: Sailer] This comes shortly on the heels of his new race-realist book The Diversity Illusion: What We Got Wrong About Immigration & How to Set it Right. Coincidence? My guess is his opinions were just too much for the Telegraph. If you read between the lines of his final column, you can glean this:
Of course we’re pessimists, we’re conservatives – that’s the whole point. Some see a glass half-full, some see a glass half-empty, we see the downfall of Western civilisation and the country going to the dogs. If you want cheery, happy people who think everything’s going to turn out like one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses drawings of heaven where the kids are lying in a field next to a moose, join the Liberal Democrats.
It’s my job as a conservative to depress you, so I’m sad to say that, as this will be my last blogpost here, you’ll have to find some other way to get yourself down from now on; maybe stick yourself in a room with some Radiohead CDs and a bottle of gin and put Requiem for a Dream on a loop…
Conservatism is depressive realism. That’s not to say that things are always bad, or necessarily getting worse, but that there is a natural tendency among humans to ignore problems, and it’s our job to point this out…
Since the time of the Greeks, people have been coming up with schemes to create better societies that are hopelessly unrealistic, and from 1789 the human race has become hugely inventive at thinking of terrible ways to leave us all impoverished or dead, most of them based on the idea that humans are instinctively good. The European project is one such highly optimistic idea: just because every single attempt to overcome national identity in history has ended in miserable failure and bloodshed, that’s not to stop us trying again, eh, folks?
We’ve been shaped by evolution in this way. There has always been a need for innovative, creative thinkers (and this is why the arts will always be dominated by liberals), but there will also forever be a place for the depressive realist.
Conservatism may sound miserable, even misanthropic, but it only recognises that within the communities we live in, which are from an evolutionary point of view unnaturally large, there need to be firm rules to minimalise free-riding, violent conflict and economic disaster. The idea of evolutionary conservatism is to build a society that is as just, progressive, wealthy and happy as is possible within the boundaries of human nature.
Evolution even explains why so much of political debate still revolves too much around Marx and Freud, and too little around Darwin; people just find it difficult to embrace controversial ideas, and are unwilling to accept that they’re wrong. We’re all guilty of this, because we’ve evolved that way, and that’s why political debate is always dominated by irrationality, prejudice, wilful ignorance and tribalism.
It’s why opinions can inspire very strong feelings, hatred even. We all must occasionally see the face of a know-it-all columnist whose views we disagree with and want to punch them in the face…
So thank you for reading and commenting; I like many of the commenters, and often find them interesting and informative. So thank you, and I will continue somewhere the struggle against cultural Marxism, the Frankfurt School, Lib-Lab-Con, Common Purpose, Gramscian hegemony and reality in general. And remember, if you think things are bad, they can always get worse, and probably will.
And so the witch-hunting continues.