Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive

I am following the news which is now breaking in America, now in the small hours of the morning in East Coast Time. Many are cheering and exulting the almost gained victory of Trump. A few see this thing from so much further away. I empathise with Americans who are concerned with such things as the economy, education, their families, the sacredness of life from conception, and so many more things of importance to us all. How is the question of medical insurance going to pan out? So many things. They concern Americans.

This thing can be seen from further away, like Google Earth looking at a whole country, homing into a man riding a bicycle in a street in New York and then zooming out to a single glance at the planet. The first thing seems to be an upswell and movement against the Establishment end entrenched privilege, a kind of “aristocracy” akin to that of France of the late eighteenth century. My title quotes Wordsworth is something of a tongue-in-cheek or cynical way, knowing that revolution is usually going to be followed by terror.

Clean out the swamp! – so goes the slogan. Many erstwhile invincible people in positions of privilege will now be hunted down by the FBI, investigated, indicted and convicted of crimes like corruption, treason, fraud, exploitation of human beings in one way or another. Long prison sentences would be handed down, and lives will be changed forever. Maybe, the crimes of some will turn out to be so bad that they take their place on Death Row. Popular anger might go so far as to begin lynching and anticipating justice. Let us be careful about what we wish for – we might get it!

Trump himself is an oligarch, obscenely rich and may turn out to be a new source of corruption and evil. What men like Wordsworth saw in 1789 was an opportunity for change, for movement, for a new era to break down what was stifling us all in its “inevitable” immobilism and end-of-history certitude. Then came Robespierre, the kangaroo courts, the Conciergerie and the guillotine. The bloodbath drove Wordsworth to leave his wife and home in France and return to England. Then came Napoleon and a century of instability. Europe is mired in the same corruption as Washington!

I “voted” yesterday against the spectre of Hillary Clinton (not her person but what she represents), aware that the world faces new dangers. The prospect is above all one of authoritarianism, to some extent like in Europe between the wars. We have Syria and the Ukraine. There seems to be no truth or anything other than biased information. Are things going to turn better or worse? Are we careening all the same towards World War III and a nuclear holocaust? If that does not happen, will the movement spread to Western Europe, the collapse of the Brussels bureaucracy, a resurgence of nationalism and bigotry?

The comments of Matthew Clarke (see my previous posting), the little smug English Establishment conservative with his somewhat precious concern for being unshod at home – and Ed Pacht have been as appreciated as they were predictable. The establishment and the mainstream seem to offer us safety because they are predictable. The problem comes when they conceal dark secrets and corruption, when men in positions of power become complacent, above the law, lacking in empathy of conscience, liars and the epitome of politics. We end up with a “pathocracy”, rule by malignant narcissists and criminals. Ed Pacht looks at it all from another perspective, that of the Romantic who eschews obscene wealth and authoritarianism. I am myself an anarchist with the reserve of defining anarchism as the free individual considering law and authority as of the bene esse and not the esse. We have to have government and authority, but we reserve the right to be ourselves in the respect of other people’s rights.

It is my hope that this new authoritarianism will not last long. Washington will have to be purged. The movement may spread to Europe and the EU. I might even see a parallel between Trump and Robespierre. Would it have been better to leave old Louis XVI and the aristocracy in place in the 1790’s? In retrospect, perhaps. World War I was the final nail in the coffin of the old Hapsburg Empire and it brought Hitler and the monster in the USA that financed Hitler. The pit of human iniquity is deep, very deep. Those demons can only be exorcised by prayer and fasting, long human suffering without any discernible end.

Berdyaev spoke of the end of the Renaissance, the end of humanism, the long dark tunnel. He was writing in the 1930’s. The demon is the same. Grace may only be found through repentance and reparation, a return to God in sackcloth and ashes. We seem now to be living the beginning of a long Lent of mankind. I do not celebrate the victory of Trump, but the end of the old regime and the renewal of the rule of law, of justice. I pray for small mercies, being spared the scourge of nuclear holocaust and invasion by Islamic totalitarianism and terror.

Maybe there will be light, maybe darkness and evil and the extinction of hope. As every Christian knows, the object of our desire only lies beyond the Veil. Whilst we yet live, we can only pray and hope for hope.

* * *

Interesting analysis in the British mainstream press. The movement will spread and we have to see the deep issues – and implications for Europe, Russia and China.

From the alternative sources:

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15 Responses to Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive

  1. Do I really come across as smug?

    I do think it’s a bit obscene to laugh about a dictator who tortures his opponents and kills his own people staying in power.

    • Patrick Sheridan says:

      Yes, you do. You epitomise everything I loathe about the Conservative Party.

    • So the Syrians are better off with Daesh? Try asking them.

      • Dale says:

        Every Middle Eastern Christian I know, and I do a know a few, are all supporters of Assad, he has always protected them from the Muslims. Yet, only the Russians seem to know, or care, about this reality.

      • This is reassuring. Putin has always said that he would support Assad because of his being a legitimately elected president who would stand down if beaten in an election by the Syrian people.

      • Once again you boil the entire conflict down to Assad vs Daesh, ignoring the Kurds, the Syrian rebels, Al-Queda and the Turks.

        There is a school of thought that ISIS are serving the interests of Assad, because they distract from his conflict with the rebels. This is probably why the Russians have largely avoided bombing Daesh and have focused their efforts on the rebels.

      • Yes, I’m sure it is all complicated. The real issue is avoiding World War III, otherwise it will be all academic for us all. In this situation, everyone is lying, the Americans, Syria, Russia, the whole bloody lot. The problem is that Hillary Clinton and her lot were no more truthful. I don’t like Donald Trump, but the Americans have got him. I don’t think it’s for the Americans to police the world.

        If Assad is bad, let his own people take him down, either by an election or taking him out if they feel strongly enough about it. I don’t buy the stuff about “moderate” head-choppers (cough) rebels.

        As always, I don’t have the answers, but a constant and credible narrative is building up, which I read in the “alternative” news and which gets caught by the mainstream news much later when the subject is sensational enough. We will have to see how all this pans out. The democrats will “get” Trump, we will all be killed by nukes in World War III, there will be a popular movement against “champagne socialism” – God alone knows. We’re talking about the world, not the Stevenage by-election and a few crusty gentlemen having a pint down at the local.

  2. James Morgan says:

    For once and possibly twice I agree with Dale. Assad is standing before the onslaught of terror from islamic forces.

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Sadly, I don’t know much about Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, but I was impressed by his saying, Mr. Trump was “wise enough to get good people round him and probably knows that he’s got to listen to them and therefore I think we should not automatically think it will be less safe”.

    And, “It’s non-state actors like Isis that are the biggest threat to our security. If countries and states could coalesce better to deal with these people – and I think Trump’s instinct is to go down that route – then I think there’s the case for saying that the world certainly won’t be any less safe.

    “It’s that lack of understanding and empathy with each other as big power players that is a risk to us all at the moment.

    “Therefore I think he would reinvigorate big power relationships, which might make the world, ironically, safer.”

      • This seems fair. Many of us don’t imagine that Putin and Assad are very nice people, but they are a better bet than having Daesh proclaim a Caliphate over much of the world, roll back humanism and Christianity and bring about a nightmare and bloodbath in which the living would envy the dead. Otherwise it is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and complaining about the décor. Trump isn’t my kind of guy, but he seems to be resolved to “drain the swamp” of corrupt politics and bureaucracy – the sort that would lead to Orwell’s dystopia.

        I am old enough to remember nightmares about the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war. I do believe that God averted that catastrophe. It seems to have happened again. Hillary’s failure goes far beyond male chauvinism or racism (a lot of black people voted for Trump) – it is a matter of the survival of humanity. Maybe Trump will turn out to be an evil man, but Armageddon is cancelled for the time being. Thank God for that!

  4. Patrick Sheridan says:

    The US presidential election, much like the vote of the British people to leave the European Union, is ostensibly a kind of latter day peasants’ revolt. And why shouldn’t they revolt against an elite of smug, self-selecting revolutionary secularists? They don’t care about the working class! I am not sure I fully share Syme’s view of the “proles” from Nineteen Eighty-Four. He said that the proles were too stupid to revolt, and were just content to sing songs written by machines, read recycled pornography, and generally live in squalor and poverty, leaving the business of government to the Party. Smith, by contrast, hoped (against hope) that ultimate liberty was in their hands. Who knows? Syme’s attitude is reminiscent of Roy Jenkins’, whose comments upon the last EU referendum in this country were that once again the people trusted their elected representatives to think for them. Or something like that.

    I personally find this exploitation of the working class rotten; absolutely rotten to the core, particularly in the Western world where “equality” (a dead word) is peddled ad nauseum. I look at hard-working members of my own family (including myself – remember that I earn just above minimum wage, and have no savings). My parents are decent, hard-working, old-fashioned, morally conservative Labour supporters. Or rather they did vote Labour before Tony Blair and his colleagues transformed the Labour Party. My parents’ views, and that of countless other people in the same situation, have been systematically ignored, and indeed trodden upon, by the left-wing elite for far too long. Globalisation, free trade, open borders, mass immigration, sexual libertinism might suit the moneyed classes but these rather grandiose, theoretical and degenerate concepts (untested by reality) do not benefit the working class in any way. Open borders, for example. Free movement is a nice, cosy, and even reasonable idea theoretically, but go to a ghetto in south or east London where few people speak English as a first language, and you see how redundant the concept is. Or free trade. It’s a good thing diplomatically. But translate that into mass deindustrialisation and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to places like China and India, and the unemployment, idleness and food banks that result from that are totally unacceptable in the modern world, just so a few well off people can import goods without tariffs.

    And the metropolitan, bourgeois political class wonder why people voted for a demagogue like Trump, or put their trust increasingly in similar extreme, xenophobic movements like the Front National or UKIP? To quote Basil Fawlty: “this is exactly how Nazi Germany started!” The Weimar Republic, whose only beneficiaries were Jews and sexual minorities, just saw ordinary German sullen rage and humiliation brimming below a corrupt and feeble democratic surface. Hitler was elected democratically!

    Donald Trump is an obvious charlatan. He clearly doesn’t believe in or care about a single word he says publicly. His whole campaign was a cynical power-grab. The fact that he and Mrs Clinton were the only successful candidates demonstrates just how decadent and corrupt Western politics have become. He, a crass Sybarite. She, a cynical, corrupt woman lost in a sea of ill-gotten money and liberal delusion. He has no political experience (which might be a good thing); she has been in Washington for twenty-five years, and her corruption and mendacity knows no end, and that’s just the stuff we know about! What on earth has she done for us? She defended her indefensible husband’s constant lies and sexual predations. She played the race card on Barack Obama when she ran against him in 2008, and when he beneficently appointed her Secretary of State I have no doubt she was thinking four to eight years down the line. She seems to have convinced herself that War is Peace. Who could possibly deny that the Middle East and North Africa are in a much worse state now than they were in 2008? She has championed every violent foreign intervention since the invasion of Afghanistan, and in her campaign was inveighing strongly against Russia – even blaming Vladimir Putin for her own incompetence and negligence as Secretary of State.

    One would hope that Mrs Clinton’s defeat this time precipitates her permanent political demise. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she is already making plans for the next US election four years from now. Or perhaps trying to wheedle her way into some quango position, like all washup politicians.

    As for Mr Trump, he may be a disgusting, ruthless and brutally ambitious but now that he is where he is, perhaps he’ll do some good in spite of all our fears about him. We could all be very wrong about him! Still, I doubt it.

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment. Trump seems to be the stereotype American billionaire, like the millionaire (inflation) in the old 1970’s commercial who was so impressed by the Remington electric razor that he bought the company that made it from his loose change. He just needs the top hat and the cigar! Billionaires are ruthless. That’s how they make all that money.

      The mechanism of his victory is easy to understand from the point of view of ordinary people struggling to live and bring up a family. Champagne socialism like what we have in France profoundly despises ordinary people. François Hollande called poor people “sans dents” (no teeth) because they can’t afford the dentist. He is possibly even more capitalist than his smarmy predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. Most of us folk in France, French and expatriates from England and elsewhere, are sick to the gills of the political establishment. It looks like Le Pen next May unless someone else comes up with something convincing. Most of them are just vacuous blathers.

      The thing that really got me was the way Hillary Clinton wanted Assad to go the same way as Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Hanged or having a knife stuck up their butt by people working for the CIA – then replaced with a “caliphate” of bloodthirsty head choppers and slavers that would roll humanity back to the Stone Age. I hope and pray that Trump will spend time in Moscow and talk everything over with Putin. Let Trump be president of his country and accord the same rights to all nation states like Syria! Going by what Putin is saying, Armageddon is averted and the nukes can go back into mothballs:

      We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

      Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

      This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

      People who think it is about women and gays live on another planet. People need to travel and switch off their TV sets, read real books and spend time talking with people. We in England joke about the thinnest books: English Cooking, Italian Heroes, American Culture and so forth. Probably a lot of Americans voted Trump for the wrong reasons, as others voted for “Killary”. The deed is done, and now we have to hope.

      SOTT is full of articles about how the Elites won’t take this sitting down and will collapse the American economy in 2017 and get it all blamed on Trump. I can’t believe that he doesn’t have contingency plans drawn up during the runoff. Perhaps he’ll fall right into it. We are up against the demons of hell, or the Archons of the Demiurge if your prefer. We all know the quotation of St Paul about the armour of God and the wickedness in high places. If he is fighting for the right, then it is uphill from now on.

  5. Patrick, What you wrote made an interesting read. I belonged to UKIP for a while after trying the Christian People’s Alliance. Then I left them because I’m just not very good at political party membership. I prefer to influence politics through Pressure Groups.
    I can say for sure that when I was a UKIP member I did not come across any racists or xenophobes.

    I think this label has been attached to it by Lear Jet Liberals using political parrot speak.
    I do not suggest that your comment was doing that. What you were doing was raising many very relevant issues. What I see and hear around me among ordinary people is very real frustration with and anger against the elite establishment. All of it. Westminster politicians, biased mainstream TV media, wealthy liberal celebrities, banks and international businesses.

    • Patrick Sheridan says:

      Neil, thank you. Succinctly, liberalism is a luxury the working class can’t afford.

      I see all of these recent “victories” for the forces of reaction, “Brexit” and now Trump, as essentially about the people’s fear and rejection of globalisation, which is the main agenda of the Western liberal elite. John Lennon may have had dreams of one world united in peace &c., but he was exactly wrong. He was drugged up to the eyeballs most of the time and was, probably unwittingly, serving a much more sinister agent, and one much uglier than the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. The point about the influence of celebrities on politics is well made. It seems no coincidence that not one major pop star or celebrity endorsed either “Brexit” or Trump.

      World peace is a fond fancy. It is precisely the ruse for the creation of mega-states and the destruction of old boundaries, and for many teary liberals the unwelcome (to them) result of both the EU referendum and the US election was the triumph of “hate” over “peace and love, man!” Lady Gaga, another shrill liberal, has just endorsed the “Love Trumps Hate” slogan. But the question remains: at what cost does “world peace” come? What does it look like? There is more to peace than the absence of war! In reality, a global, “peaceful” corporate state would necessarily be a centralized bureaucracy and lead to exploitation on an unprecendented scale. At the moment, it’s bad enough having unfettered market forces and multi-nationals transgressing national boundaries. The historic nation state might be the only defence against that, and that is, I believe, what people voted for, in both the EU referendum and the US election. Of course, one has to consider those who voted for both those things for the wrong reasons, and whether they will actually get what they want, but that’s another story.

      Liberals like to think of themselves as champions of the people but don’t seem to mind maintaining their demonstrably unequal status and privilege, and are perfectly willing to support a system of global capitalism which suppresses the living standards of the working class, whilst enriching them. Free movement of people might be acclaimed as a “freedom,” but for whom, exactly? I see it everyday. Mass immigration is destabilising, dangerous, and destructive of unity. It drives down wages, inflates house prices and overburdens public services, affecting the working class but not the liberal elite. People are sick of it.

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