‘Oikophobia’: Our Western Self-Hatred

‘Oikophobia’: Our Western Self-Hatred, by Benedict Backeld.

As xenophobia means the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners, so oikophobia means the fear or hatred of home or one’s own society or civilization, oikos being the ancient Greek word for home, house, household. …

Oikophobia … occurred in ancient Greece, in Rome, in the French and British empires, and now in the United States.

In the beginning, a people relatively uncivilized and uncultured, but possessed of great mobility and untested strength, awakens and, as it were, goes to war in service of its deities. Initial successes against surrounding peoples lead to greater wealth and prestige, and a national identity is forged, accompanied by literary epics and other accoutrements of culture.

Eventually, the people reaches its pinnacle of success, with so much wealth that a broad and permanent leisure class can be established, and this era of greatest political power will generally coincide, more or less, with the pinnacle of the nation’s cultural and scientific achievements. There is finally enough wealth and power for the leisure class, and in many cases for people lower on the social ladder as well, to become more occupied with achieving higher states of wealth and prestige vis-à-vis their countrymen than they are with the health of the community itself.

This is where oikophobia sets in. Diverse interests are created that view each other as greater enemies than they do foreign threats. Since the common civilizational enemy has been successfully repulsed, it can no longer serve as an effective target for and outlet of people’s sense of superiority, and human psychology generally requires an adversary for the purpose of self-identification, and so a new adversary is crafted: other people in the same civilization….

This “domestic” competition means that by rejecting one’s culture as backward, one automatically sets oneself above all the other interests that are parts of that culture. Earlier in the civilizational development, the cooperation of a larger proportion of the people is essential for survival at a time when the state is poorer and individuals more reliant on one another for basic security. But once the society has taken off and become affluent, there is greater opportunity to excel and more room, therefore, for people to start criticizing their own culture in an effort to get ahead personally. ..

As has been the case in other civilizations, insofar as the political terms of “left” and “right” may have been applicable to them (“progressive” and “conservative” are often more appropriate for ancient civilizations), the oikophobes dominate in left-wing areas, while non-oikophobes and, in some cases, xenophobes and anti-oikophobic reactionaries dominate in right-wing areas.

The increased hostility between these two sides in the United States comes at the expected time, since the country has already slipped from its peak and is slowly descending on the other side. The historical development of oikophobia has had a debilitating effect on many aspects of our society, on its culture, politics, and military. It is a nation so fixated by internal squabbles that it is no longer capable of effectively projecting outward, unified force.

That this would happen was predicted hundreds of years ago through the trajectories of previous civilizations …

Conservatism and progressivism are both needed, but in different doses at different times. A more progressive outlook is important for an early society that needs to adopt new ideas and absorb the strength of outsiders in an effort to get ahead, while a more conservative outlook is needed in late society in order for it not to lose its grounding and its ability to stand up for itself. …

Once we realize that oikophobia is a sort of pathology that develops under distinct socio-historical circumstances and does not involve any particularly interesting independent thought, but rather is more of a knee-jerk reaction, we are better equipped to face it in our everyday lives.

Our lefty progressive friends are just following the script. Send them this article 🙂