The Evil Empire
When President Nixon notoriously intoned “we are all Keynsians now” he was right, although it still grates to admit the truth of his statement. We can add another “we are all . . . now” statement, equally offensive, but just as true. We are all socialists now. The Fabian socialists have carried the day. Fabianism–the doctrine of socialism not via revolution (a la Lenin) but by gradual iteration–has won out.
Every Western nation today is fundamentally socialist in their orientation and bent. All agree that the government must redistribute the wealth, income, and capital of everyone to the benefit of some, which in turn is forged upon the anvil of the state being the ultimate owner of all property. Doubtless this is unsurprising. Materialism, the belief that only matter exists, leads to atheism, which leads to statism because there is no higher power than the state anywhere in the universe. Ultimately the state is right because might makes right.
Advocates of Fabianism will insist that this is an unfair characterisation of their position. They have long believed in democracy, not brute totalitarian power. They have advocated for persuasion and the ballot box. But for many Fabians this is merely a means to an end. Right from the very beginning the Fabians secretly admired the absolute ruthlessness of Lenin and Soviet Communism. They would have loved to have such power, such totalitarian control. Given the option, the Fabians would have opted for totalitarian control in a heart beat. They were gradualists, not by choice, but by necessity. Gradualism was a tactic, not an ethic.
Peter Hitchens recounts Malcolm Muggeridge’s discovery of the secret totalitarian lusts of the Fabians.
Malcolm Muggeridge had long ago seen a startling similarity between Communists using power and Fabians seeking it, when he had mused that many of his 1920s Fabian acquaintances rather envied the Soviet Union’s ability to make annoying opponents “disappear”. His suspicions were confirmed when Beatrice and Sydney Webb . . . declared Stalin’s vast suburb of hell to be a “new civilisation”. First they did this with a question mark. Then they abandoned the question mark. . . . Muggeridge knew the Webb’s well because he was married to their niece. He recalled . . . .
What they (Beatrice and Sydney Webb) really admired was the regime’s sheer power; the fact that there were no votes to be taken, no motions to be referred back, no tedious bone-headed trade unionists to be coaxed and cajoled. This emerged when Mrs Webb said. “It’s true that in the Soviet Union disappear.” She accentuated this last word, “disappear” and I realised, even in my somewhat euphoric condition, how happy she would have been if similar arrangements prevailed in the LCC (London City Council) and recalcitrant councillors and aldermen could be made likewise to disappear.
[Peter Hitchens, The Broken Compass: How Left and Right Lost Their Meaning (London: Continuum, p.59f ]
The received wisdom regnant in the UK and the US during the existence of the Soviet Union was that it was a model society–an avatar for the direction the West had to go. While this may seem strange now it underscores just how much Western socialism has admired the “ability” of Lenin and Stalin to “get things done”.
If it is generally true that “we are all Fabians now” it will also be true that Leviathan is very much alive. Republican Rome deformed into the evil Empire. There is nothing to prevent such a devolution happening in the West. In fact many signs of its emergence can already be seen. Western secular causes and values are increasingly seen as too important not to be enforced. How long before people begin to disappear?
If selling $350 of marijuana can result in a person disappearing into the US prison system for 50 years, we are not far away.
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