Be careful what you wish for

Rookwood, Going Postal
God-Emperor balloon at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lorie ShaullLicence CC BY-SA 2.0

There is a certain segment of society that is sufficiently deficient in self-awareness, social conscience, understanding, and indeed wisdom, that they are incapable of any ethical or moral position other than that which is floated above them by the corresponding Zeitgeist like a corpulent, baby, Trump balloon. These individuals are truly dangerous, for they have not reached this position by rational thought, consideration, observation, self-examination or indeed conscience, rather they have sacrificed their personal identity and morality at the alter of group-think and collectivism. By taking the easy way out of the moral maze, they have handed the holy sepulchre of personal responsibility to others – be they the leader, the group, society, or indeed nation. In so doing, not only have they granted those in a position of authority what they crave most – executive power, but they have imprisoned themselves in obedience to the darkest sins of others, some of which as individuals, even in their wildest dreams, they would never dare to even contemplate. If you think the sins of the father visiting the son is bad, you need no more examine the treachery of group-think to see the vicious and fatal results for countless innocents of such behaviour.

While we may be much more aware of the dangers of brainwashing since the endeavours of the deep state to capture the mind of youth during the sixties revolution, the appeal of the “strong leader” has always been the political diet of the disaffected, marginalised and silenced. Be it Hitler, Stalin, Marx, Jim Jones, Laurel Canyon, the anti-Castro movement, or indeed the hypnotic counter-cultural blood lust of Charles Manson, the result is inevitably the same. A leader who frames individual injustice in such eloquent terms that anyone with a grudge to bear, a chip on their shoulder, can immediately identify with. Once this common platform is established, the next move is action, inevitably one where the ends justify the means. How else can one undermine the overpowering, dominating morphia of the system than by radical action? Once convinced of your moral authority and “rightness”, your are immediately given the pass card of the blind eye, the inverted telescope and the knowing wink. Outside of the context of the “cause”, such behaviour would be classed as disgraceful, immoral, without merit. I would suggest that before any of us blow gently upon the nails of our collective fingertips in an act of self-preening congratulation, that we remember that such behaviour has been demonstrated from Christ overturning the tables of the money changers to the slaughter of German, Russian or indeed Islamic army officers “Off book”, without trial. I can already hear the shrill calls of “Blasphemy” gathering pace in the distance.

Don’t get me wrong. Given a loaded gun and a blind eye, there are many scenarios where I would personally struggle with the desire not to dismiss into the next life with varying degrees of compassion certain individuals, depending on the crime they committed. The military has had great problems with the kill rate in time immemorial, and it has only been since the first and second world wars that mass brainwashing has successfully taken place to inoculate the masses against the natural human repulsion of taking another human life. The fact that this thought, while not keeping me awake at night, troubles me somewhat, is an encouraging indication that I have some semblance of conscience left after the many years of brutal radicalisation by contemporary culture, and indeed some pretty unpleasant real life experiences. The fact remains though, that as individuals, while we do not have authority over life and death, as a part of group, such qualms can easily be dismissed and reconciled. It takes a strong, independent character to understand the difference between these two scenarios and the consequent moral peril that lies between. I fear little more than few understand it.

There is an old saying that sacred cows make the best hamburgers. Feeling somewhat famished, I propose that two pieces of confused, misguided and homogeneous morality that have lead to the nothing-burger of our current outbreak of social justice warriors can be firmly laid, in part at least, at the feet of two historical groups. Little did they realise that they would become the Big Mac of social activism, the fibre-less, pink slime of culture that bases its unique selling point of low cost, easy morality, dressed in a special secret sauce of hypocrisy, wrapped in the cool crisp lettuce of moral panic. I am of course talking about the moral crusade – those of prohibition, and the attack on free speech carried out by Mary Whitehouse, both of which so effectively corroded the hinges on the doors of classic conservatism, and ushered in the raffia curtains of secular humanism. Be they the few of many, such attacks on personal freedom disguised as “Family values” do more to encourage and reinforce the dictator and the jackboot, than steer the wayward citizen to safer shores.

It is interesting that both these movements were spawned from almost Presbyterian fanaticism, so typical of churches when religious dogma is faced with unprecedented social change. Incapable of any form of introspection, rather than looking at the cause of the injury, in a vain attempt to maintain the status quo, much gauze was applied to the disguise the festering sore of of wounded tradition despite the ever rising casualty list. For those battered by a global depression, and two world wars, the authority and moral compass of the church no longer pointed to either political or spiritual salvation, rather to the fact that the establishment, no matter how bruised and battered by circumstance and history, would continue to rule uncontested, unquestioned and unopposed, irrespective of how much blood dripped from their respective fingers.

Such dogmatism in the face of major social change is always a recipe for disaster. While there is a clear moral imperative for banning certain acts and behaviours, if you are going to go down that route, you better be dammed sure you have the consent of the majority of the populace, and you are willing to uncompromisingly hold that line until hell itself freezes over. As mentioned in a previous article, the majority of law is “self policing”, in so far as the majority of the population are willing to support it. Lose the support of the public, and all the law volumes in the University of Harvard will not save your cause. Such was the folly of the US prohibition of alcohol, which not only embedded organised crime at the top table of politics, but unified disparate crime groups across global, ethnic, racial and spiritual boundaries, as there was more money to be made in supplying a thirsty market than killing each other. This travesty has carried on through the Kennedy government of the ‘60’s, through the Iran-Contra drugs scandal and beyond. To any investigative journalist worth their salt, the division between the deep state, organised crime, terrorism, and human slavery is a fine one indeed.

As to the legacy of Mary Whitehouse, I shudder even now as my only recollection of this avenging harridan still haunts the black and white consciousness of my childhood. It is not so much that she was so wrong in what she was attempting to do, rather it was neither the place for a “Christian” woman during that era (if she chose to honestly accept the biblical foundation upon which she argued her case), nor the wisest stance to take, embracing censorship while the cold war was still pretty much in full swing. I won’t go as far as to class her as a useful idiot, but she was clearly demonstrating “Too little too late” and a staggering level of naivety. Demonising the BBC, and bringing a private prosecution against the Gay News for blasphemous libel are amongst her actions, yet her only lasting achievement is a pornographic magazine named after her, and a continuing tide of degeneracy. Despite her efforts, and association with the group Moral Rearmament, a potential cult-like organisation closely associated with Oxford University, the tide was turning in the ‘60’s. Taking a copy of Oz magazine to the Pope, didn’t save her cause and the writing was on the wall. To quote Geoffrey Marsh, the director of the Department of Theatre and Performance at the V&A – ‘The Oz trial marks the last time that the state threw the full weight of the obscenity laws against an artistic enterprise’.

The similarities between the prohibition, the attempts of Mary Whitehouse to conduct mass censorship under the guise of blasphemy, and the current crop of protests in Birmingham as to the sexual education of primary school children are the eerie, leaden, footsteps of Déjà Vu. While it is clear that this protest is multi-cultural in that Muslim, Jew and Christian are speaking with one voice, we ignore the future ramifications of such apparent political unity at our peril. While the enemy of my enemy may be my friend, each group, clearly, has their own agenda. I don’t agree with the sexual brainwashing of children, and this is in effect what this contested policy is seeking to achieve. Nor do I agree with homosexuals being put to death, or any particular religious segment of society having their own dedicated police force, be they Jew, Muslim or Christian.  Such favouritism only leads to division, but we now find ourselves in the awkward position where our historical blasphemy laws are impotent and silent, yet there is nothing to fill the void other than more political correctness or the imminent threat of Sharia law. If you want to examine any reason for abandoning the current church, I can think of no better excuse than both the Pope and the head of the Church of England embracing Islam with such fervour.

The next battle on the horizon will not so much be one of freedom, freedom to consume what one chooses, nor freedom to think what one wants to think. Even the historical freedom of soldiers being offered legal protection for alleged “indiscretions” during war have been removed. Far be it for the state to take any collective responsibility, from soldier to slave the inquisition has clearly begun. The next battle will be based on blasphemy and accusation, and the motives behind it, be they spiritual, environmental or political, the new generation of moral guardians will fight with a zealotry and religious passion that will make the robed prosecutors of the dark ages look like angels.

© Rookwood 2019

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