Asabiya is a term borrowed from the Arabic philosopher of history Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406). Asabiya is the power of a society to accomplish things collectively, such as build an empire, a cathedral or a bridge, or fight a war. If you want to experience the power of asabiya, just consider how the entire British nation and its institutions buried their monarch. mourned her loss, televized the funerals, held complex ceremonies in centuries-old churches, organized 4000 soldiers, sailors and airmen and the the top ranks of the governing classes into parades, solemn processions, and ceremonies of the state church, as the people organized themselves into disciplined throngs of hundreds of thousands enduring hours of patient waiting in order to flow past the coffin of the dead Queen.
“Different groups have different degrees of cooperation among their members, and therefore different degrees of cohesiveness and solidarity…. Asabiya refers to the capacity of a social group for concerted collective action. Asabiya is a dynamic quantity; it can increase or decrease with time. Like many theoretical constructs, such as force in Newtonian physics, the capacity for collective action cannot be observed directly, but can be measured from observable consequences”.
Great Britain manifestly has huge asabiya. So does the United States or Japan. Canada had asabiya. It demonstrated this in two world wars. Whether it still has asabiya is doubtful. It is rent by too many ethnic fissures, and the group most asabiya-endowed, English Canada, is constantly denigrated and weakened by the governing Liberals as a matter of multicultural policy. “Diversity is our strength.” The French Canadians fear English Canada’s asabiya and seek always to diminish it. For that matter, all of woke ideology is an attempt of the political left and their black allies to weaken the asabiya of the American people – “white fragility”, “systemic racism”. So is the attack on organic sexual divisions in the species a different form of attack on asabiya, as the idea of fixed sex roles, indeed fixed anything, goes against the idea of personal choice.
Life is not a matter of expressing our puny selves. It is a matter of belonging to something great. Think if the political left as being in a permanent war against every other kind of asabiya but their own, when theirs is a weak and hate-filled search for enemies.
This is an altogether a fine movie, filled with political insight. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Dominic Cummings, the architect of the victorious leave vote. The credits say that some portions of the movie are fictional, leaving one to infer that most of it is just how it happened. The portion I am sure is fictional is a scene near the end between Dominic Cummings and the head organizer of the Remain campaign, a Tory working for Prime Minister Campbell. They are in a pub after a long day’s work. It is becoming clear to the Stay side that they are losing and they are surprised and outraged. They would stay that way for four more years. The Tory political professional running the Stay campaign accuses Cummings of undermining the rule of experts and of opening up political life in England to a set of forces that will be impossible to control.
Broadly speaking, the accusation is true. What kept politics manageable for the ruling classes was a consensus that experts in fact knew more than most people and that their rule was legitimate. This is under challenge in the English-speaking democracies.
“The mystery of the cathedral is that all the modern world’s legitimate and prestigious intellectual institutions, even though they have no central organizational connection, behave in many ways as if they were a single organizational structure.
Most notably, this pseudo-structure is synoptic: it has one clear doctrine or perspective. It always agrees with itself. Still more puzzlingly, its doctrine is not static; it evolves; this doctrine has a predictable direction of evolution, and the whole structure moves together.”
I am uncertain whether the term “the Cathedral” has to be conceived as Yarvin does. Yet it is stands as a useful metaphor for the collective inertia of received ideas that dominate political discourse these days.
Watch the Brexit movie. It will get you to the core of the issues. As the referendum approached, there was a telling scene during a focus group being held by the Remain side where some frizzy blonde-haired working class woman entirely loses it, and starts screaming that she is absolutely fed up with being told she is a racist for having a dim view of current rates of immigration, and that she has been fed up with this state of repression for the past twenty years. The meeting descends into chaos. At that point the chief organizer for the Remain side knows for sure that he is going to lose.
I wonder when that point will be reached in Canada.
The poem by William Blake has become England’s unoffical national hymn. Music by Sir Herbert Parry.
And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the holy lamb of god On England’s pleasant pastures seen?And did the countenance divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem built here Amongst these dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold Bring me my arrows of desire Bring me my spear, o clouds unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire.I will not cease from mental fight Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.
A friend of mine once said that the lyrics of “Jerusalem” outdid the nationalism of anything the Germans have ever devised, including the Nazi regime. Transcendent national social justice.