(To be sung to a certain British tune)
Charlatans said we’d fry,
But now they can’t deny,
It was a lie.
So, soon we will restore
Justice and rule of law;
They’ll pay for their foofaraw
Until they die.
Our big chance came when the generation who had been schooled beginning in the late ‘80s and ‘90s – the guinea-pigs for the “national curriculum” - came to sufficient maturity to understand what was going on. They had been subjected since youth to a torrent of brainwash. But many of them had come to know it. Some went further, and consciously resisted it. And soon they came to resent it, and to feel disgust for the politicals that had tried to brainwash them.
Imagine, then, the power which was unleashed during the second decade of the century, when these people, having reached their 20s or early 30s, discovered the ideas which we radical old fogeys – for most of us libertarians by ‘10 were well over 50, some even in their 80s - had struggled so hard and so long to preserve and to explicate for others. And that had been the proximate cause of the Revolution.
Key to dividing friend from foe had been the idea of common-sense justice, which was loved by those of the economic paradigm, and hated by those of the political. Like a mental meat-cleaver, it separated the metaphorical sheep from the goats. For honest, productive, peaceful people naturally want to be treated as they treat others. It’s in their interests! And fraudsters, thieves and the aggressively violent fear it, because common-sense justice will punish them as they deserve.
We had formed an organization that would run candidates for office. It was not a political party. Indeed, it was explicitly against politics and the political paradigm.
Our candidates did not talk about what was “best for Britain”, but about what was “best for you” and “best for good people”. They promoted the economic paradigm – the way forward to a society of peace, justice, freedom, prosperity, honesty and a bright and happy future. They compared and contrasted it with the political paradigm, with its wars, its injustices, its bad laws and unnecessary restrictions, its heavy taxes, its lies and deceit, and its stifling, going-nowhere atmosphere of fear and guilt.
Our candidates asked the question: Who the hell needs politics? They promised the common-sense justice that everyone deserved. They promised that they would never allow peaceful, productive, honest people to suffer for the sake of the violent, or the lazy, or the dishonest, or anyone with a political agenda.
And many good people, who had come to despise the politicals but had never had a chance to do anything about it before, flocked to join us.
Our enemies, of course, at first ignored us, then belittled us, then attacked us (verbally, legally or on occasion physically) and smeared us. But their attacks backfired. Indeed, our enemies scored a series of increasingly spectacular own goals. And people came to see the state for what it was; an outdated, immoral organization. They saw the politicals and the Establishment that fed off them for what they were; criminals and worse.
As discontent mounted, good people had started openly to flout unjust and intrusive laws. There were anti-political protests, and civil disobedience. And there were tax strikes - particularly by small businesses.
There was some violence, much of it started by the police; for many of them took the politicals’ side. The army, though, was another matter. Because of what they had been ordered to do in Afghanistan and Iraq, many of them hated the politicals just as much as we revolutionaries did. So they were not inclined to intervene on the politicals’ side against the people.
So, in October ’17 – ironically, 100 years to the month after the Bolsheviks had taken over Russia – we suddenly found that we had won.
Mr. Good, Dr. Wood, Mrs. Hood and Mr. Mahmood
When our side took power after the Revolution, we had much to do in a very short time. Four members of our side took the principal roles in implementing the new paradigm. (I use here, not their real names, but nicknames I gave them).
Mr. Good was not only the figurehead, but also the one who held everything together. He was the one who set the tone for what the others did, and kept everyone aware of what was happening. He also personally dealt with the most controversial issues. For example, agreeing to extradite from England to Iraq the instigators of the war there.
Dr. Wood was the financial genius. He reduced the functions of government right down to their core – civil law, criminal law and defence against aggression. And he privatized all services previously provided by the state, which people were voluntarily willing to pay for. The rest of the bureaucrats he sacked, and cancelled their pensions. Then Dr. Wood wound up the morally and financially bankrupt political state, and distributed its assets among its creditors.
Mrs. Hood represented the people of England to the rest of the world. It was said of her that, if Margaret Thatcher had been a battle-axe, Mrs. Hood was an ironclad. She negotiated the separation from England of the Scots, Welsh and Irish. She told the EU and the UN, in no uncertain terms, where they could go. She opened the borders of England to anyone prepared to commit to the economic paradigm. And she negotiated trade and friendship deals with other countries, including many in or formerly in the EU. She gained a reputation for being utterly hard, but also utterly fair.
Mr. Mahmood was responsible for justice within England. He was the one who led the repeal of all the unjust and intrusive laws, and the pruning of the English common law down to its roots. He reformed the police. And he had – among much else - the cameras taken down, and the databases scrapped.
Mr. Good and his friends set in motion, too, a plan to bring objective, common-sense justice to every individual in England. That included retrospective justice. We made every one of the politicals and their hangers-on take full, individual responsibility for the bad things they had done to innocent people. We made them pay reparations to all those they had damaged through wars, re-distributory or confiscatory taxes, stifling regulations, unjust laws, bureaucratic waste, corruption or harassment, or police harassment or brutality. And we punished them in addition, as harshly as they deserved. We didn’t show them any more compassion than they had shown towards us. For common-sense justice doesn’t pull its punches.
But equally, common-sense justice is not vindictive. Once they had fully compensated all those they had harmed, had taken the punishment that was due to them, and had committed themselves to the economic paradigm, then even ex-politicians could be re-admitted to society. But not, of course, until they had paid their dues in full.
I think about my own role in the Revolution. I had not been one of its public figures – that was not my style. But I had become, quite without intending it, one of the sloganeers of the Revolution.
I hadn’t invented the phrase “common-sense justice”. Nor had I been first to use “You deserve to be treated as you treat others”. But I had been, as far as I knew, the first libertarian to apply that name to that idea, as far back as ’02.
“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his deserts” – that one was mine, too. A pithy statement of the economic paradigm, if I may say so. Only one word different from the Marxist dictum; but what a difference a word makes!
“Who’s afraid of common-sense justice?” had been mine, as well. And “No forgiveness without compensation”.
The Orange Peelians
I get up and walk along the north side of the park, towards Trafalgar Square. Back in ‘10, I had not been able to do that, because the pope was visiting and was planned to pass by some time later. Police – hundreds of them - had cordoned off the area and were stopping people from crossing the roads. I had to leave St. James’s Park the same way I had come in. I felt corralled like an animal; and I wasn’t the only one complaining. It was typical of how we were treated in the Ugly Years – deprived of our basic right to walk peacefully around London, for no better reason than that some silly old German bishop had come to harangue us about not celebrating the winter solstice properly.
But today in 2035, I reflect, the police are very different. After the Revolution, we had sacked the entire police force, and re-hired only those who were prepared to commit to doing the job properly. We made them keep to principles similar to the ones laid down in the 19th century by Sir Robert Peel. And we changed their uniforms to bright orange jackets. So, many people now call them the Orange Peelians.
Police no longer enforce laws, as they did before the Revolution, for the sake of enforcing laws. Instead, they are a resource to support peace and justice. Our cities and suburbs are a lot quieter too, because police today will be prosecuted if they use sirens without good reason.
I walk through the arch, and reach the south end of Trafalgar Square. It’s still called Trafalgar Square, and it’s once again a Mecca for pigeons. I remember, with a smile, hearing Mr. Good decline the offer of having his statue on one of the plinths.
I turn right down Whitehall for a little way, to go to the Silver Cross, where I had had my second pub stop back in ‘10. It’s still a pub, but it’s now called “The Trafalgar”.
Results of Revolution
I think of some of the changes which have happened since the Revolution. There are no taxes any more. Courts, police and what few prisons and what little military defence are still necessary, are all financed by allowing the English pound – which is otherwise tied to a basket of commodities – to be inflated at 1½% per year. All other services formerly provided by the state have been privatized. And the welfare of those, who through no fault of their own cannot support themselves, has become a matter for insurance. Or, in extreme emergency, charity.
Oh, the happiness of not paying taxes! For, when you paid for a good or service in the Ugly Years, you knew that you were also paying for the politically rich and the bad things they did to you. But today, when you pay for a good or a service, you know that none of what you are paying goes towards wars. None of it goes towards political policies designed to harm innocents. None of it goes to an authoritarian intellectual class. None of it goes on propaganda. None of it goes on bureaucracies. None of it goes on spying on people. Oh, the happiness of not paying taxes!
Even better, if someone does start behaving badly, it is easy to take sanctions against them, without needing to use law or police. For, if you don’t like the way they behave, you don’t have to do business with them!
But perhaps the biggest change brought about by the Revolution was a change in the climate – the mental climate. The fear and guilt, that had characterized the Ugly Years, was very soon gone. Instead, we had a new rationality and a new optimism. We human beings – regardless of race or geographical origin – were going to fulfil our potential. Yes, we were damn well going to do what was right and natural for us to do! We were going to take control of our planet.
And we, the English, were going to do what we could to spread the economic paradigm and the new sense of confidence world-wide.
Not surprisingly, very soon after the Revolution, investment began to flood into England. And shortly, that investment was physically followed by many of the investors. So, London became once again the financial capital of the world. And things got so much better so quickly, that the Revolution of ’17 in England became the model for the rest of the world to follow.
With the Revolution, there came also a new honesty in public life. With the political paradigm destroyed, it was now in everyone’s interest to be honest. Propaganda became a thing of the past, too. For most people today have fully functional bullshit meters. The young have learned from us old fogeys!
There is, once again, an English parliament. For new situations arise; therefore it’s impossible to have the rule of law and justice, without having at least some kind of legislative. But the parliament has no full-time members or employees. It meets, emergencies excepted, for at most two weeks each year. And it meets in a purpose built facility in Milton Keynes, which for the rest of the year is a hotel and conference centre.
As to the constitution, we allowed the incumbent to complete her term, but monarchical power was going to end there. She made it to 100 – just – and so it was in ‘26 that the English monarchy ended. King William V’s post is now entirely ceremonial, and he earns his living as a tourist attraction.
The word “Britain” is now used only in the one sense, as “a group of islands in the western North Sea”. And “Europe” is a dirty word. The continent is now, as it ever was, called “The Continent”.
And the EU is no more. As the Revolution went world-wide, our local friends simply sacked all the EU bureaucrats in their countries, and wound up the EU’s institutions. The same happened to the UN, too.
Today in 2035, we the honest, productive human beings of England enjoy the liberty, justice, peace and prosperity we have earned. Our victory in the Paradigm War, and the consequent Revolution of ‘17, have given us what we deserve. Life today isn’t perfect, of course – it never will be. But it’s one heck of a lot better than the Ugly Years.
And we are trying some exciting ideas on the justice front. We are currently trialling Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s idea of “private law societies”. If it works, it will make the provision of justice totally independent of geographical boundaries. And so, will make it all but impossible for anyone ever to try to resurrect the state.
Why Did They Do What They Did?
I turn left out of the pub, then left again into Whitehall Place, to pass the National Liberal Club. It was there that we libertarians had held many of our meetings. It was there, in a tiny oasis of radicalism in the heart of Establishment London, that the intellectual seeds of the Revolution had been sown.
As I climb the steps to the footbridge over the river, I contemplate the question: Why? Why did the politicals behave as they did? And why did they bombard us with so much fear and guilt?
Maybe, I think, I have an answer. When the politicals said “we’re a burden on the planet”, were they actually admitting that they were a burden on the planet? When they said “our way of life is not sustainable”, did they really mean that they knew their way of life, their political paradigm, was not sustainable? When they told us “we must change our lifestyles”, did they really mean that they had to change their lifestyles, to forfeit their unearned privileges? When they hyped fears of climate change, was what they really feared change in the mental climate? Did they sense, with fear, the coming Revolution?
And when they accused us of endangering species, did they really mean that they feared their own species – the political species – was endangered? Did they, perhaps, feel their own unfitness for the new world? Did their fears stem from a visceral sense that they, their state and their paradigm were doomed?
Well, I think with a smile, politics, the state and the political paradigm are now all extinguished. And good riddance.
Across The Tame’s
I continue across the footbridge over the Thames. It’s an in joke, among us Paradigm Warriors who remain, to lengthen the “a” and pronounce the name of the river as “Tame’s”. This refers, of course, to Chris Tame, one of the first leaders of our movement in England. Dying in ‘06, he never saw the Revolution he did so much groundwork for. But he is not forgotten.
I look to my right, and see that the London Eye is still there. Just to the left of it, there is now another wheel, like an Enterprise wheel, but much bigger. It’s called the London Revolution. It whirls its passengers round fast – no, very fast, about 90 mph – then takes them upside-down into the air. It gets bigger queues than the Eye.
It’s starting to go dark. And I already know that the Italian restaurant hard by Waterloo station, where I had eaten at the end of that walk all those years ago in 2010, is still in business. It’s time, I think, for dinner.
I continue across the square, with Westminster Abbey to my left. It has not changed in twenty-five years; except that its opening hours are now more convenient for the tourists on whom it depends for its income.
People sometimes ask me why, after the Revolution, we allowed such a symbol of the bad old days to stand, and in such a prominent place too. My usual reply is to quote L.P.Hartley: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
I take the underpass leading south-west, and turn right, through small streets to the Westminster Arms. All this walking and thinking is thirsty work; I need a beer. The pub is small, dark and crowded. But I manage to find a stool in a relatively quiet corner.
I contemplate the renaissance of the English pub since the Revolution. People, who formerly could not earn enough to afford to go out, now can. With “luxury taxes” like those on alcohol abolished, they can do it surprisingly cheaply too. Our scrapping of drink-driving laws gave village pubs, in particular, a new lease of life. And we reduced alcohol-caused accidents in the process. For, when people are treated as responsible adults, they are more likely to behave as responsible adults. (And if someone did cause a death while driving in an unfit state, the charge could be manslaughter).
We also abolished the smoking ban in pubs. We returned the choice of whether people may smoke in a particular part of a pub to the individual with whom it rightly belongs – the publican.
Other things English have not done so badly, either. English cricket is once again at the pinnacle of the world game. The English breakfast is again seen as what it is, the finest way for any human being to begin any day. And the English common law, which during the Ugly Years had become like a dark, overgrown forest with dangerous predators lurking in it, has been re-planted. We revolutionaries pruned it down to its very roots, and it now flourishes again.
The English language, too, has become even more popular world-wide since the Revolution. It can now, truly, be said to be de wereldtaal.
And there has been a resurgence of traditional English values. To name a few: Individual freedom and independence. The rule of law, and equality before that law. Tolerance, and a sense of justice and fair play. Honour and honesty. Contempt for those that try to take for themselves unearned power or wealth. And, not least, what used to be known as the Protestant work ethic.
The Scots, the Welsh and the Irish, meanwhile, have done their own things. We trade with them in a friendly manner, but none of us interferes in each others’ affairs.
Refreshed, I cross the road into St. James’s Park, and turn left. At the end, I fork right, towards what is now the Buckingham Palace Hotel. It’s run by some of the younger Windsors, too. It’s a very chic place to stay.
I find a park bench, and think again about the past. Since the late ‘80s, I had been a member of a loose and disparate movement of radicals. We had generally answered to the name “libertarians”; though I myself didn’t much like the word, preferring to think of myself as a true liberal.
Our philosophy was one of individual freedom. But there were as many different approaches to that philosophy as there were individuals in the movement. We had our anarchists, who wanted to abolish the state altogether. We had our minarchists, who wanted a teensy-weensy little state. We had our idealists, who seemed to think they could create liberty by using the democratic process to take over the state. We had those who were basically Enlightenment conservatives. And we had those who, if they had lived a century or so before, would have been Marxists.
We each did what we did, working towards freedom in our own ways and in those areas in which we were most interested. We met every so often, to listen to the ideas of our most prominent intellectuals and activists. And some of us got pleasantly drunk afterwards.
Right Wing, Left Wing, Down Wing
In the days before we understood the Paradigm War, libertarians had tried hard to work for freedom inside the political system. We had not had much success.
In the ‘80s, the conservatives or Tories, the right wing, had seemed our natural allies. They were, like us, anti-communist – remember communism? Many of them supported a fair degree of economic freedom. And some of them seemed to be quite decent chaps, eh what? But it had eventually become plain that they weren’t really on our side.
For, all conservatives’ thinking was backward looking. That is almost the definition of a conservative. The really nasty ones – their thinking thousands of years out of date – believed that might makes right. So they allowed relative economic freedom, but only so they could build the biggest possible war machine.
The nicest of the conservatives, on the other hand, were only two or three hundred years out of date. They shared our Enlightenment values, and supported economic freedom for its own sake. But conservatives, as we eventually came to see, couldn’t let go of the political paradigm. Even with the best of wills, they couldn’t see past the state to what needed to come next.
So, some of us tried seeking allies on the political left – so-called liberals. After all, most of them were, like us, against aggressive wars, racism, religious intolerance, elitism and abuse of power by officials. Many of them were decent on things like civil liberties and free migration. And they were more open to new ideas than conservatives.
But the left had serious problems as potential allies. They had fallen, almost without exception, for the green agenda and its “humans cause catastrophic global warming” fraud. And they saw inequalities of earnings – even if fully deserved, for example due to better developed skills or greater effort – as a problem to be “rectified”. So they liked to impose harsh taxes, to seize the earnings of those who honestly earned success. Thus, they became enemies of the economic paradigm. (And they did not seem to understand that, in trying to “rectify” one inequality, they were creating a different, and far greater, inequality!)
Some of us had flirted with the UK Independence Party. For many of us could heartily agree with their core belief – the EU was a menace, and had to be escaped from or otherwise gotten rid of. But they weren’t, short of a revolution, going to get power. And, if they did, they would soon become like the conservatives.
That left – apart from a few fringe loonies - our worst enemies, New Labour and the greens. They formed what I liked to call the down wing. They both wanted to destroy any chance of economic prosperity. And they both wanted to destroy our rights and freedoms too.
To summarize: The political bird had three wings. Right-wingers loved the state and its political paradigm. Left-wingers hated the economic paradigm and prosperity. Down-wingers did both.
No, there was no point at all in trying to ally with anyone inside the political system.
The Paradigm Warriors
I had joined the libertarian movement back when the game had been keeping the ideas of freedom alive in a hostile intellectual climate. I had stayed in it through the worst of the Ugly Years. During that time, our task had been to invent, and to evaluate, routes to freedom which might prove achievable. And I was still there when the game changed again, and we became Paradigm Warriors.
Taking the long view, the political paradigm had gradually been losing momentum over the centuries. So, every so often, the politicals had felt the need to start a new ruse, to fool or to cow people into supporting their paradigm. That was why absolute monarchy had given way to constitutional monarchy. That was why we had “democracy”; and also why it was such a sham. That was why we had suffered nationalism – and the wars it spawned.
That was why we had a bloated, unsustainable welfare state, too. If the welfare system was as good as the politicals claimed, it would have eliminated poverty, wouldn’t it? But it hadn’t. No, the true purpose of the welfare state was to try to fool people into believing that the state was on their side.
That was also why the politicals were so damned active. They liked to make themselves the centre of attention. They kept on doing things to us, hoping that we would notice them and fawn on them. They didn’t seem to realize that what they did to us actually made us angry and disgusted.
That was also why they had foisted on us the green scare agenda. The politicals hoped that people would buy into the scares, accept their measures to “save the planet”, and shower thanks and respect on them. But instead, we saw through the ruse to the lies beneath. So we came to feel for those that promoted the green agenda, not the respect they craved, but the contempt and hatred that they deserved as fraudsters.
The politicals had come up with ruse after ruse. But they had started to run out of workable ruses. Forward-thinking people had begun to see that the political system was unsustainable; that the state was out of date. And that we might be able to hasten its demise by joining the Paradigm War, on the side of the economic paradigm.
So, as Paradigm Warriors, our job had been threefold. First, to kick the intellectual foundations out from under the political paradigm. Second, to explicate the economic paradigm. And third, to sell it to the many who were – most of them unknowingly – desperate for it.
For, if good people were offered a real choice between the two, deciding between the economic and political paradigms was a no-brainer. Only the corrupt, lazy, aggressive and deceitful – in other words, common criminals and the political class – would choose the political paradigm.
Community? What Community?
One major difference between the two paradigms was that the economic paradigm is bottom-up. In the economic paradigm, individuals simply associate, work and trade together, and then disassociate. There is no need for people to feel a collective identity, beyond the team with whom they are working for the time being.
The political paradigm, on the other hand, was by its nature top-down. So it required people to feel a permanent collective identity; to feel a part of the state. The politicals, I had noticed, now referred to their state as “the community”. The reason, I presumed, was to try to give us a warm feeling of membership in their political system and their state.
But that idea of community had broken down. It was only a small step from voting for the party you hated least – or not voting at all – to feeling revulsion for the politicals and for their entire system. How, for instance, could any honest, peaceful human being feel any sense of community with those that had started an immoral war in Iraq, on the basis of nothing but a pack of lies? Or with those that had claimed that human activities caused catastrophic change in the climate, with no proof at all, just a load of non-science, propaganda and appeals to authority?
Any community that I could feel a part of, I used to say, would blackball Blair, Brown and Blunkett, and all the rest of New Labour. And most of those in the other parties, too. I knew I was not alone in this thought.
But I went further. I came to understand that those that supported a political policy – any political policy – that harmed innocent people, were assaulting those innocent people. Using politics against good people, I thought, is like mugging them. No; worse. For it perverts law, the very instrument which should defend us good people against the bad ones, into a weapon with which to persecute us. So I felt for the political muggers and their supporters, not fellowship or community, but anger and hatred. They owe me compensation, I thought; I don’t owe them anything but the contempt they deserve.
With hindsight, it’s obvious that political democracy had always contained the seeds of its own downfall. For politics always led to injustices. And, as the injustices mounted, the victims became angry. Good people lost – as I had - any sense of community with, or obligation to, those that promoted or supported the policies that harmed them. Fellowship is supposed to be a two-way process, we thought. So, unjust politics broke apart the feeling of community, that was necessary to sustain democracy. It destroyed the very sense of “we” that had given the democratic idea its legitimacy in the first place.
A big part of our job as Paradigm Warriors, therefore, had been to bring people to a new and sustainable sense of community. The new community we promoted was the world-wide fellowship of civilized human beings. That is, the community of all those who follow the economic paradigm. And who reject the political paradigm, and all those that use it.
But like the men and women of the Renaissance, we looked not just forward, but back to the best traditions of the past as well. We found it very helpful, that many of the values of our new paradigm were also traditional English values. So English people, along with their new sense of community in civilization, could still feel an Englishness – but an Englishness based on English values and culture, not on politics.
It was also helpful that England – as opposed to Britain - had had no political existence for 300 years. It was, therefore, less of a wrench for English people to adopt the new thinking, than it was for people in many other places.
And that is why the Revolution happened first in England.
I walk northwards along the Albert Embankment in the September afternoon sun.
It’s 2035. I am over 80 years old now; and I cannot walk quite as fast as I could in my prime. But I can still walk well.
The Ugly Years
I see an empty bench, raised on a small dais like many others along the river bank. I have only been walking ten minutes, but the opportunity of a sit-down is hard to resist.
Across the river, I see an early Victorian monstrosity. It used to be the headquarters, from which the politicals and their hangers-on had ruled over us before the Revolution. I am about level with its south end. And I recall a walk I had done twenty-five years ago, also in September. I had sat, that day, on this very same bench.
2010 had been right in the thick of the Ugly Years. In that time, the politicals and their cohorts had set themselves to control us, to rule over us against our wills. They had made bad laws and intrusive regulations to hem us in, and set traps to catch us out. They had imposed more and more bureaucracy on us in everyday life.
They had schemed to violate our rights and to destroy our civil liberties. They had given police more and more powers. They had spied on us, and recorded our movements. They had treated us as if we were no more than bits of information in a database.
Their financial mis-management had all but destroyed our economy. They had taxed us almost out of existence. They had taken away any chance hard-working people had of ever getting decent pensions. And they had kept on thinking up new excuses to take away even more; green taxes and minimum prices on alcohol, for example.
They had spent the proceeds on things which did us no good whatsoever – like wind farms – and on things that were positively harmful to us, like foreign wars, bloated bureaucracies and spying on us with cameras on every street corner. They had taken away the earnings of productive, honest people, and used them to benefit a corrupt political class and its bureaucratic, enforcement, media and corporate Establishment.
Some of the politicals had been a bit less evil than others, of course. And we had enjoyed, in theory, the protection of the rule of law. But the laws that the politicals had lobbied for and made had become divorced from law. And law had become divorced from its essential purpose, justice.
All this had been accompanied by a torrent of rationalizations. Safety, security, health, recycling, helping the vulnerable, protecting children, fighting terrorism – the politicals never tired of inventing good-sounding excuses for the bad things they did to us.
There was lots of vile propaganda, too. We were a blight and a burden on the planet, we were told. We were bombarded with fear and guilt. Fear of terrorism, fear of overpopulation, fear of runaway climate change. And guilt for being selfish, for damaging our environment, for endangering species, for not doing enough to help the poor and needy, for letting down future generations. Our civilization of economic productivity and trade was not sustainable. We had to change our lifestyles drastically. We had to go “green”, and save the planet. And we had to act NOW!
Of course, anyone with half an ounce of common sense knew, even back then, that this was all hogwash.
There seemed to be nothing we could do to get ourselves treated as we deserved, treated as human beings. We had, it was true, something called democracy. It let us vote, every so often, for which political party could claim the limelight for a few years. But the corrupt political parties, and the Establishment that fed off them, had had an unshakeable, vice-like grip on power. And the three main parties, all in on the scam, had ensured that dissenters could never grow powerful enough to challenge them.
A lot of the main parties’ candidates, and so a lot of our so-called representatives, didn’t represent anything other than their own party’s political agenda. They were no more than apparatchiks. So, even if an individual’s vote could have made a difference – which it never had, of course - there was no-one who both had a chance of winning, and was worth voting for.
As a result, for decades many – perhaps even most - of those who voted had done so, not for someone they wanted and respected, but for whichever party they disliked the least. Further, as the politicals’ behaviour towards us became worse and worse, many people began to feel alienated from the system. Those who could began to vote tactically, for whichever party was most likely to unseat the one they hated most. (I recalled, for instance, that I had voted Tory back in ’87, purely from a desire to keep Labour out).
I myself had reached, by the early ‘90s, another level of alienation yet. I had come to think that even a vote for the least of several evils is still a vote for evil. I felt contempt and loathing for politics, and for all the political parties. With only a very few exceptions, I felt no fellowship with, or respect for, anyone that took an active part in politics. So, I became a conscientious non-voter. For, not only would to vote have been to dirty myself in the politicals’ muck. But also, to vote for the party that gained power would have been an act of aggression against all those unjustly harmed by that party’s agenda.
There was worse. The “constitution”, under which we were supposedly governed, had for much of the time allowed the leader of the party in power almost unlimited scope to do to us whatever he or she wanted. Back in the ’70s, Quintin Hogg had called the system an “elective dictatorship”. He had been right.
A few in the Establishment had seemed to have become aware, that many people were unhappy with what was being done to them. So they aired schemes, like changing the mechanics of voting. But that was just fiddling with trivia. For it totally ignored the real problem – that the entire system was organized for the interests of the political class and their hangers-on, and against the interests of good people.
Oh yes, and on top of all that there was the EU, and the bad laws it spewed out like an erupting volcano. And there was the UN and its agendas. And, in particular, the green agenda that fraudulently sought to destroy our civilization, and to force us back to pre-industrial times.
Brian Haw Square
I walk on along the river. I watch commuter boats whizzing under the bridge ahead. Thanks to the march of technology, they go a lot faster now than they used to.
I turn left on to the bridge. It’s packed with tourists. I hear American and Australian accents; but the majority seem to be Chinese, or Indian, or Malaysian.
I pass the monstrosity. It’s a museum now; a monument to the follies, the evils, and the ultimate demise of politics.
There’s a lot of traffic in the square beyond. For single- or two-seat electric cars are the way many Londoners get around today. So I take the underpass – it hadn’t been there in ‘10 – to the patch of green in the middle. It’s now called Brian Haw Square, after the peace protester. But all protests are long gone from this spot.
I sit on a bench, and contemplate the Paradigm War. With hindsight it’s easy to ask, why did it take us so long to understand what we needed to do? For it all seems so obvious now.
There had been, for thousands of years of human history, two paradigms, or ways of doing things – an economic way and a political way. And the Paradigm War between the two had reached its crisis point in the early years of the new century.
The Economic Paradigm
The economic paradigm centres on the human individual. In the economic way of doing things, each individual makes himself or herself valuable to others, trades with others, and receives in return his or her deserved rewards.
To make the economic paradigm work in a society, four fundamentals are necessary: responsibility, justice, law and equality.
Responsibility has two aspects. First, each individual is responsible for, at the minimum, trying to be a productive member of the economy. And second, each individual bears responsibility for the effects of his or her actions on others.
The second fundamental is justice – objective justice, or, as I call it, common-sense justice. The idea is, that each individual deserves to be treated as he or she treats others. Those who behave well – honestly, peacefully, productively – deserve to be treated well. And those that behave badly deserve to be treated correspondingly badly.
The economic paradigm, through justice, gives people a strong incentive to behave well towards others. So, it encourages an environment of peace and prosperity. And it supports freedoms and human rights for all individuals. Only one thing may ever override individuals’ rights and freedoms; and that is objective justice.
The third fundamental is the rule of law. The one and only purpose of law, in the economic paradigm, is to implement justice – common-sense justice. Law must start from the premise that no individual deserves, at least in the round and over the long term, to be treated worse than he or she treats others.
For example, those who do not commit aggressions deserve not to suffer aggressions. Thus, law must defend the peaceful against the violent. Those, who do not rob, deserve not to be robbed. Thus, law must defend property rights. And those, who do not defraud, deserve not to be defrauded. Thus, law must defend the honest against the dishonest. Any other kind of “law” is a perversion.
The final fundamental is equality. This is not, as some had seemed to think, equality of outcome, or even equality of opportunity. For equality, in the economic paradigm, is moral equality. What is right for one to do, is right for another to do under similar circumstances, and vice versa. Another way to describe it is as equality before the law.
Some objected to the economic paradigm, saying that it created winners and losers, rich and poor. But this objection was easy to counter. For those who develop their abilities furthest, and put most in to the economy, deserve all the riches they fairly earn. On the other hand, those that are too lazy or too dishonest even to try to contribute to the economy, do not deserve to be anything but poor.
Some, too, made out that the economic paradigm discriminated against the sick, or the injured, or the disabled. But that, also, was easy to counter. With one word – Insurance!
This is all easy stuff, I think. Even a child should be able to work it out for himself or herself. And yet, for so long before and during the Ugly Years, even the most venerable professors seemed to find it hard to think these simple thoughts, and even harder to articulate them.
The Political Paradigm
By contrast, the political paradigm had centred on the political state, with its long history of violence, war, deceit, intimidation and persecution. In the political way of doing things, those with power simply did whatever they thought they could get away with. And not surprisingly, this included lying, thieving and harming innocent people.
The political paradigm shunned the idea of individual responsibility. It sometimes held common criminals responsible for their crimes, to be sure. But those that lobbied for, made and enforced bad political policies that harmed innocent people, were never held responsible for what they had done to those innocent people.
Indeed, two of the guiding principles of political states had, centuries ago, been sovereign immunity and irresponsibility. Briefly put, “The king can do no wrong.” So, state functionaries were not to be held responsible for the effects of their actions. And they could claim immunity from prosecution for what they did.
Of course, the politicals had tried to make out that this wasn’t so any more. They tried to tell us that officials were as accountable as any of the rest of us. But this was obviously a lie. You only needed to look at one example – the murder by police of Jean Charles de Menezes in ’05, and what followed – to see through it.
As to justice, in the political paradigm, justice meant whatever those in power wanted it to mean. That was why politicals and their authoritarian intellectual cohorts had constantly spewed out nonsense ideas like “social justice” and “environmental justice”.
In the political paradigm, the state could, if the rulers decided they needed to (whether the “need” was real or not), override the rights and freedoms of any individual. That in itself was bad enough. But the state could also be manipulated by the rulers for their own interests and those of their cronies. And they could use their power to hurt those they didn’t like. That was why politics always created and increased injustice. And that was why the Ugly Years had been such hell to live through.
In that time, the rule of law had been supplanted by the rule of bad laws. The law mill had been working for decades at ever increasing speed, cranking out laws. Laws to violate our rights and kill our freedoms, laws to bloat the state and its bureaucracy, laws to re-distribute wealth from the politically poor to the politically rich, laws to impose on us political correctness and faddist agendas. And they took away more and more of our earnings to fuel their nefarious schemes.
As to equality, the political paradigm, like the economic, had had its winners and losers. The winners, the politically rich, enjoyed power, and the unearned wealth and status which flowed from it. And the losers – the politically poor, who included virtually all the honest, peaceful, productive people – were shat upon. The political state in those days, I think, could have been summed up in two words; institutionalized inequality.
This time? I have no idea. Except that all the politicians will be dishonest as usual, and that all human beings in the islands I call Brutesville will be even worse oppressed after than we were before.
This speech was made by Mr. Cheese shortly after his election as British prime minister on 7 May 2010.
You, the British public, asked for change. You have got change. You have elected ME, Wensleydale Cheese – The Big Cheese, as I prefer to be called – as Prime Minister.
My first job is to announce my Cabinet. That is, to name my cronies who will be lying to you, oppressing you and ripping you off for the next five years. So here goes.
My Chancellor of the Exchequer will be Rob Steal. I can safely say that he will be very good at screwing tacks out of you.
My Home Secretary, who will take special delight in criminalizing anything you enjoy, will be Mr. Petty. He will be closely assisted by the Minister for Constant Surveillance, Mr. Pryer.
The Department of Organized Crime (DOC) and the Seriously Fraudulent Office (SFO) will be amalgamated under the shared leadership of Mr. Bent and Mr. Crook.
The Minister of Education, with particular responsibility for Very Bad Verse, will be Mr. Doggerell.
My joint Ministers of Health, who will minister to the health of my joints, will be Dr. Quack and Mrs. Nostrum.
Four Ministers will be responsible for the climate. The Ministers for Cold will be Mr. Snow and Mr. Frost, the Minister for Heat will be Mr. Power, and the Minister for Rain will be Mr. De Wet.
The Minister for Exclamations will be Gordon Bennett.
The Minister for Losing Data will be... what was his name again? He will also be the Minister without Portfolio, having left it in a taxi.
Mr. White will run the Department of Racial Discrimination, and Mr. Mann will be responsible for sexual discrimination.
The Minister for Getting Drunk will be Mr. Tippler.
The Minister for Children’s Games will be Haydn Sikh.
The Minister for Ogling Young Girls will be Mr. Totti.
The Minister for Making You Angry will be Mr. Madden, and the Minister for Complaining will be Mr. Grouse.
Mr. Gaff will be in charge of the Department of Mistakes, and Mr. Balding will head the Department of Hair Loss.
The Minister for Lies, Spin and Propaganda will be Mr. Bull, assisted by Mr. Wittering.
I will announce tomorrow the remaining three Cabinet posts: the Minister of Hypocrisy and Double Standards, the Minister for Hare-brained Schemes and the Minister for ...er... Forgetting What He Was Going to Say Next.
Neil’s Foibles: No. 1
Long ago, so long ago that most people considered writing to be a tremor in the hands, there was a king called Cuss.
And I hope you don’t find it hard to work out why he was called by that name.
Be that as it may; Cuss came from the family of Truss, the first king of his dynasty. Truss had been a despotic ruler, as evidenced by what our good friend Mr Webster says of his name:
“1 a : to secure tightly : b : to arrange for cooking by binding close the wings or legs.”
But Cuss fancied himself as a progressive king. He preferred crooking his people, rather than cooking them. Indeed, a theory posits that today’s phrase “Cusstoms and Excise” owes part of its derivation to his name.
So, Cuss surrounded himself with advisers. By this, he hoped to gain enough knowledge to defeat neighbouring kings, and so to expand his kingdom. One of these advisers was called Muss.
If you ask why every name in this fable so far ends in “uss,” the answer is: nepotism. Surely, there were families in Cuss’s kingdom called Oof and Ug and Crit and Shap and... But Cuss would only accept advisors from his own family, the Uss.
Now Muss was an intellectual, and a dreamer. He convinced Cuss to go on military expeditions. And, at first, the strategy worked. Cuss quickly subjected the kings of Bog and Brownstuff, and excised their people.
Side note: The Brownstuff people, experts tell us, were a great loss to humanity. For they were, at that time, the best linguists on Earth. They had been the first to invent two syllable words! The Vietnamese, so I’m told, haven’t managed that even to this day. Furthermore, the Brownstuffs had a better (e)scatological understanding than any of their rivals.
But then Cuss, on Muss’s advice, attacked Dong, the king of Bel; generally known to those he had conquered as “the man of iron, who sings.” It was a close battle; but Cuss was defeated. So, Cuss had Muss killed.
On the counterstroke, the enlightened Dong, in contrast to normal practice of the time, ordered killed only those men that had actually fought in the war. And he had his warriors Ding most of the women of Cuss’s tribe, particularly the belles. In less than a year, they would no longer be a nation.
Cuss, now in hiding, wanted to justify himself to his people. And he had heard that there was a new skill called “writing,” which could preserve his sayings for days, weeks or more. The inventor was another family member; his name was Suss. So Cuss called Suss to his hide-out.
Cuss said to Suss, “Write me the story of Muss and his wrongdoings.”
Suss replied (and he sang the reply in his tenor voice, as Cuss permitted for those within his family who could sing well):
“Bring me a leaf large and light green,
Bring me a feather with a point,
Bring me bull’s blood, a big tureen;
Soon, I will write what you appoint.”
It was done. There were many arcane procedures before Suss was ready to write; but eventually, all was finished. Then Suss took the feather in his right hand, dipped its point in the blood, and moved it slowly over the surface of the leaf. The pattern it was tracing became clear.
“Marvellous!” exclaimed Cuss. “But what does it mean?”
Suss cleared his throat. “It says:
There once was a young man called Muss,
Played a trick on the great, good King Cuss.
Muss took us to war;
He was wrong, and we’re sore.
But now he’s up his own Anuss.”
At that moment, Dong entered the room, iron sword in hand and followed by several of Cuss’s personal guards who had defected to Dong.
Time out... Our charter does not allow the depiction of violence or killing. So, we’ll be back after these messages from your local station.
Dong turned to Suss, and asked: “What does your writing really say?”
Suss looked into Dong’s face, and saw a friend. So he replied with the truth. “This is what it says:
Here lies Uss Muss,
Murdered by bad king Cuss;
No fuss, no Muss.”
To which Dong replied, singing loudly in the deep bass which fitted his name so well:
“Dong dinged Cuss’s womenfolk,
And soon there’ll be young Ding Dongs!
I won’t put you under yoke,
As long as you have sing songs!”
Fortunately, Suss was an excellent singer, so he was able to pitch correctly the long, slow words which go with the next part of this beautiful melody.
Dong was very pleased with Suss, and appointed him Vice Regent as well as his Master of Writing. And so, even today, there is still a region of Dong’s former empire which goes by the name of Sussex.