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Displaying posts with tag WesternCivilisation.Reset Filter
Life and Liberty
Public post

The Hollowed-Out West

[An article from Free Life]
"The illusion […] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move all the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
                              - Frank Zappa

Writers and commenters on this blog have not been too enamoured with the recent coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. A fair summary of views is that the ceremony served as little more than a public pretence, offering only the veneer of a supposedly continuous lineage of values, rights and traditions that have persisted in England for many centuries. Behind the façade we see only, in Alan Bickley’s words, “the national rot [...] plainly on display”.
Through attempting to glean some of the ceremony’s original gravitas, one could, at least, sense the value in forcing the throne’s new incumbent to endure a multiple hour ritual in front of the altar.
The weight and difficulty of wearing St Edward’s Crown – traditionally regarded as a holy relic – is as much symbolic as it is physical. To see the king waddle like a toddler while attempting to balance his regalia demonstrates that to rule is as much a burden as it is a privilege. Moreover, it is a burden bestowed on the king not in some drab government building as the result of a committee vote, but by an Archbishop in a glorious church.
Little of this applies today. Not only is the awesome responsibility of power easily forgotten when secular, political office is subject to the modern day game of democratic musical chairs; it is an awesomeness that no longer applies very much to the king, except by way of constitutional fiction.
As such, this twenty-first century, family-friendly coronation felt much to me like a slightly-too-long royal wedding rather than a grand transition into a new era. Numb and inert is how best to describe my main reaction. I had pretty much forgotten the whole thing by the evening.
However, this feeling contrasted very much with the wall-to-wall news coverage and the outpourings of official adulation for the new royal rulers. Bickley may well be right in assessing the crowds to have been smaller than those which turned out for the 1953 coronation. But large, enthusiastic crowds were willing to brave that day’s unpleasant weather nonetheless.
One of the rules of thumb I employ when I have time to sift through the cesspool of the mainstream media’s output is to ask two questions:
  • “What are they trying to make me think?”
  • “Why would they want me to think that?”

So with regards to the coronation, we could ask: why is it so important to them that we celebrate this event for an institution that hardly seems fitting for a modern, progressive state to which ours supposedly aspires? What do they have to gain from this?
It is this theme – of a hollowed out institution that we are, nevertheless, encouraged to celebrate – that I wish to take forward in this essay.
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Life and Liberty
Public post

Let us Despair No More – A Reply to Laurence Hughes

[An Article from Free Life]
In a recent guest article for Free Life, the composer Laurence Hughes lamented, on his seventieth birthday, his relative lack of success in a culture that is waning in appreciation for the kind of art he has dedicated his life to producing:
The disappointment and disillusionment is now complete. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing left to aspire to or strive for. I just can’t be bothered any more. I have had enough. What a massive waste of time and energy!

Such disappointment and disillusionment is, needless to say, compounded by the more perceptible, material degradations of our society Hughes reels off within the article:
[W]e now have a ‘banana monarchy’ in which increasing surveillance and ‘social credit’ measures are dominant, everything is run by an unaccountable liberal-left ‘technocrat’ elite, and where opening your mouth if you have ‘incorrect’ views risks ruining your life.[...]I have watched my country become a ghettoised, divided society full of half-educated, obese, obedient, brain-dead sheep who merely live to consume, believe everything they hear in the media, and are quite happy – even eager – to have their basic civil and human rights trampled under foot, in return for ‘safety’ and instantaneous Amazon deliveries. It is a country in which I now feel a complete stranger most of the time.

In response to this, one has to agree that it is difficult, within the relative myopia of our own experiences, not to become disheartened by the state of the world – particularly when we are forced to behold a retrogression of a once great civilisation into something far more barbaric.
However, I am here, in this short piece, to suggest to Mr Hughes (and to everyone else dogged by such feelings) that any strides taken towards preserving our civilisation in no way amount to a “futility of human effort”.
Although anyone can leave a legacy, it's fair to say that the material achievements of most of us - however valuable they may have been at the time - will go with us to the grave. Hughes, however, is among that vanishingly small number of human beings whose work will still be here, decade after decade, century after century, well into the future. As such, his creations stand to be enjoyed not only by his contemporaries, but by countless generations not yet born.
Thus, for one thing, Hughes has a shot at having his achievements assessed and reassessed continually into the future. Posterity has a habit of making that judgment rather differently from how inventors, theorists, artists, authors, poets, composers and so on were appreciated in their own lifetimes. Those who were lucky enough to have enjoyed wealth and fame personally can be forgotten within a generation of their deaths. On the other hand, those who faced a lifelong struggle for income and recognition can be catapulted to the height of popularity and renown long after they have departed this world - even if their work has to be dug out of a thick layer of dust.
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