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The staunchest conservatives I know; Sir Roger Scruton, Thomas Sowell, and Peter Hitchens started out as many young people do, as socialists mindset. Whether they were full on Trotskyites or mild mannered marxists, I’m sure their experiences of socialism and centralised planning taught them much of what makes them great conservatives today. Very often we only know what we do want by living some of what we don’t.
What happens with socialists, sooner or later, is that their rigorous mental training makes being a socialist untenable. How rapidly this occurs, depends upon their position in life and how invested they are in it. Take Corbyn, for example. Firstly, he is old enough to know better. Secondly he has made his career spouting the same Marxist ideologies since he became a career MP in 1983 and corduroy blazers were fashionable, long before many of those who voted for him in the last election were even born. The world has changed a lot since the Berlin Wall was still in place, yet It seems nobody told Jezza.
Socialists: The least useful people?
Another favourite haunt of socialists, is university. Not just the idealistic student rebelling against their conservative parents, but the faculty members too. So removed are the university intellectuals from the real world that their flawed thinking goes unchallenged by reality, and students are taught by a majority of progressive, liberal attitudes. Conservatives in education are few and far between.
The most ardent fans of socialism are often unemployable anywhere else. The free market would reject their vestigial qualifications. What else could Corbyn do, if he were not an MP? Primary school teacher? Antiques dealer? Second hand bookshop owner? It’s hard to see Corbyn being of much benefit in the world, or surviving for long outside the cosy corridors of Westminster. Bernie Sanders has a similar story, he has never held down a proper job in his life, he’s been on government handouts pretty much since day one.
These white haired old men don’t only look like relics from the USSR, but they have followed their Marxist ideologies unwaveringly for decades to the point that they have become caricatures of themselves and couldn’t change their ways even if the wanted. To admit that your entire career has been founded on a brutal, murderous lie would cause the kind of existential crisis which might very well finish you off. Instead they behave like many victims of abuse; they justify the rightness of their wrong position, by passing on their message to the next generation and corrupting them in the process.
What changes erstwhile socialists’ minds, causing them to reject the left? It seems it is often not so much the greater appeal of an opposing counter ideology – conservatism offers no such thing – but rather seeing the results of their beloved socialism in action, that caused the volte face.
Sir Roger Scruton was living in Paris in May 1968 as the young students were rioting, rising up against the ‘bourgeoisie’, destroying the private property of ordinary, tax-paying working and middle-class families in their desire to rise up against their ‘oppressors’. Like a labour party manifesto, what they proposed to do once they were in power never entered their minds. Destruction was the price that society would pay for this petty little revolution against the powers that be.
A young Thomas Sowell worked in government for a period, at the Department of Labour. Seeing the utter lack of desire of government to make things better, Sowell saw the state for what it really is; a selfishly-oriented group of individuals seeking self-preservation above all else. His experience in government led Sowell to reject any notion that the state is the answer to man’s problems.
Peter Hitchens was by his own admission a full blown Trotskyite. What happened? He realised that the utopia that he and others like him sought was not an idyllic place at all, but some dystopian hell complete with marching jackboots and crushed skulls.One need only look back at the history of the grand ideas of socialism to see the loss of freedom, suffering and death on the way to the socialist’s paradise. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, ‘they’ must have experienced socialism first hand.
When I speak of Socialism, or ‘Liberalism’ as it has erroneously come to be known (the only thing liberals are liberal with is other peoples’ money, sex and drugs), this is in contrast to Conservatism and Classical Liberalism. In my opinion a socialist nation is most easily identified by a large government, and high taxes to pay for that government. The larger the state, the more power and money it has to expend, and the fewer freedoms individuals have to choose for themselves.
Who Decides What is Right?
Rather than allowing individuals to choose for themselves, the state decides on its citizens’ behalf, providing everything from education to healthcare to charity. A socialist state inevitably leads to the crony capitalism or corporatism of the type that we are seeing in the UK and USA today. The government has money to spend and power to legislate, and corporations lobby government, offering political party donations in return for favours – alterations to the regulatory landscape or special dispensations for their companies. They also pick up big, lucrative government contracts, which smaller businesses are not best placed to compete. It’s big pond full of big fish.
A great deal of vitriol is aimed at conservatives by ‘liberal’ socialists. They see conservatives as small-minded, racist, bigoted, little Englanders. But conservatives have the truth on their side, if only that truth was allowed to be heard. Conservatives view socialists as naive at best, and deluded at worst. Even though conservatives champion individual freedom and self-expression, socialists see them as evil. Socialism is a noble ideology on paper, but the facts of life speak more clearly than any manifesto. No example of socialism has ever been uplifting to humanity. For a current example of a centrally planned economy, look no further than what is happening in Venezuela, praised by the Left as a shining example of how to run an economy.
Many (usually young) people say that the problem with socialism, is that it hasn’t been tried properly. If the tenets of the ideology are the same, then applying socialism more earnestly is only going to produce more pain, more suffering and more death. But if you want to make an omelette, you need to break a few million eggs, don’t you?
Conservatives have Truth on their Side
“The facts of life” Margaret Thatcher said “are conservative”. We conservatives have nature, truth and individual self-interest on our side. Socialists come to see, once they have been around for a bit longer, and if they have exposure to the real world, that 21st century socialism is not for the poor, it is socialism for the rich and jobs for the unemployable and continued wretchedness for the poor.
What poor people want is an opportunity to do for themselves. Everyone wants to be successful on their own terms if they are going to be satisfied. Do you think poor people, or any people or that matter, enjoy living on handouts? Being trapped in a welfare system which encourages people not to work, whilst rewarding them for failure and punishing any kind of success is not helpful. This is the socialist system that the poor vote for, and it only maintains the current state of affairs. Conservatives aim to empower the individual to do for himself, to choose for himself, to make for himself.
In the 21st century, nobody really expects a socialist government to win an election in Britain. New Labour had little socialism in it, apart from the profligate deficit spending so beloved of Blair and Brown. Blair’s economic pick ’n’ mix took Thatcher’s economics, coupled it with an increasing national debt to fund a growing state to make it look as though employment levels were high; never mind whether those people were contributing usefully to the economy. This ‘middle way’ created a sort of employment Ponzi-scheme; as long as new borrowing occurred, more jobs could be created, and it looked as though the economy was doing well.
Socialists: Finally the Penny Drops
Why does it take so long for the penny to drop; for people to realise the serious flaws in their thinking? A number of reasons. Socialist ideology is prevalent in both political parties (no the conservative party is not conservative), it is endemic in the state broadcaster the BCC, and in the TV and print media and their online counterparts. Hollywood is almost entirely socialist, and the universities which produce the elite of tomorrow (oxbridge, Ivy League etc) have been taken over by Social Justice Warriors.
The socialist ideology is a strong one, passed down from parent to child, teacher to student. It is as strong as religion. Meanwhile Conservatism has a real religion at its core – that of Christianity, but has no such ideology to counter the socialists, relying instead on the empirical results of what works and what doesn’t work according to the trial and error of millions of citizens who each hold the information they need to transact with each other most effectively to fulfil their individual, specific desires.
Conservatives love Britain, they love family, they love Elgar and fish and chips and military marching bands. They love the pomp and ceremony of the Trooping of the Colour, the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law which arises out of a common law legal system, they love property, complaining about the traffic and the weather. They appreciate the great British Empire and Gin and Tonic, they love this eccentric, damp, green island which we call home. They love it, cherish it, and they want to keep it.
Conservatives operate in a classless, meritocratic way. They see people as individuals who want to make the most of their lives on their own terms, and they will give them the freedom to do just that, provided they don’t trample on anyone else’s freedom in the process, and provided they get on board with all things Britons hold dear.
The many attributes of socialism which make it appealing to the young and those who are living in never-never land – such as those living theoretical lives in classrooms, universities and government, – these people are like children, but if they choose to grow up, to find their place in the world, to discover their worth in contributing to society, have a family and see the decrepitude of the state as it takes half their income to spend on their behalf, naturally end up asking whether there might be a better way of organising things.
People tend to become more conservative as they age. The socialist is like Peter Pan, he never grew up. He left school and then went straight back into a comfortable institution, or became a career politician after getting two E’s at A-level (like our Jezza). We shouldn’t be surprised that people like this cannot see the world as it really is, because they don’t live in it. In their absence of faith, they seek out and cling to another religion; that of socialism. We should view the likes of E.E. Corbyn and lifelong intellectuals as the child minded people that they are.
Instead of being combative, we conservatives should forgive them, for they know not what they do. We should view them as people who have not yet gained a sufficient appreciation of the world around them to see how it works. We should live by our example, that they might want what we have. Conservatives should also promote the reasons conservatism lies in everybody, but for some reason it lies deep inside socialists, underneath a general loathing of life, of the nation, of everything that conservatives cherish about their country.
Socialists have lost their faith in humanity. They see no good because they have lost their faith in god and lack of a bigger picture perspective, They have bought into the socialist lie, and have an inability to see the force of nature, that there is no way that life is accidental or by chance, socialism becomes merged with a new religion called environmentalism, and another convenient way arises to extract money by coercion.
Live in the countryside with the beasts and the flowers, as most conservatives do, and you are automatically closer to the earth, to the seasons, to the wondrous, calm, deep power of nature. Cities by contrast need planning and organisation, which appeals to the socialist mindset.
An ideology is missing from the conservative camp, but let me propose one. Instead of ideals, conservatives cherish real things, tested by society and agreed upon to be good, that become part of our shared culture. Not an edict passed by Eurocrats in Brussels, but common law developed by the people of Britain as they go about their lives and decide what is right and wrong, moral and immoral.
Culture is a shared set of values and traditions which binds society together, something we inherit from our forebears, and which matters greatly to conservatives and to the fabric of a functioning western society. These are the traditions that socialists want to destroy.
The socialists want to smash them to smithereens like those rioting sixty-eighters smashing and burning cars. To socialists, the end always justifies the means; in their wish to dismantle the fabric of society, socialists collaborate with anyone who is anti-British; sympathising with terrorists, giving special treatment to foreigners and vilifying the White British working class whom they despise so much. They have no religion, and have nothing but disdain for the church, they want to eradicate christianity – no more ‘Happy Christmas’, instead we get ‘Happy Holidays’ to avoid upsetting non-Christians.
In Saudi Arabia, it illegal to practice Christianity in public, and if you’re caught smuggling a bible into the country or distributing anything other than Wahhabism, you could face the death penalty. Most likely you’ll be beheaded. Meanwhile back in the liberal UK, muslims can build Mosques wherever they want, preach Wahhabism and radicalise young muslims without fear of reproach. It’s not surprising that we’re having problems when these two incompatible religions meet. Same sex marriage and the ability to choose one’s sex are all affronts to the church and to Christian values. This all sounds pretty bleak, but there is some good news.
The Good News
You see, the future of Britain lies in its younger generations, and the young people are not only starting to vote, they’re also waking up to the world they inhabit. They have been swimming in a sea of nothing but socialist ideas their whole life, brainwashed by political correctness, feminism, the erosion of Christian values, the breakdown of marriage, the unwillingness to diagnose and treat the serious mental illness called transgenderism, and the complete lack of willingness of the left to debate anyone with opposing views to their own fragile visions.
Cultural Marxism manifests itself in political correctness, the modern-day gulag, used to silence dissenters of ‘the regime’. But PC is not working anymore. Milo Yiannopoulos is drawing huge crowds with his contrarian talks at universities, promoting what The Guardian likes to call far-right ideas (as if to try to tar him as an extremist). He is of course nothing of the sort. Milo is a conservative who has come to shake things up, and let people know that if you love your country and your culture, you needn’t allow yourself to be silenced by the left as they brand you a bigot, a racist, or ‘islamaphobe’, and seek to destroy everything which you hold dear.
You Take the Red Pill
Type in ‘red-pilled’ to YouTube and you will find reams and reams of vlog entries of young, bright people who are waking up out of their socialist fog. They’ve been lied to their whole lives. These youngsters are bright, eager and fair. They are also victims of liberal politics and leftist brainwashing, especially those university educated arts and humanities students. Thanks to the alternative media, they are gradually waking up. When they realise what’s been going on, they are going to get angry, and they are going to start to fight for what they love.
One only appreciates what one has when someone threatens to take it away. The young are waking up to the fact that socialists hate them, they hate Britain and America and our shared western values, and hate our inherited history and culture. The young are also realising that unless they stand up to political correctness and attempted censorship of freedom of speech, that the country that they know and love will change beyond all recognition. What do you love about your country, and what lengths will you go to, to keep these things? This is conservatism. You are very welcome.
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Also published on Medium.