"If you choose godly, honest men to be captains of horse, honest men will follow them" Oliver Cromwell
POLITICS & POLITICAL HISTORY
FEAR: as a weapon of warfare
Fear is a deep and powerful human emotion, which once having taken hold is difficult to shake off. This is true whether it is an irrational fear of spiders or fear instilled by politicians pursuing their own ends. Fear is a tool almost custom-built for propagandists, awakening as it does the survival instinct within us. In using fear as a weapon, the purpose is to play with our deep-seated anxieties. It may be the fear of crime, economic worries, fear of disease, fear of foreigners or most often non-existent threats. None of these is necessarily grounded in reality. Nothing has yet happened and this is the trick: it just might happen. Should something dreadful happen, then the fires are stoked for next time and the fear perpetuated even although nothing has actually happened to us. We just think it might. A good mixture of fear, misinformation, added to doubt and uncertainty, then there is a potent concoction. Also, where there is the slightest suspicion of information being withheld there remains sufficient uncertainty not to be able to rule out a possible genuine cause to fear. So it goes on.
THE STATE OF TYRANNY
The modern State is a vicious tyrant, a bully, a Leviathan, a Behemoth beyond the wit or strength of any man to tame. It has grown fat on the flesh of its citizens, is drunk with their blood. Since it cannot be tamed, who then will find a George to slay it? Since it cannot be reformed, it must be slain and replaced.
THE TRAGEDY OF TWO WORLD WARS: how we beat our enemy, but got fleeced by our 'friends'
The United States emerged from World War I as the wealthiest nation on earth, more by taking advantage of her allies than by her own exertions. The mighty dollar before 1914 had been but one currency among others. The war debts owed to the United States seemed beyond the wit of man to repay. The response of President Coolidge to his erstwhile allies financial troubles was as hardnosed as it was dismissive, “Well they hired the money, didn’t they?” Britain struggled to her debts to the United States. However, those who owed Britain money were either teetering on bankruptcy or in the case of the Soviet Union had no intention of repaying anything to capitalists. International finance after the war struggled. The exchange system, built on gold and confidence in the markets, was destroyed. There was little gold about and most of it was in America.
Twenty years later America repeated what it had done in World War I, but on a much grander scale and with a like devastating effect on Britain. Once more hanging back from entering the war for two years whilst Britain bled, the USA emerged as the undisputed leader, proprietor, protector, and policeman of the non-Communist world. The huge expansion of military bases and power was accompanied by an equally sensational expansion in trade and capital overseas. By stopping the Germans in two wars, by cutting its allies meanly down to size, American economic and political expansion was unparalleled. France and Britain especially had been reduced to second-rate powers by the treachery and self-interest of their American ‛ally’. America had developed, in the words of Senator J. William Fulbright, “an arrogance of power” and attitude of “do it our way or else”.
The Broken Covenant
The individual and society
A tension between the rights and interests of the individual and those of society as a whole has always bedeviled political thought. Failure to reconcile this tension will lead inevitably to conflict. The nation or community will then veer either towards complete anarchy, where everyone is a law unto himself, or towards the only other alternative of a totalitarian regime, where one rules over all.
Conflict unresolved finds its end in chaos and death, but also the longing for peace on a false footing will produce the same result. Relativistic thinking provides no solution, but just further exacerbates the difficulties. Under these conditions, every point of view, religious, political., philosophical, is equally legitimate, equally true relative to all others, despite the fact that one may contradict another. Everyone is a citizen, every opinion and culture is equally valid and legal. Chaotic anarchy prevails, yet at the same time one point of view works to eliminate all its rivals, killing off all others until total supremacy is gained. The conflict remains to retain the upper hand, in the process of which all who differ from the mainstream are criminalized. There is a perennial ambivalence between a ruling aristocracy of political and social élites, suppressing and controlling people and a fight back by the underdogs. Initially, tolerance of all groups is preached, but one is often used as a weapon against its rivals in the climb to dominance of one. One religion may be used against another in order to destroy both. The end will always be repression and a totalitarian State. Having subdued all rivals it alone determines what is true and what is false, what can be said and what cannot be said, what can be tolerated and what cannot be.
The Anatomy of Tyranny
How to recognise tyranny and what to do about it
A corrupt an oppressive State extorts unjustly what it can from all it can. Gives only aid where it can buy influence and favours. The tyrannical ruler takes what he can from all, in order pay for his own superfluities, line his own pockets, indulge favoured projects and riotous expenses. It is an empire built on the ruins of the public good. It draws blood from the veins of citizens’ means and feeds it to government leeches upon which to gorge themselves. The tyrannical government is lifted to the level of a religion before which all must bow the knee, but it is an artificial, counterfeit, apostate religion and devotion. Its countenance is composed to show appropriate piety in order to terrify the people and deter them from conspiratorial actions. No, it is the golden-headed statue of Babylon with a head of gold and feet of clay, precarious in its stance and ready to fall at a blow.
When governments persist in violent solutions, they identify themselves with tyranny and whatever the law or lawful authority permits against a tyrant must be invoked. A tyrannical government subverts the state, pillages the people, lays stratagems to entrap the lives of citizens and scoffs at the sacred obligations of an oath. If thieves and murderers commit crimes they are declared infamous outlaws and they justly suffer punishment. Can we find any less an end for infamous tyrants?
“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” George Orwell