Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Nation Revisited # 142 August 2018

Enoch Powell

Fifty years after Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech, immigrants are still coming to the UK. The latest ONS figures show that last year there were 101,000 migrants from the EU and 227,000 from outside the EU. 

Enoch Powell was opposed to the EU and immigration but he was not anti-European and he refused an invitation to stand for the National Front in 1974. At a speech which he delivered in French in Lyon in 1971 he stated:

"From boyhood, I have been devoted to the study of that Greek and Roman inheritance, which in varying measure is common to all that is Europe, and not only ‘Europe’ of the six or eight or ten but Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals – and beyond. I also claim that reverent enthusiasm for the history of my own country which commands an equal reverence for the past that has formed everything else which is European. The truest European, in my opinion, is the man who is most humbly conscious of the vast demands which comprehension of, even a little part of this Europe imposes upon those who seek it; for the deeper we penetrate, the more the marvellous differentiation of human society within this single continent evokes our wonder. The very use of the word ‘Europe’ in expressions like ‘European unity’, ‘going into Europe’, ‘Europe’s role in the world’ is a solecism which grates upon the ear of all true Europeans: only Americans can be excused for using it." 

The parties of the far-right are wrong to claim Enoch Powell as one of their own. They want to spend more on defence and the National Health Service but he resigned from Harold Macmillan's government in 1958 over plans to increase public spending. They are nostalgic about the British Empire but he was in favour of Indian independence and critical of our mistreatment of Kenyan detainees during the Mau Mau Emergency. They despise foreigners but he was a classical scholar who spoke several languages.

The working men who marched in support of Enoch Powell lost interest when 'The Sun' and 'The Daily Mail' turned against him. But the influx of refugees from Africa and the Middle East is finally challenging the liberal consensus. Populist parties are now in government in Italy, Austria and Hungary, and powerful in France, Germany, Sweden and Poland.

At present, there is no solidarity on the issue. There's no point in Germany sending Africans back to Italy or Greece because they landed there, or sharing them out amongst the nations of Europe. We need a common European migration and asylum policy and a combined Naval force to patrol the Mediterranean. Not long ago such a policy would have been unthinkable but since Angela Merkel took in a million refugees attitudes have hardened and deportation is firmly on the agenda.

The supporters of multi-culturalism got away with their mischief because global capitalism made most of us richer. We were too busy earning a living to worry about immigration, but its social consequences have had a profound effect on public opinion. Rising crime and terrorism are forcing Europe to get its act together; just as the UK is preparing to leave.


Our system of government dates back to the days of stage coaches, three-cornered hats, and universal ignorance. Only the upper classes had the vote and bribery was the norm. Today, everybody can vote and they have all got smartphones in their pockets to inform them on any topic. It shouldn't be so easy for charlatans to get elected but they still manage it.

We now have the technology to consult the electorate without calling a general election. Online referendums could be used to inform the government. This would make Parliament obsolete together with 650 MPs and over 800 members of The House of Lords. Those parliamentarians over retiring age could be pensioned off and the younger ones redeployed as traffic wardens. 

Of course, no such reforms will be introduced. We will keep our ancient institutions with their obsolete rituals and carry on wasting millions of pounds. Our MPs will continue to shuffle into lobbies to be counted like sheep and our noble Lords will still frustrate their knavish tricks.

The big businessmen who really run this country are not impressed by public opinion and they see no reason to interfere with tradition. Somebody said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. But that's exactly what we do at every general election when we chose a government from the same assortment of nonentities as before. 

The alternative to this madness is not a dictatorship but representative government. We should replace Parliament with a secure computerised system that couldn't be got at by plutocrats.

The top ten British companies are amongst the most powerful in the world. They are; Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC Holdings, British American Tobacco, BP, Glaxo Smith Kline, Diageo, Astra Zeneca, Vodaphone, Unilever, and Glencoe. British businesses paid £43 billion in corporation tax in 2014-15 and contributed an unknown amount in 'donations' to political parties. We are not governed by elected MPs but by the appointed executives of major corporations who put profits before people.

It's the duty of big business
to make money for their shareholders but it's the duty of government to protect workers' rights and provide decent health care and social security. There are some excellent firms that look after their workers but most of them are only interested in making money. Karl Marx predicted that global capitalism would eventually turn into socialism but we haven't got there yet.  

Fashions in Thinking

Without even realising it we all follow fashion to some extent. Short hair is currently in fashion for men but not so long ago long hair was the norm. We may not keep up with the latest styles but we find ourselves slowly adapting to them. Have a look at some old photographs of your friends and family and you will notice collar-length hairstyles, flared trousers, and floral shirts that you would not wear today.

onformity starts in the playground and continues into old age. Women of a certain age try to be fashionable by wearing short skirts that would look better on a teenager. And it's the same with social attitudes. Years ago black dogs and cats were often called 'Nigger', and black people usually appeared in films as servants. The original housekeeper in the Tom & Jerry cartoons was a black mammy but she eventually became Irish.

When John Tyndall launched 'Spearhead' magazine n 1964 he used his front page to described Africans as 'sub-human', but a year later the Race Relations Act was passed and AK Chesterton warned:

"The man who thinks that this war can be won by mouthing slogans about 'dirty Jews and filthy niggers' is a maniac whose place should not be in the National Front but in a mental hospital." 

Whatever our thoughts were in the Sixties, it's likely that we have changed our minds. Not many people want to go back to the days when the glamorous model Ruth Ellis (pictured) was hanged for shooting dead her brutal lover, or when the brilliant codebreaker Alan Turing was hounded to his death by the authorities. Times have changed and most of us have changed with them. 

This is often blamed on the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxist scholars who set out to change public attitudes. But most of these reforms can be traced to the French Revolution, or even further back to the Sermon on The Mount. The Marxists did not invent social justice they just adopted it as a strategy.

Of course, people are influenced by propaganda. Smoking and drinking and driving are two positive examples of 'social engineering'. The latest campaign pairs black and white couples in almost every TV commercial. This is not a government initiative but the latest fashion in thinking. Keen young account executives are persuading their clients that diversity sells products. The message to women seems to be, if you want a comfortable bed or a new kitchen, marry a black man.     

Great German Thinkers

On the bicentenary of Karl Marx's birth, we examine his thoughts and those of his fellow countryman and near contemporary Arthur Schopenhauer. In the age of the Internet, we think that we know all the answers but the great thinkers of the 19th century knew a thing or two.  

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was best known for his works on psychology, morality, ethics, phenomenology, metaphysics, and aesthetics. Those weighty subjects are best left to his students but his views on history are interesting to the layman.

"The highest civilisation and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmans, the Incas, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands. All this due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want and misery, which in their many forms were brought about by climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature and out of it came their high civilisation."

Arthur Schopenhauer died just before his country embarked on a series of wars that almost destroyed Europe; the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the First World War 1914-18, and the Second World War 1939-45. His 'white races' tried to destroy each other with shells, bombs, bayonets and poison gas, but in doing so they advanced science and technology to the age of jet propulsion and atomic weapons.

Perhaps those wars were part of the epic struggle against adversity that he described? A cycle of violence and destruction that was broken by the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. The Schuman Plan outlawed war between France and Germany by controlling coal and steel production, and it laid the foundations of the European Union.

The old philosophers generally painted a gloomy picture, but just as gamblers study a racehorse's form to asses its chances, so historians study the past to predict the future. Schopenhauer studied mankind and left us the following advice:

"If you want Utopian plans I would say: the only solution to the problem is the despotism of the wise and noble members of a genuine aristocracy, a genuine nobility, achieved by mating the most magnanimous men with the cleverest and most gifted women. This proposal constitutes my Utopia and my Platonic Republic".  

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was an educated middle class German who probably never did a violent thing in his life, but he inspired a revolutionary movement that slaughtered millions. He was widely praised by 'the great and the good' for his economic analysis but veteran blogger Frank Walsh (pictured) took a different view.

The failure of Marxism is firstly due to his wrong thinking, maybe due to Hegel's logic, that has its illogics, (e.g. Hegel says "War is indispensable to progress." As progress is a relative concept of our senses saying, life is better than before, how the hell can we feel better if we atomise ourselves out of existence in war?) As he thought the producer majority could win social power by directly owning the means of production, like a parasite minority, having humanly forgot that a majority is quantitatively and thereby qualitatively the opposite of a minority, so the producer must win social power in the opposite way to a parasitical minority, i.e. by directly owning the fruits of their work  to indirectly own the materials and tools of production thru their, unbled by parasites, purchasing power being always equal to their Free Folk Market's chosen and priced wares; thus giving the producers full employment and so continuity of their purchasing power to make the regenerative capital that commands the factory, farm, mine, shop etc. tools and materials etc. of production and distribution, to make and have available the producers Free Folk  Market's desired products to consume. For without economic power, a folk can never have the political, military, cultural power to secure a real democracy and so shall always be enslaved in parasitocracies, believing in a heavenly life after death or futilely trying to get a heaven on earth by begging to the parasites to be humane and free them, instead of accepting the healthy life-laws of nature, that only the human species having the guts and strength to support and free themselves by being rid of parasites and other predators can have democracy; for life decrees that only they who dare to fight and destroy dictators can be free. Maybe K Marx saw his mistake, of assuming a majority could get economic-social power in the same way as a minority, for in his later years he said: "I am not a Communist." 

The Will of the People

The referendum result was hailed as 'The Will of the People'. They voted 52% to 48% to quit the EU, but the trouble is that people do such strange things. They elected Margaret Thatcher three times in a row and then did the same for Tony Blair. Not once, or twice, but three times!

Voters are not required to know what they are voting for.
Few people could name the 28 states of the EU and even fewer know anything about the single market or the customs union. They get their views from the mass media and they vote according to tribal loyalties.

Nobody has come up with a perfect system of government. Autocracy is fine if you have a benevolent dictator but they have a tendency to go mad, like Margaret Thatcher. Democracy is alright in theory but people often make the wrong decisions. Remember that the mob shouted for Barabbas instead of Jesus.

We are better off today because of advances in science, not because of politics. The Industrial Revolution created the need for a literate and numerate workforce, and main drainage and clean water were infinitely more beneficial that universal franchise. Politicians make laws but human progress is driven by technology.

Theresa May is trying to reconcile two opposing wings of her party. The Labour Party is just as divided, and the Liberal Democrats are too few in numbers to make a difference. Brexit has divided the UK but it has united the rest of Europe. A year ago the populists parties were all for leaving the EU but they have all changed their minds. Simon Kuper wrote in the Financial Times:

And Brexit's failure fits a continuum. In 2015, Greece's Syriza government tried to renegotiate its relationship with the EU, or maybe leave, and failed too. Today, Syriza is a docile pro-EU government. Italy's new government has already dropped talking about leaving the EU or the euro, frightened by spikes in Italian bond yields this spring. In France, Le Pen now says: "We can improve the daily life of French people without leaving the EU."  

In the past two thousand years, we have been a collection of Celtic tribes, a province of the Roman Empire, a Saxon kingdom, a Danish possession, a Norman kingdom, an English Commonwealth, a global empire, an American dependency, and a half-hearted member of the European Union. Our future, like our past, will be determined by destiny and our proximity to the mainland, not by the so-called 'Will of the People'.

All articles are by Bill Baillie unless otherwise stated. The opinions of guest writers are entirely their own. This blog is protected by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19: "We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share ideas with other people."


1 comment:

Robert Edwards said...

Thank you for that, Bill. I am not an unwilling recipient so I shall not call "delete". However, I am finding your blogs difficult to maintain interest. Your style of writing is like a monologue without any modulation. Your piece on Powell, for example, relied on a quote in which Powell actually puts down the idea of European unity as bad thinking or behaviour (solecism). He was the High Tory who believed in the doctrine of free trade with the belief in market forces as the real solution without government intervention. As a health minister in a Tory government he brought in thousands of coloured nurses from the Commonwealth as a slap in the faces of our own nurses campaigning for a decent living wage. His Rivers of Blood speech must be considered with that in mind.
Your old claim that communism (Marxism) murdered millions must be challenged. Political theories, like religions, do not murder. Only men murder for tyrannical purposes. Lenin and his Cheka with all the vengeful Jews in key positions carried out unspeakable atrocities on the Russian people. They did not do it because they had read Karl Marx. I have read much of Marx and there is no impulse on my part to wade up to my knees in the blood of innocents. I found the piece on Marx by Frank Walsh to be confused and ill-informed. No mention of the Theory of Surplus Value, the main thrust of Das Kapital. Nor any mention of The Communist Manifesto, which I once recommended you read.

Robert Edwards
European Action