Saturday, May 06, 2006

More on Britannia

Let me make this clear at the start: I think that Robert Sharp is a beautiful author. Unfortunately, much of the time, his view on politics is not only unrealistic, but also unreal. Robert feels the need to comment on my Britain should be Great post. He accuses me of being a whiney Righty which, as an author who has always tried to—from time to time—suggest practical ways out of the shithole that we are currently in, offends me greatly. So, even though I am a whinging bastard, let's take the wee laddie apart for a while...
[My commentary] is a variation on the ’self-hating white liberal’ cliche, and it really doesn’t stick. To repeat myself: Just because we might feel ‘guilty’ about the evils of our own history, that does not mean we cannot celebrate and take pride in the positive aspects too.

Well, yes, Robert; I am waiting for that too. Unfortunately, this was never taught in my most English of schools. When I said that the Left attempt to suppress the "great and glorious parts of our history", what I should have said is that they already have.
While we are indeed pissed off with “filthy, wasteful, greedy humans” it does not mean we cannot or do not delight in the amazing things that humanity does achieve.

No, I am not indeed pissed off with “filthy, wasteful, greedy humans” because I think that what we have achieved far outweighs any disasters that might be perceived. Only whinging Leftists cunts think that what has been achieved has been bad. Lefties think that humanity is here to tend to the planet: we are not. That is a fundamental difference of thought, and why we lump the loony eviro-numpties in with the Left. Essentially, the Left believe that the planet and the poor wee animals come first: the Right believes that humans come first and that the rest of the planet is dragged with them.
Indeed, wonder at humanity’s capacity to achieve great things is the foundation for the Left-whiners’ obsession with equal opportunity. If half of the world’s population are living in poverty, then somewhere there is a Hendrix, dying of AIDS in a Zimbabwean township. Somewhere in Glasgow there is an Einstein, overdosing on heroin. There exist people who are born to fail, and no amount of hard work or focus will allow them to escape the downward spiral. Yes, this makes me miserable, but it is not a prior state of mind. The misery is borne of a lament for humanity’s wasted generations. I feel bad about it, but it is a noble shame.

I actually have no idea what Robert is trying to say here. Seriously.
Nor do I wallow in this misery, and neither does Chicken Yoghurt, the target of DK’s ire. If Justin complains from time to time, it is nevertheless a wholly pro-active complaint, and ultimately a positive thing.

Justin always complains, and never offers any solutions. That is why he fits in so well at The Guardian's Comment Is Free.

And then Robert utterly misses the point of what I was trying to say, and deploys the Left's limpest argument.
nd this is precisely the point. We have evolved to a stage where we do not need to behave like animals anymore.

I really don't know how I can make this point any clearer, but I will try:
  1. Humans attempt to interact through social—that is to say, enviromental mores—that make living together, especially with differing views, easier but,

  2. we are the products of purely animal, indeed, Selfish Genes and will thus, at base, behave as such.

How can I possibly make this clearer? A biologist might understand, I suppose. Look, it is simple: we have animal... Look, stuff this: I put all of this in my previous post and, if you simply cannot understand the difference between nurture and nature, then email me and I will explain in massive detail. If you understand this difference and have read my post but do not understand what I am talking about, then please fuck off: you are a moron.
Tribalism is not politics. It is not about ideas, just random geography.

Are British ideas and mores different from those of the French? Yes. Is it random geography? No. Is it predicated upon the landmass on which we are raised? Yes.
We have evolved to the stage where we should be able to overcome these tribal differences.

A genuine dream of the Left, but still bollocks for all that.
With the birth of every mixed-race child, with every child born to parents of different nationalities, the tribes mix.

Not if the culture is the same and, quite obviously, the indigenous culture wishes every culture who stays to adapt to theirs. Otherwise, you get bombs on subways.
The fact is, we shall soon reach the point where there is only homo sapien, and nothing more.

In my last post, I talked about people who had their heads rammed up their arses. This is such a man. Do you see this progression? I don't. And how would you define "soon"? The trouble is with the Left is that they have these wonderful ideas about what humans might be, and utterly ignore what they actually are. What my last post really meant to say is, "wake up and look at your fellow man: stop dreaming your utopias because they do not—and will never—exist, you fuckwits".
This is an anathema to many right-whiners, who are in thrall to tradition and want to preserve their little clubs/countries.

When polled, the majority of British people are opposed to EU integration. By Robert's definition, this makes them Right-wing. Nevertheless, this is what they believe.

So, would you, Robert, tell them that they are wrong: that you know best? Welcome to the Robert-Knows-Best state. Or dictatorship, as it might be known. Because you, naturally, know what's best. Just as we patriarchs of the blogosphere (the most irrelevent opinion-mongers of all of the possible peddlers of ideas) know that no one would vote BNP because they actually believe in racist policies.
While paying lip-service to the idea of free markets and unfettered investment, they deny the labour market the chance to move in the same way.

If fisking me, why not stick to my articles, you fool? All that you then do is to give falsity to your argument by ascribing another's views as my own.
DK asks us to unite and make Britain great again. Why so little ambition? If you’re going to be a benevolent dictator, you may as well conquer the entire world.

Because I have always tried to address the art of the possible, not of the unobtainable. Do you take my nomenclature as "Benign Dictator" seriously, Robert? Really? Do I think that I could run the world well, and certainly make more people happy than are now? Yup; I think that I would do a darn sight better than most. Do I think that I could run this country better than anyone else? Using the principle of "he who governs best, governs least", then you are damn right I could. Will it happen? No. Do I seriously consider making it happen? No.
Borders hamper free-trade, stopping human beings from interacting, trading and working with one-another.

Borders, as in barriers, may do: the existence of countries does not.

It is rare that I am immensely disappointed in Robert Sharp; usually I disagree with him but this may be the first time that I have felt that he is merely regurgitating learned opinions. Furthermore, like most people of his mindset, he still offers only criticism and no practical solutions.

The existence of countries is vital: humankind needs organisations of a certain limited size size to operate (the NHS is a classic example of not only how central planning fails, but also the limit of the size of governable human organisations. Think of human organisation as being similar to the physical laws of temperature, heats of reaction and partial pressure: the equilibrium determines government efficiences).

Robert promises more on nationality soon: I'm not holding my breath.

17 comments:

Martin said...

DK,

Anyone who thinks we're all the same has never had to deal with a Czech whose Bluetooth isn't working.

Nosemonkey said...

Calm down dear, it's only the internet, it's only bloggers, and you've read far, far too much into the whole business (which makes your complaint that someone's been ascribing other people's views to you really rather amusing).

Seriously - step back and think about it for a bit, and you'll see that your unending stream of expletive-fuelled rants against Clarke, Blair and the rest might have warped your former quite decent analytical abilities. It's very easy to do - done it myself several times - and once you start it's very easy (and I mean this in the nicest possible way) to vanish completely up your own posterior in an overwhelming blaze of hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

Love and kisses (and fully aware of the hypocrisy contained within this little comment),

NM xxx

William Board said...

DK,

I fear you are indeed losing the plot but for different reasons than those ascribed by nosemonkey.

Why anybody on God's planet would pay any attention to Robert Sharp, the author of "Mouse", is utterly beyond me.

Quite the funniest blog entry I have read for a very, very long time.

mbe said...

DK, as ever, I find myself mostly in agreement with you but why wouldn't people vote for racist policies?

"Just as we patriarchs of the blogosphere...know that no one would vote BNP because they actually believe in racist policies."

If you're white, poor and surrounded by immigrants who you percieve are taking your jobs/homes/taxes etc then what exactly would stop you from being/acting racist?

Plenty of idiots believe in the utter bollocks Blair et al have been peddling for over a decade, there are still lefties who call themselves Marxists and Robert Sharp has demonstrated a level of ignorance that I fear is prevalent in Great Britain.

If people can be socialists, surely they can be racists?

Devil's Kitchen said...

NM,

Point taken. Will someone please stop me posting when I am drunk...?!

MBE, that is precisely my point. Although we, generally liberal, well-educated, middle-class denizens of the political blogosphere (probably) would not vote for racists, there is no indication that others wouldn't.

It is the constant refrain that those voting for the BNP can only be doing so because it is a protest vote that worries me. It is, as I have said, a very blinkered attitude.

DK

Robert said...

Sorry to disappoint DK, but as Nosemonkey says, this is blogging and I'm allowed a stream-of-consiousness rant too, y'know.

It wasn't my intention to closely fisk the previous post, just post a quick retort to something of yours. Indeed, the reference to "benevolent dictator" was not pulled from that post, but instead a nod - a tribute, if you will - to the output at the Devil's Kitchen as a whole. In the sober light of day it should also be clear that my post took a philosophical tack. So, guilty on the "head up arse" charge, if you must put it like that, but an apology would not be sincere.

It was perhaps a mistake to suggest that the disappearance of tribes will happen "soon" and you're right to question it ... but I do believe that the merging I speak of will eventually come about. I suspect that you do not. Either way, I think it is an interesting topic to philosophise about at present, because globalisation and digital communications are catalysing the process. (You've been talking about technology benefiting mankind in recent posts too).

To put it another way, I do not see why your point (1) should be subjugated to point (2).

Another reason I beleive in this merging, is because I see it happening anyway! We are two Englishmen in Scotland, for starters.

I join the world of practicalities at this point, asking the best way to ensure this merging happens in a manner that is positive for all. As it happens, I do not think that EU integration as presented to us fits that criteria, so I wouldn't be dictating to the British public on this point... but in any case, Europhobes were not the particular group of whiners I was whining about - More those who talk about our cultures (are 'tribes' the same thing?) as if they immutable, and take comfort in the idea of barriers to keep them sacrosanct. That viewpoint is an unattainable dream too.

Robert said...

Why anybody on God's planet would pay any attention to Robert Sharp, the author of "Mouse", is utterly beyond me.

William, you're too kind. I thought your comment took that post to a whole new level.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Robert,

Appreciated, and I apologise for the slightly aggressive tone: drink had been taken (damn, I really am into that Scottish culture).

As for being an Englishman living in Scotland, I never felt "English" until I did so: I had always considered myself "British". The tribalism of the Scots has, in itself, forced me to take a separate tribal identity.

I have had discussions with another friend who thinks almost precisely as you do, i.e. that tribes will disappear, and fairly soon.

As you point out, I can see little sign of it.

DK

Robert said...

The tribalism of the Scots has, in itself, forced me to take a separate tribal identity.

I've taken to describing myself as being part of the 'English Diaspora'.

Jim said...

As for being an Englishman living in Scotland, I never felt "English" until I did so: I had always considered myself "British". The tribalism of the Scots has, in itself, forced me to take a separate tribal identity.

Just as I've never felt so British as I do now I'm living abroad. These tribes, based on ethnicity, religion, nation or state, will be here for a long long time - what else is the EU but a push-and-shove game between various countries' national interests? However, Robert is right in that we should hope for (and towards) a world in which these tribal differences are not treated as grounds for hostility and hatred. Ex: Islamist terrorists are the enemy of people in Britain, the United States, Spain, Indonesia and Pakistan. It's not the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims that matters, it's the difference between those that practice and support terrorism and those that don't.

Anonymous said...

Stop splitting infinites. Please. English edjication eh?

Gavin Ayling said...

anonymous, I'm trying hard to clearly see what you mean (it's the best I could do)!

DK, You're right, cultures will not merge any time soon. And that is for one reason above all others -- humans tend to tribalise. If the 1 billion people in China and 1 billion in India ll decided to inter-marry, you would soon have that 400,000 people that didn't starting to form a tribe of non-Indo Chinese. There's no way that even in a few generations the tribes can be wiped out. A disproportionate number of my friends are not English (or British) and I do tend to find their cultural attitudes more pleasant... But their countrymen back at home have completely different attitudes in a civic and democratic sense.

If sociologists want to understand humanity and try to bring about some utopian future, they must remember in the meantime that there are people willing to blow themselves limb from limb in order to further their own 'God's' cause.

Sadly, the future will only bring new conflicts and new arguments. Should the robotic US army really be invading country X? Should robotic workers start pushing people out of jobs, will the BNP be robotist? Will Africa ever be free of militia and rebels? All the time Africans live under fear of coup d'etat, there's little chance of large numbers of Europeans moving there in any sense except as ex-pats.

The merging of cultures might be a distant result of humanity's movements but I suspect that we'll be colonising Mars long before there's a single cultural humanity. And then there will be better-educated Martians taking our jobs....

Let's stop worrying about what would be ideal, and trying to change the world of today so that humans, for all their flaws, can be happy and wealthy.

Oh, and environmentalists should remember that in geological time humans have not been around long at all and, again in that timeframe, the Earth will heal itself of human interactions whatever we do to the tiger and panda today.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Let's stop worrying about what would be ideal, and trying to change the world of today so that humans, for all their flaws, can be happy and wealthy.

Precisely my attitude, Gavin.

If you are always aiming towards an unobtainable ideal, then you cannot deal realistically with how to do that, given that humans are not an ideal species.

DK

AntiCitizenOne said...

DK,
The phrase I think you're looking for is "Socialism: nice idea, wrong species"

Of course when the laughter dies down you can explain why socialism isn't even a nice idea.

qwan said...

My 2ps worth. Tribal allegiences are not 'firmly entrenched' and immutable. Nor are countries. So isn't it actually the Right who is seeking an unobtainable, unrealistic Utopia ? They posit an artificial tribe, fixed in time, in say 1950. The Right's answers to these difficult questions of how we all get along - seems to be one great howl of longing, coupled with a hatred of everything perceived to have induced this new terrible state in which they live. The Other.
If only we could just Return to another Age. A previous life. An old state. Their unobtainable ideal is surely this desire to go, Back to the Past.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Tribal allegiences are not 'firmly entrenched' and immutable. Nor are countries.

No? Examples? I would say that they are, unless you can give me concrete examples to the contrary.

So isn't it actually the Right who is seeking an unobtainable, unrealistic Utopia ?

Um, no. As you pointed out, Right is something difficult to define. The total free-marketeers, e.g. Worstall, see borders as either mutable or irrelevent. To an extent I see them as irrelevent for trade purposes but, unlike Worstall, I do not think that trade is, or should be, the sole motivator for our interactions.

They posit an artificial tribe, fixed in time, in say 1950. The Right's answers to these difficult questions of how we all get along - seems to be one great howl of longing, coupled with a hatred of everything perceived to have induced this new terrible state in which they live. The Other.
If only we could just Return to another Age. A previous life. An old state. Their unobtainable ideal is surely this desire to go, Back to the Past.


Qwan, I think that your notion of what is "Right" is far too entreched in what one might call "Conservatism", the hankering for a past that didn't exist (at least for most people).

That is certainly not the angle which I am coming from (although there are aspects of the past that I do hanker for; smaller government, ready charity and less than 60% of the population paying income tax, to name but three). I am trying to find working solutions to the problems that currently engulf us.

Constant increases in the size of government, in public spending and in government controlled services is not working: so, in a world in which I could do as I wished, how would I approach these problems? It is rather pointless to simply rail against the world unless one can offer one's own solutions.

DK

qwan said...

Examples ? I dunno, maybe I'm not getting it. can I flip it and ask, what aspects of this tribe we live in, are entrenched and immutable ?
Say you and I, we have lots in common for sure. But I have lots in common with my French mates too - more than with the few Scots I know for sure. I love elements of my culture but also prefer some aspects of imported cultures over my own. My first allegiance was via my dad to Liverpool FC, now it's to Charlton Athletic. I used to be into Raving, too old now. Until recently I knew NOTHING about Poland. Now I have a Polish girlfriend and have a new knowledge and allegiance to that fine country. I used to think I was on the Left - now I don't know where the fuck I belong ! So who knows what new tribes I will join and leave throughout my life ?

Did Boris Johnson and Vote Leave lie about the £350m per week?

Short answer: no. Slightly longer answer: Vote Leave did play fast and loose with the actual definitions—hey! it's marketing. And in...