Well, it seems there will be a ceasefire in the Israel-Lebanon conflict in the next couple of days and about time too. Too many innocent people have died in both Israel and Lebanon. Furthermore, it seems that the propaganda war has been won by Hezbollah, as the Israelis have been unable to crush them quickly, as the Israelis thought they would.
Well, war brings together strange alliances and bedfellows, but I've found one on my own doorstep. My piece on the BNP
led to a comment being posted by Storm Front
, a (Neo-)Nazi website, listing all its latest articles. I had a quick gander, as I do with anyone who leaves a message with me (even all those tedious spambots), & I came across the headline BNP spokesman praises Israel, insults WNs [ie "White Nationalists"]
. I had a look
and it quoted from an article by the BNP's "independent legal advisor" Lee Barnes. The whole article by Mr. B can be read on the BNP website
if you are inclined, but the Stormfront was frothing at the mouth at such bon mots
as:These so called ‘Nationalists’ that attack Israel at the whim of the media can also be found standing shoulder to shoulder with Far Left activists, Communists, the United Nations and various repugnant Islamic terrorist groups, and yet never seem to think about the logic of them doing so. Any ' alliance' that involves nationalists agreeing with the media and communists etc is based either on stupidity or a misunderstanding of the nature of the issue. They should start understanding the future, instead of navel gazing into the past....
For decades the lunatic fringe of the Nationalist movement has said that the media is controlled by the ‘Jews’ and Israel. The reports from the BBC, and the rest of the British media, are so anti-Israel and pro-Hezbollah that such a contention has been revealed to be total rubbish. The fact is that Israel have adopted one of the most restrained invasions in world history. They have leafleted the areas where they are about to strike before they hit those targets. Thats not something NATO did in Serbia when it bombed the Serbs to assist the Kosovan Muslims in their campaign of ethnic cleansing. When they bombed the trains and TV station they did not warn the public and the media beforehand....
As a Nationalist I can say that I support Israel 100% in their dispute with Hezbollah. In fact, I hope they wipe Hezbollah off the Lebanese map and bomb them until they leave large greasy craters in the cities where their Islamic extremist cantons of terror once stood. The 21st Century is the Islamic Century. Unless we start to resist the threat of Islamic extremism then within 100 years the West will have become Eurabia....
Israel is the only living organic nationalist state on the planet. They live only as they still have the will to fight and wage war. The West is now a senile culture, it sleeps in dreams of its former glory whilst a new generation of barbarians is beseiging its gates. In its quest for gold it has ignored the real dangers it has created for us all.
I wonder what all those pro-Israelis in the media who denounce anyone opposed to anything Israel does as "anti-semitic" would make of a head honcho in the BNP supporting "Israel 100% in their dispute with Hezbollah"?
Another footnote from the BNP article is the Socialist Unity piece
which declared Sean Gabb to be pro-BNP. This is cobblers (I should have said that in the post). I've read one of his books Dispatches From A Dying Country: Reflections on Modern England (2001)
, and some of his Libertarian Alliance pieces & he is a Libertarian Conservative, not some BNP stooge. Dr. Gabb is not my cup of tea politically 100% (quelle surprise!)
. However, he is interesting, & anyone opposed to the war in Iraq and say "Today, I feel a greater affinity in important respects with the followers of Noam Chomsky than with people like Kenneth Clarke and Tony Blair, who are supposed to stand between me and the Chomskyites"
(Dispatches From A Dying Country, p.xiii) can't be all bad! He also has a website
I thought I'd show this article below to show that Sean Gabb is not a stooge of Nick Griffin. It is also interesting on two other counts. First, it was published on the Lew Rockwell website
. It proclaims itself pro-market, anti-state and anti-war and gives the Bushies a good verbal kicking. I try to ignore its anti-socialist diatribes on the grounds that being Americans, Lew Rockwellies use "socialism" as a swear word for anything they don't like. Second, Dr. Gabb predicts the next few years in British politics. I'm still convinced that the next General Election will probably lead to a Cameroonie/Lib Dem Orange Book/Disaffected Blairite "National Government" coalition who will "modernise" & "reform" us all to death, but a pure Cameron government is still a possibility, as is a Gordon Brown one. Anyway, here's Dr. Gabb's view of where we are going (and his thoughts on the BNP).Mark Oaten, Rent Boys and the Secret Police: A View of How England Is Governed at the End of Its History by Sean Gabb, January 24, 2006
At a dinner party last Wednesday, I fell into conversation with a friend who is also a friend of Mark Oaten. He – for those of my readers who do not live in England or in the present – was at the time the home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrat Party, and was standing for the leadership of his party. I heard from my friend that Mr. Oaten's office had just been burgled. We passed an interesting ten minutes speculating on which of his rivals had commissioned the burglary, and what might have been found. We agreed on looking forward to Thursday morning for the newspaper reports.
Except for a paragraph in The Guardian, there were no newspaper reports of the burglary. The big news instead was that Mr. Oaten had withdrawn from the leadership contest. The lack of coverage of the burglary, together with concentration on its probable effect, suggested some involvement by the secret police. But why should it matter to them, I asked, who led the Liberal Democrat Party? And what was the nature of the dirt they had found in his office and used against him?
The second question was answered this morning by The News of the World. This revealed how Mr. Oaten had been consorting for some time with male prostitutes, and that these had on at least one occasion been paid to humiliate him with what the reporter described as "a bizarre sex act too revolting to describe." Bearing in mind what sexual acts do get routinely described, and even shown, in the British media nowadays, the mind reels at what Mr. Oaten must have been doing. Not surprisingly, he had already resigned from the Liberal Democrat front bench, and his political career is probably over.
I turn now to the first question. Why should the secret police take any interest in fixing the election to lead the Liberal Democrat Party? Why destroy Mr. Oaten? His views, after all, were about the closest of any of the candidates to those of the other party leaders. He would in no sense have promised any radical departure from the consensus. Yet he has been destroyed, and with a memorable brutality. Why?
My answer is that Mr. Oaten was destroyed because he was foolish enough to stand in the way of the latest stage in the reshaping of our politics. He fell victim to a conspiracy.
I grant – I have no factual evidence for what I am about to say. No one has taken me aside and whispered into my ear, or given me classified documents. Aside from having heard about the burglary last week, I have no more information than anyone else. This being said, the facts as we have them do suggest a hidden cause. I could state the facts and reason back to this cause. However, I am not writing for some learned journal, and I find it more entertaining to assume the cause, and then show how it provides a scheme of explanation for the facts.
I assume that the ruling class of this country – or a significant group within it – has lost confidence in Tony Blair as Prime Minister, and in the Labour Party as a governing force. This, if true, is the main fact in our politics. Indeed, it has become the connecting thread for the whole present narrative of politics in this country.
Now, some of my friends – and one was with me at that dinner party of last Wednesday – believe that there is something called "The Blair Project," and that the content of this is determined by and connected with nothing more than the momentary electoral convenience of Mr. Blair. They laugh at me if I insist that there is any more significant connecting thread for events.
For all they laugh, they are wrong. It is possible to see, during the past 25 years in at least this country, a movement towards a new settlement in politics. This movement has continued regardless of who has occupied which office, and regardless of what party has won which election. It is clear that the ruling class – or that loose coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, educators, and media and business people who derive wealth and power and status from an enlarged and active state – wants an end of liberal democracy. The desired new settlement is one in which those at the top or with the right connections can enjoy the most fabulous wealth and status, and in which their enjoyment of these can never again be challenged from below. We, the ordinary people, are to be stripped of our constitutional rights – no freedom of speech, no personal or financial privacy, no procedural safeguards in the criminal law. We are to be taxed and regulated to what counts in our own culture as the edge of the breadline. This is on the one hand to provide incomes for clients of the ruling class, and on the other to deprive us of the leisure that might allow us to understand our situation, and of the confidence that might allow us to challenge it. In any event, every organ of the ruling class is at work on promoting ideologies of boundless submission to the new settlement.
At the same time, structures of accountability that emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries are to be deactivated. Their forms will continue. There will be assemblies at Westminster. But these will not be sovereign assemblies with the formal authority of life and death over us all. That authority will have been passed to various unelected and transnational agencies. And so far as the Westminster assemblies will remain important, our votes will have little effect on what they enact.
We are passing into the sort of world that existed in much of Europe before the French Revolution – a world of diverse and conflicting sources of authority, all equally unaccountable. The great simplification of authority that happened in Europe after 1789, and that had happened over two centuries earlier in England, was a product of nationalism; and simplification was followed by accountability and then by liberalism. This sort of reaction is in future to be made impossible by promoting movements of people so that nations in the old sense disappear, and are replaced by patchworks of nationalities more suspicious of each other than of any ruling class.
The progress of this counter-Enlightenment can be seen in the statute book – from the removal of the unanimity rule in jury trials in the Criminal Justice Act 1967, to the European Communities Act 1972, to the subsequent Criminal Justice Acts, to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, to the Civil Contingencies Act and the Terrorism Act 2005. In these, we have a clear movement towards despotism. This movement did not begin in 1997. The Election of the Blair Government marked no change of direction – but only of pace. The policies of state we have at present have not been set because they suit the electoral convenience of Tony Blair. Mr. Blair became Prime Minister because he seemed at the time best suited to carry forward policies of state set by others.
But his usefulness is at an end. He is no longer wanted by those who matter, and his party is no longer wanted.
Therefore, the Conservative Party has been brought back from the dead. It has been given a leader who has accepted almost everything done by Labour since 1997, and whose objections are confined to those areas within which the ruling class is itself divided. Because of what he is – or of what he says and does – Mr. Cameron has been cried up by our controlled media as a man of outstanding charm and vision. In contrast, the Government is every day reviled in the media for some new dereliction – alleged "paedophiles" allowed to teach in schools, or complicity in the use of torture by the Americans, for example – that would once have been discussed in terms too restrained to cause instability.
My advice to anyone who likes to gamble is to bet on a Conservative victory at the next election. Do not suppose that this will be a government of conservatives. Just as the Labour victory in 1997 caused no break in continuity, so the replacement of Labour will in turn change nothing fundamental. But there is to be a change of faces at the top.
All that stands in the way of a Conservative revival is the effect on our electoral system of the Liberal Democrat Party. This has benefited since 1997 from the oblivion to which the ruling class and its media condemned the Conservatives. It holds several score seats taken from the Conservatives, and splits the anti-Labour vote in scores of other seats.
Therefore, Charles Kennedy was forced earlier this month to resign as Liberal Democrat leader. The cover story was that he was a drunkard and had been useless in his position, and that the challenge came from Menzies Campbell. So far as I can tell, he had been pretty effective – more so than most party leaders. As for Mr. Campbell – let us, by the way, stop recognising the titles handed round within the ruling class: now that our Constitution is no longer liberal or democratic, its honours are to be regarded again as mere feudalistic baubles – I doubt he is bright enough to tie his own shoe laces. Mr. Kennedy was forced out because he was too effective as party leader for the Conservatives to recover. He was threatened with a personal destruction so horrible that he resigned on the spot and was glad to call himself a drunk in public. Mr. Campbell was then told to get ready to preside over the electoral collapse of his party.
Then Mark Oaten announced he would run for the leadership. Given his public views, he might have thought himself the preferred candidate of the ruling class. He misread the situation. He was probably warned, in the usual elliptical way, that he should withdraw from the contest. He did so too late. The reporters had already been briefed, and the front pages cleared. By then, he had been too much of an irritant, or was too unimportant, to save.
The nature of his sexual tastes had no bearing on the decision to break him. I have never met a Member of Parliament who was not obviously into drink or bribes or unconventional sex. The secret police make sure that no one who cannot at the right moment be pressured into conformity will come close to being elected to Parliament.
Nor have the Liberal Democrats been the only minor party targetted for destruction. The UK Independence Party is dead as an electoral force. There is a limit to how much infighting a political party can survive. UKIP has been torn apart by agents of entry and of provocation, and is headed for collapse. Because of its authoritarian structure, the British National Party is less open to such attacks. Therefore, its leader has been put on trial for political offences that carry a maximum sentence of seven years. Since I believe Mr. Griffin is himself an agent of the secret police who has gone beyond his brief, I suspect the present trial in Leeds will end in a compromise. Do not expect the BNP to continue offering in future the sort of challenge to the new settlement in our politics it seemed until recently on the verge of offering.
So, lucky Mr. Cameron. All he has to do now is ensure the ruling class remains disenchanted with the present Government, and hope that enough of the electorate fails to see what is being done to the country and will continue to legitimise a settlement that in its sordid authoritarianism taints the preceding thousand years of English history.
But if what is happening in England now is distressing and even shameful, it is also compulsively interesting.
BTW, hasn't the whole Tommy Sheridan libel trial
left the Scottish Socialist Party shattered almost beyond repair?
I disagree with Dr. Gabb on is his belief that Mrs. Thatcher's economic "reforms" did great good for the country. As far as I'm concerned she was a "useful idiot" (to use Lenin's phrase) of the City and transnational corporations, left us trailing the USA, selling us out bigtime to the EU (despite wrapping herself in the Union Jack), broke the back of our manufacturing industry, wrecked our coal industry and urinated North Sea Oil up the wall. Despite this, Dr. Gabb is not a "useful idiot" of corporate capitalism as this piece from Kevin Carson's website demonstrates:Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Sean Gabb Gives the Corporatists Nine Kinds of Free Market Hell
From the latest Free Life Commentary. Sean Gabb recently spoke at a debate on "Free Trade vs. Fair Trade" hosted by Oxfam and Christian Aid. Although he expressed some doubts after the fact about his effectiveness (he is not, he said, a good speaker given such time constraints), Sean packed quite a bit of rhetorical force into his short speech. The ASI's Alex Singleton (now of the Globalization Institute) used the first half of the free trade side's time to give a speech that, from Sean's summary, sounds to me pretty much like what you'd expect from that quarter (although that's my characterization, and mine alone). Sean, using the other half of the time alloted to his side, proceeded to preach the old-time free trade religion of Cobden and Bright, and to damn the transnational corporatists to hell. Among my favorite parts:
If you think that I came here tonight to defend multinational corporations and the international government institutions, you have chosen the wrong person. These are dishonest. They are corrupt. They are incompetent. They have blood on their hands.
But do not suppose for a moment that the world trading order as it actually exists is liberal or more than incidentally connected with free markets. A free market is a place where individuals and groups of individuals come together to transact voluntary exchanges without any backing of government force. To call the actually existing order liberal – or “neo-liberal” – is as taxonomically accurate as calling the old Soviet Communist Party syndicalist. That order is based on tariffs, subsidies and a web of other often invisible regulations. The international institutions are a projection of Western states. The multinational corporations are creatures of these states. They shelter behind the privilege of limited liability. They get their political friends to cartelise markets, and do favours in return.
This is not market liberalism. It is a fraud played on us all by our ruling classes – these being those politicians, bureaucrats, educators, lawyers and media and business people who derive wealth, power and status from an enlarged and activist state.
In his later assessment of the speech in Free Life Commentary, he added:
....I grow increasingly convinced that allowing the creation of joint stock limited liability corporations was one of the greatest legislative mistakes of the 19th century. Their existence is based on a separation of ownership from control. The owners are released from all responsibility. The controllers form a separate class of corporate bureaucrats little different in outlook from civil servants. The usual psychology operates. They will commit immoral acts for their organisations they might not consider committing for themselves. The owners will assent. The legal privileges and unlimited lifespan of these corporations let them grow to enormous size and wealth. The opportunities exist for highly effective immorality. Collectively, they become part of the state apparatus, and work to destroy true, unregulated enterprise.
These corporations could not exist in any natural economic order. I have heard other libertarians argue that they might emerge without legal privilege on some loose contractual basis. But I do not agree. The shareholders would still be liable in tort, and that alone would deter them from any involvement with a business that they did not personally control. As for the utilitarian argument, that large undertakings need large companies, I also disagree. So long as it showed an acceptable return on investment, there is no project too big to be taken on by clusters of sole traders and partnerships. No doubt, things like the Channel Tunnel would not have been built – but I fail to see how not having that would have made the world a poorer place. Even if some highly valuable projects might not be undertaken, their lack would be compensated by the greater general innovation to be expected in an order of small, unregulated firms.
Sean concluded his assessment rather modestly:
On balance, it was worth attending. I waved the flag for the Libertarian Alliance. I handed out several dozen business cards.
He accomplished much more than that. The audience included Martin Khor of the Third World Network, along with a whole gaggle of people from Oxfam. Their agenda for addressing the evils of corporate globalization is, as Sean said in his speech, an ineffectual one of "kumbaya socialism." But most of the evils they object to, and much of their analysis of those evils, is right on the mark. It's in their proposed solutions that they go wrong; and I think many in the anti-globalization movement are amenable to rational persuasion, if they ever heard sound economic arguments from a free market advocate they didn't have good reason to distrust. Sean's speech was possibly the first free market libertarian argument they ever heard that wasn't vulgar libertarian boilerplate, nor a disingenuous cloaking of the interests of state capitalist global corporations behind "free market" rhetoric. Perhaps some seeds were planted that night.
posted by Kevin Carson | 5:53 PM
Larry Gambone said...
Excellent speech from Sean! He does a definitive demolition job on the pretentions of the neocons and their vulgar libertarian bum buddies. While your typical leftist argument only goes half way, exposing neocon talk about free markets and free enterprize as fraud and hypocrisy really knocks them to the ground.
Looks like all of us democrats, "Left", "Right" and "Centre" may have to stand together against the the guns of the "Far Centre" on the one side and the guns of the Religiously and Racially Obsessed on the other...