In Defence of English Civilisation

In Defense of English Civilization

by Sean Gabb
October 24, 2012

We know that England is under attack, and from its own ruling class. Beforewe can speak of defense, we need to understand the reasons for the attack.

This is not an attack on tradition in itself, but the unfolding of an alternative tradition.

Part of what defines a nation is the relationship between its ruling classand the people at large. Our historic self-perception as English is based on the relationship between rulers and ruled that existed before 1914, and, though to a fading degree, for a couple of generations thereafter.

The English people in 1914 were capable of fully democratic self-government.They had the necessary cultural and genetic cohesiveness for a democratic systemnot to descend into chaos or majoritarian tyranny.

Democracy, however, was not necessary, as the oligarchy of hereditarylandlords who ruled England had absolutely identified itself with the nation.Every interest group had its place within the nation, and there was a place forall.

After 1914, the old ruling class was destroyed—the heavy casualties of bothWorld Wars, high taxes on static wealth, demands for a fraudulent kind ofdemocracy, and so forth. The old ruling class went down before all this, becauseit never tried to evade the duties that came with national identification.

The new ruling class is a coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, educators,lawyers, media people, and associated business interests that draws income andstatus from an enlarged and activist state. It does not own the means ofproduction but is content merely to control them. Its general desire is to avoidthe entanglements that destroyed the old ruling class. It wishes to avoid morethan token identification with the English people at large.

“Conservatives, after all, should not wish to copy themistakes of the French revolutionaries.”

The present—and so far the most successful—scheme of liberation is to makepower opaque and unaccountable by shifting it upwards to various multinationaltreaty organizations—e.g., the EU, WTO, NATO, etc.—and to Balkanize England intogroupings more suspicious of each other than willing to combine against theruling class.

State-sponsored mass immigration has been the most obvious evidence of thisdesire. Filling the country with people of different colors and with differentways, which do not like each other, and do not like and are not liked by thenatives, is ideal Balkanization. But one of the purposes of politicalcorrectness is also to divide the native population—women against men,homosexuals against Christians, and so forth.

The final desire is for the mass of ordinary people to be dispossessed andimpoverished and unable to challenge structures of exploitation that channelfantastic wealth to a free-floating class of masters.

If we want to avoid this, we must destroy the ruling class now. Its weaknessis its reliance on the state as source or enabler of its income. Conservatives,therefore, must seize control of the state and disestablish the rulingclass.

If we want to win the battle for this country, we need to take advice fromthe Marxists. These are people whose ends were evil where not impossible. Butthey were experts in the means to their ends. They knew more than we have everthought about the seizure and retention of power. If, therefore, we ever achievea government of conservatives and seek to bring about the irreversible transferof power to ordinary people, we should take to heart what Marx said in 1871after the failure of the Paris Commune:

…the next attempt of the French Revolution will be no longer, as before, totransfer the bureaucratic-military machine from one hand to another, but tosmash it, and this is the precondition for every real people’s revolution….

The meaning of this is that we should not try to work with the ruling class.We should not try to jolly it along. We should not try fighting it on narrowfronts. We must regard it as the enemy, and we must smash it.

On the first day of our government of conservatives, we should close down theBBC. We should take it off the air. We should disclaim its copyrights. We shouldthrow all its staff into the street and cancel their pensions. We should not tryto privatize the BBC. This would simply be to transfer the voice of our enemyfrom the public to the private sector, where it might be more effective in itsopposition. We must shut it down—and shut it down at once.


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21 responses to “In Defence of English Civilisation

  1. I am sure this article has already been published here. Even the typos (more like my poor standard of typing than Sean’s normally high standard of typeing) are still in the piece.

    And there is still nothing on how to prevent this country going de facto bankrupt – i.e. the ever growing burden of the Welfare State and the Social Justice ideology behind it.

  2. As I said when this piece was previously published here, it reminds of Mitt Romney.

    Lots of stuff on withdrawing tax funding for public broadcasting (which, sadly, would make little cultural difference – as ITV, C4, C5 and even Sky, are much the same as the BBC, just as ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN are much the same as Public Broadcasting in the United States), and very little how to save really large sums of money. The Welfare State makes up the vast majority of govenrment spending in Britain (and all other major Western countries) – yes there is nothing on dealing with the ever growing burdern (which is undermining the West culturally, by destroying the family and so on, as well as financially) and fighting the Social Justice ideology behind it.

    I was not sure what the point of this piece was the first time it was published. And as for republishing it (without even correcting the Paul Marks style, very unSean Gabb like, typing mistakes) – well republishing it makes no sense at all.

    By the way “English Civilisation”?

    Some description of what this is supposed to be would be in order. And why the English are, supposedly, more civilised than (for example) the Welsh. Although the argument may be (as with Herder – arguing not that German culture was superior to French, bu that both were worth developing) that the English are not “more” civilised than other people – but that each culture (including the English) is worth preserving and developing, for its own sake.

    Actually Sean is well qualified to provide such an argument – as his knowledge of music and literature (and so on) is vastly greater than mine.

    He could provide a description of English music, literature (and…..), how it is under threat – and why it is worth preserving. And how this culture is connected to political independence.

  3. This may well have been published here before, and also in one or more of the many of Sean’s works. I do recognize the text of some sentences.

    But as all blogs are ephemeral (i worked out that the half-life of an average post here is 40 hours, and of a good one with lots of traction is about 40-times-the-square-root-of-3 (40 x 1.728) it does bear republication. Indeed, I will be resurrecting some of our better stuff from years ago and soon. (I don’t know why “root-3” works in the formula…it just does, OK?!)

    That aside, Sean is, sadly I think, right in his conclusions. I could wish this was not so, but it is.

  4. I’m not entirely convinced that ther was a “traditional” relationship between rulers and ruled, but instead a series of phases, and it may be a mistake to consider the one prior to the current one to be “traditional” as if it extends indefinitely back into time.

    I come from a county where an MP once came to speak, and the hail of rocks and stones from the gathered populace was sufficiently intense that his manservant (though sadly not the MP himself) was killed. It doesn’t suggest that the people were entirely happy with their rulers, at least not to me.

    • Ian B – The hail of rocks and stones was part of the accepted process of accountability. It wasn’t all noblesse oblige and forelock tugging. But there was an implicit contract that neither side pushed too far.

  5. David – apart from getting rid of the BBC , there does not seem to be much in the article.

    That is why I have compared it (both this time – and last time it appeared) to Mitt Romney.

    Better than David Cameron (who would not dream of touching “Public Broadcasting”), but not producing specific plans to save very large sums of money.

    And very large sums of money do need saving.

    One surprise that I have not mentioned before…..

    There is not even a clear committment to get out of the E.U. in this article (although the E.U. is briefly mentioned – but weirdly, treating it as if it was like NATO or even the WTO).

    Sean is in favour of getting out of the E.U. – it would not save anything like enough money to do so, but it would be serious money (unlike the BBC) also it would mean an end to a vast web of regulations. So I would have expected to see it argued for here.

    Perhaps the reasoning is – if the BBC is done away with then everything else becomes much practical (as the main source of propaganda against sensible policy, on anything and everything, is removed).

  6. Ian…
    I’m sometimes moved to think that perhaps we ought not to get out of the EUSSR too hastily, since if we did, and prematurely, the british PoliticalEnemyClass would see itself with much more power, not limited by any sort of “human rights stuff” that they laughingly signed up to under the EUSSR.

    Truly, our position might even be worse. At least the EUSSR is terribly inefficient. British PoliticalEnemyClass persons, being true GramscoStaliNazis, and what Stalin himself would have called “serious”, will have ensured (and have done already) the imposition of a seriously efficient Police-Repression-Instrument.

    I rest my case here, on stuff about fairly nasty terrorist-wallahs not being able to be deported to upper-JipooPoo-Land for fear that their human rights might be abated, asopposed to the continual prosecution and terrorization of ordinary British villains which have done nothing much at all, and who could be extradited to the USA if they were not careful and didn’t have Teresa May on their side.

  7. I’m inclned to agree David, but that is partly because of my belief that the current tyranny is an Anglospheric (and in its modern form primarily American) creation; from that perspective, it’s not so much that we are locked in with them as that they are locked in with us. I certainly don’t believe that, if we left the EU tomorrow, Britain would become a freer, more libertarian country. Indeed, as you say, it may well get even worse than it already is. In the current climate, not one law, not one regulation, would be repealed, and in all probability many more would be added.

    The GFNs are so much a creation of the Anglic-Protestant-Sphere that the primary problem with transnationalist organisations like the EU and the UN is that they provide a mechanism for the global promotion of GramscoFabiaNazism. In that sense, our leaving these organisations would be of more benefit to those outside the Anglosphere than to us within it.

  8. Sean, I’m also inclined to think that we really need to bring back the rocks and stones part of our political system.

  9. I do not think that GFNs originated in the Americas: I think they are home-grown, have always so been, and were deliberately engendered to be born and to mature into monsters here in especial, and particularly in England.

    I think this because of conversations
    (1) held sketchily and drunkenly over lots of red wine, in the 70s and 80s, in Lee, Devon, with a gentleman called Peter Richey, the son of a famous 1940-Hurricane pilot/later-instructor Paul Richey (who later became I think a diplomat and worked for the Daily Express)

    (2) held in the “Alternative Bookshop” in the early 80s with Chris Tame, who agreed with Richey’s analysis, up to a point. (Chris never agreed with anybody fully 100% – that was his charm!)

    Chris confirmed that he thought that the “English” were to be singled out for what he called “the torments reserved for the damned” – which I think is a phrase that he must have borrowed from W S Churchill (“The Second World War” – vol I) in which I have read that exact phrase on page 39 of vol I of my copy (I checked just now.) Churchill was of course referring to the fates of the various peoples of the dismembered Austro-Hungarian Empire, I remember.

    So, Ian, I think we have to deal with the bastards ourselves: I don’t think that even the Israelis will be able to offer us assistance this time: and the uSA certainly will not – its universities are as corrupted as ours, if not more so (which actually I doubt.)

  10. Peter Richey, I have to say, was the first person I ever met who suggested that socialism was specifically “anti-English”, and he meant “English and not “British”. And he maintained it over many rafts of smoked mackerel that we’d rowed out for and caught ourselves. (Oh and the wine.)

  11. The mackerel that you catch and smoke yourself, is better of course than that that the GramscoFabiaNazis allow you to buy. But not by much. And we only said that because we’d buggered off out on the boat and got it on a line full of bits of glossy metal that we’d sewn on.

    It won’t feed the world like that, and we know it, don’t we. Only Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein, and their rich customerNazis. That’s where the fucking GreeNazis fall down, isn’t it. They know that they can’t possibly feed seven billion and growing, and they can’t yet admit it for that will mortally-expose their dangerous isolation from reality and their total lack of real support….

    Fucking bastards. (Sorry….I got carried away on a diversion.)

  12. David,

    Since I never met Peter RIchey, who sounds like a fine chap, I can’t really comment on the views you two mulled over, over mackerel. One thing I can say though, is that if you accept that at least part of the origin of those you call GFNs is in post-millennialist protestant revivalism, which began in England and spread across the Anglosphere, then one can see where an oikophobic “anti-Englishness” would arise. But also, not the fierce anti-Americanism of them. Same thing. They aren’t trying to destroy us, they are trying to reform us, which means sweeping away everything we were, to the extent that now that includes even our existence as a people via immigrational swamping.

    The way I see it though is that the First Wave were second wave Puritans, and that all began in England, and thus England dominated the first wave, since we were the superpower back then. But the “infection” caught on even more strongly in the barely civilised USA, and even as the revival was subsiding in England, it grew ever stronger in America, and they took the lead.

    Virtually the entire modern political discourse is American in origin; the whole constructions of “Isms” and victimology boiled out of American academia and protest movements, with a base model of their Civil Rights struggle. The strongly American nature of “political correctness”, the weaponised ideology of the GFNs, seems to me to be inescapable.

  13. In England there is clearly less support for socialism than there is in Scotland or Wales – and this has been true for quite a few decades.

    Perhaps an English Parliament would be like that of Bavaria – where the SPD has been out of office since the 1950s.

    As for the religion factor….

    There is no evidence that Protestant areas of the United States are more Statist than Catholic areas. For example, ultra conservative States such as South Dakota are mainly Protestant.

    Although there may be an “ex Protestant” factor.

    Cultures that used to be strongly Protestant but where people have lost their faith (Scotland, Sweden, Northern Germany) do tend to towards Social Democratic ideas.

    Perhaps when they lose faith in God they put the state in His place.

    At least that would have been “Father Brown’s” argument.

    But does this not also apply to “ex Catholic” areas?

  14. No, because the Catholics weren’t included in the revivals. Indeed, part of the 19th century version of American (in particular) proto-political correctness was fierce hatred of Catholics and the desire to use a state school system to expunge it from american society.

    I think the other day we were discussing how that remnant anti-catholicism now manifests in the “atheised” ideological descendents of the revivalists. Hence, the BBC is incapable of depicting historic catholicism without having an obese cardinal swathed in crimson, dribbling wine over a whore. :)

  15. Yes, I know, that last paragraph jumped across the Atlantic halfway through. It’s all interconnected, kind of thing.

  16. Catholic bashing was indeed a major part of American (and British) thought – especially among the Progressive.

    However, at least in recent decades, the Catholic Church has made a rod for its own back – by destroying the traditional means of investigating possible crimes (and I mean “crimes” not just sins) within its self.

    “Leave it to the local Bishop” (the de facto position of Vatican II) is basically (if unintentionally) “let it be swept under the carpet”. Under a theology that held that people are basically nice. People are not basically nice – we are all sinners.

    There were always crimes – but there was also a way of investigating and dealing with them, that suddenly went (as suddenly as Latin went).

    Hollywood (for a rare wonder) hints at this in the film “Doubt”,

    A new happy clappy Priest comes in (very Vatican II) – and all the old stuffy rules (such as “no physical contact in private”, and “never be alone with….”) go. Everything seems wonderful – but the children start to seem unhappy and reserved, and an old stick-in-the-mud nun starts to worry that something, somehow, is wrong…..

    Still the problem of violating the nonaggression principle goes back long before the 1960s.

    For example, when the M. homes were founded in Ireland they were actually good things, they really were.

    Before then unmarried women who got pregnant were kicked out onto the street – by their families and everyone else.

    So when did good turn evil?

    When they started to lock the doors.

    At first that was not “locking people in” – as it was to lock people out (pimps and so on).

    But the act of locking the doors, over time, changed everything….

  17. Sean, an absolutely first-class article that I first read on Takismag. Of course, you talk of the privileges of business (limited liability etc) – but the first and foremost privilege is the ability to privatize gains and nationalize costs. What I mean is that immigration is favoured by business for keeping low-end wages down – but viewed from the perspective of the whole economy, this is negative, but the costs are largely borne by the taxpayer, thus allowing individual businesses to benefit from a policy that is largely negative for the economy as a whole. That is a privilege that should stop.

  18. Limited liability associations (churches, clubs, trading companies) is not a “privilage” Mr Webb. No one is forced to trade with a limited liabilty enterprise if they do not wish to do so – if you wish to pay higher prices for insurance (or other things) you can go to people who are prepared to risk their shirts.

    As for immigration – there were no real controls on immigration in the Victorian period (or in the 1700s).

    Modern methods of immigration controls are the invention of the modern state – which Sean Gabb says he opposes.

    Of course before the modern age if an immigrant wanted government aid he (or she) would be pointed at the Workhouse.

    And in Scotland (before the Act of 1845) there was no government aid at all – in most of Scotland (something that seems to have gone totally down the “Memory Hole”).

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