30 January 2013

Pretending that nothing is wrong

text of a letter

I am sorry that I have not yet been able to meet you again. I could have put you in the picture about all the interaction connected with Charles’s claims for reparation, up to and including the two years or so during which Richard Mead, the biographer of Charles’s father, has been writing his book. As it is, no one has heard Charles’s side of it, and it is probable that the fictitious distortions put around by his family have continued to circulate quite widely. From time to time we get indications of this from some quarter or another, as we did from Richard Mead himself.

We are in a position in which it is apparently considered right and proper automatically to presume that we are in the wrong, and to refrain from considering that anyone else might be at fault.

We have always thought that his family's treatment of Charles was so deplorable and unjustifiable that other upper-class people who got wind of it would, and should have, put them under pressure to reverse the harm that had been done, and to give Charles positive support in the future, to enable him to make up for the delay in his productive intellectual career.

We were shocked at the time that apparently no one attempted to put pressure on his family to do so, including relatives and former friends of Charles. We were shocked again when the publication of the biography of Charles’s father did nothing to produce any expression of sympathy with Charles's position, or of any intention to attempt to remedy it.

When we heard that Richard Mead was about to start writing this book, we hoped that this would make Charles’s family think that they should set their house in order before attention was drawn to the General's life, but they did not do this. Instead, both his brothers approached Charles with disingenuous attempts to embark on social interaction as if nothing had gone wrong in the past that needed to be set right.

As Charles did not accept these approaches, and had previously made it clear that the resumption of social relationships could only take place after reparation for the wrongs of the past had at least been started upon, it seems that his family relied on getting Richard Mead to accept their version of events, and he (Mead) certainly showed every sign of wishing to do so.

I have attempted to deal, in pieces which I have posted on my blog, with some of the worst misrepresentations which we have encountered, and I hope that you will take the trouble to read them, so that you will not support any misrepresentation of Charles's position which may be made. (In the same way that, even now, I am widely supposed to have 'followed my interests' in being thrown out of an academic career.)

12 January 2013


Things are often defined somewhat differently in modern English dictionaries, by comparison with dictionaries published earlier.

“Sedition”, for example, is defined in Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (mid-century version) as
insurrection; public tumult; vaguely, any offence against the state short of treason
In the current Oxford English Dictionary, on the other hand, “sedition” is:
actions or speech urging rebellion against the authority of a state or ruler
It is clear that on the later definition I have not been able to avoid being seditious, since I was attempting to do research without having been selected by society to have the cachet of authorisation to do so. Why was I attempting this? Because I had been rejected by society. So either there was something wrong with the system which had rejected me, or there was something wrong with me which justified the system in rejecting me.

As I went on trying to do research without being socially authorised to do so, I was implicitly asserting that there was something wrong with the system which had rejected me, and that it was right and proper for someone in my position to act against the wishes of that system. Hence I was being seditious in the modern sense of the word.

This, I suppose, accounts for my having been treated as a criminal from the start, and continuing to be so treated to the present day. Practically everybody will immediately jump to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me, and not something wrong with the system.

When I met General McCreery (the only time I did) he said “Could we not get the University to accept us working under their supervision?” I said that, at present, the areas in which we were proposing to work were not recognised by the University but that we hoped to do research which would gain recognition, so that perhaps later we might aspire to status within the university system. I said that we had thought of seeking university affiliation straight away, but that we did not think it would be possible unless some senior person made an approach on our behalf, which no one was doing.

Apparently this did not satisfy General McCreery, and later he said to Charles that we should seek to become subordinate to the university before attempting to raise money to finance the research. Clearly he thought that we should actively refrain from doing anything that might fail to be approved of.

The General did not add that if Charles continued to support me in my attempts to raise money, he (Charles) would himself be regarded as a reprobate and an outlaw, whom it was right to slander and disinherit. However, in practice that was how the General proceeded to treat him.

The psychological syndrome requiring the subordination of ability to socially conferred status is evidently extremely strong, although not openly expressed. Several people, other than the General, had expressed the view that since I and my associates were attempting the impossible in setting up an independent academic organisation, it would be kindest to put an end to our suffering as soon as possible, while actively choking off support that we seemed about to secure.

In a similar way, General McCreery advised Charles, as if benevolently, that it would be impossible for us to succeed, and proceeded to ensure that it would be, by using his position as a Patron and ostensible supporter to disseminate hostility, and by impoverishing Charles and bringing about his exile from the social class of which he had previously been a normally acceptable member.

* * *

At the time of my conversation with the General, I had not published anything which was overtly critical of the prevailing collectivist ideology. I was treated as a criminal only on account of the seditious attitudes implied by my continuing to attempt to make a career in academic research despite having been rejected by my Oxford college. This, as may be seen, was apparently considered to be bad enough.

Since that time, I and my associates have published criticisms of various aspects of the modern collectivist ideology. My blog is one of those which have been blocked by China, presumably because China wishes to shield its population from any awareness that such critical attitudes are possible.

Although less explicit, the attitude to any expression of our views has been the same in the West. Our books are given as little publicity as possible, and we are treated as if we do not exist. Thus, although our books must have reached the attention of a wide readership, no financial or other advantage reaches us, of the sort which might make possible further publication, or intellectual activity of any kind.