Yester-day I was invited for some wine at a friend’s and her boyfriend’s place. They live in a flat in a rental house in a neighbourhood in the Municipality of Uppsala in Sweden. While we were sitting there sipping our wine, we heard a couple of girls calling for our attention: »Excuse me! Could you open the door?«. The entry door is always locked and the small girls did not have a key tag. I complimented the girls for their polite language, which surprisingly made my friend angry. »What kind of language would they else use?« she asked in an upset tone. »Well«, I responded, »they could have just shouted ‘Hey! Open the door!’«. And inevitably her and my diametrically opposite mindsets manifested themselves right in front of our eyes.
As I was referring to my experiences from my own childhood and youth, she, who suffers from a minor wokeness, immediately interpreted my response as racistic. She even thought, that I with the purpose of derogation used the accent of the Swedish sociolect Rinkeby Swedish, which is a sociolect, that is mostly spoken by non-European immigrants in Sweden.
She made quite a common mistake and got me completely wrong. Europe to-day is remarkably obsessed with race and ethnicity. Everything is explained in racial and ethnical terms (except when the racial or ethnical explanation is to the disadvantage of non-European immigrants; in such cases the socio-economic explanation or the explanation of structural racism is used). This mindset is so dominant, that many Europeans seem to be unable to think on other lines. And enters the problem: Opposed to the wokies I do not primarily view the world from racial and ethnical perspectives (which peculiarly enough makes me the racist in the current Western discourse). I care about culture.
What is the background story then? Why was my friend so upset?
I was born and raised in that culture, to which I was referring in my response. I was not born in a sophisticated family and I was not raised in a cultivated neighbourhood. I grew up in the culturally poor country, that Sweden was during the 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s. During my adolescence I heard and saw those boorish youngsters with their impolite manners every single day. They were not non-European immigrants. Their families have lived in Sweden since the beginning of history. So who is racist, when making an assumption, that I referred to non-European immigrants, when talking about bad manners?
When I think back on my childhood and youth, I conclude, that the seed of High Toryism always has dwelled deep inside my soul. I have, as long back as I can remember, always been a great admirer of the splendour of past times. Magnificent castles. Majestic palaces. Breath-taking halls. Elegant clothing. Classy table settings. Sophisticated manners.
But I did not get any of that during my childhood and youth. My father could not even tie a necktie. I have never seen him wearing a suit. I do not know, whether he could spot the difference between black tie and white tie.
But as time went by, I decided to leave the contemporary culture of decay, in which destiny made me come into the world. I decided to strive after cultural refinement. I deprecated modernism, modernity, and the modern project. I have rejected the False, the Mean, and the Ugly in favour of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. That means, that I have distanced myself not only from my own background but also from quite many a contemporary European. I do simply and honestly not want to live that life anymore. I do not want to die with the knowledge, that I have never experienced things worth living for, just because no-one shared my taste, my dreams, my goals, my struggle. And I will not live forever. That means, that I do not have any time to waste on contemporary culture and lifestyle.
But this very strive of mine, which, as I pointed out earlier, includes a rejection of all things contemporary, obviously can be perceived as provocative. Apart from racist I have been called prejudiced, rude, and pompous. One does not deviate unpunished in the country of the Law of Jante. Being a reactionary High Tory in defence of Western Civilization is not a successful way of making many friends — especially not when living in such a progressive country as Sweden. I have become the ugly duckling looking for his swan family.
What about the girls then? It turned out, that they just needed to use the ladies’ room. When they were finished, my friend complimented them for having washed their hands. Apparently that was not a derogatory assumption.