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The Fascism of Liberalism

Reader comment on item: Fascism's Legacy: Liberalism
in response to reader comment: The Flying Inn

Submitted by Ann Farmer (United Kingdom), Jan 13, 2008 at 15:23

Tomas from Denmark comments on the elitism of British politics and cites Chesterton's Flying Inn as a perfect illustration of these tendencies. Lord Ivywood (as a good Atheist) cherry-picks from Eastern religion the bits that suit him; he abolishes alcohol and invites a Turkish army to invade the British Isles. In the context of the times, it was not so far-fetched an idea.

An earlier work, 'The Man Who Was Thursday' pokes fun at the public's obsession with conspiracy theories while at the same time ignoring the group of self-proclaimed anarchists that meets once a week to breakfast on the balcony of a London hotel and discuss blowing people up. Again, this has resonance for British culture in which conspiracy theories abound and yet those who openly vow to blow up any society (including their own) are treated with studied indifference.

This scenario is known as the elephant in the drawing room in which everything is discussed except the thing that matters most. People like Lord Ivywood seize on a Good Idea (e.g. the evils of drink, smoking) and then proceed to force the idea to an extreme conclusion. For the last few years one Good Idea has been multiculturalism, born out of fears about racism but these days pursued by people too young to know what real racism is. So they become obsessed with nomenclature, at the same time ignoring examples of racism that do not fit historical examples (they never do), continuing to fight old battles.

Thus for example our local museum emphasizes different cultural communities to such an extent that, had the exhibitition been arranged by a group of racists, it would have been heartily condemned; official ethnic origin questionnaires would come in wonderfully handy if the country ever does fall to the racists. But at a time when we should be emphasizing our common humanity, communities are drifting farther apart. The Anglican Bishop Nazir Ali referred recently to Muslim 'no-go' areas in some cities and was swifty buried under a cairn of avenging stones. And yet no-one on either side of the argument appears to have a solution.

It is natural that ethnic communities will want to live in close proximity, but one can easily imagine the governing liberal elites of the future panicking and drawing up measures to force people to move to other areas or to send children to school elsewhere, all the while refusing to acknowledge that our lack of border controls are the problem. The state can legitimately insist on certain conditions of entry, but once here, people should be able to live where they like.

The dockers in the 1960s marched in support of Enoch Powell because they felt their jobs to be threatened by large scale immigration and the import of cheap labour. Nowadays the unions say nothing on such matters, being in thrall to the liberal elites, who have changed underdogs - they are no longer interested in the working classes, or the 'Irish' or Jewish vote, but are keen to woo the Muslim voters.

By emphasizing the dangers of racism, they have managed to keep Muslim communities in the inner-cities where parliamentary seats can be won even on a low turn-out. Needless to say - being socially conservative - the Muslim voter has little chance of seeing his or her real concerns represented in parliament. And over time, if Muslim populations drift out to the suburbs, as previous inner-city communities have done, they may be rejected in their turn.

But at the moment, crucial issues such as national security and foreign policy are compromised as some communities are encouraged to feel a stronger allegiance to countries other than Britain, and the second and third generations of those communities are in danger of being drawn into terrorism. The governing elites' response to such dangers is to complain about the wearing of veils and force the introduction of identity cards which will be of little practical use in curbing terrorism but will help the governing elites to keep a closer eye on all law-abiding citizens. The ghost of Lord Ivywood lingers on.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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