Friday, 11 October 2019

LAWFARE - THE WEAPON OF THE PROGRESSIVE ASS


When Charles Dickens revived the old phrase “the laws is an ass” in his novel "Oliver Twist", he was writing in a time when despite the legal reforms in the Victorian age, law generally meant the law of precedent known as common law and the law of equity or fairness.  The former was the strict interpretation of legal rights, the latter was the evolution of a process of fairness within the jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor, known as the keeper of the King’s conscience. 

In his novel that focused particularly on the legal profession, “Bleak House”, Dickens portrayed lawyers as mercenary, cynical and self-interested.  Those who became caught up especially in equity disputes in the Court of Chancery, where the Lord Chancellor sat, found themselves consuming their capital and destroying their happiness, chasing the chimera of legal settlement in their favour.  The interminable case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce has entered the popular consciousness of Englishmen.  It was of course ironic that the area of law meant to do away with a legalistic and inflexible approach itself had become a burden upon litigants.

Yet today we have a new and particularly post-modern form of legal abuse – that often referred to as lawfare, implying war by other means.  Examples current are the ongoing persecution of the hunting community through the courts and the blatant political attempts to prevent implementation of the referendum on EU membership.

What makes the development of lawfare so troubling is that England was a nation in which the rule of law was a sacrosanct principle.  Back before Henry II (who built upon Anglo Saxon respect for the law in his legal reforms) the King’s Peace meant that common law in Anglo-Saxon England that extended across the realm.  These principles, although much undermined, survived post the Conquest and were restored by Henry II and reluctantly reaffirmed by his son, King John when he signed the Magna Carta in 1215.

That deep respect for the rule of law, by which an English aristocrat like the commonest felon could be sentenced to die on the scaffold, as a principle before which every Englishman was equal, spread across the globe.  Most famously the constitutional governmental system in the United States built upon the English principle of the rule of law.  Through the Commonwealth this principle became worldwide.

What then is the modern Western nation state without the rule of law?  It is that system of commonwealth suffering from that constitution most feared by the Whigs in their rhetoric at least, arbitrary government!

Yet what Whigs say should never be taken at face value.  The Whigs overturned important principles such as the precedent of Royal Succession and used their new found power in England to run a corrupt oligarchy.  It is interesting and telling that today’s liberals, who use the law as a weapon against political opponents, are the philosophical descendants of the Whigs.  That belief in history going in a positivist direction has been further affirmed harmfully through a Left wing account of jurisprudence by the American academic of the Left, Professor Ronald Dworkin.  "Progress", according to the ideology of the Left, could now be enforced by judge-made law.  A hybrid of Whig positivism and cultural- Marxist jurisprudence has given us "lawfare".

By taking advantage of the Englishman’s reverence for the rule of law, corrupt progressives are not just blatantly attempting to overturn referendum results, but to tie up the Englishman in red tape and restrictive laws   In a sense the ban on hunting with hounds was the test case, the canary in the coalmine.  Contrary to the principles of English common law, which looked to established practice for legality, Parliamentary statute overturned generations of a country sport, symbiotically tied in with rural life, in a complex ecosystem of nature, agriculture, sport and tradition.  The English common law would never have ruled in such a way.  It depended upon Parliamentary statute to overturn a prescriptive right to hunt.  After such an egregious victory, many more things became subject to bans and restrictive legislation, until the Englishman has found it difficult to emerge from his house without breaking one law or another.

This abuse came from the growing importance of parliamentary statute, depending upon a transient majority in the Commons, over the importance of common law, which looked to legal precedent and also, in a sense even more importantly, established usage.  If something had been done for time immemorial, then in a free country it must be legal – unless a Parliamentary statute overruled this.

There is nothing antiquated, quaint or anachronistic about the common law: the most serious offence of murder remains a common law offence.  Statute though, with its expression of the sacrosanct principle of Parliamentary sovereignty, commands legal legitimacy and transcends pre-existing common law.  Courts would go on following precedent until overruled by a new act of Parliament. Statutes should be rare and something like a matter of last resort.

The problem with the increasing level of legislation is not just that it is used to restrict an Englishman’s historical rights, but that there is nearly always a political agenda behind it.  There is currently a lot of talk about the Benn Act, which – against all precedent and having been passed through a breach of parliamentary convention – forces the executive to approach the EU for an extension in the event of no deal at the time of the legislated deadline. 

Those MPs who passed the bill in a cynical and political manoeuvre now grow disingenuously indignant about the rule of law when the Prime Minister has threatened to disobey this cynical law – as though the Benn Act were some ancient principle handed down for generations.  What hypocrites!  This law is nothing more than a tactic and yet it is granted the same sanctity as court rulings based in centuries of precedent.

Even worse and especially since the creation of a “supreme court” by Tony Blair’s government, the problem of judge-made law through judicial review is growing and threatening the nation with a constitutional crisis.

Before our eyes we can see that the Whig history was wrong about our constitution.  We are governed by the Queen in Parliament.  Within its realm Parliament is sovereign, but it depends upon the head of state for Royal Assent.  Furthermore Parliamentary sovereignty has nothing to do with the exercise of the Royal Prerogative and neither is that Prerogative justiciable. 

This is not simply a misreading of history that is leading to a constitutional crisis.  It is also to do with that ongoing problem of the “long march through the institutions” by the cultural Marxists.  To a large extent left-wing liberals are the useful idiots of the cultural Marxist agenda, even if they are not fully-aware or fully-signed-up to the agenda of cultural Marxism.  In any event, they are willing to breach with precedent, protocol and prescriptive rights to achieve a political agenda. 

That means that longstanding practices unpopular with or unnoticed by the majority, such as foxhunting and shooting can no longer depend upon being established customs.  They are threatened by a simple majority in the Commons.  If the Lords object they will be overruled (and since Blair’s reforms, the Upper House has been completely corrupted, anyway).  The exercise of the Royal Prerogative by a Government to achieve democratic goals such as dissolution or prorogation are prevented by statute or the Supreme Court.

The whole agenda of the progressives, by which they essentially cheat the system, is reliant upon the Englishman’s acquiescence to the law as an-almost-sacred principle.  Nonetheless, this cannot carry on forever.  If one or two political movements use the law to frustrate democracy or destroy ways of life, then the law itself will lose credibility.  There is an arrogant contempt of the law by those who weaponise it for their own political goals, however complacent they are about their own righteousness.  Being self-satisfied about one’s political views and having the power to abuse the law cannot go on with impunity.  The danger is progressives (liberals and cultural Marxists) will push people too far so that the law and our institutions are no longer respected.  That will not only take away their power, but be a loss and a blow for Anglo Saxon civilisation.  The mistake was to believe the Whig analysis of ever-increasing parliamentary power and history heading in a liberal direction, rather than recognising our rights and civilisation depend upon established usage, custom and precedent.  That Tory spirit of precedent and prescriptive rights in our law making is needed if our institutions and respect for the law are to survive.


Saturday, 20 April 2019

The Christian Roots of Cultural Marxism

To many conservative Christians the belief system known as Cultural Marxism, like its close cousin, post-modernism, is a hateful ideology bent on destruction of our Christian culture.  To many on the Left the analysis by conservatives of Cultural Marxism is a type of shibboleth denying progressive forces.  Any mention of "Cultural Marxism" is an indication to many on the Left that their interlocutor is really a right-wing extremist, perhaps even a White Supremacist.

It does not help that many of the thinkers of the Frankfurt School, who articulated the key ideas of Cultural Marxism, were Jewish, thus adding to the impression on the Left that those who complain about this philosophy are on the Hard Right and inclined towards anti-Semitic conspiracies.  Cultural Marxism being a dog whistle for anti-semites.  Nonetheless the Jewish aspect to Cultural Marxism is important, as will be argued here below.

In the West and indeed in the Orthodox East, we live in a Judaeo-Christian culture and the beliefs and values of Christianity, emerging as it did from the Jewish milieu, still set the paradigm within which our ethics and politics are worked out and discussed.  Cultural Marxism's power is that it touches on many of these deep cultural-values, while denying and attacking the faith upon which these values were founded.

It was Nietzsche, with his attempt to smash our table of values, who identified an inherent tendency to self destruction in Christianity, which he saw as a slavish and Semitic faith (going back to the validation of slaves as chosen people, not subhuman, and their liberation in the story of Exodus).  Other thinkers on the Right, such as Julius Evola utterly rejected the Christian values of compassion and what he saw as a celebration of weakness, looking instead to a religion of heroes as he believed existed in the Aryan world before Christianity.  Yet as Rene Guenon pointed out, the Tradition of our ancestors was to be found passed on to us within our traditional Christian inheritance.

To understand the political extremes of Left and Right, we really need to pay attention to the powerful and fundamental cultural symbol of Christ as the victim.  Nietszche and Evola were right, without Christianity our moral values would not have been centred on the victim.  Instead, more likely we would have looked back to Imperial Rome or even the earlier Dictators, with their symbol - the fasces, which was to give its name to a Twentieth Century ideology.

Cultural Marxism itself is simply what it claims to be.  It extends the Marxist economic critique to all aspects of society.  Thus it is no longer about dividing the world into economic oppressors of the poor in the form of the bourgeoisie versus the proletariat.  Now every relationship is to be understood as one of group oppression.  Just as we are defined by our economic identity in the struggle of economic power, so we belong to groups in our social interactions, either as oppressors or victims.  As men we inevitably oppress women, as Whites we inevitably oppress other ethnic groups, as heterosexuals we oppress people of non-heterosexual inclinations or passions.  From this stems the absurd idea of intersectionality, which leads to the bizarre "oppression Olympics" of groups competing for entitlement to power on the basis of their greater level of victimhood.

Such an ideology is of course destructive, debilitating and depersonalising.  The individual person is defined by his power status as understood by the ideological narrative.  When revealed as it is , the ideology is about nothing more than power.

While so much is wrong with this ideology, we must understand that it is a phenomenon that only a Judaeo Christian society could spawn.  It is a form of heresy and like all heresies there is only a small deviation from truth that leads to major consequences in terms of actions.  For Christ is indeed the victim, Who calls upon us to love the victim.  On this holy weekend we remember Christ as the sacred victim and scapegoat who suffered and died for us.  Weakness, vulnerability and compassion are all emphasised in the heart of the Christian faith as so powerfully attested to by Christ's willing sacrifice upon the Cross.

With the Cultural Marxists however, there is nothing redemptive about being a victim.  Instead dependency and wallowing in a feeling of being oppressed is encouraged, with the consequent resentment that causes.  It therefore takes us far away from the Christian ethos of forgiveness leading to redemption and towards a revolutionary attitude based upon resentment and self righteousness.

And of course, Christians themselves are ideologically defined as oppressors.  This denial of the founding value-system leads to the bizarre situation of Cultural Marxists turning a blind eye to oppression by other faiths, because it is not possible to comprehend in terms of the ideology that other faiths might cause oppression.  Thus Cultural Marxists are quick to defend those who carry our violence against Israel, yet the Muslim oppression of Christians is deliberately ignored.

The importance of the victim in Christianity has degenerated into the fetishization of victimhood.  The distortion from Christianity involves the denial that Christ redeemed us and was victorious on the Cross, but retains the cultural symbol of the victim.  Without that redemption and possibility of eternal life, all is about this passing world.  The victory must be achieved in this world, where victims are only ever victims and have no hope of Paradise, but must instead fight for Utopia politically and even on the street.  That is the original fall from Christian theology and with a centrifugal force the heresy moves the Cultural Marxists farther and farther away from Christian Truth, until they turn on Christianity itself.  Thinkers such as Evola and Nietszche were wrong, Christianity did not contain inherently the seeds of its own destruction.  Instead Cultural Marxism is only possible, as with the Left wing ideas of their day, because of a heretical turn.

That turn had its root in a heterodox over-emphasis in the West on Christ's humanity at the expense of His divinity.  The Catholic Church focused so much on the suffering of Christ as a victim that it forgot His ultimate victory.  The Protestants did not do very much to break away from this fetishization of Christ as a human victim, rather than triumphant Godhead in the flesh.   Our art and iconography powerfully portrays Christ as a dying or even a dead man.  This is so much so that Fyodor Dostoevsky was shaken on his visit to Europe when he saw Holbein's famous painting of Christ dead in the tomb.  As an Orthodox Christian to see Christ in this way had been unthinkable to the Russian writer, who went on to experience a crisis of faith. 

The fetishization of victimhood was to be combined with another reductionist aspect we inflicted upon Christianity - justification by faith alone.  While faith is central on the journey into the full stature of Christ, if it becomes reduced to justification by adherence to specific statements of a creed, the personal interaction and growth is gone.  Being Christian is no longer about becoming a full human being through faith in Christ, but believing a true creed is sufficient.  This is not so very different from what Jordan Peterson describes as ideological possession - belief in the correct ideology covers all sins and justifies the means.  This is why so many Leftists seem to be so insufferably self-righteous, exhibiting the intolerance of Seventeenth Century Puritans.

There was one key ingredient left before the subversion of our Judaeo Christian culture could begin.  To return to our roots - back in the First Century, the Jews rejected Christ for various reasons.  For the Pharisees, His teaching they thought would endanger their uncomfortable compromise with the Roman Empire that allowed them a level of religious autonomy.  Yet there was another element to Jewish society that became embittered by Christ - the Zionists of the time.  Zealots and others foresaw a Messiah who would by military means overthrow the Romans and establish a Kingdom based upon justice for the poor and oppressed.  Christ taught instead an internal change manifested in a life of love.  This caused severe disappointment and the welcomes of Palm Sunday in defiance of the Sanhedrin led to an unholy alliance of Zealot and Pharisee.  It was about political revolution to establish social justice, rather than hoping in faith for Paradise.  One can see that combined with Catholic emphasis on the victim and Protestant justification by faith alone, this Jewish emphasis on political rather than spiritual solutions was another key ingredient.  First came Marxism and then today, with its long march through our institutions we have Cultural Marxism.

We cannot blame true Judaism any more than true Christianity; yet the Western Churches weakly seem to accept the Cultural Marxist narrative and allow Christianity thereby to be dismissed as oppressive and as rigid tradition.  Instead our culture, based fundamentally upon Christianity, must find its voice again, to counter this corrosive ideology of resentment and materialism.  The answer is to be found in the Patristic writings, from Chrysostom to the Cappadocian Fathers - all of whom took the plight of the poor and oppressed very seriously.  Only then will we again understand that while Christ might have appeared as a victim, a stumbling block and foolishness to many, He is the victor over death and the Church is not a powerful and oppressive institution, but His body on earth.




     

Monday, 8 April 2019

PROGRESS - THE MODERN IDOLATRY

What is very interesting about the typical progressive is their dismissal of religious faith based upon personal revelation and inherited tradition as blind. The ideology of the progressive does not stand up to the sort of scrutiny to which traditional Christianity is continually subjected.  By that ideology I mean the unquestioned premise that the direction of history is towards a positive state and that the new is good by dint of being new.

Such an ideology can be traced back to the Victorian Positivists and further back to the Whiggery of Eighteenth Century England.  The Whigs won the battle of history and wrote history as though it had a providential direction towards the Hanoverian state.  This was taken up as a sort of pseudo-science and spawned the social Darwinism of Spencer, the Dialectical Materialism of Marx and Engels and the liberal assumption that society will become ever-more liberal and ever-more free.  The irony is that such philosophies of blind faith in blind progress have led to persecution, eugenics, concentration camps, class war, the GUlag and the destruction of freedom under the heel of the jack boot of the modern state.

It is to these dangerous roots that the modern Progressive consciously or unconsciously receives the succour for his ideology.  And the key point is that while religious faith is rejected as superstitious and as contradicted by empirical evidence, the Progressive himself places a blind faith in an ever-improving society as state power, censorship and bureaucracy increase, despite the overwhelming lesson of history that from Oliver Cromwell, through to Robespierre, Lenin and Hitler, the radical rejection of inherited society in favour of state-enforced progress has led to misery for countless millions.  From the French Terror to the millions dead in Ukraine from the collectivisation of farms, this blind and superstitious faith in progress has led to misery.

At root is the heresy often criticised by the late Seraphim Rose, the American convert from atheism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity - the heresy of Chiliasm.  That heresy was the belief that God's Kingdom could be created on earth, by political action.  Like so many heresies it moves away from orthodoxy by only the slightest degree, yet the consequences of the original error increase exponentially, so the last state is far worse than the first.  The second commandment of loving one's neighbour is distorted to create an ultimate solution for all our neighbours even at the expense of love of God.  The result has always been and always will be misery.  Utopia on this earth is impossible and to achieve it shows a lack of genuine faith and instead a dangerous blind faith in the inevitability of progress resulting from political action.

The answer to this serious error in Western thinking is to view society as being better or worse depending upon how much it participates in Truth.  This then removes the philosophical error of assuming history is going in one direction.  Further, rejecting this premise makes us aware of the danger of decline and decadence, and helps us to look for ways to maintain and achieve human flourishing through inherited wisdom.

Man lives a more flourishing life the closer he conforms to Truth, not as a result of being more modern or forward thinking.  This living life in a full and flourishing way can appear reactionary or old-fashioned - for example living life in the vocation of a husband and father or housewife and mother.  It can also be progressive, but not for the sake of being progressive.  William Wilberforce did not fight slavery through an appeal to abstract theory or the demands of progress; he fought and defeated slavery by an appeal to the internal and inherited traditions of Western civilisation - Christian values.  One might say Judaeo-Christian values when one thinks of the emphasis in the Old Testament on God freeing His people from slavery to a human master in the form of Pharaoh.

It is quite simply shallow to place one's faith in an ill-defined concept of progress.  We need to ask rather, does this social or political reform bring us closer to or further from the Truth?  An idea of progress for the sake of progress cannot help here.  We cannot know whether a change is for good or bad unless we turn to inherited tradition and personal faith (if these two work against each other something is very wrong with a civilisation and culture).

To give a specific example, there is a lot now said about the role of the male gender in a society.  The aggressive assaults upon our cultural understanding of what it is to be a male role model by the feminist ideologues has confused many.  They have conflated men when they fail, are violent, drunk or purposeless with the Gentleman.  The Gentleman is close to the Truth, tracing his antecedents in the idea of the Christian Knight, that civilised savage, courteous and true, yet strong and brave. To be fully-developed as a man is to look back to that inherited wisdom, which taught men to use their superior physical strength to defend the weak.  To avoid degenerating into a brute men should not be emasculated, but fulfil their potential as Gentlemen.  Here then we see that looking back enables us to reach closer to the Truth, as opposed to the confused situation resulting from progressive ideologies such as feminism.  When men behave as gentlemen it will be far more difficult for the Harvey Weinsteins of this world to misbehave - their behaviour would reveal them as cads because of the stark contrast with a social norm of chivalry. Our current progressive and socially-liberal milieu allowed cads and scoundrels to pass unnoticed for many years.

Progress as an idea is a false and shallow chimera.  It is superstition and nothingness.  It is far more irrational than faith placed in a personal God, discovered in personal revelation through the institution and inherited traditions of the Church. The progressive really should stop projecting their own flimsiness in their faith upon those who follow a deep, prescriptive and traditional religion.  The empirical evidence is clear, a belief in Utopia rather than Heaven has caused the greatest levels of misery in history, while those social reforms that have endured - equality under the law, the abolition of slavery, political freedom all rest upon an ancient and inherited notion of each man being made in the image of God.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Civic Virtue and the World


Aristotle taught that man’s telos was to achieve virtue.  Just as the purpose of a musical instrument is to be played and thereby produce music, so Man is to live ethically.  Part of that ethical living is to make a commitment to the Polis, the city state, and to devote oneself to public life.  It is ethical to participate in politics.

As Edmund Burke famously pointed out, for evil to triumph good men simply need to do nothing.  If men of virtue do not participate in public life it will become dominated and controlled by the corrupt, the careerist and even the criminal.  In the West after generations of participation, engagement in politics has been decreasing, leaving the field of public life to the cranks and fanatics that our current university system seems intent on churning out of its post-modern system.  Indeed, it seems it is only those driven by vanity as opposed to virtue that have the energy and zeal to enter public life.  
Whether it is fanatics like Corbyn and McDonnell who wish to change the country in a way no normal person could accept or shallow careerists like David Cameron, there seems little room for the man committed to public service as an Aristotlian virtue.  There are two predominant forces in politics today – the ideological leftist extremists and the careerists.

In the United States we have seen a peaceful revolution against this corrupt (in the broadest sense of the word) system.  Donald Trump was elected because there was something rotten in the state of the Western democracy.  A professional and managerial political class committed to its own shibboleths of ideology, well out of step with the consensus of normal people had become isolated in its apparently impregnable position of power.  Donald Trump was elected to change all that – he said the unsayable in an environment of suffocating political correctness.  Paradoxically this New York TV celebrity gave a voice to traditionalist conservatives and Christians deeply troubled by the course the political class had set their nation upon.

It is no cliché to draw a parallel with Brexit.  That other Anglo-Saxon nation, the old country, the United Kingdom went through its own peaceful revolution in the Brexit vote.  Delivering the largest democratic mandate in history the British public voted decisively to leave the international and globalist project that was set up to destroy the nation state and democratic accountability - the European Union.  In England and Wales the vote was emphatically for leave, the figure only being made more marginal by a capital city out of step culturally and politically with England and Wales as a whole.  Scotland and Northern Ireland voted remain for specific reasons and should not be considered as having voted against the United Kingdom itself.

Whereas in recent weeks we have seen a significant triumph for the Trump administration, in the exoneration of the President from any suspicion of being complicit with the Russian Government to win the election; in the United Kingdom Brexit has been dealt what is perhaps a fatal blow.  Theresa May will now work across the House of Commons, where there is a majority committed to stopping Brexit.

This tells us much of the decline of British institutions after forty years of being governed by an unelected and foreign bureaucracy.  It is no wonder that when Parliament was merely there to provide a fig leaf for two thirds of laws not democratically processed, the quality of politician and the institution of Parliament itself should have suffered a serious decline.  Our political class is not up to the job of Brexit because it has been enervated and corrupted by the European Union and its corrosive effect on representative democracy.  Participation in politics when ruled by Brussels is a charade and it has attracted those who are happy to play a charade.  Now their bluff is called and they are terrified by the thought of political responsibility and accountability.  What might seem like an opportunity to the public man of integrity is terrifying to the careerist politician.

The corrupt careerists therefore did what comes easiest to them, they lied that they would deliver Brexit while spending three years plotting to subvert the democratic result of the referendum.  This is of course disgraceful, wrong and corrupt.  How should one respond?

Despair or extremism are two very tempting responses.  Our system appears to have shown itself irredeemable.  The public gave Parliament a chance to restore its sovereignty and it preferred vassalage.  Yet neither anger nor despair are responses that one striving for virtue should countenance.

There is the so-called Benedict option  If we look at the betrayal of Brexit not in isolation but as symptomatic of the decline of Western politics, then rather than despair should we not be liberated from placing any hope in temporal victories?    One could then withdraw from the world not in despair, but in a spirit of devotion and hope for the next world.  It is interesting to note that Aristotle himself placed the life of contemplation at an even higher level of attainment in virtue than civic participation.

If we are thinking in typological terms, then an analogy might be drawn between a Brussels-administered United Kingdom and First-Century Judea, with its charade of independence, while de facto power was very much in the hands of the Roman administration.

There was a political movement in Judea, the Zealots, who sought for a political victory over Rome.  They were disappointed in a corrupt Jewish establishment that had come to terms with Rome.  These zealots were also to be deeply disappointed in Christ, because they had hoped for a Messiah who would overturn the oppressors and bring about a political Utopia in the form of a new Davidic Zion, powerful and flourishing.  Yet as Christ taught, His kingdom is not of this world.

The temptation to zealotry in today’s circumstances would be to slip into a revolutionary mindset, perhaps even looking at a violent solution to the political corruption and lack of national sovereignty revealed by the Brexit betrayal.  Such an extremist Brexiteer zealotry is not the answer.

Yet again just as despair and extremism are temptations that should be resisted, abdication of responsibility is not an answer either.  We are in the world at the moment that we should be, with all the responsibilities that entail to act or not.  We cannot entirely disengage from this disappointing and fallen world, but neither can we place the totality of our hope in it.
 
Christian civilization is under attack in subtle ways, for the serpent is the subtlest creature in the garden.  Whether it is the attack on gender as a reality or national identity or marriage, forces have combined to destroy the foundations of our culture.  Brexit is just one example of this attack on all that gives meaning, in that national identity has to be dissolved if the post-modern agenda is to succeed. 

The point is not to give in to despair, but to continue the good fight, with an expectation of all being put right eschatologically.  With the specific example of Brexit our nation shook and destabilised the foundations of the new establishment’s new Tower of Babel.  It is right to continue shaking it, without believing we can replace it with a perfect state ourselves.  If we were to do that we fall into the very heresy of chiliasm that lies behind the concept of the European Union.    There will never be an ultimate political solution to this world, but it is right to strive against corruption and duplicity and attacks on our core values.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE LEFT


One of the blind spots for the Left is that it is unable to accept it could be a source of bigotry or racism.  The Left is founded on the idea that it not only has different pragmatic and economic solutions, but that to subscribe to certain economic theories makes one morally superior.  The converse is also assumed, that however hard-working or diligent for the country a conservative is, he is morally bad perhaps even evil.  When coming into contact with decent conservatives, to keep their world-view of their moral superiority holding together, the Leftist will create some explanation, such as that this decent person has been fooled into being a conservative and is really Left wing under the surface.

Yet a perusal of history clearly shows that ideas put forward as progressive in every era have been responsible for more deaths, suffering, hatred and poverty than conservatism ever has been.  From 
Robespierre’s Terror to the Stalinist Gulags, to the economic catastrophe that is Socialist Venezuela (so admired by the current leader of the British Labour Party) it is the Left that has been the political movement most responsible for human suffering.  Nonetheless, when self-righteousness is the key foundation of one’s political involvement, it is an unthinkable thought that one’s beliefs might be the cause of suffering for the people you claim to help.  Thus begins the search for a scapegoat.  It is impossible for the average Leftist to take moral responsibility without his whole Weltanschauung and idea of himself as morally superior to his contemporaries being fatally undermined.

In the Twentieth Century anti-semitism was more associated with the Right and Jewish involvement in politics tended to be participation in Left wing Marxism.  If Nazism can be regarded as right wing, which is debatable given its anti-conservative, revolutionary and avante garde tendencies, that was of course the most egregious example of right-wing anti-semitism.  On the other hand, as Solzhenitsyn has pointed out, the high level of Jewish involvement in the Bolshevik movement was disproportionate in comparison to the number of Jewish Russians.  It is also worth mentioning that the involvement of White Russian emigres seeking revenge through the National Socialist movement in Germany is often overlooked.

Nonetheless, anti-semitism has a far more natural home with the Left.  Despite the terrible suffering of the Jewish people most have refused to give in to a victim status that would seem a natural default position given the extent of persecution.  They have not become passive clients of a Leftist narrative that feeds off resentment.  Of course many black people or other ethnic minorities refuse the resentment narrative fed to the them by White Leftists, but the Jewish refusal to give in to victimhood has been phenomenal and brave.  They have succeeded as a community in keeping their traditions alive (something intolerable to the anti-traditionalist Left) and individual Jews have often reached the very top of Western society, giving the lie to the Leftist narrative that our society is based on oppression, rather than the hierarchies of competence identified by Jordan Peterson.

Therefore there are twofold reasons to choose the Jews as scapegoats for the Left:  first they have refused to be compliant with the Marxist post-modern narrative of oppression by a white Anglo-Saxon protestant-establishment.  Secondly, by succeeding in a capitalist system they have become part of the oppressive conspiracy as set out in Left wing narrative.  The irony is of course that not only Karl Marx, but the founders of post-modernism or cultural Marxism were largely Jewish.  This Left wing involvement by some Jews says more about the experience of lacking roots in a society than it does about Western society itself.  This was of course a very important point for the Jewish Catholic writer and philosopher Simone Weil.

Western culture is fundamentally Christian and that means the Jewish religion and Scripture is a core part of our culture and values.  We are a Judaeo Christian culture and it is that culture that the cultural Marxists, post-moderns and Leftists seek to destroy. 

If Western culture is a conspiracy of the capitalist class against the proletariat, it is a very fine line between making that claim and stepping into a dark conspiracy theory about a certain race that is successful in capitalism being behind globalist neoliberal economics. 

Being anti-conservative, whether as an international or national socialist or a post-modern, is about attacking the fundamental values and the fabric of our Christian culture.  That is why Leftists can make common cause with those attacking traditional gender roles and hard-line Islamists who believe in traditional gender roles.  It is not that these different groups have a shared positive cause, they are simply enemies of the Western inheritance.  The Jews are different – their great sin is to succeed as an ethnic minority in this allegedly oppressive society.  The Left has not achieved a claim over their loyalty necessarily – they are not supplicants to the morally-virtuous Left-wing politicians.  Of course this is a gross generalisation, but we must understand that the Left thinks in gross generalisations.  All the way back to Marx, people are not individual persons, but members of a class.  They are reduced to being part of an oppressor or victim class with their personal attributes erased in the eyes of the ideologue.  That of course is very similar to racism.     

It is therefore a very thin line between accepting the Marxist narrative and slipping into anti-semitism.  In the United States the dominance of intersectional theories of oppression places Muslims as a group above Jews.  The problem of anti-semitism in political Islam is therefore being overlooked.  In the United Kingdom the main Left-of-centre parliamentary party has been taken over by Hard-Left anti-parliamentary economic Marxists.  If you believe capitalism is a conspiracy against the poor, it is a very small step to believing Jews are oppressing the people.  We are already seeing serious problems with anti-semitism in the British Labour Party.  The willingness of the American Democratic party to see and hear no evil with regard to political Islam means they too are starting to turn a blind eye to anti-semitism, despite the party’s strong connections with the Jewish community in the United States.

What all this tells us is that the Left cannot reform or be self-reflective or critical unless it accepts being Left wing is not an infallible sign of moral righteousness.  Most politics is just about the mechanics of achieving economic growth for as many people as possible and ensuring civil society survives.  There are different theories as to how this might be done – from wealth creation and trickle-down economics to redistributive taxation.  The moral choice is not whether one is Left or Right, but whether one participates at all.  As long as there is this blindness about its own moral fallibility, the Left will fail to confront its own festering demons of anti-semitism and bigotry.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

CONSPIRACY TO SILENCE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS



Alex Jones of Infowars has been banned by the tech companies from most social media platforms.  Tommy Robinson, ( whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) the former leader of the EDL and a self-proclaimed campaigner for free speech and against Islamification of Britain (accused by many of simple agitation against Muslims), has been released from prison following his appeal heard before the Lord Chief Justice of England.

What both these political activists have in common is their repeated accusations that the establishment has a Left wing agenda.  These claims have landed them in very hot water.  Of course, it is possible to get bogged down in the legal argument about Tommy Robinson.  It is true that he is only released on bail and that he will have to face court again with regard to the contempt of court accusation.  Nonetheless it was found that his imprisonment was wrong and that the court acted in haste and disproportionately in sentencing him to a custodial sentence for contempt.

Many figures from Right and Left, including Nigel Farage, have suggested that Tommy Robinson went too far in broadcasting outside the court room where men (of Muslim background, which is significant to Tommy Robinson’s argument that the establishment turns a blind eye to Muslim crime) were being tried for the crime of grooming under-age indigenous girls for sex.  Tommy Robinson states he was careful only to read from a published BBC article still in the public domain on his live feed, but many have suggested he was jeopardising the prosecution of the accused.

Alex Jones is also a controversial figure, in particular with his comments on the Sandyhook massacre, for which the parents of the children murdered are suing him.  In his vociferous defence of the right to bear arms he suggested that the massacre might have been a hoax to support a campaign against guns.  Nonetheless, the social media platforms are relying on the vague concept of “hate speech” to remove him from their platforms. 

Of course it is important to understand the exact reasons why Alex Jones has been de-platformed and why Tommy Robinson was imprisoned, but looked at from a broader perspective it seems something very concerning is taking place.  It is something the public in general perceive, despite what they are told by the BBC or CNN – that because these men are on the Right they have been dealt with more harshly by the system.  In that sense what these two men say about the establishment, which might have looked like conspiracy theories before, is now looking more credible.

In the light of the over-reaction to Boris Johnson’s article in which he argued against banning the full-face-veil, yet is being attacked for Islamophobia for colourful comments, it seems a pattern is emerging.  The tension seems at first to be about free speech versus causing offence, but looked at more closely it is actually about protecting certain favoured groups from offence.  Whether it be transgender people, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, women or in this case Muslims, there is a special protection given to certain groups in accordance with a specific ideology that dominates the thinking of the Western universities from which our politicians and leaders emerge.  This is what many right-wing internet personalities describe as Cultural Marxism, by which the old Marxist analysis of the rich bourgeoisie having power over their victims the proletariat is replaced by a broader narrative of power and oppression.  Like the Marxists, these new ideologues do not look at people as individuals, but whether they belong to an oppressor or victim class.  For this reason there are no restrictions on causing offence to those in the oppressor class, which is why the general public is right to feel that there is one rule for them and another for us, so to speak.

This is a dangerous and destructive ideology that prevents integration and encourages feelings of resentment and entitlement.  Psychologically, as Dr. Jordan Peterson has made clear, one does far better in life if one takes responsibility for oneself, rather than sinks ever deeper into the resentment and disempowerment caused by such an ideology ( if you are a member of one of the groups classified as oppressed).  However, for the privileged elite who believe in this cultural-Marxist analysis, it has the great advantage of making them feel good and virtuous without the economic and other costs of a real Marxist revolution.

Yet, the recent events relating to Tommy Robinson and Alex Jones suggest this is slightly more sinister (and we do not have to agree with their conspiracy theories to be worried).  When you reduce your analysis of a society to a crude binary battle between oppressor and victim, in which all nuance, individual virtue and ideals are ignored, then that justifies the use of power against your political enemies, who are seen as the enemies of progress and by definition evil oppressors.

Therefore, we need to start to take seriously the possibility that due process and fairness will cease to matter to the powerful Cultural-Marxist Left because they are so sure they are on the side of right and progress.  For that reason, rules and laws may be used simply as tools to silence those perceived as reactionaries.
   
Because this ideology has solidified its view of who is in the oppressor and victim group, adherents are not able to comprehend the possibility that those who were once oppressors could be left behind.  This is why so little has been done about white working-class schoolboys falling behind in education.  It is also why the establishment cannot understand why someone like Tommy Robinson has achieved such a following.  Neither can they imagine that mass immigration could ever be negative on the poor, because any criticism of mass migration is an attack on a group classified as a victim group.

What all this means is that the apparent conspiracy theories advocated by Jones and Robinson are not necessarily crazy at all.  While their specific claims might be questionable, they have been shut down by the powerful.  It was their advocacy of such theories that led to their draconian treatment to a large extent.  They are right to suspect freedom of speech is being shut down, as evidenced by the hysterical reaction to Boris Johnson’s article on the niqab.  These are all consequences of the Manichean and simplistic yet sanctimonious belief-system dominant in our establishment.  Alex Jones and Tommy Robinson, whether you agree with them or not, are really victims of this new oxymoronic phenomenon of liberal totalitarianism. 

Monday, 23 July 2018

Novichok and Holy Russia


Russia’s recovery from Bolshevism and Return to Christian Values is a Beacon of Hope – yet where were these values in Salisbury?

It seemed like the Barsetshire Chronicles had met John Le Carre when a Russian former spy and double agent and his daughter were poisoned by a chemical substance.  The cathedral city of Salisbury has been the site of the first chemical attack on these islands.  Since then one British subject has died from novichok poisoning and another has finally been released from hospital.

The evidence appears to point to Russian actors.  Russia denies this.  The alternative, put forward by conspiracy theorists, that British intelligence was responsible seems far-fetched to British ears.  To regard such an accusation as credible would require most of us to reconstruct completely our understanding of how the British state functions.  This is far easier for a Russian who is familiar with a state that commits crimes. History is clear, the Soviet state committed moral crimes against its people.  One only needs to peruse Solzhenitsyn to find this out.  The idea that the British Government would have fabricated or staged the poisoning may seem incredible to us, but not to a Russian citizen.

Neither is it very persuasive to draw an equivalence with the British State’s assassination of Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Syria.  These are cases of war zones and the former state is one where the government is an ally of the British and the latter state is no friend of the Islamists.  By contrast, in Salisbury an attack was made on British soil with a chemical weapon, with callous disregard of the danger to lives and the local economy.  In parenthesis  it is simplistic to imagine that the vast state of Russia and its intelligence services are as centralised as those of the British state, nonetheless, on balance, as opposed to beyond reasonable doubt, the Russian state appears to be guilty.  Western allies rallied to the cause of Britain – showing Brexit Britain continues to have international stature.

Herein lies the main point – Russia may have seen many dramatic changes since the fall of the Soviet Union, but nonetheless its starting point is very low if we recall Stalin, the KGB and the GUlag.  It is a low that is now far more familiar to those in the West, as the Soviets enforced by the jack boot what left-wing university professors in the West are re-educating middle-class students to support – abolition of capitalism and suppression of the Church, mass abortion and shifting women en masse into the work place.  Once we grasp this then we can understand how a nation that is seeing a resurgent Church can also be connected to a crime that was committed with a cavalier attitude to the sanctity of innocent life.

After the regicide of the Tsar Russia began a moral decline into atheistic tyranny.  Truth was sacrificed to a materialistic ideology and the sanctity of the person was as nothing.  The state became all intrusive and claimed citizens’ loyalty over and above human loyalties to family, Church and God. 

Of course the resurgence of Orthodoxy and the veneration of the Romanovs is proof that for all this state oppression the human values of the Russians did not disappear, but simply went underground.  Yet as Jordan Peterson has pointed out, the effect of the totalitarian system of Communism was to replace Truth with the Lie.  In effect – the attempt to abolish the Logos.  It was in that sense a Satanic project.  Russia hit a nadir in its civilization, whatever the nostalgia now for the certainties of the Soviet period, following the abuse of the common weal by capitalistic oligarchs. 

Countries' stories are not straight lines, but always revert to national archetypes.  If we think of the history of nations and cultures as cyclical rather than progressive we not only get a more accurate understanding of what is happening, but can rationalise the apparent contradictions of that vast country Winston Churchill once described as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.  Russia has hit the bottom point of a cycle and now is rising up again, but that does not mean the powers that be in the Russian establishment are untainted by the brutal system of the Bolshevik state of which many of the current establishment were part. Furthermore, any revolution is disruptive and undoubtedly criminal elements have benefited from the collapse of the Soviet Union, just as there has been the opportunity to resuscitate former traditions of value.

Quite apart from the apparent direct attack on our soil, why is this so important to us?  Because, continuing the theme of the cycle in the history of nations, it seems that Western civilization has reached a tipping point and is in precipitous decline.  The doctrines of the postmodernists and cultural Marxists have spread like a destructive contagion out of the university campuses and into mainstream life.  These destructive forces are too subtle to manifest themselves in the same bloody way that they did in Russia, but these forces are now more insidious.  Therefore Russia’s rediscovery of Christian tradition is the great hope of the West and to see it tarnished by the apparent disregard for the sanctity of the human person can seem to undermine this hope.

What must therefore be understood is this :  The shadow of brutal Bolshevik atheism is cast long over modern Russia, on the one hand.  On the other hand, the forces of tradition, religious faith and the Church were never extinguished and are now resurgent, with the support of the same state still tainted by a Bolshevik past.

Two parallel ideas are underpinning post -Soviet Russia, that of Holy Russia and that of Greater Russia.  In the figure of Vladimir Putin both ideas are honoured, although perhaps the latter to the greater degree.  Putin recognises the importance of religious faith and apparently was secretly baptised and raised as a believer.  Yet to believe he is manipulating religious belief and imposing it upon people to disguise his alleged tyranny is a complete misunderstanding of a very simplistic Western mind-set.

The Russian Church is a grass-roots phenomenon, its flame was kept burning by the people.  The Government has recognised this as a fact, just as Stalin had to recognise it during the German invasion.  A cultural Marxist narrative of religion being a means of control simply will not do as an intelligent analysis of what the situation is in Russia.

Furthermore, Putin is not having to contrive at remaining in power – he is very popular because he stood up to the oligarchs and because he, like the Russian people at large, felt the humiliation of the fall of the Soviet Union.  He is a patriot, for all his faults.

The western media may describe Putin as a kleptocratic reincarnation of Hitler, but this is almost a back-to-front misunderstanding.  Putin’s mind-set is defensive not aggressive, I believe.  He wishes to maintain Russia’s status and a sphere of national interest on the world stage.  That need not affect Western interests.  His speech at Munich in 2007 goes a long way to explain his world view.  The expansion of NATO, the stationing of US missiles on his border and Western intervention in the Ukraine, prior to his annexation of the Crimea have all created a feeling of encirclement. Russia had not expected this and initially believed that the end of the Cold War would mean a partnership of equality between the United States and the Russian Federation, with mutual respect for their different traditions.

We are rightly proud of our own turning point after another event in Munich, when we were to go on to stand alone against Hitler.  Yet this moment of true pride in our national valour sometimes misleads us into thinking every international situation is one of a moral test to resist the temptation of appeasement.  Anthony Eden arguably made this mistake over the Suez Canal.
Russia is changing or going full circle, rediscovering values and traditions we are on the point of losing.  Russia needs to know it is still an equal player on the world stage and that its own traditions, which are not liberal-democratic, can be regarded with respect.  Let us remember the U.S. started intervening in Russia’s choice of leader before Russia ever did so in US elections. 

For this reason President Trump, in the teeth of opposition from the Washington establishment and the military-industrial complex, is approaching Russia in the right way.  Friendship and mutual respect will bring the best out of relations with Russia.  Were Russia no longer painted as a pariah state we might also learn something from how traditional values can resurrect after Marxism.  This is a very necessary lesson we could learn as our own traditions and values, from Christianity to the meaning of gender are being corroded by unchallenged cultural-Marxists.

So what about Novichok?  Well again it seems that President Trump has it right in an approach that is both realist and principled.  While the UK is rightly going through the process of a criminal investigation, the President took a clear stand against Russia with the recall of diplomats, but he is now adopting the constructive policy of engagement.  For unlike National Socialist Germany, engaging with Christian Russia will undoubtedly lead to benefits for both civilizations. Engagement should not always be regarded as appeasement.