31 December 2009

Signs of the times (1)

Recession drives adult children back live with parents

Newspapers continue to be filled with news of the development of the oppressive state and the downfall of civilisation, while the relevant departments of my suppressed and unrecognised university continue to be prevented from contributing their comments to the intellectual life of this time.

Front-page news today: Year of recession forces half a million adults aged 35 to 44 to return to live with parents.

But, in spite of the pressures on those living independently, and in spite of publicising our position as best we can on the internet, none of these people come to live nearby to become associates with our cooperative consortium for working towards a large and adequately financed institutional environment supported by a business empire, until such time as it can get recognition and support from the sources available to the ersatz universities of the oppressive society.

Parents, of course, may provide their offspring with advantages, such as ironing their shirts, without the offspring contributing any useful work or money to alleviate the position of the parents in return, and this – i.e. benefits without contributions – is something we could not do. But the prospects for long-term progressive improvement of our position, and hence of any new associates, would in most circumstances be better, although dependent on their actually coming. With no one willing to work for us we have, of course, found it almost impossible to improve our position from Ground Zero, although we might have been able to develop much faster with more people.

Signs of the times (2)

'Tough love'

There are often articles in the press about the increasing problems of both pensioners (poverty-struck and surrounded by feral neighbours) and "graduates" of "universities" finding themselves without prospects in life in modern oppressive society.

Now the government (specifically the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) has issued an appalling "guide" on how parents "should" "help" graduate children. Obviously violating the basic moral principle of not imposing on people an official interpretation of how they should evaluate the existential possibilities of their situation, this guide viciously suggests that parents should throw their children out of house and home, to make them earn a living or else claim disability allowance. Oh yes, it actually advocates sending them to enter into an abusive interaction with a qualified sadist (“doctor”) if they show signs of depression!

And allow them to "relax" after qualification but not for too long, says the guide. Don't let the weeks turn into months, and cut their allowance so they will be forced to seek a "job" - or, of course, a disability allowance.

All of these ideas were applied to me, only then it was "don't let the days turn into weeks" and hide my Post Office Savings Book, so I would feel that I had no capital in the world except the coins I saved whenever I was given a bus fare and walked instead.

I never blamed my parents for this; I knew they were under pressure from people like the Principal of Somerville. Dame Janet Vaughan would have had no scruples about slandering me to a local educational authority and telling them to place pressure on my parents and hence on me.

Hence my plan was aborted to get my parents to move to Oxford so that I could live at home while writing my unofficial physics thesis. Thus at the end of the ruined "education", during which I had been prevented from acquiring qualifications, society moved in for the kill and completely ruined the lives of three people, not just the one who had been in its clutches.

16 December 2009

King George VI’s Christmas speech, 1939

When war had been declared on Germany and hence the British Empire faced another world war, King George VI made a Christmas broadcast which became famous. I have always suspected that it was his wife, later the Queen Mother, who put him up to this, and this is confirmed by something found via Google, which claims that his wife drew his attention to this poem*, which he quoted. It places the whole thing in an open-ended context which is clearly very un-modern.

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,

'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'

And he replied,

'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.'

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,

The tradition of a royal Christmas Day broadcast began in 1932 with King George V, who spoke from a studio at the royal residence Sandringham. The message reached about 20 million people by radio.

The message began: 'I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them.'

The war was certainly the Queen Mother's great project in life, although she was very angry with the Duke of Windsor for abdicating and causing her husband's early death by forcing him to become king. The war over, her husband dead and her daughter safely installed as Queen, she found herself with no purpose in life and it is scarcely surprising that she took to gin and horse-racing.

* by Minnie Louise Haskins; the complete poem can be read here

’We appeal for £1m as initial funding for a social science department in our unrecognised and unsupported independent university. This would enable it to publish analyses of the unexamined assumptions underlying current discussion of cultural and psychological issues. Such analyses could include an examination of what leads to the anachronistic tone of the quotation discussed above.’ Charles McCreery, DPhil

09 December 2009

Some comments on coronation

One supposes that it was the purpose of the old-fashioned coronation ceremony to impress upon the recipient his importance in a certain context, and of his acting henceforward on impersonal motivation in the best interests of the territory of which he now became the representative and agent, without being led astray by the merely personal. This was made as impressive as possible so that he would not forget about it in the future.

And it is not irrelevant that the whole thing was supposed to place the royal person and his territory in relation to something outside of society, which was supposed to be run in accordance with a divine purpose. Cf. Land of Hope and Glory, performed on occasion at coronations, "God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet".

Fifty years ago I knew someone who read history at Oxford, and at her interview to determine whether she would get a first or a second, she was asked to discuss "the divine right of kings". I am sure that even then one was expected to make this idea sound ridiculous, and perhaps she failed to do so, as she was an old-fashioned Christian.

Nevertheless, I am sure that this reference to an outside context conferred some psychological advantages on the anointed ones.

The present Queen certainly seems to have a sense of divine mission and, not long after her coronation, made a speech to the nation in which she promised to consecrate her life to the service of the Empire. She has always fulfilled her role, as she saw it, impeccably, although this has not preserved her from criticism as cold and unemotional.

13 November 2009

Comments on modern psychology – comparison of Princess Diana with the Queen Mother (continued)

To make the obvious explicit in the case of Princess Diana contrasted with the Queen Mother, the reason I say I find modern psychology incomprehensible is that I can quite easily imagine myself behaving as the Queen Mother did, and never giving away anything that the royal family would not consider it to be in their interests to have given away. But I cannot imagine at all the psychological events that went into Diana's very damaging public discussion of Prince Charles, to whom she was married. And yet I suppose a lot of people can imagine this, since such betrayals of confidence appear to go on all the time in modern society, at all social levels, so I suppose that there is no longer any such thing as a concept of something being in confidence between individuals.

From the television dramas one gathers that it is considered interesting and attractive to promise not to give something away, and then to do so, which shows there is an awareness that you do not have to keep your word, although you may have led someone to believe (more fools they) that they can rely on you to do so.

When people do insist on not giving away information about someone, this is virtually always portrayed as misguided. They are covering up for a criminal or pervert in withholding information from police or doctors, setting other people at risk and preventing the criminal or pervert from getting the punishment he deserves or the "help" which he needs.

Cases almost never occur in the television dramas in which an individual is protected by discretion from wrongful persecution by agents of the collective.

I say "almost" never because there was a case recently in which a policeman threw away a cassette which might have incriminated someone. But the "someone" was a doctor, hence "good". The crime of which the doctor might have been convicted was (so far as I could gather from a very inattentive observation of the unattractive episode) that of assisting a suicide in framing someone on whom he wished to take revenge, so that they would be supposed to have murdered him when he was found dead.

09 November 2009

Princess Diana and the Queen Mother

When I say that I find people's psychologies incomprehensible this is because I find nothing in them that corresponds to basic principles in my own; in fact there seems often to be a deliberate inversion of them. I imagined that since Sir George Joy had had a mystical experience up a mountain in Arabia, even if he would do nothing to help me he would not actively create difficulties for me. I thought this would be a general principle which someone who had had a mystical experience would apply to anyone with an obvious aim or sense of direction. In fact it turned out not to be so and he joined in with the machinations against me as enthusiastically as anyone else. A friend of mine from Somerville, who had been brought up in a hotbed of socialist ideology, commented on my naiveté in having supposed he would do anything to help me, at least in the sense of not hindering me.

She seemed amused that I should have thought such a thing, as if she had more insight than I did, and no doubt she did, because this is one of the things that I always find incomprehensible, as I can find no parallel to it in my own psychology.

In fact one finds that what one might have supposed to be principles in the context of old-fashioned bourgeois psychology no longer are, and instead inversions of them appear to be regarded as appropriate principles of conduct

The behaviour of Princess Diana when she married into the Royal Family, in comparison with that of the late Queen Mother, might be regarded as a striking example of this. The Queen Mother maintained absolute discretion about the affairs of the royal family, even to members of her own family. Princess Diana, although from an equally aristocratic family, lost no time in spilling the beans on Prince Charles to the media, and washing her dirty linen as publicly as possible, which was successful in gaining the sympathy of the population for herself and accelerating the decline of the monarchy, which in turn is associated with an increasing level of criminal behaviour throughout the country. (The social workers etc. who act ostensibly against the criminal or antisocial behaviour are actually no less criminal than the muggers and rapists, although in slightly less obvious ways.)

04 November 2009

Intellectuals sorting rubbish

copy of a letter to an academic

Please let all potential financial supporters (such as salaried and statusful academics who have never suffered from being deprived of a career) know of our continuing and urgent need for financial support.

A significant amount of extra work has been created for us (as it is intended to do) by the ridiculous restrictions on waste disposal. Small bins are provided, allegedly to discourage waste, so now every householder must spend significant amounts of time carefully sorting waste into different categories, crushing it to reduce volume, and burning what cannot be fitted in. Even if extra domestic workers are employed, of the usual unreliable and expensive sort, this is practically certain to be something which they cannot do without much instruction and supervision on the part of the employer, thus ensuring that his liberty to spend his time doing anything he might regard as purposeful will be still further reduced.

It is not only the amount of time that has to be directly expended on sorting and organising waste, but the fact that it adds to the burdens of one's mental organising capacity, thus seriously damaging one's life. Some responsible person has now to think constantly about the state of the bins and the variations in the waste which arises, in relation to the collection of different kinds of bins at various times.

The modern agent of the oppressive society likes to talk as if it was only the chronological time obviously spent on a given activity that entered into the equation. For example, the Master of an Oxford college asserted to a colleague of mine that geniuses are not frustrated by having to earn a non-academic living, since from time to time they have some hours "free" in the evenings, and it is impossible (according to him) to do concentrated intellectual work for more than three hours at a time.

Which only goes to show how hostile to ability the modern ideology is.

30 October 2009

Obese mothers and the loss of a principle

A newborn girl was taken into care because of fears her weight would balloon in the care of her obese parents. The child was removed from her mother within hours of being born earlier this week and has been placed with a foster family. Her parents, who are both clinically obese, have already had two children taken into care amid concerns about the youngsters' weight.
They have been warned they risk losing their remaining four children if they too fail to shed pounds.

Before she became pregnant, the mother weighed 23st. At that time one of her children, a toddler, weighed 4st and her 13-year-old son weighed 16st. Social workers in Dundee confirmed they took the baby because of fears the infant's weight would balloon. Her devastated mother, who is 40, discharged herself from hospital on Tuesday, a day after the birth. She and her husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were warned last year to bring their children's weight down.

Last night a Dundee council spokesman said the decision to take the girl was given 'careful consideration'. She added: 'It is never taken lightly and always at the forefront is what is the best course of action for the welfare and safety of the child or children.' (Daily Mail, 22 October 2009)
Before the Welfare State came in, in 1945, there must have been many people who would have found the idea of a new-born baby being taken away from its mother, whether or not the mother was obese, horrifying in principle. Now this does not seem to be the case. People may argue over whether the reasons are good enough, but the basic idea that the state should be free to remove children in their 'best interests' (as assessed by agents of the collective) has apparently been generally accepted.

28 October 2009

Bertrand Russell on Nietzsche

He [Nietzsche] condemns Christian love because he thinks it is an outcome of fear: I am afraid my neighbour may injure me, and so I assure him that I love him. If I were stronger and bolder, I should openly display the contempt for him which of course I feel. It does not occur to Nietzsche as possible that a man could feel universal love, obviously because he himself feels almost universal hatred and fear, which he would fain disguise as lordly indifference. His ‘noble’ man – who is himself in day-dreams – is a being wholly devoid of sympathy, ruthless, cunning, cruel, concerned only with his own power. King Lear, on the verge of madness, says:

'I will do such things –
What they are yet I know not – but they shall be
The terror of the earth.'

This is Nietzsche’s philosophy in a nutshell.

It never occurred to Nietzsche that the lust for power, with which he endows his superman, is itself an outcome of fear. Those who do not fear their neighbours see no necessity to tyrannize over them. Men who have conquered fear have not the frantic quality of Nietzsche’s ‘artist-tyrant’ Neros, who try to enjoy music and massacre while their hearts are filled with dread of the inevitable palace revolution. I will not deny that, partly as a result of his teaching, the real world has become very like his nightmare, but that does not make it any the less horrible.
(Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy*)

Bertrand Russell
‘Those who do not fear their neighbours see no necessity to tyrannize over them.’ Bertrand Russell was brought up in a stately home with tutors paid for by his parents. He had very little reason to fear his neighbours, and any such ‘neighbours’ lived outside the boundaries of the desirable hotel environment in which he grew up. He was not exposed to the social hostility of even a fee-paying school environment.

Bertrand Russell is both unrealistic and unanalytical about the psychology of the ‘noble’ man as delineated by Nietzsche. Russell claims that Nietzsche endows his superman with a ‘lust for power’ which is ‘an outcome of fear’. He then gives a quotation from King Lear, which he uses to illustrate the motivations that he (not Nietzsche) ascribes to the ‘noble’ man. The quotation from King Lear, however, expresses Lear’s reaction to his helpless situation as a dethroned and infirm old man, cast out by his daughters, deprived of servants and exposed to the elements.

There is much more that could be said in criticism of this piece by Bertrand Russell. If the philosophy department of my unrecognised and suppressed independent university were not kept unjustifiably deprived of academic status and financial support, one of the things it would be able to do would be to publish analytical critiques of various writings by Bertrand Russell, among others.

* first published in 1946 by George Allen and Unwin, this edition published by Routledge, 2004 - from chapter on Nietzsche, p. 693

’We appeal for £1m as initial funding for a social science department in our unrecognised and unsupported independent university. This would enable it to publish analyses of the unexamined assumptions underlying utterances by philosophers, such as Russell's remarks discussed above.’
Charles McCreery, DPhil

’Any undergraduates or academics are invited to come to Cuddesdon in vacations as voluntary workers. They are expected to have enough money of their own to pay for accommodation near here, but would be able to use our canteen facilities. However, we cannot enter into correspondence about arrangements before they come. While here, they could gain information about topics and points of view suppressed in the modern world, as well as giving badly needed help to our organisation.’
Celia Green, DPhil

22 October 2009

The Alien Life

The concept of the “alien God” is an important element of Gnostic Christianity. The following extract from Hans Jonas provides an introduction to the idea.

The fact that this concept occurred in many of the various forms of Gnosticism which spread around the Mediterranean for several centuries after the supposed life of Christ suggests that it may have arisen from the views and outlook of an original philosopher/psychologist who lived at approximately that time. The concept of alienness could be seen as associated with a kind of open-ended scepticism or agnosticism towards the existential situation, antithetical to the dogmatic materialism and reductionism characteristic of present day ideology, as expressed by Richard Dawkins and others.

"In the name of the great first alien Life from the worlds of light, the sublime that stands above all works"

This is the standard opening of Mandaean compositions ... The concept of the alien Life is one of the great impressive word-symbols which we encounter in gnostic speech, and it is new in the history of human speech in general. It has equivalents throughout gnostic literature, for example Marcion's concept of the "alien God" or just the "Alien," "the Other," "the Unknown," "the Nameless," "the Hidden,"; or the "unknown Father" in many Christian-gnostic writings. Its philosophic counterpart is the "absolute transcendence" of Neoplatonic thought. ...

The alien is that which stems from elsewhere and does not belong here. To those who do belong here it is thus the strange, the unfamiliar and incomprehensible; but their world on its part is just as incomprehensible to the alien that comes to dwell here, and like a foreign land where it is far from home. Then it suffers the lot of the stranger who is lonely, unprotected, uncomprehended, and uncomprehending in a situation full of danger. Anguish and homesickness are a part of the stranger's lot. The stranger who does not know the ways of the foreign land wanders about lost; if he learns its ways too well, he forgets that he is a stranger and gets lost in a different sense by succumbing to the lure of the alien world and becoming estranged from his own origin. ...

In his alienation from himself the distress has gone, but this very fact is the culmination of the stranger's tragedy. The recollection of his own alienness, the recognition of his place of exile for what it is, is the first step back; the awakened homesickness is the beginning of the return.
(Hans Jonas. The Gnostic Religion. Beacon Press: Boston, 2001, pp. 49-50)
’We appeal for £1m as initial funding for a social science department in our unrecognised and unsupported independent university. This would enable it to publish analyses of the unexamined assumptions underlying current discussions in the philosophy of religion.’ Charles McCreery, DPhil

12 October 2009

Home Schooling

Baroness Delyth Morgan [a person called "Children’s Minister"] commissioned a report [at great expense to taxpayers] on home education, which alleges that parents could be using home education to mask sexual abuse and/or domestic servitude. (Daily Mail, 5 October 2009, Letters page, extract from letter written by Nikki Galbraith.)

But ‘teachers’ and education ‘authorities’ certainly are using the concept of ‘education’ to destroy the lives of both children and their parents, and no-one commissions me to write a report on that, although I have offered to do so.

20 August 2009

No such thing as genius

The commonsense view of invention ... overstates the importance of rare geniuses ... the question for our purposes is whether the broad pattern of world history would have been altered significantly if some genius inventor had not been born at a particular place and time. The answer is clear: there has never been any such person. (Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel, Jonathan Cape 1997, pp. 244-245.)

I think that the wish to establish that there is no such thing as genius, in the sense of ability to do things in a way that is qualitatively different from other people, is very strong in the modern ideology, and this accounts for the constant opposition which I have encountered.

When my mind gets enough to work on I don’t think it does work like other people’s. When I mentioned to a philosopher that Rosalind Heywood wanted to prevent my incipient research institute from building up to any size, he asked ‘Why?’ Various answers can be given but certainly one is that if I were allowed any freedom of action at all there would be a distinct risk of my noticing some relationship that other people had not noticed and would be unlikely to notice, and also starting to build a quite complex system of relationships on the first one. (As I did with the areas of potential research that I identified when I was at the Society for Psychical Research and have been prevented from proceeding with.)

I suppose that is why there was so much aversion to my taking degrees in science when I was at school so that I would be able to have a suitable career in research. Consciously or unconsciously, people perceived that I did not have the inhibitions that would have made me safe. At that time I did not think about being able to do more than other people in the way of making progress in research; I thought only of having as intense and hardworking a life as possible, both in exam-taking in the present and in research in the future.

Now, of course, I do think that I could make a lot of progress in any field that I was able to work in. Other people are inhibited by their social belief-system as well as by relative lack of IQ.

I say I could make a lot of progress in any area in which I was permitted to work, but that depends on its being something to do with reality. I know that no real progress could be made if I were financed to run a large research department on topics such as Causes of Absenteeism in a Bootlace Factory or similar. However, provided it were large enough to have a hotel environment attached, my life would become liveable and I might get something out of any research or writing which I might do in my spare time, as well as its contributing to the progress of science.

If I were provided with finance for a philosophy department, primarily devoted to criticising the pernicious rubbish that is being freely produced by other university philosophy departments, the same would be true. It would not exactly be making progress to criticise what has sprung up under the auspices of the modern ideology, but it should be done.

When someone I know was studying philosophy of science at Cambridge, they showed me a paper which included dogmatic assertions that no advance in science depended on above-average individuals. There was nothing that could not be done by ordinary people, provided they worked together as a group. This paper also, if I remember correctly, referred to the concept of IQ as an example of a false hypothesis which (it was apparently considered self-evident) had failed.

That was over twenty years ago; there must be a great many equally criticisable papers being produced all the time now.

04 August 2009

The right not to be killed

Debbie Purdy is a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis who thinks she may, in the future, wish to commit suicide with the assistance of the Swiss euthanasia group Dignitas, and who says she would want her husband to accompany her on her trip.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has been ordered to clarify the factors which would be taken into account when deciding whether to prosecute someone for the crime of ‘assisting suicide’. The Daily Mail claims this has taken Debbie Purdy ‘a step closer to dying on her own terms’.

Critics of the latest development seem to fall into two camps. They may deplore suicide on moral grounds. For example, Ruth Dudley Edwards writes about a friend, a successful lawyer, who ‘decided when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer that he would try to make his dying life-enhancing for others’. Her comments seem to imply that other should follow his example, whether they want to or not.

Curiously, one does not hear the same people condemning the common practice by doctors of hastening the death of terminally ill persons by administering excessive doses of painkillers, or suggesting those people could have been induced to make their dying ‘life-enhancing’ for others. Perhaps it is presumed that a doctor’s judgement on this issue can never be wrong.

The other type of critic regards the latest development as a move down the slippery slope towards legalising murder. Part of the problem here lies in the definition of ‘assistance’. Accompanying someone to the place where they plan to commit suicide seems innocuous. Giving an elderly person a lethal injection and claiming afterwards that they asked you to do it may seem less so.

As is usual in such discussions, however, the context – that medical goods and services are immorally controlled by a monopolised profession which transfers the right of decision from the patient to the doctor – is ignored. If the law on medicine reflected the basic moral principle (respect for individual volition, unless others are harmed) a number of consequences would follow.

First, medicine delivered by doctors would become more accessible to many people who currently find it obnoxious to submit to arrogant authority figures who can choose to refuse them what they urgently need. Second, the goods and services necessary for treatment would also become available without the involvement of doctors. For both these reasons there are likely to be people currently contemplating suicide who would be able to recover their health sufficiently to want to go on living.

Third, the issue of ‘assistance’ would become far less relevant. In a free market for all medicines, including those which can be used to produce a painless death, ways would be found for individuals to administer the means of suicide themselves, even if they were incapacitated, without an active role being played by outsiders. Family members could be present at the suicide without having to become involved. People would not have to travel to far-off locations to achieve their objective.

Fourth, and most importantly, the issue of assistance by medical professionals would also cease to have the same level of relevance. This – not assistance by laymen, and certainly not ‘assistance’ in the sense of accompanying on a journey – is the most worrying possibility among those being contemplated. In the institutional setting of a hospital, where respect for autonomy is absent, and where ‘best interests’ arguments have been used to perform euthanasia without consent*, legalising suicide-with-assistance in general seems certain to lead to even more surreptitious medical-killing-with-presumed-consent than is already going on.

* as for example in the case of Hillsborough victim Tony Bland

01 August 2009

Capital, freedom and the King's head

Copy of a reply to an email from a person living overseas, who appears to have been a fan of my books for some years. What I have written is of general relevance to people who might consider coming.

I gather you are thinking of coming to this country. There are problems associated with someone coming from outside the EU, and I am afraid we could not give you any help with them. Things are very difficult these days with all the restrictions on personal liberty that have arisen. We are extremely overworked as it is. You would have to solve these problems for yourself, if at all.

The idea has been widely encouraged, in this country and elsewhere, that the difficulties of becoming sufficiently independent to do what you want to do by building up capital (if you have not inherited enough without building it up for yourself) can be avoided by accepting an impoverished life and finding something ‘creative’ or ‘interesting’ to do within it.

I do not myself subscribe to this idea, although unfortunately I think that some people have taken my books as providing support for it.

If anyone wants to come and form an association with us, it is very desirable that they first build up enough capital, by saving out of income if necessary, to get themselves to Oxford in a trouble-free way and pay for rented accommodation for themselves near to us.

It is only by building up money for oneself that one increases one’s freedom of action, which includes freedom from social interference.

In the pre-1945 world, saving money had a numinous respectability. Children had money-boxes, provided by the Post Office, with the King’s head on the front. When the boxes were opened, the coins could be used to buy savings stamps or savings certificates, which were stuck into books with the child’s name on the front, encouraging him to think of his capital – built up by saving – as his territory and as an extension of himself.

Now capital is seen as faintly immoral, and idealistic young people are encouraged to believe it would be better if it was not in the hands of private individuals at all.

27 July 2009

The Killing Fields

Watching, as usual, the least offensive thing I could find on the TV while I used my exercise machine, I found myself seeing The Killing Fields, about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Everyone in this film was risking, and trying to avoid, torture and death at short notice, as murderously inclined collections of people washed around the country, and other people tried to guess where they would go next and what would be the best direction in which to run.

Now the effects of the Khmer Rouge were obviously terrible in one sense, and (like other instances of communist revolution) destructive towards the more middle and upper-class elements of society. However, such a condition of society would seem to select against some relatively dysfunctional genes. And it seems very reminiscent of the gang warfare now prevalent in many inner cities, as one hears.

So perhaps it is the case that, whenever relieved of immediate pressures of any other kind, such as the need to work in some way to keep alive, human beings are programmed to form up in groups to start fighting one another. Like mating rituals, this clearly serves a function in selecting against unfavourable genes, and selecting in favour of intelligence sufficient to guess accurately who is likely to want to kill one, provided it is combined with an ability to run fast. Both very low intelligence and weak legs are being selected against.

However unpleasant, this may be an inevitable feature of human society. Perhaps civilisation is intrinsically unstable, because it tends to produce forces that promote certain changes in the gene pool, these changes being of a kind perceived as dangerous because they are potentially maladaptive for survival, and this produces a hardwired backlash in favour of more primitive conditions.

24 July 2009

1850: the watershed

The rise of individualism prior to 1945 was not a simple matter. Probably the factors that would lead to its downfall were present from an early stage, and certainly so by the time the Society for Psychical Research was founded in 1882.

Herbert Spencer identified a watershed at about 1850. Society, as he saw it, was always in a state of conflict between collectivism and individualism. Up to 1850, individualism was gaining ground; after it, the balance turned the other way and individual freedom declined in favour of collectivism.

Prior to the 19th century, there had been many monopolies. For example, Queen Elizabeth I had granted an exclusive right to print music to Tallis and Byrd (1575). No one could have their music printed by anyone else if they happened to have fallen out with Tallis and Byrd. And the guilds were as monopolistic as the modern medical profession. No one could make and sell candles, for example, unless they had been apprenticed and become a member of the candlemakers’ guild. As the monopolies were abolished, commercial freedom gave rise to intellectual freedom.

After 1850, we may suppose, the consequences of the earlier legislation in favour of free trade and against monopolies continued to bear fruit in the expanding activities of the intellectual upper class, but also in the psychological reactions of some of them against the enjoyment of this freedom by others, even if they had benefitted from it themselves.

In 1794 Prussia was the first European country to bring in state education, wishing to have an educated and indoctrinated population which would provide competent and compliant soldiers for its armies. It also brought in universal conscription in 1862. Prussia won the Franco-Prussian war; other countries thought that the universal education had provided Prussia with an advantage, and followed suit.

My suppressed independent university has a suppressed History Department as well as one in Philosophy, which needs only funding and status to be contributing significantly to the intellectual life of its time.

21 July 2009

Picking one's way through the debris

copy of a letter to a person who came to one of my seminars

You seemed to understand why what I say in my books, and my outlook in general, arouses such hostility and makes me an Outsider. If I meet you again I hope you might explain it to me because, however odd it seems to you, I do not actually see anything outrageous in it. I am just, as I always was, a perfectly respectable bourgeois capitalist, and since my official ‘education’ left me excluded from an academic career, it seemed to me obvious and inevitable that I would proceed to try to build up an academic institution (an independent university) around myself. But, of course, by now I am familiar with the fact that this arouses extreme hostility.

Nowadays, practically everyone takes socialism for granted and discussions proceed within that context, so my views are regarded as ‘extreme’ although they are more or less what everybody else took for granted before the socialist ideology became dominant. A crucial date was 1945, when the ‘Welfare State’ (the Oppressive State) was initiated, which was also when I started attending the Ursuline High School, aged 10.

You say that I said in some book that existential psychology is optimistic. That is a very vague statement, especially as there is so little existential psychology around, and it is probably only true at all of a fairly advanced sort of psychology with considerable awareness of the existential situation.

So it is more meaningful to say what is the case so far as I personally am concerned. I certainly have no optimism at all about developments in the society around me, or about my chances of making any progress that depends on any response or feedback from the social environment, which becomes ever more hostile and unfavourable to my efforts to improve my position and become intellectually productive. And leaving myself out of it, the global future appears unsavoury and uninteresting, wiping out the advantages of the recent brief period of Western civilisation. The world appears to be ‘progressing’ towards a type of global communism, via terrorism and street riots, so far as I can tell from the French television news.

Nevertheless, it is true that I have an underlying optimism which enables me to keep going, and to keep hoping that I can pick my way through the falling debris of society, and even hope to find ways of improving my position by trying (among other things) to appeal to outsiders for financial support. The deterioration of society around us makes it even more difficult for us to progress, and thus even more urgent for us to appeal as widely as possible for the financial support we need, as well as for people to come and work here, and for moral support of all kinds.

19 July 2009

Adler and modern society

If there were any principle of permitting expression of all valid points of view, then we would have a claim on financial support and social recognition for our squashed and suppressed philosophy department.

But why should one expect that to be the case? Neither Nazi Germany nor Marxist Russia permitted the expression of views critical of their ideology, so why should socialist Britain? In fact socialist America and Europe as well. We have never had any interest taken by any overseas university in the possibility of setting us up properly with funding and status.

Why should a state-financed system have any interest at all in providing opportunity for intellectual activity of any kind? Both Nazi Germany and communist Russia successfully eliminated contributions to culture from relatively high-IQ sections of the population and reduced them in numbers. This was not explicitly stated as the real object of the exercise, but should one expect any ideological movement openly to state its real aims and objects?

As Adler said (but it applies more precisely to the users of public money – freedom confiscated from individuals – than to the individuals who may be left with very limited resources) what someone is aiming at in life may be more realistically inferred from the situations he consistently brings about than from his verbal protestations.

Accepting that the society in which I live is aiming to destroy people like me, which seems the only realistic conclusion, it is no surprise that my life is still so bad.

17 July 2009

Vulnerable to doctors

Another terrible development which has not yet come about, but soon will, and which as usual we are prevented from speaking out against by lack of social status and financial support. Discussing different plans to computerise medical records in a recent Daily Mail:

Patients’ medical records could be transferred to Google under plans being considered by the Tories ... But campaigners and doctors claim patient information could be vulnerable to hackers.

And there are also concerns it could put lives in danger because it would be harder for doctors to access vital medical information in an emergency than under Labour’s rival NHS computer scheme. *

Campaigners claim that the medical records of victims might be ‘vulnerable to hackers’. But it seems no one is complaining that they would be vulnerable to doctors which is – or ought to be – the most serious concern. ‘Patient confidentiality’ now means that not only the socially authorised sadist you have consulted will be free to record his opinions about your problems, but that these opinions are accessible to all members of the medical Mafia. Which makes a mockery of the idea of seeking a second (or third) opinion and starting from scratch with another doctor, difficult though that is anyway already, and almost impossible without the ‘permission’ of the doctor first consulted, and without the second doctor knowing that he had a predecessor.

* 7 July 2009

15 July 2009

The genius of the proletariat

I think that statusful agents of the collective should want to visit the least fortunate members of society to hear how they experience the difficulties of their position. But I know that this is an old-fashioned idea which seems natural to me because I remember pre-Marxist society, and it has no applicability within the current quasi-Marxist society in which everyone, even those old enough and middle-class enough to remember society before the revolution, has converted to the new religion and regards themselves as agents of it.

The idea that innate ability is to be done down and suppressed has always been intrinsic to communist ideology. This is a quotation from a book about Marxism which shows that Trotsky had this idea.

The proletariat, [Trotsky] argued, could not produce any culture at the present time because it was not educated, and, as for the future, socialist society would not create a class culture of any sort but would raise the whole of human culture to new levels. The dictatorship of the proletariat was only a short, transient phase after which the glorious classless society would set in – a society of supermen, any one of whom could become the intellectual equal of Aristotle, Goethe, or Marx. *

What such ideas mean in practice, in Britain today and for at least the last 60 years, is that those who have shown any signs of the sort of ability that makes them potential geniuses (i.e. who might do something noticeable if not prevented from doing so) are thrown down and out, and kept down and out.

* L. Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, Vol. 3, Oxford University Press, 1978, p 52.

10 July 2009

The outsider-hero in children’s fiction, then and now

The look in her eyes was exactly the look which Miss Minchin most disliked. She would not have it; she was quite near her, and was so enraged that she actually flew at her and boxed her ears …
It made Sara start. She wakened from her dream at the shock, and, catching her breath, stood still a second. Then, not knowing she was going to do it, she broke into a little laugh.
'What are you laughing at, you bold, impudent child?' Miss Minchin exclaimed.
It took Sara a few seconds to control herself sufficiently to remember that she was a princess. Her cheeks were red and smarting from the blows she had received.
'I was thinking,' she answered.
'Beg my pardon immediately,' said Miss Minchin.
Sara hesitated a second before she replied.
'I will beg your pardon for laughing, if it was rude,' she said then, 'but I won't beg your pardon for thinking.'
'What were you thinking?' demanded Miss Minchin. 'How dare you think?'
‘… I was thinking what would happen if I were a princess and you boxed my ears – what I should do to you. And I was thinking that if I were one, you would never dare to do it, whatever I said or did …'
'Go to your room,' cried Miss Minchin breathlessly, 'this instant! Leave the schoolroom! Attend to your lessons, young ladies!'
Sara made a little bow.
'Excuse me for laughing if it was impolite' …
(Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Little Princess)

Narcissa Malfoy strolled out from behind the clothes rack.
'Put those away,' she said coldly to Harry and Ron. 'If you attack my son again, I shall ensure that it is the last thing you ever do.'
'Really?' said Harry, taking a step forwards and gazing into the smoothly arrogant face that, for all its pallor, still resembled her sister's. He was as tall as she was now. 'Going to get a few Death Eater pals to do us in, are you?'
Madam Malkin squealed and clutched at her heart.
'Really, you shouldn't accuse – dangerous thing to say – wands away, please!'
But Harry did not lower his wand. Narcissa Malfoy smiled unpleasantly.
'I see that being Dumbledore's favourite has given you a false sense of security, Harry Potter. But Dumbledore won't always be there to protect you.'
Harry looked mockingly all around the shop.
'Wow ... look at that ... he's not here now! So why not have a go? They might be able to find you a double cell in Azkaban with your loser of a husband!'
(J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

07 July 2009

Tories: honouring a commitment is ‘far too expensive’

I have commented previously on the victimisation of pensioners. They are suitable objects for victimisation because they tend to be relatively middle class. The fact that middle class people are able to live longer, through a combination of forethought, intelligence and prior capital accumulation, is taken as a reason for penalising them. According to the prevailing ideology, it ought not to be possible for them to benefit from these factors compared to other people, because it is unfair.

One of the most appalling features of the anti-pensioner policy programme is means-testing, which I have discussed before. A prior contract between individuals and the state – that they were guaranteed to benefit from contributions they made towards the state retirement fund – has been cavalierly rescinded. Some people, like myself, even made voluntary contributions on this understanding, which is now revealed to have been entirely conditional. More and more of the state pension will be contingent on people having no savings, once again penalising those with forethought, intelligence, etc. The excuse for this is to target increasingly scarce resources at those ‘with the greatest need’.

This ‘need’ argument seems to be becoming the excuse for penalising the majority of potential recipients of state benefits and handouts, with only the alleged ‘underclass’ or ‘underprivileged’ being the approved targets for state spending – though whether even these people truly benefit from any of the ‘services’ designed with them in mind may be doubted.

The Conservative Party, which might have been expected to take a different line on all this, shows little sign of recognising the principle involved. Once upon a time the principle of not reneging on contracts would have formed a natural part of the ethos in this country, and various politicians and spokespersons, particularly from the conservative end of the political spectrum, could have been expected to make reference to it in defence of maintaining (e.g.) the originally planned system of state pensions. No longer, it seems.

David Cameron, the current Conservative Party leader, has some strange priorities. He has said that:

One of the greatest unfairnesses for the elderly [is] that those who [have] worked hard, saved up and done the right thing [have] to pay the full cost of their care home place.

Thus, so long as a pensioner is willing to surrender his independence completely by going into a home, he may be allowed to retain his savings. On the other hand, says Mr Cameron, the Conservatives ‘would not abolish means testing altogether because it would be far too expensive’.

It seems odd that reversing the reneging on a prior contract by the government should be regarded as ‘too expensive’, while all kinds of other schemes to (supposedly) increase ‘social welfare’ are not regarded as too expensive.

What is needed is a return to a situation in which people can, by forethought, avoid becoming dependent on the state, and where they are not penalised for this avoidance either at the time, or later in life. A Conservative government should make this its top priority.

‘The question of ethics with regard to pension policy is one of the issues on which Oxford Forum could be producing fundamental critical analyses if it were provided with adequate funding. We appeal for £2m as initial funding to enable us to write and publish on this and similar issues, which are currently only discussed in the context of pro-collectivist arguments.’ Charles McCreery, DPhil

02 July 2009

Eastern Orthodox marriage as joint coronation

The Eastern Orthodox Church seems to be closer to the Gnostic traditions of early Christianity than the Western is. In particular, it seems to be the only form of Christianity that incorporates into its rituals a recognition of the importance of royalty (i.e. of centralisation) as a psychological concept.

The Eastern Orthodox marriage ceremony takes the form of a joint coronation of the new husband and wife, thus indicating that centralisation is, at least in principle, accessible to both sexes. Either wreaths of flowers or ‘real’ red and gold crowns are used in the ceremony.

Transposing the idea of centralisation to the idea of the territory or realm of a household within which children are to be brought up is not an idea that would necessarily have appealed much to the Gnostic outlook. The Cathars regarded celibacy as the ideal state, not wishing to draw more souls or consciousnesses into involvement in the material world.

In non-Eastern Christianity, the assertions about kings and kingdoms seem only to be ascribing a peculiar status to Christ himself, rather than a recognition of a generally applicable piece of psychology.

The bride and groom are handed candles which they hold throughout the service. The candles are like the lamps of the five wise maidens of the Bible, who because they had enough oil in them, were able to receive the Bridegroom, Christ, when He came in the darkness of the night ...

The crowns are signs of the glory and honour with which God crowns them during the Mystery. The groom and the bride are crowned as the king and queen of their own little kingdom, the home – domestic church ... When the crowning takes place the priest, taking the crowns and holding them above the couple, says: "The servants of God, [names], are crowned in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The crowns used in the Orthodox wedding service refer to the crowns of martyrdom since every true marriage involves immeasurable self-sacrifice on both sides.

The concepts of kings and servants are about equally anathema to the modern ideology. Those who might have been servants and done things useful to others have become social workers, doctors, and so forth, intruding on people’s lives and imposing restrictions on their liberty.

The couple return to their places and the priest, blessing the groom, says, "Be thou magnified, O bridegroom, as Abraham" ... And blessing the bride he says, "And thou, O bride, be thou magnified as Sarah ..."

Note references to honour, glory and being magnified, as reflecting the self-glorification which is eliminated from most traditions.

During [the] walk around the table, a hymn is sung to the Holy Martyrs, reminding the newly married couple of the sacrificial love they are to have for each other in marriage – a love that seeks not its own but is willing to sacrifice its all for the one loved.

(Extracts taken from www.orthodox.net)

29 June 2009

Politeness is bourgeois

The communists thought of politeness as a product of bourgeois fetishism. By now, rudeness has become the norm in this country. Agents of the collective with power over individuals (doctors, teachers etc.) are now amazingly rude by the standards of fifty years ago; and fifty years ago had already seen some slippage from the norm that had prevailed earlier. On the other hand, of course, all agents of the collective are supposed to be above criticism, although there are now so many of them that it is wildly improbable to suppose that a high standard of impersonal motivation or objectivity could be maintained by more than a tiny proportion of them.

The lack of scepticism towards people with some status was certainly not the attitude that I had acquired from pre-socialist literature. One did not give up on thinking about the individual psychologies of headmasters, priests or aristocrats because of their social position.

Actually old-fashioned politeness can be seen as trying not to make it more difficult than need be for other people to remain, or to become, centralised, by showing respect for their territory of decision. Modern social interactions make any centralised position almost impossible to maintain.

I once described myself to an academic philosopher as a bourgeois capitalist, which of course is automatically pejorative in the modern world. I became identified with that position well before I went to the Ursuline school at the age of ten.

By the time I was five I had read the equivalent of what a fairly bright child would get through in their entire primary school education, and by the time I was ten I had read a similar amount as a person would have read by the time they were twenty. The local juvenile library was supposed to provide for readers up to the age of sixteen, and I had exhausted it before I was eleven, supplementing it with what adults at that time read for fun, as found in my grandfather’s library.

There was practically no trace of modern egalitarian or communist ideology in any of this, nor of the modern belief system of psychological interpretations that is now universally encountered.

24 June 2009

A totally lost point of view

It is amazing how completely the modern ideology has wiped out the worldview that was present approximately at the peak of the British Empire, which was the worldview of the books which I read in my grandfather’s library.

It is perhaps no accident that Christianity arose at about the peak of the Roman Empire. Clearly there was a good deal in both situations that would favour centralised psychology, moral relativism and existential awareness.

In both cases you have an upper class with territories consisting of landed estates and servants or slaves, putting its push into sending out armies; thus very militaristic and hierarchical. War makes people very aware of reality as threatening, and the awareness that one’s own life is always at risk may lead to existential perceptions. (As Nietzsche said, ‘Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius ... Live at war with your peers and yourselves.’)

One encounters other civilisations, other cultures, and becomes aware that many social structures, many different power structures, many variants of religious belief are possible. There may be suggestions that some cults or priesthoods have some knowledge of, or access to, psychic forces.

So perhaps you get a kind of open-minded existential agnosticism, like that of Rider Haggard or like my own; and ideas associated with centralised psychology are not far away in the traditions of an aristocratic and militaristic ruling class.

Now the outlook is entirely different. There are all sorts of ideas about ‘social justice’, and an antagonism to centralisation and existential awareness. It is as if everyone has entered into a social contract. The state will protect its citizens from the most obvious threats so that they will never have to think about reality, and in return they surrender their liberty. They will actually have no rights at all; society will own them, and their children, body and soul, and will tell them what they should want and need. If any individual says that he wants or needs something else, he will be told that he does not really want or need it.

22 June 2009

Ideological themes in social work

In an earlier post I discussed the recent case of a mother deemed ‘too stupid’ to look after her own child, and expressed surprise that even conservative journalists no longer find it shocking that children should be removed on such grounds.

This case, discussed at greater length in another recent Daily Mail article, presents a number of interesting issues.

A) The first is the way that reacting emotionally to a stressful situation seems to be taboo, since it is interpreted as implying that your viewpoint is irrational.

Her confrontational, argumentative nature - (she likens herself to a lioness trying to protect her cub ) - must have done her no favours with social workers. In truth, she is not the most sympathetic of characters, her voice steadily rising as she angrily dismisses the 'mad' social workers and lawyers involved in her case as the real 'idiots' or 'bimbos'. She just sounds very, very angry, frustrated and upset - convinced, in her humiliation, that social workers acted out of their intense dislike of her rather than the welfare of the child. [1]

I have referred previously to the idea that anger at the way one has been treated is taken as weakening one’s case. Also taken as weakening one’s case is the expression of criticisms of social workers or other agents of the collective. A similar phenomenon can be observed in another recent case, in which a woman’s twin babies were taken away from her after she joked that their caesarean birth had ‘ruined her body’, which allegedly showed that she felt ‘bitter’ towards her children.

And when the desperate mother lost her temper at social workers who had taken her babies, officials said she had ‘anger problems’ and could pose a threat to her twins. [2]

B) A second issue raised by the article about the 'stupid mother' case relates to the concept of property.

... Rachel has been fighting to get back the child she claims was 'stolen' from her ... She has a one-track mind: the child belongs to her, no matter what. [1]

It is well known that left-wing ideology has tended to be hostile to the idea of property. But this scepticism about its moral defensibility has now become more or less universal, and is no longer confined to people who think of themselves as left-wing. Even people as ostensibly pro-property as libertarians now seem uncertain about defending it. The recently established British Libertarian Party has avoided the word ‘property’, dropping it from the more traditional libertarian slogan of ‘life, liberty, property’ in favour of ‘life, liberty, prosperity’. The concept of prosperity is ill-defined and does not, without qualification, imply an individual territory of decision.

The mother says her child has been ‘stolen’: this is supposed to show she has a ‘one-track mind’, i.e. she is (allegedly) wrong to think in terms of the child belonging to her, or being part of her territory of control.

C) The third issue raised by the 'stupid mother' case is unrealism about human psychology, and ignorance (actual or feigned) about the underlying power relations of a social interaction, particularly between an individual and an agent of the collective.

... as with many such cases, nothing relating to Rachel's story is entirely clear-cut. Listening to her, it is impossible not to feel sympathy for her distress. And yet who would envy the social workers charged with making these difficult decisions? [1]

‘It is impossible not to feel sympathy for her distress.’ But evidently possible to the extent of acquiescing in the outcome. Analogously, outside observers may think they experience some reservations about such cases when encountering face-to-face the suffering caused, but it is clearly possible for most people to allow such suffering to continue nonetheless, presumably on the basis that a decision by an authorised agent of the collective legitimates the outcome, however gruesome.

‘Who would envy the social workers?’ Lots of people, I should think. Many people find power enjoyable, and quickly become desensitised about the suffering their decisions cause. ‘Mmm, lots of difficult decisions to make about whose lives to destroy and in what way. What fun!’

[1] How dare they say I'm too dumb to be a mum: defiant mother speaks out after courts rule she's 'too stupid' to care for her child, Daily Mail, 4 June 2009
[2] 'Social workers took away my twins after I'd joked that birth spoilt my body', Daily Mail, 20 June 2009

16 June 2009

Extract from She

Certain works of fiction, significant during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, are no longer read much, but contain elements of a certain outlook – relatively aware of existential reality – which is almost totally absent from modern culture. That this is so is no accident. The outlook in question is incompatible with the ethos which now prevails, after the cultural revolution we have had. The following extract is from Rider Haggard’s She. I may comment on it in detail in a future post.

'I brought you,' went on Ayesha presently, 'that ye might look upon the most wonderful sight that ever the eye of man beheld the full moon shining over ruined Kôr ...

Court upon dim court, row upon row of mighty pillars, some of them (especially at the gateways) sculptured from pedestal to capital space upon space of empty chambers that spoke more eloquently to the imagination than any crowded streets. And over all, the dead silence of the dead, the sense of utter loneliness, and the brooding spirit of the Past! How beautiful it was, and yet how drear! ... Ayesha herself was awed in the presence of an antiquity compared to which even her length of days was but a little thing; ... It was a wonderful sight to see the full moon looking down on the ruined fane of Kôr . It was a wonderful thing to think for how many thousands of years the dead orb above and the dead city below had gazed thus upon each other, and in the utter solitude of space poured forth each to each the tale of their lost life and long-departed glory. ... and the untamed majesty of its present Death seemed to ... speak more loudly than the shouts of armies concerning the pomp and splendour that the grave had swallowed, and even memory had forgotten.

... she led us through two more pillared courts into the inner shrine of the old fane.

... in the exact centre of the court, placed upon a thick square slab of rock, was a huge round ball of dark stone, some forty feet in diameter, and standing on the ball was a colossal winged figure ...

It was the winged figure of a woman of such marvellous loveliness and delicacy of form that the size seemed rather to add to than to detract from its so human and yet more spiritual beauty. She was bending forward and poising herself upon her half-spread wings as though to preserve her balance as she leant. Her arms were outstretched like those of some woman about to embrace one she dearly loved, while her whole attitude gave an impression of the tenderest beseeching. Her perfect and most gracious form was naked, save and here came the extraordinary thing the face, which was thinly veiled, so that we could only trace the marking of her features. A gauzy veil was thrown round and about the head, and of its two ends one fell down across her left breast, which was outlined beneath it, and one, now broken, streamed away...

'Who is she?' I asked ...

... 'It is Truth standing on the World, and calling to its children to unveil her face. See what is writ upon the pedestal. Without doubt it is taken from the book of the Scriptures of these men of Kôr,' and she led the way to the foot of the statue, where an inscription of the usual Chinese-looking hieroglyphics was so deeply graven as to be still quite legible, at least to Ayesha. According to her translation it ran thus:

'Is there no man that will draw my veil and look upon my face, for it is very fair? Unto him who draws my veil shall I be, and peace will I give him, and sweet children of knowledge and good works.'

And a voice cried, 'Though all those who seek after thee desire thee, behold! Virgin art thou, and Virgin shall thou go till Time be done. No man is there born of woman who may draw thy veil and live, nor shall be. By Death only can thy veil be drawn, oh Truth!'

And Truth stretched out her arms and wept, because those who sought her might not find her, nor look upon her face to face.

'Thou seest,' said Ayesha, when she had finished translating, 'Truth was the Goddess of the people of old Kôr, and to her they built their shrines, and her they sought; knowing that they should never find, still sought they.'

'And so,' I added sadly, 'do men seek to this very hour, but they find not; and, as this scripture saith, nor shall they; for in Death only is Truth found.'

11 June 2009

Even more people involved in the oppression of children

I see that family courts are now to be open to journalists, instead of secret, which may conceivably be a consequence in part of our drawing attention to some of the more obvious horrors on our blogs. Actually this will do no good; one only tries to highlight one or two of the worst cases to illustrate the fact that this is bound to result from the principle of individual freedom being violated. In fact what is proposed will make court processes even more cumbrous and costly to the taxpayer, thus increasing the violation of individual liberty involved.

Whether my blog has actually had any effect in producing this worsening of the situation I do not know. I always try to put in my commentaries that what is important is the immorality of there being social workers and family courts at all, funded by taxation, and that this immorality should be recognised and reversed. But I continue to be suppressed, and treated as if I do not exist, so that I get no opportunity to express publicly my views as they really are.

The reaction that a situation will be improved by more people being involved in oppressing the individual is a standard one. People often refer to the concept of ‘checks and balances’ as if that made intervention/interference all right in principle. When I describe the horrors of my ‘education’ to educational experts, they often assert that decisions are now referred to a larger number of people, and not left to isolated individuals – such as, presumably, the Reverend Mother at my convent who nearly let me have a chance in life.

In fact, on that occasion, large numbers of people did wade in and prevent her from letting me have my chance. As I said to a couple of educational experts whom I met in Oxford some years ago, if you have schools at all, the only hope for the exceptional individual is that he encounters an individual who feels free to allow him exceptional opportunity without consulting others. Certainly if a committee or a plurality of people are involved, he will only get oppression instead of opportunity. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and a committee is as enlightened as its most oppressive member.

Neither of the educational experts I met offered me any help at all in getting back into (or rather, started on) a suitable academic career. They could each have contributed £1000 a year out of the salaries which they were so lucky as to have, for example, or come to work for me for a few weeks every year in their holidays to contribute to the infrastructure of my squeezed and deprived academic institutional environment.

05 June 2009

Pretending to be shocked

Would a court have decided a 24-year-old single mother was ‘too stupid’ to care for her three-year-old daughter if this wasn’t so? According to a weekend news report, ‘Rachel’ – her full name withdrawn for legal reasons – has had this happen to her.

We’re indignant if the rights of mothers are asserted and children die as a result. We’re indignant if social work professionals and courts assert what they see as the rights of children. There are no reliable general rules here. It’s particular circumstances. So I’m reluctant to get carried away about this case. Of course, it’s offensive to say someone’s too stupid to look after children, but it doesn’t mean this is always wrong. So let’s stop pretending to be shocked about it. (Peter McKay, Daily Mail, 1 June 2009).

"We’re indignant if the rights of mothers are asserted and children die as a result."

Perhaps some people have been brainwashed into believing that if a child dies because of parental neglect, this is because ‘the rights of parents have been asserted’, and the implication is that we should oppose the ‘rights’ of parents. But this is obviously a highly tendentious way of putting it.

"Of course, it’s offensive to say someone’s too stupid to look after children, but it doesn’t mean this is always wrong."

It is curious that McKay thinks what is objectionable about the concept ‘too stupid for the normal restrictions on state removal of children to apply’ is merely the part about calling someone stupid. It is strange that this view of the situation, ignoring the moral principle involved, is being expressed by a journalist in a supposedly conservative newspaper.

There have always been plenty of parents who, depending on the criteria applied, would have been deemed ‘too stupid’ to bring up children. It is a long way from there to the position that children should be taken under the supervision of strangers, whenever agents of the state judge parents to be inadequate.

"Let’s stop pretending to be shocked about it," suggests McKay. If pretending to be shocked is all the resistance we have left to this appalling system, we had better keep pretence rather than nothing. When even the pretence is gone, what will be left to prevent the continuation of this process to its horrific but logical extreme: that children are the responsibility first and foremost of the state, and parents will only be allowed to interact with them if they first get permission?

04 June 2009


At my last seminar an Iraqi lady commented that the way we had been treated sounded like what happened in an authoritarian regime, only where she came from they would shoot you for expressing any criticism of the system, not merely suppress you. Later she asked, ‘What are they threatened by?’
I wrote her the following letter after the seminar.

Dear ...

When we met, you seemed to feel that we should be able to express our critical views of modern society and ideology. We believe that our best chance of building up personnel to enable us to be productive is probably from immigrants who were not brought up in the ideology now prevalent in this country. If you know of any other Iraqis in this country we would like to meet them so that this section of the population knows something about us and about our ability to support and subsidise temporary and part-time workers of all kinds, especially for work not requiring too much knowledge of English.

We would be happy to entertain you and/or any Iraqi friends for lunch at the Bat and Ball pub in Cuddesdon, up to a total of three people at a time. We would of course pay for you, as our guests.

If you or anyone else would like to come any time, it would be helpful if you could let us know the day before so we could book a table, and arrive about 11 or 11.30, in preparation for lunch at 12.30. If you let me have the names and addresses of any friends who might be interested in our books we could send them complimentary copies.

Susan Boyle’s ‘mental health’

Susan Boyle ... was admitted to a private clinic under the Mental Health Act by doctors worried about her state of mind on Sunday. Professor Chris Thompson, chief medical officer of The Priory, where the singer is being cared for ... added ‘I read Susan Boyle was assessed under the Mental Health Act. It implies compulsory admission. It implies there was a degree of personal risk. Secondarily that implies she did not want to come into hospital voluntarily.’ (Daily Mail, 3 June 2009).

A television talent contestant called Susan Boyle has, if this story is to be believed, been deprived of her liberty and incarcerated in a ‘mental hospital’ because socially appointed medical sadists, quite likely with low IQs, considered that in their opinions she was a risk to herself. She had apparently done nothing actually illegal, such as injuring a person or damaging some of their property, and if she had there should be a clearly defined penalty for it.

Now she cannot get out of prison until she convinces some other socially appointed sadists that she is no longer a ‘risk’ to herself. This is an extremely decentralising position to be in, quite enough (in my opinion) to drive anyone round the bend (i.e. what is considered to be round the bend on normal terms).

Even if the story is incorrect, and Susan Boyle is having psychiatric ‘help’ voluntarily and not compulsorily, it illustrates the immorality of what can happen to people under the rules of the modern ‘health’ profession: involuntary incarceration by agents of the collective even when you have broken no law. The ‘doctors’ involved in such compulsory ‘admissions’ are clearly all fundamentally immoral people or they would not consent to exercise such a role.

27 May 2009

Jailed for speaking to your child

There seem to be several horrors in the papers every day, which we are not able to speak out against, except in ways that attract no publicity and do us no good.

A mother was apparently jailed for speaking to her child in the street, having been forbidden to see it because social workers and the judge think that what she is suspected of saying to her children (when considering their complaints against their father) may cause them great emotional harm. As if the judge, or anyone else, has any idea what constitutes 'emotional harm'.

A psychiatrist's report on the mother contains the judgment that her "willingness to listen and agree with the children's complaints has undermined any attempts made to provide better management of the children." But why should it be the state's job to "manage children", or to decide what constitutes doing it better?

The Daily Mail blames this kind of thing on the secrecy of family courts, but what difference would it make if they were not secret, but open to public comment by all and sundry who have themselves been brainwashed into a belief in society? The allegations against my father were not secret, except from me, but a very wide population enjoyed believing in them, and still does.

The only solution is not to have family courts at all, nor social workers, nor income tax which is what funds the whole nefarious business. No one expresses this point of view or puts the case in support of it, and my suppressed and strangled unrecognised independent (real) university continues to be prevented from doing so.

Modern academia is corrupted by the prevailing ideology. Corruption usually implies financial incentives or bribery although this is not in fact necessary. But actually it is true of modern ‘universities’, which are corrupted by the money which they receive from taxpayers and others, as a reward for subscribing to the ideology, and also for imposing it upon the individuals who fall into their power.

As Andrew Alexander pointed out semi-realistically a couple of weeks later in the Mail (20 May), it is not the motivation to acquire money on the part of agents of the collective which leads to the corruption of modern society, but the interest in power over other people’s lives which can be enjoyed by those who administer ‘public money’.

21 May 2009

An 'expert' on genetics

Various people recently have been expressing opinions about whether or not intelligence is innate. It may be wondered why this would matter if it did not involve freedom being confiscated and destroyed, in order to provide people by force with the sort of ‘education’ that socially appointed agents of the collective think they ought to have. And it may also be wondered why it would matter if those agents did not, apparently, believe that all with advantages (genetic or otherwise) not provided by the collective should have those advantages ironed out and taken away by social intervention and manipulation – ‘social engineering’ as it is buzzily called.

When someone I know, as an alumnus of New College, Oxford, was invited to nominate a candidate for the Wardenship, he nominated me. Of course, modern society being what it is, I was not appointed, although I would have been a far more suitable person to hold the position than the outgoing Warden, Alan Ryan, who is among those recently sounding off as supposed ‘experts’ on this issue. He says:

All the evidence is that initial genetic endowment is pretty much random across social classes, and everything depends on a nurturing environment. [*] ... If you are born into a family with much better resources and an interest in learning you will do better than if you were born to incompetent and impoverished parents. ... The idea that you look for some genetic underpinning to go with it seems crazy. (Daily Mail, 13 May 2009)

This is actually an absurd thing to say. It does not even reflect the state of opinion among socially accredited ‘academics’ with the greatest knowledge of the ‘research’ in this area, i.e. those at the Department of Experimental Psychology in Oxford.

I have known people at the Psychology Department throughout my fifty-odd years of living in exile. Fifty years ago the lecturers there told undergraduates that although it was all wrong and very regrettable, the evidence supported the idea that ability was predominantly inherited. Even 15 years ago it was still regarded as a debatable issue on which different views were expressed.

At that time several Oxford lecturers, who were among those who still held the view that ability was largely inherited, believed in positive discrimination in favour of those from the social class which was most likely to have low IQs, as well as most likely to have gone to ‘bad’ schools which were predominantly attended by those with low IQs.

What Alan Ryan is quoted as saying is a ludicrous thing for a leading academic to say and an indication of just how far ‘universities’ have declined since a time, fifty years ago, when such tendentious assertions would never have been made in public.

I am not recognised as an ‘expert’ and my views are not requested, in fact they are suppressed. If I wrote to Alan Ryan and asked him to contribute half of his income to supporting me so that I could publish my views on this and other areas, or to obtain a grant to support me from any source with which he had influence, I dare say he would not reply.

* I know of some striking counter-examples to this – people with low IQs in otherwise distinguished families, whose lack of innate ability was later evident in their relatively lacklustre careers, in spite of any amount of 'nurturing'.

17 May 2009

Letter to a Professor

Well, of course, we need (and should be getting) help from many points of view to prevent me being prevented from contributing on an adequate scale (or, indeed, any scale at all) to the many areas now regarded as ‘academic’. Urgent though those needs are, please do not lose sight of the fact that my most urgent priority is still to get started on my 40-year academic career within a socially accredited university. I have explained to you how I was prevented in doing this by hostility and opposition when I was first thrown out by Somerville half a century ago.

The passage of 50 years makes it not less, but exponentially more, urgent, to get started immediately.

The same is true of some of my associates; the reason we are not applying for Professorships on their behalf at present is our extreme shortage of manpower, which is far below the minimum necessary for the very smallest residential college.

As a person who has everything in life from the lack of which everyone here is suffering so badly, academic status, salary, opportunity to contribute and direct work in several areas, and who knows about a person in a state of grievous deprivation, who has been prevented for fifty years from getting started on the career they need to have, you should recognise an obligation to help me in every way possible to get into the position out of which I was cheated by the hostility aroused by my ability.

Now I know that as an agent and beneficiary of the oppressive society you do not wish to do anything against the collective will of that society, like everyone else from whom I have sought help and not obtained it, and often received active opposition instead.

Nevertheless it is possible to envisage an ought which is not recognised by the society in which one finds oneself living, and both I and the others who are here with me think that you should feel an obligation to give help to me/us, and should act upon it.

15 May 2009

Craziness in education

Not only is the possibility of teaching or tuition being a positive factor in someone’s education greatly exaggerated, but its negative potentialities (which may be very great) are overlooked.

I concluded retrospectively that everyone’s determination to make me do maths as a sole subject, and at far too late an age for taking a first degree, could only have arisen from their awareness, subconscious or otherwise, that this was the subject in which supervised courses of ‘preparation’ could have the greatest negative effect.

I got the top scholarship to Somerville not on the strength of the maths, in which I had been thoroughly turned off and messed around by being forced against my will to attend (and ‘do set work’ for) supervised courses at the Woodford High School and Queen Mary College.

I translated all four languages on the translation paper, and wrote essays on the general essay paper for which I had deliberately prepared by becoming familiar with the basic views of past leading philosophers. No school had contributed anything to speak of to my being able to do any of this, although I had had some lessons in French and a few in German. My facility in reading languages arose, at least in part, from my having identified for myself the readers which provided the most rapid access to doing so. I had likewise found for myself the books which gave the most rapid overview of everyone’s views on the most important issues, notably Will Durant’s Story of Philosophy, which gave the lives of leading philosophers of the past with a summary of their philosophical points of view.

At a Somerville social event while I was an undergraduate a don I did not know came up to me and said she remembered my essay paper in the entrance exam; the most remarkable she had ever seen.

Part of what made me successful (in the areas in which I might have been successful on social terms if not prevented from acquiring qualifications) was my exploratory attitude to the learning materials available, and skill in picking out the best.

Since the age of 13 I had found the idea of being forced to sit through lessons or lectures, and then being ‘set work’, horrific.

A Professor once asked me how long I was at the Society for Psychical Research and I said about four years; but that is not really meaningful unless you take into account my extraordinary speed of uptake in any new area of information. Four years was quite long enough for me to become better informed than anyone else about everything in ‘the subject’, as well as in related areas of psychology, psychiatry and electrophysiology that might contribute to progressive research, if that should ever be possible.

But there are not supposed to be any innate differences in ability, so it never has been taken into account that I could do much more than other people, and much faster, and that I not only could but needed to do so. Nor has anyone shown any recognition of how much progress I could have been making, and would have made by now, if not kept completely inactive; unless you regard the universality of the squeeze on me as a recognition that I could not be allowed to do anything at all, as I might make too much use of even the smallest freedom.

’We appeal for £1m as initial funding for a social science department in our unrecognised and unsupported independent university. This would enable it to publish analyses of the unexamined assumptions underlying current discussion of the philosophy of education.’ Charles McCreery, DPhil

’Any undergraduates or academics are invited to come to Cuddesdon (just outside Oxford) in vacations as voluntary workers. They are expected to have enough money of their own to pay for accommodation near here, but would be able to use our canteen facilities. However, we cannot enter into correspondence about arrangements before they come. While here, they could gain information about topics and points of view suppressed in the modern world, as well as giving badly needed help to our organisation.’ Celia Green, DPhil

14 May 2009

Anger and stress

A note on ‘anger’

If a person is angry at the way they have been treated by society (schools, hospitals, etc) this is regarded as demonstrating the weakness of their position. For example, when I have given some account of the damaging ways in which I have been treated, as an explanation of how I could have been forced into my present quite unacceptable and unsuitable situation, people are very liable to tell me that I sound angry, which is apparently automatically pejorative, as there is no concept of justified anger for someone like me. Then they are liable to tell me that I am wasting my time by being angry at my position and by continuing to try to get back into a realistic social role. ‘Life isn’t long enough’, they say, with would-be sympathy, but when it is clear that they have not succeeded in influencing me to change or conceal my real viewpoint, their ‘sympathy’ quickly turns to outright anger.

This is a curious paradox. Anger on the part of an individual victim is contemptible and seen as an invitation to intrude into his life to ‘help’ or ‘counsel’ him. On the other hand, an individual who complains of maltreatment at the hands of agents of the collective, and who does not give up on attempting to remedy his position, arouses an unconcealed (and often quite frenzied) rage in all right-thinking persons, and this sort of anger is regarded as perfectly healthy.

I have already written about some of the situations which aroused anger after I was thrown out at the age of 21. The overt anger that has surrounded me in adult life sheds light on the anger that always stormed around me at school and at Somerville, although then the anger was ostensibly focused on my father, thus destroying his health at the same time as destroying my career prospects.

‘Experts’ hold forth on stress

Salaried academics have been holding forth on ‘stress’ (among all sorts of other rubbishy things) in the papers, in which they are described as ‘experts’.

‘Stress is an engineering term to describe the force brought to bear on an object. Now it’s being applied to any human emotion to frighten people witless and sell them therapy and products,’ says Angela Patmore ... a former research fellow investigating stress at the University of East Anglia ... ‘For the more unscrupulous members of the stress industry, this is mission accomplished: the industry creates the condition, then sells “calmdowns” to cure it.’

Professor Stephen Bloom, an expert in stress at Imperial College [says] ‘Perhaps because of the nanny state we have an inability to face our problems, and too much time to dwell on them ... Maybe we’re not stressed at all.’ (Daily Mail 12 May 2009, ‘Stress is good for you’ by Marianne Power.)

Funding continues to be rigorously denied to all departments of my unrecognised but genuine university which might make some real contribution to understanding, if only by publishing critical analyses of the fatuous ‘studies’ being produced by socially accredited ‘universities’.

No one will work for us because, once they know that I do not regard the way society treats me and has treated me as in any way acceptable, they become too angry at my still trying to make something of my life and needing help in doing so. ‘Move on!’ they shout, as they leave the house.

08 May 2009

Emotional 'management'

Managing emotions will be given the same importance as English and maths in Sir Jim Rose’s primary school education reforms unveiled yesterday. ‘Personal development’, along with the three Rs and computer skills, will form the centrepiece of the plans, which will be introduced in September 2011. Children will learn to take turns and share, prepare healthy meals, manage their feelings, and avoid drug and alcohol abuse ... lessons in managing emotions will encourage pupils to curb anger and jealousy and encourage empathy. (Daily Mail, 1 May 2009)

So, children in primary schools are to have lessons in ‘managing their emotions’, including anger and jealousy. I expect they will learn how to direct the anger they experience at being under duress in a prison environment, not towards the teachers and other adults who keep them oppressed, but towards those of their contemporaries of whom they feel jealous because they seem to be doing too well, and not feeling downtrodden enough. They will learn to gain satisfaction from making them feel more downtrodden and will look forward to the time when, as adults, they can express their anger by interfering in the lives of those of whom they feel jealous, by becoming teachers, doctors, social workers or other ‘experts’

By doing this they may be able to avoid becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. Nowadays such things are referred to as ‘abuse’. ‘Drug abuse’ refers to making use of a pharmaceutical for your own purposes, whereas having your mind zonked out by a drug prescribed by a ‘medical doctor’ is not referred to in this way.

Avoiding ‘drug abuse’ and ‘alcohol abuse’ is part of what is to be taught in the ‘personal development’ programme for primary schools, which will also teach the ‘management’ of anger and jealousy.

How about providing training in the management of anger and jealousy for teachers; also members of education authorities, university tutors and college Principals, etc.? So that they do not take out the anger and jealousy they feel when confronted by someone cleverer than themselves, by destroying the lives of the most exceptional people who are in any way under their power?

How about training all people with social status and influence to direct their anger against other influential people who have ‘let the side down’ by abusing their power in damaging the lives of those over whom they had power, and to put the energy resulting from such anger into providing reparation for the victims of such abuse?