Samuel Martin

The Tory Leadership Wedge

As the Conservative Party leadership contest has unfolded, an issue wedge has gradually been inserted into its surrounding discourse. What is an issue wedge? It is a tactical device, not an organic manifestation, that is designed to divide ongoing political issues in a specific way. More specifically, it is meant to override organic political divisions with an arbitrary political division which favours the political agenda of the wedge-driver(s).

The problematic nature of the wedge is not its divisive nature. Quite the opposite, the problem of the wedge is that it denies all forms of political division; all political division except the form of division established through the wedge.

Division is the nature of the political; as Schmitt says: “the distinction between friend and enemy”. Where there is division, there is the opportunity for deliberation and conflict, and where there is deliberation and conflict, there is opportunity for change. When the opportunity for change is taken away, all that is left is the status quo. I refer to this as a wedge, rather than “depoliticization” for the sole reason that I am concerned with a specific instance of depoliticization, rather than depoliticization as a phenomenon. Whether it is understood as a strategy to create distance between governments and responsibility for implementing policy, an attempt to remove politics for the formulation of policy, or the more general practice of curtailing the agency of non-governmental actors, depoliticization is underpinned by the idea of removing things from the political arena, inoculating them against political critique, challenge, or change. Who decides what issues are removed from the political arena? That itself is a political matter, and more the focus of this article.

In this case, Tory Leadership discourse has been fractured by a Costalivin-Culture War wedge. In short: you must choose between solutions to Costalivin or fighting the Culture War. You are not allowed to support both.

Are you concerned by the police’s indifference to violent crime, or their willingness to harass normal individuals? Do you approve of vandalising and destroying taxpayer-funded statues of British icons? Are you concerned illegal immigration and immigration-led demographic change? Do you find the idea of “trans children” just a tad ridiculous and possibly very damaging?

If you care at all about these matters, you are a culture warrior; a low-status, GBNews-watching, Leave-voting, Union flag-waving culture warrior. If you are a culture warrior, you are indifferent to the cost-of-living crisis. If you are indifferent to the cost-of-living crisis, you are condemning the nation to poverty and suffering. If you condemn the nation to poverty and suffering, you are evil, and so on. Focus on Costalivin, categorically ignore Culture War. If you don’t categorically ignore Culture War, you are categorically ignoring Costalivin. In summary: you can challenge the status quo, just not all of it.

Who decides what aspects of the status quo may be challenged? Supporters of the status quo. Surprise, surprise! Wedge-drivers drives the wedge. By dividing Costalivin against Culture War, attributing public interest to the former and distraction and subversion to the latter, the wedge-drivers hope to ensure that the public are cut off from politically engaging with cultural issues under the guise of public interest.

When called out on their wedge-driving, the wedge-drivers insist they are merely prioritising The Issues. This disguise is immediately betrayed by the fact that priority implies multiplicity. One can have multiple priorities and stratified priorities are nevertheless priorities. To reduce any ambiguity, just note that the wedge-drivers (God save them) have taken it upon themselves to decide our priorities for us.

Discussing cultural issues is, according to the wedge-drivers, definitive proof of having no solution to Costalivin; discussing immigration, crime, censorship in public life, etc. is necessarily a diversion. Given the shallow, often non-existent Costalivin solutions of the wedge-drivers, it can just as easily be argued that their attacks on “Culture Warriors” is also necessarily a diversion.

The wedge-drivers aren’t necessarily conscious of their wedge-driving, but their mentality is generally the same. “Those stupid culture warriors and their divisive Us VS Them tactics. We need to push them out of the discourse so then people like us, those worthy of political participation, can get on with discussing “The Priorities”. It is effectively a way for political participants (especially political commentators) to pull rank on each other.

If Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak were giving speeches about nothing but “men in the women’s bathroom” or “[REDACTED] nonsense in our universities”, that would be one thing. However, despite the crippling un-remarkableness of both candidates, I don’t think it has come to that. Criticising a candidate for failing to have an agreeable answer (never mind a solution) to a concurrent political issue is different to criticising a candidate for having no answer (or solution) to a concurrent issue.

Members of the Tory Party, and the nation collectively, are affected by Costalivin and Kulturkampf (albeit in different ways) and should be allowed (perhaps, expected) to demand effective solutions to both, which necessarily entails the freedom to criticise candidates that fall short of their expectations without being accused of second-hand genocide and in need of censorship, ostracization from the political sphere, etc.

The wedge-drivers don’t want cultural matters to be in the political arena because it would make these matters contestable. By coming out in opposition to the deliberation of these matters, they reveal themselves to be supporters of the status quo; a status quo which denies deliberation and conflict over these matters, leading to the imposition of whatever can be imposed.

Keep in mind: none of this is the same as arguing that certain things are, as a matter of fact, mutually exclusive or heavily contingent on one another. Indeed, wedge-drivers seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that economic policies do have social implications.

It’s one thing to suggest that liberal government handouts, legitimised in the name of responding to a crisis, will drive immigration (legal and illegal) and if one is concerned by the latter, the former is ill-advised. It’s another thing to demand political participants self-censor their concerns about immigration because the wedge-drivers (journalists, policy wonks, commentators, etc.) have decided that talking about immigration is “Culture War Nonsense”, etc.

It is a matter of fact that mass immigration increases demand for houses and that, without any means of placating increased demand, already eye-watering housing costs will increase as well. Given this, one would imagine such a matter would be of interest to Costalivin Warriors, but it isn’t. Why? Because, as I mentioned earlier, earnest solutions are not the “priority”. It’s about preserving a dimension of the status-quo that has come under an ever-increasing amount of criticism.

In summary, the Tory Leadership wedge is an attempt to deny political choice at a time when people need it most. We should not have to choose between low taxes or low crime. We should not have to choose between constructing nuclear plants or controlling our borders. We should not have to choose between building more houses and defunding border-dodging NGOs. We should not have to choose between abolishing the Town and Country Planning Act (1947) and abolishing the Equality Act (2010), etc, etc.

This attempt to declare a state-of-exception on political discourse itself must be resisted. We must not allow wedge-drivers to give the British people the illusion of no alternatives. People are quick to note British democracy’s negative turn; the increasingly common habit of voting for “the least bad option” rather than “the good option”. Though they are right, I fear this is becoming an understatement. Not only is our politics degenerating, so too is our political commentary. The sorry state of our politicians creates political deprivation. The wedge-driving from many in our political commentariat not only makes this deprivation worse, it adds insult to the initial injury: expecting people to listen to you whatever you have to say, after having whittled down almost all their means of response.

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Tories for Revolution

Whilst writing this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has survived a no-confidence vote, brought about by, of all things, having an ‘unloicensed’ booze-up. Although he’s allowed to stay in the job, his prospects are grim. Most of the Tory backbenchers not on the PM’s payroll voted against him, and the Conservatives continue to trail behind Keir Starmer’s Labour – a man with as much positive energy as a recently divorced mortician, a deflated man for a deflated party.

That said, the Conservatives’ tanking popularity cannot be reduced to “a bad look”. I’m sure such a notion is very consoling for the parliamentary party. Never mind the insufferable coverage of “Partygate”, the government’s track-record over the past few months has been utterly terrible – far more severe than a regrettable office party to any serious person. Most people could vote for a lockdown-breaking Prime Minister provided he was governing in their interests, but he’s not.

Giving a blank cheque to Ukraine to fight a losing war with Russia, betraying his Brexit-voting supporters on immigration – continuing to permit absurd numbers to pour across the border, legally or illegally, and an underusing a historic supermajority; consequently failing to break the stranglehold of NGOs and a Blairite civil service, and reinforcing the government’s failure to implement supply-side solutions to Costalivin, the people with the most reason to hate this government are the conservatives that (theoretically) should be supporting it. All this said, we’ve been in similar circumstances before. Economic turbulence, government scandal, political disaffection, and an absence of progressive vision, it should be remembered that all these factors contributed to the rise of a new and dynamic political force. Of course, I am talking about the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus.

Co-founded by Jonathan Bowden and Stuart Millson in November 1992, the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus (RCC) was a fringe right-wing pressure group aiming to introduce a new, radical, and idiosyncratic brand of conservatism into British politics. In Bowden’s words: to introduce “abstract thought into the nether reaches of the Conservative and Unionist party”.

Before the establishment of the RCC, Bowden and Millson both operated in right-wing circles. Bowden became active in local Conservative Party politics in the late-80s and early-90s after dropping out of Cambridge University, during which time he joined the Monday Club. After failing to get elected to the club’s executive council, Bowden was appointed co-chairman of the club’s media committee alongside Millson in 1991. 

Meanwhile, Millson was an officer at the Western Goals Institute (WGI), a right-wing anti-communist group that formed out of Western Goals UK – a British offshoot of the USA-based Western Goals Foundation. Although it was based in Britain, the WGI was not bound to the Conservative Party or British politics, opting to associate with a wide range of right-wing parties across the world, such as the Conservative Party of South Africa and France’s Front National. The Board of British Jewish Deputies described the WGI as “not fascists or anti-Semitic” but as inhabiting the “nether-world” of the fringe right.

When Bowden and Millson were expelled from the Monday Club in 1992, the controversialist and vanguardist energy of the WGI, combined with the desire to influence British politics within conservatism’s remit, lay the foundation for the RCC identity. Self-described as “Conservative, Nationalist, Unionist, and New Right”, the RCC saw itself as anglicised parallel, rather than a direct outgrowth, of the European New Right – a right-wing pan-European nationalist movement that ascended to prominence in the 1970s following the establishment of GRECE – Groupement de Recherche et d’Études pour la Civilisation Européenne (Research and Study Group for European Civilization) in 1968, led by Alain De Benoist and Dominique Venner.

Despite its short lifespan (1992-1994), the RCC acquired national notoriety. The Labour Party and Conservative Party liberals attacked the RCC as far-right infiltrators, whilst the more Eurosceptic and traditionalist factions of the Conservative Party, despite ideological and strategic differences, were more sympathetic to their cause. In terms of activity, the RCC published policy papers and even hosted some well-attended fringe events at Conservative Party Conference. However, it mainly centred around the publication of a newspaper aptly named: The Revolutionary Conservative.

Despite being a short-lived publication, the content was surprisingly diverse. A defence of a right-wing alternative to the European Union, a nationalist economic proposal, as well as attacks on Major’s leadership, British intervention in Bosnia, “The Bolshevik Broadcasting Company”, immigration-led demographic change, Liberal Conservatism, all designed to “set the blood pressure pounding in those Oxfam veins”, are just a few examples of the articles published whilst the RCC was active.

However, unlike conventional party-political groups, the RCC was united by a belief in the political power of culture. As such, one could also find think-pieces on The Windsors and national decline, military heroism in the works of Ernst Junger, rumours about Michael Jackson, the sexual politics of Camille Paglia and Andrea Dworkin, and cream teas with Alan Clark. The literary section formed a notably large chunk of the newspaper, with reviews ranging from novels to biographies, from politics to socio-biology, as well as ponderings on art (Wyndham Lewis) and music (Richard Wagner vs Tina Turner).

However, what is most notable about The Revolutionary Conservative is its overtly anti-PC articulation, being humorously cruel and sometimes bordering on total misanthropy. Indeed, the RCC referred to its flagship paper as “the most politically-incorrect magazine in Britain”. The “Introduction to Revolutionary Conservatism” reads as follows:

“Are you sick and tired of being bullied by women who look like men in your local library? Are you sick of transvestite vicars running the country down as they reach for their macro-biotic dieting recipe books? Are you sick of anti-racist Noddy? Does your gorge rise when you see Peter Tatchell engaged in a die-in opposite the Palace of Westminster? Are you sick of your local council hosting Chad-awareness days at your expense?”

…We say, burn the Red Flag! Kick those trendy vicars in the seat of their pants (although they would probably enjoy that), let Peter Tatchell die of AIDs (the sooner the better) and put tanks on the streets of Handsworth. If you agree with these modest proposals… then you should subscribe to The Revolutionary Conservative”

The extent to which the rhetoric is to be taken in earnest or is merely a matter of performance is neither here nor there. One gets the impression that they enjoyed the ambiguity, whether it was a practical necessity or not. Even if the following write in was an advertising tactic or genuine, it’s still hilarious:

“Dear Sir… I obtained a copy of your noxious publication… I almost threw up my breakfast. To refer to Madonna as a slag is over the top… She is merely a distracted and somewhat sad girl in need of prayer, recuperation, and the sort of church socials my wife organises… the general tone of your magazine is harsh, masculine, ultra-reactionary, yet abusive yet stentorian…”

“Dear Vic… The idea of you gagging on your All bran and Hovis gave us considerable pleasure in the Editorial Department. We have decided to use your description of the magazine – harsh, masculine, ultra-reactionary, and yet radical, etc. – as an advertisement”

Gradually, a fringe-right ecosystem would develop around the RCC. The most notable outgrowths were Right Now! – a magazine dedicated to “politics, ideas, and culture” that ran from 1993 to 2006, featuring contributions and interviews from various people across the political right, and the Conservative Democratic Alliance – a group of ex-Monday Club members, opposed to what they saw as “sleaze, double-dealing, arrogance, incompetence, Europhilia, indifference and drift” within the Tory Party – particularly its leadership, which it often decried as neoconservative.

Contrasted to the political zeitgeist of New Labour and Compassionate Conservatism, the RCC and Right Now! soon acquired reputations as being “extremist”. Robin Cook attacked William Hague for failing to contain “extremists” within his party – Right Now! serving as a reference point for the claim. Overtime, the fringe-right Tory scene declined, partially due to sustained attacks from the left and centre-right, partially due to the unwillingness of more right-wing Tories to associate with a movement that was increasingly critical of their party, and partially due to disorganisation, infighting, and a feeling of hopelessness to achieve change within or alongside the Tories.

In retrospect, were they “extremists”? In my view, I would say no. Upon inspection, the RCC was closer to “culturally-oriented” paleoconservatism or right-wing populism than anything fascistic. Granted, the RCC’s presentation and political priorities certainly differed from the bourgeois moralising of traditional conservatism; being far more concerned with mass immigration, nationalist rhetoric, and embracing bohemianism for culturally right-wing ends, than re-sanctifying Christian morals or pushing free-market Euroscepticism. The RCC et al. often found themselves torn between what they saw as “the free-market worship” of Thatcherite Dries and the social wetness of the… Wets.

In 1994, the RCC dissolved as Bowden and Millson went their separate ways. Bowden would continue to operate in right-wing political circles, briefly joining the cultural nationalist Freedom Party, momentarily serving as its treasurer. However, Bowden would eventually join the BNP in 2003 after being offered the role of “Cultural Officer” by then-leader Nick Griffin. Bowden left the party in 2007 citing concerns about the party’s finances, political strategy, and Griffin’s dictatorial control of party elections; he compared the BNP to a “tin-pot dictatorship”. Whilst he would continue to attend events organised by local BNP groups, he dedicated most of his time to artistic pursuits and ultimately cut all ties with the party in 2010. Similarly, Millson would orient himself more towards culture, mainly reviewing music and art.

Given how ‘forthright’ the RCC was, it’s interesting to imagine how they would react to the present government. After all, the Conservative Party of the early 2000s was bad enough in their eyes. Naturally, one can imagine they would be mortified, but would they be wrong? Britain is on track to becoming a third-world country and its main right-leaning political force are behaving like communists. I’m willing to bet that an RCC-style organisation would do very well. Then again, the same laws which make opposition to the regime so difficult are often the ones which have caused the specific problems we currently face.

Marked by weakness and a lack of imagination, the only thing currently between the Tories and political annihilation is their ability to note how terrible the opposition is. It has been the Tory Party’s go-to tactic for a while now. Eager replenishers of the status quo, Britain’s main “opposition” is underpinned by a sincere and existential hatred of the nation. Civil-servant galvanising, NHS-worshipping, border-abolishing, rape-gang denialist NIMBYs, they fly into tireless frenzy should it be rumoured that the Conservatives have opted to be slightly less useless than usual.

Some will point to the RCC as an exemplary case of how Tory Party radicalism is destined to fail. Whilst it is easy to understand this view, very few have been able to pose convincing alternatives. Reclaim is a joke, Reform is in many ways worse than the Tories, the SDP have one (1) council seat, the Heritage Party has zero (0), and UKIP hasn’t been relevant since 2015. If you’re going to join a political party, you might as well join one with a chance of winning. Once you accept that, the RCC transforms from another failed movement into useful case study to learn from. Right-wing dissidents should not conflate ‘political failure’ with ‘political worthlessness’. If one-hundred failures should inspire one glorious triumph, then those failures are not so worthless after all.

Above all else, the central problem identified by the RCC persists to our current political situation – conservatism can only win if it’s cooler than the left. There’s nothing attractive about delay, hesitation, or lamentation. Political energy belongs to the transgressive and the constructive. Conservatives, more than anybody else, should know that if one thing is constant in humans, it is the desire to feel a part of something exciting – such as a revolution, like “the one in France” or not. Bemoaning the Left’s successes and cultural power, calling them mean, hypocritical, high-status, and so on; projecting yourself as some blighted Chattertonian romantic for the attention of your enemies is nothing more than embellished whining. Whining with a cause is still whining. Nietzsche says:

“The lambs say among themselves, ‘these birds of prey are evil, and he who least resembles a bird of prey…’  though the birds of prey may regard it a little mockingly… ‘we bear no grudge against them, these good lambs, we even love them: nothing is tastier than a tender lamb’.”

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Gaddafi: Existentialist, by Charlie Nash (Book Review)

Before I begin, I should note that I intended to write and publish this review much earlier. However, my “university” insisted that I do my “dissertation” because, apparently, it is “important” for my “degree” and “academic development”. Alas, my attempts at self-actualisation were crushed and I was reduced to another cog in the machine, from writer to institution. Sartre would have disapproved. Oh well.

Nash states that what started out as a tongue-in-cheek description of Gaddafi’s philosophy, founded on a handful of coincidences, evolved into an endless rabbit-hole of research. The result of this quasi-autistic spiral of pattern-recognition (I mean that in a good way) is Gaddafi: Existentialist.

Despite its short length (less than 100 pages), it is a structurally diverse work. So much so that the first chapter isn’t centred around Gaddafi or Existentialism (although, this is not arbitrary). Rather, it begins with one of Gaddafi’s inspirations: Colin Wilson.

As someone who has taken an interest in Colin Wilson’s life over the past few months (mainly: his origins as a literary outsider, his rise to prominence, and his association with The Angry Young Men) this work proved surprisingly useful in learning about Wilson, not just Gaddafi. Despite my own research thus far, I did not know that Wilson was invited to meet Gaddafi himself, or that Wilson’s works had received considerable popularity in the Middle East – “the largest existentialist scene outside of Europe”.

Indeed, the idea of a stout and bespectacled Colin Wilson, standing at the foot of a long red carpet with armed revolutionary socialists lining the way between him and his biggest fan: Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya Colonel Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who eagerly clutches his personal copy of The Outsider in hopes of getting an autograph, is certainly an amusing one. Although, it seems that such a visit did not come to fruition. Sad!

As Nash notes, Gaddafi was something of an Outsider himself, both on the international stage as ruler of Libya and during his upbringing. A loner bookworm, he festered in his own idiosyncratic ideals of political revolution and societal renewal – “wow, he’s literally me!”. That said, Gaddafi’s core political philosophy (i.e., The Green Book) is not the primary focus of the work – although it is referenced. Rather, Nash centres on Gaddafi’s collection of short stories: Escape to Hell and Other Stories. Was anyone aware that Gaddafi wrote short stories? Regardless, it is interesting to see this neglected aspect of Gaddafi put under the microscope.

It is made evident to us that Gaddafi sees the city, as a reality and as an abstract concept, as an abomination – deracinating people from their organic identities, to be given new ones manufactured from crude necessity and economic convenience, depriving them of fruitful self-understanding and consequently inclining individuals towards nihilistic indifference. As one might suspect, for Gaddafi, the village embodies the preferable to all of this.

Using Gaddafi’s concern for the individual self, the way individuals construct their sense of self, rather than the internal machinations of a polity (of which economic maximization plays an important role), Nash quite effectively demonstrates that there is, at the very least, an existentialist component to Gaddafi’s worldview. However, it stands to reason that individual behaviour is not distinct from that which must be accounted for when running a polity. As such, whilst deciding to not focus on the overtly political, Nash’s insights won’t necessarily be redundant when discussing Gaddafi’s politics.

From death to authenticity, from freedom to self-understanding, Gaddafi’s short stories consistently delve into existentialist themes. Beyond the overarching argument itself, Nash’s humorously nonchalant summary of Gaddafi’s “most overtly existentialist text” – ‘The Suicide of an Astronaut’ – serves as an effective invitation to seek out and read the short stories in your own time:

“…A peasant asks the astronaut what he knows about tilling the earth, the astronaut responds with a lengthy monologue, reciting his vast scientific knowledge of the planet, its gravity, its size, and its distance from other planets. 

As you can see, I am well informed in matters concerning the Earth, he boasts to the silent, bewildered peasant, who feels sorry for the ‘pathetic’ astronaut and leaves… The astronaut proceeds to commit suicide”.

Additionally, more than outline of Gaddafi’s relationship to existentialism, perhaps Nash’s book can help explain why some on the dissident right have become so infatuated with Third Worldist, Third Positionist political ideologies of religion-inspired socialism and nationalism as a potential response to the “Demonic Hell World” ushered in by modernity (see ‘Wholesome Chungus’ for further details).

Perhaps Geoff Shullenburger is right, Gaddafi may be just as much of a crypto-romanticist as he is a crypto-existentialist. Given his lamentations about the encroachment of urbanity onto the idyllic pastures of village life, and the scourge of scientific-industrial revolution, perhaps ‘The Colonel’ should have invested in a copy of William Blake’s poems. 

All this being said, Nash is prudent to note that Gaddafi would have rejected the ‘Existentialist’ label and attributed Bedouin culture and Islamic teaching as the main source(s) of his political outlook. However, this does not contradict Nash’s argument. Although Gaddafi was not a self-identified ‘Existentialist’, his preoccupation with the aforementioned themes, both in the context of state-building and personal fancy, inadvertently place him on the horizon of Existentialism. Readers may disagree with Nash’s interpretation of Gaddafi, but the willingness of the author to acknowledge the subject’s explicit and direct thoughts on the matter should reassure everyone that it is an honest analysis.

In summary, even if one doesn’t go in with expectations of being convinced of Gaddafi’s Existentialism, anti-Existentialism, or indifference thereto, it still holds up as an enjoyably niche work on the existential-ish outlook of one of the most idiosyncratic political leaders of the 21st century.

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Fact and Fortune: A Note on The Particular

Writing this article makes me feel guilty. Like a manic scientist hunched over a microscope, I am hunched over a keyboard, conducting research into pinpointing the unpinpointable. For decades, conservatives have disapprovingly commented on the widespread adoption of once-alternative socially liberal concepts and arrangements, lamenting the desacralization and deprivileging of more “traditional” outlooks. This is very much in step with classic political dynamics: Liberals will tell you “Yes”, Leftists will tell you “Yes, and more!”, and a conservative will tell you “No”. Whilst I generally agree with such disapproving commentary, I will not be contributing to it. Instead, I shall be addressing that which animates the conservative’s disapproval; stating what love is, rather than what is not, all while resisting its substitution with other concepts (pleasure, happiness, etc.) as has been done before. Consequently, I hope to form a fragment of a “moral-social vision” to which a conservative can forcefully say: “Yes”. Moreover, it should be prefaced that I do not care for contemporary fads, such as “making sense”.

Underpinning all human relationships lies an implicit and relative distinction between what is familiar and strange. Courtesy of the innate biological, geographical, and psychological limits of (for lack of a better term) the self, from birth to death most of humanity is a stranger; their existence is affirmed without personal interaction and their initial relation to the self is ambiguous. As proximity to the self transforms, so does the nature of the relationship – strangeness gradually fades away and familiarity increasingly emerges. However, whilst technically specific, the self is a mosaic; it is downstream from various approximations which give identity and demand obligation: the family, the local community, and the nation, all exist as approximations to what is familiar, stretching out towards the stranger.

In the most irremovable fundamental and primordial sense, the family and the self are the same, thus describing the family as a realm of the self, as opposed to what the self is, does not make sense. As such, the first approximation which exists beyond the self, the one more intimate and more familiar than the much wider community, as if it was Venus slotted between Mercury and Earth, is that of the Particular.

The Individual and The Particular are not totally distinct. Whilst technically different, a Particular cannot deny its necessary origins as an Individual, that is to say: certain residual characteristics of an Individual will remain within the Particular even when an Individual becomes Particular. The key commonality between the Individual and the Particular is that both are necessarily unique and singular; they both refer to one. The fundamental difference between the Individual and the Particular is therefore twofold: the nature of [the] reference, and the nature of [the] one.

The Individual One is strictly numerical, it concerns isolated quantity amid implied greater quantity. Conversely, The Particular One is non-quantifiable. It is not perceived mathematically, but in a qualitative and subjective manner; the self-realised reality that there can be no concept of greater quantity when concerned with the existence of something radically specific. However, bound up in the nature of [the] One is how it is referred to. Unlike the Individual, the Particular is realised by a person; it emerges, rising above individualised mass. In this regard, whilst the Individual is an impersonal concept, the Particular is deeply personal.

Facts are the unbending exoskeleton of reality. Hardly negative, they are nevertheless mere matters of being, they are acknowledged by all for the sake of all; they are granted and therefore taken for granted. On the other hand, Fortunes emerge from an incomprehensible conglomerate of probabilities. More than simply being, the total feasibility of Fortune’s non-existence gives it subjective value; to exist as it does makes it remarkable, as if it were a roaring fire in a field of snow. As such, the “impersonally perceived quantifiable” Individual constitutes an existential Fact, whilst the “personally perceived non-quantifiable” Particular constitutes an existential Fortune.

Like every conceivable Fortune, it is discovered through action. Ways colliding through distinct affirmations of life as part of civilised existence, the Particular incrementally emerges into view. The glamourous unthinking of the animal, lurking beneath such civilised folk, smoothens rough edges into idiosyncrasies. It is only during this way-splicing journey that one is eventually obstructed by the wretched bluntness of Fact. The Particular is particular. Made radically specific by intersections of time and space, The Particular is temporary. Mortality, granted and therefore taken for granted, is never acknowledged for its wretchedness until compared to the shining novelty of Fortune. Icarus, made ecstatic by the heights to which his wings could take him, is blighted by the unmissable sun and is reacquainted with reality. Realisation of temporality is the highest realisation of the Particular and thus the undoing of the Self’s tranquillity. It is because of this that all love is bittersweet. A volatile spirit, it wrestles to be total, to be free of its own contradictions; it is humanity’s purest extremity.

Unfortunately, contemporary notions of love have come to be dominated by material transaction, in which material things are exchanged for something in return all while being divorced from direction, tailored only to generalised individual mass rather than the Particular, Regardless of whether material transaction is a consciously cynical effort or just well-meaning naivete, it should be considered a perversion of the material’s true role of expression: the act of turning the immaterial into something material, internal motion into an external display. Even if both are in want, the former deals in expectations whilst the latter deals in hope. Consequently, given the ritualistic importance, just as one who wants to receive must be prepared to give, where one does not wish to give, one must refuse. 

Far from pedanticism, there must be immovable details, actions, and sentiments which are confined to the realm of The Particular. If it lacks these, there is no such thing as a distinct romantic approximation; the Particular would cease to be particular at all. Hence why a private realm, knitted together by a veneer of secrecy and the consequent warding off transgressions is not only required, but the very essence of love. The contradiction of this private realm is that it can only be fully secured through public recognition; signifying that there are boundaries which those inside and outside cannot bend if the realm is to exist at all. It is the inability to reconcile this private realm with the world that lies beyond, especially the family and community, that produces the Romeo and Juliet tragedies we all intuitively understand.

At bottom level, these perversions stem from having been confronted by temporality which afflicts us all. Like madmen, they hurry to evade the inevitable. Impending fates, they make frenzied decisions, no sober consideration of what would do them better. Attempting to hoard the whole of humanity in your heart, being subject to the neurotic clamouring for more, made unawares that all will have so much less; you less of them, and them less of you. Just as a nation that attempts to contain the world within its borders does not enrich itself, and consequently makes a world in which the nation no longer exists.

Nobody makes a conscious decision to love, they simply do (on its own, it is Fact which precedes the Fortune of the Particular). It is those deluded folks who choose to act against love that engage in a conscious decision. Like building a dam to obstruct a coursing stream, it is a crude denial of motion. It is because of this motion that the emergence of the Particular cannot be reduced to a meticulous list of preferences. The mechanised procedure of romance has been attacked as a neutralising reconfiguration of love, implying it to be an organic development instead – which it is. If an organic something has stagnated it is either dead or on the verge of death – making compatibility the project, rather than the immediate gratification of love. Just as a flower’s idea of itself animates the contortions of its growth, giving clear form to lofty substance, the idea of two-minded unity is the grand project to which love draws its form and loyally commits its efforts. Unlike the machine which facilitates fleeting relations and heavy-handed intimacy, the Becoming force of love, that which sought to forge beyond the self and in the direction of the Particular, if found to be requited by life’s chances, necessarily reorients itself to go beyond life itself.

The afterlife exists as a Fact. Calling this afterlife “death” makes no difference. There are two certainties: our certain uncertainty of the exact nature of the afterlife and our absolute certainty of our heading there. Whether it’s the minds of men, eternal darkness, or literal new life, it matters not; there is a flipside to this state which gives this life so much meaning. The totality of the Particular and the fullness of heart it provides, ever-driving the two-minded unity, ushers the secret realm into existence, giving us a place not only within explicit life, but within implicit afterlife. Two radically specific souls, becoming one radically specific unit, find themselves undivided by death.

The first approximation, the most intimate and warmest flame, with correspondence to be earnestly followed up or to be dutifully waited on, mends the disjointed nature of life and afterlife. By forging a chain that can never be broken, mere existence is transformed into terrain traversing adventure. The ability to stare into the reaper’s eyes as if they were the eyes of the Particular; that is the essence of love. Never will the strange feel so familiar.

Photo Credit.

So What?

At the end of last month, the first results of the 2021 UK Census were published. As many will recall, the results were simultaneously, although not quite paradoxically, shocking and expected. The information published showed that 1 in 6 UK citizens are born in another country – ten million of the UK’s 69 million; a 33% increase from the 7.5 million a mere decade ago.

The details were shocking insofar that few expected a demographic shift of such extreme proportions, even when compared to the last census in 2011. Nevertheless, they were expected. As anyone with an elementary understanding of British politics knows, the political system has pursued, less-so out of empirical consideration and moreso out of humanitarian (“it’s our moral obligation!”), diveristiarian (“diversity is our strength!”), and utilitarian (“immigration grows the economy!”) dogma(s), a policy of mass immigration since the late 1990s.

Just last week, data from the ONS showed that migration into Britain had reached a new record of 504,000 – a net increase of over 331,000 from the year prior. Keep in mind, all of this has happened despite the public’s clear and consistent opposition to immigration, nevermind the magnitudinous demographic change it has caused.

As soon as the data went public, one could piece together the overarching division of attitudes. Some welcomed the rapid erosion of Britain’s native-born citizenry. By contrast, the murmurs of the moderate-minded indicated a sense of foreboding. If the data on citizenship is this demographically untenable, what on Earth is the data regarding national identity going to look like?

Well, now we know. Reported by the ONS, the UK 2021 Census showed:

“81.7% of residents in England and Wales identified their ethnic group as within the high-level “White” category in 2021. A decrease from 86.0% in 2011.

As part of the “White” ethnic group, 74.4% of the population in England and Wales identified their ethnic group as “English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British.  This is a continued decrease from: 80.5% in 2011 and 87.5% in 2001.”

As with the initial citizenship data, many celebrated this seismic change, suggesting that fewer white British Christians in Britain amounted to a moral improvement.

On the other hand, some deemed the largest demographic shift since late antiquity to be completely ineffectual. Directed at Nigel Farage’s reaction to the census, which underscored the shrinking ethnic British population in London, Conservative MP Sajid Javid tweeted a forthright and mask-off response: “So what?”.

“It’s not happening and that’s why it’s a good thing” as the saying goes.

Nevertheless… So what? Well, for a start, it shows that the 2011 Census wasn’t a one off, but signified the start of an unprecedented trajectory: the continuous decline of the ethnically British population. On its own, this should be alarming, but the fact this demographic shift has occurred within a single generation makes it even moreso.  Needless to say, but worth saying nonetheless, to do so without consultation from or consideration of those implicated is, to put it moderately, extremely irresponsible.

Moreover, what good is talk of “integration”, the oft-proposed silver-bullet to the consequences of immigration, if the historical ethnocultural in-group, the one which immigrants are supposed to integrate, cannot sustain its hegemony? At most, they’ll “integrate into” (perpetuate) a godless ratrace; a demoralising sluggish existence against the world’s richest on the housing market and the world’s poorest on the labour market. As Morrissey says: shelve your Western plans… Life is hard enough when you belong here.

As it stands, numerous communities across England and Wales are majority-minority – where the national majority group constitutes a local minority – a fact which makes panicked rhetoric about rhetorical divisiveness all the more out-of-touch. Mutually-segregating, and often mutually-loathing, communities have been around for decades, the census just reaffirms this reality.

More to the point, who could expect integration? Flimsy abstractions of Britishness aren’t holding British society together. Having a cuppa, forming an orderly queue, and appealing to vague, arbitrary, and contradictory notions of “tolerance” and “inclusion” and so on just doesn’t cut it. What is a nation, especially a democratic one, if it cannot inspire loyalty?

The rate of immigration and concentration of immigrant and immigrant-descended populations diminishes any incentive or expectation of integration, no matter how willing the native population is to water down the criteria of national belonging. If people can choose to associate and live amongst their kind, they shall do so – as has been the case since the dawn of time. Blood is thicker than water, even if the water is boiled, milked, and caffeinated.

But beyond a debate of causation, whether it’s a case of “can’t integrate” or “won’t integrate”, both instances point to the same overarching problem: Britain is fragmenting.

In order to accommodate the contradictory complexities of the world, primarily a consequence of the similarly unwanted reimagination of Britain as a “global” entity, “Britishness” has been reconfigured from a distinct identity – something that people indivisibly are, that their parents are, that their parents’ parents are – into a bureaucratic technicality – something that people can have, should and whenever they be so inclined; from a complex and unique ethnocultural particularity to a two-dimensional universality.

This fact, combined with evidently unmanageable and unpopular immigration numbers, is not a good omen. Rather, it risks gradually wiping Britain from the face of the Earth; from its unique and beautiful place in relation to a global diversity of similarly unique and beautiful ethnocultural organisms to a crude amalgamation of all-else, pathetically bound though an appeal to inoffensive all-inclusive emptiness.

All the more fitting then that the census should also reveal a collapse in religiosity. In a nation where church and state are bound, less than 50% (46.2%) of the population identifies as Christian – down from 59.3% in 2011. Simultaneously, those self-identifying as having “no religion” surged from 25.2% to 37.2%. This is the first time in 1000 years that Christainity is not the majority faith.

Of all the census details, this is perhaps the least surprising. For decades, we’ve barely considered ourselves “Cultural Christians” – those that tick the box, but don’t attend the service. In this regard, the 2021 Census is merely a formal confirmation of long-waning Christainity.

Who could have seen any of this coming? Actually, quite a few people. Back in 2011, then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, citing statistics published by Migration Watch, said that the UK could expect 50,000 Romanians every year over the course of ten years. 

At the time, these numbers – as well as millions of ordinary people – were lampooned and ridiculed by the media, politicians, comedians, and (most damning of all) the Experts (the Serious People that Know Things), as delusional racists, fruitcakes, loonies, and so on.

Nevertheless, a decade later, that is exactly what has transpired. The census revealed that the number of Romania-born people living in the UK amounted to 539,000 – a 576% increase from 2011.

It’s no secret that Farage’s acknowledgement of immigration-led displacement of white Britons was one of his early selling points. Indeed, it was arguably as important (if not more important) than his euroscepticism. As has been established time and again, the latter is very much a product of the former. As such, it’s rather uncharitable to interpret his aforementioned comments with regard to London as anything but a reiteration.

Additionally, there’s David Coleman, former Professor of Demography at Oxford University, who predicted back in 2013 that, if demographic trends continued, “white Britons could be a minority by 2066” – a prediction which not only remains valid after the 2021 census but, evidently, did not assist him in retaining his then-already under-pressure position.

Granted, these are only notable examples. I cannot begin to imagine the number of normal people that have lost their livelihoods for concurring with such predictions, nevermind articulating the sentiment that they spelt trouble. Not even then does this account for those who have been scared into silence by active legislation and the fear of a vitriolic social death. You can be targeted for far less.

The inability to talk about matters in a frank, open, and civilised manner compounds problems which arise from matters which provoke the desire to discuss them in the first place.

On the religious front, Peter Hitchens has written and spoken about Britain’s post-Christainity on multiple occasions. Ever since WW1, Britain’s religiosity ceased to be sincere, instead being a series of motions undertaken without spiritual, theological, or moral investment. Now that there’s no room for doubt, one can expect the iconoclasts of Diversity and Inclusion to erase whatever hollow secularised traces of Britain’s Christian identity still exist in public life.

Put diplomatically, none of this is sensible. Quite the contrary, all these convergences spell catastrophe. Over the past few years alone, we’ve seen the fledglings of a nihilistic balkanised Britain.

Back in September, the now white British minority city of Leicester – a so-called “model” for a ‘diverse but cohesive’ Britain – fell victim to ethnoreligious rioting between Indian-descent Hindus and Pakistani-descent Muslims. Far from ‘diverse’, the riots were a replication of pre-existing global troubles.

To bare witness to the impotent, ahistorical, buzzword-laden gush of no-name ‘community leaders’, drowned out by an eruption of third-world carnage in Britain’s oldest settlements, as the mainstream press obfuscate the essence of the problem, is to bare witness to the self-deluding and short-sighted nature of Britain’s post-war political establishment.

Throughout various towns and cities across England, South-Asian grooming gangs have targeted white children since the 1980s. The police, more concerned about causing offence than networks of child prostitution, ignored the plight of the victims for several decades. Not even MPs could discuss the matter without facing repercussions.

Along the south-east, the perpetual tide of migrants (legal and illegal) has caused social unrest, so much so that coastal residents have taken to barricading their homes. The rate of immigration has skyrocketed housing costs, led to panicked hotel cramming by the Home Office, as well as an explosion of council-sanctioned homelessness.

Immediately following the release of the ethnicity data, tweets taunting white Britons to “come get your capital back” go viral, along with recorded procolations that Britain “is our country now”. Erstwhile, those of immigrant backgrounds descend on the capital, declaring their undying allegiance to a country that isn’t the one that houses them.

As for the sainted discourse, the goalposts of debate are shifted from “relax, you’re a local majority” to “relax, you’re the largest minority group” and pieces bemoaning “gentrification” are replaced by pieces celebrating “diversification”.

In the case of London, now 36.8% (down from 42.7% in 2011), some have tried to deflect any and all discussion of this matter by appealing to insinuations of white nationalism, forgetting that this entire question is, in essence, an ethnocultural one.

The idea that an unprecedented, unasked for, and potentially irreversible shift in the composition of a major city, nevermind an entire country, would not matter to the people insofar the shift was driven by those identifying “White Other” is obtuse and arrogant. Indeed, even when such a racial commonality exists between ethnically native and foreign-descended populace, there are still longstanding consequences.

As mentioned at the start, all of this boils down to mass immigration. The old and moneyed, addicted like junkies to the coursing streams of cheap foreign labour, are prepared to carve Britain’s youth out of the social contract in order to get their fill. Big business, professional activists, bureaucratic functionaries, and main-party politicians have locked arms and tirelessly marched in lock-step against my generation, their national belonging, and their prospect of a better future.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have demonstrated their indifference towards the problem of large-scale immigration-led demographic change. If anything, they have encouraged it, despite the pleas of their core voters.

Under Blair, Labour pursued a policy of mass-immigration to “rub the right’s nose in diversity”, simultaneously creating a pool of votes on which the party could rely in future elections, and accelerated Britain’s descent into ‘humanitarian’ quangocracy.

By not-so-much contrast, the Conservatives, having promised for decades to reduce immigration, won a landslide majority with the aid of traditional Labour voters (distinctly opposed to immigration) with a pledge to fulfil the spirit of Brexit – retainment of the sovereign control of borders to reduce the mass influx of people – only to do the exact opposite once in power. Don’t attribute to “failure” what is, in every respect, a design choice.

In the media, the Sensible umpires of political discourse, with clear-minded sobriety and transparent neutrality, insist that mass immigration is completely unstoppable and that we should shut up and make-do.

Likewise, in the equally Sensible world of think-tanks, mass immigration is supposedly the magical solution to all of Britain’s economic woes; everything from unprecedented high-tax levels to Britain’s economic  stagnation. Even a general overview of Britain’s economic performance these past few decades is enough to clock that such “expertise” is merely an officialised delusion.

More than mere snark, “So What?” perfectly encapsulates the underlying problem of our entire political system. Everything, from the political media to think-tanks to sitting MPs, pushes depoliticisation. The art of the possible is replaced with the art of the impossible. A decision of indecision, democratic deliberation, and the alternatives it affords, is supplanted by the arbitrary apolitical confines of authoritarian managerialism.

By opening up a multitude of historically unprecedented political fronts (tension between ethnocultural groups) whilst depoliticising the policy areas pertaining to their creation (post-war immigration policy) the British political system has manufactured an increasingly unsustainable ethnocultural divide.

In a scrambled effort to feign unity, schools across the country are mandated to teach the British state’s reinvention of its foundational identity, utilising empty appeals, laden with contradiction and irony, to “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs“.

It does not occur to our leaders that democracy is the conduit by which identity groups will compete against others, that high social trust is prerequisite to liberty, or that mutual respect and tolerance can be hard enough within predominantly monoethnic/monocultural societies, nevermind increasingly multiethnic/cultural ones. In the end, all that is left is the brute force of authority.

Being the only politician with sizable political support that is prepared to deliberate this fundamental matter, Farage’s hour of decision is upon us. If he does re-enter politics, he must do so on the back of these census results. The stalwart indifference of the political class, and all that has transpired as a consequence of their dogmatic recklessness, must not be allowed to continue.

If he does create a new party, there’s every reason to believe he’ll be rewarded handsomely at the ballot box. The Conservatives face electoral annihilation. Javid, fully aware of this fact, is not standing at the next election; presumably why he felt comfortable telling his constituents (96% white British) that their survival, in their own native land, never meant anything to him.

That said, few expect things to improve under a Labour government. Having never promised a precise number on immigration, one could safely bet, if they ever did, that a) it wouldn’t be sufficient or, if it was, b) they’d u-turn on their promise once in power – just like the Tories.

However, should Farage decide against a new party (or leadership of an already existing party), he must stand aside for an alternative to manifest. Whether we like it or not, as Britain’s demographics continue to change, especially at the current rate, ethnicity, identity, and all things in-between will become a far more prevalent part of our politics. We must be prepared to address these matters – for our own good and for the good of others. The only thing worse than an insufficient answer to the demographic question is to never answer it at all.

Photo Credit.

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