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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The pessimistic perspective


So with remarkable rapidity, from being a doctrine designed to take government off the backs of the people, liberalism has become a doctrine designed to put it back again.

So says Peregrine Worsthorne in a blistering attack on what's happened to western democracy.

On the media:

The liberal argument for the importance of a free press was that it gave voters the necessary information on which they could vote intelligently. Of all the British newspapers today, only the Guardian even tries to do that. The rest concentrate on misinformation or even disinformation — sophisticated and clever disinformation in the case of the broadsheets, and untreated sewage in the case of the tabloids. So, far from helping to guide the reader into the real world — the world for which he or she is meant to take responsibility — they offer him or her a way out of that real world into one of fantasy, muddying rather than clarifying the democratic waters.

On meritocracy:

Of course it made sense in John Stuart Mill's day to replace hereditary aristocracy, of which there was too much, with a system of careers open to talent, of which there was too little. But… the new problem, which is getting worse all the time, is the deeply unattractive and unimpressive nature of an exclusively self-made meritocratic ruling class: a ruling class made up of men and women exceptionally gifted only in the horrible rat-race arts of elbowing their way to the top. Aristocracy may have its faults but ratocracy, which is what in practice a meritocratic system produces, is proving even worse — which is possibly why the public seems so eager to welcome the return of the English gentleman in the shape of David Cameron.

On liberal triumphalism:

…the Iraq war is only the first move in a liberal jihad aimed at spreading to all mankind a secular and materialist religion, the central tenet of which — free thought — can be relied upon to dissolve people's faith in any transcendental religion far more certainly than could communist repression.

We're trying to export an idea of society that, while demonstrably superior to the incumbents, hasn't exactly gotten us where its spiritual fathers had in mind. Our national broadcaster is going to preempt the news for a show about manufacturing a singer, for instance. I can understand if Iraqis are a tad skeptical.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Posted by Chris Selley on June 21, 2006 | Permalink


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Jimmy Cantrell writes:

"To frame that assertion, I present a scenario. We have a country that is going to operate governmentally according to The Articles of Confederation. That means that this state has a limited government and does not intrude in economic affairs. It is far less socialist than these United States have been since at least 1861. 450,000 people in this state are people randomly selected from Americans with full citizenship in 1785. To further guarantee that these people will be as conservative culturally, and as strongly opposed to government centralization, as possible, these 450,000 citizens will be drawn exclusively from the cultural South [which includes southwestern Pennsylvania.]

Added to this state are immigrants. 75,000 are people randomly drawn from the Slavic areas of the USSR circa 1970. Their Russian cultural tendencies to assume government centralization and brutality [if only to repel Mongol hordes and eastward gazing Germans] have been exacerbated by five decades of Marxist rule. Most can fathom neither limited government nor an economy not regulated minutely by government.

75,000 are drawn randomly from the People's Republic of China circa 1980. Their Chinese cultural tendencies to assume rigid government centralization administered by a large bureaucracy also have been exacerbated by Marxist rule.

75,000 are drawn randomly from Sweden circa 1990. Having never lived under anything but a socialism administered by reasonable people [which means that they have seen only the very best of socialism,] their dulled minds and caring hearts cannot conceive of a nation calling itself civilized if it does not have a cradle-to-grave Welfare State.

75,000 are drawn randomly from the active members of the UK's Labour Party circa 1985. To a person, they wholeheartedly endorse the concept of multiracial immigration and the Welfare State. They demand laws to punish racism [including speech defined as racist,] and they support Gay Rights.

75,000 are drawn from today's black citizens of South Africa. Thus virtually all of them will support not merely a Welfare State but a race-based Welfare State in which the powers of government are seen as tools to enrich blacks at the expense of non-blacks.

75,000 are drawn randomly from among Jesse Jackson's ardent supporters. Mostly black with a core of Jewish backers and Gay-Rights lightning rods, they demand a cradle to grave Welfare State that fights racism, sexism, and heterosexism by enacting legislation to end discrimination.

50,000 are drawn from today's Mexican mestizos. Most see government as something that made the minority pure-European Mexicans rich and powerful, and they want enough say in government to have it direct a fair share of its largesse to them.

All of these immigrants are made citizens immediately. The 'Constitution' is set in writing. How long will this fictional country retain its limited government and its economy free of government intrusion? How many decades will pass before the various peoples democratically compromise away their freedoms while erecting a Welfare State?

The Left of the past two centuries has been driving furiously down the road to its progress, screaming that peoples, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or national ancestry, are nigh interchangeable. The result of such absurdity, which is counter to all of nature, is that the dumbed-down masses believe the leftist lie, the Great Leftist Lie which trusses all Leftist gains and policies: 'racism' is the worst sin, perhaps the only sin, because it follows obviously that if all peoples are the same in abilities and potential and roughly equal in morality, then to discriminate against some people is to be either irrational or malicious due to hostility to mere superficial differences.

Once you accept the Great Leftist Lie, you inevitably conclude that racism is responsible for at least the preponderance of failures by non-whites [meaning blacks first and foremost] to achieve intellectually or economically at the same rate as peoples of European ancestry. To prove that you are not racist and are atoning fully for past racism, you will deny that racial or ethnic characteristics exist [except the ubiquitous white characteristic to be racist.] Logic then forces you to conclude that any set of cultural accomplishments by any group of white people could have been accomplished at least as well by any non-white group of people and, more pertinent to contemporary matters, that any non-white group of people can and will maintain Western Civilization at least as well as any group of whites. Once you become that enthralled to the Leftist worldview, you are prone to sink into utter absurdity that is not even funny.

Peoples are not interchangeable like underwear bought in packages of three. The next neoconservative, whether goy or Jew, who tells you otherwise, perhaps while frothing at the mouth about the 'racist' Pat Buchanan stirring anti-Semitism by appealing to white European Christian heritage, should be asked if he believes that half of the Jewish population of Israel can be swapped for an equal number of Somali Mohammedans with no significant cultural changes in the country.

That is why mass immigration matters. The very best governmental and economic systems will be affected adversely by large-scale immigration of peoples from bad cultures. A limited government and free enterprise nation comes into existence because people with the necessary cultural heritage worked for it. Far more easily than such a country is made, it may be destroyed from within. All it takes is the right, or wrong, people exercising citizenship rights.

Posted by: DJ | 2006-06-21 9:24:18 PM

Look at it on the bright side - almost nobody watches the CBC news, plus it really sucks anyways. Would you rather that old people and various other CBC-watching oddballs and shut-ins be subjected to yet another dire warning about global warming or about the scary evilness of Stephen Harper?

At least in the karaoke show there are real people achieving real goals, free of government coddling and interference. Whereas your typical TV news broadcast is nothing but an exercise in tear-jerking in which reporters, anchors and selected losers-at-large bemoan the lack of sufficient government spending (or sufficiently wise government spending), and express their fervent desire for even more government involvement in the selected news stories, in order to try to solve problems which are almost always caused or aggravated by government interference in the first place.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2006-06-21 9:55:03 PM

The Guardian???!!! He lost me after that.

And Idol is more important than the "news", at least if it is the CBC news. Well said Justzumagai

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2006-06-22 4:31:43 AM


That was exactly my thought. Anyone who could utter such a ridiculous statement about the Guardian has no credibility at all. The Guardian is the world's worse propagandist.


Exactly. The more "idol" and other brainless reality tv the CBC shows the less marxist propaganda, scapegoating and lies they can propagate. I'd prefer all harmless drivel all the time to what's on now. Of course best case is the CBC is sold for scrap...

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-06-22 8:17:42 AM

Hilarious! Anyone here realize they're slagging the arch-conservative former editor of the British Sunday Telegraph?

Posted by: Dr.Dawg | 2006-06-22 10:10:28 AM

Peregrine Warhorse is tired and needs a nap, but two specifics:

"the rest [of the media] concentrate on misinformation or disinformation"

This is not new. At other times in history, newspapers were openly in favour of one political party or another.

"Liberalism used to be dedicated to doubt, cynical about certainty and, above all, suspicious of power."

Actually, that is a description of traditional conservatism or Toryism.

Posted by: Joan Tintor | 2006-06-22 12:11:32 PM

Kathy Shaidle: "The Guardian???!!! He lost me after that."

I assume that was meant to be a joke, though it's hard to say with P.W. We could do with more like him, though. What's the closest Canadian equivalent? David Warren, before he turned Catholic, maybe? Maybe in his Idler days?

I wish he would get straight what century John Stuart Mill lived in. It looks bad for a Reactionary to get his history wrong.

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah | 2006-06-22 2:41:45 PM

BTW, the comments thread on the original Guardian article are a great read, a laugh and a half.


Posted by: Intellectual Pariah | 2006-06-22 2:55:35 PM

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