Some Reflections on the Failure of Political Leadership in Britain

I have written nothing on politics in over two months. For reasons that I think it would be tasteless to broadcast in advance, my home circumstances seem about to change so profoundly that I am not sure how much time I shall have for political writing of any kind. This may, therefore, be my last commentary for a while. And so I will write about what I see as the main failure of political leadership in this country since the forced retirement of Margaret Thatcher in November 1990.

I grew up in a country where nearly everyone voted, and where of those who did vote nearly everyone voted for one of the two main parties. Since 1997, there has been a collapse in turnout. In 2001, fewer than two thirds of the electors bothered to vote. There was little improvement in 2005. At the next general election, it is conceivable that fewer than half the electors will vote. And perhaps half of these will not vote for either of the two main parties. Certainly, in elections other than to Parliament, the voting figures have become a scandal that casts doubt on the democratic legitimacy of whoever wins. Indeed, we are looking now at a general election in which the most relevant question is not who will win, but who will not lose.

For some while into the 2001 Parliament, Labour politicians could excuse low turnouts with the claim that people were too satisfied with the new order of things to worry about voting. Since then, it has been generally accepted that something is wrong. The debate is between those who are wrong and those who are half right.

Those who are wrong are headed by the Liberal Democrats. For them, all can be made good by a combination of proportional representation and regional assemblies. They have been pushing the first of these ever since the old Liberal Party began losing elections under the present system. They appear to believe that the changes they want can solve every problem from public drunkenness to alleged global warming. The truth is that these changes will solve nothing, but only raise up further problems. A more moderate approach is to suggest that changing election days from Thursday to Sunday, combined with enabling voting by text message and via the Internet will raise attendance figures. This might improve the official turnout, but raises further problems of electoral honesty.

Those who are half right realise that people do not vote because there is no one in or near office worth voting for. Politicians are corrupt, incompetent, generally out of touch, and increasingly unattractive. I agree with this. Where I disagree is that the solution is for the politicians to keep asking the people what they want, and to try looking and sounding like ordinary people. This would only increase the present vulgarity of politics, and produce further lurches into a mad authoritarianism that will make people even less happy with the political leadership we have.

Let me summarise what I see as the true reasons for popular disenchantment with politics. We have a ruling class that sees itself not as a committee of trustees for the nation but as a committee of proprietors. This ruling class has increasingly stripped us of our traditional freedoms and of our national independence. With the legal changes of the past two decades, even I have given up on keeping track of what it is still legal to say or do. Anything the authorities do not like is either overtly against the law or subject to indirect punishment through the laws on town planning or consumer protection or health and safety or child welfare. The tax gatherers are rapacious. Other officials enforce regulations that crush individuality and that frequently cannot even be explained.

Political authority no longer emanates from a sovereign Parliament elected by us and accountable to us, but from the unaccountable institutions of the European Union or various other international institutions that are often invisible to ordinary people. We have been subjected to several generations of mass immigration that has changed the face of the country in ways on which we were never consulted. The presence of these newcomers has been made an excuse for claiming that the historic nation into which we were born no longer exists and that new institutions and laws are needed for its management. We have been pushed into wars in the Islamic world that defend no national interest and that have driven parts of the new population to the verge of rebellion. Recently, the wave of immigration has quickened – and let me say that I am thinking here mainly of entry from parts of the world where I have a strong family connection – to the point where working class living standards are in open decline, and where even the middle classes are feeling the pressure on property prices and public services.

All this, and our ruling class responds with a combination of denial and repression. Little wonder that increasingly few people bother voting. Little wonder that increasing number of those who still do vote no longer vote for the main parties.

Now, I had tea a few months ago with a Conservative Member of Parliament. I put parts of this case to him. His reply was that his constituents – and he meets hundreds of these every month – barely ever mention these heads of complaint. He would love them to complain about Europe and political correctness. Instead, they complain about poor standards in the schools and about hospital closures. I was an intellectual, he told me. I might want the world to be as I claimed it was. But he was a politician. He had to deal with a very different real world in which people had fundamentally changed even since 1997.

The conversation moved after this to matters on which we could talk more amicably over the teacups. But he was wrong and I was right. The truth is that few people think very well, and most people do not think at all. They are unhappy with England as it has become. But they are not able to say what are the causes of their unhappiness. On immigration and political correctness they are frightened to say what they probably do think. On the other issues they are unable to speak because they do not know what to say.

There should be nothing strange about this fact. A man can moan about the weather and the burden of advancing years, and never realise that the cause of his tiredness and dizzy spells is the hardening of his arteries. He may not even know about the circulation of the blood. It is the purpose of a doctor to diagnose and suggest treatments for conditions of which his patients understand nothing, but from which they suffer much. It should be the purpose of those who offer themselves for election to do the same with regard to ills of the nation.

This is not to say that individuals are incompetent to run their own lives, or should be regarded as such. Most people, in fact, manage to shuffle through life without making themselves and those around them particularly unhappy. Even otherwise, it would be still worse to give direction of private life to a class of guardians convinced of their ability to make us happier than we can make ourselves. It may be sad that so many people smoke or drink or eat themselves into early graves, or watch mind-rotting television programmes, or listen to morally corrupting music, or contract unhappy marriages, or do less than they might for their children. But the consequences of taking control of their lives are always worse. Some individuals do rather badly. But no one else would do better. And, again, most people do rather well.

It is different when it comes to politics. People may not give much informed thought to the nutritional value of the fish fingers they buy. But they give far less to the matter of the laws and institutions of their country. Everyone wants to live in a country where his chances of making himself and those around him happy are maximised. That does not qualify him to know how the country should be governed.

Again, this is not to say that ordinary people should be allowed no say in government. Given the minimal intelligence that most European populations seem to possess and some national feeling, representative government is generally better than despotism. But there is more to restoring our democracy than trying to guess what a majority might want on any particular issue and giving effect to it in Acts of Parliament. I suspect that a plebiscitary democracy in this country would – assuming the right media frenzy – give us ethnic cleansing and on the spot castration of accused paedophiles and the renaming of London as St Dianaville. None of this would make for a set of laws and institutions likely to enable the public good. It would probably lead, in the long intervals between each frenzy, to the sort of disgust for politicians that a foolish heir traditionally feels for the whores and panders who grant his every wish.

A political leader, as opposed to a demagogue, has a duty to listen, but also to educate. This means on occasion resisting the will of the majority. It means the sort of patient explanation of truth that I last saw in the early 1980s, when several dozen Conservatives, in or out of office, went about the country telling often hostile audiences why the calls for reflation had to be resisted. Now, it means explaining – among much else – why government spending must be cut, and why we need to go back to a system of criminal justice in which real criminals are generally punished with great severity, but in which they seem to have every chance of getting off.

We do not have this. Instead, we have politicians who claim simply to be listening. In fact, those who talk loudest about listening to the people only want to listen to the echo of their own babbling. I do not believe that the English people have fundamentally changed since 1997 – or since 1979. Perhaps millions joined in the collective mania that attended the death of the Princess of Wales. More millions, however, did not lay flowers outside Kensington Palace, and did not grieve for a stranger more than they grieved for their own dead. Most people look at what their country has become and are revolted by the sight. The English nation exists now much as it always has. The problem is that the best people to whom the nation has entrusted its thinking and political leadership have neither imagination nor courage. And the worst are obvious traitors and petty tyrants.

I think the Queen made a serious mistake ten years ago when she was persuaded not to face down the demands for that tasteless funeral in Westminster Abbey. She should have made a firm appeal from the people drunk to the people sober. There would have been some personal risk in this – though I fail to see how it would have made any permanent increase to the body of republican sentiment. But it might have done much to frustrate the culture of shallow and unEnglish sentimentality that has prevailed ever since.

Just as importantly, the Conservatives missed an opportunity that will not be repeated for intelligent thought of how to counter the Blair Revolution. They were out of office. They would be out for some while. That gave time to think about the mistakes of the Thatcher and Major years and to purge themselves of the corporatist and authoritarian that had accompanied and undermined the relative liberalisations that, even now, make us the preferred destination for almost every foreigner who wants a better life. Opposing the totalitarianism of public life that Labour set out to complete would have made them unpopular at the time. But I cannot see how a tenacious and intelligent defence of liberty and tradition would have put them in a worse state at the end of ten years than the jumble of short term gimmickry on which they did embark.

Of course, this assumes that the Conservative leadership was not by nature corporatist and authoritarian. For the most part it was. The Conservative failure of the past decade stems in large part from their inability to disagree with more than the incidentals of what Labour has done. But not every Conservative politician has been a Quisling Rightist. The one with whom I had tea is no villain.

However, the Conservatives really have missed their opportunity to set out a proper case. With David Cameron, they do seem to have embarked on a rebranding from which there is no going back. It may be that, whatever follies he commits, Labour will lose the next election – and this means he must become Prime Minister. But this will not give him the mandate – and I do not believe he will have the inclination – to do anything very conservative. If, on the other hand, the Conservatives manage to lose, I do not believe that any further rebranding will be accepted. A broadsheet newspaper can turn itself into a sensationalist tabloid. This may gain it more readers than it loses. But if the gamble fails, it cannot simply turn itself back into a broadsheet. The old readers will not easily forget the intervening horrors. It could be the same with the Conservatives.

And so, we have politicians, but no leaders. The main parties, indeed, seem structurally designed to prevent the emergence of leadership. Sooner or later, a leader may emerge. He will come, of necessity, from outside the mainstream. More likely perhaps, he will be a demagogue. Whether and when and who are not questions I feel competent to discuss. But I end this run of political commentaries without any of the offers of comfort that may often be found in my earlier efforts.

@ achille

Aristocracy and Democracy?

I cannot mean them together.


@ Conservative Swede


There is no point to go through the same 'debate' that was held here a couple of weeks ago.   For the simple reason that you are dishonest.  I have already clearly explained why the comparison with "the Arab Street" was made.  It had nothing to do with criticisms of America or any of its imperfections.  Those imperfections are, indeed, 'great' and numerous.  The comparison was made because, like the "Arab Street", you were blaming outsiders for 'own' failures.  Any honest reader can verify the chronology of the earlier debate.  Your continued misrepresentation or false strawman' w.r.t. the Arab Street comparison is dishonest. 

After reading your latest partial 'defense' of monarchy and aristicracy, I can understand your misunderstanding of America.   Once again, the American Revolution if anything was a Republican one, i.e. it was a rejection of "monarchy and aristocracy".  It certainly was NOT EGALITARIAN in spirit, as you keep falsely claiming.   The American Revolution was above all INDIVIDUALISTIC.  It was, as Atheling described so well, about defending individual rights against the powerful, above all against powerful government.  It is ludicrous for you to claim that the USA is about egalitarianism.  In fact, America gets berated by the overwhelming majority of educated Europeans for being the opposite.   Individualism is not egalitarianism!   

I fear, sir, that you are not only dishonest, but also NOT a democrat (with small d).  Your continued attempts to get Paul Belien to introduce forms of 'censorship' on this website are indicative of that.   The problems of popular democracy have been well known, at least in western civilisation, since the days of Socrates, Aristotle and Plato.   It helps explain why every democratic political system includes elements of 'elitism' to limit the dangers of mob rule and populism.   But it certainly does not justify your  'defense' of monarchy and aristocracy.

@ peter vanderheyden

"Socialist parties have still the same goal: protecting the rights of the common man, not leaving anybody behind, but the means in this other environment are obviously different."

There is but one option: you are kidding with me or you are blind!

@ peter vanderheyden

"The ones that get the most out of it are the populists, who don’t have to give anything. All they have to do is promise a lot, surf on the little fears of the public, and above all, never take real responsibility."

What you refer here are all kind of socialists.

They spended lots of money from welfare to buy votes now whithout t caring about what would happen in future.

"I’m what most people over here would characterize as “leftist”."

One substancial diference between right and left is that right is ruled by relations of causality and left by sentiments and feelings.

But for me what is the fundamental one that brings all other diferences is the opposition between the individual and the collectif.

On the left you have those who want the collectif to supplant the individual; class struggle (where your class of belonging dictates how you behave and feel and think), nationalism were creations of left. Here all man being equall means that we must be all equal, equalized even if it means equal in serfdom. They want a big state that make all equal and want state ruled economy.

On the right you have those who put individual over collectif. They are adepts of small state and market freedom. Here human rights means we have the right to be ourselves and responsable for what we are.

So, let me ask: are you a leftist?


I think you make the mistake of seeing “left” or “socialist” as an ideological framework, that doesn’t adapt to changing cultural en economic environments. Socialism came out of a time that the working class was poor, felt exploited by the upper class, and felt abandoned by the clerisy that choose the side of the rich. Equality between people who had nothing anyway was simply a fact. The socialist party that came out of this wanted to get the money for feeding the masses were it could be found, The often exuberantly rich upper class. To belong to the upper class or the working class was more or less given by birth. The only solution (and the just one) for more social justice was evidently equalitarian. Times have changed though. In our society one can escape the world of the non-haves trough education and entrepreneurship. Socialist parties have still the same goal: protecting the rights of the common man, not leaving anybody behind, but the means in this other environment are obviously different. We should maximize the parameters that give people the changes to get and stay out of poverty. That means a good working economy. (Their was a time this included protectionist measures, in a highly protectionist world. Now it may mean lowering taxes to attract entrepreneurship, and more free market) But it certainly still means a good education for everybody (not only those who can afford it), access to good healthcare for everybody, and a safety net for those who fall out of the system. If you call those last things equalitarian and intervening in people’s life, then I’m still a big adept for equalitarian measures.

@Peter vanderheyden

Ever read 1984? That's socialism, and that's what is happening in Europe and in America (though we're not in as an advanced stage as you are and are laboring under different laws and rights).

If you believe that socialism "protects the rights of the common man", then you are gravely mistaken.

In the end, socialism/communism ALWAYS oppresses. Look at history. USSR, Eastern bloc countries, China, North Korea, etc...


You would probably agree with me that there is a big difference between fascism and conservatism.
Both however start from the same point of view: The importance of and the loyalty to the nation-state with its values, religion, norms and habits. Both see it as the basis of a well performing society. Yet the means are completely different. Fascists try to force the world into their worldview by means of violence, brainwashing and centralization of power. Their picture of the nation-state is often unrealistically romanticized. Conservatives are part of a real world. They fight for their worldview trough democratic means, argumentation and persuasion.
The same difference goes for socialism and communism. Both start from the point of view that every person on the world should be equal in terms of chances and possibilities. Yet Communists try to force this in exactly the same way fascist would do. No wonder the two extremes meet. Socialists on the other hand fight for their worldview trough the same democratic means as conservatives do.

@ peter

No, I don't agree with you on the starting point of conservatism and fascism and the only kind of conservatism I adhere to is American conservatism. I am not too familiar with any other kind.

Conservatives in America are not loyal to the nation state. They are loyal to the PRINCIPLES of the United States Constitution. That's the difference. They prefer tradition to fashion; they prefer social stability and slow, deliberate change to sudden, mindless revolution. Conservatives prefer small government to Big Brother. Conservatives believe in citizen participation in civic duties and organizations.

Conservatives believe in a free and decent society with informed, responsible citizens who have inalienable rights that cannot be trampled on by any persons, the government or any foreign entity. Conservatives are suspicious of government and demand transparency in government's actions.

Fascism is the logical conclusion of Liberalism. TS Eliot, who I quoted elsewhere, gives a marvelous and incisive definition of Liberalism:

"By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanized or brutalized control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos ... Out of Liberalism itself come philosophies which deny it."

I think Communism and Socialism are similar in that they deny religion to the people. They refuse to see the spiritual facet of humanity, hence the denigration of the human being. Why not brutalize him? Why not kick him when he lies on the ground, as we have seen in Brussels.


Let me paraphrase this for you:

"By sticking to traditional habits, by imposing the same values on very different people, by opressing every deviating opinion, by substituting indoctrination for education, by oppressing clever and innovating people, by encouraging the standing authority rather than the bright inovater, by fostering a notion of submission to higher mysterious powers on to which the alternative is moral chaos, Conservatism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the sudden eruption of a violent revolution that destroys whatever was taken for granted. ... Out of Conservatism itself come philosophies which deny it."


Prove it. The very fact that so much innovation comes out of America belies your false analogy.

You haven't a clue about conservatism in America. Google some conservative organizations in America (especially educational ones) and you will find (but will probably close your eyes to) how they are fighting the Leftwing monologue in our educational system which indoctrinates young minds into socialism and liberalism.

Peter, I'm sorry that you are unable to see beyond the socialist crap you've been eating. You see, I used to be like you too. It wasn't till I hit my 30's and was "assaulted by reality" that I grew up and became a conservative.

As Churchill said: He who isn't a Liberal in his youth has no heart. He who isn't a Conservative in his adulthood has no brain.

re: disingenous

well, we’ll probably keep on disagreeing. For what its worth, I didn’t really mean the paraphrasing. It was only intended to show that this kind of “predicting the future” as TS Eliot does is worth very little. Anyway I want to thank you for the honest and frank discussion, it was very instructive.


Agree that we disagree.

Regarding Eliot, however, it's not a "prediction". It's based on logic.

I’m what most people over

I’m what most people over here would characterize as “leftist”. And yet as unlikely as it may seem, I think there is a lot of truth in this piece. From the left and the right, we have the same problems. Let me explain.

A generation ago, people where “socialist” or “liberal” or “catholic”. They belonged to a group, and voted accordingly. That mend that they trusted the candidates, often pushed by the party, for whatever their decisions were. This had the great advantage that politicians didn’t had to be particularly good looking, and that they could easy take courageous decisions, without risking to lose all of their electorate. The checks and balances, so important for a good working democracy, weren’t endangered*. Politicians that did morally unacceptable thinks, were still punished by the public, all be it often trough the party’s institutions.

We’ve lost that. People have become more individualistic. They don’t belong to a group, politically speaking, anymore. This means that a politician has to “please” the electorate by showing his face on the TV, by being funny, and by giving the public spectacular sweeties. But certainly not, by doing things that are against the short-term interests of the common man. The ones that get the most out of it are the populists, who don’t have to give anything. All they have to do is promise a lot, surf on the little fears of the public, and above all, never take real responsibility. You’ve got them mostly on the right now, but before we could find them more on left side. I don’t think they care much about right or left, as long as they can be provocative.



As Sean Gab, I could complain about our “ruling class” not being leaders anymore. But that is turning the things upside down. The ruling class consists out the persons people are voting for. There are probably still as many good leaders as before. The problem is that they are not voted into parliament.



What we see is a genuine crisis of democracy.  And I must confess it has is roots in the loss of unquestioned “values and norms” and social cohesion that existed in the west before. That doesn’t mean I Would like to go back to the time the priest, pastor, or political party decided what was good and wrong, what we had to think and where our responsibilities were. When I read the amount of homophobic and racist crap that often can be found on this website, under the title “Superior western morals” I’m very sure this is the last thing I want to return to. What is the answer then? I don’t know. There are perhaps a lot of small things we could do. For instance in education, we should teach more history and economics, explaining longtime effects of changes in economic and social environments. Or trying to keep politics out of the showbiz. But this is only small stuf. Perhaps a real crisis will turn things around?






The PS in Wallonia has still a big electorate voting unconditionally for them. What ever their politicians do, people keep on voting socialist. This shows perhaps that particracy can be dangerous too, if the mechanisms that ensure moral behavior are no longer working. It undermines the so needed checks and balances in democracy.

Editing problems

For some reason, this isn't allowing the editing of comments.

Pardon the poor grammar of the below comment. I'm at work and sometimes trying to whip out a quick comment results in careless grammar and spelling.


Conservative Swede demonstrates, once again, the infantilization of Europe.

Tell me, where were you on 9/11/07? Anywhere near Brussels? Trying to take the bull by the horns and solve your own EURO MADE problems?

The problem isn't democracy. The problem is SOCIALISM.



It illustrates well what I said about the typical commenter at this site that the wisdom of Edmund Burke is referred to as the "infantilization of the Europe". I believe that Paul Belien is crying himself asleep every night due to the immature level of the majority of the commenters here. Talk about infantilization! The comments section of this site is a disgrace.

For sensible people who are tired of the immature bashing at this site, I suggest that you come to Gates of Vienna instead. I feel sorry for Paul Belien, who is doing a great job in attracting high quality writers to his site. But he should also be ashamed that he has let the comments section of his site degenerate to such a very low level. Paul Belien is truly a conservative, but his commenters are the typical egalitarianism dogmatics. Paul Belien should follow the example of Gates of Vienna and enter the comments section of his site, to guide his commenters out of their ignorance and immaturity.

Let me prove for you all that Atheling is indeed an egalitarianism dogmatic. Atheling, let me ask you, are you against the unfettered mass democracy that we suffer under today all over the West? Or are you in favour of it? Would you agree with Edmund Burke that a balanced constitution needs the aristocratic and monarchical elements, or do you consider that to be evil?

On 9/11 I had to work. I have a job. With a responsibility that I couldn't evade on that date. I suppose Atheling thinks that I should be ashamed of that. Anyway, I cannot see how this relates at all to the discussion initiated by Sean Gabb here.

Last time around I tried to have an intelligent discussion about the historical dynamics of the relations between America and Europe that put us in this situation. See here.

Among other things I got this reaction from Amsterdamsky:
Oh how scandinavian. No wonder my ancesters left your shithole for the "culturally devoid and shallow" USA. We will all be laughing when your Nazi gold runs out and you wake up to the hangover of a muslim majority and Sharia law.

The egalitarian dogmatics of this site hate me for not speaking entirely positive of America every time I mention it. At other sites I'm known as a friend of America with a balanced view, and with interesting points of view. But the Brussels Journal represents the worst sort of touchy American jingoism. Within two minutes they will tell us how they wish for Europe to go to hell, as Amsterdamsky above. And this merely for pointing out that America is not perfect. Merely for pointing out American nature as it is.

It's also very interesting to see how among American jingoists, that Marxism, Nazism and the old monarchies of Europe get conflated into one and the same European evil. Paul Belien should be appalled by this cognitive dissonance in the comments section of his site. Or does he actually agree that Nazism and the old monarchies of Europe is just two sides of the same thing? While at the same time also being an expression of Marxism?

It's when the American jingoists start being emotional that they show their true side. It's very enlightening. Now, I'm aware of that the fact that I refer to the people here as American jingoists, will be taken as a proof by that very same people that I'm an anti-American, and sound like the "Arab Street" (as Marcfrans said). But with American jingoists I do not refer to Americans in general, only to the ones that are truly fanatical. I welcome you to come and see how I interact with Americans in an environment where I'm not surrounded by knee-jerk American chauvinists, e.g. at Gates of Vienna. Which is an excellent site, also thanks to the high quality of its comments section.

European arrogance and the evil of totalitarianism

I'll try to not be to long about "conservatism" and european/american relations.
I am french and not proud of France nowadays.
I believe in and am convincted of some truth and values which are roughly considered as "western" values even if they have also "eastern" roots in the antiquity.
I can't stand the arrogance of an europe where the worst totalitarianisms are born and which pretend to lecture the world and look with kind eyes toward the new totalitarianism ie islamism.

Conservative Swede if you knew E.Burk,you should know that he saw the french revolution as a disaster and the begining of the problem of democratism/egalitarianism leading to communism.
You should know that a degenerate hereditary aristocracy and monarchy prepared the french revolution(cf Louis XIV and Louis XV in France)

USA are not perfect but younger as a notion.Americans are then closer to their roots and fathers values as in Europe most of the leaders try to cancel and forget their legacy and forget the future(we have a very few kids).
USA society promoted a new kind of aristocracy in its democracy an aristocracy linked to merit and not heredity....

A true and sensible "conservatism" must be the path to a consistent progress and freedom.
The old dogmatic conservatism goes backward.

Thanks USA for helping the old Europe

Conservative Swede and honest?

Ethic and then honesty is one essential aspect of "conservatism".It should be!

If you are a true and sensible conservative Swede,try to make it obvious and don't isolate a little sentence in my post.
It was a short though synthetic and ,maybe, provocative conclusion.
I said i wanted to make a short comment with the previous post but i gave some explanations.
I am obviously ,if you try to really read what i said,referring to "conservative" and sensible americans.Those are helping or could help an old europe weakened by skepticism and hopelessness,loss of faith in itself(once again NO KIDS)going slowly but certainly to suicide.

But i already gave a few arguments in the previous post.

I will add for Conservative Swede and hese kinds that they have a lot of problems at home, in Europe,and they'd better face them instead of always lecturing our american "allies"(should i say former allies?).
We have in the pathetic actual France some so-called "conservatives" on the political far right-wing who are taking the same stance than socialo-communist on foreign issues...When nationalism meet socialism what do you get?...


Since you are French I suppose you are familiar with Jean-Francois Revel, who has been one piece of the puzzle for me to form my picture both about the nature of America ("Without Marx or Jesus") as well as anti-Americanism ("Anti-Americanism"). Have you read him? I recommend both books.

Do you appreciate Burke? If you truly take an interest in Burke, you should read his Reflections. You will find that he does not blame the French revolution on the aristocracy and the monarchy as you suggest. Burke was a defender of a mixed constitution with aristocracy and monarchy. You cannot just make Burke into what you want him to be.

Totalitarianism only struck in Europe in the era when the old ruling classes had been torn down. As Erik von Kuehnnelt-Leddin said: if Hitler had had a shred of humor, he would have erected a monument to Wilson; in fact he owed his success to the American president's demolition of the old European monarchical concert and the break up of the Austrian Empire.

The essence of the American Revolution was the same as the French Revolution. In both cases they were egalitarian revolutions. They are only different on the surface. Since the American Revolution was not bloody. This since America is egalitarian by its history and tradition, and that there were no aristocracy to kill. But in the longer run they had the same effects. This is the proper way to understand Americans: they are egalitarianist revolutionaries.

As we see it's the Europe of pre-WWI that was the good healthy system. And this is also the message of Burke. After WWI we have the egalitarianism, which was denounced by Burke, dominating everywhere in the West. I think that you should probably not refer favourably to Burke if you do not share this idea with him.

American "conservatism" is entirely based on egalitarianism. There is no other fundament to base even a traditionalist movement upon in America. America is by nature and history egalitarian. But quite as socialist Sweden looked much better than the socialist Soviet union, but is going the same way in the long run. So did egalitarian America look better than egalitarian France, but went the same way in the longer run. And is now dominating the West with this egalitarian doctrine.

Americans are closer to their roots since they didn't have any cultural revolutions imposed upon them, as the ones imposed on the Europeans, especially the de-Nazification after WWII.

Finally, since you decided to criticize my comments. I'd like to ask you if this means that you agree with the comments of Atheling? Do you approve of his comments and think that they make sense?


One must be aware about words.
They can be treacherous and fool those who aren't curious about facts.
Everyone who knows really the french revolution can understand that it was an ideological and terrorist revolution where a lot of innocent civilians(including women and children)were deliberatly killed for their OPINIONS and RELIGIONS(churches were destroyed and priests were killed).
I think that the american war of INDEPENDANCY as NOTHING to do with that.
Instead french revolution has many links with the further russian revolution after the repetition of the bloody "Commune" in Paris at the end of 19th century...

BTW neither BURKE neither REVEL are my thinking master even if i appreciate some aspects of their works.
In addition Aristotle had spoken since a long time of the necessary association of "democracy","aristocracy" and "monarchy" for a sane and balanced society government.
I agree with that.

But that's France who tried to introduce a kind of straight fantasmatic ideological democracy which led to communism

@Conservative Swede

First of all, your posts are too long winded.

Secondly, you miss the point. Europe's problem is NOT about democracy. It's about SOCIALISM.

Your name is a misnomer and very misleading. You're not "conservative", you're a socialist masquerading as a conservative.

Thirdly, I know perfectly well that America is not perfect. However, it's a hell of a lot better than Europe. The proof lies in the fact that Euros have been fleeing Europe to America for over 2 centuries now, and it's not the other way around.

Fourthly, you ARE infantile. Everytime someone disagrees with you, you cry to Paul Belien, and to who knows who else (yo mama!) because "they're picking on me!" Your silly superiority posturing DESERVES to be ridiculed. And guess what?

It ain't gonna stop.

And I see your "excuse" for not attending the protest. I bet those brave souls who went had jobs too. But they also have something else that you lack:



Thank you Atheling, your comments are absolutely marvelous. I'm having a ball.

Your name is a misnomer and very misleading. You're not "conservative", you're a socialist masquerading as a conservative.

I suppose Edmund Burke was also a socialist masquerading as a conservative, according to you. What's your opinion of his defense of the mixed constitution with aristocratic and monarchical elements? Or is that a socialist idea in your view?

I know you are not here to take an interest in any substantive discussion. But could you just say something about what you think about the article by Sean Gabb? I for one 100% agree with what he says. Do you think that also Sean Gabb represents socialist ideas?

Your conclusion is mine exactly, Sean

"Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion."
Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 1774.

Your conclusion is mine exactly, Sean. You said "The truth is that few people think very well, and most people do not think at all. They are unhappy with England as it has become. But they are not able to say what are the causes of their unhappiness.". Very true.

Your comparison between the doctor and the politician is also spot on. The problem is a structural problem, however, and built-in into the system of mass democracy that has been imposed upon us in the American Age. In unfettered mass democracy, everybody is supposed to be an expert on politics. Imagine if city planning was handled in the same way, if everybody was considered an expert on architecture. What ugly cites we would have, what hazardous houses. Not to mention how dangerous it would be for the patient, if everybody was considered an expert on medicine, and the treatment was decided upon by a democratic vote. But the art of governing a country is even more complex than the art of medicine. No surprise that we have the results that we have. Especially since all the "experts" of mass democracy hasn't even understood that politics is about how to rule a country. They think politics is about group interests, sense of entitlement, personal attitudes, and indulging in Christian goodness. Thus the results. It's not exactly rocket science to see this very simple causality.

Mr. Spog writes about Burke at his blog:
"Edmund Burke strongly upheld the mixed constitution of 18th century Britain, with its monarchical, aristocratic and democratic (or at least popular) elements. To those who insist on unfettered or "Volkskammer" democracy as their ideal, Burke, who by the standards of his time was fairly liberal, is now likely to seem a reactionary. Modern democrats might be surprised, however, if they looked at what Burke says about the popular element of the mixed constitution in his 'Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents'. His basic position is that while the popular element should not overwhelm the other two, the popular representative institution itself should nevertheless be genuinely popular—not vitiated by aristocratic or monarchical tendencies. It is not for the popular assembly to check popular excesses: that is a role for other institutions." Read the rest of it here.

For the colonial underdogs of America, such a mixed constitution was unthinkable. Aristocratic and monarchical elements--this is what was considered as the biggest evil in the eyes of the Americans, and exactly what they considered necessary to eradicate from Europe. Something they succeeded in, in collaboration with European socialists.

I know by now that the mob of "experts" that dominate the comments section of this site will jump on me. In their eyes, including a long-term historical perspective makes me anti-American, and makes me sound like the "Arab Street". By describing the essential nature of Europe vs. America in a long-term historical perspective makes me "blaming it all on America". I guess these people are also hardcore believers in the unfettered mass democracy that is exactly the root of the problem. I guess my historical perspective destroy their narrow present-time oriented mental theater, which allow them for their knee-jerk American chauvinism. It's very sad that the commenters of this site indeed belong to the category of people that Sean Gabb describes as "The truth is that few people think very well, and most people do not think at all". It's sad since the writers of this site are of such high quality.

Chandler's Ford

British cops shoot dead two bank robbers.Bad news? This is the ONLY snippet of good news I have to report.Added to which there is bound to be the inevitable enquiry as to why the police took it upon themselves to act like God -in a Godless society- to shoot them.