Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When did the English surrender their liberty?

England's St. George flag:
"Racist symbol"

An English football supporters' club had its banner confiscated because it included the flag of St. George, which represents England and is part of the Union Jack. The officials who took the flag said it "could be viewed as a 'racist symbol.'" (Tip of the hat: Dennis Mangan.)
The Arsenal [football team] spokesman said: “Arsenal as a club prides itself on being inclusive with respect to all nationalities, cultural and ethnic groups.

“We have therefore decided that in order for all of our fans to enjoy their experience at Emirates Stadium, we are asking that only flags without any national emblems, are displayed within the stadium.”

There is nothing in the news story to indicate that the people whose flag was taken had any response, other than the usual grumbling. It's the typical reaction to every heavy-handed official act against English or British national pride. The beaten-down mopes mutter "political correctness gone mad," etc., and wait for the next insult. Rinse, repeat.


While a body might well get into trouble for flying the St. George flag, rest assured you can trash it to your heart's content, provided you belong to a sensitive, protected group.

The nation whose empire once extended around the globe now apologizes not only for the empire, which on the whole improved life everywhere it operated, but for its own existence. How has it come to this? Let's work backward in time, looking for causal factors.

We can start with the "New Labour" government that came to power in 1997. The "New" meant basically that, while a hard-left party in other ways, it dropped its overt socialism and made nice with corporate capitalism.

And instead of waving the bloody shirt on behalf of The Workers, who showed a disconcerting tendency to put revolutionary ideals to one side,
the canny Labour tacticians instead opted for the latest, and most effective, Marxist ploy: recruiting a new population from the Middle East and Africa including huge numbers of Muslims, a perfect clientele of "disadvantaged minorities" for the all-encompassing nanny state. One of the results was a further marginalizing of the indigenous working class into a permanent non-working underclass.


But while the New Labour regime has been, in my view, devastating for English self-respect, it was only the culmination of a long process. Immediately following the country's victory in World War II, it showed its appreciation to Winston Churchill by replacing him with a socialist prime minister and parliament. Key industries were nationalized, bureaucratic control reigned. Margaret Thatcher's government undid most of the overt nationalization, but Mags was neither a social conservative nor a proponent of limited government.

Further back in time. Before the war, communism and socialism were all the rage in academic, artistic, and ruling class circles. A ring of Cambridge University graduates (the most famous: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, and Blunt) was recruited to spy for the Soviet Union from their positions in the Foreign Office and MI-6, the secret intelligence agency.

But English leftism's vogue didn't begin in the 1930s, either. As long ago as the late 19th century, the Fabian Society of socialists was influential, and included such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells.


Why did socialism magnetize them in the first place? Aside from the usual psychological factors you find in artistic-intellectual culture — a need to rebel, to feel superior to the dreary conventional bourgeoisie — the industrial revolution had destroyed what there was of a social safety net for the rural population now forced to work in factories. It bred terrible slums and working conditions. Further, there was almost no way to escape from the working class if that's what you were born into.

I admire Victorian and Edwardian England in many ways, especially its artistic climate. It was one of the more genuinely civilized times and places in world history. But there is no denying it had a dark side. Social class differences will (I think) always exist, but they shouldn't be insurmountable. The wretched condition of most of the urban and rural poor of the time led to a reaction that is still with us, having been transformed into multi-culturalism and political correctness, and a government addicted to rules, numbers, and bureaucracy.


So, for over a hundred years, with minor time-outs for world wars, the statist left has been on the march in England. And it has been wildly successful, especially once it dropped the idea of nationalizing the means of production and substituted a strategy of regulation, regulation, and more regulation; subservience to the European Union (another nest of authoritarian collectivists); plus in recent years population replacement.

I don't wonder that the English character has been transformed into a complaining, ineffectual submissiveness. Tell me it won't happen to Americans under President for Life Obama. No. Show me.



MnMark said...

I feel the same way. There are a bunch of us who feel the same way. Mostly middle-aged white men, frankly. Women generally are socialist by nature and more interested in relationships and children and fashion than issues like saving a nation. That sort of turf-protecting thing is a male function.

So what do we do? There's a lot of us who feel exactly the same way; what do we do to come together and DO something about it?

Rick Darby said...


I don't know, but I offered some thoughts in these postings.

Anonymous said...

women as socialists who aren't interested in turf-protecting? I think women are generally VERY status-motivated and extremely competitive, particularly with other women outside of work and with both women and men at work. Whether the "turf" is her boyfriend, or her department at work, you'd better believe she'll protect it.

What MAY be true is that women care more about protecting the turf that they can actually see, and that something like a "nation" may be too abstract for many of them to identify emotionally with.