LONDON LETTER: Existence of risk-averse inanity

A GROWING school of thought is that Europe is doomed. The polite request is for the last person leaving to switch off the lights.

But hang on. People are actually flooding into Europe, not flicking off switches.

So what’s all this doomsday stuff about electricity maintenance?

It’s a bizarre anomaly. A continent is being declared ‘doomed’ just as its population soars.

The ‘lights’ metaphor is instead about cultures. Many believe that European value systems are unlikely to survive the next century.

Whether that’s good or bad is a debate. But you can’t deny it’s happening.

The global population is 7.5 billion and skyrocketing. Massive numbers are fleeing to Europe and North America.

Many are destitute and barely literate.

To them, Europe is a Nirvana of jobs and welfare benefits. The poorest sink-estate dweller in London gets a fortune in State handouts compared to a peasant tilling dirt in Somalia.

As a result, a tidal wave of humanity is crashing on the shores of Europe that could swamp the indigenous people.

From ‘refugees’ who cannot name the capital of the country they’re ‘fleeing’ to, to economic migrants in leaky boats or suffocating in backs of trucks, it’s total one-way traffic.

If you want to make a killing – literally and metaphorically – invest in human trafficking.

About four million illegals have come to Europe over the last three years, and it’s increasing.

About 5 000 migrants arrive in Italy – one of the poorer EU countries – every day.

Most of the liberal ruling elite think that’s a good thing. Open borders are applauded as virtuous.

Ordinary folk aren’t so sure. There’s a growing unease this is not going to end well.

They have more attachment to nationhood, tradition and sense of ‘place’ than the hipsters. And it’s increasingly obvious that migrants, who are far more robust in their native identity than effete European politicians, do not want to assimilate.

‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’

How the demise of Europe would happen was actually forecasted by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in his book ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, written 132 years ago.

In it he introduced ‘The Last Man’ (okay, this was before political correctness) to describe those whose entire existence revolved around risk-averse inanity.

For The Last Man, there is no longer distinction between strength and weakness, excellence and mediocrity.

There is no original thought or innovation, merely fashionable trends. There is no free speech that may jolt ‘group think’. There is nothing to die for, so not much to live for.

The Last Man is too apathetic to dream of brave new worlds, of new frontiers, or dizzy new heights of achievement.

Leadership is not about inspiring people, but promising even more cotton wool cladding from the real world.

The Last Man cannot grasp that the real world is not always benign and that the essence of life is taking chances. So any compromise, no matter how tenuous, is considered to be better than confrontation.

In short, The Last Man is the end-game that nanny states and risk-allergic cultures strive for.

He is the guy who actually will switch off the lights of European culture.

Nietzsche so far has been spot on. How else do you explain people responding to mass shootings in the streets of Paris by singing ‘Imagine’?

How else do you explain our response to the massacre of pre-pubescent girls at a Manchester rock concert by tweeting #allyouneedislove?

How else do you explain the Mayor of London instructing citizens to ‘accept terror as a way of life?’
Ahh … well. When asked by my kids why I love the outdoors, I repeated the well-worn axiom that I would rather be

cold, wet and excited than warm, dry and bored.

The Last Man perfectly personifies the latter.

I am getting longish in the tooth, but I hope the next generation will not be Last Men.

My reasons are simple: I like the fact that women are legally equal and that you can choose your partner, regardless of gender.

I like having a pint in a pub.

So, where’s it going to end?

I’m an optimist. I believe The Last Man will be replaced by The Renaissance Person. And the Renaissance, if you recall, was a force for good.

Graham Spence

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