Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

From my bedroom window I can see a little girl with blonde pigtails riding her bicycle round and round for hours on end. She's German, looks ten years old and lives nearby. Next month I am finally moving to my new home, a beauty built from scratch amid farmland. Cows, deer, the odd donkey graze nearby, a far better bunch than the one Gstaad attracts nowadays. I am, however, king of the mountain. My place is the highest chalet on the Wispille, one of the three mountains that dominate the Mecca of the nouveaux-riche and the wannabee. Life is swell, as long as the old ticker keeps ticking. An approaching birthday tells me that it's time to take stock, do something of consequence, begin taking life seriously at last. So I go back to watching this pretty and innocent child riding her bike. She makes it look like 1930, when such children rode bikes around Europe and played games with their own kind and there were no commissars around to teach them political correctness.

But I digress. Michel Foucault, one of those French philosophers who make absolutely no sense, wrote in his most widely read work, Madness and Civilization , that insanity is a form of freedom, and that in the pre-capitalist West, insanity was understood to be part of the human condition, even an ironic comment on man's pretensions to autonomy and power. I agree with Foucault and think that when those in the classical age defined madness as the enemy of reason and humanity, they were wrong. Foucault, who was obviously a bit mad, thought all of modern society was a prison and modern man its inmate.

But the great Greek philosopher Taki agrees only up to a point. Modern man is in prison -- just look at his heroic effort to free himself from Brussels and wait for the watered-down results -- but violence, despite having a fundamental value in itself, has now become the raw expression of those who cannot compete in bourgeois society. So, if madness is the enemy of reason, why are sane men giving in to violence and to violent minorities right here in Europe and in the United States? Are they mad, or are they being reasonable? The answer is: neither. They are simply cowards.

I write this just as the horror of Nice is sinking in. France was once a very great country, both a military as well as an intellectual powerhouse. It is now just a tourist attraction where one may or may not get killed by an Islamist. I grew up as a young man in Paris, with de Gaulle in power keeping the bureaucrats of Brussels at bay. After Pompidou, the midgets came in, allowing immigration that suited them in the short term to transform the country for good. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.