The unmitigated retardery of modernism

The more one learns about the foundations of modern post-Christian postcivilization, the more intellectually flimsy one sees them to be. And the more one learns about the formulators of those foundations, the more retarded one learns they were. From the incest fantasies of Freudian psychology to free trade economics, free speech, free movement of peoples, and free love, every pillar of modernism is not only a complete fraud, it is an obvious fraud dreamed up by a lunatic failure.

Consider, for example, the pathetic background of the novelist D.H. Lawrence, whose work is the basis for both sexual freedom and pretty much all modern pornography. 

Lawrence had first set eyes on Frieda in 1912. Already a published novelist, he’d decided on a whim to find work as a teacher in Germany and approached his former university professor for a recommendation.

Professor Weekley, who lived near Nottingham with his 31-year-old wife and their three children, invited him for Sunday lunch. But Weekley was finishing something in his study when Lawrence arrived, which meant Mrs Weekley had to entertain him alone for half an hour.

In those crucial 30 minutes, the novelist decided that the professor’s wife — with her blonde hair, green eyes and large bosom — was his destiny.

What did they talk about? Lawrence told Frieda that after a few sexual misadventures, he was finished with women; she laughed, and was soon chatting merrily about her favourite subject.

As she later encapsulated the philosophy that drove her: ‘Fanatically, I believed that if only sex were “free”, the world would straightaway turn into a paradise.’

Whether Frieda’s husband shared that view is unlikely. He’d met her on a walking holiday in Germany and married her in 1899. On their return from honeymoon, he told her parents: ‘I am married to an earthquake.’

Within a few years, Frieda had her first affair — with a lace-maker who’d drive her to Sherwood Forest so she could run naked through the trees. Another lover was a cocaine-addicted schizophrenic. A third was an anarchist railway worker.

And now she’d landed an intense 27-year-old novelist who appeared to worship her. They met again — just twice — before agreeing to travel together to Germany.

It hardly mattered that Lawrence had no money, no job and no home. As far as Frieda was concerned, she was having just another affair while she paid a visit to her parents.

But Lawrence was in earnest: he wrote to Professor Weekley to tell him they loved each other.

‘Mrs Weekley,’ he declared, ‘is afraid of being stunted and not allowed to grow and so she must live her own life.’

From Germany, they travelled on to Italy, where he worked on a novel Frieda named The Rainbow — because rainbows, composed from fire and water, symbolised their union: she was a full-flowing stream and he was a burning flame.

All very elemental and romantic, but Frieda was all too often drawn to other flames. One chance came on their honeymoon when they were walking in the mountains with bisexual novelist David Garnett and his good-looking pal Harold Hobson, a drama critic. Later, Frieda told Lawrence that Hobson had ‘taken’ her in a hay hut one day. It was the second time she’d strayed that summer; back in Germany, she’d slept with an officer in Metz. Lawrence shrugged — who was he to stunt her growth?

Yet even her sexual antics couldn’t mitigate Frieda’s genuine distress at being separated from her children, then aged 12, ten and eight. Lawrence, she recalled, ‘hated me for being miserable… In revenge I did not care about his writing.’

In fact, he was jealous of her children, wanting all of Frieda’s attention for himself. Mothers, he told her in all seriousness, must relinquish their spawn, and the sooner the better.

She couldn’t agree, but the decision was taken out of her hands: when her marriage ended, Professor Weekley was granted full custody.

The Rainbow was published a year after the Lawrences married, by which time they were living in London. Now widely viewed as a masterpiece, it charted the sexual awakening of three generations of women.

Any society that bases its sexual mores on the cuckish fantasies of a sickly, sterile gamma male obsessed with a fat, stupid adulteress deserves its inevitable demise. It’s not an accident that Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals is such a repetitive recounting of one disastrous human failure after another.