Friday 9 December 2011

A step back from the abyss - a topical news post


Regular readers know that I never blog on news items, which is why I feel compelled to mention that England today took one step back from the abyss that is the European Union.

Of course that leaves us just one step away from the abyss, but still, I'm pleasantly surprised... no, more than that, I am astonished.

The question is whether the Prime Minister has repented and this represents the first day of a new era; or whether it is today's step back which he will repent, and for which he will henceforth attempt to atone - in which case it will be business as usual, only more so.



Proph said...

I wish I could believe that. Realistically, I suspect Cameron's decision was based on a desire to protect British banks from European oversight (i.e., to allow them to continue to financially rape the kingdom through usury and fraud without accountability or oversight), not from any objection to the centralization of power in Europe in the hands of godless protocommunists.

HenryOrientJnr said...

It was certainly a pleasant surprise. I just hope it isn't a tactical move to hold off UKIP, which seems to be rising quickly to the number three spot in the polls.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Proph - I thought the same until I read the responses - all the right people absolutely HATE what Cameron did.

But I think we will very soon know what it signifies - because if Cameron was forced to do this against his will or instincts, then he will be *desparate* to win back the approval of the Leftist establishment, by making very major concessions to them.

One person who did this in the past was Ted Heath - who became an establishment darling, despite having been a hated Conservative Prime minister - by an economic U-turn in response to Union pressure and decades of utterly submissive pro-European Union campaigning.

dearieme said...

Sarkozy was looking particularly demonic I thought.

The Eurozone disaster will hurt us whatever we do, but thank goodness we didn't join that mutual suicide pact. And all because Brown wanted to frustrate Blair. Hey ho.

Bruce Charlton said...

Anything which provokes today's The Independent to THIS

(A solid black box over seven doom-pronouncing headlines about the supposed-disaster of England failing to join the lemmings of Europe)

Since The Independent (along with the BBC current affairs) comes pretty close to pure evil, this must, surely, be good for Albion/ Logres?

Baduin said...

I am sorry, but this reasoning is faulty. The right is not simply the opposition to wrong; since there is an infinite number of possible wrongs, and only one right, this way one will get simply another wrong - usually even greater.

The "fiscal union" is of course a mutual suicide pact, but it is designedly so. It is designed to worsen things so that the hungry and desperate populations will agree to the common (but not democratic) European State.

This is at least a plan, and I would be even inclined to support it, except the proposed rulers of this state are entirely untrustworthy.

As for Cameron, he seems to lack any plan at all. Again, I agree that it would be better for Britain to wait things out, and either join or not join the new European State after the dust settles and it becomes moderately clear what it is going to be.

But this requires some preparation to survive the unavoidable economic collapse alone. As England depends on its financial sector, and therefore on international trade, this is not so easy - and if the government has any solutions prepared, they are not obvious.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the step back from the abyss will be the first of many steps, and more hopefully, perhaps the step back will be the beginnings of a giant and rapid leap.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Anonymous - please use a pseudonym - I hate 'anonymous' comments.

Bruce Charlton said...

Some reports today suggest that various forces are trying to undo Cameron's decision - so it looks like he will be forced to move either forward or backwards from where he is now - either to retrace his steps or burn his boats.

Cantillonblog said...

Why are people here so sure there must needs be an economic collapse?

I say this having written in July 2008, as the Euro made its high, about the tremendous misperception regarding the relative problems of the US (at that time considered terminal) vs Europe (where people at that time thought of the crisis as basically an American problem); and having written in May this year of the pending problems imminently ahead in Europe, and the mistake the ECB was making yet again in hiking in to a slowdown.

I say this because I do this for a living and consider it my job to try to see what lies around the corner, rather than what is currently in the focus of the mass media. And in that context, it is a mystery to me as to why a group of people almost defined in part by their acknowledgement of the delusions and lies of the mass media should then go ahead and consider their interpretation of the situation in Europe to be useful.

No doubt we have a difficult few months ahead for economic growth in the periphery, and Eastern Europe. This is because of the new capital requirements that kick in by next June that will tend to force banks to pull back from lending.

But in the bigger picture, in my not entirely uninformed opinion, I see no reason to expect imminent disaster in Europe. One might over time see rather higher inflation, and a rather lower EUR against the dollar and pound - but that is part of the solution, not a problem in itself.

We are certainly seeing power shift towards creditor nations, and this isn't likely to be a positive thing for Britain given the cultural difference between our pragmatic empiricism and the more Idealistic German approach to understanding and regulating things. Change is always difficult to adjust to, but I doubt very much this is just yet the end of the world.

It seems to early to say what the future might bring for Britain's relationship with the EU but I agree with Bruce that this could end up being very positive.

Wm Jas said...

A few posts back, you wrote, "I get the sense that (on earth) there is meant to be Empire, and the Empire is meant to be consciously Roman (i.e. Rome-descended) and Christian."

If this is the goal, the EU would at least seem like a step in the right direction. Or do you consider it important that Europe's re-Christianization take place before the re-establishment of the Empire?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Cantillonblog - This is the background:

The economics crash in 2008 and my conversion to Christianity happened at around the same time.

My societal analysis is not much based on the media (although inevitably it is - but usually after a pause for delay and filtering and common sense/ experience testing).

I gathered, back in 2008, that the West was living from borrowing and inflation, and that (assuming that people wanted economic prosperity) the standard of living needed to be scaled-back for several years, and efficiency/ productivity increased, before the standard of living could sustainably rise.

In other words there had first to be a recession/ contraction in order to enable real growth in productivity. (As there was in the UK in the early 1980s.)

There must also be over-correction, because there is no precision in economics - the reduction in standard of living would need to be big enough.


There are some huge problems in Western economies - most of which could be termed dependence.

Truly enormous percentages of people are economically dependent yet have a very high standard of living.

On top of an adverse age structure, insane numbers of young and fit but idle students (more than trebled in the past 15-20 years), bloated bureaucracy, and literally millions of pseudo-sick and disabled, the UK is importing staggering numbers of third world dependents - every two or three years another million arrive (whether legally or not) (each year enough to fill a large city in a county with only a few score large sicties), and although they mostly cannot work in modern economies (nor will their descendants be able to do so), they are housed, fed, given services brought up to an economic level at least - from observation it looks like an economic level above - that of the native population.

No economy can continue like this. And then what happens in a country where the authorities will simply observe rioters looting and destroying (so long as these rioters are the dependant client groups of Leftism - which the majority of the UK population now are)

Bruce Charlton said...

Since 2008 - Nothing has been done to address these structural problems. There has been inflation in food and fuel prices - but the government have done everything they could (by word and deed) to prevent the recession which was economically vital.

So, three years plus down the line, all the causes of the 2008 problems have continued to accumulate and politics is no more realistic then it was then.

This is democracy. And Leftism. All based on anti-Christian atheism. None of which looks at all likely to change.

So obviously there will be a collapse, and obviously it will be bigger and worse than it would have been three years ago.

What form it will take and exactly when or how it will happen, I have no idea - but it is unavoidable unless there is very significant realism in economic policy - I mean the commonsense realism the realism of a housewife, or a village chief.

Deep down there is the underlying problem that Western modernity has, for the past 200 plus years, been driven by scientific/ technological breakthroughs which have dried-up.


Like most people I am afraid of serious suffering (starvation, disease, cold, violence) - both for myself and my loved ones. On the other side of this, maybe there is a better society - but maybe not because Christianity is so weak - the UK is probably more likely to become Muslim or Pagan-ruled than a Christian society.

What will happen is impossible to say, because there are no good historical parallels. The evil insanity of the ruling elites, the way they continually do the opposite of common sense, is unprecedented.

The whole of modern life is permeated by a sense of unreality (our nihilist elites do not believe that reality is real, they believe it is socially constructed - by them!), of fantasy - sustained by the demonic urge which is political correctness that the fantasies should not be shattered.

Meanwhile, underneath the fantasies, reality goes on.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - "do you consider it important that Europe's re-Christianization take place before the re-establishment of the Empire?"

Yes of course! - I keep saying this but it seems nobody takes it seriously!

(Otherwise you would get the situation of the USSR - when communism took-over control of the Empire.)

Christian first, and only then reactionary.

Now you understand why I am such a pessimist...

(Pessimism is allowed, despair is not; so I strive to be a hopeful pessimist.)

Bruce Charlton said...

@Gyan - my understanding is that things are different now from what they have ever been anywhere else in history - so the usual things will not apply; but I don't know what will.

A society that has never been very specialized and differentiated will be much more robust to breakdown - for example, in many societies the village has been almost autonomous.

But not here, not now.

All previous societies have responded to obvious threats with some attempt to do something about it.

But our society acts to increase threats.

Probably the nearest equivalent would be the centralized communist societies (USSR, China, North Korea) when they collapse or when the leadership go crazy - casualties in the tens of millions, vast prison and slave populations etc...

All the normal feedback loops have been dismantled, everything depends on the leadership making the right analysis and decisions, and when they don't...

Bruce Charlton said...

And the answer is...

"today's step back which he will repent, and for which he will henceforth attempt to atone - in which case it will be business as usual, only more so."