A Brief Historical Note
Until 1914, for more than a century England had remained the pre-eminent power in the world; never mind the old saying attributed to Duncan Spaeth (1868-1954), “I know why the Sun never sets on the British Empire: God would never trust an Englishman in the dark.”
Then began the suicide of Western civilization with the outbreak of The Great War in 1914.(2) With the end of the war in 1918, the Sun began to set on the British Empire and simultaneously to rise on the American Century. After a series of undeclared military conflicts following World War Two, accumulation of massive debt, abandonment of its constitution, and forswearing of its traditional ideals, America seemed to be suffering a decline similar to that of the island-nation on the soil of which Joshua was standing.
A Chance Encounter
Once having exchanged some dollars for pounds, paying an outrageous commission for the privilege, and having secured his less than modest lodgings, Joshua went looking for an eatery. Given the off-putting prices of alternative options, he decided upon Indian cuisine. Perusing a menu posted to a window, he noticed an older man perusing him.
“I say, young man. If it’s Indian food that interests you, I’d consider choosing an alternative establishment.”
“Why?” Joshua asked, a tinge of hostility hanging in the still, damp air even after the single-worded question had been uttered.
“Well, if you prefer overly-priced, poorly-prepared, pseudo-Indian cuisine delivered by an indifferent, unwashed staff in a context of filth, I suppose that, after all, this restaurant might be the place for you.”
After a brief chat about alternative dining possibilities, Joshua somewhat reluctantly decided to accept one of the stranger’s recommendations. In return, he asked the man whether he might care to join him, silently praying that the man might pay the entire tab for them both.
“No, I think not. I prefer a pub-supper with a pint of bitter. Besides, impolitic as my viewpoint may be, I’ve had quite enough of these Indo-Pakis and Caribbeans. I don’t mind telling you that I’m in favor of England for the English. The late Enoch Powell (1912-1998) had it right when, in 1968, he warned against allowing mass immigration from the Commonwealth. Of course, the consequence of his stating his position was his essentially being sacked by the Tories for failing to spare the nation the awful truth. Now the ingrates either are demanding their own theological laws while exploding bombs, or they’re thrashing policemen while rioting in the streets.”
The man paused momentarily. “I’ll tell you what, though. You buy me a cupful of tea, and I’ll give you an earful of opinion.”
Tea for Two
The elder gentleman ordered Scottish breakfast tea with milk. Joshua ordered coffee with cream.
Sitting across the table Joshua surveyed the man; smartly dressed; an impish quality to his ruddy face; cleanly shaven but for a precisely clipped, grey-and-black moustache. “You’re English, aren’t you? I mean, from your accent, you sound English.”
“Firstly, lad, it’s you who have the accent. Secondly, yes indeed, I am English and ashamed to admit it.”
“Since the election in 1945 of Clement Atlee (1883-1967) and his dour band of socialists calling themselves the Labour Party, Britain has been a nation determined to destroy itself by behavior best characterized as a combination of ignorance, arrogance, and egocentrism. With Atlee came the end of traditional English ideals.(3) Now, not only have we lost our identity sociologically, we are losing it biologically.”
“Uh huh. To change the subject, could you tell me why the largest denomination of English currency is only fifty pounds?”
“You’re not changing the subject. Forcing her subjects to carry wads of a progressively debased currency, Her Majesty’s government promotes the use of credit-cards.”
“So, the government can’t track the use of currency, but it easily can track the use of credit-cards. It successfully made using large amounts of currency suspect as though the user is a criminal until proven otherwise. Do I sound paranoid?”
“I suppose I do. Anyway, the capacity to track usage has relatively little, operational value at the moment compared to what it will have in the future. Read Orwell’s 1984.”
“I already am . . . well, that is, sort of. I’m about to start,” Joshua interjected.
“Really? Bully for you. Anyways, we already have governmental cameras photographing our public movements . . . soon to add effective facial-recognition. Every time you use a credit-card, unwittingly you put another nail into the coffin of your own freedom. The fifty-pound note is a symbol of the loss of British freedom . . . loss of British character . . . worse, loss of British soul.”
“Ah yes, America. Sadly, following the same path paved with folly . . . a few years behind, perhaps. Remember, most people prefer pleasant lies to unpleasant truths . . . you Americans, for example. Scientifically speaking, one can say that behavior is a function of context . . . in your case, American culture . . . and of its consequences. Disparities notwithstanding, your culture and ours both are struggling in the throes of what one might call Radical Maternalism.”
“Radical Maternalism?” Joshua asked.
“Yes. It’s the contamination of normal, healthy maternalism by radical feminism. Some examples? Everyone is equal . . . no matter, in reality, how unequal. Outcomes must be equal in education, hiring, promotions, and so on . . . no matter what the damage to the nation, economically and in other ways. Prohibition of free speech, speech that might offend someone, anyone, with regard to race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or a host of other self-proclaimed sensitivities . . . no matter how true the content may be. Prosecution of peaceful citizens for defending themselves against violent criminals . . . no matter what the injustice and unfairness.(4) Those sorts of things and more, you see. Radical Maternalism in action . . . killing Britain . . . killing America.
“The irony is that America in the twenty-first century is not Britain in the twentieth. Unlike Britain, America has many more resources within. Like Britain, America also has her worst enemies within.”
“Should the current trends continue, America either will balkanize into separate regions . . . the South will rise again, so to speak . . . or become a second-rate power.”
“How would you say we Americans can avoid your British fate?”
“Return to your roots, My Good Man . . . your Constitution, as written . . . and your traditional American Ideals. Then, add the magic third ingredient, if you will . . . a new ingredient . . . Science. Allow scientific methodology to guide you forward in government, law, education, and medicine . . . the four cornerstones of society. The inescapable consequence of your deficit in that appropriate and necessary behavior . . . in other words, of your failure to do so . . . will be . . . .”
“Well, you can read the graffiti scrawled onto the walls as well as I.”
A Premature Departure
During the following ten days, Joshua cogitated about his conversation with the older man while visiting the usual sights; relics of a once-great past surrounding a new and prominent symbol of the present, the London Eye . . . a giant Ferris-wheel overlooking the city and diverting the British people and tourists by taking them up and down, round and round, but . . . as Ferris-wheels do . . . never forward. He also took day-trips outside London.
Time passed. With its passing, he felt increasingly alienated and apart. He had come to view Britain as dirty; disorganized; deteriorating; depressing; and now increasingly dangerous plagued by escalating crime and roving riots . . . but still expensive, giving little value for large piles of pounds.
On the eleventh day, he left prematurely. Cramped hour after hour in a narrow seat between two obese Americans, each with a fleshy arm almost in his lap, he escaped into his own thoughts. By the time of his arrival, he had become determined to fight the trend . . . to swim upstream against the current of ignorance, arrogance, and egocentrism gripping his own homeland. He would dedicate himself to doing his bit, small as it might be, to preserving the Grand Experiment conceived by the Founding Fathers; to returning America to her Constitution and to her traditional ideals. He would take the older Englishman’s advice. He would learn, so he could employ Science as the potent, peaceful weapon that it can be against the entrenched, institutionalized, ossified, self-serving corruption that was killing his country . . . his United States of America (www.inescapableconsequences.com).
2. Barzun, J: From Dawn to Decadence. New York: HarperCollins Publishers (2000).
3. Kynaston, D: Austerity Britain. New York: Walker & Co. (2008).
4. Malcolm, JL: “The Soft-on-Crime Roots of British Disorder”. The Wall Street Journal, 15 August 2011, page A13.