In Tudor England you could wake one morning feeling perfectly well, eat breakfast, take a walk by the river and be dead from cholera or the sweating sickness by four in the afternoon. There was every variety of infectious disease. Bubonic plague, anthrax and typhus stalked the land for centuries, sweeping like fire through cities and carrying off so many that it was impossible to decently dispose of the dead.
Until Pasteur and Koch stared down their respective microscopes, the only explanation for these and many other afflictions was that we had annoyed a God by too much feasting, sex, drunkenness or greed. God was appeased by huge penitential processions through towns and cities, the participants whipping themselves with metal flails or burning their possessions in huge pyres.
An alternative explanation was that plagues were the work of witches, Satan or foreigners. Nearly everybody believed that Jews and witches were constantly carrying off our children for sacrifice or transforming them so they could be returned to society unrecognised to carry on Satan’s work.
Which is why during such processions at intervals the cry of ‘witch’ would go up and some in the procession would leave the crowd in order to beat up a passerby, perhaps somebody who dared to laugh at them, fitted the description of a demon in disguise, or unfortunately happened to be a passing Jew. And God help any oriental sailor the crowd might catch sight of. The devil was supposed to have the eyes of a Chinaman.
After such processions people went home to a world of curses, spells and forbidden words in which they implicitly believed and which guided their lives. Utter a taboo word and you might be marked out as a witch. Fail to make an offering to the corn doll next to the chimney and your harvest might die. The church ? The priest and his building, the only learning people had access to – were no more than an embassy of the crown there to keep rational order – witches were the thing.
Well that was all a long time ago and we live in more enlightened times. We are a sophisticated, rational society.
Are we so?
In the last month if you were to stand in Parliament Square on a Sunday you might see a huge procession of penitents coming down Whitehall, chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Racism is the sin of the 21st Century and like their medieval ancestors those in the procession are here not just to atone for their own sins but to make sure everybody else does. Covid 19 which has spread with almost supernatural speed has caused a type of madness in society.
At the cry of ‘racist’ some dash from the crowd to beat up the occasional passerby, banners imploring the population to give up their racist ways are raised, the statues of past witches are attacked, daubed in paint or overthrown. The police, knowing they were witnessing a religious procession, stand aside, some kneeling in sympathy. Every plague has its bogey, ours is the racist.
Meanwhile the hunt for racists is on in society in general. Every day politicians, artists, academics, scientists, and society’s benefactors are swept from office following the cries of the ignorant mob.
There are in addition a sizeable number of people who believe the current pandemic is fake, there is no virus or it is no more than flu, but a part of a plot by sinister secret organisation of very rich and powerful people to enslave the world through the use of vaccines. They latter meet in heavily guarded covens on remote mountain tops planning vaccines containing all manner of poisons including parts of dead babies.
Primitive societies often burn their most precious belongings to appease the Gods as the medieval monk Savonarola urged the rich of Florence to burn their treasures in the marketplace to prevent the plague. Instead we throw our treasures into a mythical fire called global warming believing if we give up our cars, walk or ride bicycles, avoid flying and throw away our wood burning stoves God will not rain down fire on us from the heavens.
In the seventies I spent two years working in the mountains of New Guinea, where for 10,000 years people were entirely cut off from the outside world and where ideas like these were deeply embedded, if not hard wired into people’s brains.
The tribes believed that there was no such thing as natural disease or death; both were the work of witches and if every witch on earth was killed man would live forever free of sickness and pain. They believed it with a passion and up to the day I left were enthusiastically killing rival ‘witches’.
Standing in Whitehall watching BLM and its banners passing, or reading about vaccine plots, secret societies and global warming, we have not advanced very far in our understanding of our primitive instincts. Covid 19, which is real – enter an ICU last April and see it packed with people on respirators – has outlined those instincts in bright letters for us all to see.
Subscribe to the quarterly print magazine
Does racism exist? In the banal fact that people across the world feel more comfortable with folk of a similar tribe, then the answer is yes. The fact that this fundamental preference is often overcome by meeting someone from a different tribe who is goodhearted and good company is also true.
However this universal feeling is not what the modern culture warriors mean by ‘racist’, they have created a term that when used against someone is irrefutable, like wrangling with the tar baby, the more one struggles to escape the more one is bound to it.
It is a very effective weapon of the left, used to prevent freedom of speech, and to condemn individuals to unemployment.
The primary targets of those who throw the word ‘racist’ about with such glee, are the ordinary white folk of the west, and the very few people in public life, such as David Starkey who dare to stand up to it.
Racism as used by the wealthy globalists, and their useful idiots in the ‘black community’ is an illusion, it is not based in any truth, but like the witch doctor’s evil eye, can cause great damage to those it is aimed at, and to the societies who believe in it.
Sainted Editor: I think you’re exaggerating the superstitiousness of people who lived in the Middle Ages. I think the superstitiousness of people who live in July 2020 is unprecedented since the Stone Age.
The last asthmatic gasp of the Middle Ages occurred on 15 October 1917 in the benighted Portuguese town of Fátima, when a crowd of at least 30,000 people saw the Sun hurtling towards Earth, to be averted at the last minute by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It’s tempting to laugh at those foolish credulous people, isn’t it?
But their mediaeval credulity didn’t cost any lives. The worship of the disastrously dirty Nationalised Health Service *does* cost lives. The fantasy that COVID-19 is more dangerous than ordinary flu for otherwise healthy people *does* cost lives (ill people are not consulting doctors). And the unnecessary destruction of the economy is going to cost lots of lives.
Like all politicians, Boris is a New Guinea witch doctor.
‘a crowd….saw the Sun hurtling towards Earth, to be averted at the last minute by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary’
I have never heard that mysterious event so described.
And am I tempted to laugh? Nope.
It happened in Fatima. in 1917.
Good comment PJR and one that I agree with. On Myles’s experiences in Papua New Guinea I can assure him that while technology has arrived in the highlands, and their cunning & intelligence is still there, I’m afraid their superstitions tend to be as well. Once the Australian Patrol Officers left, tribal violence, rape, pillage and getting rid of the odd witch on the side, returned. The Patrol Officers of course were all white.
Peter Marriott: I’m in two minds. From the Christian POV, they ought to give up raping and pillaging. But from the conservative POV, their national traditions ought not to be abolished, any more than ours ought to be. Perhaps it would have been better (for them and us) if European explorers had never discovered them.
I know only two things about PNG: They have a decent national rugby team, and their skins are so extremely black that most of the rest of the world’s black people are white in comparison. Does anybody want their admirable blackness to be diluted? If not, why do the leftists want Europe’s almost equally admirable whiteness to be diluted?
PNG and Europe are equally in danger of Marxist evil. But perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope in President Duda’s re-election in Poland.
Like Henry Ford once said: “You can be any colour you like, as long as you’re black.”