Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Principles

• This is a private effort to put a little colour and commentary around For Britain's published principles - the lines in the gray type. Everything else is my own personal thoughts.
• Setting out principles first, as 4B has done, is a good sign - it suggests they (she?) won't be wrong-footed. Principles apply across situations - policies are just second-order derivations. AMW seems to have her head screwed on, so what she identifies as fundamental will be worth mulling over.
• What I'm doing here is some housekeeping on my own thinking, filling in as many gaps as I can, looking at different levels of resolution, and unpacking things stage by stage. So there are short expansions first, with links to a cascade of longer screeds pieces below.   updated : Feb 19. When the facts change..

The principles:
1. For Britain is a democratic party. We believe in the democratic mandate of the majority.
• In open debate, and with goodwill, the best ideas will prevail. Open debate requires free speech, free thought, and open access to information.
• Bad ideas die hard, but good ideas cannot be enforced. If people really want to try something out, even if they wreck the chance of a better future, they have the right to do so.
• Freedom is risky - those given it are free to destroy it. >Democracy
2. For Britain believes in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom as a nation and the full authority of its people its governance.
• The nation state is the best level for law making, because laws are expressions of the life of a people - they embody what that people (sometimes grudgingly) agree is just.
• The people of a nation are not passive passengers - they shape the nation's institutions and are shaped by them.
Nations are peoples. >Nationalism
3. For Britain believes that the United Kingdom must cease to be a member of the EU without further delay.
• The sovereignty of a government is not its power, but the legitimacy of its power. It is a contract with the governed people. It relies on there being a people.
• Destruction is easier than creation. Faster than the EU creates trust between regions, it destroys trust within them.
• The EU does not safeguard the sovereignty which member nations pass to it. It uses migration to destroy it. >Anti-Nationalism
4. For Britain believes that the government of the UK must place the interests of the British people before those of citizens of other nations.
Ought implies can. The resources to extend the benefits of citizenship outside the nation's borders are not available. >Universalism
• Governments ought to secure trust and sustainable prosperity at home, and let the market's invisible hand spread the benefits abroad.
• The welfare state is a national project. It cannot exist without strong borders.
5. For Britain believes that public service providers must be accountable to the British public.
• All bureaucracies tend to be conservative, to secure themselves as much as they secure the goals they were set up to achieve.
• Bureaucracies told they are jewels in the nation's crown are more likely to do this. Don't fall in love with them.
6. For Britain believes in the right to freedom of speech; excluding only direct incitement to violence.
• There may be one true description of the way the world is, but unless surrounded by falsehood, truth is hardly worth the name.
You cannot regulate a society through lies. The less freedom of speech, the less effective our attempts to deal effectively with the world. >Pragmatism
7. For Britain believes in free and fair elections with one vote in all public elections afforded to all citizens.
• Acceptance of defeat in elections requires, at least, that there's no fraud. To lose due to coercion or corruption destroys that acquiescence.
• Democracy relies on voters being able to inform themselves - to not be propagandized.
• Trust is fragile, broken far more easily than built up.
8. For Britain believes in the equality of all citizens before one law, as determined by elected representatives in Parliament.
• If we are to be one nation state, we have to be one people.
• Law is a consensus - an expression, through Parliament and by trials, of the life and history of the people, from its workers to its philosophers. >Law
9. For Britain believes in the preservation of traditional British liberties.
• Those certain inalienable Rights .. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
• The greatest, most basic rights, are negative ones: the freedom to not be prevented from speaking, thinking, assembling - from using and possessing what you already have.
• Positive rights - entitlements to things you do not have already - have been used to increase the power of the state, turning it into a provider instead of a guarantor. >Britain
10. For Britain believes in low and appropriate inward migration to the UK, in order to preserve traditional British liberties.
• Immigration papers over inadequacies in society, which only grow with neglect, which come from the welfare state lifting responsibilities - for self-care, education, work - off our shoulders.
• Building the nation took massive struggle, sacrifice and luck. It isn't at all clear how robust our civilisation really is. The liberties we enjoy are rare enough in human affairs. Assuming differently is hubris. >Conservatism
• European Enlightenment culture is a beacon to the world. Allowing immigration of people without a proven commitment to these ways will put out that light. >Multiculture
11. For Britain believes in the rights of the individual only.
• Only individuals can stand before the law. If laws are enforced differently between groups then equality before the law is gone, and we'll have either a caste system, or two nations.
• Human rights protect minorities from the will of majorities. The smallest minority is the individual. >Rights
• To be anti-Individualist - whether you group people by race, sex or religion - is to be pro-Aristocracy. >Individualism
12. For Britain believes in the liberty of all citizens to live privately and without unnecessary state intrusion.
• Generally, the state should deal with abuses of liberties as they emerge. It shouldn't anticipate them and over-legislate.
• Society is 2 things - people spending money as they choose to, and giving help as they choose to. The state should interfere with these as little as possible.
13. For Britain believes in a free market and capitalist economy.
• The welfare state taps the real economy and should be subordinate to it. It should honour capitalism. >Welfare State
• The main economic task of government should be to prevent corruption and cronyism.
• Rent-seeking and Corporatism are enemies of the public good, wealth and freedom. >Capitalism
14. For Britain believes in the reduction of taxation alongside increased efficiency in a publicly accountable public sector.
• The most robust form of public accountability is a monopoly-free marketplace.
• The most robust form of financial accountability is to let people spend their own money.
• A free market makes a regulator out of every informed consumer.
15. For Britain believes in freedom of thought and the rights of the individual to assent to, or reject, any philosophical, political, or religious belief system, without penalty.
• This is fundamental. Compulsion in belief makes us slaves. The state of slavery is the state beasts live in.
• Where people are locked down to one set of ideas, by censorship, threat or indoctrination, they are robbed of what makes them human.
• Freedom is the great untold story. Totalitarians - Marxists, Islamofascists, Identity fundamentalists - want to stop us from telling it.

another disclaimer.. once again, absolutely none of this has been approved by anybody at For Britain.
Democracy
• Knowledge, like invention, is a child of necessity. Long years of peace and abundance weakened the need to winnow out good ideas from bad - to test ideas against an unfriendly reality.
The sleep of reason produces monsters. Bad, impractical ideas have gained ascendence - experimental, abstract ideas for society. Utopias from the naive, dystopias from the malevolent, preening and pandering from career politicians. That it happened must be because the people with the good ideas were careless or lazy. But you cannot make up for that with violence, any more than wasted talent can be made up for by theft.
However, ideas have to be heard. What happens if they cannot secure an audience? There are 4 ways to prevent debate:

ᐤ by social codes. The soft censorship of opinions considered offensive to polite society.
ᐤ by censorship. Limiting speech with the heckler's veto, & hate speech laws.
ᐤ by indoctrination. A person indoctrinated from infancy, is trapped. Dogmatic Marxism is not, yet, the frame through which primary education is done. There may be biases, but the goal is to expand the mind, while filling it.
But Islamic education screens thought through Islam, backing up ignorance with fear and contempt for free thinking. Islam is a total system which fits well over the human mind - anticipating its unruliness, exploiting its fear, flattering its greed.

ᐤ by disgarding reason. Leftists, (more than conservative types, imo), when considering some phenomenon, judge it true only if it supports their vision of society. Truth has become the servant of ideology - a Universalist, Social Constructionist one, anti-science, and anti-Western.
There have always been sophists who put winning before finding the truth - but then sophistry has always been an insult. Today it has become a virtue.

• The Left tactic of calling opposing opinions 'harmful' is a real masterstroke. Leftism is nothing if not polite. If hurt feelings make certain opinions and facts unspeakable, debate stops. Power is handed to actors.
• The lack of honest talk and decisive action are helped on by the other big problem - the feminisation of decision-making. Empathy and uniformity are female preoccupations, which do not favour the telling of hard truths. Uniformity is also an Islamic preoccupation - an unlucky convergence of values. >Facts and Morals
What happens when debate fails?
ᐤ Surely there's always a better tactic than violence - if the liar debases a virtue, it becomes the exclusive resource of the honest man - humour, adventure, robustness. Opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.

• One big symptom that we have to address - mass migration of people with incompatible cultures - is the result of the big problem: that society has been atomised by the welfare state; that our free choices, in the most important areas of life, have been lifted away - confiscated - by the state.

Nationalism
• Nations are peoples with shared patterns of behaviour, shared values, historical and cultural touchstones. A people knows itself in a crisis.
ᐤ Ethnicity isn't important. What is important are shared standards of conduct, shared assumptions about responsibilities and duties, shared ancestors - real or in stories.
ᐤ When foundational history, stories, celebrations and arts are not common currency, when life turns more private than public, when novelty is preferred over what already is, peoples fragment and nations weaken. Without a shared culture, we turn from a people into just a population. >Culture
Peoples are neither linguistic nor political nor zoological, but spiritual units.
All groups have internal tensions - they are composed of individuals. How do you demarcate the natural boundary of the group?
ᐤ The calculus to tell what a people is, where to draw the boundary, depends on the internal trust and the external threat. Easier travel & better communication increase external trust; multiculturalism - the active rejection of a common or central culture, which leaves differences unresolved - decreases trust. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
ᐤ If we cease to exist as one people, we will become others. The sizes will settle at the point where internal trust is adequate. Since mass migration is lowering trust, the new nations will be smaller than what we have got used to - it will not be a larger European nation.
If not natural geographic borders, then unstable demographic ones - or police checkpoints.

• People claim to be citizens of the world or citizens of Europe - members of a people dispersed across borders and among other peoples. This seems precarious. Those without a homeland, even those possessing strong internal trust and kinship, have always struggled.
Nations need homelands.
Why maintain the nation state - the union of people and state institutions?
ᐤ Trust in our institutions is a second best - it's important only if trust between individuals, the trust which defines social life, is missing. We turn to state power for protection, to the extent that society is weak.
ᐤ We need trust most with our immediate neighbours. Societies break down where trust breaks down. Where trust ends, walls are built.
ᐤ Trust enables losers to consent to the outcome of elections. It makes personal sacrifices for the common good easier. It enables collective purpose against an external threat.
Haven't crises generally been between nation states?
⁃ Wars take place between peoples. Doing away with existing borders will not do away with conflicts between peoples.
Can you do away with peoples? Can we become one people?
⁃ You cannot do away with peoples. And it seems unlikely. People are not perfectible.
• If Britain is to survive, it has to become a credal nation - we need an explicit political / cultural creed, and faith to sustain it. We may end up in a Euro-state after all, but it will be one with borders around its culture and creed, as well as its territory. >Creed
A political creed is a golden egg - which needs a golden goose to create it - the situation which creates the people who create the creed. The goose is the culture. The old goose - the agricultural economy & the Anglican church - is dead, more or less. So the task is to breed another, and see what creed it can produce.


Anti-Nationalism
• The EU, set up to prevent war by binding European nations together by trade, has set about dissolving them fully by insisting on freedom of movement of people, by replacing democratic law-making with issuing detailed regulations, and by using a very broad usage of human rights to reach over what remains of national sovereignty.
• Academic movements like Postmodernism work to the same ends - saying there are no better cultures, no absolute standards, no centre to cleave to, no unoppressive power.
   So immigrants need not assimilate, which fragments the nation.
So the common culture must needs be a pidgin - low-grade and makeshift.
So the host nation's culture goes uncelebrated, since its strength was all plunder.
So welfare payments are group compensation now, for group wrongs in the past. >Postmodernism

• Immigration itself only papers over the cracks in the nation - cracks in its finances, its skills, its attitudes, its wealth - which widen, while multiculturalism creates a host of new problems.

Universalism / Sentimentalism
The perfect is the enemy of the good. Ideal societies exist only in the mind. We do not have the wherewithal to realise them, even if we were determined to.
Universal human rights is not a universal conclusion of mankind. Universalists haven't spotted this. They presume individualistic natural rights is an easy idea to pick up - that it is people who have ideas, rather than ideas having people. And then they have elaborated and decorated these rights and offered them to all comers.
• Rights have become, dangerously, tools for bureaucrats to interfere with private life, to increase the power and size of the state, and to reach inside states and across jurisdictions. They have been cynically used by political activists to build a new body of case law which outflanks statute law, and to defend terrorists and invaders.
• Universalism, in its elaborated form, is embarrassed by differences between cultures, and so also of individual idiosyncrasies. So while built on individualism, it is anti-individualistic, and it tends to Authoritarianism.

Pragmatism
˅ open

Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object.
• The world does not conform to ideals - it is unstable. But taking action is easier if you believe it is - and politicians like nothing more than making confident predictions. So they avoid the domestic problems where evidence of failure is easier to come by, and they come to despise the people they are avoiding. At the same time they demean the electorate by offering gifts bought with borrowed money. The electorate demeans itself by accepting them.
Ought implies can. The best solutions we can offer for the world's problems is the example of successful outcomes at home. Importing the world's population will destroy us.

• To be rational is to be able to make predictions - that's what a true scientific theory does. But reality for humans comprises both the stable natural world and the unstable world of human beliefs. So in the human sphere, a set of false axioms can have predictive power, if enough people share them. Religious, politically skewed, or magical worldviews can work and can persist in the teeth of scientific criticism.
The group's worldview is a shared symbolic order - even a concensual hallucination - an all-encompassing bubble which can be socially effective, meaningful & interesting. If so, it becomes irrational to reject its rules.

Where is the point of capitulation to majority opinion?
ᐤ It depends on how sustainable the bubble is, and upon the quality of life within it.
Islam, for instance, is a powerful bubble - persistent and robust, but materially poor, unresponsive, unimaginitive. It overcomes external reality by studied ignorance and force.
The ultra-Liberal West is a failing bubble - an external reality, whose existence it cannot admit to, is destroying it.
Christianity is a bubble providing wealth, meaning and society, but leveraging Individualism to stay well-adapted to the external world.



Law
• There's a romantic version of the law of the land - it is that being built case by case, out of disagreements between actual people, it embodies the enduring collective life of the nation, its sense of justice. So our laws would link us in the present day, to our predecessors, back into time out of mind.
• This vision only works if you have an enduring people. Changing habits slacken the link - but immigration of people with their own legal tradition breaks it completely.
One for all - unity. All for one - equality. Law, people, nation - e pluribus unum.
• Sharia law and British law don't mix - its principles contradict those of British law - unequal treatment based on sex and religion. Not to mention gigantic conflicts in legality of, or severity of sanction for, many activities - homosexuality, slavery, adultery, blasphemy, marriage, rape, age of consent &c.
Many popular things are illegal - things like revenge. The law is ourselves at our most just, disciplined and rational. It is ourselves at our best. God help us if we allow the growth of a legal system which lets our baser instincts off the leash.

• That Sharia now has a official foothold, as an arbitration service, is another situation where the letter of our open-ended and innovative culture is being exploited against its spirit.

˅ open

   Most people don't break the law. Even the few that do, only break a few laws, some of the time. This is because most law - the common law - is just an organised form of custom. It's what's been hashed out in the local courts, as people come to agree about what is just or unjust conduct.

   All the police have to do is patrol the boundary of this domain of custom, to catch the few who stray outside of it. What they can't easily do is move the body of the people, against their customs. If a law statute comes down from Westminster which puts a mass of people outside its boundary, the police can't enforce it. At least, not without tyranny.

   So what happens when a new people move in, whose culture or customs - whose boundary - is in a different place? We have 2 more-or-less overlapping sets of customs, like a Venn diagram. The police know that corralling everyone into the original space is impossible.

   How can we have policing in such a situation, without rigorously assigning each person to one or other culture - 2 sets of laws for 2 peoples? And how can 2 jurisdictions co-exist in one place? What happens in conflicts between people from different jurisdictions? To decide what law to consult, you'd have to assign the laws to territories, and see in which territory the dispute occurred.

   If this is not the solution, then for one of the cultures the future is inevitably tyranny - the police will have to pick one boundary for everyone. The people they choose to move will be the one easiest to herd, by the inch with persuasion - control of information, educational propaganda, degrading the culture. Or by the yard with force - scapegoating, hate speech laws. And that people will resist - by taking control of information, education, by criticising and undermining other cultures while strengthening their own, by growing in numbers and wealth, by infiltration and disobedience, by being immovable - or else they won't.


Britain and the West
• Concern about the nation Britain makes no sense if life here, our habits, our institutions, are indistinguishable from those of other places, or cut off from tradition.
Why For Britain? What is Britain, even?
ᐤ This is the local part of a worldwide struggle. The name might just as well be For the West. The principles that FB has stated are long-established - they are the ones which inspired the American revolutionaries: natural rights, equality before the law, and so on. For Britain reminds us that we need a home - we have nowhere else to go.
We find ourselves looking forlornly at Catholic Eastern Europe, where they are holding fast to traditions not much different to ours, better than we have done.

How Western are we? What is the West, even? Has the through-line from some ancient British archetype, down to us, got so faint that it's make-believe to think we can still trace it?
ᐤ This country was founded on farm life based around the manor. The manor / village was the determining economic fact for 1000 years. Many of the stock characters of British life are village characters. They still populate the imagination.
Since then we have passed through industrial, technological and sexual revolutions, blown up deference to authority, and amalgamated ideas and products from all over the world into our culture. We find ourselves consumerist, irreligious, uncertain, importunate, surrounded by the echoes of these many stages of development, and expecting more and more waves of random change. We see no end-point or direction to it.

ᐤ So, suppose the West, as a civilisation, is make-believe, is just one damn thing after another. Are we happy about this? Are we going suppress any urge to discover a story in reality, to leave it as a series of events without a plot, in which we exist as minor characters without motives? How's that supposed to work? >Origins
If you feel your culture is threatened, what's stopping you enjoying it in private?
Culture is public. Our public institutions, celebrations, customs and laws are the culture. The creation of our music and literature relies on freedom of speech. Their availability relies on free trade. Their final private (as it often is nowadays) consumption is just the very end of a long public journey.
ᐤ Culture is also not solitary - it takes a mass of people to create and sustain it. This is why closed (and growing) communities with bad cultures are such a problem - they sustain themselves. It's also why an embattled good culture may need to close itself off in order to maintain the critical mass to keep alive - the Benedict option.

Conservatism
• The long stretch of post-war prosperity, and the end of history moment in 1989, left us careless about the hard road to achieve a civilised society, and about the variety and commitment of its enemies. We lived as if on an island in time, liberals too open, conservatives too complacent. Attacking civilisation at its roots seemed risk-free.
• Recovering our liberties means fighting back over the disillusionment, relearning the roots and history of our liberties. >Origins
ᐤ We can't wind history back, but perhaps we can identify a road-not-travelled, and move it up into the present.
ᐤ It seems unlikely that socially sustainable answers will be found be throwing ourselves yet further onto universalist theories of government and justice.
Is a resuscitated (political) culture genuine?
ᐤ This is the same question as "Can immigrants be British?" Ask which person perfectly embodies a culture? Nobody does. The different strands in a culture ebb and flow, they contradict and support one another. Every aspect or artifact of a culture had its origin - they are taken in, and abandoned, as needs must. So since a culture can change, it can be learnt; and since it can be learnt, it can change. >Culture
• Civilisation is unnatural and difficult - it relies on us overcoming our worst instincts, one of which is indulging in cost-free charity, something politicians are happy to offer to do.
• It's not obvious how near to, or how often, a people needs to get to disaster to keep complacency in check, to keep openness and conservatism in balance.

Multiculture
• Our state as it exists today puts the individual citizen at its centre - a person free to define his own values and culture. This makes the state neutral on culture - which is a problem.
ᐤ It ignores its own roots - it grew around a particular set of values, which informed the church, the law, the arts, etc. Cultures embody value systems.
• The multicultural state refuses to adjudicate on different value systems. This makes it an enforcer of tolerance, a referee in a game without goals - which is unsustainable.
ᐤ Being neutral, its enforcement is unconvincing when it's confronted by a committed culture, that does have goals.
ᐤ Ejecting the original culture opens up a vacuum - which is immediately contested over.
ᐤ Suppression of dissent is anti-liberal. A really individualistic state tends towards illiberalism.
• Consequences of multiculturalism.
ᐤ A scramble to purge society of its traditions and patterns, which we see in academia. This is a dispossession of the state from the people that formed it.
ᐤ A lowest-common-denominator aesthetics, stripped of ornament, which we see in modern architecture and civic spaces.
ᐤ Replacement of plain language about virtue and beauty with impenetrable jargon and euphemism. A ruling class of idealogues and theoreticians. A politicisation of bureaucracy.
ᐤ Censorship. Bread and circuses.
ᐤ Replacing loyalties to symbols and myths, with loyalties to raw power.
• Faced with this paradox of liberalism, it seems clear we need the state to back one culture. As it stands, the culture of our multicultural state is incoherent - it enforces a lack of values, it tries to maintain a vacuum. Establishing a national state culture would mean defining roles, duties and aesthetics, which empirically work, which generate trust.

Rights
˅ open

• Natural rights
For Britain's principles are the ideas of natural rights which underpinned the American revolution - life, liberty, and estate, and the social contract - Each of us puts his person .. in common under the supreme direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.
The question of our time is, what general will? In withdrawing from religion, into private life and speculation, in letting multiculturalism happen, the general will is lost. When a thing is thrown away, it belongs to its finder.

• Group rights
ᐤ The special circumstances of dispossession of indigenous peoples by colonists, do not exist in the UK. But indigenous rights movements presuppose that indigenous cultures should have been, and so need today to be, made of first importance. The immigrant has to adapt - the indigenous person needs to do nothing - except keep his culture alive. The indigenous population has the right of refusal to other cultures.
• Rights and duties
ᐤ Human rights lawyers are impressively skillful at wringing concessions for illegal immigrants, terrorists and criminals, from general human rights provisions. Nobody is deploying the same energy and creativity into wringing duties from immigrants. This is bad faith - the letter of the law, not the spirit. What's in it for the rest of us?


Individualism and Freedom
• Without individualism there's no prosperity. Possession of a free conscience & the tools to expand and use it - from this grows the wealth of nations. Some kinds of questions are about wanting, supplying, and making things - entrepreneurship.
• But as with democracy, freedom has to be used in good faith - beyond choosing to do nothing with it people can, out of resentment, choose to aim not for truth but for falsehood. That good faith is the consensus that there is one truth, though there may be many routes towards it, with many dead ends. It means we have to pay close attention to traditions - other attempts to find the truth within our own paradigm. The use we make of our freedom has to build on, or work in sympathy with, previous generations. Just like an artist can only produce good work when working in reference to the limits of some tradition, freedom only works within a common system of values. If this common system is lost, it becomes just a battle for power.
• Too many people abuse and neglect their freedom. We leaned, in an era of abundance, on those with discipline and initiative. Now in an era of scarcity we fail to sanction those who waste their freedom - even to laugh at the waste. And we have so ignored tradition that we find it hard to recognise value systems that are the enemies of liberty, even when they don't even try to disguise themselves.
• Without a creed, unrooted to history or by faith, an individual is as straw before the wind.

Welfare State
• As with a universal right, a welfare state collapses when all that it offers gets fully claimed. It is offering far more than it believes it is offering, and because the claims come in late there are no sanctions against making the offers.
• It rewards the imprudent. It saps responsibility and motivation. It is a magnet for immigrants. Its scale only ratchets up when politicians can compete, with borrowed money, in generosity.
• It deprives recipients of moral contact with non-recipients. There is such a thing as society - the communication of values and virtues by giving or withholding aid. Society is the voluntary ties between people, and that also means voluntary ostracism. The welfare state abolishes that voluntarism.
• IQ, behaviour patterns, and personality are all heritable - they are deep in the genes. By incentivising different kinds of people to have children, ideologies change the genetics of the population -
ᐤ Capitalism rewards innovation, sacrifice and persistence. Welfarism rewards imprudence. Islam rewards conformity and punishes imagination.
ᐤ Capitalism decentralises authority, empowering each of its citizens. Welfarism, Socialism and Islam centralise authority and weaken - even cripple - its subjects.

Capitalism
˅ open

• Capitalism is the combination of self-ownership and private property. The condition of being able to transform what you possess - your property, labour and your ideas - and to own the product.
• Government and business should talk to each other, but we have slid towards outright Corporatism. This is not capitalism, but it is discrediting capitalism.
Lobbying. The shift of lawmaking to transnational bodies, like the EU or the WTO, makes it easier for global business to fix global rules to the hold back competitors, and against the will of national electorates.
Rent-Seeking. Subsidies and bailouts hand risk-free profits to corporations. Governments throw good money after bad when state-subsidised businesses start to fail.
Over-regulation and licensing suppress competition.
Regulatory Capture. A revolving door between government ministries and regulators, and the business sectors they regulate, allowing corporations to tailor regulations to suppress competition.
Business Rates - a tax unrelated to turnover or profits.
ᐤ Policies like QE which skew risk/reward in favour of speculation rather than innovation.
Debt. When governments / central banks can print money (ie borrow it from the unborn) they can create immediate, illusory prosperity. That this is done by nominally capitalist states makes socialist ones seem normal.
• 5 years of capitalism buys a year of socialism, or maybe 2 of the fake capitalism we're under right now.


Now here are some topics suggested by, & linked from, the pieces above - so these are at two removes from FB's principles.
Islam and a future Revolution
• Islam is a closed system which demands the submission of your individuality and initiative. Evil is the force that believes its knowledge is complete. If you want to recover yourself, to recover your self-possession, the punishment is death. It is plainly an effective system. Perhaps any system is effective if surrounding systems fold up before it.
• The Koran, as any honest reader will agree, is boring, repetitive, badly structured, hectoring, bombastic. It lacks psychological penetration. It lacks narratives, stories and characters. It is in many ways a terrible book.
• Mosque leaders need no persuading from Western multiculturalists to preach non-integration.
• As Islam grows here, we find ourselves either refighting the battles, or surrendering the victories, for human rights of the last few centuries.
• All Islam currently has to do to prevail, is to lie low, look respectable, and to look inward. The lawfare is barely necessary. Demography is destiny, and high birth rates will achieve domination. Immigration only speeds the process.
What can be done about it?
ᐤ There's the issue of, first, defining core British loyalties, and so defining what treachery means. Then clearing out the traitors and extremists, out of the country or into jail, of choking off funds, confiscating property. A gigantic proposal even if there was general support.

ᐤ 'Then there's giving public support to ex-Muslims, and saturating the airwaves with exposures of Islam - factual, historical, cultural, rational - together with a popular revival of the strains of British / European culture and religion which give life a proper centre, attracting people of all backgrounds.
˅ open

ᐤ But the demographic trend is probably unstoppable - Islam segregates women, so childbearing is a bigger part of their life than for other women. So the welfare state probably isn't a determinant of family size. Taking an axe to it would discourage immigration, but let's suppose a policy of rationing benefits and, say, school vouchers, to 2 children, was tried out, to level British Muslim birthrates down to the average of other groups - it would have to apply to all groups, and (absent this revival of self-worth) would discourage non-Muslims more.
In any case it would mean a sea-change in attitudes to the welfare state - those dependent on it would have to decide that beyond the safety net level, it is their personal enemy, an enemy of personal pride - an enemy of the people. It would be a revolution. Shame, duty, and common purpose would make a comeback. Our current political / media / education class would be thrown into the gutter.
Such an awakening, if not led by a strongman, would surely take a religious, as much as a political, form. And it would need tremendous steadfastness to achieve it.

This is both a cop-out - expecting the working class to do the work - and a reversed soft bigotry of low expectations.
⁃ Yes, the working class - what's left of it - will have to do it. If there is hope, it lies in the proles. Comfortable people don't revolt, where comfort is a relative term. A possible model is the Methodist movement of the 1830s. >Religion
I look at the upcoming generation of the middle class, and worry. The feminisation of our institutions - the herd sentimentalism of female leadership - and the self-imposed social policing brought on by social media, together are causing a sharp contraction of robustness, independence and individuality. It will fold.
The "bigotry" accusation is that, while the governing class had low expectations of third world immigrants and excused (yet feared) their imported customs, we now expect great things from our own contemptible, deplorable, beaten-down, indigenous lower orders.
 ̅\_(ツ)_/̅



• One of Islam's big gambits is to call humans servants / slaves of Allah (as opposed to the Christian relationship of children of God), while it also allows slavery among men. It makes a fetish of mindless obedience. While children are encouraged to become individualised, the servant is not. So Islam literally dehumanizes its adherants - while allowing them to be earthly gods.

Culture
• Compare the Koran to the Bible - which is full of wisdom, bizarreness, complexity, puzzles, poetry, entertainment. It is packed with narrative, detailed characters, psychological depth, innovation. It is breathtakingly ancient and vividly immediate. It is a hall of mirrors in which we can see our history and culture, reflecting back at us.
• A culture is a web of reference points which surrounds us, which gives structure to the world. The connections are its meaning. Works like the Bible, like Shakespeare's plays, are central nodes in that web. Ignorance of them leaves us literally disconnected.
• A culture that's allowed to change always looks degenerate to some, and staid to others. This year's punk is occasionally last century's mainstream aesthetic. The wastage, all the cultural dead-ends, are the price of innovation.
• Anti-intellectualism is healthy, but embracing stupidity is a problem. Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue. That we are no longer hypocrites, sitting bored through long sermons, doesn't mean there's virtue in getting drunk and watching TV.
If its value is in the density of the interconnections, what do the actual components matter?
ᐤ If we start from where Adam started, we'll get no further than Adam got.
ᐤ The best new art stretches the limits of an established genre - it is connected but not surrounded. Contemporary art tries to shear off connections, rejecting craft and scholarship - which is why it's empty and nobody honest likes it. Disconnection is arrogance and boredom.
• We appear to be raising a generation which is preparing for a world overflowing with complex changes by running out ahead of those changes - recklessly urging them on. Lacking immersion in a historically deep culture, they lack discrimination and judgement. Lacking hindsight, they lack foresight. They are easily seduced by ideologies that offer simple rules, simple rewards and clear enemies.
• The free West is in the end richer, but it's hard work. Freedom is a possession, and all possessions are a burden.
How honest, or substantial, is a culture that needs the threat of extinction to maintain itself?
ᐤ The threat we faced post-WW2 was obliteration, not invasion. A threat of invasion is a normal threat, causing preparation, cohesion, planning and so on. Whereas a threat of obliteration causes indifference and lethargy, or hedonism. Now we are being invaded, we are back to normal.
ᐤ Looking back, we should have tried to maintain traditional ways. This needn't have meant roboticness - it takes imagination, as well as discipline, to keep tradition alive. Even though we would never know if you picked the top.
ᐤ We love artisan skills in food and craft - the traditional practices that mould the artisan's character, skills of the hand - but we somehow don't love the traditional skills of the mind.

˅ open

   If I don't own the land of my birth in some way - if I just landed here as an infant - I have little justification in complaining about immigration, and none about cultural change. But making a claim of moral ownership, based on continuity of culture and possession, mixes me up in the moral status of the state's wealth - whether it was ill-gotten, and who has a claim on it.
Can I make a claim of ownership?
ᐤ We exist in time. We have continuity with the people we were as infants, and (all being well) into an immanent future. We have continuity with the past inasmuch as ideas are transmitted across generations, and those same ideas create the stuff of the civilisation in which we live. So, as far as we are connected, society also exists in time.
ᐤ Owning myself and my property, I have a right to control and own my environment, and its future. I am part of a lineage - genes, artifacts, money, relationships, stories - which extends in time both ways.
ᐤ So, as far as I can identify that lineage, I own and am responsible for its property, territory and its history, & for sustaining it. And I also own its consequences - I am on the hook for its debts. I have to own the whole of my inheritance - benefits and blessings, debts and sins - and make good any unpaid debts to the extent that they persist.
Was the wealth ill-gotten?
ᐤ To pass judgement is to consider both the intention of the actor, and the forseeable consequences of the action - good and ill. Imperialism / Colonisation is a vital subject if we are to make a valid claim to the wealth of our own land, and to preserve the separation of ex-coloniser and ex-colonised: but it's very complex.
⁃ To what extent was imperialism necessary? Was waiting for indigenous peoples to seize entrepreneurial opportunities themselves impossible?
⁃ How much was the civilising mission a self-deception?
⁃ How much did colonist countries fear, or prevent, the rise of indigenous competence and financial power?
⁃ How far were colonisers reliant on, or easy about, indigenous practices of slavery and bondage?
⁃ How much have formerly colonised peoples benefitted?
⁃ What are the counterfactuals? How wealthy would the West have got operating only from its own best principles? How much damage did Europe's imperialism do to Europe itself?
⁃ Can we judge one age by the values of another?
  One function of law is to enforce a minimum set of values. It whips the least virtuous, perhaps those with a previous age's values, up to the minimum standard of today's. So we can discern an age's minimum values by what it forbade - and colonialism was considered necessary, inevitable, even a noble project.
  To condemn colonialism as having been known to be wrong in-its-day you also have to condemn the law as just a cynical tool of the powerful - an obvious ideological manoeuvre.
⁃ There were good and bad consequences of colonialism, in Europe and outside it. But the only ones anybody is interested in are those that left capital assets behind them - infrastructure, endowments, artworks, etc - assets that continue to generate wealth.
Are reparations possible?
~ Not without bringing about many predictably bad consequences for the compensated. History cannot be unmade.
~ We can treat ex-colonies fairly, offer favourable terms of trade, aid, and so on - but to open borders is reckless.
ᐤ If you take ownership of the sins of your forefathers, you must also own their virtues - you have also a duty to defend their creations against predation and decay. To deny their virtues is to deny all virtue - it's suicidal.
How can you discern continuity of culture?
ᐤ A good indicator is the recognition people experience when learning, even belatedly, about their culture. They half-know it because they are surrounded by echoes of it.
ᐤ The canon of Western culture is so interconnected, connected even to the cheapest entertainment tat. We deride bad product as derivative and degraded because we know that it derived from something better. So the way back in is right there. It's an invisible forest, whose paths we are still almost walking. Look a little harder and you start to see it.


Facts and Morals
Is there a provable Truth at the base of our rational, secular, civilisation? Or is there only a series of choices, beliefs, myths..?
You can't get an ought from an is. Deciding what you ought to do can't be a logical deduction from a set of facts. You also need moral values.
So what is this moral code to be? From FB's standpoint I think we can say that whatever it is, it has to be pragmatic - it has to be able to endure. It has to secure its own base. If you place empathy for the suffering above all else, as the modern Left does (as most politics does), in today's world you will self-destruct. We have to act justly to the people already here.
Aside from Care, there are other moral foundations. Some of these have really been sidelined or ejected from the political arena.

Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; the opposite of cheating.
Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; the opposite of betrayal.
Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; the opposite of subversion.
Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; the opposite of degradation.
Liberty: the opposite of oppression.
ᐤ A stable and enduring moral code takes all these into consideration. The fairness/cheating axis especially has been weakened, by the profligate promises of the welfare state.
Can you prove that the West is the best?
ᐤ Isn't it a pragmatic matter? I can see with my own eyes the places Communism or Islam rule. I don't want to visit them. So while I can scoff at the Progressives squabbling over transgender bathrooms as the jihadists encircle them, I don't want to suffer the same fate because I am myself squabbling over the metaphysics of civilisation. So studying the history of this civilisation, and conserving its most robust features, is vital. That is work enough. >Origins

Religion
˅ open

• The Anglican church has been unpopular for centuries. Perhaps modern England never was deeply Christian, although it has undergone a couple of bouts of political/religious enthusiasm - the Puritans in the 1600s and the Methodist movement in the early 1900s. The latter involved well over 10% of the population and saw 10,000 chapels built. It coincided with the Industrial revolution, technological disruption of work patterns, the growth of cities, political reform, population growth and mass emigration. It echoed the high-culture Romantic movement with its enthusiasm, emotion, and appeal to the super-natural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment. It was also good fun - by all accounts the camp meetings were the music festivals of their day, and preaching was like a competitive artform.
Is a third Christian revival possible?
ᐤ No one today believes that they have a soul to save. Most believe they are driven and excused by external forces. In a welfare state, even the poorest have a lot to lose.
ᐤ And, many do actually have a kind of religious devotion - to egalitarianism, colonial guilt, communism.
ᐤ And although the Bible / Christian stories are strong and archetypal, knowledge of them is so weak now, it's gets hard to see what kindling the spark could set light to.


Postmodernism and Marxism
There are no truths, only interpretations. PoMo, or Critical Theory, is the unpicking and undermining of claims that things like cause and effect, intention, evidence &c can be proven, true, reliable. The claim is that all such claims are just deceptions used in power grabs - all claims, including logical and scientific ones. Once you accept it's all about power, and all power imbalances are unjust, all that's left is to overturn any you can find.
Marx wrote Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. In this line, truth has already been jettisoned. However, questioning the basic postmodern axiom, that all hierarchies are oppressive and wrong, is not to be done - PoMo uses its idea that rational questioning is just a tool of knaves, to put itself beyond criticism.

• Legitimate grievances drew critics of the West into the universities, and a crisis of confidence within the universities pandered to critics working in bad faith - to tear down, rather than to repair. Prosperity, pessimism and complacency meant conservatives didn't follow them in. The departments created - Gender / Media / Cultural etc Studies - being intrinsically political, concentrated on building their power both inside academia, and through their graduates in education, bureaucracy & media, outside it. Their worldview, their language, is now normalised, and they are making law.
They are living out their dogma that the only reality is power - by making a powergrab.

• PoMo fails to consider the function of some hierarchies and power imbalances in society - that they make society possible; that they are society.
• Again, The sleep of reason produces monsters. This too is a paradox - Reason running unconstrained produces all manner of utopian disasters. Yet relying on Instinct is no better.

Origins, Continuity and Wrong Turns
˅ open

Athenian democracy. Pericles' Funeral Oration: ..Our constitution ... favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences ... advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit ... The freedom which we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what he likes..
Roman Republicanism. The system of government during Rome's expansion. Limited terms for elected officials. 3 branches of power with checks and balances between them.
Cicero. Roman politician and lawyer, and righteous pagan. Cicero expressed principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.. Jefferson names Cicero as one of a handful of figures who contributed to a tradition of public right that informed his draft of the Declaration of Independence and shaped American understandings of the common sense basis for the right of revolution. Camille Desmoulins said of the French republicans in 1789 that they were mostly young people who, nourished by reading of Cicero at school, had become passionate enthusiasts for liberty.
Freedom v Liberty. Liberty is from the Latin word libertas, "unrestricted or released from constraint." Freedom is from the Germanic / Norse word frei, describing someone who belongs to a tribe and has the rights and protections that go with belonging. Friend is from the same root. To have liberty is to be unencumbered. To have freedom is to have the benefits and protections of society. As citizens we give up some of our liberty in exchange for freedom. This is the social contract.
Magna Carta. The foundational document of British liberties and the rule of, and equality before, the law. Let all men of our kingdom, whether clergy or laymen, observe these customs and liberties similarly in their relations with their own men. It also has a mythic or symbolic function, beyond its considerable contemporary value, in establishing liberties as timeless, natural or God-given.
Renaissance Civic Humanism. The rediscovery of Classical writers, and the cultivation of civic society on Classical models, along with the arts of grammar, rhetoric, history, poetry, and moral philosophy. The movement was boosted by Byzantine scholars fleeing Islamic invaders.
the Reformation. The breakup of the church under the influence of humanist thought, with the individual, with direct access to printed scripture, demanding the autonomy to bypass the church hierarchy and approach God direct - with implications for following his own conscience in other areas of life. Loyalty to a corrupted church gave way to loyalty to secular nation states.
Isaac Newton. Newton's mechanical conception of the Universe was used by deists to demonstrate the possibility of a "Natural Religion" - the clarity and simplicity of science was seen as a way to combat both superstitious enthusiasm, magical thinking, and the threat of atheism.
the English Commonwealth. The republican government formed after the execution of Charles II. Although no friend to the egalitarian Levellers, and though Cromwell scoffed at the Magna Carta, it pulled Classical ideas of government into reality in England, and was a bridge to the American revolution 200 years later.
John Locke. Natural law - an eternal law to all men - and our reason and our common intellectual nature, are the foundations for the individual's dominium over himself. Since we are born free as we are born rational restrictions upon our freedom require justification. Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. Each of us, Locke argued, has a property in his or her person, and that property is inalienable - it cannot be transferred to another. Just as one cannot transfer one's moral responsibility for one's acts, one cannot alienate one's right over one's own life.
the Enlightenment. The foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture, the era through which modern philosophical thought gained its characteristic self-confidence and self-consciousness, with theological niceties downplayed but God not cut out of the moral order, with church and state separated, with the presupposition of natural rights, with mutually supporting institutions such as universities, reading societies, libraries, periodicals and museums. If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it.
Classical liberalism. The traditions of personal autonomy, private property, the market economy, the self-organising and self-regulating society, with only a secular caretaker state. Liberalism shorn of the modern connotations of the word - redistribution of wealth and government planning. Laissez-faire, laissez-passer, le monde va de lui-même.
   The speech at the top of this list describes the whole liberal philosophy, in its infancy sounding fully mature. Pagan Scandinavians had a conception of a World-tree, which had a snake constantly gnawing at its roots - the bites of the snake are those constant small lies and wishful thoughts, which make us doubt our own rationality, and make us put off taking a stand for another day. Classical liberalism is a model for civilisation that's always being undermined but, with great effort, is always resurgent.

   A separate tradition diverged from this liberal tradition - the Counter-Enlightenment - the reaction to the sidelining of religion and subjective experience. C-E thinkers distrusted the end point that disembodied reason might lead to...
J-G Herder Observing that a strict rationality is ashamed of anything not universal in culture, Herder advocated a patriotic embrace of the idiosyncrasies of the nation as the normal counterpart of an individual's own idiosyncrasies. The savage who loves himself, his wife and child .. and glows with limited activity of his tribe .. is in my opinion a more real being than that cultivated shadow who is enraptured with the shadow of the whole species. But Herder wasn't jingoistic - he sought a blend of sentiment and rationality. >Creed
Romanticism. the dark shadow of the Enlightenment - the art movement rejecting moral absolutes and order, and elevating personal feeling as the moral arbiter - leading to something like the melting away of the very notion of objective truth, and on towards jingoistic nationalism, and beyond to Fascism.
J J Rousseau. Naive educational thinker, proposing a child-centred method guiding the child's curiosity, not imposing a system. Thought that the increased knowledge the new rational culture produced would lead to concentrations of power, and so injustice, pride, envy, and a loss of independence.
Frankfurt School. The Leftist movement trying to pin the blame for the Nazis on the Enlightenment - on rationality run amok - rather than the reaction to it - on emotion run amok. They failed to condemn Communism with the same reasoning.


Quotable Quotes for Snappy Comebacks
• Feminisation
Masculinity still exists, in the world, as a code - among jihadists! And when you have passionate masculinity circling the borders, like the Huns and the Vandals..
• Patriarchy
ᐤ ...
• Leftism
Anyone out to change the world by changing others is to be regarded with suspicion. The temptations of such a position are too great to be resisted.
Political correctness is a war on noticing.
The leftist drive for control is insatiable.
• Welfare State
Generosity, in this egotistical world, is perceived as weakness, and therefore rewarded with disdain.
• Nation
No one gives a shit about our country, our history or our culture. As long as they're watching Eastenders and going down the pub - no one gives a shit.
• Multiculturalism
The trouble with cosmopolitanism is that no one is willing to fight and die for it.
• Media
When a Story confirms the Narrative, the story is the Story. But when it goes against it, the story is the Source.

This last section is for current events and some of my own conclusions.
SocialismWatch .. some thoughts about policy statements by AMW in her broadcasts & speeches
˅ open

facebook dec 13. strong defence of her position re US "shock jocks". Slightly rambling condemnation of Brexit capitulation. Exasperated about semi-racist acceptance of Quilliam's grooming-gang study - ie acceptable from brown people while her own similar conclusions got little traction. Admitted to being one of the snarky atheists of the 2000s, but is now reappraising her kneejerk anti-Christian position. ★★★★☆
Edward Howard dec 8. reduce Muslim birthrates by empowering women - as part of a goal of reducing world population. Pro a Trump visit but cautious about making alliances. Role models: Trump, Marine Le Pen, Wilders, even Thatcher - ie conviction and courage. Anti-welfarism. ★★★★☆
McInnes-Coulter-gate dec 6. in which we learned that a list of principles is not an argument. Convincing people means talking with them - which means conversations - which means jokes, hyperbole, anecdotes. Sticking to logic won't get you all the way. ☆☆☆☆☆
Ritchie Allen dec 5. in association with David Icke ..hmmm. Gave conspiratorial interviewer a good thrashing. ★★★★☆
Simon Harris dec 4. went in hard about Saudi money buying off the Western establishment. Talked about the lovelessness of Islamic culture re. women. Then Common Purpose - a hidden network integrating and entrenching bureaucracies. Then anti-anti-Capitalist sentiments, strongly anti-Labour - but no positive statements. Psychologically astute. ★★★★☆
facebook nov 30. talked first about infrastructure spending, food banks, help to the poorest - empathy-led, not exactly principles-led. Rights first, duties later. Can a principles-led party possibly have popular success? If political success requires that the supporter gets an immediate reward for every cheer they give, then principles won't ever get a look-in. Principles == sacrifices. ★★☆☆☆


9934