Nadirisms 65-68: Civilization, Barbaric Civilization
(CW: Nadir uses a racial slur at the end of this piece. While this piece attempts to reject the notion of Western Civilization as an advanced and beneficent force in the world, his own discourse itself depends on the denigration of supposed barbarism using the same terms deployed by the colonial West. The reader can make their own evaluation as to the efficacy of his sarcastic rhetoric.)
Our civilization has civilized everyone except for itself. Our civilization has taught everybody to eat with a fork and knife while it remains an uncivilized cannibal. It has taught everyone love-for-your-fellow-man while it only loves people roasted on a spit. It has suppressed idolatry while serving the most idiotic idol there has ever been: world history. It has created great artists and yet it remains a boorish dilettante. It has spread all manner of novel beliefs while it believes nothing, not even the words coming out of its own mouth. It is only in the light of modern civilization that we can see how uncivilized our civilization is. How Hottentotish.
Di tsivilizatsye undzere hot a yedn eynem tsivilizirt nor nit zikh aleyn. Di tsivilizatsye hot alemen gelernt esn mitn meser-gopl ober aleyn iz geblibn an umtsivilizirte mentshnfreserke. Zi hot alemen gelernt mentshnlibe un aleyn hot zi lib dem mentshn gebrotenerhayt. Zi hot opgeshaft getsndineray un aleyn dint zi tsu der narish-narishster getin vos hot ven es iz eksistirt. Tsu der veltgeshikhte. Zi hot geshafn groyse kinstler un aleyn iz zi geblibn a fusherin a diletanterin. Zi hot farshpreyt alerley naye gloybns un aleyn gleybt zi nisht afile ire eygene reyd. In di likht fun der moderner tsivilizatsye zeen mir ersht vi umtsivilizirt undzer tsivilizatsy iz. Vi hotentotish.
The kernel of abstract truth is wrapped in a shell called human. If you strip truth of its shell--you destroy both: the truth and the human.
Der yoder fun abstraktn emes iz ayngeviklt in a sholekhts, vos heyst mentsh. Tustu oys dem emes fun der sholekhts--brengstu um beyde zakhn: dem emes un dem mentshn.
In the “holy war” I waged for a “better humanity,” I so often sinned bitterly against individual humans.
In der “heyliker milkhome” vos ikh gefirt far a “beserer mentshhayt,” hob ikh oft biter gezindikt kegn dem eyntsikn mentshn.
It’s foolish to make a big deal out of joining the volunteer fire department at the exact same time as your house is up to its roof in flames.
Es iz a narishkayt zikh tseremonyel ontsushlisn in der frayviliker lesh-brigade, akurat demolt, ven dayn eygene hoyz shteyt biz tsum dakh in fayer.
By Moyshe Nadir
Translated by Corbin Allardice