21 May 2007

Cameron: "we are all to blame"

How do you reduce crime in a socialist society? David Cameron, supposedly a ‘conservative’, has said:
... the police could not be blamed for rising crime. Nor, he added, was it up to officers to mend the ‘broken society’ responsible for increasing lawlessness. ‘We broke our society — all of us, as parents, as citizens, as members of society — and we have a shared responsibility, with Government, for fixing it.’ (Daily Mail 18 May 2007)
No, it was not the individuals who have broken modern society. It was the rise and rise of legislation influenced by socialist ideas. Especially, and crucially, society was broken by the inception of the Welfare State in 1945.

Those responsible for this were middle-class intellectuals who should have known better, such as those who held office in the Attlee government, or supported it, and who planned to use their supposed concern for the numerically large working class in order to destroy territorial individualism.

Extracts from article ‘Dual Britannia’ by David Kynaston (Financial Times Arts & Books 18 May 2007), my comments in square brackets:
“Oh wonderful people of Britain!” exalted Iris Murdoch. ”After all the ballyhoo and eyewash, they’ve had the guts to vote against Winston! I can’t help feeling that to be young is very heaven!” Another Oxford philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, danced a jig at hearing the news that Labour had won the July 1945 election by a landslide, while a precocious public schoolboy in Sussex, the 16-year-old Bernard Levin, was so ecstatic that he hung a red flag out of his window and braved the consequences ...

Put baldly, there existed in 1945, at the apparent birth of a new world, a dichotomy between the expectations of most progressive-minded politicians, planners, public intellectuals and opinion-formers — call them ”activators” — on the one hand and those of the great mass of ”ordinary people” (still some 75 per cent working class) on the other. ... For all the Attlee government’s notable achievements [i.e. for all the appalling and irreversible onslaughts on individual liberty] — above all the creation of the NHS and the modern welfare state — this mismatch was soon apparent. ...

There were many reasons why Old Labour failed to enthuse the electorate, but four areas were particularly telling. [E.g. divergence between the social conservatism of the working class and the progressivism of the "activators".] ... the millions were no more enlightened when it came to education. "The Party are kidding themselves if they think that the comprehensive school has any popular appeal," was how the shrewd, Lancastrian, working-class Minister of Education George Tomlinson put it in early 1951; but by later that year the abolition of the divide between grammars and secondary moderns was official Labour policy, following intensive pressure from the largely middle-class National Association of Labour Teachers. Towards the end of the decade an authoritative survey (by Mark Abrams) of working-class attitudes to education found widespread admiration for grammar schools and almost equally pervasive suspicion of the goals of comprehensive schooling, especially the egalitarian aspect. Yet not all that long after, in 1965, Anthony Crosland (Highgate and Oxford) famously, or infamously, set out to destroy "every fucking grammar school" in England and Wales ...
The working class, like the non-leftwing middle class, were at the time (the 1940s and 50s) largely uninterested in collectivism, planning and intervention. They wanted to identify with their own territories, families, small houses with gardens, and pay packets. The ‘privileged’ middle classes had, on the whole, larger territories and a different range of activities, which included intellectual and cultural activities. In destroying their lives, the ‘activators’ (as Kynaston calls them) severely damaged territorialism and individual liberty throughout the population, leading to the current breakdown of civilisation.

Civilisation, in any of the ways in which I would define it, has already broken down, although this may well continue to become more obvious to the naked eye of even the politically correct observer.

A civilised society may be defined as one in which an individual has a clearly defined territory within which he is free to operate. In a non-territorial, tribal society he must constantly refer to the subjective preferences and pressures of the communal group.

In modern society it has become difficult to be sure of whether one is acting within one’s rights or not, and any form of behavior can be turned into an imprisonable crime if it is made the subject of an ASBO. E.g. ‘You are not allowed to look as if you might be intending to visit your family in such-and-such streets within such-and-such times of day.’

Unfortunately, the word ‘civilised’ is nowadays used to refer to ideals which cannot be achieved, or even aimed at, without unlimited confiscation and reduction of liberty. E.g. ‘In a civilised society no child of school-age should have to spend hours every day attending to the needs of a physically disabled parent.’ This is a goal which recedes into infinite distance as increasing numbers of the genetically dysfunctional are kept alive to reproductive age by the NHS, and as everyone is ideologically indoctrinated by their state-financed ‘education’ with a total aversion to doing anything ‘menial’ (or really useful) for anybody else.