29 September 2011

No better way of saying it

Someone recently wrote the following to me:

I guess the fact that you insist that you should have a different social position than the one you actually have makes people more negative towards you. As you have written many times, insisting on this is taboo since it is supposed that society is fair and puts everyone in their appropriate place. Perhaps you could do better if you communicated the issue differently. Of course, this is a tricky question, since it might involve some degree of dishonesty, which is inherently undesirable.

This was my reply:

How to express the discrepancy between my actual and my natural social position is not merely a tricky question but has always been an unavoidable and insoluble one. It is omnipresent so I may as well write more about it, not that this will lead to any acceptance of the realities of my position.

I am afraid that whether or not I make it explicit, hostility is automatically aroused by the discrepancy between my outcast position and the position I need to be in and should be in.

At least, one supposes that it is the violation of the taboo by my being as I am (whether or not I mention it explicitly) that arouses the hostility, since the hostility takes the form – among other things – of actively imposing misinterpretations upon me according to which I am in a suitable and tolerable position and do not need any help in working my way back towards one which is more appropriate and less intolerable.

It may be supposed that my alienated position in society arose in the first place as a result of the more fundamental hostility to my being precocious and likely to break new ground in any area in which I got the opportunity to do anything.

In fact, I was seen as a threat, but I was not aware of it. I did not at that stage have a view of myself as being more likely than other people to question the unexamined assumptions which usually dominate the way everyone thinks.

However, for whatever reason, my education was mismanaged – or from other people’s point of view, very well managed – so as to drive me inexorably to the disaster of exile. Confronting the horrors of life outside of a high-flying university career, I found that no one would even consider letting me remedy my position by taking degrees in other subjects as rapidly as possible and at my own expense so as to have a qualification that might be usable for entering a suitable career. If I had been permitted to do this I would not have been totally ineligible for income support when deprived of an income. If I had had a First in physics or chemistry, or even in a language, I could have been eligible for support as someone applying for university lectureships.

But having achieved their objective of throwing me out with a second-class degree in maths (a subject which I would never myself have considered, although there were many in which I would have considered taking degrees and making university careers) the powers that be were not going to allow me to escape from disaster at one bound.

And no doubt they were horrified that I did find a way of getting a postgraduate grant from Trinity College, Cambridge, although that did not, in itself, make me eligible for university appointments in any subject.

When my way was again blocked at the end of the Trinity College studentship, I was back in the position of ineligibility for support of the most minimal kind from the Welfare State, since I was not (without support from my college or supervisor) qualified for the kinds of jobs I would have been able to do.

I could only have been eligible for unemployment benefit by being dishonest enough to pretend I was applying for jobs as a schoolteacher, as my college wished me to do. No doubt there are many drawing the dole who have no intention of taking up the jobs for which they apply, but I was sure that, however many people do this without comment, I would be likely to be found out and persecuted, and anyway I set too much store by keeping my mind clear of social dishonesties.

You suggest that communicating the difficulties of my position differently might be better. But actually there could be nothing to communicate if I suppressed my need for a university career, since I have no interest in any field of research except for its potentialities for career advancement.

There is no point in saying that there are great potentialities for the advancement of science in a certain area if one cannot actually do anything in that area on account of poverty and social degradation.

There are a few people around who claim to find some aspect of parapsychology ‘interesting’ without doing anything about it, and maybe come up with vague ‘theories’, such as that ESP has been influential in evolution, but I do not understand people who think like that.

16 September 2011

Tunnelling out of prison with a spoon

What was unacceptable to people in my attitude to my situation when I was thrown out at the end of the ruined education is still unacceptable today. So here is how it arose.

When I was thrown out without a paper qualification to enter any suitable academic career, I accepted that my life was ruined and that I had certainly, but for the existential uncertainty, lost my destiny. And that might be expected to lead to the dropout position; you are excluded from the sort of career which you need to have, society offers no ways, so (perhaps) you will give up on trying to get anything out of life and drift around until you are dead. But while on the face of it I had lost my destiny, at the same time I knew that I would pursue it however hopelessly, recognising that I still needed academic status and a hotel environment, and that, unless and until I got them from a university appointment as a Professor or at least a Research Fellow with a high salary, I would aim to make the money with which to buy for myself an institutional environment with ancillary staff.

The fact that I saw myself as working towards what I needed to re-start my life does not, and never did, arouse any sympathy.

I saved half my pay at the Society for Psychical Research (reduced as it was by taxation), which was something like £8 a week. Doing so, I aimed at an independent research establishment with ancillary staff. Eighteen months later I would have grants to support my studentship at Trinity College, Cambridge, and save half of those as well, but for the first 18 months I was saving half of only my salary.

This aroused no sympathy; no one that I had known in the past came to enquire how I had got into so terrible a position or to offer help of any kind. Even former teachers such as Miss Bookey and the Reverend Mother, who had once supported me in a meaningful way, stayed away and kept silent, implicitly reinforcing the idea that my rejection by the University of Oxford was realistic and not anomalous.

I remember the horror with which I viewed my position; at least, I remember that I did view it with horror, although as my position now is somewhat alleviated I cannot entirely reproduce the feeling at that time. I had never intended to become an outcast without hope of return, but it had happened, and existentially that was what I now was. All I could do to help myself was to save what I could from my permitted cash at the end of each day to add to my capital. Another few shillings towards the cost of at least one residential college and at least one research department. Hopelessly disproportionate, of course, but that was what I was aiming at.

I have never met anyone who reacted in this way towards being thrown out: starting to build up the necessary capital to buy what one might otherwise have got by having the right sort of career in a university. Other people ‘get used’ to the sort of life they can have as dropouts, adopting compensatory ‘interests’ or social life, and expressing philosophical acceptance of their situation. Or else they become drugged zombies, in which case they, too, express philosophical attitudes towards their position.

08 September 2011

Michael Gove and the bear pits

The right every child deserves, to be taught properly, is currently undermined by the twisting of rights by a minority who need to be taught an unambiguous lesson in who’s boss. (Michael Gove, Education Secretary, quoted in Daily Mail, 2 September 2011)

‘Rights’ and ‘duties’ are both fictitious, socially determined concepts, and actually are both forms of oppression. They do not arise from an individual’s own drives, or from the real threats of his physical environment. They arise from a social belief system about the drives an individual should have and how he should react to the threats of both the real physical and the real social environment.

Actually ‘rights’ are typically oppressive because they deprive individuals of the freedom not to take up their supposed rights, as well as depriving other people of freedom (by taxation) in order to pay people to enforce the rights of the individual: doctors to make decisions for him against his will, teachers to supervise the incarcerated multitudes, social workers and psychiatrists to induce the individual to find his ‘rights’ tolerable.

Complying with the rights imposed upon him without complaint is a ‘duty’, and of course a person can be blamed by the society around him for not fulfilling his ‘duties’. This is an artificial moral evaluation.

[Michael Gove] insisted it was clear that Britain’s social malaise had its roots in the breakdown of discipline in the home and the classroom.

No, the social malaise is the malaise of the Oppressive State, it is the inevitable consequence of socialist ideology, in which those who impose ‘rights’, such as teachers, become ‘the boss’.

The right of a child to go to school is now the duty of a parent to send their child to school, possibly against his will, and both the parent and the child are to be punished if this does not happen. This illustrates the absurdity of ‘rights’ in modern society.

A victim of the state education system comments:

‘The state of the education system in this country is rotten. Schools have become bear pits, where the bright and conscientious are held in contempt at best, and more likely to be attacked in numerous ways.

Celia Green’s brief analysis is a minute example of the material that we could publish on this and other subjects, and can be taken as an appeal for funding to allow Oxford Forum to expand as an independent university and challenge the disintegration of standards in this country.

We should be supported by every parent who has the least interest in seeing their children not come to harm, psychological and/or physical, by being in contact with the state education system.’

02 September 2011

Abortion policy: other motives

Women considering a termination could be offered independent counselling as part of the biggest shake-up of abortion laws for 20 years.

The move is designed to give women a breathing space before going ahead, and pro-life campaigners claim it could cut the abortion rate by a third, or 60,000 terminations a year. At present counselling is offered by abortion providers, but there are concerns that the advice may be biased because they are run as businesses.

Under the proposed changes, abortion clinics would be told to offer free access to independent counselling run on separate premises by a group which does not carry out abortions. (Daily Mail, 29th August 2011)
Allegedly, there is a fear that a financial motive might enter into the counselling given by abortion clinics; consequently, women should be given counselling which is ‘free’ (to them, but not to the taxpayer) and which cannot be influenced by any financial motive (of profit to the abortion clinic, or reduction of cost to the taxpayer in the form of child benefit, education etc.).
But, without going into the rights and wrongs of abortion per se, is anyone considering the possible motivation of MPs to increase the rate of growth of the population?
- We may guess that the IQ of the population of women seeking crisis abortions is below that of the population as a whole. Those with above average IQs are more likely to be sufficiently forethoughtful and efficient to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
- We know that MPs are motivated to ensure that legislation achieves a transfer of financial resources (freedom of action) from a population with higher average IQs to one with lower average IQs. This motive is in no way diminished by the fact that the policy has been applied so successfully since the onset of the Welfare State in 1945 that the country is already bankrupt.
- In the eyes of MPs, that is no reason at all for putting a brake on the increasing rate of decline, which can all be conveniently blamed on populations with above-average IQs, such as pensioners and bankers.
- After all, their salaries as MPs depend on their having appealed to the electorate as likely to advocate redistributive policies of this kind, and will depend on it again at the next election.

There are many similar examples of ideology on which critical analyses could be being published by Oxford Forum if it were provided with adequate funding to do so.
While it is true that Western civilisation is in general beginning to crumble, the decades of Welfare State culture and its redistributive policies in this country in particular have finally brought it to its knees, with children unable to speak by school age, old people being abused and killed in care homes and hospitals, riots in major cities, and one of the fastest rising national debts in the world.
This state of affairs has been allowed to run free of any criticism or reform from either the academic community or former aristocracy, both of which are by now fully complicit in the wholesale destruction.
This is a plea for funding for our independent university, or at least one active and fully financed research department. We appeal to all universities, corporations or individuals who consider themselves to be in a position to give support, either financial or by working here.
We represent the only possible chance to halt, or at least soften, the impact of the impending crash.