Why today’s truly anti-Establishment radicals desire a new balance, not old extremes

establishment

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.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Why today’s truly anti-Establishment radicals desire a new balance, not old extremes

  1. Great stuff!
    Most thinking people would agree with your aspirations. But (there’s always a ‘but’) how do we achieve the transition from the abyss we’re in already, to a better society, when those in power do not listen and have no incentive to change? Peaceful efforts have failed to even dent the corrupt state behemoth – does this suggest violent means are ahead?

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  2. “Every woman feeling she must work fulltime is an undesirable extreme, as is a male desire to control the purse strings”. Pure comedy gold.

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  3. I’m rapidly coming round to the concept of civil disobedience, whatever that may need to be. I’ve got no answers to anything other than a certain and firm conviction that they will not, ever, listen to reasoned persuasion.
    Bring it on…….

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  4. You’ve still got a bee in your bonnet about ‘grammar schools’, old man. Grammar Schools are ‘Liberal Arts Free Schools’ – Toby Young’s West London Free School is a Grammar School in philosophy and in what it delivers. It just doesn’t have an 11-plus per se. But it does select pupils somehow.

    Both the Labour Party and the conservative Party actually want an ecosystem of educational provision, as befits the digital age.

    They don’t want Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns, they don’t want bog standard comprehensives either, they want a much greater variety of education provision, encompassing multiple philosophies (Specialist Academies, Steiner Schools, schools focussing on the mindset of the enquirer leading to the IB, sports/kinaestheisology-led institutions etc etc).

    It’s unbelievably extremist for you, a working class person who happened to benefit from grammar schools, to think that the whole population is like you. It isn’t. Even if everyone you chose to associate with is like you. Because everyone you chose to associate with is an unbelievably small part of the population.

    Grammar schools teach nothing of value. They have no lessons in negotiation, the single most important skill in transactional societies. You can read Shakespeare until you are blue in the face but you won’t learn to negotiate. You can do as many pat science experiments as you like and it won’t teach you to sell. You can trot out as many irregular verb declensions as you like and it won’t teach you financial planning. As I said, grammar schools teach nothing of value. Nothing. They spoon feed you facts and mantras, formulae and irregular verbs. Piffle in other words. They don’t teach you to interact and transact in the capitalist world. They don’t, and they never will. That’s why exams are such a useless predictor of life success. Because they don’t test anything valuable. And they never will…….they just measure something measurable. All they have ever done. And all they ever will do.

    No-one who has not grown beyond ‘it worked for me, so it must be the best solution for everyone’ should have anything to do with how to shape a society. Ever. ‘It worked for me’ is the statement of the eugenicist. I can design education systems that will drive you to despair but will work for other people. Be the best for other people. But they won’t work for you. Dear me…….

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  5. Good article JW.

    I consider that the problem is less one of political ideology but rather an amorality that pervades the entire culture. It is a culture that celebrates pure psychopathic greed above all else. Wealth accumulation and fame is lauded regardless of the often criminal mechanisms used to acquire them, while self sacrifice as demonstrated by figures such as Craig Murray is seen as anachronistic. Individuals who should be elevated as icons of rectitude are rendered unpersons by the establishment, while those like Turdoch who violate the law are given access to the corridors of power. In fact, the attitudes of the psychopath are seen as the new normal. The fact that the U.K. public tolerates the bombing of foreigners with cluster munitions and depleted uranium is the end result of a training the mass to see empathy as weakness. Celebrating the humiliation of inadequate hopefuls on Britains Got Talent, encouraging young men to spend hours engaged in simulated murder in first person shooter games, and normalising humiliating or sadistic acts in readily available pornography all contribute to the erosion of respect for the other.

    Health, education, public service all have become viewed as realms no different from widget manufacturing as if the same considerations apply to both. Their only worth is that which can be measured by the beancounters, or worse milch-cows that can be drained by venal insiders. The ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ mentality has been allowed to hijack all of the superb post-war innovations that once threatened the monopoly of the elites. As JW points out, education is perhaps the one area that the elites are most threatened by. As George Carlin points out in his ‘Big Club’ rant, the last thing the ‘Owners of the Country’ want are a citizenry capable of critical thinking. It is informative to read the true origins of the U.S. public education system. The same may not be true of the origins of the U.K. state education, but it does seem to have morphed with similar aims in mind.

    http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm

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  6. We are not permitted to evolve as a species because the evolution is detrimental to those who would rule us.

    Or to put it economically they would have to return a substantial amount they have been stealing for so long.

    This new new balance or a rebalancing did not happen it has been denied.

    Dring the 2009 crash the system kicked in to prevent these people taking losses (the new balance) that occured during the great depression, the rebalancing where the gap is shrunk between rich and poor, a reset to be replayed over again. Many a very wealthy person went bust back then, but not this time round so going forward they will be taking an ever greater share when they should have been made to start again.

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  7. Me thinks we are already in the Dark Ages again with no obvious route out – in Cameron’s Britain it is now acceptable to kill disabled people and not even launch an inquiry into why ….. it’s natural ….? Britain in 2015 is in deep dodo for the majority of the population with no sign of it ever changing …. who cares about the floods in the north …. anybody ….. see, there’s nobody there!! These words are just not strong enough to testify to the deep hatred I have of what is happening here and those perpetuating it.

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  8. Very thought provoking article and I guess there are other examples. One I was thinking about is foreign policy in Syria – I think one of the biggest threats to world peace. Our thinking on that is muddled and lacking any depth and balance and it’s depressing watching any TV debate on the subject. The debates seems to consist of these groups.

    – the anti war group (Corbyn etc),
    – the anti immigration, isolationist group (Farage etc),
    – pro air strike – ‘something has to be done’
    – all muslims are all evil. – or ‘it is a religious war’ group – let them fight it out.

    Then there are a number of balanced, thoughful people who have thought it all through and concluded that:

    – it might have been of benefit to intervene in some wars (perhaps Rwanda). It might have been a benefit to intervene in Syria – if it had been on the correct side.
    – that if we’d tackled the root cause of the proxy war in Syria there would be fewer or no refugees
    – that the hysteria following the Paris attacks, refugees drowning etc causes knee jerk reactions and mistakes – and which play into the hands of the government hell bent another full scale intervention,
    – that the war is between Islamic extremists and those who are secular and protect their christian and other minorities (while the christian West supports the head choppers) These groups are then supported by a dangerous number of larger countries and parallels with 1914.
    – that religion is secondary in the conflict (at least within the population in Syria) and the causes are due to a wish by some states to dominate others for economic reasons, spite and ideology – and for the larger sponsor states it is about energy and a hangover from the Cold War.

    Yet those balanced, moderate people who thoughtfully conclude that cutting off the funding and weapons to Al Qaeda etc via Turkey and Saudi Arabia and supporting secular states is the way forward, are drowned out in the noise of the other groups pointless arguing.

    rtj1211 – your comments on Grammar Schools are interesting. I agree that children leave school unprepared in some cases. Just a thought though – some of those things you mention that Grammars don’t do – don’t you feel that at least some of them are not necessarily things that need to be taught at that age and can be learned later?. After all, we never stop learning.

    I went to a bog standard comprehensive which did not work for me. There was no push, no encouragement and no direction and I left ill prepared for the working world. Everything I’ve learned has been learned since and in some of the areas you mention. I found my direction, interests and strengths later – when it was too late to fully capitalise.

    My children went to a Grammar School up until recently. I don’t think they were much brighter than me but they were pushed and encouraged and were given clear direction. They took part in lots of additional and wider activities – debating etc and made into confident rounded individuals prepared to tackle university and then the working world.

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  9. “The most dangerous revolutions
    are not those which tear everything down,
    and cause the streets to run with blood,
    but those which leave everything standing,
    while cunningly emptying it of any significance.”

    — The Danish philosopher `Kierkegaard`

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  10. “… Benthamite and mutualist in its desire…” Rattling in my head still… I got lots from this piece John, thank you.

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  11. Thank you John, BRILLIANT essay as always. At the heart of all right minded people. The worst thing, I do mean the very worst thing, this government did to education was introduce ‘religious schools’ or Academies if you will. A lot of home schooling brings about children being hidden from view, especially based on culture. Child slaves, child sex slaves- Yes John, it is happening, and has been for many a year.
    Also hidden from view are ‘students’ at universities, not just being radicalised, but being offered ‘free’ education as they come from Africa, where children in this country are not ‘poor’ enough for a free education. The universities are only setting themselves up for ridicule with ‘safe spaces’ and selective freedom of speech speakers. Who benefits from our systems? One collage refused to offer a bursary to a young, white English woman, for a place on a specific course because the class was full of Croatians and Poles- non English speakers with two interpreters, they call it ‘diversity’ I prefer to call it positive( as opposed to negative) racism lol which it bloody well is.
    We just can’t go back to having schools teaching what they should be teaching: reedin rytin and marfs. That would be sheer folly- would it not? let’s continue to feed the kids celebrityism, sex sells everything and ‘soaps’ as a precedence for life skills…and all refugees are fleeing from Syria, and we should ALL do charity work ( work for free=slavery) so that the chosen ones= CEO’s and their sycophants can travel the world, wine and dine on the very best… Oh Yes, yes indeedie yes.
    Lessons learned the hard way!

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