Society disintegrates

We will all have to do this soon?

This week’s Spectator features that rare event in the mainstream conservative press, an article that suggests conservatism is not all about global markets, small government, open borders, and general laissez-faire – but that it values traditions, attachments, and communities, even classes and hierarchies, and is protectionist, even green. In short, conservatives are not laissez-faire liberals, neither socially nor economically. 

Tim Stanley, one of the most thoughtful commentators in the conservative press, has penned the article. Modern laissez-faire atomistic conservatives will be shocked by the suggestion that traditional Toryism was more like ‘socialism with medieval characteristics’ or that traditional conservatives ‘have more in common with socialists – who at least value community over the individual – than they do with ultra-liberals’. But that is only because they do not have a conservative bone in their bodies.

Yet though the article is commendable so far as it goes, Stanley, all too predictably, evades the existential issues:

First, there cannot be an organic community, a ‘cohesive’ society, without a common culture of shared norms, traditions, obligations, customs, and experiences, into which newcomers are assimilated; the prevailing orthodoxy of multiculturalism, along with its mantras of diversity and inclusion, spiced up with critical race theory, aims to destroy that common culture. True, it is a moot point whether there is anything left of that common culture – of the host culture –for newcomers to assimilate into. But the issue is clear enough.  

Second, there cannot be a cohesive society founded on private property, familial attachments, and individual freedoms (as opposed to forced collectivisation) unless it is accepted that privileges will naturally arise and outcomes will differ; the fashionable dogma of equality of opportunity (or ‘levelling up’, or ‘the war on privilege’, or ‘social justice’) is therefore antithetical to these conservative values.

Perhaps I am being unfair. There is only so much you can incorporate in a thousand-word article. Tim Stanley’s book Whatever Happened to Tradition? is now out, and perhaps that is where he tackles the twin dogmas of multiculturalism and equality of opportunity (aka the war on privilege), bravely risking his reputation, his liberal credentials, in the process. But I shan’t be holding my breath.

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19 Comments on Society disintegrates

  1. All the unpleasant talk and consequent unhappiness when races are mixed.

    I wonder if separate development would help reduce all the bad things that are said and done by the various races to one another.

    And such separatism might assist in the reduction of violence put upon the less violent races by the more violent races, and improve productivity among the more productive races, as they would not have to deal with all the destructive consequences of affirmative action cases among members of the less capable races-

    -or as perpetrated by these latter just as they walk the streets and/or drive motor vehicles, and/or wield machetes, and/or invade the homes of the more productive, less violent races.

  2. In one of his early essays, G K Chesterton wrote to the effect that anybody who didn’t share the Socialists’ concern for the poor was not a Conservative but a monster. Such archetypal Tory thinkers as Sir Walter Scott and Dr Johnson would have agreed. After we’ve got rid of Wokery, the next thing to be got rid of is Whiggery, including the pernicious kind of Whiggery that nowadays calls itself Socialism.

    Thank you for extracting the small amount of possible Toryism that is to be found in the Whig press, so that the rest of us don’t have to sift through the garbage to find it.

  3. A crucial suppressed or ignored truth in discussions of “racism” in the UK is that England has been the ethnic domain of the “white” English people. It has contained small non-English groups and individuals, both white and not white, but the predominant institutions and culture have been English in origin and character, and rightly so. The evidence for this in history, literature, personal memory and photography is overwhelming and unquestionable.
    The only way apart from foreign military conquest to transform a settled English “monocultural nation” into a “multicultural society”, and eventually an Afro-Asian-Mulatto republic, was through mass-immigration and settlement, i.e. “unarmed” invasion (terrorists and gun-criminals apart) by people who were not white English. This possibility was rejected by the post-WW2 Royal Commission on Population, and during the eary stages of the kick-starting “Windrush Revolution”, was questioned by Labour as well as Conservative MPs; and never wanted by the native English. A process of colonisation, which marginalises and vilifies the indigenous people and their defining heritage, is now equally
    falsely described as “decolonisation”; and any resistance to gradual genocide is likewise described and incrementally criminalised as “racism”.
    For three decades I have advocated for our people: (1) have more healthy babies (resist the birth-strike and sterile pansexualism); (2) protect, preserve and promote the cultural patrimony in every possible way; (3) master the technology as well as content of the internet.
    Join organisations still legally permitted like The Royal Society of St George.

  4. To me, arguments about who has been guided by which guru and/or influenced by which celebrity, by correct or mistaken interpretation, is not useful-

    -if the aim is to arrest/delay our decline into full anti-Westernism.

    Main matter is: How to encourage sufficient numbers of pro-Westerners to spend their own time and their own money in strategic, goal-directed activities, in alliance with like-minded others, to save the joint.

  5. Tim Stanley is a cowardly, time serving snivel, happy to air his vacuous “red Toryism” at a time when socialism itself is newly fashionable. So much for him. As for the deeper issues, it is precisely that “medieval” socialism which held Europe in ignorance and superstition for a thousand years between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance; and precisely the free market, which, as the most potent expression of enlightened liberty, led to our prosperity and freedom. Any right wing force or person which forgets this forgets everything. And no, it is not linked to the left’s caricature of “globalism”, in which an unaccountable international bureaucracy uses mass demographic change to extend socialist levels of control. The global free market has always allowed for the control of migration as in the first Liberal Economic Order of 1870 – 1914. Why? Because it knows that the conventions of law, crucial to market success, rest on conventions of culture and that these are established among settled populations over time; there is no other way. It is typical of Stanley-like wet blankets to truckle to the left, to forget the deep, ethno-cultural foundations of any truth their points may have and to play the left’s game of setting social against economic conservatism. That his vacuous sentimental maunderings receive such respectful attention is itself another sign of our imminent destruction.

    • Rubbish. Classical laissez-faire liberals are not Tories. Roger Scruton founded this magazine to criticise Thatcherism from an old Tory standpoint – the same Thatcherism that Peregrine Worsthorne accused of being ‘spectacularly destructive’ of everything we know and love about this country. They were neither Red Tories nor socialists.
      Global markets and unfettered laissez-faire destroy communities, traditions, local loyalties. They spell open borders, cheap labour, mass immigration (the free flow of labour), asset stripping by private equity sharks in search of a quick buck, and the buying up of our strategic industries by the Chinese who operate a mercantilist trade policy. Not much convention of law or culture about the Chinese Communist Party, yet they ride rings around us in the global marketplace.

      • What a mass of fallacies! I note you simply ignore the point about the first LIEO of 1870 – 1914 – doesn’t fit in with your rant, does it? Then there’s the reliance on emotive terminology – sharks etcetera; and the point about mercantilist China flies straight into your red Tory face, for are you not advocating mercantilism yourself, the only alternative to global free trade? Second, if an economy is not playing fair then there are ways of bringing it to heel, as Trump showed; had he not been pushed out of office – by what means, who knows? – then mercantilist China would have continued paying the price for its misbehaviour. As for Peregrine Worsthorne, a mindless foppish flibbertigibbet and snob, anyone who relies on him for authority sinks straight into cesspool. Scruton is way above being yoked with spavined animal such as him; and Scruton accepted free market economies in precisely the way that most Conservatives do – making allowance for the control of migration, as I point out in my initial remarks. Perhaps if you allowed attention to what your opponents actually say greater priority than the venting of angry prejudice, you might come up with some reasonable remarks.

        • ‘There is no logical identity between conservatism and capitalism … The connection arises because the need for private property stems automatically from the basic attitude of conservatism … Perhaps the most simple-minded case for something called ‘conservatism’ consists in the argument that a ‘free market’ economy is a guarantee of national wealth … Such arguments present us with a vision of politics that is desultory indeed … There was a time, indeed, when the English Tory party stood against the ‘market’ economy, not in the interests of national wealth, but in the interests of a social order which it felt quite rightly to be threatened by it’.

          Roger Scruton (The Meaning of Conservatism)

    • Stanley is a Catholic. He notes the “religious” character of wokism but not the “altruism” that it shares with Christianity.
      Mr Openshaw’s analysis of “free” trade is quite correct. The key theme of fascist economics in reality was to ensure that sufficient food and raw materials were within the political territory of the people.

    • Rome, from its founding to its fall, was characterised by ignorance and superstition. For every Seneca there were a dozen Neros; for every Virgil, a dozen Petroniuses. What is preserved of Rome is what the allegedly ignorant and superstitious Middle Ages chose to preserve, which is the minority element in Roman culture that the superior Middle Ages approved of.

      As for the Renaissance, it gave us the depravity of Boccacio and the cynicism of Machiavelli, both of which are still with us. If that’s what’s on offer, bring back the Dark Ages, I say!

      • To me, Machiavelli offers useful guidance -Realism and Pragmatism in the context of the superstition, parasitism, and indolence that are the perennial characteristics and features of Life-on-Earth.

        Today’s Wokery (an expression of superstition, parasitism, and indolence) in pursuit of zero-cost Virtue by both the elites and ordinary denizens of the contemporary West might be overcome -but it would require unswerving attention to the details of Reality and the application of extreme Pragmatic measures, never-endingly.

      • You’re welcome to them – inept, repetitious architecture – no domes, no broad ceilings, no strict uniformity in decorative detail; inaccurate, leering, goblin-statuary; no perspective; no anatomy; no science worth the name; no fresh supplies of water; no bathing; no food – starvation, oppression, disease and threats of hell. And to top it all off, hysterical prudishness which condemned persons of sensibility to crushed, sexless, living hells – sometimes in dens of misery called “monasteries”. As for calling Boccacio “depraved” presumably you take the same petty mindedly censorious approach to Shakespeare, Homer, Zola, Catullus, Flaubert, Lawrence, Colette, Chaucer and co? Chaucer, a notable critic of the prevailing ethos of his day, exposing its built in hypocrisy… This so called age of “faith” was a cess pit of gibbering insanity, until Leonardo and Luther put us right.

        • In fact, Homer, Chaucer and Shakespeare are among my favourite authors. They differ from Boccaccio and Machiavelli in their loving concern for individual human beings, no two of whom, as depicted in their writings, are alike. Nothing could be less like the anti-humanism of of Whigs, Marxists and Thatcherites.

  6. I am beginning to feel oppressed as a white heterosexual male of English ancestry as I watch television programmes, from soaps to adverts, literally dominated by black faces, gay presenters, mixed-race families, continual one-sided lectures on themes such as climate change, migrant welcome and gender bending, a combination to paraphrase 1984 of “Wokespeak” and “Pornfeed”, plus the Memory Hole revision of the national history of the original population of this green and pleasant island, managed by BLM agitators, and “we’re the masters now” like Afua Hirsch and David Olusoga. White “privilege”!!!!

    • Writing this on Tuesday 19 October 2021 I am watching a Channel 5 programme on Slavery in gruesome detail, i.e. mainly Anglo-Saxon cruelty, not African or Muslim. “White supremacy was an English invention,” says the actor David Harewood, among other successful black celebrities in the programme. Earlier I watched as many as 7 successive black-only or black-led advertisements. Switch to BBC-4 Lenny Henry doing a sketch about racism in a British pub. Switch to Channel 4 – how we can fix climate change. ITV+1 Ashley Banjo – racism & dance. ITV4+1 women jockeys. E4 – Naked Attraction (pimping). I ignore the Horror, US pyromania movies, &c. Netflix is not much better with “Anne of Green Gables” rewritten as woke activist propaganda.

      • Sunday 24 October – in a room with ten males of all ages gawpingly mesmerised by a “football match” on a huge wall-goggle-box. I said to an unequally uninterested young lady: “Just look at their eyes. Perfect victims of brainwashing. All it needs is for some subliminal message to flash across the television.” Moments later, exactly that. A “get-rid-of-racism” suddenly came on screen for a second, and was then repeated at intervals during the “game”.

  7. This article contains excellent and important points.

    Now the question is: Who will fight this evil and the people who propagate this evil?

    And among those few willing to fight, do you know that this is a fight that we must win -or we will be enslaved and then wiped out.

    So it’s: Who’s up for sacrificing one’s life -or at least a good deal of one’s time and one’s money- to push this evil right outa our social system.

  8. Alistair
    As I do not have a Spectator subscription I have not read the article in question.
    I enjoyed reading your analysis on the Cohesive society, privilege, equality of opportunity etc. but I’m wondering why you entitled the article “society disintegrates”? Perhaps I need to read The Spectator to find out.
    On the other hand, I agree that society is disintegrating, not because of anything raised in your piece but because of the authoritarianism we see in response to the pandemic. For now, the problem appears worse abroad. In the US, for example, vaccine mandates are forcing millions out of a job simply for wanting the right to choose what is good or bad for their own health. Human rights and the rule of law are being trashed before our eyes and tyranny is the order of the day.
    Naomi Wolf lists ten steps to tyranny in her book “The end of America”. The last step before total control, number ten, she says has now been achieved by this current crisis of health.
    Philosophising on well worn political science issues is all very well but isn’t it a bit like tinkering while Rome burns?
    (incidentally, on the subject of US matters, I hope you have noted that the Arizona audit has uncovered 50,000 illegal votes in the 2020 election – margin of Dem victory 10,000 – the election was stolen!!)