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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Well, the multicultural experiment seems to have had a short life but a merry one.  What began as a grand design, apparently hatched up by the BBC and the university history departments, seems to be gurgling down the drain.  This does not mean that the multiple cultures in our country have disappeared ; but it does mean that the predicted harmonious relations between those cultures have not been supported by the observed facts.

So what is to be done?  There will be no shortage of advice to (and from) the politicians, the academics and the broadcasters, but we may be sure that the substance of the advice will not be either broad enough or deep enough to make a difference in the longer term.  We may be sure of that because the august bodies that determine our fate have failed to realize that the problems are moral problems, whereas they see them as political.  What we shall be given is not moral solutions but politically correct solutions ; they will be solutions founded on the political beliefs and expediencies of the various parties, and hence of no lasting value.

But you cannot be rid of political correctness ; indeed, we should not wish to be rid of it.  But mere PC is not robust enough to support a nation, any more than mere sand is strong enough to support a skyscraper.  What is needed is a moral foundation, a rock on which to build with confidence.

Perhaps we can accept that morality is the set of unalterable principles which guide us in governing the relations between people ; and, because government is all about the relations between people, moral principles are indispensable to social stability.  And, because the principles are unalterable, they must be simple.  In themselves, they are not detailed enough to be made into state laws.  For example, the moral principle “You shall not kill” cannot be absorbed directly into law for there might be occasions when killing is unavoidable or even just.  It might well be unjust to punish somebody who kills in self defence or in the defence of other innocent people.

So, we need to build a body of secondary principles upon the moral foundation.  We might call these secondary principles our ethics. They represent our generally agreed interpretations of the moral principles ; an ethical principle amplifies a moral principle by giving concrete examples of what is meant by it.  It is to the ethics that politicians turn when drafting their policies, and to ethics they turn when drafting or amending a particular law.

But now we come to the thorny question :  who decides the unalterable moral principles on which everything depends?

A simple answer is that the politicians do.  Another simple democratic answer is that the people do.  But both politicians and people are variable in their opinions of morality ; so both these answers land us back in the realm of political correctness.  And PC doesn’t work.

So, who does have the authority to decide the moral principles?

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We all of us have our heroes.   But, more than that, each of us has certain personal favourites ; men and women who really live in our memories, and not as abstractions under a category somewhere.  From my own disordered childhood I can name several.  I have already written a bit about Mr & Mrs Adams and Uncle Jack ; both towering figures whose heads stand above the mists of time.  I have many heroes I knew personally, some old, some young ; and heroes I knew only from the pages of books but who are lively nevertheless.

If education is to be seen properly, it must be understood as the passing-on of the culture from which the child derives its intellectual life.  And this means, to cut a long story short, the passing-on of the lives of heroes ; for culture is not a thing that ‘happens’ ; rather it is a thing that has sprung from the minds of men and women down the ages.  And, out of the multitude of ideas that spring from human minds, what make culture is the enduring ideas ; the ideas of value.  Ideas that can be put to practical use so as to make the world a better place.

Thus it is that our list of heroes contains not just Perseus and Theseus, not just Moses and David, not just Alexander and Caesar, not just Alfred and Victoria.  Our list must also include Socrates and Aquinas, Pythagoras and Newton, Chaucer and Shakespeare, and Bach and Beethoven.

Heroes make manifest the seeds of greatness.  Whether it was only Time and Chance which made the manifestation possible, or whether it was a rare genius, is not a matter which need concern us here.  What matters is that those seeds of greatness are within each of us.  Or so Thomas Gray thought.  And I think he was right :

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear :
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Now I know that modern educationalists, teachers and politicians find the idea of heroism abhorrent (unless such heroism is of a purely utilitarian value or unless it serves a particular political purpose) ; but, if we value our freedoms, we must resist the blandishments of the ‘social engineers’ who desire the destruction of our culture.  If we value our freedoms we must pass on to our children the culture of real heroism and heroes – and not omitting Gray’s ploughmen.

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Christianity began with its founder suffering a bloody crucifixion ; continued to where its followers were persecuted even unto death ; and then progressed to develop the greatest civilisation the world has ever seen.  Christians have produced the best paintings, the best sculptures, the best music, the best literature ever ; even now there is no equal to them.  They also produced the scientists who established the best methods for examining the physical world – methods  which are used to this day.

Why do so many people now wish to get rid of such a productive system of beliefs?  I fear that one reason is  because they do not have a developed concept of progress.  They desire perfection, and think they can merely dream up a blueprint for it, forgetting that many such blueprints have been drawn before ; and then, so they think, they can merely legislate for it – forgetting that such has been tried in ages past.

They look back to their notions of what the Middle Ages were like, and feel repelled – forgetting that their medieval ancestors were repelled by what went before them ; and forgetting also that their own descendants will look back on this politically correct, amoral, sink-state age and feel an even greater repulsion, not simply because it is awful but because it is actually a regression from the heights once tentatively trodden.

So, why do they want to rid themselves of their religion and all that goes with it, including the best that goes with it?

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I love my country.  Or, rather, I love my countries.  For, ancestrally, I am more than half Scottish, nearly half Irish, and with perhaps a little English filling the gaps.  But culturally, I am more English, because I was born and bred in England.  And, if you ask me about my nationality, I say without hesitation that I am British.  I am likely to explode if I am asked to define what Britishness is, because that is a facile question that has no answer.  I suspect and fear that it is a question that our politicians will be asking with increasing frequency from now on, in their attempts to evade responsibility for the desperate mess they have got us into with regard to the mass immigration that has occurred in recent years.

Did I say ‘occurred’?  Well, it now transpires that it didn’t merely ‘occur’, but eventuated from a deliberate policy of admitting very large and uncounted numbers of foreign people.  And all for the purposes of changing for ever the demographic composition of our country ; and all engineered in the interests of destroying our traditional culture so as to facilitate the construction of a politically correct one.  And, of course, the politics is derived from Marxism – the ideology that has probably caused more misery in the world than any other.

There is so much to be said about all this but, for now, I will only record my utter dismay that our politicians have sunk so low ; so low as to wish destruction on the well-springs of our freedoms.  And so low as to try to eliminate our traditions ; and so low as not even to consult us in the matter.  The actions of the NuLab government have been described as treasonous.  I have to agree with that.

Again for the record, I have travelled in many countries and have happily dwelt betimes among good people of many cultures ; but their cultures are not my cultures.

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