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Delusional Europe and Authoritarian Britain

The fact that large numbers of French people are going to vote against the ghastly EU Constitution because it favours too much free trade and does not isolate Europe from competition even more than it already does is almost beyond parody. That most British people will (if given the chance) vote against it because it does quite the opposite just shows that the notion of having both nations as part of the same political structure is truly unsustainable.

Similarly the idea that some doctors could call for sharp pointed kitchen knives to be banned without being widely ridiculed in the press for being evil totalitarians indicates that Britain too has some grave social and intellectual deficiencies amongst the media classes. For all their bizarre political notions regarding that big-statist’s charter called the EU Constitution, it is hard to see the French trying to ban pointed kitchen knives from people’s homes.

So what will it take to snap people back to reality? Or is it just too damn late for that and the only thing left is to get the hell out and leave the lunatics in change of the asylum?

Maybe that is exactly what the US needs too, an influx of liberty seeking (or at least sanity seeking) folks from Europe who have seen the reality of what happened to a culture when it allows all the things the Democrats (and quite a few big-state Republicans) want to do in the USA. Who knows, if enough of them get citizenship they might be around in time to help make sure that Hillary only gets one term in office. Shudder.

33 comments to Delusional Europe and Authoritarian Britain

  • Stehpinkeln

    Hillery won’t get elected. To many skeletons in that extra-large walk-in closet. Nominated for sure, but she has the highest negative ratings of ANY of the potential canidates. Plus her latest escape won’t go unchallenged. Why her bag man walked will be a matter of great political interest over the next few years.
    And if anyone thinks the Swift Boat Veterans were mean and vicious, you havn’t seen the Anti-Hillery Crowd yet. They are a 200Lb Rottweiler compared to the Swifties Toy Poodle. Now the Republicans can lose to her, but I doubt tha they will. Look for Gullani to run against Hillery. McCain might get talked into taking a walk across the Isle as her VP. He has zero chance of winning the Republican nomination after his betrayal on Black Monday. I have already sent my ‘not one dime’ notice off. I included by Party card cut in half.
    I hope Hill-de-beast does run. I am curious to see if she committed fraud or perjury during Whitewater. It has to be one of those two, there is no choice ‘C’. Hillery will not win a single southern state. No President can get elected while being swept in the south.

  • John in omaha

    We welcome any and all libertarian free thinkers to Omaha! However, we don’t really need you guys in this city, we already control most of it. But I doubt you’d come here anyway. :)

    I have to agree with the poor spelling Stehpinkeln–there is no way Hilary will win. There are plenty of Democrats who know she is an extremely polarizing figure, and they won’t support her for the nomination. Or the Dems can stay on their path to self-destruction.

  • John in omaha

    (Yes, Hilliry was not spelled correctly by me either. She doesn’t deserve to be spelled well.)

    :)

  • Mark Rosenbaum

    It’s always hard to leave somewhere where one has lived for a long time, but there may come a time when there is no other choice but move, or die. My advice to any decent person in the UK is to transfer what assets you can, and to be prepared to abandon everything else and flee, if and when you must.

    I hope it will never get that bad. But I fear it may.

  • anonymous coward

    Anyone can be an American if they believe in America; many are born Americans on the other side of the globe and then find their way here.

    We could use more people who appreciate this country, so y’all come, hear?

    Here in the South we need some folks to offset the people who ruined New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and who can’t understand how those places got to be the way they are. These folks tire of high taxes and over-regulation and then move down here to escape, bringing along the same ideas and attitudes that ruined those states.

  • Verity

    Mark Rosenbaum, What a nice post – although, if where you have been living has sapped your will to live and you see human-ness deflating into being a handy little cog of the state, then it shouldn’t be that hard to choose freedom!

    That is what all the original immigrants to America did, after all, and they’d never seen it on TV [insert cynical jokes here], nor even seen a photograph of it. They’d only heard it was a land of hope, and they hungered for it. And the vast majority of them stayed, and made a country.

    And, at this critical time (although it will be de-criticalised if the right result wasn’t forthcoming), we shouldn’t forget that the French optimists were right there with the British optimists. Without them there’d be no Cajun music and no Cajun food. So let us send positive vibes to the families they left behind a couple of centuries ago … Soyez francais! Soyez difficile! Votez NON!

  • Dale Amon

    As much as I hate to say it… if the Republicans ran John McCain, I’d even vote for Hillary. I’d vote for *anyone* who could keep that totalitarian out of office.

  • Paul Rattner

    Keep sending us your best and your brightest! We can always use more. Just as in WW2 our German scientists were better than their German scientists, America welcomes YOU.

    We need your help dealing with our own domestic authoritarians. Please come!

  • There’s an interesting social phenomenon where if you put a person in a room with a large group of people, all of whom resolutely claim to believe something obviously false (e.g. “It’s the year 2100″), the person will eventually begin questioning their sanity and, given enough time and enough people, actually begin to believe them).

    So the question is whether the US will continue to value freedom if it’s the only nation left that does so.

  • John Rippengal

    Well the grass is always greener ….
    And it’s true that if you are interested in guns and suchlike it is certainly freer on the western side of the Atlantic. If though you are of African descent I wouldn’t reckon on too many chances for you running an atheists club in Alabama. Pretty certain to get a little visit from some white hooded gentlemen.

  • Wild Pegasus

    If you’re moving from the UK, skip the US and move right to Ireland. We’ll probably all be there in a few years, anyway, if Bush and his commie cronies get their way.

    – Josh

  • guy herbert

    “So the question is whether the US will continue to value freedom if it’s the only nation left that does so.”

    Quite. In the absence of competing views of freedom, freedom becomes indistinguishable from slavery. We should also question of how much the US does value freedom, and what sort of freedoms it values.

    There is not a linear continuum from free to unfree. Nor should we assume that there is an exact correspondence between the express belief in “freedom” and practical support for personal liberty.

    However, a great number of Americans (of widely differing views) assume precisely that. Their political culture is literalist and legalist, which has positive aspects but has also poisoned and continues to poison the international order through the Wilsonian conception of international law.

    I’ve often reflected on where I should run to. But I’ve come to realise that if you run you strengthen the enemies of liberty all over the world, and help to ensure globalised state-slavery will prevail. While there is room to stand and fight we should use it to do so.

  • It is no easy thing to emigrate in this day and age.

    200 years ago, you bought a ticket on a ship, took your chances with Davy Jones, and when you got to your destination, voila!. Not anymore.

    In Australia, the state is very demanding in terms of taxation, and if you are running a business, you have to be mindful of the regulations that your competitiors will have encouraged the government to impose to restrict competition. And of course, you can forget about firearms. Apart from that the State doesn’t take that much interest in dominating its subjects around here, just yet, anyway. So from that point of view, I’m unlikely to pack up just yet.

  • John Rippengal

    “……………..the US will continue to value freedom if it is the only nation left that does so.”

    The USA founded on the ideas of English philosophers and writers such as John Locke, David Hume (actually a Scot I think) John Stuart Mill etc has always proclaimed itself as the “The land of the Free”
    Guy Herbert very politely puts it “Nor should we assume that there is an exact correspondence between express belief in “Freedom” and practical support for personal liberty” Undrstatement indeed.

    I would say that historically there is very little correspondence between freedom and the USA.
    For the first century of its existence a very substantial percentage of its citizens were slaves following which there was vicious segregation, denial of franchise both judicial and non-judicial disenfranchisment extra judicial executions (lynchings) much of which has survived until very recent times. Non European migrants particularly to the west coast – Chinese and Mexicans – were treated as sub-human.

    And of course the native Americans were granted the freedom to die in what was probably the biggest genocide in the history of the world. They killed pretty well the whole effing lot.

    Relatively, compared to Britain and perhaps France it is indeed a sorry record of unfreedom. It would be a mistake to confuse the pettifoggingrestrictions of the current government which is a totally alien British phenomenon to the long term trend of a free society.

    The other sentence that intrigues me in Guy Herbert’s comment is “There is not a linear continuum from free to unfree.” I just wonder what that means.

  • Anthony

    Living in Britain, but spending a lot of time in the US, I quite often find myself despairing over the differences in outlook across the pond. Here in Britain, we are so often told about how the Americans can’t think for themselves, and that they are stupid. But when I look at our country compared to theirs this is blatantly false.

    The people of our country seem to have been moulded by the state to the extent that they crave servitude. They beg to have their freedom curtailed. Even the Conservatives are too afraid to say that they think the free market is the best system on which to run to services. People who can’t think more than one step ahead instantly recoil from the idea that we shouldn’t be trying to build a socialist utopia. Meanwhile the economy stagnates and we make a shift from world power to an equiavlent to portugal, or belgium.

    Sometimes I really do wonder whether the UK government is actively trying to become totalitarian, or whether it is just inadvertantly sliding that way through their shortsightedness. Most of the laws in our country are based on single events, then the tabloids latch onto the one event and campaign to “ban” xyz.

    The government happily obliges, safely shrouded from cries of illiberalism by the cloak of a public opinion moulded by them in the first place. The public mindset has sunk so low that many will not even read a story unless it is sensational in some way, and tells them exactly what to think.

    It truly disturbs me that an entire people can struggle relentlessly towards oppression. Always, of course, by sacrificing the freedom of others before their own. But when everyone is sacrificing everybody elses freedom, nobody will remain in possession of it.

    I hear they are thinking of banning bows and arrows now; we all know how dastardly a criminal Robbin Hood was.

    In the meantime, civility is decaying because freedom is so thoroughly curtailed, and responsibility is no longer seen as a virtue. Though the government would like to think it can destroy every instance where responsibility is available to the free man, they still think that the way to instill more responsibility is to take more away.

    The bottom line is, that the UK government doesn’t trust its people. It thinks we are idiots who cannot take part in activities that are not state sanctioned without killing each other. The end result of treating the British people like idiots, has been to make us idiots.

  • Verity

    Labour is intentionally installing a totalitarian government. Even Tony Bliar isn’t stupid enough to be doing this unintentionally.

  • stehpinkeln

    John Rippengal, you are incorrect on several points.
    ” would say that historically there is very little correspondence between freedom and the USA.
    For the first century of its existence a very substantial percentage of its citizens were slaves following which there was vicious segregation, denial of franchise both judicial and non-judicial disenfranchisment extra judicial executions (lynchings) much of which has survived until very recent times. Non European migrants particularly to the west coast – Chinese and Mexicans – were treated as sub-human. ”
    First, African Slaves never were a “substantial percentage of it’s citizens”. Slaves CANNOT be citizens, zero is normally not recognized as a substantial percentage. Now africians never reached more then single digit percentages of the population. ( I looked this up once and IIRC it was about 6%) I argue that <10% doesn’t meet the rather vague standards of ‘substantial’.
    As far as your other reacist charges, most are urban myths and/or taken out of perspective. You are judging these actions as part of the 21st century using 21 century American standards. That is why you are getting the wrong answers.
    You have to judge those actions by the standards of the day and compare them to the rest of the world AT THAT POINT IN HISTORY. Once you do that you will see that the Chinese risked death to get to America, BECAUSE THEY WERE TREATED BETTER HERE THEN BACK HOME. Like all liberals, you want to compare the real world with a fantasy world that exists only in your mind. The Chinese that emmigrated to America in the Mid 19th century were escaping a much worse situation then they found here. Ditto for every one else. It’s all relative.
    And you are missing the most important point of all. Any of those people that wanted to go back home, could have. NOONE is forced to stay in America. That includes YOU. If that isn’t the root of freedom, what is?
    John in Omaha, go look in a name book In the South Hil-lery is the normal spelling. It is also pronounced HILL -LER-REE. 3 sylables. I know that might not meet non-southern standards, but to quote Jeff Foxworthy, “who gives a shit what yankees think?” According to my Name Book ( aka book of names), both spellings are acceptable. Hill-de-beast isn’t in there, but I will contine to use it any way.
    BTW, did anybody ever find the place where Jordan was murdered? A man blows 75% of his brains out thru a fresh made hole in the top of his skull and there isn’t a speck of brains found anywhere. What a polite suicide that was, he even cleaned up after his self.

  • Tim Aldridge

    If the notion of foolish British Medical Journal asides regarding sharp knives make you so depressed then maybe you should leave the UK. As a Libertarian I would have thought you would be in favor of the massive support for the ‘Non’ faction in France regardless of the consequence to European ‘Free Trade’ but no, you just had to come up with this trite,

    The fact that large numbers of French people are going to vote against the ghastly EU Constitution because it favours too much free trade and does not isolate Europe from competition even more than it already does is almost beyond parody.

    There are plenty of other English-speaking countries than the USA all of which I am sure can handle prescriptions for your obvious reactive depression. For our sakes please consider those and don’t come to the USA, it would only be a small matter of time before you started attacking our state laws and regulations and lamenting about your need to move somewhere else.

  • Chris Goodman

    If you look at Leftists across the world they are actually, despite the various factions and local differences, pretty similar. Leftism resembles a secular religion. Indeed the way in which Leftism took over from religion in the last 250 years is a fascinating story. It is true that the Anglosphere has proved to be the most resistant to the Leftist aspirations, which it is why it is such an object of hatred for Leftists, but it is a matter of degree.

    As far as I am aware no historian has got to grips with the history of Leftism. I am reading Leszek Kolakowski’s Main Currents of Marxism, which is an excellent guide to the theology of Marxism, and have read The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages by Norman Cohen, which gives us case studies of medieval precursors, and The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy: Political Theory and Practice During the French Revolution and Beyond by J.L.Talmon, which lists some of the consequences of the ideas of various French Leftists, but although there are lots of histories of Christianity, indeed studies of sects within Christianity such as Gnosticism, I have yet to come across a history of Leftism that I can recommend to anybody. Has anybody got any suggestions?

    Maybe it is my bias that makes me think that Leftism is best understood in terms of history of ideas rather than as some sort of psychological condition, but I cannot help feeling that if people knew more about the history of Leftism – its fantasies and consequences – would be less likely to fall for the same old ideas dressed up in new words.

    I am glad to see that a new biography of Mao has been published – I hope someone on the Samizdata team reviews it. Maybe somebody ought to write to the publisher for a copy?

  • veryretired

    I see John has absorbed all the multi-culti nonsense that makes up a modern “the US is the worst thing that ever happened” education these days. Good for you. A closed mind is a satisfied mind, and you must be very content.

    As to the post itself, the mistake so many people make when they come to the US is to move into a massive urban area which ends up being little different than the over regulated commune they came from.

    As Horace Greeley said, go west. Try Montana or Idaho. If you really want free and open spaces, try Alaska. Maybe you won’t be a short tube ride from the theater district or some other urban attractions, but that’s what airlines are for. Frisco’s only a few hours away, and a few long weekend trips a year can top off your cultural gas tank.

    It’s people that bring on repression. Go where they aren’t.

  • Verity

    “A closed mind is a satisfied mind.” V funny!

  • Tim Aldridge, this blog has been vocal about its opposition to the EU constitution for all the right reasons and the solution that suits Britain is very obvious: leave the EU and negotiate a relationship to it more like that of Switzerland.

    It should also be obvious that the reasons the EU Constitution is getting flak in the UK and France are diametrically opposed to each other, almost as if both sets of people were reading different documents.

    And I already live in the USA, as should be obvious from the way the article is written.

  • Verity

    I did not understand Tim Aldridge’s post. I think he was so confused about the issues, that it didn’t make any sense.

    Samizdata Illuminatus, I would, though, take issue with you on your suggestion that we negotiate a deal with the EU similar to Switzerland’s. No! Switzerland and Norway (another EU serf) are members in all but name and voting rights. They have EU offices in their countries, they obey every single half-assed regulation that dribbles out of the EU’s arse and they have no say. They have offices in their own countries for the sole purpose of ensuring that new regulations, rules, laws, whatever the hell, are implemented along the correct lines. They have offices in Brussels to make certain they are understanding their orders correctly.

    No thanks!

    If the EU wants to trade with Britain (i.e., sell us things under favourable conditions, because we don’t sell that much to them), let them come to a free country that makes its own rules, regulations and laws. The purchaser is the master. The purchaser does not kowtow. Let them re-learn the spirit of free enterprise – striking a deal with a customer who isn’t bound the the laws of the vendor.

  • Stehpinkeln

    Might not be the right thread, but what happens to the British (english?) and French Permanent SC seats when the French Pass the EU conctitution and they go on to form a superstate called the EU? The two seats should be combined into 1 EU steat. While I’m sure both governments would be more then happy to overlook that little detail, I’m just as certain India, Japan and Brazil, just to name a few, will be very interested in the now empty permanent Security Council seat. And if the EU gets 2 states, then the USA should get at least 4. If France deserves a seat , then Texas, California, New York and Florida do also.
    Assuming, of course, that there is a UN with seats to fight over.

  • Just as a matter of interest, how easy is it to actually emigrate from the UK to the US? I hear lots of speculation, but no facts.

    I never even used to consider the possibility that I might do this. I heard people write that they were seriously thinking of leaving the UK for economic reasons and scoffed, reckoning they were overexaggerating. But the more I look around the more I worry about the direction this nation is taking.

  • guy herbert

    Verity,

    No! Switzerland and Norway (another EU serf) are members in all but name and voting rights.

    Is that quite true? Switzerland is the only country that is in EFTA but not the EEA. It is the EEA that brings with it the acquis, I believe.

    Meanwhile travelling between Switzerland and France is so much less trouble than travelling between France and England that I’ve known people commute.

    I wouldn’t want to copy Switzerland in all things, but it is definitely doing a lot right.

  • Verity

    Guy – You may be right – although I don’t think so. This gang doesn’t let anyone get away with anything, and I believe I read that Switzerland has to obey all the rules, as does “non-EU member” Norway. In fact, I seem to remember that three countries were mentioned. The other one might be Iceland.

    Someone can call a Swiss embassy tomorrow.

  • guy herbert

    dotdavid,

    Depends how much money you have, or whether you’ve got exceptional personal skills or expertise, and requires you are entirely free from stain on your character in the eyes of a pretty moralistic and legalistic system. I fear I fail on all counts.

  • guy herbert

    Norway, Iceland, Leichtenstein are the EEA states that receive the acquis entire.

    The Swiss position is a bit more complex, ‘cos there has been a stealthy move towards joining without anyone being asked. The relevant documents are here.

    You’ll see these are bilateral agreements not binding treaties–so the Swiss public is less involved, but also Switzerland can walk away relatively easily–and they do not arbitrarily import all past or future acreted EU law as full reception of the acquis would do.

  • Verity

    I didn’t know that, Guy, and thank you. Looks like, if one wants to stay in Europe, Switzerland is the only truly free country in which to live … Good on them!

  • EY

    An ironically amusing posting! just love the way everything resolves itself into a spitting match

    between left and right, – politics has nothing to do with it! big statism is NOT the sole perogative

    of mentally deluded socialists, it is also appeals to the equally deluded ‘conservatives’, who

    have aspirations of being seen as ‘great social reformers and humanitarians’, respected by all.

    Some chance of that happening.

    Chirac, Blair, Shroeder, Howard, Kerry, Bush, Clinton, even Mugabe, may have different ways of

    going about the job, but all think that the way to go is via – ‘the State’, – Big bureacracies, big

    spending, big handouts, and of course! – big taxes. From Bush to Mugabe, they all crave power,

    and power comes from control, – control of people. The more people the more power. Good grief,

    in the USA they have a branch of government called ‘the Legislature’, just to make new laws. Is

    it any wonder that the general populace has little or no respect for anything suggested or

    sponsored by ‘The Government?’, and see government spending as largely a waste of money,

    whether that government is that of the EU, the US, the UK, the UN, or any other bunch of

    self-important nincompoops.

    The real problem is not one of politics, it is one of attitude, admittedly bought on largely as a

    result of politics, but now down to a simple matter of attitude, – we have no respect for anyone,

    or anything, that attempts to tell us what to do, or how to behave. In the light of our communal

    experience we see the ‘pillars’ of our various communities, as being no more than egocentric self

    serving incompetents. The more contempt we show ‘the powers that be’, the more stupid laws

    they impose, thereby exacerbating the very condition they perceive as a problem. (Those

    naughty peasants, just wont do as they are told).

    From the police, with their sanctimonious attitude to the motorist and their utterly ridiculous

    attempts at being politcally correct. With the medical profession making ridiculous, statements

    on every aspect of daily life, usually in an arrogant and patronising fashion, while all the time

    failing ever more at their real task in life, that of fighting disease and curing illness, and all the

    while adopting a superior attitude to the rest of us, largely in an effort, it would seem, to protect

    their ever burgeoning pay packets.

    If you still consider religion as a communal ‘pillar’, it is all too easy to see just how much

    contempt the established church is generally held in. Little wonder, if the current leaders are

    anything to go by. Their problems seem to date back to the effort to go ‘ecumenical’. Being all

    things to all men is never easy!

    Teachers, – now there is a another crumbled pillar! once the mainstay of any community, the

    earnest worthies who were not just our teachers and mentors, but were also surrogate family

    members, and every one meriting the accolade of ‘professional’, now bought low by the intrusion

    of ‘the Trade Union’. If ever a profession sold it’s respect in exchange for a few extra coppers, all

    the while being bullied by socialist dogma, then this is it.

    All the traditional ‘pillars’, have either gone for ever, or have been changed so dramatically, as

    to be unrecognisable, the craft Guilds, membership of which any man could be proud, largely

    gone now, or changed into being a club for those ‘well respected’ City folk. Yes, I am being

    sarcastic. And I have yet to mention the rest of the cabal of politicians, solicitors, mandarins,

    judges, – well you name your favourite, I’m sure you know one or two!

    We see the media lauding one incompetent after another, from the sporting or entertainment

    world, and wonder just what scale of values merits such adulation. It isn’t just tangible ‘pillars’

    that have been destroyed, but also those more esoteric ones that made us a civilised nation.

    My point, we have nothing but contempt for the supposed Leaders of our respective

    communities, and we see them all, without exception,as being a corrupt, duplicitous bunch,

    wherever we may be. Whether we are controlled by terror, or threat of legal action, the result is

    the same, our Leaders are getting ever more desperate. They see us – the general population as

    the problem, – we know the real problem is them, after all, we are still the same, it is them that

    are trying to force change on us.

    By political means, and for political ends, they have destroyed the things which gave our lives a

    certain stability. They have basically left us leaderless, in the hope that they will be seen as

    gallant rescuers when disaster strikes, but disaster hasn’t struck us – it is them that are facing

    disaster. They are panicking.

    A nation cannot, by definition be corrupted, but it’s Leaders can be.

  • EY

    Oops! soory about the double spacing, strange machine etc.

  • rosignol

    Might not be the right thread, but what happens to the British (english?) and French Permanent SC seats when the French Pass the EU conctitution and they go on to form a superstate called the EU?

    Who cares? SC seats are more about bragging rights than anything else these days…