John McDonald’s Soviet farm

British voters on their way to the socialist abattoir

“Old Macdonald had a farm, eeh-ei, eeh-ei, O: And on this farm he had some pigs…”

The old nursery song needs some rewriting:

“John McDonnell will wreck the farm: that’s what you should know. “ Let the farm represent British industry and commerce. The shadow chancellor’s industrial policy, set out in a speech to the TUC on 11th September, told us very clearly what we’re in for when Corbyn is in Number Ten and his commissars are running the country:

“Labour’s programme of workplace reform will restore the balance between employer and worker with a significant extension of trade union rights, modernising corporate governance structures and extending the opportunity for employees to share collectively in the benefits of ownership of their company.”

That Labour will win the next general election is a forgone conclusion, since the Tories are in complete disarray and “led” by the most incompetent prime minister ever. Theresa May’s serial unfitness and utter deviousness makes the treacherous Ted Heath look like a man to be trusted.

John McDonnell, like his leader Jeremy Corbyn, is a socialist ideologue of the most extreme sort, despite the fact that socialism has been intellectually discredited times without number. Socialism doesn’t work: where it is practised moderately, it leads to economic stagnation, queues, shortages, rationing and all the impediments to efficiency which a cumbersome bureaucracy brings; where it is practised thoroughly, it leads to general impoverishment, centralised control, state persecution, the gulag, mass starvation and finally genocidal purges.

Examples abound: the USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea and the eastern European states between 1945 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In passing, this is a good moment to correct statements issued daily by the BBC and the rest of the left wing press concerning what they call “parties of the far right.” As a regular example, they refer to Hitler and the Nazis as “the extreme right,” quite forgetting that the Nazis were the National Socialist Party which created an economic system in Germany between 1933 and 1945 similar to that operated by Stalin in the USSR. Moreover, Corbyn idolises Maduro’s Venezuela where people are eating out of dustbins and there are no medicines in the hospitals.

So what are we to say of those Labour leaders who, knowing that a particular doctrine is false, persist in believing it to be true? Fortunately, we have Catholic theology on hand to help us answer this question with its concepts of vincible and invincible ignorance. The first Pope to use these terms officially in modern times was Pius IX in Singulari Quadam of 9th December 1854. But the usage is far older than that and is found in St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century in his Summa Theologica; and there is discussion of the concept as far back as the 3rd century. The subject is moral philosophy.

Invincible ignorance is blameless: for example, if you couldn’t have known that some event was about to happen which would have disastrous consequences – such as an earthquake – you are not to be blamed for failing to take evasive action. By contrast, vincible ignorance is not blameless. Take the hurricane threatening to batter the eastern seaboard of the USA for instance: residents have been warned about this for at least a week, so those who refuse to obey the instruction to leave the area deserve all they get.

There is a similar concept in the General Confession in The Book of Common Prayer where we ask forgiveness not only for doing “those things which we ought not to have done” but also for leaving undone “those things we ought to have done.”

Specifically then, we have had so many demonstrations of the fact the socialism doesn’t work that, if we yet persist in socialist policies, we are not merely stupid but culpable. We must not duck the fact that political decisions and policies involve morality. They are matters of right and wrong.

Thus, by persisting with policies they ought to know don’t work, Corbyn, McDonnell and their colleagues are moral failures: in a word, bad men.

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9 Comments on John McDonald’s Soviet farm

  1. There is very little doubt that Mr. Mullen is correct, a labour govt. will wreck the farm, this will not take much effort, as the farm is already in a very poor and fragile state.
    A question worth asking is; why do British politicians, of both parties, do such a terrible job of societal management?
    Mr. Mullen lists some of the atrocious socialist states who were undoubtedly dysfunctional, but fails to mention those states such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Holland, Denmark, to name just a few, who have successfully implemented “industrial management” economic policies which have been outstandingly successful.
    We could start with Clement Attlee and his merry band as they, completely ignoring any concept of property rights, nationalized the clapped out industries; rail, coal, steel, and then drove them even further into the ground, largely it seemed, for the benefit of the ultra conservative employees of those industries.
    We could continue with Thatcher and her crew of asset strippers: The electrical generation/transmission industry should not be “publicly owned” they screamed, and promptly sold it off. It is still a nationalized industry, but now is owned by the people of France, instead of the people of Britain.
    What about the water utilities? The asset strippers bought them for bargain basement prices, took out mortgages on the properties, declared the mortgage income as profit and distributed that money to the shareholders, and then jacked up the utility bills to pay the mortgages.
    This bloody nonsense is what passes for “industrial policy” in the UK. Why?
    I have some ideas but would like to get a response from the SR commenting community, perhaps nobody is interested, in which case I won’t waste my time.

    • There is a simple answer, Whitehall and its senior civil servants. Most of the very senior are drawn from the ranks of classically educated Oxbridge graduates who believe that social class, a public school education and a working knowledge of Horace will enable you to grasp even the most complex problems of the modern state, for which an understanding of science, engineering and economics is not only unnecessary but actually clouds the vision. In addition most Whitehall mandarins are more interested in interdepartmental wars than government. The result is government by snobbish fools, fools who despise their political masters, fools who are more ignorant of the world than a street sweeper in Whitehall

      • Editor Harris says (with sarcasm): “…social class, a public school education and a working knowledge of Horace will enable you to grasp even the most complex problems [and that] an understanding of science, engineering and economics is not only unnecessary but actually clouds the vision.”

        …to which I reply – without sarcasm – that sounds just about right. Now, I was born an illegitimate; so *social class* has no great attraction for me, but the people I admire most do have good public (private) school pedigrees and an excellent knowledge of the Classics. Think of Orwell, think of – oh well, the list is endless.

        How many STEM graduates do you really admire for their ‘vision’ and wisdom, Mr Harris? Why do you say our countries are best left in the hands of technocrats and experts? I shall now leave you with a recent photo of a famous software oligarch:
        https://spectator.us/2018/09/caesar-mark-zuckerberg/
        Have you ever see such a flat, stone cold pair of eyes set in a face with hardly a trace of personality, let alone character (there is a difference) in your life?

      • It’s dificult to see where our esteemed editor is coming from; a civil servant with a working knowledge of anything, let alone Horace, is a rarety. The Oxbridge Graduates,of whom there are still a few, went in for PPE and History which left them unemployable except as school-masters, politicians or Civil Servants, the latter being the the choice of the smarter as it requires very little input and an endless succession of boondoggles. The current crop are mainly redbrick or plate-glass graduates in pseudo-sciences such as sociology, economics or business studies. Sociology is a no-no as one could well end up at the sharp end of dealing with the more unwashed of the great unwashed while while sociology and BS are just that but, with enough As the Orientals know only too well, we are all too stupid to do anything and too lazy to do anything about it. And as for Barbara’s casthole – what more is there to be said!

  2. Editor Harris is correct, incompetence in Whitehall is a fundamental reason for this sorry state of affairs. I would add that many of the mandarins are far more interested in foreign, over domestic, affairs. They love to imagine themselves in the mold of Curzon, or Rhodes, lords of the international scene, relevant, wise, revered (sucked up to!).
    But where did this come from? I suggest that perhaps the major turning point for England came in 1660, when the scoundrel Charles II was invited to become monarch. He was a whore chasing gambler with a coterie of the scum of aristocratic Europe.
    So England returned to being a birth class defined state, an aristocracy. It could have become a meritocracy but TPTB could not come up with a system of govt. other than the thumb sucking comfort of a monarchy. It would be another 100 years before the American colonists created a state based on meritocracy.
    The effect of this was profound; if you are born to lead, why would you practice? If you are born to follow, shut up and wait for orders. The biggest casualty was the education system, while American, German and French children were attending compulsory schooling to age 16, and then to 18, then graduated to attend some of the finest technical schools. British working class children (those that were even attending school) were largely turned out at 14, illiterate, innumerate, getting jobs where they copied what the workforce was already doing, and so became resentfully ignorant and profoundly conservative, in the worst possible sense of that word.
    Professor Corelli Barnett has written extensively about this. He relates a story whereby a benefactor wished to endow a college at Cambridge university dedicated to naval architecture and marine engineering, only to have the project fall through when the Cambridge faculty insisted that the syllabus include Latin.
    There is an antipathy existent between the classes in England, not just between lowest and highest, but between all the steps of classification in between.
    John McDonnell seethes with class resentment, as do his followers. The disgraceful attack on Jacob Rees-Mogg at his home involving his children is another example, these people are supposedly adults!
    What does this mean for industrial policy? Well for starters there is no unity, no willingness to sacrifice individually for the public (and private) good in the long run. Those of us long in the tooth remember Barbara Castle (the lady who should have been Britain’s first female PM) and the lambasting she took over “In Place of Strife”. That finished her political career, and it was nothing more than a call for sanity.
    So there you have it; snobbish incompetence at the top, resentful apathy at the bottom. This is England.

  3. ‘John McDonnell seethes with class resentment.’

    The class he resents most of all is the British working class, because it has manifestly failed to obey the Marxist prayer-book. That is why the Leftists need millions of immigrants as a replacement.

    • You are a bit off-base there mate. The English working class has almost monolithically supported Labour, to their own detriment perhaps. But then when the alternative is the Tories why wouldn’t they?
      The third world invasion is a bi-partisan policy. In the 68 years since 1950 the Tories have been in power for about 48 of those years, and have done absolutely nothing to control it.
      Labour are at least honest in their “one race, human race” idiocy.

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