"If you know thy enemy and you know thyself..."
Let's be honest: the West is BEST.
But you wouldn't know it by talking to the average Westerner.
A deep-seated malaise has taken over the West, a crisis of confidence that expresses itself in both the domestic and foreign arenas and becomes harder to paper over with every passing day.
At home, Western nations are unable to agree on exactly what Western culture is- because to do so would be to admit and even enthusiastically support the fact that Western culture was built on the stern and time-tested foundations of patriarchal leadership, Graeco-Roman (i.e. white-guy) philosophy, Christian morality (i.e. no homosex, no adultery, stern self-discipline), and no small amount of Enlightenment science.
They have been taught that Western culture is fundamentally evil and needs to be usurped and destroyed, to be replaced with... well, they never quite specify what will replace the greatest and most successful culture that the world has ever seen, but they remain almost absurdly optimistic that what comes next will be better.
Such folk remain blissfully unaware that the alternatives to Western civilisation basically come in four flavours:
Sino-Japanese culture, many of the specific details of which most Westerners will enjoy about as much as squid-ink in their ice cream;
Indo-Asian culture, which as anyone who has ever been around large numbers of Indians in tight quarters can tell you tends to be smelly, undisciplined, chaotic, and shows a distinct aversion to such basic Western concepts as "queuing" and "obedience to lawful authority";
African culture, which... well, the less said about that, the better;
And of course, Islamic culture, which has been expressing itself so well over the last few months across the West by bombing, stabbing, shooting, mowing down, and otherwise introducing the religion of "peace" to the natives of Western lands with utter impunity.
As if the domestic situation was not bad enough, the situation overseas is even worse.
Western nations have repeatedly attempted to bring "freedom" and "democracy" and "Western values" to the benighted lands of Islam for the past fifty years and more. They have failed, miserably and catastrophically, each and every time. And in the process of failure, they have created enormous humanitarian crises that have followed them right back home, to and beyond their own borders.
Any halfway reasonable assessment of the West's current standing among civilisations will be forced to conclude one thing, and one thing only: Islamic culture is winning, and Western culture is losing, in the fight for cultural supremacy.
And that is because the West no longer understands its enemy- and it no longer understands itself either.
The question of how the West should regain its lost pride and sense of purpose has been dealt with extensively by me and others, and I'm not done dealing with the subject yet.
The more interesting question to be addressed here, though, is: why does the West keep losing against Islam, despite its overwhelming technological and scientific superiority?
Part of the problem, of course, is the fact that the West refuses to stand and fight for itself. You cannot pretend to be fighting the mortal enemy of your civilisation by invading and occupying his lands in distinctly half-arsed fashion, handing out goodies wherever you go and letting Islam persist as both the spiritual and legal foundation of the land, and then turn around and let hordes of Islamic barbarians in through your own city gates out of some misbegotten sense of "guilt".
A far bigger part of the problem is that the West does not understand its enemy very well.
Thing is, though, that understanding how to fight Islam isn't actually all that hard. The West has had the knowledge for generations but has simply failed to learn from it.
Consider the example of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje. He was a civil servant in the Dutch East Indies- what we know today as Indonesia- and his advice to the Dutch administration in Batavia (Jakarta) was instrumental to successfully suppressing and containing a very violent Islamic uprising against Dutch rule in the 19th Century.
The advice that he gave was startling in both its simplicity and its effectiveness.
In effect, he argued that Islam is a totalitarian system in the most fundamental sense. It prescribes, in totality, exactly what the roles, rights, and responsibilities are of a man and a woman. It differentiates in very precise fashion the rights of a free man versus the treatment of a slave. It is openly racialist and supremacist in its modern forms; Arab Muslims are considered to have higher status than non-Arab ones, while even free women are clearly given absolutely inferior status relative to men, and blacks are considered to be of the lowest status of all.
Islam dictates, in exacting and meticulous detail, how a man can and should conduct his life at all times. It is not merely a religion or system of belief- it is what Judaism used to be back in the days of Mosaic Law: a highly formalised set of rules that define everything that a man must do to live a supposedly "virtuous" life.
Such rules and ideas might have made sense in the Arabian desert in the 7th Century- see Islam's rules concerning ablutions before prayer, for instance. Water is not required to cleanse oneself, as it happens.
They make very little sense at all in the modern world, against which Islam stands implacably and violently opposed.
Since, as Snouck Hurgronje argued, Islam is both a violently supremacist political ideology and a religion in one, the way to suppress the worst influences of Islam is therefore to break it apart into its political and religious components.
As it happens, when take strictly as a religion, Islam isn't all that much more noxious than orthodox Judaism- the laws and methods of which it accepts wholesale, by the way, since the Old Testament is completely accepted as a holy book within Islam.
As a political ideology, of course, Islam is extremely unhealthy for any non-believers that have the misfortune of encountering it.
Keeping the politics and religion of Islam separate, using both force and deception, is therefore the only way to contain Islam, short of launching a crusade to destroy it outright. And the West doesn't have the appetite- or, if we're honest, the strength- to undertake something that horrible.
This is the key lesson that Westerners simply do not seem to understand when dealing with Islam. But past secular rulers in Islamic nations have understood that the easiest way to govern a restive Muslim population is to prevent hardline Islamists from gaining any form of political power, while leaving them free to practice their religion in the public sphere- and cracking down ruthlessly on any imam foolish enough to call for his religious followers to move into the political sphere.
This is exactly how President Suharto operated in Indonesia while I lived there, and it proved to be an extremely effective way to govern the world's largest Islamic nation.
Given that we now have Islamic voices in Britain and Europe openly calling for Muslim voters to mobilise and vote for Islamic interests, this is an example that the West needs to heed, and quickly.
Another key lesson that the West needs to learn lies in the realm of fighting actual kinetic wars in Islamic territories- and in Western territories, such as the formerly Swedish cities of Malmo and Gothenburg.
This is something that the Western world has been spectacularly terrible at doing, partly because the West appears to lack the will to actually win a true victory and seems to insist on the madness of nation-building instead, but mostly because the West doesn't seem to understand what truly ruthless warfare really means.
That might sound more than a little ridiculous given the high-tech, highly impersonal, very sanitised form of mechanised warfare that Western militaries conduct these days. But there is truth to this claim nonetheless.
It is instructive, as always, to look to the past and understand what a really ruthless approach to an Islamic enemy would look like.
For this, we can turn to the tactics used by one General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing when he brutally and quite thoroughly suppressed the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines:
Fast forward to about 17min in and you'll see Bill Whittle talking about exactly how to fight Islamic fanaticism.
First, you have to understand what Islam loathes and hates, and therefore is weak against. Second, you have to apply that knowledge.
Islam loathes pigs and dogs. It considers them to be extremely unclean.
Islam considers the Cross to be anathema. A Muslim who is crucified does not get into the Islamic definition of Paradise.
Islam is riven by deep sectarian divisions. If you take a Sunni, a Shi'a, a Sufi, and a Kurd, and put them all in the same room, there is a good chance that they will tear each other apart.
Islam's followers have a robust, muscular, highly masculinised faith that tells them that they are required to fight the unbelievers wherever they meet them, that exhorts them to follow as the exemplar of masculine virtue a brutal warlord and slave-owner and paedophile, and that promises them very sensual eternal rewards for doing precisely what they are told to do.
Against that sort of enemy, a sanitised, information-driven, mechanised form of warfare simply will not work. Only down-and-dirty, difficult, miserably hard but tactically sound warfare will.
The only way to fight that kind of enemy is to clearly define what the West is, and to point out that Islam is not part of that definition.
This is distinctly at odds with the currently fashionable notion that Western civilisation must somehow be all-inclusive and vibrantly diverse- never mind that, throughout the history of Western civilisation, terrible wars have been fought between nominally similar Western cultures driven by the very differences that the West now tries so hard to paper over.
To win the war against Islam, the West needs to drop this nonsensical pretence of multiculturalism. It needs to ban Islam entirely from within the borders of Western nations. It needs to understand that this war- which the West did not start- has been raging for 14 centuries, and will only end with Islam's total victory, or total defeat.
To win that war, the West needs to secure its own borders first before venturing out on any new crusades. And if such crusades must be fought, then every dirty trick in the book must be used- from crucifying Islamic enemies, to burying them in refuse pits with pigs, to the use of outright deception and falsehood.
These are not easy things for Western minds to understand. These ideas go directly against more than fifty years of globalist indoctrination. They are horrifying even to much of the Alt-Right, and the mere presence of these words on the screen will cause those of a more liberal persuasion to collapse into spontaneously induced fits of rage-vomiting.
Nonetheless, if the only alternatives are the destruction of the West or the possibility of its survival in a war against an implacable enemy, then only by understanding that enemy's weaknesses, as well as one's own, can the West itself be saved in any way.