Britain is debased, dishonoured and debauched, and Brexit is no cure

Britain’s social model

The condition of England, Dalrymple writes, is a terrible warning to the rest of Europe. We’re not talking about Brexit but about the social devastation caused by a combination of the welfare state and a certain type of culture, by comparison with which Brexit is a trivial matter.

A British teenager, for instance, has a trio of parents:

  • the State
  • its mother
  • television & internet

Britain’s social capital

An Englishman’s street is his dining room. Britishers eat almost as much on the street as at home. And because they are antisocial, they drop the fast-food rubbish around them as cows excrete in the fields.

Dalrymple’s objection to the welfare state as practiced in England is not that it is economically unsustainable — though it might be — but that it has exercised, and continues to exert, a profoundly corrupting effect on the human personality.

Britain’s social future

 

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Bullies to the poor and toadies to the rich

Dalrymple writes that

the great figures of architectural modernism—great in the scope and degree of their baleful influence, not in æsthetic merit—were from the first totalitarian in spirit.

They were

toadies to the rich and bullies to the poor; and they were communists and fascists (not in the merely metaphorical sense, either).

He explains that by a mixture of

ardent self-promotion, bureaucratic scheming, and intellectual terrorism

these totalitarians

managed to gain virtual control of the world’s schools of architecture. (How, incidentally, were the world’s most beautiful cities and buildings erected without the aid of architectural schools?)

Rosé-coloured spectacles

A lot of Peter Mayle’s life seemed to consist, writes Dalrymple,

of simply prepared but delicious lunches of local produce washed down with copious amounts of refreshing local rosé.

An incompetent architect and an outright fascist

Just see how far you get up the academic ladder in a French school of architecture, writes Dalrymple, if you state what is perfectly obvious, that Le Corbusier

  • was not a genius except in self-advertisement
  • held repugnant fascist views
  • regarded humans in his cities much as we regard bedbugs
  • suggested during the Occupation that millions of people be deported from Paris because he thought they had no business being there
  • drew up designs that were incompetent
  • produced constructions that were instinct with and the embodiment of his odious ideas

Grotesque architectural incompetence: High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh. Le Corbusier 1952-55

An account of the great European æsthetic disaster

Anyone interested, writes Dalrymple,

in the ideological foundations, as well as the effects, of architectural modernism

should read James Curl’s Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism (2018). Dalrymple calls the work

a magisterial and to me unanswerable account of one of the greatest æsthetic disasters to have befallen Europe in all its history.

The self-professed philosopher-kings

Dalrymple writes that while

a comity of nations, each pursuing its own interests, is not the answer to all man’s political problems or conflicts,

it is better than the alternative, that is to say

universalist or supranational doctrines that claim to offer a full and final settlement of mankind’s woes.

He points out that supranationalism

in practice necessitates the rule of self-proclaimed and (more likely than not) self-interested philosopher-kings who will have no sense of personal limitation and who will be infatuated with their own virtue.

Why they can’t abide the Jewish state

Hell hath no fury like a universalist contradicted

The belief in a supranational order which is now very common among European élites accounts in part, writes Dalrymple, for the fury they direct against the Zionists.

A conceptual anti-EU

Israel, Dalrymple notes,

is a European state, but instead of subscribing to European supranational pieties, it pursues its national interest with determination and without apology. It is particularist rather than universalist.

Believers in universalism

brook no derogation from their principles.

The Western European superiority complex

Dalrymple points out that as a European state, Israel

is held up to a different standard from Arab states, Iran or Turkey, because European states have supposedly now reached a higher ethical stage, that of national altruism rather than national egotism, a stage which those of lesser breeds without the (moral) law, still mired in egotism, have not attained.

It turns out that

it is rather more difficult to disembarrass yourself of feelings of superiority than at first might have been supposed.

Eurocratic contempt for the great unwashed

The single-currency disaster

Dalrymple points out that whenever and wherever pooling of sovereignty has been put to nations’ electorates, it has been rejected. He writes:

There was probably no European nation that had been in favour of the establishment of the common currency. Nonetheless, the European leaders went ahead with it, as if public approval of what they were so momentously doing were unnecessary, indeed irrelevant.

The European project is inherently imperialistic

It necessitates, Dalrymple writes,

the suppression of nationhood in Europe against the express wishes or even capacity of the vast majority of Europeans.

Moreover,

there is no logical reason why the European Union should stop at Europe’s (rather indistinct) borders — rather the reverse. That the Union should be European implies that there is a border between the European and the non-European, but the pan-Europeans are against borders. The elimination of borders is the official raison d’être of the project; borders are supposed to be the cause of wars.

Dalrymple points out that the European constructivists are Kantians, followers of one

whose scheme of universal peace ought to appear laughably shallow to anyone who has seen more of the world than is visible from a regular walk on the same route day after day through 18th-century Königsberg.

Liberal supranationalism is dangerously dictatorial

Dalrymple notes that José Manuel Barroso, while head of the European Commission, on one occasion

let fall the true nature of the European Union. It was, he said, an empire, albeit an empire of an entirely new type. He said that for the first time in history nations had agreed to pool their sovereignty.

To what end, Barroso did not say.