‘They learn that they are not as others are,
Till some go mad, and some sink prone to earth,
And some push stumbling on without a star.’ ~ P. C. Wren
There’s a madness that afflicts the Legionaire, whilst stuck patrolling the unbearably hot Saraha; day in and day out, the same, monotonous duties, in the same hellish environment, with the same uninspired provisions, they are apt to get “cafard”. French for “cockroach” this form of insanity worms into a man’s mind, lays eggs, and results in madness (a metaphorical cockroach, with strikingly real consequences).
I’ve seen something very similar in my own military service. While out to sea men get the same sort of madness. Confronted with high stress and monotonous scenery (months at a time of nothing but endless ocean), they’re prone to snap. Some attempt suicide.
The early morning hours on an air-craft carrier are much like morning hours anywhere – all is mostly quiet, the jet engines are are finally at peace, and everyone is milling about on personal errands of hygiene, scrounging for food, or preparing for the duties of the day. Many wake up early for exercise; they either jog around the open spaces of the giant hanger bay (if such can be found), or they make their way forward to one of the ship’s gymnasiums (which are no larger than the average man’s living room – imagine them crammed with weights and a multitude of would-be fitness gurus).
A friend and I were on our way to the gym one morning, ducking under jets, and hopping over large piles of chains and equipment, all of which routinely crowd the hanger, when a forlorn looking kid, walking the opposite direction, accidentally slammed into me. All of our nerves were on end due to the stress and monotony, so random bumps of this sort could end in violence if cooler heads didn’t prevail – we parted with little more than a few shouts. But for some reason, I turned back to see where this kid was going, just in time to see him take a running leap out of the hanger bay doors and into the ocean below.
We all ran to the bay doors; some crusty first-class was yelling “man over board!” With those magic words ringing in the air, it didn’t take long to reach the ship’s captain who, before my friend and I were able to high-tail it back to our barracks, was already on the horn, sounding the alarm to the entire crew.
Man overboard drills are serious as they affect all of us. Every man, regardless of rank or duty (and even those asleep), must be accounted for as fast as possible – which requires a light-speed muster. Thousands of people moving around the ship, all at once, heading for their respective shops and duty-stations, requires some level of coordination; without good training, it could be a logistical nightmare.
We were very well trained, however, so within ten minutes, the Captain knew the name of the kid who had jumped, had halted the entire ship, and had rescue boats deployed. He was safely recovered and sent to the brig. The entire operation didn’t last more than twenty minutes.
After the event, he spent the rest of the deployment in the brig (I never did learn his name). At any given time there might be five or six people in lock up. We’d see them every day, marched to the front of the chow lines by the ship police, who were yelling “make way, make way” the entire time, ensuring everyone would see these humiliated men; see and mock them. Such was the end of any who weren’t successful in their suicide attempt.
Something similar to the “cafard” affects the racially self-conscious white man today. Our lot in life is very similar to the lot of a hero in a post-apocalyptic novel.
Day in and day out, we face the same, monotonous drone of anti-white sentiment and hatred, directed at us and everything we believe in. We look around and see the crumbling remains of old-Europe; the little that isn’t crumbling is being systematically taken apart by the scavenger animals who infest these once God-fearing lands.
The post-European European is very much a lone. Even surrounded by the millions of “white grazers” we’re still alone (the white-grazers might be compared to the zombies in many recent Hollywood post-apocalyptic tales). If we get too close to them, they’ll eat us alive – they’ve been taught to feast on the flesh of live Europeans to sustain their own, miserable existences.
And in this terrible monotony, cafard is ever close to the survivors. A debilitating depression, insatiable anger, and incurable frustration, might easily lead to suicide attempts by some, or madness in others.
When John Geste was accused of stealing the “Blue Water” sapphire, he snuck away from home to join the French Foreign Legion (snuck away to save his beloved family the dishonor of being publicly humiliated by way of police investigations). On his first day of enlistment, he met a sergeant who told him about cafard, and how to avoid it:
‘And what can one do to escape le cafard?’ I asked. ‘Nothing,’ was the discouraging reply. ‘Mental occupation is good, and promotion is better. But in the desert, while the Arab finds two things, the European finds three. They are there, and, therefore, there they are…’
I tried to look intelligent and enquiring.
‘The Arab inevitably finds sun and sand – too much of both. The European inevitably finds sun, sand, and madness – too much of all three,’
If we allow ourselves to remain in the post-apocalyptic, European desert, we’ll surely go insane.
The only cure is for us to leave the desert; to find the proverbial library, covered in dust, with vines and weeds sprouting from the unkept books; to flip through them and re-discover who we are. Then we need to find others, and re-build. Europe is just as present in a simple hearth-fire as in the grandest cathedral.