The fundamental problem we are encountering now, in my personal opinion, is the aftermath of the the collapse of civic Christian culture. I’m not saying the end of an essentially religious cement to hold culture and society is a bad thing of itself, or that it was necessarily a good thing-but nothing has replaced it. For the majority of the 20th century, there was either nothing credible to oppose the Western vacuum of ideology, or what there was could easily be dealt with by borrowing the ideology of struggles with similar issues in the past while supplementing it with the economic ideologies of the day-Cold War, for example.
Since the end of the Cold War, individualism and secularism has taken very firm root in Western Europe, but has offered nothing to fill the vacuum that the decline of Christian society created. People now feel isolated and without common ground to a degree which is unprecedented and exacerbated by social media and cultural habit. In its Hyper capitalist comfort, the West has stagnated, outside the areas of technology and economy. A focus on social mobility and progress, which was the hallmark of nations in the late 19th century and in reality the bedrock of western comfort in the 20th, has been put aside. There’s nothing vital about the West, and there are increasing tensions between the current generation in power who actively refuse to help or allow the coming generation to take the reigns. Current power structures are maintained by people who are ill equipped to deal with the threat of entirely new problems to their generation.
Meanwhile, while we were enjoying unprecedented degrees of economic safety in the West, the Middle East was getting bombed to fuck and having its political make up constantly re-engineered by the Cold War powers. The wake of this was war and instability. People have been drawn together against a common, persistent enemy and they don’t have the life expectancy or opportunities to live for to make the idea of striking out as an individual appealing.
So I think the fundamental crisis is actually one of a well protected but incoherent, confused and atomised set of individuals versus the concept of a disenfranchised but united collective. The scary thing is that the momentum of the latter almost by definition halts that of the former by default.
The conclusion that needs to be drawn, and understood, in my opinion, is that the logical end point of where the West is at now, regardless of ISIS or otherwise, is oblivion, because never before in history has any group of people survived on the basis that they don’t need each other. Which is absolutely the way we’re going.