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Duncan’s Laws

There are many pleasurable benefits in writing for a blog such as this, not least of is revelling in the quality of our readership. This being the case, I can think of no finer endorsement of our efforts than that we attract thinkers and writers of the calibre of Andy Duncan, a regular reader who has produced an analysis of the strategy behind the EU project that I cannot possibly leave languishing at the bottom of a heap of comments where it currently resides.

Andy’s hypothesis is so startlingly good, not just because of the thought that has gone into it but also because he admits to having once been a ‘creature of the night’. We can therefore safely assume that he knows whereof he speaks. So let him speak:

    I’m unsure as to your political orientation, but if you were a follower of Karl Marx’s fallback idea of creating a social democratic Utopia, via the ballot box rather than via the bullet in the back of the neck, how would you do it? Putting my devout Marxist hat on, (and I was such an idiot, until well after my 30th year), this is how I would do it:

    Marxist Hat ON

  • I would base myself in my philosophical homeland of Germany and France, the roaming ground of Hegel, Marx, Napoleon, Kant, Sartre, and other assorted violent destroyers and idiots.
  • I would pretend to be democratic, having seen honest revolutionaries fail in Russia and elsewhere.
  • I would slowly subvert democracy, steal or distort the language of liberty to throw off my accusers and enemies, and gradually form an unspoken aristocracy of fellow travellers. What better than to call this a “liberal” elite, to really turn white into black, and make two plus two equal five? 🙂
  • I would gradually raise taxes, intervene, cause capitalist failure through regulation, thereby allowing myself the excuse to interfere even further, raise even more taxes, etc, etc, until at least half of the economy was in my hands (though 40% will do nicely).
  • I would take over the schools, with other fellow travellers, and educate children away from capitalism. I would never ban non-state education, as this would raise too many alarm bells, but would gradually tighten the screw to make it less and less palatable, either financially or “morally”.
  • Once secure in my own domain, I would link up with other like-minded fellows, and form a “common market”, gradually moving towards a “community”, then a “union”.
  • I would remove all defended borders, using the language of liberty (free market, trading partners, etc), I would then start linking further countries together one by one, as their social democrat governments topple capitalism bit by bit, through ever increasing statism, the failure of each new control, leading to ever more controls. Lovely.
  • Using that favorite Marxist phrase, “The Inevitability of History”, I would then start taking direct control of these countries, tiny increment by tiny increment, so that the ratcheting process is barely noticeable. This process would be never-ending. Capitalists are so smug, living off the backs of the workers and the fat of the land, that they’ll never notice anyway.
  • We’d slowly introduce ID cards, remove habeas corpus, juries, and all the other paraphenalia of a failed history, which would get in the way of later true command socialism. The People decide the laws, and who is in need of re-education (and I will represent the people).

    One day, without even knowing the exact day, the People will wake up free from capitalism, into a perfect state run by the workers, for the workers, with me and my friends in temporary control until the state withers naturally away (though this may not be possible until we’d extended this Nirvana across the face of the globe, and removed all potential aggressors – eg. The United States.)

    The lesson of history has taught we Marxists that we must be less direct. We must sneak up from behind, and use every capitalist trick we can to prevent the enemy from seeing our subterfuge. We must hire as much of the workforce as we can, to get them to vote for us, we must blame supra-national organisations, or capitalist greed, for all the bad things that happen, we must talk continuously of the “Inevitability” of our destiny. And then, when we finally slough off the evil of capitalism, the People will be truly grateful, for we will have delivered them into a world of peace, opportunity, and freedom. The birds will sing, and choirs will form spontaneously, singing Hallelujah. Before we burn down the churches, of course. Except where they’re really pretty (and I will be the judge of that.)

    Marxist Hat OFF

    Well, that’s how I would do it. Does the process outlined above remind you of anything? Again I ask you, if you were to try to create a socialist utopia, in Europe, how would you do it? I would suggest it would not be too dissimilar from what has actually happened.

    But aside from all that, the most worrying aspect of the Euro constitution is not all the fancy-dancy detail, about which ex-President can do what shilly-shallying to whom. It is the absolute central removal of the right of a future British parliament to repeal this dangerous Act, whatever it’s to be called (I would suggest the treaty is signed in Nuremburg, to give it a really evocative title.) This Constitutional Act’s signing, by the Queen, will make it illegal for her, or her successor, to repeal it. As she will be passing that legal right upwards to Brussels. That is why it so fundamentally changes the unwritten constitution of this country (that any parliament may repeal the acts of any other previous parliament), and that is why it is so dangerous, and why we absolutely must have a Yes or No referendum on it. Or just plain abandon it.

    As long as a future parliament can remove and clean up the mess Tony Blair and his useful idiots have created, this country stands a chance. Once he makes himself and his gang a permanent feature, as this move is surely intended to do, and we can’t get rid of socialism, we’ve had it; better book those German lessons and get used to being free to do whatever it is you’re told to do.

    Forget the detail, concentrate on the main big point. This constitutional move is irrevocable. That means one of two things. It will either last forever, or there will be a war. Assuming that nothing ever lasts forever, that means a war. That’s how wars happen. Go and buy a history book if you don’t believe me.

    To all of my idiot irrationalist Marxist friends reading this, with whom it’s not really even worth debating the price of fish, as your brains are such mush, Valery Giscard d’Estaing really has made all this a bit obvious. Couldn’t he have waited until we’d been shoe-horned into the Euro, when it would’ve seemed less obvious? But that’s socialism for you, always failing, always another generation of idiots waiting to give it yet “another” try. Vive le UK! 😉

A Guide to Marxist Subversion as supplied by a former marxist. As weapons in the armoury of liberty go, this has to rank as one of the sharpest. I defy anyone to read through this without experiencing the hackle-raising chill of eerie recognition in the universal policies of modern Social Democrats and I know that I was far from the only one who saw the handprints of Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci all over them.

Well, we may have been right. Andy Duncan has set out and codified in the enemies battleplan in all its gory detail and we must thank him. Knowing how the enemy intends to wage war is essential to defeating them.

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65 comments to Duncan’s Laws

  • x

    the permalink and the “MORE” link are broken 🙁

    they give a “404 not found” error

  • They work fine for me, Mr.X… try clearing your browser cache and try again.

  • As long as the French and Germans still talk as if the EU caused West European prosperity, instead of American-supported West European prosperity causing the EU, we can’t hope for much from them in the way of self-knowledge.

    The most successful liars believe their own lies first.

  • x

    whaddya know, it’s working now 🙂

  • Although I thoroughly enjoyed Duncan’s remarks, and think they are right on the money, I am not nearly as impressed by them as Mr. Carr was, or as I myself was by, for instance, embittered socialist George Orwell’s demonstration of what socialism and communism were really all about in “Animal Farm” and “1984.” I’m not talking about the respective literary talents of Duncan and Orwell, mind you, but merely the visceral impact that we experience, whenever a former insider exposes the soft underbelly of an allegedly noble, but ultimately nefarious cause. When Orwell did it, I was practically knocked over, and still regard his bold unmasking and indictment of the socialist authoritarians as one of the greatest political gestures of the 20th century.

    The spectacle of someone in the modern day saying, in effect, “I was once a socialist, and if I were to plot a socialist takeover, I would do it exactly as the EU [or the UN, or pick your favorite global power-grabber] has proceeded,” doesn’t seem to have the power to impress me any more. Perhaps I am jaded. That’s not to say that I don’t admire Duncan’s argument. I do. People really need to read and reflect on what he has to say. They need to heed his words and act to prevent the inevitable consequence of unchecked EU progress (just as we in America need to roll back and guard against any further hijacking of our own government by those with similar aims and methods). I just don’t get a “former cultist tells all” thrill out of it, which seemed to be the basis on which Carr was trying to persuade people to read Duncan’s remarks.

    Different strokes, I suppose, but bravo to Duncan for saying what he did, and to Carr, for bringing it to our attention.

  • mad dog barker

    The Polish as a nation have developed a number of tried and tested sayings often in response to having lived under Soviet hegemony.

    The one that springs to mind on this occaision puts Duncans point succinctly:

    “If you are not a communist when you are 20 then you have no heart. And if you are still a communist at 40 then you have no brains…”

    Thay might be Slavs but never slaves!

  • Did that turn the italics off?

  • Nancy

    mad dog – I thought Churchill said that. I have a picture of him with a quote underneath attributed to him: “If you are not a liberal at 20…”

  • A_t

    Doesn’t the thought that they might not be closet marxists, but just fancy a larger-scale social democracy, as already seen over most of western Europe (& dare I say it, to a degree in the US) strike you as rather more realistic?

    Why do those who disagree with samizdata’s hallowed anti-socialism always have to have Stalinesque sinister plans lurking hidden behind them?

    There are many degrees of socialism between fools (any out & out marxists over the age of 16) and the full-scale rejection Andy Duncan’s adopted. Many folk who aren’t dangerous extremists end up somewhere on this spectrum.. indeed some of them were smart enough to reject idiot marxism and start from a more moderate position to begin with!

    To me, all that “I was a marxist planning revolution” says is either:
    a) your judgement is impaired, & you’ll wave your flag for whatever johnny-come-lately simplistic but pleasingly clean philosophy fires up your passions this month, or
    b) you were a marxist when you were 16, in which case it’s stupid to extrapolate your teenage fantasies into the heads of mature intelligent men & women.

  • The only area where I would disagree with this analysis is the statement that signing up to tne Constitution will bind the hands of a successor Parliament.

    Not so. Parliament can pass a law, even after signing up to the Constitution, withdrawing from the EU. The downside, of course, is that it may take a war to enforce that law.

  • Byna

    A_T,

    It doesn’t matter whether the proponenets of the EU Constitution are full blown Marxists, Socials, Buearocrats, or something else. The EU Constitution can and will be used by people that are sure they are correct. You might have heard the saying “that everyone is an idiot sometimes.”

    The EU Constitution does not allow for the people or the countries to resist leaders that are sure of their own correctness. These leaders might end up being Communist, Socialist, Capitalist, Fascists, or some other new beast. The point is that they will make bad decisions, and the only way to remove them will be through force.

    And the right guns and self-defence will be amongst the first to go.

    You always have to imagine what your ideoligical opponenets would do with the power/system that you are advocating. If you don’t want them to get it, then you shouldn’t have it.

    Byna

  • Europe is very bad, but we don’t need to resort to conspiracy theories in order to understand why, or to deal with it. While people think that centralised economic and legal systems are good because they make individual countries stronger, rather than understanding that independence and freedom are what drive creativity and the growth of knowledge, they will always want a big European state.

    We should be arguing against Europe on its own lack of merits, not by imagining that it’s a secret plot to turn us all into Communists. The fact is, most Europeans are *not* brainwashed Marxists, they just think being in the club will help their countries thrive. They don’t get it.

    If we can’t win the argument against Europe at face value, we aren’t going to win it at all. Conspiracy theories miss the point: Europe is bad because artificially enforced centralisation inhibits the growth of individual countries.

    The US is also a big centralised state. Seems to me that Europe is mostly trying to copy their idea. Except, their idea evolved that way, and works because it’s based on genuinely shared values, in their constitution. Whereas Europe’s shared value is nothing other than being in a gang. And the gang is going to be the political colour of it’s leaders, of course. And the reason we in the UK shouldn’t want in is, we can do so much better than that on our own.

    Those who think the UK is going down the toilet might ask themselves why they care about all this anyway. Perhaps they actually think we’re still worth something. In which case, maybe they should join the Tory party and start voting for anti-European policies.

    Just a thought. Better ideas, anyone?

  • It’s a lovely quote, Mad Dog and Nancy, I agree.

    Probably predating both Churchill’s abandonment of liberalism and Poland’s experience of Sovietism, my impression was that “Any man who is not an anarchist at 20 has no heart, any man who is still an anarchist at 40 has no brain” was a Clemenceau quote.

    But I’m probably wrong too.

  • infamouse

    “The US is also a big centralised state. Seems to me that Europe is mostly trying to copy their idea.”

    The US is nowhere near as centralized as the EU will be or is.

    This is such a brilliant point that the author should write up a more formal copy including direct references and descriptions of eacfh step that has already been taken, including the future steps.

  • infamouse

    Also, you’ve forgotten the need to discredit Christianity since its emphasis is on individual liberties, etc., which given church going rates has been quite well-done.

  • Joe

    Alice- maybe there is a useful reason for considering that there might be something similar to a conspiracy going on with regard to the growth of the EU… though perhaps a better description might be a “conspidiocy”. For many years now a large proportion of the UK population has been taught a very black and white system of what is good and what is bad… Where national history was automatically bad because it involved “bad” things like “Empire” and “War” – whereas the European Union was “good” because it is supposed to stand for “Peace”, “Harmony” and “Freedom to trade and travel”… and even better – it does it without them having to worry about it…it gives them new “rights” and laws and handles all the responsibility for them!

    Because that is what they have been taught, that is what makes them feel secure.

    To them – any questioning of this will seem like a conspiracy against their security, because if they have to start to question those beliefs they lose that security. Many people are happy to let things trundle along without thinking too much about it… safe in the belief that while we lurch along arm in arm with the European Union there will be “Peace” and “Harmony” and a happily-ever-after… They dont want to question that and why should they, because they have been taught that they are doing the right things… going along with the EU is the “good” thing to do.

    So they conspire to remain stupid…. its a “conspidiocy” of dogooders… 🙂

    To make them question it – you have to make them take back some responsibility to provide security for themselves…that is a big step into the unknown and they are not going to do that happily! By thinking of the EU as a “conspidiocy” you can see that some “political” style arguments will be totally ignored and that it will take a very watertight argument or a very obvious disaster looming for most of these people to take the trouble to even give this much thought.

    Its just a thought 🙂

  • Jacob

    I’m with Alice and A_t on this.
    The general alarmist tone of Mr Carr and most commenters seems wildly emotional and exagerated.
    The EU is no conspiracy, no sinister power grabbing plot. It’s just a clumsy monster created by fools. Those accusing the EU of totalitarianism have probably never lived under a totalitarian regime, and are debasing the meaning of the concept. I doubt that people in France are less free than Brits.

    I’m not well informed in legal matters, but I don’t see where the big difference between Code Napoleon and the British common law is. I imagine there are differences, but they don’t remotely justify the outcry of Mr Carr. After all, France isn’t a totalitarian state.

    Social wellfarism is the malady from which both Brittain and the EU suffer, and I’m not sure which case is worse.
    I fully support your opposition to the EU superstate, but desperate claims about loss of sovereignity or freedom, the need to flee to the US, or learning German or French, or a future war – it is just nonesense.

    I am not too worried about the EU – their utopian scheme isn’t backed by brute force. They are rather pacifist and impotent. They are no acute menace. They are a regretable nuissance though they have also some good points – in facilitating the free movement of people and merchandise.

  • Jacob,

    In light of this comment:

    “They are rather pacifist and impotent. They are no acute menace.”

    Where would the case fall of the British grocer who was prosecuted for daring to sell his merchandise in non-metric units?

  • Exactly Kim – salami tactics are all about making each step not quite serious enough to seem worth resisting, steadily eroding liberty in small steps.

    One analogy commonly used is the lobster not noticing the water it’s in is gradually getting hotter until it is too weak to avoid death by boiling.

    Much of the point of unification measures like metrication is to get citizens trained in submitting to small changes in their lives so they will be less able to resist gradually larger changes.

  • Ladies, Gents: all this talk of conspiracies has me reachin’ for the ol’ shootin’ iron, and lookin’ fer black UN heli-copters.

    Y’all need to read your Hayek. In Road to Serfdom, Hayek posited that you don’t need a massive conspiracy to get to a totalitarian state. All you need is a utopian socialist vision, and a willingness to try to achieve it.

    As myriad little social questions and problems pop up, just keep fixing them from some central point – Lenin’s chair, Castro’s desk, or the cubicle of a Brussels bureaucrat. Eventually, every aspect of life is regulated from the central authority. Oops, how did that happen?

    And as Hayek points out, it’s not enough to just direct change from a central point. Eventually the people chafe at the micromanagement, or get upset with the inefficiencies, externalities and imprecision of centrally imposed remedies, and they refuse to comply. The application of coercive force by the central power thus becomes necessary.

    If it helps, conceptualize society as a human body, and the process of social engineering, a.k.a. regulating, as applying bandaids. You only put bandaids where you see a nick or cut. The free marketer says, “let it alone, it’ll heal up alright on its own.” The utopian insists on applying bandaids.

    The utopian looks at the body politic and sees something like mosquito bites all over it – lots of little nicks to be patched up — and by the sheerest of coincidences, he happens to have just the bandaids for those problems.

    The more radically the utopian views the maladies, the more bandaids are needed. (That’s why lefties are such alarmists about social ills — if we don’t have big social ills, we don’t need big lefty solutions). Anyways, after a time, the body winds up covered in bandaids, head to toe, constricted and unable to move without the consent of the utopian medic, who can take off or apply bandaids as necessary to allow a little bit of movement.

    The central power doesn’t have to harbor invidious intent to get to this dire result; the mere mechanics of centralized power preordain this outcome.

    Oddly enough, Michel Foucault’s analysis of the techniques of power, see, e.g. Discipline & Punish, might support Hayek on this point.

  • Mark Fabi

    Mr. Duncan’s analysis seems quite astute. It does, however, fail the test of Hanlon’s Razor: never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

  • Scott Cattanach

    never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    I have that embroidered on a pillow. 🙂

  • Nakkiel

    An excellent analysis, but it does leave one key point out. It’s an old quote… “In the long run, people get the governments they deserve.” Why will socialism just not die? Why does it return from the dead time and time again? One simple reason:

    For so long as people continue to believe that even the greatest posssible genuine need of any one person supersedes IN THE SLIGHTEST WAY the productive efforts of any other person as a moral claim to the fruits of that productivity by the second person, that’s it, game over, socialism has won, the borg nanites are in the bloodstream, and it’s only a matter of time before a society composed of such persons degenerates into collectivist misery.

    Altruism is necessarily socialist in the final analysis – Ayn Rand was right, altruism is moral cancer and socialism is one of the terminal stages. This is why conservatives will *NEVER* be able to put up a consistent fight against the left. They want to retain altruism while trying to retain the benefits of capitalism, which latter is based on rational selfishness and simply cannot peacefully coexist with altruism. All the conservatives are able to do is, from time to time, tap into the short-run desires of people to keep their own incomes, but as it always does altruistic guilt about ‘inequality’ kicks in and the socialists and their useful idiots either win another election or bully the conservatives into watering down their policies. To develop Miss Rand’s altruism-as-cancer analogy, conservatives can’t win the fight against altruism because they like the masochism of religious chemotherapy too much.

    I tend to think that most people know damn fine that the problem is regulation even if they don’t know the details. They don’t want to admit it just yet because they know that altruism and prosperity are mutually exclusive but are still, at present, trying to have both. Thus marxists ratchet the failure up slowly, NOT to hide the causes from the bulk of the voting populace, but to hide the causes from the thinking minority who could ask questions that most people just DON’T want to face if things are made too blatant.

    So, Mr Fabi, it isn’t stupidity, it’s altruism – or more precisely, wanting to be seen as altruistic, not just by other people but also by the invisible censor hovering over the left shoulder. In other words, voters know very well what they are getting themselves into while trying *not* to see exactly what they are doing, just as Germans did in the 30’s, and desparately feel the need to blame others for the inexorable failure of socialism rather than face up to the fact that altruism and egalitarianism are moral abominations.

    There is zero – absolute ZERO – rational justification for altruism. It is entirely feelings based, ie a dogma. In today’s world, most people would sooner die than dare question their feelings. As a result, death is precisely what they get – and deserve. Marxists simply provide the barbituates – and rationalisations – for euthanasia.

    JJM

  • Doug Collins

    As an alarmed American seeing the British contemplating their own demise, I made a comment yesterday in the sad thread from the And this is how it ends” article of David Carr’s.
    I had intended to be helpful but, like several other Americans who also seemed to be uncertain what could be done, probably only succeeded in being vague. I suggested that if the worst were to happen, that it might be a good idea to think up some sort of poison pill for the EU.
    Something has been tickling the back of my mind since then and Andy Duncan’s article finally brought it to mind.
    It was the following poem by the decidely UnEuropean Kipling:

    AN IMPERIAL RESCRIPT
    Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser decreed,
    To ease the strong of their burden, to help the weak in their need,
    He sent a word to the peoples, who struggle, and pant, and sweat,
    That the straw might be counted fairly and the tally of bricks be set.

    The Lords of Their Hands assembled; from the East and the West they drew–
    Baltimore, Lille, and Essen, Brummagem, Clyde, and Crewe.
    And some were black from the furnace, and some were brown from the soil,
    And some were blue from the dye-vat; but all were wearied of toil.

    And the young King said:–“I have found it, the road to the rest ye seek:
    The strong shall wait for the weary, the hale shall halt for the weak;
    With the even tramp of an army where no man breaks from the line,
    Ye shall march to peace and plenty in the bond of brotherhood–sign!”

    The paper lay on the table, the strong heads bowed thereby,
    And a wail went up from the peoples:–“Ay, sign–give rest, for we die!”
    A hand was stretched to the goose-quill, a fist was cramped to scrawl,
    When–the laugh of a blue-eyed maiden ran clear through the council-hall.

    And each one heard Her laughing as each one saw Her plain–
    Saidie, Mimi, or Olga, Gretchen, or Mary Jane.
    And the Spirit of Man that is in Him to the light of the vision woke;
    And the men drew back from the paper, as a Yankee delegate spoke:–

    “There’s a girl in Jersey City who works on the telephone;
    We’re going to hitch our horses and dig for a house of our own,
    With gas and water connections, and steam-heat through to the top;
    And, W. Hohenzollern, I guess I shall work till I drop.”

    And an English delegate thundered:–“The weak an’ the lame be blowed!
    I’ve a berth in the Sou’-West workshops, a home in the Wandsworth Road;
    And till the ‘sociation has footed my buryin’ bill,
    I work for the kids an’ the missus. Pull up? I be damned if I will!”

    And over the German benches the bearded whisper ran:–
    “Lager, der girls und der dollars, dey makes or dey breaks a man.
    If Schmitt haf collared der dollars, he collars der girl deremit;
    But if Schmitt bust in der pizness, we collars der girl from Schmitt.”

    They passed one resolution:–“Your sub-committee believe
    You can lighten the curse of Adam when you’ve lightened the curse of Eve.
    But till we are built like angels, with hammer and chisel and pen,
    We will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen.”

    Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser held–
    The day that they razored the Grindstone, the day that the Cat was belled,
    The day of the Figs from Thistles, the day of the Twisted Sands,
    The day that the laugh of a maiden made light of the Lords of Their Hands.

    Does anyone know the circumstances that led Kipling to write this? It appears that Eurosocialism has promised Nirvana on earth at least once before. What stopped it last time?

    And the poem suggests the nature of the poison pill: If the British can remind the- I can’t bring myself to say europeans – the French, Germans, Poles, Czechs etc etc, that ultimately – “(They) will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen.”- then perhaps they can not only extricate their own country but even bring the whole noisome EU crashing down.

  • Doug Collins

    Jacob-
    You said that you do not see the difference between common law and the Code Napoleon. As an American who cherishs the common law basis for our own constitution and even our Declaration of Independence, let me point out one difference: the Rio Grande river. The difference between the societies in Mexico and the US are largely a result of our differing legal systems and underlying philosophies. Is the state or the individual to be dominant? As just one example, should the power of the government to extirpate crime be more important than the possible innocence of an individual? On one side of both the Rio Grande and the English Channel the innocent individual is all important, on the other he is not.

    Nakkiel
    I have to take exception to your rather severe indictment of altruism. It is both advised by a number of admirable religions and recognized as a valid survival strategy by many Darwinians. I see nothing wrong with a person deciding to be altruistic. On the other hand, I see a great deal wrong with deciding that someone else should be altruistic, or with deciding to be altruistic with someone else’s money, time or labor.

  • Guy Herbert

    Hear, hear, Omnibus Bill.

    Undoubtedly there are eurocrats and euro-ministers who see this as part of the Long March Through the Institutions (and a handful do spring to mind)… but for every one of them there are dozens who are just doing their misguided best towards lots of different goals and ends. And that’s a much bigger problem.

    The process isn’t completely designed and determined: it is alive, self-modifying, more a disease than a machine. And it is not confined to Europe, even if it was invented here. (Disputable, I know.) One could even enjoy the paradox, were it not quite so terrifying.

  • Guy Herbert

    And a whinge:

    Can people stop going on about “Code Napoleon”, which is just one (superseded) example of a Civil Law system. There are sound libertarian reasons for preferring Common Law to Civil Law, but the latter predates Napoleon (try Justinian) comes in lots of flavours, and with a variety of justifications.

    (End of whinge)

  • While it is unlikely a full-scale conspiracy (secret handshakes, decoder rings, and silly hats and all), it should not mean that it is impossible. It could be a less formal, well-intended act of egregious stupidity by socialist half wits (redundancy alert).

    If it quacks like a duck…

  • If it quacks like a duck…

    …shoot it.

  • Jacob

    “Where would the case fall of the British grocer who was prosecuted for daring to sell his merchandise in non-metric units?”

    1. Prosecuting the grocer is silly, and it shows a command and control mentality.
    2. It was done by British prosecutors and courts, so they should bear the blame. As I said – the British are no less socialist-command-control than the EU.
    3. Adopting the metric system and right side driving is desirable, so living in our interconnected univers will be easier. No need though, for draconian and silly prosecutions.

  • G Cooper

    Jacob writes:

    “Adopting the metric system and right side driving is desirable, so living in our interconnected univers will be easier.”

    For you, maybe. Personally, I can see no bloody reason whatsoever for 60 million Britons to have to drive on the wrong side of the road, just to make life easier for a few foreign tourists and drivers of over-sized articulated trucks, who shouldn’t be making our country lanes deathraps, anyway.

    That’s another little enforced “gift” from the EU susperstate, we’ve had to contend with.

    Likewise the metric system. If people wish to use it in business that is their own affair, but I can see no reason why I cannot continue to buy a pound of potatoes.

    Indeed, I make a point of insisting on imperial measures at every opportunity and (certainly where I live) have yet to find a shopkeeper who doesn’t agree with me.

    If continental Europeans don’t mind being subsumed in a grey uniformity then that is fine. But the overwhelming majority in the British Isles do not want the same and there is absolutely no reason why smug Europeans should force it upon them.

  • I agree with G Cooper.

    Actually, I think there are some objective reasons, Jacob, (as well as perfectly valid, liberty-based subjective reasons) for preferring traditional measures and practices in England.

    So as not to drone on, I restrict myself to pointing out that driving on the left was traditional for a good basic reason – most of us are right-handed.

    It should not be wildly surprising that British road-accident figures are much lower than Continental rates (even the safety-conscious Dutch).

    What are the chances that having the opposing stream of traffic on the side of the field of vision which responds fractionally slower for 6 out of 7 drivers is totally unrelated to the persistently higher death rates on Continental and (yes) American roads? Not a rule worth imposing on others, but a superior tradition worth keeping.

  • Hi David,

    I find it both remarkable and extremely flattering that you’ve lifted what was about the 137th post on a previous thread, to a thread in its own right! 🙂

    And both interesting and highly embarrassing, reading the responses. First, to A_t, please speak to the hand, the face ain’t listening. And step out from hiding behind that acronym. Let us know who you are, and then we’ll be able to take your slatings seriously.

    To everyone else, I never realised this post would at all be taken seriously by anyone other than Chris, now an admitted socialist, to whom it was aimed; I always enjoy flushing ’em out! 😎

    Although Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff say many times, in their books on Objectivism, it is worthless debating with irrationalist socialists, because their stupid religion blinds them too much to reality, as a former idiot myself I always try to look for glints of hope. If I see it in the front rank of the enemy, I always try to rescue that particular miserable socialist from the evil hatred and injustice in their minds.

    As G Cooper said the other day, many of them fly like moths towards the light of Samizdata, as deep down they know socialism is bunk, but get blinded by it. They think that they’re on a mission, to shout us down with their ugly language, but they don’t realise they’re both infecting themselves with the Truth, and giving the rest of us much needed amusement! 🙂

    If I am to be useful to the war against statism, I see it as my mission to hasten this conversion process, to get more of them onto our side. To any socialist reading this, who does secretly want to give up that awful religion (which is admittedly far harder than giving up nicotine), you may like to try my patent-pending Cure for Socialism. It’s no good for real hard-core fools, but will hopefully work if you have any inner doubts gnawing away inside. And for this one day only, I’ll waive away any Intellectual Copyrights I may have on it, and the $50 dollar charge! $-)

    As for conspiracy theories, I’m with Omnibus Bill. It is not a conspiracy, or if it is to some people it is entirely unspoken. They are just all fellow travellers with a shared mindset. This mindset takes years to develop, and may be unfamiliar to many Americans, who’re blessedly free from many of its causes. It starts in the UK with either a state school education, or a guilt-ridden private one. Years of developing a chip on your shoulder, and continual background indoctrination by envious Guardian-reading teachers, on the evils of selfishness and capitalism, start the process. Then we add in a state University education, in which we pick up the Guardian-reading habit ourselves, to wash our minds every day in its hatred and bile.

    It’s actually hard work remaining a socialist, in the face of Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the other socialist mass-murderers, but the Guardian lessens the strain, bless it 🙂

    But the final push, for many New Labourites, came in the eighties. It was a terrible time to be a marxist in the Labour Party (as most activists were at the time, or at least the ones I met), but something remarkable happened. This was the rise of the magazine Marxism Today (I believe edited by Peter Kellner).

    While we were all in leftie bookshops, drinking Nicaraguan coffee, and feeling sorry for ourselves, this incredible publication told us what we had to do in order to achieve power again. And that was mainly to borrow the language and rhetoric of the unconquerable Margaret Thatacher (and side-kick Ronald Reagan), and twist it against her, particularly in the media if we could.

    Thus was born the groundswell behind New Labour. Yes, Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and all the others were already motivated and ready. But their shock troops came mainly from the readership of Marxism Today.

    Off came the beards, we stopped bleaching our hair, took out the earrings, got rid of all that black and combat-trouser revolution-wear, and those Achilles tendon rubbing Dr Marten boots; what a bunch of posers. We put on blue suits instead, with nice red ties, and got haircuts without the use of razors or clippers.

    But none of it was a conspiracy, unlike the earlier attempted Putsch by Militant, with which I was also involved — oh the horror of remembering all this! 🙂

    We just all believed in the same ideals, we really wanted to change the world for the better, and Peter Kellner showed us how to do it. The New Labour high command merely took advantage of this shared mindset, and blended it with the collapse of the Soviet Union. This event made the right’s anti-communist stance irrelevant.

    It also divided the “conservative statists” in the Tory Party (Clarke, Heseltine etc), from the “conservative libertarians” (Portillo – Ok, so this is a thread in its own right, Redwood, Hague, et al). This left a nice great big hole for we newly-shaved and suited idiots to march into, under the SDP-like banner of New Labour. BTW, I don’t claim any major role in this. I was just a foot-soldier knocking on doors in Sheffield, but I did meet Labour MPs, and I was on the ground to witness the internal changes in the Labour Party.

    Other marxist bookshop devotees, like Alan Milburn, went much further than sloggers like me. I like to think this is because my inner core knew socialism was mistaken, but it takes lots of guts to stand up and speak in public, and people like Milburn, and even that other marxist toad Stephen Byers, had guts in plenty, and fire in their bellies.

    Others headed for their place in the Commentariat, and further left-wing entrenchment in the BBC, Channel 4, and that particularly plum posting for socialist “intellectuals”, the Guardian Features department.

    You’ll also notice that marxism fuels most of the rhetoric of New Labour, its biggest marxoid giveaway. We’ve had wreckers, New Labour as the political wing of the entire British people, and even just today, amongst other Big Lies, that menace Tony Blair talking about our “Destiny” in Europe.

    I’m actually surprised to find, from the development of this post, that most British Samizdatas weren’t Marxists in a former life. I’d thought it was some kind of required initiation, to see the horror from the other side, but it appears I was wrong. Oh well, not for the first time! 🙂

    (BTW, if anyone’s interested, I wrote an account partially on the growth of New Labour, for my MP Boris Johnson, in his organ, which you might like to read if you’re bored at work today: Why I No Longer Love Tony.)

    As to George Orwell. Well, thank God for George Orwell. Saved me. Saved many others. Made me realise that two plus two always equals four, and can never equal five, no matter how much socialism tries to make it. Him and Hayek, of course, another former socialist. There’s a lot of us about! 🙂

    Rgds,
    AndyD

  • Andrew Duffin

    Alice:

    “In which case, maybe they should join the Tory party and start voting for anti-European policies. ”

    Does the Tory party have any anti-European policies? Did it ever?

  • Elizabeth

    Well, Andy has done an incredible job explaining his views in regard to the EU project and a socialist agenda!
    I congratulate him and others for speaking out, as I feel the need to right a wrong is there as well, even if it is done with words over the blogging world or in print.
    With all due admiration for Ayn Rand and Peikoff, I do not agree that it is not worth time (at times) to discuss/debate politics with collectivists. I’ve come a long way to begin to understand why socialism is much more popular in the UK than the US given a long history of feudalism. However, trading no liberties from one bad system to another (socialism) one will never become free to become the ultimate individual as they are able through a capitalistic system.
    Best wishes!
    Elizabeth

  • Some bright fellow, whose name I’ve lost, counseled those who would expand the power of the State to imagine, not what they could do with it, but what their worst enemies could do with it when they eventually come into office. That’s probably what Louis Brandeis had in mind when he advised us to be most wary of government when its avowed purpose was benign.

    Most socialist movements were powered by the good intentions of energetic men with strong convictions and too little sense of their fallibility. Their steamrollers flattened millions of innocents into the asphalt along the road to Hell. Good intentions are no guarantee of anything.

    “If you see someone approaching with the obvious intention of doing you good, run for your life!” — Henry David Thoreau.

    “She’s the sort of person who lives for others. You can tell the others by their hunted expressions.” — C. S. Lewis.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Andy Duncan, nice post initially – thanks for David Carr for blogging – and good reposte to some of the comments above.

    Some random thoughts: I don’t think there is some kind of active conspiracy to make the EU some kind of grand socialist project, but note my use of the word “active”. As Andy says, a whole generation of politicians, academics and media folk have attached themselves to the EU as a way of countering what they see as the drift to the market liberal model of society. Some, like former EU Commission head Jacques Delors, were quite explicit about that.

    Never understimate the lust for power. For many politicians, the EU is a nice place to wield power, especially since most of the elections will involve proportional rep. giving enormous patronage to party leaders.

    Greed – lots of jobs for the boys.

    Ignorance. I cannot imagine many of the more sincere pro-EU folk understand classical liberalism, or the kind of dangers to freedom posed by the current direction the EU is taking. Most of them think the Federalist Papers must be a collection of EU Commission discussion documents.

    Andy, we contributors are a diverse bunch in how we arrived at the views we hold and of course there are still differences. I have been a free-mkt libertarian pretty much from the start, with modifications. Current status – neo-objectivist natural rights minarchist libertarian who favours the nation state as least bad way of running things.

    Rgds, JP

  • Kit Taylor

    There’s no conspiracy. Remeber that scaremongering can frighten away the open minded and politically footloose one seeks to convert.

    What’s happening today is that small and local government is replaced with big and central goverment because people are afraid of uncertainty, which politicians seek to do good by removing.

    Animal Farm and 1984 are fine echo chambers for libertarians, but their political relevance is diminished because they’re about misery and terror, not the comfortable certainty the EU et al seek to establish.

    The tome to turn to is Aldous Huxley’s grimly hilarious Brave New World, presenting as it does a world were uncertainity has been abolished and replaced with peace, order and pleasure for all. The notion of sublime comfort rather than misery being born out of totalitarianism presents a greater philosphical challenge.

    I heard a program on the radio a while ago about greek philospher Epicurus, who wisely divined that happiness (not the relentless sensuality he is mistakenly associated with) is the ultimate good. The whole point of being alive is to be happy. The state in Brave New World provides generous minimum standards of happiness but it also caps the possible maximum, restraining society at an artificial plateau when humans are capable of spiralling into an infinity of expontential happiness.

    Maximum liberty is vital because it gifts the individual with maximum potential for happiness. Do you want to fly to the moon, or just look at it in a puddle?

  • The Tory party is marginally more likely to adopt anti-European policies than the Labour party. If more people became Tories and promoted anti-European ideas within the party, those policies would get further.

    At least it is a party, is exists, people can vote for it, and it could have popular appeal if it got its act together. Gloomfests don’t solve the problem and conspiracy theories are for fools. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

    Like I said, better ideas? Anyone?

  • Phil Winsor

    Just one comment, and please excuse the profanity:

    Holy Fucking Shit!!

    The only chance is if Poland and the other former Warsaw pact nations tell the EU to take a hike, and Britain stays out.

    Phil Winsor

  • Joe

    It seems to me that if you want to produce some change in the EU project you have to deal with it on all fronts, including those that deal in conspiracy theories, because the simple fact is you want as many people backing you as possible.

    The first thing you need to do is make sure your argument has mass appeal.

    If you start out in attack mode you put those whose minds you want to change on the defensive… you have to sell the idea that the EU is heading down the wrong road and that you know a better route… not hit everyone over the head with it!

    Its no good telling everyone what’s wrong with the workings of the EU – you have to show them that you have a feasible and better wayof doing things!

    The first thing to do is come up with a fully thought out “alternative EU system” – sell that idea to the Conservative Party and once you’ve done that you start selling the same idea in “seemingly different and appropriate ideological forms” to as many people in as many different parties as you can find.

    If people know there is a better system they won’t stand for the crappy one that looks like being imposed on them now.

    Anyway – That would be a start.

  • Glenn Bartley

    Mr. Duncan has warned you! Let his warning shine as a beacon in the dark of the night that has befallen most of Western Europe. From the British we were spawned by way of horrible conflict; yet we Americans remain stalwart allies of the British and the British of us. Yet you, who are so close to the cancer that has so deftly invaded Europe, so often recently seem to want to be rid of our alliance in favor of the disease that has befallen your neighbors. This disease in not Marxism, but is a disease that came long before Marxism was even a mind fart in the mind of Marx. It is the disease of Francification and Germanification (French & German brands of Socialism by which the French & Germans strive to become the superior dominating forces in the world). Your nation has seen this before, your nation will likely see it again. Each time it has arisen in the past, your people were awakened in the nick of time – lest you forget – the last time you received the wake-up call it came from none other than Sir Winston Churchill. He had much opposition in the form of others in your government who would appease and ally with your enemies. Do not go the way of your foes (militaristic or economic), stand strong with your allies and avoid war.

    Should you go the way of your enemy, then you will give up the right to govern yourselves – a right that many British have died for in the many wars to defend just that right. Should you follow the lead of the French and the Germans, it is quite possible that you will need to resort to war to free yourselves – but will you do it soon enough so that we here in America will not have forgotten you as our ally? When the two conjoined words, the most repeated paired words in European History, are uttered by your leaders I am pretty sure we will here your call when you beg us to ‘Attack France’. But I for one, would rather see them crushed economically without you resorting to war. To do so, wake up now, and realize that socialism is not the way for you to go!

  • Jacob

    Omnibus Bill said:
    “Eventually the people chafe at the micromanagement, or get upset with the inefficiencies, externalities and imprecision of centrally imposed remedies, and they refuse to comply. The application of coercive force by the central power thus becomes necessary. ”

    This is very true. When people get hit by the consequences of socialism (poverty) they will get fed up and vote in some free-market oriented people.

    Can anyone imagine the Belgians or the French sending in their gendarmes to stop that and murder political opponents ? Are you Brits afraid of that ??
    That is why I can’t take this EU menace too seriously.
    Their collectivist ideology should be countered in a rational and measured manner. No need for hysteria.

  • A_t

    “French & German brands of Socialism by which the French & Germans strive to become the superior dominating forces in the world”

    one word: bullshit.

    Also, the Brits presumably a) had this ambition, and b) acted on it and indeed *were* for a while. The US seems to be the most infected with this idea at the moment, and the most capable of doing so… I’ve not met many French or Germans who hunger after it tho’… but hey, maybe I met the wrong ones, or perhaps they were keeping their secret plans from me, & just spouting the official cover-up party line.

    Jacob’s perfectly right; if things don’t work economically for the countries within the EU, then the people will elect politicians who reject whichever policies are causing the trouble. Also, for all this contractual “you can’t pull out” rubbish, can you genuinely see any EU members going to war to stop others from leaving? Which EU country can you think of where that would get significant popular backing? Given the strength of feeling, right or wrong, against bombing Iraq, what makes you think any European nation’s people support bombing the UK? Or this supposed to happen in your dystopic future, 50 years down the line, when all the people (oh, except the plucky Brits!) have been lobotomized by innumerable EU regulations and Satan’s very own metric units?

  • A_T, Jacob – the people can’t just vote in new representatives. If it’s working out fine in Germany and France, but Britain and Spain are getting the shaft, Britain and Spain won’t have the votes to force the EU Parliament into compelling the bureaucrats to change policy.

    And, because the EU constitution provides for relatively unrestricted and uncontrolled delegation of power to bureaucrats (i.e. no separation of powers doctrine) the bureaucrats will not have any institutional checks on their power.

    The only good thing the plan has going for it is that the more isolated powers, such as Spain, Britain, Poland and Italy, could probably pull out without fearing a war, since the EUnuch military forces are too weak to mount a real invasion.

    I hope y’all remember tho — the immediate cause of the Civil War in the United States wasn’t slavery, it was a simple question: Does a state have the right to secede from the federation?

    No doubt you know how we answered that question for ourselves…

  • G Cooper

    Alice Bachini writes:

    “At least it is a party, is exists, people can vote for it, and it could have popular appeal if it got its act together. Gloomfests don’t solve the problem and conspiracy theories are for fools. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

    Like I said, better ideas? Anyone?”

    No, at present I have no better idea.

    But, equally, I have reservations about trying to work with the Conservatives. I tried helping my local party, at the last election. It was a complete and utter waste of time. Should anyone reading this be looking for cast members for an am. dram. production of Plague Of The Zombies, I might be able to point you in the right direction…

    I am also far from convinced that the statist/Europhile rump within the party is conquerable. As the Militant Tendency found, hi-jacking a British political party isn’t easy – though, on balance, I agree it’s the only game in town at present – particularly given the fortunes of the UKIP.

  • A_t: Or this supposed to happen in your dystopic future, 50 years down the line, when all the people (oh, except the plucky Brits!) have been lobotomized by innumerable EU regulations and Satan’s very own metric units?

    hmmmm, that is a pretty plausable scenario… particularly the plucky Brits bit.

  • T. Hartin

    “Can anyone imagine the Belgians or the French sending in their gendarmes to stop that and murder political opponents ?”

    Ask the Algerians or the Congolese what the Belgians and the French are capable of. I think you will find that the French and their Belgic poodles are quite capable of the most horrific and brutal crimes in the name of protecting political arrangements that they find profitable.

  • BJW

    WOW! You think this guy is true blue EU?

  • G Cooper

    A_t (of course) writes:

    “one word: bullshit.”

    I’ve got a really novel idea, A_t. Instead of sniping at other people’s ideas with sub-junior common room sarcasm, why don’t you try posting, oh, let’s say, just half a dozen reasons why you think the UK will benefit from ever-closer ties with the EU?

    Just to help concentrate your mind, why not start by explaining to us why allowing the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights to be judged solely by the European Court is a good thing. With particular reference to the fact that no English voter has the slightest say over who is, or is not, a judge in that Court – nor any right to oppose, or in any way question their judgement.

    I await your response with all the excited anticipation of someone waiting for Hell to freeze over.

  • G Cooper

    BJW writes:

    “WOW! You think this guy is true blue EU?”

    In which we find the following phrase: “…there is now an emerging view that it might be in America’s interests to keep Europe weak and effective.’

    Presumably in true barely coherent Guardianista style, the morons on the paper meant: ‘INeffective’?

    Run the country? Despite three decades of industry-wide ridicule, the Leftist imbeciles still can’t even typeset a newspaper!

  • Ronald

    As long as we’re thinking of worst-case scenarios, here’s one that leads to a pro-NATO, possibly pro-EU stand. I always found it a little unlikely…but the world has been turned upside down before, and can be turned upside down again.

    At the end of William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, Shirer writes in the afterword (written in 1990):

    “And now, as the thirtieth-anniversary edition of The Rise and Fall goes to press, the world is suddenly confronted with a new reunification of Germany. Soon, united, Germany will be strong again economically and, if it wishes, militarily, as it was in the time of Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler. And Europe will be faced again with the German problem. If the past is any guide, the outlook is not very promising for Germany’s neighbors, who twice in my lifetime have been invaded by the Teutonic armies. The last time, under Hitler, as the readers of this book are reminded, the German behavior was a horror in its barbarism.

    “People ask now: Have the Germans changed? Many in the West appear to believe so. I myself am not so sure, my view no doubt clouded by the personal experience of having lived and worked in Germany in the Nazi time. The truth is that no one really knows the answer to that crucial question. And quite understandably the nations that were former victims of German conquest do not want to take any chances again.

    “Is there a solution to the German problem? Perhaps. It lies in enmeshing reunited Germany in a European security system out of which it could never break loose to pursue its past policies of aggression.

    “In one fundamental sense, the situation has changed since the fall of the Third Reich. The development of the hydrogen bomb has rendered an old-fashioned conqueror like Adolf Hitler obsolete. If ever a new adventurer such as Hitler tried to lead the Germans to new conquests, he would be repelled by a nuclear response. That would put a quick end to German aggression. But, unfortunately, it would put an end to the world too.

    “So maybe the H-bomb and the rockets and planes and submarines designed to deliver it, horrible threat though they are to the survival of the planet, will, ironically, help, at least, to solve the German problem. No more bloody conquests by the Germans, or by anyone else.

    “Perhaps it will help too if the erring governments and the wondering people of this world will remember the dark night of Nazi terror and genocide that almost engulfed our world and that is the subject of this book. Remebrance of the past helps us to understand the present.”

  • xit1254

    Regarding the post by Johnathan Pearce – What is a “minarchist”? I couldn’t find it at http://www.dictionary.com. Would it be someone favoring “minimum” government?
    Thanks,
    xit1254

  • Doug Collins

    Alice Bachini and G Cooper’s posts on the moribund Tory party and the difficulties of working in it give me a strong sense of deja vu. Back in 1979, when Jimmy Carter was ruining the country and the Republican Party was getting post mortums from the media after the agonies of Nixon and Ford, the Reagan conservatives moved in – not worked within it – moved in and took it over.

    I saw just a bit of it in our own neighborhood precinct meeting and election of local party leaders after the primary voting. (Here in Texas, we have Republican and Democrat party primary elections in which party slates for the later general election are elected by anyone who wants to call themselves either Republicans or Democrats. One or the other, you can’t be both. Other states do it differently.) Anyway, we had been contacted by some like minded pro-Reagan neighbors and told about a meeting at someone’s home about an hour before the precinct meeting. At that meeting, we were asked to go along with the leadership and vote for their people-and most importantly- not be shocked or alarmed by the lack of discussion and parliamentary strong arm tactics that were planned. We were told in some detail how similar tactics had been used by the existing party leadership to sideline the Reagan forces four years earlier. Apparently the wound still stung.

    The meeting was scheduled to last an hour. I recall that it lasted about 9 minutes. There was a short sharp shock to the old leadership, a quick decisive vote and the meeting adjourned with the Reagan people ready to go after Carter and the rest of us off to an early dinner with a warm glow of accomplishment. Apparently similar things were happening at thousands of similar meetings across the US. All it took was some planning, work and organization. I knew nothing about it, but I was simpathetic and they were able to recruit my wife and I for the hour or so required.

    The Tory Party sounds like an ideal vehicle. I don’t know exactly how one would go about taking it over. Undoubtedly there are institutional barriers to that happening. But if you have the sympathy of masses of Englishmen and women, as Reagan had of masses of Americans, those barriers will fall if that mass can be effectively deployed. You may not be able to mobilize large numbers of people for months and years, but an hour or two is possible.

    I would think the architects of the Reagan victory are still around and I would tend to think they would be very sympathetic to your cause. Why don’t you look them up?

  • veryretired

    Just sitting here on a boring Thursday afternoon watching “12 ‘o Clock High” ( I like Gregory Peck) and reading blogs. All the talk of marxism and socialism and the EU etc. There isn’t any threat to the US if the nations of Europe decide to ignore the repeated failures of over regulated social welfare economies.
    In fact, the position of the US is only more assured if potential competative entities like China, Brazil, the EU, Russia, and other combinations continue to reject liberal capitalist democratic systems in favor of more statist variations of feudal society. For that’s what this is all about in the final analysis. The politics of pull, i.e., who owes you and who do you owe, will always end up operating to guarantee a reassuring mediocrity in business, technology, and culture.
    Regardless of what neat political term is used to describe it, eventually the functionaries of the court in Brussels will end up running things by way of a web of connections not found in any civics book. For any of you who remember an old BBC show called “Yes, Minister”, the Sir Humphries of the world will always rise to the top of any network like this —layer upon layer of interlocking ministries and bureaus, passing innumerable papers and plans back and forth to no net effect other than to smother any innovation, any true rejuvenation of these increasingly moribund societies.
    For those of you in Europe and Britain, if you actually choose this path, don’t be surprized when the American reaction is bewildered indifference. You have always mystified us with your meaningless pretensions and your recurrent desire to murder each other because some lunatic tells you to. As long as you just murder each other, the Bosnian fiasco notwithstanding, we don’t really care too much. When you can’t even feed yourselves any more because you’ve subsidized your agricultural sector out of existence, we’ll be glad to sell you some GM grain and meat. The French will have to hold their nose, but they do all the time anyway.

  • Andy Duncan

    Marxism Today was really pre-Internet, but I did find this interesting web snippet, this evening:

    => Tony Blair regular contributor to Marxism Today

    Check out that second paragraph.

    Does anybody know any Sun/Telegraph/Mail reporters who want something at the moment to further rubbish Blair with? They might be interested to ask him of his early nineties links with Marxism Today? Might catch him off guard, if of course some Labour flunkey isn’t monitoring Samizdata, and other similar sites, “just in case”.

    If there is such a sad, tired fool wasting their life doing such a menial task, Hi Sucker! 🙂

  • Andy Duncan

    Sorry to post again so soon, but we may have stumbled upon New Labour’s Achilles heel; its direct origins from Marxism, which they’re desperately trying to bury. Here’s another much more relevant and modern article (written just three days ago), which may ring a few bells for some people, on how we can take these evil creatures on:

    => Tony Blair and the Marxists

    Here’s a quote from the article:


    New Labour is as sublimely indifferent to this exciting possibility as it is guiltily evasive of its own quasi-Marxist history. Yet by so ignoring the cultural dynamics of political sensibility (again, as in the tumultuous 1970s and 1980s, associated with left-feminists and anti-racists) New Labour is set once again to cut itself off from its own channels for political replenishment and renewal.

    Ok, that’s it. I promise to go and watch Newsnight, now! 🙂

  • Glenn Bartley

    I’ll just kick back and put my heels up for a few years, and sort of wait it out. We will see if the Germans and French seeking social domination is a farce or not. How easily you British seem to forget the lessons from your own history books!

    They who long for peace (and in this case maybe even prosperity) should prepare for war! But that would not be the British based upon your current political leanings. You have again reinstated arms control for the masses, you put cameras everywhere as if the government cannot trust its own people, you talk of possibly eliminating the jury system of criminal justice, you are again failing to see the warning signs of socialism raising its ugly head in central Europe (much as it did just before WWII), you fail to accept the current economy of the world is in a downward spiral that may well lead to a large war (as it was before WWII), you fail to accept that socialism was the so called cure back then too (but it failed as it will again), your people are starting to turn their backs to the pond across which you have your staunchest ally, and you beg to make alliances with the devils of your past who coincidentally are again the promoters of socialism today. My guess is that once again you will also come to beg for assistance from across the pond. And we will likely give it to you gladly because, after all, you do have some politicians with balls (figuratively speaking of course) who stand up for what is right.

    Yet you have the nerve to compare your current leadership to Marx, and infer him to be a Marxist. The papers of politicians get into all sorts of publications – don’t they. Anyway, as I see it, a Marxist leader could be pretty good for you right now, because – you see – Marxism aka: Communism was the foe of much worse evil – or have you forgotten Nazism. Nazis were not Communists as were Marxists. Nazis were pure Socialists – and there is quite a difference! I agree with neither Marxism, Socialism or Nazism. I agree with freedom. I do know that your current leader is not a Marxist, a Socialist or a Nazi. I also do know that your leader sides with democracy and freedom; and I know that if you follow the lead of the EU you will have given up your freedom to do so.

    The Magna Carta indeed – what has become of it – is it dead? The Third Reich indeed may be dead, but not the ideals of the Reich. After all, the current government of Germany (relocated to Berlin) was housed, at least temporarily after the move to Berlin, in the building that was the seat of power for the Reich Stadt! Wasn’t that a clue; and didn’t you make light of it? Think about it now before it is too late, maybe you should have looked at in in a more serious light, the type of light that issues from storm clouds in the form of blitz (lightning). You remember the blitzkrieg, don’t you? Back then, most of you said it was all ado about nothing, just as most of you seem to be saying the same now. The 1,000 year Reich may yet come to be; but who among us would ever have imagined that the British would be the ones to help bring it to fulfillment! Wake up people of Great Britain. You may not get another Sir Winston Churchill to slap you to sensibility this time around. God Save The Queen!

    All the best from a concerned American Ally,
    Glenn Bartley

  • “Give ’em enough rope, and they’ll hang us all.”

    That’s what I always say.

  • Johan

    When Duncan spoke with his Marxist hat ON, I recognized many of those points describing Sweden so well I was just waiting for him to referr to this socialist swamp. The only thing that can help this country now, is a capitalistic revolution. I could spend a day writing only about what is going on here, but if you, Duncan, need proof for the sneaky tactic you were talking about, use Sweden as an example.

    Oh, the Day I’ll have a green card I’m taking the next flight out of here….

  • Brian

    Just watched this on the idiot box:

    SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY: Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it’s worked so well?

    JIM HACKER: That’s all ancient history, surely.

    HA: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it’s just like old times.

    JH: Then why are we fighting to increase the membership?

    HA: Same reason. It’s just like the United Nations. The more members it has, the more arguments you can stir up, and the more futile and impotent it becomes.

    JH: This all strikes me as the most appalling cynicism.

    HA: Hmm. We call it diplomacy.

    – Yes Minister, “The Writing on the Wall”, by Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay

  • Brian

    I should add that Antony Jay is very much a Skeptic:

    “I have thought – I still think – that Britain’s bureaucracy is a menace, but the Brussels bureaucracy is a nightmare. If a group of brilliant bureaucrats had tried to devise the perfect system to maximise their power and perks, and minimise their accountability, I do not think they could have achieved anything even to approach the European Commission.”

  • Nancy

    Glenn, you don’t write for Private Eye, do you?

  • D

    Glenn-
    “I do know that your current leader is not a Marxist, a Socialist or a Nazi. I also do know that your leader sides with democracy and freedom; and I know that if you follow the lead of the EU you will have given up your freedom to do so. ”

    Uh, Glenn – I think, that despite his much appreciated stand with us in the Iraq war, he may in fact be a marxist at heart, his refusal to let the Brits have a vote on their own fate makes his siding with democracy and freedom very questionable and he is not only following the lead of the EU, he is trying very hard to be that lead.

    Your heart is in the right place, but you are a little unclear on the details. Blair may be a better friend of the US than he is of Britain.

  • Glenn Bartley

    Maybe you are not clear as to whom I was making reference when I said the current leader of Great britain is not a marxist. God Save The Queen; and with that I will grant you that yest maybe I am a bit behind the times as to the power of the monarchy!