Everywhere we look, there are extremists
We’re all dubbed extremists today. If only we’d been more radical yesterday.
Tediously middle-of-the-road as it sounds, the good life, the peaceful co-existence and the stable, fulfilled society are only likely to come to those who search genuinely for the best balance. While this is a cliché, being a cliché does not make a thing wrong: better the boring middle than constant waves of extreme muddle.
Trade Unions are a good idea when employers are getting filthy rich on the back of slave labour. Closed shops are a bad idea because they are anti-egalitarian. Intra-Union disputes are bad because they’re really about greed. Reform of labour law is a good thing when company owners can’t make a competitive, quality product and deliver it due to unwarranted wage demands, wildcat strikes and go-slow sabotage. Deregulated labour markets feed the baser instincts of human nature: they produce poverty and social unrest, and the triumph of Might is Right.
Homo sapiens has two gender archetypes. One is riddled with testosterone, which makes him competitive, impulsive, aggressive and often uncooperative. The other is crammed with compassion hormones and provisioning instincts that make her a better nester, emotional provider and child-rearer. Between these two archetypes (and that’s what they are, NOT stereotypes) is an entire spectrum of mixed male and female character traits based on individual genetics, socialisation and cerebral synapses. Every woman feeling she must work fulltime is an undesirable extreme, as is a male desire to control the purse strings. Destroying the position of a father as part of child discipline is madness, as is the view that women add no value to the workplace. All payment and pension values both at home and at work should be based on tangible results, not gender.
If all you understand is how to distribute wealth, the creation of it will stagnate very quickly. If you think material wealth is the only thing that matters, then the championing of it will destroy civilisation very quickly. If you still think redistributed wealth will not simply revert within a generation or two, then you are ignorant and a Corbynista fanatic. If you think that a growth-driven, consumption model of economics can generally increase wealth by reducing the financial power of consumers, then you are a deliberately obtuse and/or stupid member of the current Camerlot Cabinet.
Universally free public health provision works best in cultures where the population is reasonably evenly spread by demographics, and not too high for either the space available or the economic model in use. It cannot function at anywhere near the necessary efficacy if it is being starved of public funds by corporate greed, strangled by bureaucracy or trade unions, in constant fear of litigation, and hugely overdemanded. By contrast, there is no known case history on the planet where the fear of pauperisation through medical cost had been banished by the use of private health insurance: not one, anywhere. Jeremy Hunt is an extremist for believing this last model offers a solution. Diane Abbott is an extremist for demanding everything be free for everyone forever while refusing to put any cap whatsoever on immigration or unionisation. The NHS must offer heavily subsidised health costs, means targeted by independent bodies. It should be free for the very poor and full price for the very rich. Everyone with the means directly or indirectly to pay for healthcare must do so, regardless of age. The natural concomitant of that is reform to abolish the private sector, alongside mutualised localisation of the whole.
The last twenty years have shown conclusively just how resilient the British class system is. Tribes are normal and natural, but not when they lead to one or more having a ridiculously inordinate hold on power. The biggest single influence on social mobility is education. The Conservatives want to expand the public school sector. The Labour Party has tried to politicise State education. Neither want Grammar schools back. All this represents blatantly extremist, anti-ability inegality. The job of teachers is to inspire every child regardless of metier or IQ; a truly creative civilisation should want to produce the maximum number of citizens who can think for themselves; it is the job of secondary and further education to ‘stream’ children and young adults according to technical, craft, professional and Arts ability. It is not and never should be the task of education authorities to hit targets for pass levels or University entrance: this leads inexorably to dumbing down and undeserved legs up.
The five topic areas outlined above are far from exhaustive in terms of the overall radical reform of our culture that I think we need. What I find odd and at times laughable is that the two Establishments in Britain – fat fluffy Labour and Camerlot Conservatism – want to call out Jeremy Corbyn and NVEs respectively as ‘dangerous’. Corbyn is not to my taste because his ideas are old, and his purges and cronies predictable; Camerlot is not to my taste for exactly the same reasons; New Labour saddled us with the extremes of unchecked immigration and pc lunacies. All of them are, to me, infinitely more extreme than my radicalism….and a few of them far more violent.
My radicalism is about getting back to balance. It is Benthamite and mutualist in its desire for the greatest fulfilment of the greatest number. Its content has been rendered radical – not by any mental issues I have, but by the fudge, fancy and failure of others in positions of educational, health-related, political, commercial and trade union power over the last half century.
Socialism and laissez-faire neoliberalism have failed. They have failed to uphold either the rule of Law or equality before it. They have failed to generalise education proficiency and independent thought. They have attacked the natural and celebrated the unnatural. They have politicised the police across the spectrum, be that in aid of Union laws, resisting opposition to austerity, or sexual orientation.
All these have sent us sliding faster and faster down the sleazy slope towards the abyss. Only open-minded, utilitarian radicalism stands even a chance of stopping it. More of the same will merely act as a catalyst.