If, twenty years ago, you’d outlined the current cultural malaise of Britain, the vast majority of UK citizens would’ve thought you mad. Do not rule anything out when it comes to the next two decades of post-Imperial Britannia
This weekend is the 77th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. It’s also just over 37 years since the election of Margaret Thatcher.
These may seem to you a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but just think about it for a minute or two. Pretty much everyone involved in the last European war (and approaching adulthood in the buildup to it) is dead. The older ‘Babyboomers’ born after 1945 and before 1955 are also the only people left who were influenced by the Warriors during childhood, and can remember the epoch that preceded Thatcher’s revolution. Almost nobody aged from 0-45 now grasps the realities of life just after the War (in the 1951-1970 period) or knows anything first hand about the War itself.
They have never, in fact, grasped anything other than massive social inequality, short to nonexistent working contracts, third rate educational standards, rapidly declining agricultural output (and the consequent enormous rise in our imported food bill), life before the Race Relations Act, lives run by hitech and pc comms, an NHS struggling for funds, house shortages alongside property bubbles, a car market where close to 97% of all vehicles are imported (or owned by) foreign companies, inflation as somehow “a friend to be courted”, zero to low income on capital saved, braindead television news and programme content, appallingly low standards of decency in public life and – with only a handful of exceptions – an acceptance that most politicians are liars…..and all of them crooks.
In effect, most people now under fifty-five years old suffer from two pretty incurable forms of rank ignorance: that created by narrow and unquestioning comprehensive or private education; and that produced by a deadly duo of the shallow history education available in our schools, alongide history shamelessly rewritten by politicians of all sizes, rosette colours, and ideologies.
Only some of us aged roughly 56-86 are old and still endowed with enough marble content to enjoy the following awareness and experience:
- Laissez-faire (neoliberal) fiscal and economic practices have failed before, and are obviously failing again
- The same is true of State-owned command economies – social/communist – policies
- Both of them reduce the liberty and wealth of the vast majority of individual citizens, creating tiny oligarchies of the corruptly privileged
- Deregulated financial systems always end in disastrous bust….and usually in war
- The same is true of wannabe empires that have stopped listening to the needs of an informed electorate – that is, the US, EU, China, and Russia
- Corrupt and deaf oligarchies lead to revolutions that produce extreme politics and further misery for most of the unhappy (but often at first hugely enthusiastic) recipients of them
- Mutually assured nuclear destruction has stopped ‘World’ wars, but such weapons are now almost obsolete….albeit offering a growing danger of proliferation to those of unsound mind and belief to be found in North Korea and the Middle East. War is now conducted by fiscal manipulation, cyber communications destruction and mercantile globalism. The use of war as a means of remote colonialism is set to increase via the growing development of short-life deadly chemicals, malign weather control, ownership of overseas infrastructure, robot troops (ground and airborne) and new age materials/techniques such as those used to develop graphene
- The sheer level of employment opportunities moved into robotics or offshore mean that the days of mass jobs, mass labour pressure on capital and thus mass Party politics are gone forever. New economics, new political weapons, new approaches to currency wealth and new human skills in export niches will produce the next generation of ‘regional State’ and community winners
- The pressures on free speech, direct democracy and intelligent social care (all based upon sound anthropology rather than ideological fancy) are exponentially increasing as a result of the four biggest enemies faced by our species and others on planet Earth: neoliberal globalism, socialism, feminism and Islamism.
- These four gunslinging Horsemen of the Apocalypse create, respectively, reduced awareness of planetary eco-issues; a rejection of the community size and structures most ideal for pack-based intelligent species; the rapid destruction of equal gender influence (and different skills) between male and female family rearers; and the nihilism of censorious attempts to deny the findings of empirical science.
- As a deadly parallelogram, all four issue – in different ways and to different degrees – malign attacks on personal citizen fulfilment, accountability for anti-social actions, the existence of any and all alternatives to Their Way…..and above all, discouragement by force if necessary of any ‘new-solution’ philosophical ideas.
An armed populace in the US, many argue – especially given the sheer size of the place – is easily the most likely source of planetary disruption via civil conflict over the next 15-20 years. I disagree with that hypothesis, for three reasons:
- US civilians have the right to bear arms with minimal regulation. Unfortunately, they also face a post-JFK Establishment armed to the teeth…..and more than capable – as recent events have shown – of containing ghetto violence through this weaponry, alongside the massive surveillance resources of the FBI, NSA and CIA
- The level of civic patriotism still evident in the American version of ‘middle class’ citizens remains cushioned by the US ability to appeal to it via the office of the Presidency….and a judicious use of price controls on auto gas or credit
- Like France in the European context, the United States has the ability via agricultural, media and quasi-colonial power to ensure that affordable food remains almost universally available – and access to very cheap Third World imported electronics keeps the level of distraction from injustice as high as possible.
The United Kingdom, by contrast, has unique features on multivariate levels – and oddly strong umbilical cords and apron strings stretching out in all directions – that make it, in my estimation, a strong candidate for instability and violence that could end up being globally epidemiological. These include:
a. By far the biggest economic dependence on financial services (and banking generally) on the planet…an exposure that makes it not just vulnerable, but dangerous on a scale close to the varietal weaknesses of Deutsche Bank.
b. No equivalent of the National Guard, and a police force the majority of which is still unarmed while being probably unlikely to start firing on the civilian population except in the most desperate of circumstances
c. Probably the biggest undetected (and pc protected) incidence of radical Islamic immigrants as a proportion of the population as a whole
d. The most perfect storm of post-Imperial nationality fracture since the end of the Roman Empire. It involves the Scots, the Irish, and European Union membership at a level only equalled by Spain…but with far greater ramifications than Iberian regional nationalism.
e. Social division – shamelessly enouraged by the political and media élites – based on age. (Anyone who previously doubted the ferocity of this manufactured intra-demographic hatred has had it knocked out of them by the vicious Leftist bile that followed the EU Brexit referendum)
f. Politico-legal strife on a scale so unpleasant it has gone way beyond the use of terms like ‘disagreement’ or ‘faction’. It splits the two main Westminster Parties – Labour on Smithite Blairism vs IS Corbynism, Conservatives on Real vs Lite Brexit; it splits Britain on immigration as a racial vs practical debate, and Multiculturalism where calls for Sharia Law face an often justified backlash from British traditions of decency; the Independence calls of UKIP vs the skinhead nationalism of the EDL vs europhile Scottish nationalism; and perhaps most worrying of all, the potential face-off between the increasingly intolerant activist armies of the Stalinist Labour Left and the Corporate fascist Tory Right.
The extreme reality (likely finally to banish reasonable reality itself) is that of every voter from 18-55 at the 2020 General Election lacking the equipment or motivation to vote in the interests of the greatest fulfilment of the greatest number. Political spin, Establishment media bias/self-censorship, activist fantasies, divisive propaganda and passive ignorance will combine to kick cans down even more roads.
In the aftermath – unless there is a dramatic and unprecedented reversal of course by the occupants of the élite bubbles beforehand – sheer weight of numerous desperate regiments left behind by the previous 40 years will be expensively difficult to control. And once they at last realise the power of mass numbers to evoke fear among the greedy, they will become impossible to stop.
But with little or no cognisance of what their constructive aims should be, their actions will only encourage yet other groups who think they should come first.
I hope that dismal outlook doesn’t spoil your digestion of Sunday lunch.