Tuesday, April 03, 2007

[summary] ten points to put you off your breakfast

[Update: interesting little addition to this post. A few seconds after posting it, I went to the kitchen and reached for the ladle to scoop some soup into a bowl. The ladle has a hole at the end of the handle and embedded in this, by accident, was my carving knife. So, as I whipped the ladle out of the pot, the knife came too, it span in the air and the point went straight for my Crown Jewels. I jumped and it missed. Don't worry, I'm not relating it to the post below, of course. Even I'm not that crazy.]
Let me apologize in advance for this post. Basically, I've tried to catalogue the current direction of society and had to stop at ten points. I couldn't take any more:

1] The debt economy. We are in hock as people weren't in the 50s and 60s. This gives the financiers enormous leverage into every household. We are suckling piglets on a bloated mother pig and it's worsening. It makes the average household economics-sensitive. Half a percentage point change can tip the average person over the edge.

This was never the case earlier. Apart from the mortgage and car, that was basically it and banks were still friendly places one went to chat to the teller.

2] The credit binge, which CityUnslicker mentioned, is a component of this. Inch by inch, while the Fed [see my recent posts] artificially holds interest rates, as they've stated themselves [October 2006], until 2011 and other central banks [this is an assertion in the case of the New York controlled Fed] follow suit, the scene is being prepared.

3] The move to the tightening of security and militarization of society. Biometrics, fingerprinting, the surreptitious ID card. And for what? Fear of terrorists? I ran a poll where the vast majority of respondents said Blair knew before 7/7 and many claim to have evidence of the same in the US. The pollies can't have it both ways. Either it was gross incompetence in the face of an obviously developing scenario or else it was something else.

Then there is the increasing presence of troops on the street or newly armed police virtually as troops, at all points of access and egress, in shopping centres, in all public places. The people are becoming more and more used to it.

4] The introduction of seemingly insane legislation, e.g. in Britain with the 'schools lottery' and a host of others [just click on any website] impossible to even start to cover here. And all with the agenda to progressively control and direct more and more and to reduce choice.

5] The deterioration of health services, e.g. the NHS, the 'dumbing down' of education and the employment of moral relativists at all levels to ensure its ongoing deterioration, together with moves in social security which attract less press.

6] The descent into, not just tolerance of but an embracing of, porn, deviance and the raising of the high prostitute, e.g. Paris Hilton, to a place of pre-eminence and virtual adulation by the young. It happened with Tiberius, then Caligula, then Messalina; it happened in the French revolution when a prostitute was placed on the altar at Notre Dame. It's happening again.

The resigned tolerance of the middle generation for what youth is doing is galling and they're doing far more than we did, e.g. the Chav. The unprecedented smothering and extinction of the Cross and attempts to wean the average person away from a moral code and into the worship of wealth is a central tenet of this in western society, whose moral code wouldn't have tolerated these things 30 years ago.

7] The marginalization of dissent. Guido wrote on this phenomenon. Why so surprised? It has always been the way to go - marginalize, vilify, isolate and then spirit the person away. The laughable Petitions to the PM are just that. No one in his right mind thinks anything will come of it. Except for one thing - you're all now on file.

Posts such as this are a perfect example. They deny the blogger access to the Thinking Bloggers Club and consign him to the outskirts of the kook internetter.

8] The inexorable move to war. Merkel's recent comments underline this. No one had been openly talking of war but she introduced it into the European 'think space', in her bid for a German led European Army. Buchan's 'very dangerous people' [from below], who have never altered, it being inter-generational [see Jeckyll Island for evidence of that], are itching for a conflagration.

And why not? Defeated in the referenda, trying to get the constitution through the back door - it's immensely frustrating. But these are patient people who are acting a trifle less patiently just now and for what reason? Why at this time?

9] The open lying by Blair, Bush and the EU. Caught many times in lies, they're either incompetent, arrogant or both. The arrogance betrays the power behind them, rather than them themselves. The EU's attitude towards its auditing procedures is staggering [see Euroserf's articles on this].

10] The immense governmental wastage and the dearth of effective policy. No need to explain. The dearth of competence in leadership is related to this. Can you name a single competent leader, on either side of the Atlantic, who will not be marginalized or go the way Blair and Bush have gone? Transvestite Rudy?

This blogger asserts that there is absolutely no accident in any of this. Society follows the lead of the leaders, no matter how they might think otherwise, e.g. carbon dating, e.g. the Vietnam War. The people have no power - it's not been wrested from them - they never had it in the first place. democracy is a fear-dulling, calming delusion.

John Buchan, British MP and Governor General of Canada, in his '39 Steps', was introducing the character, Scudder, upon whose revelations the plot developed:

… [Scudder had] spent a year or two in South-Eastern Europe. I gathered that he was a fine linguist, and had got to know pretty well the society in those parts. He spoke familiarly of many names that I remembered to have seen in the newspapers.

… I read him as a sharp, restless fellow, who always wanted to get down to the root of things. He got a little further down than he wanted.

I am giving you what he told me as well as I could make it out. Away behind all the Governments and the armies there was a big subterranean movement going on, engineered by very dangerous people.

He had come on it by accident; it fascinated him; he went further, and then he got caught. I gathered that most of the people in it were the sort of educated anarchists that make revolutions, but that beside them there were financiers who were playing for money. A clever man can make big profits on a falling market, and it suited the book of both classes to set Europe by the ears.

He told me some queer things that explained a lot that had puzzled me—things that happened in the Balkan War, how one state suddenly came out on top, why alliances were made and broken, why certain men disappeared, and where the sinews of war came from ...

Leaving aside the year, 1915 - an interesting year for such fiction to be published - what of the assertions through the mouth of Buchan's character? I'd have dismissed them as mere imaginings, if my wider reading hadn't turned up things which became more and more dire as the material went on.

In 2002, my friend was in America when the June 2003 withdrawal from Iraq was being mooted. Being of a pragmatic, military frame of mind, he didn't believe when I said there was not going to be any withdrawal, especially given the 1990 version of the same. 'Oil?' he suggested. 'Only partly. The agenda's to destabilize the region and set it by the ears.' I provided material to back this up.

When I later suggested that Abu Ghraib was no accident and that the infighting was only going to escalate and swamp the US, in the end he jumped ship and put it down to my fertile imaginings. He now says that it's not that he doesn't accept it but that it's too dire to contemplate, if it is so.

You can see from the blogosphere that everyone with a computer has his own 'take' on events and isn't really interested in anyone else's, except insofaras it supports his own conclusions. Also, there is a tendency to see events in isolation, even though they never ever are - there is always cause and effect, always an agenda behind them or at least behind their root causes.

And it filters down from above and covers us with its ordure.

Have a lovely day.

[Update update: now I've just gone to pour a little sauce into the soup. The sauce bottle slipped and the contents went into the sugar. Then the toast burned and the e-mail provider was down. I'm having a lovely day and it hasn't even started.]

[Update update update: regular readers would know that, though I might put strange interpretations on events, I never make them up. Just now I walked into the only cupboard door in the house with a corner on a line with the forehead. The bleeding's slowing but what the girls will make of the scar today I don't know. Oh, and the water supply has been cut off. Zilch. No water. This happened twenty minutes ago [now 09:34]. Later I am travelling to the centre to work and that should be more than interesting. Oh, the container of water I had has now fallen over and spilt. this is getting interesting. Who needs Final Destination?]


  1. James, I have days like yours, when even the milk bottle conspires against me. I accept that much of what you say is undoubtedly correct, but the human condition is in constant flux. The degenerate Roman Empire gave way to the so called 'Dark Ages' (only because the classcists of the 18th Century believed they were the dark ages) The Dark Ages were a period in which all previous norms were stood on their head, new religions, laws being encoded, new styles of art. I value the blogosphere because it has given me the encouragement that this is a medium were ideas and the green shoots of new movements and thought are to be seen and read. I prefer to see the medium as a series of challenging pamphlets than online newspapers where you seek to reinforce your own views. I have been challenged once or twice on my views- and it is good. Take heart from the fact that the Government wants to regulate the blogosphere- its because they do not like what they are reading.

  2. There was a time not so long ago when I would have believed the government if they said that the sailors had not gone into Iranian territory (unintentionally or otherwise); now I assume it is a lie. Part of a bigger game in which truth plays no part.

  3. Chill, James. Life is better than the alternative. We have all had days like that. And as for the ten points, I would never willingly have listed them all like that, if for no other reason that I might set my friends looking for the next ten. Any one of them would be sufficient to cope with at any one time!

  4. 1915

    A date well chosen, when all we see before us now was set in motion.

  5. There is a theory that this is a personal Hell and everything is happening to you as a punishment.

    It's why queues you go in stop while those next to you go faster. If you swap the same thing happens there. It's why something you start an interest in becomes banned or restricted. Age limits cause your car insurance to go up as you hit that age where they should come down and theother insurance, life etc, go up all the time. Time limits stop you going to places that you enjoy. Now you can afford to travel a bit it's not seen as a good thing and will cost you more and make you a heathen. Things you believe in suddenly become No No's and nobody can see your point of view. Talking about your beliefs can take you to prison with no recourse. And it's why you stub your toes while walking through your house for the millionth time looking for the last bulb that blew in the middle of the evening just after the shops closed.

    It's just a theory but sometimes it sounds so true.

  6. Blimey, James, shall I just stick my head in the oven now? I'm sorry your day started so badly and you have my true empathy re the water supply! Hope the head wound isn't still hurting. There are days when everything is against us, yes.
    It's a brilliant post and I agree with much of it. Yes, a tiny rise in interest rates can tip someone over the edge now and it never used to be like this. I also agree with you on the interconnectedness of it all, as you know. I don't agree that no one's interested in other points of view, though and what I think is great about the blogosphere is that most of us can find something to agree with in blogs which are far removed from our own political standpoint [eg I read a lot of Tory ones because they are well written but I am far from being a Tory]. Hope you have a better evening.

  7. Guthrum [thanks], Liz, Tom, Wolfie, Bag and Welshcakes - many, many thanks. I had a wonderful day for people and to come home and read these just restores my faith in humankind.

    As long as this side is OK, the technica can take care of itself.

  8. The points you make are of course true and are symptoms of a serious systematic rot and, IMHO reasonably imminent crisis across the Western democratic world.
    They can see it coming, that's why they are arming themselves against the situation to come.
    I think it's going to get nasty.
    That's just my opinion.

  9. Agree, CbyI. By the way, hope to get you into things over here as soon as poss.

  10. James,

    As usual a very provocative post. Thank you.

    There is obviously no single factor responsible for the declines you chart; but a very significant proportion of the blame can be laid at the doors of elites who have sought to destroy historic and social absolutes and replace them with inherently volatile markets.

    Instead of an Englishman's home being his castle, it's now his retirement fund. Social mobility is now measured not by the extent of one's education or achievement but how big one's house is - nothing else. Tom Friedman famously, and wrongly, wrote that 'The World is Flat'; well the world is most certainly not flat, but the elites' active pursuit of markets for both morals and values has rendered our social bonds as fungible as the market for a pint of milk.

    Economics, or more particularly an over-emphasis on the gross selfishness peddled by the faintly diabolical Friedrich von Hayek and rehashed by James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock and others into 'public choice', bears a very significant proportion of the blame. The UK was lost the day Thatcher took out a volume of Hayek, slapped it down on the table and thundered 'This is what we believe'. That was the United Kingdom's real 'Year Zero'; the point where the elites made it clear that all that was old and good about us would be smashed and that we would be remade according to the vision of a foreigner.

    It was if Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and the previous 1,000 years of history had ceased to exist.

    Ir's perhaps no coincidence that the decline of religion and its associated values has seen the rise of economics as a secular religion whose priests believe they can answer all human problems with some back of the fag packet calculus, McEquations, and very liberal usage of the word 'If'. They are slavishly doctrinaire in their adherence to the true faith, and regard all who oppose their beliefs and teachings as heretics.

  11. James, As usual a very provocative post. Thank you.

    Not so bad yourself, old chap. Check a new post soon, mentioning this.