The conflict of ideas
(written May 2020)
It’s even happening to Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill.
Soviet Communism and Nazism have much in common. Both involve strong central government control, loss of freedom/life for the individual, and loss of truth. Via an Italian called Antonio Gramsci, these ideologies morphed into Cultural Marxism which expressed itself via ‘Critical Theory’ and the Green agenda. ‘Woke’ and ‘Green’ look as if they are different cultural trends but they aren’t - they are part and parcel of the same thing. Later elements have their own power agenda.
Looking over these sources was a distressing experience, so I wrote some of it down. If you'd prefer, scroll down to the links.
Something is going on, but what? There are forces at work that, to an extent, act together. For a long time, I could see that there were consistent negative changes all around us, where ordinary decency, traditions, honesty and public service were penalised, and what looked like serious corruption and the draining of public funds continued without remark. The consistency of the changes I called an Agenda, as do others - by way of a practical shorthand term - and the way that the various groups and organisations often work towards similar objectives led me to term it the Grand Coalition of Corruption and Destruction. It's hard to make out who the individuals are within this Grand Coalition, difficult to determine the networks of power, but clearly there is something anti-democratic and destructive at work.
As the demands of this agenda shift further and further away from common sense, ordinary justice and the traditions of freedom within limitations under the Common Law and our ancient rights and traditional responsibilities, from time to time some element within the coalition will find itself not radical enough, and in turn be gobbled up as the Agenda grinds on relentlessly. For example, Germaine Greer, who was a leader of feminism in the 1980s, has now been declared not radical enough; her views have changed little, but the Agenda has become more extreme.
Many people are drawing a comparison between today’s conditions (July 2020) and Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China, which nearly destroyed the country in the 1960s.
There is an academic school of thought called ‘Critical Theory’ which lies behind a lot of this. Critical Theory drives government policies and is used to shape public attitudes. The Cultural Revolution and Critical Theory have much in common, and both depend upon indoctrination, mindless adherence to dogma and the rule of the mob. We see the closing down of freedom of speech, Twitter attacks on people, and people being ‘cancelled’ and ‘no platformed’.
‘Critical Theory’ has focused its attention on Canada and the USA - while Britain and Australia have taken the brunt of the ‘climate change’ agenda. The first six months of 2020 have seen ‘Critical Theory’ take over in Britain as well. The two might look very different but they are opposite sides of the same coin.
‘Critical Theory’ includes hatred of capitalism and of private property - and it is profoundly anti-science, as is ‘Climate change/Global Warming'.
The term ‘capitalism’ is never defined, but certainly is not that advocated by Adam Smith, Bastiat and Hayek, which are founded upon freedom, responsibility, trust and individual choices (Game Theory, in modern terms) within a coherent society, i.e. one that has boundaries.
The corruption of our language is at the heart of the problems we face today. ‘Capitalism’, properly defined and understood, conserves, preserves, grows and respects both past and present, the people and the landscape, and the future. It is pretty much the exact opposite of what today is termed ‘capitalism’ which is seen as ‘grab as much as you can for yourself today and destroy other people, stability, future lives and the landscape into the bargain.’
Frédéric Bastiat (France, 1801–1850) wrote about the need for public consensus that comes from practical and moral conviction. From 'Economic Harmonies': -“We cannot doubt that self-interest is the mainspring of human nature. It must be clearly understood that this word is used here to designate a universal, incontestable fact, resulting from the nature of man, and not an adverse judgement, as would be the word selfishness.” In other words, traditional capitalism starts with a realistic view of human nature, then aims to bring out the best in us to create stability and prosperity for all.
Perhaps the essential problem we face is complacency - many people think civilised life is easy and automatic. No matter what they do with the economy, the state, society, justice – it will all be alright. They have an extraordinarily naive view of human nature. They really don't understand that it is possible for a country to decline into either anarchy or into totalitarian poverty: it happens quite easily if you stop working to stop it happening.
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Read and listen:
On capitalism based on trust within a coherent society, listen to Roger Scruton addressing the Oxford Union 21 December 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUbfMQ91Mps
Plenty of excellent material at New Discourses: "Pursuing the light of objective truth in subjective darkness" https://newdiscourses.com/
See especially the article on Science which says that: 'The Theory of Critical Social Justice is hostile to science. This hostility is so profound that we can claim that the whole point of Critical Social Justice (and much of postmodern Theory) exists to undermine scientific credibility without bothering to learn any science at all. Critical Social Justice sees science as just one way of knowing among many and considers it a cultural artefact of white, Western, masculinist cultures, and in need of being dismantled and deconstructed.' https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-science/
Quite a short book, but very well argued even if I don't agree with some of the examples the author gives of where an expert is self-evidently correct:
Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise - The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, 2017. Argues that a well-functioning democratic society needs well-informed citizens who are able to discuss. Describes chaos on the campus of Yale University (and others) which was actually supported by the university authorities. How have anti-intellectuals got to be in charge of universities and why can't society put a stop to this? The author doesn't attempt an explanation.
We think that the loss of ability to reason, inability to use logic, loss of a solid general education among the public and loss of common knowledge is the reason that we don't listen to experts - and because experts do not always speak the truth (the Greenhouse Theory being the ultimate example, supported by every 'expert' the BBC or the British Government ever give a platform to). Groupthink, 'nudging' and the power of propaganda are factors as well.
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Robin Aitken, The Noble Liar: How and why the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda, 2018. Written by a former-insider.
Rupert Darwall, Green Tyranny, 2017. Explores the extraordinary roots of the Green movement, its rise to dominance, suppression of dissent, and the global money machine. The acid rain story; the cynical manipulation of public trust by NGOs.
See also Darwall's earlier book: The Age of Global Warming, 2013, which explores the growth of the various ideas within the movement.
Apocalyptic Science: How The West Is Destroying Itself, by Bruce Pardy, Financial Post, 27 June 2020
“Critical Theory opposes everything that makes the West work. Unlike traditional academic inquiry, which seeks to explain and understand with logic, analysis and the scientific method, these doctrines are less theories than programs. Their purpose is to condemn cultural norms, tear down existing orders and transform society -
Indoctrination works. Hear something often enough from people in authority and you begin to believe it. In the decades following its birth at the Frankfurt School, Critical Theory and its variations made an inexorable march through universities -
The final conquest is now in progress -
Generations of graduates, taught to believe in Critical Theory rather than how to think critically about it, now populate [all positions of power].” https://www.thegwpf.com/apocalyptic-science-how-the-west-is-destroying-itself/
Members of the 'Green Agenda' explicitly state their intent - the collapse of western society:
“But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy any more.”
—Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-chair of IPCC WG III, New American, Nov. 19, 2010
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
These things are all more-or-less the same thing: Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School, Cultural Marxism, “The Long March Through The Institutions”, Post-modernism, Political Correctness, ‘Woke’, ‘Critical Social Justice’, SJW (= Social Justice Warriors), Cancel Culture, the Culture War, Identity Politics.
This is a half-hour interview between Peter Whittle and Marc Sidwell that calmly and quietly describes and explains the devastation we witness.
The Long March Through the Institutions: How the Left Won the Culture War & What To Do About It
Sidwell's new book (June 2020) "The Long March Through The Institutions: How the Left Won the Culture War" may be downloaded free of charge from the website: www.newcultureforum.org.uk
The focus is on the British political scene.
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This is a document from 1997 that we aren't entirely sure about but may have some important material within it. We invite the reader to make their own mind up on it: The Rise of Global Governance: A picture of how the international community has been able to move society to the brink of global governance. It traces a long-running agenda to replace the independent and democratic nation states with global governance. Certainly there have, in the early months of 2020, been many calls in the media for global governance in response to Covid-19 and/or "Climate Change". There appear to have been plans to replace traditional faiths with a replacement religion based upon earth/nature worship. There is much talk of behaviour modification which we can definitely see today.
There are a few things to remember when interpreting this document and other links below. Even as recently as 1997, both Christianity and Judaism were widely viewed as constructive, positive and essentially benign cultural forces, though more so in America than Britain, where the group of people I term the ‘Aggressive Atheists’, aided by the BBC, had already removed general respect towards Christianity.
Belief in 'Climate Change' now has in Britain legal status as a religion (see A Sorry State, Self-denigration in British Culture, 2010, edited by Peter Whittle)
Talk by Professor Antony Sutton, who taught economics at California State University, and was a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute.
Antony Sutton has been persecuted but never prosecuted for his research and subsequent publishing of his findings. His mainstream career was shattered by his devotion towards uncovering the truth.
A work of fiction that neatly describes the tendency of revolutions to gobble up their own members.
C S Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, 1942
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The Small Wars Journal is a useful resource too - they talk about "weaponising NGOs".
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Ending on a note of hope:
The New Dark Age - The Frankfurt School and 'Political Correctness' by Michael Minnicino, 1992.
Article begins as follows, "The people of North America and Western Europe now accept a level of ugliness in their daily lives which is almost without precedent in the history of Western civilization." Exactly.
It then talks about many of the individuals involved in the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism and their power and influence especially within the USA. Readers from there will be better able than us to assess the claims made; though I can say that I find some of the reasoning mechanistic and wouldn't agree with all of the value-judgements.
The article concludes: "The way out is to create a Renaissance. If that sounds grandiose, it is nonetheless what is needed. A renaissance means, to start again; to discard the evil, and inhuman, and just plain stupid, and to go back, hundreds or thousands of years, to the ideas which allow humanity to grow in freedom and goodness. Once we have identified those core beliefs, we can start to rebuild civilization.
Ultimately, a new Renaissance will rely on scientists, artists, and composers, but in the first moment, it depends on seemingly ordinary people who will defend the divine spark of reason in themselves, and tolerate no less in others."
.... which is basically what this site is about: how to combine the best of the old with the best of the new. This small book is a good place to start:
Walking with Plato, 2016, by Gary Hayden, in which he describes simple pleasures and the nineteenth century philosophical investigations into the nature of beauty and sublime experiences.
NEXT: Transfer of Wealth