Kabul and the defeat of Christianity

por Rafael L. Bardají, 1 de septiembre de 2021

Some say, especially on the left, that the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is just one more episode, like so many others before it, of a defeat of foreign forces at the hands of the locals. Before the United States the USSR was defeated, and before this, the British Empire. On the other hand, and from the right wing, it is argued that it should not be exaggerated, that the impact of the images we are seeing will not be profound or lasting, that the Taliban are not Al Qaeda and that America has rope for a while. What a hegemonic power worldwide. I believe that both interpretations are wrong: the fall of Kabul has the strategic importance of Lepanto and the implications of Waterloo, to cite two examples. There has been a pre-Afghanistan world order and there will be another after the American and Western Allied defeat there.

How is it possible that a withdrawal from a country that does not contribute anything to the world can be a turning point in history? For some reason we have lost the ability to see that some specific events are genuinely explosive and blow up the prevailing order. The assassination of Archduke Francisco Fernando of Austria in Sarajevo or the 11-M, the tomb of Spain. But we are also unable to see that collapses, most of the time, are the product of processes that last many years. I was taught in school, for example, that the delusions of Caligula, who threatened to appoint consul and wife his horse Incitatus , were one more episode, one page in the long history of the fall of the Roman Empire.

I do not know if the West, Christianity for the Taliban and Islamists, is going to fall rapidly like ripe fruit or if its fall will take place slowly, in a succession of unpleasant episodes. But what I have no doubt about is that our order or world, the one that has prevailed in recent centuries, has been defeated in Kabul. Along with the painful military defeat of America and NATO, there is a set of forces that are pushing the Western world into the abyss. First, the ideological damage caused by liberalism, for which the free market is the cornerstone of progress and freedom. Since the 1980s and 1990s, the ideology of globalization has been embraced because it was believed that the market, in addition to goods, produced freedom. But we already know that this is not the case: China has been able to generate an authoritarian state capitalism. And other countries, like those in the Gulf, want to be rich but not Western. That is, if there are alternatives to the western capitalist model .

Second, there is also the harm of environmentalism. Until now nations competed and were measured by their relative wealth level. And in much of the world it still is. China, without going any further, puts all its pieces to advance economically and technologically the United States in a few years. And yet, in the western field a preservationist mentality has developed that advocates deindustrialization, stop eating meat (and producing it), consume as little as possible and, now, not turn on the light. In other words, the opposite of growth, progress and wealth. A conception that will lead us to be poorer and, furthermore, will not solve the problems derived from the economic activity of the rest of the world, but which will leave us weaker and at the mercy of the richest.

Third we have the death of privacy . The new technologies that promised us to empower the individual have actually served so that the State and whoever can pay for the big data that is produced every second control what is done, what is thought and what is desired. Totalitarianism has finally found the instruments with which to establish itself. Hence, it is so difficult now to bring down dictatorial regimes. The media, once a controlling power of governments, are already tentacles at the service of power. We have been able to clearly verify this during the pandemic. Ending the separation of powers and the difference between public and private space is going against the roots of democratic capitalism.

Finally, there is the permanent contempt that the wokemovement entails , which has nothing to do with the Asian way of cooking vegetables, but with an ideology of global rejection of who we Westerners are, and which promotes extreme trivialization and confrontation of some groups against others. The whites would be the oppressors of minorities; the men, those of the women; the heteros, those of the homosexuals, and so on with everything. Surprisingly, their success can only be explained by the victimizing temptation of individuals who do not want to risk or sacrifice to be something, but who aspire to someone to compensate them for the harm of others. Anger and hatred replace effort and work, the opposite of the capitalist mentality.

All of this augurs an unhappy ending for the Western system, Christianity, that we have known. And although it can be said that these trends were already there before the fall of Kabul, the way in which it has occurred will accelerate them. Because there is still one last essential point of our decadence: the denial and rejection of our own Judeo-Christian roots and the role that religion plays in our lives, whether we are a believer, a practitioner or an atheist. The long and patient victory of the Taliban shows not only how religion is the foundation of a grand strategy, but also gives strength and hope. Just what we Westerners have completely lost.