Wednesday 13 July 2011

What are the forces for cohesion in England in the face of chaos or coup?


Darned if I know...

When things start to collapse - either due to a rising tide of disorder or a focused attempt at takeover of the state or a part of England - what forces for cohesion exist?

(The only thing preventing chaos or coup is that nobody seems to have recognized how easy it would be. Let's hope they don't read this...)

All the old traditional English virtues (such as those celebrated by Orwell) are by now thoroughly dismantled.


(The class system is wholly destroyed and has not been replaced - the main activity of the English upper class is organizing and disseminating propaganda against themselves.)


Instead there is placid laziness alternating with gross sensation-seeking, reinforced by the rainy climate (which make rioting risky - who wants to riot in the rain? Yet also encouraging intoxication) - but all that domestication will act against the English if society becomes disordered and resistance is required.

It really is hard to exaggerate the weakness of England; at the public level a morass of careerism, hedonism, self-advertisement, self-hatred. All resilient virtues secretly operative only between atomic individuals and hidden within families.


So where might English cohesion arise?

Tribalism? What tribes? - No

Families? Which families? - No

So nationalism? No chance.

Trades unions? Not now - they are concerned only with PC and short-termist grabs.

The military? Physically capable - but psychologically neutered. No.

Religion? No - except for one.

The problem is that each and every English institution (the Church, Law, Medicine, Education and so on) has long-since been filleted and assimilated to self-hating political correctness.


Quite honestly I am at a loss. When the tide of chaos rises and/or when some determined and cohesive group decides to take-over by force (and I can think of one, but only one) - who will stop them?
More to the point who would even try to stop them? Who would draw a line? Who would meet force with (overwhelming) force?

(Such is the level of endemic dishonesty in public disourse, the actuality and significance of chaos and coup would simply be denied.)

Clearly the country would multiply fragment - but into what? What foci of order?

Beats me.


Suggestions on the back of a postage stamp, please...


NOTE ADDED: I neglected to state the obvious default level of cohesion: organized crime. This has been and remains very powerful in Northern Ireland. But a non-ideological type would, if nothing intervened, be the default cohesion in England, too - presumably.



JuliusW said...

I don't know either. Interesting that you conflate cohesion with uprising. There is, by the bye, an interesting recent post on Kings of War -

Bruce Charlton said...

@JuliusW - an uprising would have to be cohesive - but it will not be Leftist. Why revolt against yourself?

TrueNorth said...

"If there is any hope, it lies with the proles."

Here, we may take the proles to mean jointly the patriotic working and lower middle classes, who have not yet surrendered to the dominant PC ideology of multiculturalism.

I am thinking of the kind of viewpoints represented by Telegraph readers on the right and former-Labour supporter Pat Condell (from the left) who have seen through the nonsense of multiculturalism.

I propose UKIP as the vehicle for bringing all these people together. Maybe a revolt against PC conservatives is what is needed, similar to what happened in Canada a couple of decades ago. Our conservative party had moved left and renamed itself - get this, the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party - and a breakaway group called the Reform Party started in Alberta by way of protest.

Eventually, this split the conservative vote giving the Liberals a decade of power. But eventually, the people got tired of the Liberals and were ready to elect the alternative, whatever it was. In this case it was the conservatives reunited under Stephen Harper - of Reform, which basically took over the old Conservative Party. At nadir, the Conservatives got 3 they have a majority.

UKIP could be the vehicle for a similar rebellion in the UK. "UK Out of the EU and PC out of the UK" - a simple platform that would win wide political support. I hear that UKIP is already approaching the polling level of the UK Liberal Party and could well move into third place next time, at which point they start to seriously put pressure on the Tories.

It may take a spell of Labour again to force the capitulation of the PC Tory party, but it will be worth it.

HofJude said...

Close thy Lord of the Rings - open thy Napoleon of Notting Hill.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TN - my feeling is that 1. there has been no wholesale repudiation of past errors from UKIP, and without this there can be no major reversal - which would need to be really tough to be effective; 2. UKIP is secular and materialist, hence lacks moral traction; 3. but, nevertheless, given long enough I agree that something of this sort probably would happen - however, I don't think there will be enough time.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SS - sadly, that is exactly the possibility of a century ago which is now impossible - the past several decades have destroyed the spirit of England about which Chesterton wrote.

dearieme said...

The forces of cohesion?

Why, the Gods of the Copybook Headings, of course.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Brett Stevens said...

The societies closer to disorder seem to depend on informal systems of rule that resemble oligarchies or organized crime.

I don't know what would hold up in a cataclysm, mainly because people are so individualistic the concept of collective action is lost. However, from having lived through a few disasters, I can say that people do gravitate toward each other -- the good ones, at least.

During the last hurricane here, in the aftermath the good/smart were networking to remove dead vegetation, share resources, etc. The less productive were busy drinking beer and complaining.

nk said...

Maybe the power is open for any determinied group to grab. But how should it be used, in which concrete steps ?

The (re)construction of a society is a huge tasks full of hardships for everyone - even the ruling group. Bloodletting is to be expected and a godd outcome far from being guaranteed.

Who has the guts to do this ?

SonofMoses said...

I have often had similar sad thoughts, Bruce. Western civilisation as it now hangs on reminds me of one of those burnt pieces of paper one sees in a fireplace, which, though the sap has gone out of it, still somehow holds its shape, but only until someone pokes it with a stick, or a gust of wind catches it; then it crumbles. The ancestral shape, held there as though by the merest memory simply folds in on itself so that nothing remains but dust and ashes, soon to be blown to the four directions.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SoM - beautifully expressed...

Quodrox said...

@bgc - I just thought it was refreshing to see someone talking about cohesion outside of the usual terms (ie community cohesion thought of in terms of people from different cultural etc backgrounds living peacefully alongside each other). And sure, an uprising needn't be from the Left.

Ugh said...

In the U.S. we had a spontaneous uprising that became known as the Tea Party. Despite what the media has tried to convey it was truly spontaneous - I was there. The initial surge was a backlash against the Federal grab for power - power there was no constitutional authority for. Obama literally took over companies, fired and hired CEO's and negotiated union contracts. He had no authority to do so.

There is no doubt the Tea Party had a huge effect on the mid-terms here, the Republicans did well in every state and regained the House of Representatives.

The media has tried everything to discredit and marginalize the movement - racist, radical, fringe, fanatical, insane, right wing (but then I repeat myself).

Socialism and PCism is as alive here as anywhere but there are a lot of people willing to stand against it however futile it seems.

Bruce Charlton said...

@staticnoise - yes, the situation is healthier in the US, it seems to me - I restrict my comments here to the UK, indeed to England.

Bill said...

Prince Philip seems quite openly un-PC. Who knows what his wife and progeny actually think. Who knows what they would be willing to say or do should things go pear-shaped.

The Monarchy continues, theoretically, to have significant power. In the event of a social collapse, why shouldn't that power become actual? You don't think Betty II would like to have Betty I's power?

Her sons and grandsons served in the armed forces and several fought, no? She rubs elbows with admirals and generals constantly, no? Isn't it likely that, in the awful events you are conjuring, she would be able to convince a significant number of them to obey her? Given the choice between chaos and the Queen, isn't it likely that at least a non-trivial minority would choose her?

Your line of thought seems to be to imagine 1) social collapse followed by 2) everybody more or less continuing to act the way your colleagues in academia act now, bitching about "the Man" as the barbarian hordes stampede through. 2) seems wrong to me.

Think how differently an unruly child behaves towards his father right after he sees the bear in the woods.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Bill - are you English or an external observer?

(I ask because I don't understand you comment about The Man - and have never once heard this expression from a British academic or colleague. I am vaguely aware that it is American slang for 'the establishment')

To this Englishman it is *inconceivable* that the House of Windsor would take over government in a crisis, they would not even want to do so.

I used to think the military might take over - but that too now seems inconceivable.

The Left has long since subverted every institution with power or potential power in England.

Now they do not know what they are trying to do or why.

Bill said...

I'm American. My mother immigrated from England in the sixties. Yes, "The Man" means "the establishment."

Henderson said...

quite prescient

Bruce Charlton said...

@Henderson - yes, and only the beginning I fear...