Posts Tagged ‘Benito Mussolini’

Mussolini Refutes Classical Liberalism

March 19, 2023

Yeah, I know – more fascism. I expect you’re getting fed up with it, and I agree. It’s not a very edifying subject. But I intend this little extract from Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile’s ‘The Foundation and Doctrine of Fascism’ as a response to all the self-styled, right-wing Conservative ‘Classical Liberals’, who think that if everything was privatised and there was no welfare state or health service, but only private charity and provision, somehow the country would become more prosperous and industry more efficient. In this extract, Mussolini states bluntly that Classical Liberalism is a failure and the only response to the economic crisis is state intervention.

‘Since 1929, economic and political developments have further confirmed these truths. The importance of the state is growing by leaps and bounds (giganteggia) in all parts of the world. Only the state can resolve capitalism’s dramatic contradictions. The so-called crisis can only be settled by state action and within the orbit of the state. Where are the shades of the Jules Simons, who, in the early days of liberalism, proclaimed that the “state should endeavour to render itself useless and prepare to hand in its resignation”? Or of the MacCullochs, who, in the second half of last century, urged that the state should desist from governing too much! And what of the English Bentham, who thought that the only thing that industry needed from government was to be left alone! And what of the German Humboldt, who expressed the opinion that the best government was a “lazy” one! What would they say now about the constant, inevitable, and urgent requests on the part of business for government intervention? It is true that the second generation of economists was less uncompromising in this domain than the first, and that even (Adam) Smith left the door ajar, albeit cautiously, for government intervention in business.’

In Jeffrey T, Schnapp, ed., A Primer of Italian Fascism (University of Nebraska Press: 2000) 58-9.

Mussolini’s regime had practised what they preached, and learned from experience. When the Duce took power, he stated that his regime would practise Manchester school capitalism and he began a programme of privatisation, starting with the Rome telephone exchange. Private enterprise was declared to be the economic foundation of society and a duty. The state also set up a department to provide aid and technical assistance to failing businesses. But when the Crash hit, the regime reversed its policy, began nationalising firms and Italy had the highest amount of state interference in industry in Europe outside the Soviet Union.

This doesn’t justify Mussolini’s despotism or his destruction of human dignity, freedom and lives. But state intervention and a planned economy are not confined to brutal, tyrannical regimes. They were part of the social democratic consensus that gave Britain economic growth and prosperity before the depression of the 1970s and the rise of Thatcher. And as the current crisis shows, Thatcherism has ultimately brought nothing but poverty and starvation.

Out with the Tories! Time for a return to socialism!

Oswald Mosley’s Thoughts On an Industrial Franchise

March 18, 2023

One of Mosley’s policies for the British Union of Fascists was to turn the House of Lords into an industrial chamber. This would be like Fascist Italy’s Chamber of Fasces and Corporations in which representatives of management and the trade unions for particular industries would sit to manage the economy. It’s an interesting idea, and the Germans had experimented with a similar chamber in 1919. When Mosley was attempting his political return after the War, he was still considering having people elected according to industry rather than geographical location, and included his thoughts on it in his book Mosley-Right or Wrong (London: Lion Books 1961):

‘Question 152: Do you advocate an occupational franchise?

Answer: I think it is the best method, but it is not essential to our system. So long as government has sufficient power of action in its defined sphere to carry out the mandate of the electors during its period of office, the essential is there. Government elected by the people will be able to do what the people want done, and they can sack it by their votes at the next election if it does not do the job to their satisfaction.

But as parliament still plays a very important part in our systems, it is preferable that it should be elected in a modern instead of an obsolete way. I mean by this that in early days of the geographical franchise, when the main industry was agriculture, men exercised the very limited franchise of those days in the area where they both lived and worked. Residential and industrial interests were really identical. But now a man’s occupation may be completely separated from his residence. Certainly his interests in these two spheres are no longer identical, and most men and women are more interested in their occupation than where they happen to live.

In their occupation they are well informed concerning its problems and the people engaged in it. They are more likely to select the best people to represent them.

Further, the resulting parliament will be a serious one, more likely to approach problems in the spirit of the search for truth, rather than the frivolous mood of party warfare. That is why I prefer and occupational franchise, but it is not essential to the success of our system. People may prefer not immediately to change so many of the traditional methods.’ (p. 151).

I’d very much like working people and their industries to be represented in parliament, especially as it is now dominated by representatives of industry. When Cameron was in power 77 % of MPs were company directors and senior executives. But the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations didn’t actually do anything except cheer Mussolini and rubber stamp his polices.

As well as laying out Mosley’s policies for post-War Britain and Europe, much of the book is an attempt to justify his conduct before the War as head of the BUF. He attempts to present himself as a democratic politician and definitely not a raging anti-Semite. The BUF wasn’t responsible for violence, and in power Mosley will respect all the traditional liberties like free elections and Habeas Corpus. He also attempts to redefine various Fascist doctrines. For example, he declares that the leadership principle just means that the person in charge of a particular policy, task or ministry should be held absolutely personally responsible for it, and that the buck shouldn’t be passed among members of various committees. It’s a good attitude, especially as we’ve seen officials responsible for catastrophic failures try to shrug off their responsibility for it. But that’s not what the leadership principle means. It looks like a version of Hitler’s Fuehrerprinzep, or ‘leader principle’. Simply put, this meant that the head of an organisation was its leader, and his staff or employees had an absolute duty to obey him, such as the relationship between a factory manager and his workers.

As for Mosley respecting democracy, I don’t believe a word of it.

Mosley is completely unrepentant of the actions and policies of the BUF. He considered them justified at the time, and says so in his book. If Mosley had seized power, Britain would have become another wretched Fascist dictatorship in which the individual would have no rights, political parties and genuine working class trade unions would be smashed and illegal. Opposition politicians would be attacked and incarcerated and Jewish Brits would either be expelled or exterminated. I’ve no doubt that he would have collaborated with Hitler in the Holocaust. After Hitler became the international star of Fascism, eclipsing Mussolini, Mosley changed the name of his gang of thugs to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists. His Fascist Quarterly, set up as a rival to Gollancz’s Left Book Club, contained pieces by leading Nazis as well as other Fascists.

While I like the idea of an industrial parliament, Fascism itself is a murderous tyranny which has to be fought everywhere.

Academic Study of the Links between Indian Nationalist Extremism, Italian Fascism and Nazism

March 16, 2023

I also found this book on Google Books in my search for studies on Fascism, and its blurb is very illuminating, not least for what it says about the thugs BJP president Modi is allied to.

In the Shadow of the Swastika: The Relationships Between Indian Radical Nationalism, Italian Fascism and Nazism

Marzia Casolari

‘This book examines and establishes connections between Italian fascism and Hindu nationalism, connections which developed within the frame of Italy’s anti-British foreign policy.

The most remarkable contacts with the Indian political milieu were established via Bengali nationalist circles. Diplomats and intellectuals played an important role in establishing and cultivating those tie-ups. Tagore’s visit to Italy in 1925 and the much more relevant liaison between Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA were results of the Italian propaganda and activities in India.

But the most meaningful part of this book is constituted by the connections and influences it establishes between fascism as an ideology and a political system and Marathi Hindu nationalism. While examining fascist political literature and Mussolini’s figure and role, Marathi nationalists were deeply impressed and influenced by the political ideology itself, theĀ duceand fascist organisations. These impressions moulded the RSS, a right-wing, Hindu nationalist organisation, and Hindutva ideology, with repercussions on present Indian politics. This is the most original and revealing part of the book, entirely based on unpublished sources, and will prove foundational for scholars of modern Indian history.’

Private Eye over a decade ago ran a piece about militant Hindu nationalism and the BJP, and stated that the RSSS were modelled on Italian Fascism. The RSSS are bunch of Hindu bovver boys, who go about beating up Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. This blurb and the book it advertises definitely puts more additional information on these links. Randranath Tagore’s book on nationalism is very definitely in print. I found it in Waterstones among the various classics. My guess is that it’s probably being read by liberal anti-imperialist types, but I wonder if its acceptability in those quarters would be harmed if they knew about Tagore’s visit to Italy and the links between Hindu extremist nationalism and real fascism.

‘The Channel Migrants Are UN Soldiers’: The Weird Paranoid Views of Correct, Not Political

February 21, 2023

A few days ago I watched another video put up by Jim Boobeh, the main man behind the right-wing YouTube channel Correct, Not Political, and a fellow rightists, called O’Looney. Correct, Not Political are the bunch who believe that the World Economic Forum are at the at the heart of a global conspiracy to take over the world and make us all serfs under green communism, owning nothing, confined to 15 minute cities and eating insects for the good of the planet. Many people on the right have similar views, like Carl Benjamin and the Lotus Eaters. But I wasn’t prepared for just how paranoid Correct, Not Political was.

That they’re a bunch of far right conspiracy theorists is obvious, as shown by their videos of them protesting gay rights marches, drag queen story hour, trades union and environmental protests, pro-refugee demonstrations, and events held by socialists and ‘commies’. How right wing they are is also demonstrated by the video they show introducing their live streams, which are old footage of Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts marching about. They also don’t like the Freemasons and there’s more than a touch of anti-Semitism there, as I think they’re also into the stupid myths of the Jewish banking conspiracy. But they’re also worried about a military invasion by the Channel migrants. Yup, these are not poor unfortunates fleeing war and persecution in their homelands, but undercover UN soldiers. Now, many members of the anti-immigrant right have said that most of the Channel migrants are military age men, and are suspicious of them because they don’t include similar numbers of women and children. Which is what you would expect to see if people were fleeing war and persecution, or at least what the sceptical peeps of the right would. But there was an interview with one Channel migrant a little while ago who said that he, and many others were running away from conscription, and hoped to bring their women and families over later when they had settled. I also think that many of the military age men are actually young blokes hoping to find work and greater opportunities in the West. The impression I’ve had reading various bit and pieces of information on the current state of the Middle East and talking to more knowledgeable friends is that there’s a real problem with large scale unemployment in many of the Arab countries. A little while ago there was a piece in one of the news blogs that the economic situation in Egypt had deteriorated to the point where many families could no longer afford basic staples. There was a similar situation among Sunni Muslims in Syria, where they were very firmly at the bottom of the social pile and faced with grinding poverty, less educated and with poorer prospects than the Shi’a, Alawi and Christian Syrians. Hence their support for radical Islamist movements and the rebellion against Assad. But Correct, Not Political really do believe that we’re being literally invaded.

Boobeh and O’Looney spoke about how they’d heard from a number of people that the Channel migrants were really undercover UN soldiers. One man had sent a drone off to spy on them, and had seen them being trained by the Black Watch. They were here, ready to take over the country. The two also speculated about the outbreak of a nuclear war, and stated that the elite would be all right as they would be safe in their luxury nuclear bunkers 2- 3 miles underground. That was certainly true of the Soviet elite. After the Fall of Communism it was revealed that a whole city, complete with shops, had been built underground for the Communist rulers in the event of a nuclear war. I dare say that something similar may have been secretly built in the west. One of the TV travel shows, in which a celeb goes round a part of the world talking about the interesting bits, showed the world’s most expensive nuclear bunker. I think it was built by a businessman in Nevada, and was so luxurious it even had a swimming pool. I don’t know if other big businessmen built themselves similar bunkers, but as during the Cold War ordinary Americans were told to build fall-out shelters in their yards it really, really wouldn’t surprise me.

Going back to the weird idea of the migrants as UN troopers, it looks like a mutant British version of some of the rumours that were going around America’s paranoid fringe in the ’90s. This held that the Soviet Union had not in fact collapsed, but had a staged a careful ruse. There were supposed to be secret Soviet military bases on the Canadian and Mexican borders, from which Russian tanks would roll into America once the invasion started. Here the Red Army has been replaced by the Channel migrants and the United Nations, who are the centre of similar fears on the American right. It’s all part of the plan to set up the evil, satanic one-world communist government. The current paranoia about the World Economic Forum is part of that, and indeed Boobeh himself put it into context by mentioning the other groups that have also been seen as part of the global conspiracy, like the Trilateral Commission.

The extent of this section of the far right’s alienation from mainstream society was shown by Boobeh and O’Looney talking about how they’d like to set up parallel societies, complete with a separate healthcare system, independent of the mainstream. Well, the anarchists and other left-wing radicals they despise have also felt the same way, and tried to something like it, but have been unsuccessful. They, or at least Boobeh, also were against voting, because all the parties were compromised, but neither did they want to start a violent revolution. Which was reassuring. Mosley’s their hero, but they don’t want to follow him down the road of trying to attempt a Fascist seizure of power along the lines of Mussolini and Hitler.

I don’t know how many of them there are in Correct, Not Political. Probably not many, as even at their height the extreme right-wing groups in this country were numerically small. The BNP claimed to have 2,000 members, but researchers have suggested that they only had about 200 core members. Most of the others left after about a year, probably because although they were against non-White immigration, they didn’t have any interest in Fascist ideology. But I suspect that there are many other groups and individuals, like Godfrey Bloom, who shared their fears about the WEF and the UN.

As for the notion that the Black Watch were training the migrants, it seems to me that they may have been sent to guard them. Some of them came over with guns, as reported a few months ago. But if any kind of training was going on, I wonder if it could be because these are western-allied soldiers, who were disguised as civilians, perhaps to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban took over. Or perhaps as part of some undercover global security operation which uses the migrant networks. Of course, this is just speculation and it may well be rubbish, and no training of any kind is going on. But I wonder.

There may be a genuine conspiracy here, which has nothing to do with the UN, WEF or Masonic Jewish bankers.

History Debunked Suggests We Need Nazi ‘Heroic Mother’ Policies to Halt Demographic Decline

January 25, 2023

This is a response to a video Simon Webb put up some days ago. I meant to review it earlier, but there’s only so much fascism you can take, especially in today’s miserable economic situation and the Tories telling one lie after another. Webb’s video was prompted by a speech from the Japanese premier declaring that there was an existential crisis facing the Japanese the people. If they didn’t have more babies, they would die out. Webb notes that in the Beeb report about this, they stated that it could be solved by the Japanese importing people like other countries, but that the Japanese were firmly against this.

The Japanese have been worried about this for a very long time. Back in the 1990s the-then Japanese prime minister announced that if the country didn’t halt its declining birth rate, then they would be extinct in a thousand years’ time. That really is looking at the long term picture. To solve this problem, successive Japanese governments have suggested and embarked on various policies. One was that husbands should spend more time with their families in order to develop a closer relationship with their wives, with the unspoken implication that this would lead to more babies on the way. This provoked sharp criticism from one housewife, who complained that marital relations wouldn’t improve simply because the husband was at home more. The Japanese government has also set up a state dating agency to bring men and women together.

I suspect Japan’s demographic problems are partly due to particularly Japanese problems. There is, or was, a high rate of divorce among Japanese pensioners. This is caused by the Japanese work ethic, in which men work all the hours that God sends in order to support their families and make their country prosperous. The result is that they barely see their wives and families. When they retire, they find out that they have nothing in common and divorce. It’s a theme that was reflected in Japanese business novels. These featured loyal, hardworking sararimen, whose lives fall apart. They’re laid off by the companies they’ve loyally served and their families break up until they end up left behind running a small shop somewhere, lamenting that they’ve missed out on seeing their children grow up.

There’s also a trend among young Japanese not to date and have children. There was a Radio 4 programme, which I sadly missed, discussing this issue. It reported that this aversion was so severe that many young people even find the act of love itself repulsive. I wondered if this was a reaction to Japanese sex education and whatever Japanese youth is taught about sex outside marriage. If the attitudes against it are too harsh and the insistence on purity so strong, then it’s possible that this could lead to some impressionable people developing such a strong revulsion to sex. I remember from my schooldays that the sex education we were exposed to, with its clinical description of physical development and reproduction, as well as fears about the rising divorce rate, could almost have been calculated to put kids off sex. I also wonder if it’s due to the unavailability of contraception in Japan. This isn’t due to moral scruples, as in Roman Catholic Ireland. It was demanded by the Japanese medical complex, in order to protect the doctors that made money from performing abortions. Buddhism and Shinto have a series of three gods or kami, who preside over the souls of dead children. According to the anthropologist Dr Nigel Barley in his study of cultural attitudes to death and the dead across the world, Dancing with the Dead, the shrine to these gods are particularly supported by women, who’ve had abortions. I’m not criticising women’s right to abortions here, just noting that in previous decades over here the lack of contraception and the strong societal disapproval to births out of wedlock was a very strong disincentive to people, and especially women, having premarital sex.

In fact birth rates are declining across the world, mostly significantly in the developed west, but also elsewhere. One demographer interviewed a few decades ago in New Scientist predicted that in the middle years of this century the world would suffer a demographic crash. This is in stark contradiction with the 70s fears about the population explosion and ‘population bomb’. In many European countries the birth rate is below the level of population replacement.

Webb suggested that we might try to copy the Nazis, who gave medals to women who had large families. There were different medals award according to how many children they had. In fact, all the totalitarian states had similar policies. The Russians had their Heroic Mother awards, duly covered by Pravda, and Musso had a similar policy in his ‘Battle for Births’ campaign. If reproduction is a battle, it means people are doing it wrong. And if it’s a real physical battle, then it’s rape. But I think Musso meant it metaphorically, as everything was a battle in Fascist Italy. The campaign to increase cereal yield in agriculture was labelled ‘the Battle for Grain’. But Musso included in his policies to increase the birth rate various welfare benefits to make it easier and support women, who chose to have large families.

Webb has been followed in this by Laurence Fox, who gave a sermon on GB News yesterday, about his instinct that society was coming to an end because of the low birth rate in the west. This was breaking the social link Edmund Burke had said existed between the past, present and future generations. Of course, as a man of the right he has no sympathy for people demanding expanded welfare rights, accusing them of being ‘entitled’. They’re not. They’re people on the breadline demanding not expanded welfare provision, but proper welfare provision restored to adequate levels.

Plastic priest Calvin Robinson similarly discussed demographic decline in another piece for GB News. He was much more open about the provision of proper welfare support for families, arguing that Britain should follow the lead of Poland and Hungary. And then comes the element of racism. Because if we did this, like those countries we would not have to import people from outside.

And this is part of the problem.

Underneath these fears of demographic decline is the particular fear of White demographic decline. Other ethnic groups have larger families. Hence the stupid, malign conspiracy theories about ‘Eurabia’, that Muslims would outbreed Whites in the west and so eventually take over society. The French National Front let the cat out of the bag in the 90s. This was the mayor of one of the southern French cities, who had set up a system of welfare payments to encourage his citizens to have more babies. Except that this was a racist policy that applied only to Whites. Blacks, Asians and Muslims not allowed.

It’s why such a system would also have severe problems being introduced over here. And rightly so, as while I dare say that some members of ethnic groups don’t want to integrate or adopt British culture, others identify very strongly with it and see themselves as English, Welsh, Scots whatever. Such people shouldn’t be excluded from receiving these welfare payments simply because of the colour of their skin, whatever else one thinks of race relations and immigration.

Of course, the right blames the demographic crisis squarely on feminism and the way modern women are encouraged to pursue careers rather than raise families. Hence the Lotus Eaters put up a piece commenting on a report that half of all women are childless at thirty. To be fair, some left-wing feminists have also complained that feminism, for all its good intentions, has also denigrated the vital role of motherhood in society. But traditional attitudes towards gender roles may be part of the problem. In the New Scientist article I talked about earlier, it was noted that the countries with lowest birth rates had the most traditional attitudes towards childrearing, in which it was seen as primarily the responsibility of the mothers. This extended across cultures, from Italy in Europe to Japan. The countries which had the highest birth rates in the west were the Nordic countries, where men were being encouraged to help their wives with domestic chores and raising the sprogs.

That, and welfare policies designed to help working parents, seem far better solutions to the crisis than simply doling out medals based on the attitudes of totalitarian regimes.

Are the Tories Demanding Further British Involvement in Ukraine as a Diversion from their Crookedness?

January 24, 2023

That was the allegation made today in a video put up by Our Favourite YouTube ‘Historia’. Johnson was in one of the tabloids today giving Britain the benefit of his experience and talent in foreign affairs. I just saw the headline which was something about how Britain should give more aid to Ukraine as if it falls, Putin will be a threat to Europe. I didn’t read any more. It was in something like the Depress or the Scum or some other terrible rag, which isn’t worth reading. But apparently he had more to say. He wanted Ukraine to be admitted to NATO ASAP. Simon Webb over at History Debunked took this idea apart, showing that far from leading to peace or defeat for the Russians, it would instead probably lead to World War III. If NATO did admit Ukraine, then the next Putin attacked we would be required to counterattack by the terms of the treaty. You can see how this would expand into a direct war between NATO and Russia and the possibility that this would go nuclear very quickly. Putin and his aides have been making threats of a nuclear strike against the NATO countries, as well as threatening to invade Sweden if it joined NATO. One of the news articles that came up for me a little while ago on the news feed on my browser argued that Putin wasn’t bluffing when he made these threats. Elsewhere the group of scientists responsible for the Doomsday Clock showing how far away we are from nuclear Armageddon moved its hands forward to 90 seconds to minute. This places us in unprecedented danger, the group says. So what Johnson has said is so colossally stupid that the former Prime Minister should be nowhere near power. But what do you expect from him? This is the edit, you will remember, who started reciting the Road to Mandalay when on an official visit to Thailand’s holiest Buddhist temple. This is the nutter, who went off a diplomat mission to Moscow to soothe tensions with Putin, only to ramp them up even further at a press interview on his return. And there’s more and worse. There was a story going round last year that Zelensky was about to make a peace deal with Putin, only to persuaded otherwise when Johnson turned up to advise him.

Webb suggests that this suicidal belligerence from Johnson may come from the sorry state of affairs He, Rishi Sunak and Zahawi are in. Zahawi’s facing criticism and calls for an inquiry because he’s been dodging paying tax, Sunak got a loan from a Tory donor, who was then rewarded with a place at the Beeb and Johnson is similarly having his collar felt for breaches of ministerial conduct. Webb states that Johnson couldn’t have made these comments without approval from Sunak, and so this sabre-rattling is just to get us to look away from their personal corruption. I can see there being more than something behind this. One of the ways governments try to divert attention from domestic failures is to start a foreign policy conflict.

But there are other aspects to the Ukraine conflict which make it very clear that all is not as it appears. After the fall of communism, the west signed a deal with Gorbachev that NATO would not expand into the former eastern bloc and threaten Russia’s borders. But this is what NATO has done with the accession of Poland and other states. The Maidan Revolution which overthrew the pro-Russian Ukrainian president in favour of one who was pro-western, wasn’t a spontaneously democratic display of popular anger. It was carefully orchestrated by Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton, the American secretary of state, and the National Endowment for Democracy, the organisation that has taken over the CIA’s role in engineering regime change.

But there are dangers for rightists and ethnonationalists in following this line of inquiry. Before you know it, you could end up like the late American Nazi leader, Francis Parker Yockey. Yockey was a White supremacist almost straight out of the skits of the Blues Brothers and The Producers. He used to appear on Public Access Television in New York in the 1970s, seated wearing a blue uniform and motorcycle helmet and flanked by two of his storm troopers ranting his fascist nonsense. Not surprisingly, he was eventually kicked off air following complaints from Jewish viewers. Surprisingly for a raving Nazi, Yockey was a fan of the Soviet Union. He felt it was the great hope for the White race because it was still a dictatorship after the western nations had embraced corrupt democracy. There was a similar tendency over here in Nick Griffin’s BNP. There was a section of its membership and supporters that admired Colonel Gadaffy’s Libya.

Webb has posted videos suggesting that Britain needs a dictator for White Britain to survive and that we should be giving medals to particularly prolific women like the Nazis did. But the Soviet Union also gave out ‘Heroic Mother’ medals and there was a similar scheme by Mussolini as part of his ‘Battle for Births’. Putin is also a dictator, who is also keen on promoting national pride among his people, and he has succeeded in raising the Russian birth rate, which had been declining below replacement levels.

Putin’s a thug and a monster, but if you want to see where such ideas about nationalist dictators lead, they lead to people like him. If not worse.

Reform Party Promising to Protect British Freedoms against the Government, the EU and Unelected Organisations

January 20, 2023

Okay, I just found a brief video on YouTube, posted eight days ago, on Nick Buckley’s channel. Buckley’s a former police officer and campaigner against knife crime, who’s appeared a couple of times on the Lotus Eater’s channel. I wasn’t surprised then, when he posted this video interviewing Richard Tice about Reform’s ‘Eight Principles’. In the video, however, he only talks about four of them. These are largely about protecting British democratic rights against the threat of the state and unelected organisations and quangos. According to Tice, Brits are aware that they’re born free and have inalienable rights unlike in the EU. Thus, Brits are able to whatever they like unless prohibited, while in the EU they can only do whatever the EU tells them to.

The irony about this is that the idea that humans are born free comes from a continental philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau has been condemned as one of the founders of totalitarianism. One Conservative American group made Rousseau’s The Social Contract one of the most evil books of all time alongside Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin included him among his Six Enemies of Freedom and the Lotus Eaters have also put out videos attacking him. But Rousseau’s book begins with the words, ‘Man was born free yet everywhere he is chains.’ The idea that you should be free to do whatever you want unless the law says otherwise, I think comes from John Locke a century before, and is the foundation of modern liberal ideas of freedom. However, other European philosophers also had views similar to Locke’s, that the state should be limited to the role of a night watchman, in the sense say that it should protect its citizens’ lives and property, but otherwise not interfere. This is the view expressed by the German philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt in his Grenzen Der Wirksamkeit der Staat – ‘Limits of the Effectiveness of the State’. I don’t know what the underlying philosophy of government of the European Union is. I suspect there isn’t one beyond harmonising various trade and other regulations between member states and allowing for the movement of labour and capital. The original intention was to create a united trading bloc to preserve western European economic independence from America or communist eastern Europe. The Eurosceptic right has frequently ranted about the EU being some kind of totalitarian state with comparisons to Nazi Germany and communism, but I’ve seen no evidence to support it. And rather than limiting freedom, I think the EU believes it is actively creating and nurturing freedom in its member states. Such as when it condemns Poland and Hungary for their legislation banning homosexuality and gay rights.

Now let’s go through the principles as explained by Tice and Buckley in the video.

  1. The state is our servant not our master.

I don’t believe any believer in liberal democracy, whether of the left or right, would challenge this. The only people who would are either Fascists, following Mussolini’s pronouncements that the individual is nothing before the state, followers of Hegel’s dictum that ‘the state is the divine idea as it exists on Earth. We must therefore worship the state’ and supporters of Soviet Communism before Gorby’s brief reforms. However, in the context of Reform, a party of the right, it seems to me that this is yet another bland statement intended to justify further privatisation and the expansion of the power of private industry and the destruction of the welfare state against working people, the poor, the unemployed and disabled.

2. Lend us your power and we’ll give you back your freedom.

This could be said by just about any political party, even those which were real enemies of freedom. Hitler, in one of his rants at Nuremberg, declared ‘Everything I am, I am through you. Everything you are, you are through me’. The Nazi party anthem, the Horst Wessel song, also has lines about German freedom. Hitler also talked about preserving freedom through separating the different spheres of party and state and preserving private industry, though in practice under the Nazi regime the party and state apparatus were intermeshed and private industry ruthlessly subordinated to the state. Mussolini also made speeches about how the freedom of the individual wasn’t limited under fascism, except in certain ways, all of which was equally rubbish.

3. People are free.

This means, as he explains, that people naturally hold certain rights and liberties that should always be protected and defended. These include freedom of speech, religion and conscience. This does not mean that certain types of speech have no consequences. I interpret this as meaning that he feels that people can say what they want, but people are also free to express outrage and take action against others for offensive or dangerous speech that is not otherwise banned by law. Tice goes on to say that in practice, while people believe in this principle, they negotiate to give up a certain amount of this freedom with the state.

I think here he means particularly the legislation on hate speech, which in his view prevents proper criticism of certain protected groups in order to combat racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and so on. He has a point, as opponents of gay rights, who have made their opposition very clear in speeches, often quoting the Biblical prohibition against it, have been arrested. In Scotland Maria Miller, a gender critical woman, was arrested for hate speech simply for putting up stickers with the slogan ‘Scots Women Won’t Wheesht’, meaning that they wouldn’t be silent, in her campaign against the proposed gender recognition legislation north of the border. In my opinion, arresting someone for saying that goes beyond a concern about stirring up hatred against trans people into active attempts to police thoughts and opinions about trans rights.

But there are good reasons behind the legislation banning hate speech. In the case of racism, it’s to prevent Nazi groups stirring up hatred against vulnerable minorities like the Jews, people of colour and gays, all of whom have been or are targets of abuse and physical assault.

4. National Sovereignty

This means protecting British traditions, institutions and culture from enemies both external and internal. The external foes include the EU. The internal threats to British tradition and democracy are unelected pressure groups and organisations. These include big tech and companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook. This is a fair point. These organisations can and do censor material posted on their platforms. The right have been complaining about their posts disappearing or the algorithms governing their availability in searches being altered so that they become invisible, but the same censorship is also inflicted on the left. If Tice and his crew get the chance, I’ve no doubt they’ll demand greater freedom of speech for their supporters while maintaining or even strengthening the censorship against their opponents on the left.

Other threats, unsurprisingly, are the European Union, while among the unelected organisations wielding power he puts the environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and the gay rights organisation Stonewall. Tice states that a few years ago Greenpeace published their manifesto for Yorkshire, which was a diatribe against the car, and therefore, in his view, an attack on the automobile industry in west Yorkshire. One of the accusations the extreme right is throwing at environmental groups is that they wish to ban cars and private transport as part of their plan to establish Green Communism. He also includes Stonewall and the massive influence it wields, although no-one has elected it. There is a problem with Stonewall in that the advice it has been giving to companies, the government and the civil service has been wrong. They deliberately gave a wrongful interpretation of the legislation covering trans issues which was very much what they wanted it to say, not what the law actually did. As a result, a number of groups cut their connections to the organisation.

But unelected groups like Greenpeace, Stonewall and so on acquire their power through possessing, or being perceived to express, expertise and competence in particular issues. In the case of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, it’s the environment. Amnesty International is respected because of its thorough investigation and documentation of human rights abuses, even though governments may pay no attention to its findings. Stonewall is taken notice of because it speaks, or claims to speak, for Britain’s gays and articulates their concerns and recommendations to combat prejudice.

Even in the 19th century governments had to pay attention to popular protest organisations, such as the massive abolitionist campaign against slavery, the Anti-Corn Law League set up by Cobden and Bright to have the corn laws repealed so that the price of grain would fall and working people able to feed themselves. There was also the anti-war protests against the Crimean War led by John Bright and others. There are problems with unelected groups exercising power beyond their competence or suitability, but modern governments have always had to deal with organised groups. Tice’s singling out of the environmental groups and Stonewall seems to me to be as much to do with a hatred of their views – the Brexiteers are full-scale behind the right of private industry to trash this country’s green and pleasant land – than with their supposed power outside of the formal sphere of elections. I doubt that Reform would ever go as far if they were in power, but it reminds me more than a little bit of Mussolini’s statement that there should be ‘nothing outside the state, nothing against the state’, and similar bans on private quasi-political organisations in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

But what you’ll also notice is that these principles tell you absolutely nothing about how Reform as a party intends to act on them, except by reading the lines. What does Reform intend to do about the health service? Not said. I suspect, in fact, that as a party of the right they’ll want to privatise even more of it. What about the welfare state and the scandal of millions of people using food banks? No answers there, either. I suspect, however, that in practice you’d get more mantras of encouraging people to be independent, find work and so on, coupled with rants about welfare scroungers. What about industry? Again, the reality is almost certainly that they want more deregulation. Well, we’ve had four decades of Thatcherite privatisation and deregulation, and the result is the mass poverty and failing economy we’re now experiencing. Industry should be acting for the good of society and its employees and not just shareholders and senior management. This means limiting economic freedom, but as the Liberal journalist J.A. Hobson said, in order for the mass of people to be free you need to limit the freedom of the rich. Which is obviously toxic to the Conservatives and other parties of the right.

To sum up, what Reform seems to be doing with these principles is to try to position themselves as defenders of traditional British liberties against the threat of the evil EU and pesky Green and gay groups. But this hides an illiberal ideology that views such groups as somehow subversive, would probably remove the obstacles against real, dangerous expressions of racial and other prejudice, and which would promote the interests of private industry against ordinary Brits.

We can’t afford to be taken in by sweet words hiding their true intentions.

The Fascist Argument Against Free Market Capitalism

January 15, 2023

I notice that as the failure of contemporary free market capitalism becomes every more obvious, its right-wing supporters are out on the net telling everyone how wonderful capitalism is. Capitalism, according to them, has lifted more people out of poverty than any socialist state has ever done. You find this repeated by the Lotus Eaters, and I recent found yet another video on YouTube put up by a right-winger.

Now there is something to this. Marx in the Communist Manifesto was impressed by the global achievements of capitalism, and industrialisation and trade has produced development and prosperity in Britain, the West and elsewhere, and lifted people out of the poverty of agricultural subsistence economies. But this hasn’t been done by capitalism alone. Trade unions have also been part of the development of mass prosperity in the industrialised nations through demands for increased wages, better working conditions and so on, a fact ignored by the right. And working people in the west enjoyed their greatest period of prosperity when capitalism was regulated as part of the post-War consensus. In Britain this took the form of a mixed economy in which the utilities were owned and operated by the state. The privatisation of these utilities, the devastation of the welfare state and the deregulation of the economy has led to a massive transfer of wealth upwards, so that the poor have become colossally poorer and the wealth of the rich even more bloated and obscene. Properly regulated, capitalism does raise people out of poverty. But free market capitalism, of the kind frantically promoted by right-wingers like the Lotus Eaters, has done the reverse.

But let’s grant them that the 19th century was an age of industrial and agricultural expansion in which people enriched themselves. Mussolini expressed this view in his speech about the corporative state he was introducing into Italy. The fascist corporations were industrial organisations, one for each industry, which included representatives of the trade unions and the owners’ organisations. The Italian parliament was dissolved and reorganised into a Chamber of Fasces and Corporations, in which these organisations were supposed to debate economic policy. In fact, it just served as a rubber stamp for the Duce’s decisions. It was, however, important for propaganda purposes, to show that Mussolini’s regime had transcended capitalism and socialism.

The Fascists weren’t enemies of capitalism, far from it. Mussolini’s constitution made private industry the basis of the state and economic life, which is why I’m using it his critique of free market capitalism against the free marketeers. Mussolini had been a radical socialist, but when the Fascists seized power he declared them to be true followers of Manchester School capitalism. In other words, free trade. This was accompanied by a programme of privatisation. In Germany Hitler gave a speech to the German equivalent of the Confederation of British Industry, saying that capitalism could only be preserved through a dictatorship. He stated that he would not nationalise any company, unless it was failing. During the Nazi dictatorship industry was organised into a series of interlocking associations subject to state control. But they were not nationalised, and the leadership of the organisations was always given to private industrialists, not the managers of state industries.

Back to Italy, Mussolini described how this initial period had begun to decay. The old family run firms declined, to be replaced by joint stock companies. At the same time, firms organised themselves into cartels. In America, these cartels demanded intervention from the government. Mussolini announced that, if left unchecked, this would lead to the emergence of a state capitalism that was every bit as pernicious as state socialism. His solution was that capitalism needed to be more ‘social’. It would be subordinated to the state through the corporations, where workers and management would cooperate to make Italy a great power once more.

Something similar has happened over the past four decades. Under this new corporativism, representatives of private industry have entered government as advisors and officials, often in the departments charged with regulating their industries. At the same time, industry has received massive subsidies and tax breaks so that much of the tax burden has moved lower down on working people. Mussolini was correct about private industry demanding state intervention, however much this is denied and state planning attacked by free market theorists. And the result is corporativism, which the free marketeers denounce as not being true capitalism. But it’s been pointed out that the type of capitalism they believe in has never existed.

Free market capitalism is a failure. The solution is not a murderous dictatorship, but the old, regulated, mixed economy of the social democratic consensus. An economy that includes private industry, but which recognises that it alone does not create wealth, and which demands the inclusion of working people and their organisations in industrial negotiations and policies in order to create prosperity for working people.

The Lotus Eaters Reject Objective Moral Values

January 8, 2023

This is a bit abstract, but as it involves issues about the objective reality of moral values and justice against moral relativism, it needs to be tackled. A few days ago the Lotus Eaters published an essay on their website by Helen Dale, which denied that there were such things as objective moral values. This followed an conversation on YouTube between Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Gasbag, and the philosopher Peter Boghossian, in which Sargon was also arguing that objective moral values don’t exist. People, including myself, have taken the mick out of Sargon, pointing out that he’s not university educated and that at one point his standard response to his opponents seemed to be to ask if they hadn’t read John Locke. But Sargon’s bright and is well-read in political philosophy, albeit from the Conservative, Libertarian perspective.

Which seems to be where his denial of objective morality comes. Conservatives since Edmund Burke have stressed the importance of tradition, and from what I remember of Sargon’s debate with Boghossian, he was arguing that concepts like human rights and democracy are the unique products of western culture. These notions are alien and incomprehensible to other culture, such as Islam, which have their own value systems, notions of justice and ideas about their ultimate grounding. Now Sargon does have a point. Human rights seem obvious to us, because we have grown up in a society in which such notions have developed over centuries, dating back to the 18th century and beyond, going back to the Roman idea of the Lex Gentiles, the Law of Nations. This was the idea that there were fundamental assumptions about justice that was common to all nations and which could be used as the basis for international law. And the Enlightenment philosophers were confident that they could also discover an objective basis for morality. This has not happened. One of the problems is the values which are to be regarded as fundamental also need supporting arguments, and morality has changed over time. This can be seen in the west in the changing attitudes to sex outside marriage and homosexuality. Back in the early 20th century both were regarded as immoral, but are now accepted. In the case of homosexuality, moral condemnation has been reversed so that it is the persecution of gays that it rightly regarded as immoral. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin was aware of the changes in morality over time, and deeply influenced by the 17th century Italian philosopher Vico. His solution, as someone who bitterly hated Stalin’s USSR and its tyranny, was to argue that although objective moral values didn’t exist, there were nevertheless moral values that acted as such.

I can see some positive aspects to Sargon’s position. If it is accepted that western ideas of truth and justice are just that, localised western notions, that it prevents them from being used as pretexts for foreign imperialist ventures like the Neo-Con invasions of the Middle East. It brings us back to the old, pre-War American conservative values that held that America had no business interfering in the political institutions and concerns of other peoples. But it also leaves the way open for cultural relativism and the justification of despotic regimes. If there are no objective moral values, then there can be no firm moral objections to obvious injustices, such as the genocide of the Uighurs in China or the Taliban’s recent decision to deprive women of university education. From what I’ve been reading, Chinese nationalist communists dismiss such ideas of democracy and human rights as baizuo, which translates as White liberal nonsense. And the Fascists and Communists Sargon despises were also moral relativists. Both Mussolini and Hitler also declared that each nation had their own set of unique moral values and that liberal notions of justice and humanity did not apply to their regimes. In a number of his speeches Lenin denied that there were any eternal moral values, but that these changed instead with each historical epoch, as determined by the economic structure of society at the time. This opened the way to the horrendous atrocities committed by the Nazi and Soviet regimes.

The Lotus Eaters are also staunch enemies of wokeness, but Critical Theory in its various forms also relativizes traditional morality and attitudes arguing that these too are merely the local intellectual products of the west, and specifically White heterosexual elite men. This has led to Postcolonial Theorists betraying feminists and human rights activists in nations like India, by refusing to criticise these cultures repressive traditions, or instead blaming them on western imperialism.

My own belief is that there are indeed objective moral values although human moral intuitions have changed over time. Notions of democracy and human rights may have their origin in the west, but they are nevertheless universal and universally applicable. This does not mean that other cultures may not adopt and adapt them according to their own cultural traditions. In the case of Islam, there are any number of books by the Islamic modernists arguing that modern notions of human rights are perfectly in accordance with Muslim values.

For the sake of genuine humanity and international justice and the eradication of tyranny, we have to believe that there are objective moral values protecting human life and freedom.

Correct, Not Political’s Fascism Becoming More Blatant with Livestream on ‘Freemasons and Moneychangers’

December 11, 2022

I got a notice on my phone this afternoon that ultra-right-wing nutters Correct, Not Political, are holding a livestream this evening on the subject of ‘Freemasons and Moneychangers’. As I’ve said, Correct, Not Political go around broadly left-wing protests and try to undermine them by engaging the protesters in conversation and trying to get them to question their beliefs. Usually. At other times, as when they protested against Drag Queen Story Hour outside the libraries which were holding them, they also chant accusations of paedophilia. At first glance they appear to be just right-wing, reactionary Tories. After all, sections of the Conservative party are against the militant trans and gay rights movements, as well as environmental protesters, pro-immigrant groups, socialist, ‘commies’ and the trade unions. You can find similar sentiments on GB News, TalkTV and mainstream, allegedly respectable papers like the Heil. But then they start their livestreams, and the mask slips. They’ve held a couple before, and they’ve begun with footage of Oswald Mosley and his wretched BUF marching, while exchanging fascist salutes with an adoring crowd. All while the Adagio for Strings from Platoon or is Full Metal Jacket plays. The impression is that the marchers are supposed to be some kind of ‘lost generation’, like the courageous men and women, whose lives were wasted in the battlefields of Flanders in the First World War. The BUF aren’t a lost generation. If Mosley had had his way, he would have destroyed our precious democracy and installed a totalitarian dictatorship similar to that of Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany. And Jewish Brits would either have been expelled, barely tolerated or sent to the gas ovens. He also called for the indigenous east Africans to be cleared off their homelands so that they could be developed as White colonies.

I’ve always wondered if there wasn’t anti-Semitism lurking somewhere in the organisation. There are no blatant rants against the Jews, but the subject of this livestream is coming close. Fascists and other dictatorial groups and ideologies hate the Freemasons as subversive organisations. The Nazis banned them, they definitely wouldn’t be tolerated in the Communist bloc, and I think they’re also illegal in various Islamic states like Iran. As for ‘moneychangers’, well, fascism claims to be fighting the stranglehold of international finance capital. By which they usually mean the old nonsense about the Jewish banking conspiracy. This livestream seems to be taking it in the direction of religion and mysticism, as the subtitle was that Freemasonry was a form of kabbalah. The kabbalah is traditional Jewish mysticism. There was also the stupid Kabbala cult that Madonna got involved with, which involved people tying red ribbons to their wrists and buying massively overpriced copies of the Zohar. That cult seemed to be a money-making scam based on the older, and far more respectable Jewish tradition.

I’ve no idea whether Freemasonry is based on the Kabbalah or not. There were suggestions decades ago in books like Inside the Brotherhood that they worshipped a trinity of gods called Yah-Bul-On, who of whom was Baal. Or that they were Satanists, but unless you’re a very high level mason, you don’t know. And they’re not going to be telling. It’s possible that they were influenced by the Kabbala as it was taken up by a number of Christian mystics and occultists in the Renaissance, like Robert Fludd and John Dee, as the old Aristotelian philosophy was being questioned. Some historians of science have said that it was influential in the origins of modern science through being taken up by the first pioneers of the new natural philosophy. It therefore wouldn’t surprise me if Freemasonry wasn’t also influenced by it.

Correct, Not Political are, however, seem to be taking us back to the old conspiracy theories about a masonic plot to undermine the traditional Christian order, as when books like Proofs of a Conspiracy, published in the early 19th century, claimed that they were behind both the American and French Revolutions. Michael Pipes, in his book on conspiracy theories published in the ’90s, traces the origins of modern anti-Semitic ideas of Jewish plots to these early beliefs about the masons. At first the theories were only about the masons, then they included the Jews as the mason’s partners, and then finally it was the Jews who were the major forces behind these conspiracies. These ideas of Jewish conspiracies against the traditional, feudal European order have been around since the days of Nesta Webster and Rotha Orne Linton in the 1920s. Quite apart from better known works like the utterly fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And today’s fascist blame mass immigration on the Jews, who are trying to use non-White immigrants to enslave and destroy the White race.

I might be wrong, but this seems to be the underlying beliefs of the people behind Correct, Not Political. I wonder how long it will be before they come right out with it and the banhammer comes down. I do wonder if they were trying this in Germany they’d be rounded up on charges of violating the Basic Law. This is one of the cornerstones of anti-Nazi legislation and forbids all organisations that oppose democracy. It was used several times in the ’60s and ’70s against the National Democrat Party and other extreme right-wing groups. I don’t know if it was repealed after the Fall of Communism, but if it’s still around it’ll almost certainly be used to prosecute the 25 nutters, who were arrested for trying to set up a coup this week.

Correct, Not Political should be glad that, however diminishing genuine free speech is in Britain, they have far more of it than Mosley would ever have allowed them.