Thursday, March 6, 2008

Change & The Cessation of British History

All things change, whether for better or worse. In the case of Britain's decision to transfer sovereignty to the EU and the manner in which the socialist Labour government is executing that transfer, the change indeed seems to be for the worse.


Today marks a major landmark along the road to Britain's internal dissolution. In December, socialist Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon Treaty - the EU's new Constitution - transferring the majority of Britain's sovereign powers to the EU, subject to domestic ratification. Brits At Their Best puts this in perspective:

For American readers, imagine the US giving up its independence and sovereignty, abandoning its constitutional protections and joining a conglomeration of Canada, Mexico, Central and South American countries under new laws dictated to it by bureaucrats in Buenos Aires. That is what we are talking about with the EU.

As characterized in today's Telegraph, the "EU is profoundly anti-democratic, secretive and hungry for power." It is a grand experiment in socialism, running against British traditions of democracy, capitalism, and individual rights. Life as a citizen in a province in the EU portends to be quite costly to the average British citizen, and EU law is working an irrevocable change to the make-up of Britian by mandating an open borders type of immigration that is out of control.

In 2005, the Labour government campaigned on a promise to the people of Britain that they would be allowed a referendum on whether to take this huge step of transferring sovereignty to an EU super-state. It turned out to be unnecessary then as the EU Constitution was rejected by other countries when put to a vote of the people.

But in late 2006, the EU Constitution was dusted off and relabled the "Lisbon Treaty". The EU strong-armed its members not to allow any referendums by the electorate on the treaty. PM Gordon Brown acquiesced to this highly undemocractic strategem. And yesterday, efforts in Britain's House of Commons to force such a referendum failed. EU Referendum explains:

The Daily Mail puts it somewhat luridly, with the headline, "Day they betrayed British democracy", then declaring, "Yesterday will go down in history as the day our politicians surrendered most of what was left of Britain's sovereignty and trusted the nation's future to a European superstate."

We would prefer to say that the these politicians have surrendered another tranche of their powers to a super government, rather than state. But that – in this particular context – is pedantry. The term "surrender" is perfectly adequate, and it truly represents the tawdry performance of that motley lot we watched today.

For that reason, we concur with the Mail's view that:

What we witnessed last night was the political class ganging up against the voters who gave them power… Is it any wonder that more and more Britons are losing their faith in the political process? . . .

Read the post here. The matter will now go to the House of Lords, but no different result is expected.

What happens with Britian is of vital importance to America for several reasons, not the least of which is that Britian is both the closest natural ally of the U.S. and has historically been the bridge between the U.S. and Europe. But Britain is also important in another respect.

It was Britain that bequeathed the anglo-saxon traditions of democracy and individual rights that define America and, indeed, all of the world's most free and prosperous countries today. The Bill of Rights is essentially an amalgam of the rights of Englishmen that existed by common law and solemn compact with the crown at the time of the American Revolution. Britain has since moved beyond those traditions. And in that regards, what we can observe in Britian today is a kind of laboratory experiment demonstrating what happens when a nation leaves behind the natural rights theories of Locke in favor of the socialist theories of Rousseau.

In the aftermath of World War II, Britain embraced socialism, voting in 1945 to reject their war-time leader Winston Churchill in favor of Labour PM Clement Attlee. Attlees's first orders of business were the creation of the welfare state, the nationalization of major industry, the creation of nationalized medicine, and the divestiture of the empire. And while Labour has since done away with the most radical economic aspects of socialism - i.e., dispensing with the infamous "Clause IV" of Labour's plank calling for nationalization of industry and truly wide-scale redistribution of wealth - many other aspects of the socialist experiment, including an incredibly poisonous welfare system that promotes a permanent underclass, have remained fully alive and malignant in Britian to this day.

In comparison, the U.S. has moved much slower to embrace of the socialist ethos. In post-WWII America, the conservative movement rose to oppose it upon the quill and wit of William F. Buckley, a man who did indeed stand athwart history. Britian's post World War II history has also seen several conservatives who have tried to slow the tide, with possibly the best known being Margaret Thatcher. Ironically, she lost power becasue of her stance against further expansion of the EU. Britain as a whole has been a far more favorable environment for secular socialism than the U.S.

Steeped in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and born in the crucible of the French Revolution, socialism was meant to wholly rework society. Socialist philosophers, most notably Karl Marx, rejected class and religion as the bases for societal structure and advocated remaking society under the watchful eye of a central government that would redistribute the nation's wealth and mandate social equality. At the center of the socialist revolution was the Marxian beleif that all events could and should be analyzed in terms of the oppressor and the oppressed, the victim classes and the victimizing class - a simplistic and distorting theme that makes up such a large part of our political discourse today. It creates, in its myopic view, a world of demons and perpetual victims. As Marx wrote in the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

Inherent in that proposition is a rejection of Western values, history and norms and, in its stead, an embrace of militant secularism, moral relativism and multiculturalism. And what we see being played out today in Britain is the incredibly destructive end result of over half century of movement towards socialism - an act of national suicide by the socialist Labour government. As to the British electorate, far too many of their number have been taught to be ashamed of what little of their history was covered in a British schools curricula increasingly animated by the socialist ethos and which includes even the denigration of Churchill. The majority are now silent and apathetic as the final light in their great country is blown out by those who see in its history and traditions nothing worth fighting for.

Socialism has won in Britain - in all of its well-meaning banality. And Britain will soon be no more. For a time at least. Until things change.

Update: "Londonistan" author and Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has composed an exceptional article, describing in detail the societal costs of Britain's experiment in socialism and how many are seeking to recapture in Britain the patriotic spirit and national cohesiveness that they observe across the pond in America. As Ms. Phillips observes, their attempts are focusing on the superficial, not the substantive ills of British society. I highly recommend her article , particularly as an adjunct to this post.


Joanne said...

Look, who is sitting by and watching this happen to their country, like nothing can be done about it - storm the Parliament buildings, clog London's roads with millions demonstrating against Britain joing the EU - bloody well do something. I'm sick of the poor Britain rhetoric - the British have never thought of themselves as 'poor me,' they've always been ready for the good fight. What has happened to Britain! The people of Britain need to respect their dead that fought in the trenches for their freedoms - wake up for goodness sake and take action.

KG said...

A fine, accurate and very sad post.
And I agree with Joanne--what the hell are Britons doing, going about their daily business as though this is some trivial event?
There ought to be blood on the streets and the Houses of Parliament ought to be burning right now.
They're surely going "gentle into that good night".
Bloody sheep. And we in Australia and Canada and New Zealand and America are unlikely to do any better when our time comes, as it surely will.

Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted you and linked to you here:

PhilippinesPhil said...

I found this through Consul at Arms. I'm an American expat in the Philippines and have met many Brits and some Continentals. I'm always struck by their attitude of acquiessence in the inevitability of their own societal destruction. They are the most pessimistic unhappy people I've ever met. Everything I've read in this post seems to explain why they are the way they are.