The Start Trek Fantasy

Star Trek very much embodied what liberal American white males of the 1980s and 1990s thought the future would (or should) look like: secular, sexually liberated, humanistic, meritocratic, equitable, and technological. In this world, religion plays practically no role in public life. Problems are solved with diplomacy instead of violence. Money doesn’t exist, so there is no capitalism, greed, or want. People spend their lives bettering humanity and doing other such noble things like negotiating peace with aliens or exploring the universe in one of Starfleet’s advanced starships. Men do most of the work; they advance through meritocracy; and there is something akin to a fraternal culture, irrespective of the prevailing progressive ideology.
In the diverse world of Star Trek, the white writers imagined meritocracy would ensure whites like themselves would still have a position at the top of society despite soon becoming a minority in real life America. You’ll notice progressive humans are at the center of the Federation in Star Trek despite being a small minority in that fictional universe as well. That’s by design, conscious or not. You can tell the creators desperately wanted to believe this sweet little lie about diverse societies. I’m sure they imagined their tolerance would be reciprocated when they were on the receiving end; we now know that’s not true. Remember, this was the generation that famously cheered President Bill Clinton’s college commencement speech where he lauded the idea of America soon becoming majority minority. The primarily white crowd roared in approval. In this imagined future, white liberals would still get to feel morally superior to contemporary white conservatives, just as they often strive to in today’s world. This is accomplished through various means – cooperation with hostile aliens (demonstrating philosophical supremacy, superiority of intellect and temperament), bravery, tolerance of differences in others, multiculturalism (the show almost never celebrates an earth holiday like Christmas but often supports alien cultures, including breaking Starfleet’s rules of dress for aliens), standing up to corrupt superiors (usually white conservative caricatures).
Star Trek was very much a pre-Millennial liberal morality play whereby inspired characters (mostly white) would often stand up to authority figures (mostly white) in order to promote a general moral code among fellow whites. Basically, it was what white male liberals of the time hoped the future would be. “Threatening” minority characters would act safe and white, technology would trump superstition, and reason would prevail over emotionalism. The future would be a paradise where all problems had been solved and white men would still have a place at the table they created – it being governed by the same rules they originally put into place. But as America’s demographics have changed, so too has the ethos of the Star Trek franchise. – https://www.unz.com/gdurocher/divine-right-on-the-collapse-of-star-trek/

Rome, the Civilisation State

In Beijing, we are making History. In Venice, they are selling history. Professor Zhao
A spectre is haunting the liberal West: the rise of the civilisation-state. As America’s political power wanes and its moral authority collapses, the rising challengers of Eurasia have adopted the model of the civilisation-state to distinguish themselves from a paralysed liberal order. Adrian Pabst observes that “in China and Russia the ruling classes reject Western liberalism. They define their countries as distinctive civilisations with their own unique cultural values and political institutions.” From China to India, Russia to Turkey, the great and middling powers of Eurasia are drawing ideological succour from empires which they claim descent, remoulding their non-democratic, statist political systems as a source of strength rather than weakness, and upturning the liberal-democratic triumphalism of the late 20th century. The Chinese political theorist Zhang Weiwei observed with pride that “China is now the only country in the world which has amalgamated the world’s longest continuous civilization with a huge modern state… Being the world’s longest continuous civilization has allowed China’s traditions to evolve, develop and adapt in virtually all branches of human knowledge and practices, such as political governance, economics, education, art, music, literature, architecture, military, sports, food and medicine. The original, continuous and endogenous nature of these traditions is indeed rare and unique in the world.” Unlike the ever-changing West, constantly searching after progress and reordering its societies to suit the intellectual fashions of the moment, Weiwei observes that “China draws on its ancient traditions and wisdoms.” It is in these hallowed traditions, of a centralised state with a 4000-year history, of an efficient bureaucratic class adhering to Confucian values, and of an emphasis on stability and social harmony over liberty, that Chinese theorists credit their civilisation-state’s rise, now “seemingly unstoppable and irreversible”. Surveying a West in decline and a Middle East mired in bloody chaos, Weiwei remarks with cool detachment that “if the ancient Roman empire had not disintegrated and been able to accomplish the transformation into a modern state, then today’s Europe could also be a medium-sized civilisational state; if the Islamic world today made up of dozens of countries could become unified under one modern governing regime, it could also be a civilisational state with more than a billion people, but the chance for all these scenarios has long gone.”
Yet the appeal of the civilisation-state model is not limited to China. Under Putin, the other great Eurasian empire, Russia, has publicly abandoned the Europe-focused liberalising projects of the 1990s — a period of dramatic economic and societal collapse driven by adherence to the policies of Western liberal theorists — for its own cultural sonderweg or special path of a uniquely Russian civilisation centred on an all-powerful state. In a 2013 address to the Valdai Club, Putin remarked that Russia “has always evolved as a state‑civilisation, reinforced by the Russian people, Russian language, Russian culture, Russian Orthodox Church and the country’s other traditional religions. It is precisely the state‑civilisation model that has shaped our state polity.”
This unresolved tension between East and West, Europe and Asia defines the political stance of Byzantium’s other successor state and Nato’s current problem child, Turkey. Like China, a great premodern empire eclipsed by the rise of the West to global dominance, Turkey under Erdogan now cloaks its revanchist desires in the sumptuous mantle of the Ottoman past. Trapped in the post-historical dreams of liberalism, many Western observers of Erdogan’s growing aggression had missed these symbolic cues, or dismissed them as empty rhetoric, a luxury not available to Turkey’s former subject peoples in the Balkans. When, in March, Turkey attempted to force Greece’s borders open with thousands of migrants assembled from the slums of Istanbul, the Bayraktar drone that hovered above the contested border fence bore the callsign 1453, the date of the fall of Constantinople, just as the drill-ships that constantly threaten to violate Greek and Cypriot sovereignty bear the names of the Ottoman admirals and corsairs who ravaged the coasts of Greece and Europe. In a speech at the same time as the Turkish navy threatened Greece with war, the interior minister Suleyman Soylu outlined Turkey’s intent: a civilisational vision of the new world order: “On this path,” he told the assembled audience of military dignitaries, “we’ll design by embracing the entire world with our civilisation, holding the West and East with one hand, the North and South in the other, the Middle East and the Balkans in one hand, the Caucasus and Europe in the other.”
In an overlooked speech last year to a gathering of France’s ambassadors, Macron mused that China, Russia and India were not merely economic rivals but “genuine civilisation states… which have not just disrupted our international order, assumed a key role in the economic order, but have also very forcefully reshaped the political order and the political thinking that goes with it, with a great deal more inspiration than we have.” Macron observed that “they have a lot more political inspiration than Europeans today. They take a logical approach to the world, they have a genuine philosophy, a resourcefulness that we have to a certain extent lost.” Warning his audience that “we know that civilisations are disappearing; countries as well. Europe will disappear.” The West, and Europe, struggle to define their own very natures, and place greater intellectual emphasis on deconstructing it than on defending it: an urge that is, like the impetus to deny the existence of civilisations as bounded entities, itself ironically a unique marker of our own civilisation. As Portugal’s former foreign minister Bruno Macaes observed in a perceptive recent essay, it is precisely the global aspirations of liberalism that have severed the West, and Europe particularly, from its own cultural roots. “Western societies have sacrificed their specific cultures for the sake of a universal project,” Macaes notes. “One can no longer find the old tapestry of traditions and customs or a vision of the good life in these societies.” Our naive faith that liberalism, derived from the political and cultural traditions of Northern Europe, would conquer the world has now been shattered for good. Instead, it is the defiantly non-liberal civilisation-states of Eurasia that threaten to swallow us whole. Where then, does that leave Europe, and what are we to do with liberalism? “Now that we have sacrificed our own cultural traditions to create a universal framework for the whole planet,” Macaes asks, “are we now supposed to be the only ones to adopt it?”

Concentration

Make two marks on your mirror on a level with your eyes, and think of them as two human eyes looking into yours. Your eyes will probably blink a little at first. Do not move your head, but stand erect. Concentrate all your thoughts on keeping your head perfectly still. Do not let another thought come into your mind. Then, still keeping the head, eyes and body still, think that you look like a reliable man or woman should; like a person that anyone would have confidence in… While standing before the mirror practice deep breathing. See that there is plenty of fresh air in the room, and that you are literally feasting on it. You will find that, as it permeates every cell, your timidity will disappear. It has been replaced by a sense of peace and power. The one that stands up like a man and has control over the muscles of his face and eyes always commands attention. In his conversation, he can better impress those with whom he comes in contact. He acquires a feeling of calmness and strength that causes opposition to melt away before it.

Also, sit in a comfortable chair and see how still you can keep. This is not as easy as it seems. You will have to center your attention on sitting still. Watch and see that you are not making any involuntary muscular movements. By a little practice you will find you are able to sit still without a movement of the muscles for fifteen minutes. At first I advise sitting in a relaxed position for five minutes. After you are able to keep perfectly still, increase the time to ten minutes and then to fifteen. This is as long as it is necessary. But never strain yourself to keep still. You must be relaxed completely.