Monday, 27 October 2008


“The fact is he's happy to keep drawing the salary, and do bugger all for
it. He's a another who highlights all that is wrong in our system, where self
aggrandisement and self seeking individuals seem content to tell the rest of us
what to do, but don't seam too keen on doing it themselves.”
Richard Havers

"In all social systems, there must be a class to do the menial duties,
to perform the drudgery of life. Such a class you must have or you would not
have that other class which leads to progress, civilization and refinement...It
constitutes the very mudsills of society and of political government..."
James H. Hammond, American Senator, 1885.

“Is it possible to extend a higher civilization to the lower classes
without debasing its standards and diluting its quality to the vanishing point?
Is not every civilization bound to decay as soon as it begins to penetrate the
Michael Rostovtzeff, Russian historian.

In the peculiar cross-cultural amalgamation that is post-modern Britain, it was perhaps
asking a lot of a man to be as comfortable deliberating on a point of procedure
in the Houses of Parliament, as he would have been leading factory workers to
strike in the capacity of a shop-steward. But the real paradox lies in the fact
that when the deputy prime minister invited his staff out onto the lawns of his
official Buckinghamshire country retreat to play a game of crocket, he missed an
essential point. The first thing he failed to understand was the ethos of the
game itself. Which is specifically designed to be as remote as possible from the
lower end of the social spectrum, so that at the higher end, the patrician
country squires of whom Prescott so obviously disapproved, should be able, at
their leisure, to discuss the fate of nations and become confidants even of
kings themselves.

Thus the English nation lost her soul. A people long haunted by a sense
of being ensnared, flung their reckless proletarian defiance at the tyrant
class. Or, to put it differently, they freed and revitalised precisely those
atavistic instincts whose moderation and restraint had been the work of a
thousand years of domestication. And so the necessary ideology was supplied. For
this was to bury the old England, together with its civilization as it existed
to date. That is to say, once prosperity took over, the cultural tradition of a
working man’s pride showed extremely little resistance to corruption by the
values at whose service it had been placed. Populist sentiment would not keep
pace with more ‘titular’ ambitions. Pride of social status was not the value the
working man choose to preserve. Class distinction was increasingly substituted
by admiration for wealth alone. And this sordid moral bankruptcy of the
proletarian leadership is a fundamental characteristic of the social revolution
of the twentieth century. Nor is it any good pretending that the concept of
social hierarchy, as a rise in status and standard, does not now tend to
manifest itself in the more affluent social position of a class of money-makers
or what is perhaps best defined as an aristocracy of wealth.

Join the rich to avoid being screwed!

So there is the paradox: ‘Mob above, mob below!’ Then comes the
practical argument, for the basic issue remains as it has been defined all
along: “Where I found a living creature, there I found the will to power; and
even in the will of the servant I found the will to be master.”



Richard Havers said...

Prescott would find it hard to understand anything much, other than the kind of mob rule, bellicose, reactionary behavior that he revels in. Take his puerile efforts this morning when he appeared on BBC News. They showed a clip of the programme on class, in which a young girl asked him if he liked Tony Blair’s wife. He said he didn’t and then attempted to justify what he said as a bit of banter in the heat of conversation.
Not once has he voted this year, yet he’s quite content to draw a fat salary as an MP, and take money from the BBC to talk about class. He has none, never will; how he loves pretending to be the working class hero, when in reality he’s a sponging class zero.

Bob said...

I'm still chewing on the eclipse.

Anonymous said...

I shall have a chance to read all your intellectual outpourings tommorrow!

Selena Dreamy said...

Ah, Mutley, if tomorrow the fabric of human civilization collapses, all those who did nothing to stop the catastrophe will be proscribed from this blog on the grounds of moral worthlessness...

Selena Dreamy said...

For him to be “pretending to be the working class hero,” Richard, is rather like Nero pretending he was fire-chief in Rome...!

Selena Dreamy said...

Check it out, Bob!

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

We face a quandary. While the (relative) liberation of the 'lower orders' from their material servitude cannot conscionably be lamented, what has been lost is a standard of non-monetized absolute value by which to structure the aspirations of the human soul towards meaning. The loss of God, clearly is part of this (as all now become God to themselves), but so also is a shared, ennobling understanding of uplifting beauty to strive to express and perfect in our art, and our lives.

In so far as notions of God and traditional artistic value are associated in the 'radical', levelling, egalitarian mind with unequal forms of social exclusion, this banishment of the higher life may be vengefully gratifying to those who revel in the vulgar light of their own ego's reflections, freed at last from the narratives of 'toffs'; but it doesnt actually stop it being sad that we have all been brought down to the level of an animal whose principal ambition is merely power (to be better than others) and money (which will incontestably prove that superiority), to rut and squirm in the pig sty of the modern.

For how long will we, we 'last men' of Nietzsche's prophesyings, find this wallowing in the balm of the knowledge that the 'higher born' or the 'privileged' no longer have one over us, sufficiently consoling.

When will the instincts of what can only be called piety and humility stir again in our breasts, when we will taste and know again that we are not, after all, the beings that we could be, that we have forsaken our spiritual birthright, and that only by abandoning and overcoming our tawdry, narrow, flattened selves, might we become all that we can be.

For this elitist standards of human spiritual perfection need to be rehabilitated. The question is: Can the 'lower man' of old trust that this can be striven for and achieved without a return to his former subjection by higher men, that the wool will not again be pulled over his eyes through what he deems had been manipulative mystification. And can the higher men who will actually exhibit it, exhibit it and set it up in such a politically non-oppressive form, in sincerity and true devotion, such as to defuse and render unwarranted the flattening, nihilistic, deconstructionist
'hermeneutics of suspicion'; that hermeunitic which will embrace any form of degrading nullity as long as it champions the erosion of the old forms of higher culture and meaning.

If that makes sense.

In this challenge, beyond irony, lies the fate of the collective outworking of the human spirit, methinks.

Selena Dreamy said...

When will the instincts of what can only be called piety and humility stir again in our breasts, when we will taste and know again that we are not, after all, the beings that we could be,

If not one of complete and total hopelessness, Jonathan, your question may well turn out to be unfounded - (rather than unjustified). More likely than not, the perfectibility of man is nothing but a myth contrived in nineteenth-century scholastic institutions.

Jonathan said...

Hopelessness? Not sure what you mean? Mine, or the subject matter's?

I wasn't talking about the perfectability of man in that sense. I was alluding to the sense that we have lower selves and higher selves...not that the lower can be made higher on its own terms (which I think you refer to), if you see what I mean.

And the aspiration to perfection is not the same as the presumption that one can or, far less, even that one has already perfected oneself (That Edwardian perpective again). Its about having a sense of something to aim at, and know oneself insufficient in the light of.

Anyway, hope you are well, and will enjoy what I read is snow on the way


Selena Dreamy said...

The subject-matter, Jonathan, always the subject matter. I’ve never found cause to doubt your personal probity, nor your potential for perfectibility, but then, few will disagree, you may well be the exception to the rule ... for the rest, it’s been snowing in Old Blighty

percy stilton said... I still being moderated? John Prescott sems to have done alright for himself by being an offensive oaf. Maybe its time I went into politics...Percy for P.M....sounds good to me.

Selena Dreamy said...

"Sir Percy" - with the charisma of a guerilla fighter - a title well worth chasing...

Jonathan said...

Wow..that sounded like a compliment, thanks. x

I hardly feel close to perfection, however, especially when I gaze upon my belly (though I presently place vague hopes in sit ups).

Now it's raining in China, which makes me feel at home.