Category Archives: socialism

Intellectual propaganda against all forms of commerce

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 03.09.17In Britain in the 1970s, it was, writes Dalrymple,

very necessary to try to undo the effect of many years of intellectual propaganda against all forms of commerce, which the intelligentsia then thought was intrinsically besmirching in a way that public service funded by taxation was not. The utopia peddled by the intellectuals was of a society in which everybody and everything was subsidised. (The ultimate source of the subsidies, of course, was of no interest or concern.)

Metamorphosis

Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 01.43.07From Viscount Stansgate to Tony Benn (via the pupal stage of Anthony Wedgwood-Benn)

Benn, writes Dalrymple, was an early avatar of the rejection of the traditions of British high culture, this rejection being considered by the weak-minded to be a meritorious political act, a sign of solidarity with those whom history had oppressed and exploited.

He was obliged to forgo his hereditary peerage to continue to sit in the House of Commons, but the plebeian contraction of his family name was his own invention.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 10.02.10Left-wing in everything but his finances

Benn sent his children in well-publicised fashion to the local state school, omitting to mention the extensive private tutoring they received.

In this way Benn came up with the perfect solution to the moral dilemma facing every Left-leaning parent of the upper and middle classes (the Jeremy Cardhouse incarnation Michael Gove, for instance, or Harriet Harman):

The moral high ground of having self-denyingly rejected private education, while simultaneously having avoided the disastrously low educational standards in the state system that have left at least a quarter of the British population virtually illiterate.

Nothing is more dangerous than utopianism

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 00.54.51New Australia

Dalrymple on a ‘search for transcendence or forgetfulness on the political plane’ in Paraguay. The scheme ‘descended quickly into chaos, schism and squalor’. He quotes from Stewart Grahame’s 1912 account, with its prophetic last sentence:

Few, even among Socialists, realise the ferocity of Socialism. Of course they are aware of the frightful episodes which occurred during the Reign of Terror in Paris – but they believe that those sanguinary occurrences were occasions by other contemporary causes, and would not necessarily recur if State Socialism were now established. The few logical Socialists of to-day fully recognise, however, that a period of absolute tyranny – during which all opponents of Socialism, and even all Socialists who fail to agree with the precise view of their brother Socialists in power, would be pitilessly sacrificed for the sake of producing uniformity of aim among its citizens – would usher in the ‘Coming State’….In a small community, expulsion; in an international Socialist State, the lethal chamber, will be the fate of persistent offenders against the established conventions. And this though the executive authorities of the State may be, personally, the mildest and most human of men. The ferocity of the Socialist State will be, of course, a legalised ferocity; that is, it will be exercised nominally for the benefit of the State. The method of its working will be as emotionless and merciless as the vengeance of the worker bees upon the drones….The sordid drama rehearsed, on a tiny stage, at New Australia, may soon be played on a vast scale with the whole world for a theatre. When that day comes it will be a tragedy indeed!

Quotas are divisive and discriminatory

Positive discrimination, like socialism, is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals and of their political and bureaucratic allies

Dalrymple observes that

the number of categories into which humanity can be divided is infinite: only some categories can be favoured, leaving others resentful and liable to seek political redress.

Quotas

not only politicise life but embitter political life. They formalise favouritism, reinforcing the problem they are meant to solve.

Quotas inflate the role of government,

for someone has to enforce them. The demand for equality (of a kind) undermines freedom because private associations are no longer able to make the rules they wish, a necessary condition for a liberal society in which government is not overweening. The imposition of quotas is founded on the belief that everyone is a bigot unless forced by fiat to be otherwise. This is a dismal view of human potentiality.

Quotas are condescending towards those favoured but unjust towards those not favoured.

You cannot have positive discrimination without negative discrimination, often towards minorities (actually everyone is a member of many minorities). You will end up with a virtual numerus clausus such as operated in élite universities in America against Jews.

Those who favour quotas use

a form of argument similar in form, and not dissimilar in content, to that used by anti-Semites. How come so small proportion of the population should achieve such prominence in academia, publishing, journalism, the media, retailing, industry, banking, finance? The only conceivable answer is that this sector, through some subtle and conspiratorial informal organisation, manipulates itself into prominence. On this view, the Swedish academy that awards the Nobel prizes for science is some kind of front organisation for a shadowy conspiracy.

The only solution to the injustice

is countervailing political action. This kind of argument, of course, featured prominently in Nazi propaganda and, alas, was highly effective. It appeals to Man’s reptile brain.

‘Millions dead, freedom unknown and nothing to show for it’

That is socialism, says Dalrymple. Milksop, Western, populist, vote-grubbing, ‘democratic’ socialism, of the type practised by Harold Wilson or François Hollande, entails, Dalrymple points out, the — at first mild — ‘replacement of the impersonal allocation by price, by allocation by political influence’. As for full-throttled socialism, as practised, for instance, by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it is theoretical fantasy and absurdity. It can only be imposed, Dalrymple notes, by force. The result in socialist countries was (is, in the case of North Korea and Cuba) ‘disastrous’. It has been murderous and very often genocidal, for socialism, as Michael Wharton famously described it, is like ‘a great road, stretching to infinity across a barren, waterless waste. Along it trudge half the peoples of the world, bowed, manacled, parched, exhausted. By the verges lie the gaunt wrecks of crashed and burnt-out nations; and skeletons picked clean by vultures and bleached by a pitiless sun’. Socialism, Wharton wrote, involves ‘the death of freedom, the enslavement of the masses, the withering of art and culture, the restless, ruthless hunt for scapegoats, the aggressive folie de grandeur of dictators’. Only a tiny number of fantasists deny that socialism was and is like this. But these fantasists, traitors and apologists for tyranny — the foremost example is the disgusting Alger Hiss — whether they be spies, fellow travellers or sympathisers, these ‘enemies of the open society’, have wielded, and continue to wield, very great power inside the Western establishment, indeed in one sense they are the Western establishment.