Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cameron’s concept of religious freedom

David Cameron’s Munich speech has mostly been received very positively. Certainly, there were niggles over his use of ‘right-wing’, and questions over what constitute British ‘core values’. But Lord Tebbit thought it was of election-winning calibre, and it even earned a cheer-and-a-half from the pathologically-anhedoniac Melanie Phillips.

But His Grace has been pondering a point which caused him a little disquiet. He has held back for a few days because he was unsure of whether the religio-political point was purposely made by the Prime Minister as an article of his personal belief, or if it was a lazy insertion by a speech-writer not too well-versed in religio-political matters.

Having received an email pointing him the observations of Mats Tunehag, it is clear that there is speculation abroad, and so the matter ought to be addressed back home.

The Prime Minister said in Munich:
“…I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.”
Mr Tunehag quite rightly makes the point that freedom of worship is not the same as freedom of religion. And, as he says, this is not a matter of hair-splitting semantics or personal preferences: it is indeed a matter of life and death in some countries.

By using this term, David Cameron is following the Western zeitgeist adopted by President Obama and Secretary Clinton. It sounds enlightened, but to laud freedom of worship is to diminish freedom of religion. Mr Tunehag explains:
Freedom of religion includes the right to have a faith, to manifest it and propagate for it, alone or together with others, also in the public arena. It also gives the right to change beliefs and religious affiliation. This is what democracies would adhere to.

Freedom of worship is a definition practiced (sic) in countries influenced by Islam. You may be allowed to be a Christian, but you mustn’t take it into the public arena or share your faith with others. If you are a Muslim you are free to be a Muslim and display it publically but you can’t leave Islam.
A shift from ‘freedom of religion’ to ‘freedom of worship’ moves the narrative from being ‘in the world’ to the physical confines of a church, temple, synagogue or mosque. It is also disconcerting that the new state orthodoxy of religion has been defined in terms of a Kantian notion of inviolable rights, as though the Platonic Forms and Aristotelian Virtues constitute no part of our syncretised conception of Christianity. Freedom of worship is meaningless for the Christian if it may not be performed in spirit and in truth; if it may not be the result of vibrant, living relationship with the Lord; if it may not sear the conscience daily on the life-long journey of faith.

In the Declaration of Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae from the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church summarised this right: "Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ."

The practice of religion – true religion – permeates every fibre of our being and enters every fabric of our lives. After centuries of constitutional theo-political development, the British arrived at a notion of tolerance and an understanding of liberty which the Prime Minister appears to be intent in limiting to state-approved expressions. By advocating ‘freedom of worship’, he adopts the narrative of the ‘aggressive secularist’ who seeks to relegate faith to the private sphere. This is antithetical to British ‘core values’, for it is as totalitarian as the approach taken by Saudi Arabia, and as illiberal as the banning of crucifixes by the European Union.

In calling for ‘muscular liberalism’ (as opposed to liberal Conservatism), the Prime Minister has subjugated holiness to his form of social contract, and relegated the peace of Christ to the absence of civil strife. There is no space for religious dissent: the imposition of the liberal creed is total. This we see Parliament agitating to impose women bishops upon the Church of England, despite the Church having its own democratic bodies to debate such issues; and we have a Prime Minister who presumes to lecture the Archbishop of Canterbury on ‘gay rights’, as though he may arbitrarily and unilaterally set aside Holy Scripture and dispense with centuries of Church tradition and orthodoxy.

To be politically liberal is to tolerate; to be Christian is to be a living sacrifice. These are not antithetical.

But to be ‘muscularly liberal’ is to be intolerant not only of ‘extremism’, but also of what is moderately liberal. And that which is moderately liberal is fused with two centuries of that which is liberally conservative. No true liberal society can impose an agenda upon any peaceable individual or democratic group whose conscience(s) do not permit obeisance to its formularies. Our freedoms of speech, religion and association predate the ‘Rights of Man’; indeed, those rights spring from the fount of Scripture and so should be understood and interpreted in their Sitz im Leben. And the Gospel of Christ is paramount and preeminent: it is not for the state to re-write the Word of God or to impose a uniform theo-political exposition.

54 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The modern creation of "Hate Speech" - the child of thoughtcrime - is responsible for the current morass.
The servitude of the UK to European courts keeps us there.
We need to recover sovereignty.

And privatise the BBC, the main champion of our national undoing. America is a freer country because of its robust constitution.

9 February 2011 at 10:11  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

The fact that it is a phrase favoured by Clinton & Obama (according to Mats Tunehag makes me suspect this is not just a naive slip of the tongue. These speeches are carefully crafted ... phrases do not just slip in unintentionally.

It is the job of the watchmen to stay alert to potential threats. Let's see if this is a one off or the start of a trend - which is when the alarm bells really ought to go off.

9 February 2011 at 10:17  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Brillaint!

This blog is truly a city shining upon a hill.

Thank you.

9 February 2011 at 10:28  
Anonymous Taylor said...

A fascinating post.
So Mr Cameron defines his 'vision' of society through the concept of disqualification rather than of presence. Society becomes all those spaces in which religion is not: He will not do religion. Again, my emphasis would be upon 'do'. (Practice, rather than his verbose espousal of 'values')

Like other residents of No10, he is Plato's heir. The pristine structures of an infernal political logic - be it 'market forces', 'social-contract' or 'one world' must be brought down upon us. And all contesting icons will be rendered obsolete - curios in a museum called 'church' - DO NOT TOUCH. What a paradoxically superstitious man he must be!

Enough of this iconoclasm YG, be they Red or Blue. There's surely better questions we can ask ourselves. Better things to do!

9 February 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

And another thing:

‘The Prime Minister said in Munich:

‘“…I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.”’

The Con-Dems can no longer fool us.

We have read the case law: sexuality trumps religion. ‘Equal rights’ means a hierarchy of rights with Judaeo-Christians driven out to the alleyways that feed the public square.

What we are seeing are the values of ‘Enlightenment Fascism’ triumph in post-Munich Europe infusing art, culture, law and politics.

Law, in these islands, was once based upon Judaeo-Christian concepts not the arbitrary whims of an effete political elite. The reign of Charles I was an aberration to that normative national theme. It was his redefinition of the problem, which now Cameron seeks to re-impose: Rex Lex.

For the Judaeo-Christian it will always be: Lex Rex. That is what promotes, empirically tested by our country’s history: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of religion, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality – in their proper God-given spheres of operation.

Cameron.

You lost.

9 February 2011 at 10:44  
Anonymous Rob Spear said...

Anagram:
Prime Minister Cameron

->

O inspire me, I'm T Cranmer.

9 February 2011 at 11:03  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Cranmer. I'm not sure whether you refer to Melanie Phillips with approval or otherwise. IMO her article was excellent, and your description of her is obscure. What is a "anhedoniac"?

I agree too that Mr Tunehag has made a valid and important point about the necessary distinction between freedom of worship and freedom of religion.

Re your hesitation about Cameron's motives for his speech. The man is not a Christian by his own admission. If he has a genuine conviction about the freedoms he advocates, particularly that of freedom of religion, then of course that would result in proposed action to allow that fully in the UK, by a statement of intent to abolish the various "hate" and "gender/equality" laws which inhibit or even criminalise Christians for objections to homosexuality on the grounds of their Biblical beliefs expresed in public.
We have yet to see Cameron or indeed any other Conservative MP move in this direction, which given their enthusiastic adherence to the whole "gay" agenda reveals an inherent contradiction in their thinking.
Not to mention the obvious hypocrisy of purporting to uphold such freedoms but denying them in law to Christians and other religious minorities.
As a typical Statist Cameron labours under the illusion that our rights and freedoms are dispensed by the State, and so you are right to point out that these existed in historic Christian England long before the emergence of politicians.
Such freedoms sound and resound throughout the New Testament as the Christians great birthright and charter.
IWith Melanie, I will believe Cameron when he takes action to repeal repressive anti Christian laws - not before.

9 February 2011 at 11:27  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Here we go again

No true liberal society can impose an agenda upon any peaceable individual or democratic group whose conscience(s) do not permit obeisance to its formularies

Conscience; that old get out clause, I can do anything so long as it is ordained by my conscience. So you will be perfectly happy for me to discriminate against Christians if my conscience tells me to do it?

9 February 2011 at 12:05  
Anonymous Caedmon's Cat said...

Father Graham Davis:

It's lovely to meet you here again. I hope your parishioners are keeping well. I'd like to drop in to Evensong at your place sometime soon.

I have a question for you: would it be your conscience motivating you to discriminate against Christians? If so, it must be addled and smelly by now..

Methinks you confuse conscience with ideology and principle; conscience rules over matters of personal morality - you know - right and wrong stuff...

9 February 2011 at 12:19  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis

Thank God for people of conscience rather than people like yourself who believe nothing but their con science. [Do you see what I did there? (c) Rebel Saint 2011]

9 February 2011 at 12:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Conscience; that old get out clause, I can do anything so long as it is ordained by my conscience. So you will be perfectly happy for me to discriminate against Christians if my conscience tells me to do it?"

But you already do. And you fail to understand (1) that human rights is a Christian concept (2) that conscience is a Christian concept as well. You are a typical illogical modern atheist: you use the currency of rights and conscience but deny their theological foundation.

9 February 2011 at 12:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still steering clear of the growing fiasco around "The Big Society" then?

9 February 2011 at 13:02  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

If Cameron’s ‘freedom of worship’ is intended to remove faith from the public arena, how can it be permissible to have manifestations of faith such as halal meat in supermarket products?

9 February 2011 at 13:37  
Blogger Dominic said...

"Freedom of worship is a definition practiced (sic) in countries influenced by Islam"

That's interesting. Maybe true. But my first thought was of (the more liberal periods of) the Soviet Union, when the (in practice selective) "freedom to practice the cult" (to translate pedantically from Russian) was granted; but heaven forbid that any belief or ethic associated with such practice should intrude in any other area of public life; in many ways I think that is what we are moving towards now, influenced by covert Marxism, not Islam.

9 February 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

It's very simple - 'freedom of worship' can be quite safely confined to buildings set aside for the purpose, but 'freedom of religion', like 'freedom of thought', might just involve people's thoughts, motives and actions.

These are things that our PM really can't be bothered to worry about - much safer to guarantee things that can only be done in private (he assumes) rather than issues which just might involve public policy. In that, he would be no different to a large, unthinking, slice of the population to whom these things seem irrelevant.

And that's what we should worry about - the most oppressive regimes in history have guaranteed freedom of worship, while denying freedon of religion. Denying freedom of thought is not much further down the line....

9 February 2011 at 14:31  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Caedmon’s Cat said

Methinks you confuse conscience with ideology and principle; conscience rules over matters of personal morality - you know - right and wrong stuff.

Is it not your faith that informs your conscience?

9 February 2011 at 14:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Is it not cause and effect in a closed material universe that limits your conscience to the same horizon as the Nazis and Communists?

9 February 2011 at 14:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"to laud freedom of worship is to diminish freedom of religion"

Exactly so!

9 February 2011 at 14:52  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Some people should stop listening to their own voices, and start hearing their consciences.

Furthermore, anyone who's never heard a conscience shouldn't be telling other people what a conscience is.

Oh. And not having one is no excuse.

9 February 2011 at 15:43  
Anonymous Trencherbone said...

...and look what's crawled out of the woodwork at the Grauniad: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/09/more-division-over-multiculturalism

BTW, why does Bruce Kent appear twice? Is this another Grauniad typo or omission?

Surely someone so much holier than the rest of us should be trinitarian.

9 February 2011 at 15:59  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I think it's time to see the word of god for what it really is. It's just a book about ancient people struggling to find their way. They had very little, if any scientific knowledge to guide them so they climbed mountains and in the hope to get answers.

"Our freedoms of speech, religion and association predate the ‘Rights of Man’; indeed, those rights spring from the fount of Scripture and so should be understood and interpreted in their Our freedoms of speech, religion and association predate the ‘Rights of Man’; indeed, those rights spring from the fount of Scripture and so should be understood and interpreted in their Sitz im Leben. And the Gospel of Christ is paramount and preeminent: it is not for the state to re-write the Word of God or to impose a uniform theo-political exposition.. And the Gospel of Christ is paramount and preeminent: it is not for the state to re-write the Word of God or to impose a uniform theo-political exposition."

At the end of the day this "Sitz im Leben", and the idea that our freedoms and rights depend upon the interpretation of ancient stories about very primitive and cruel people, worries me. Who's interpretation of these scriptures should I believe? I have my own interpretation, not of each scripture in terms of exegesis or hermeneutics (I am not qualified in languages and cultures), but rather in the way I do not believe them to be divine in any way. So why would I be forced to adopt rights and freedoms based upon mythological and bizarre belief systems?

9 February 2011 at 16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know a belief system that is not mythological, Mr. Gaites?

You prefer the wrongs and iron-controls of the euSSR, to the liberties won for you, over the centuries, by your Judaeo-Christian ancestors?

Then you deserve everything you get.

9 February 2011 at 16:29  
Blogger graham wood said...

Jared Gaites said:

"I think it's time to see the word of god for what it really is. It's just a book about ancient people struggling to find their way. They had very little, if any scientific knowledge to guide them so they climbed mountains and in the hope to get answers."

Mr Gaites. This hoary old chestnut has been exposed again and again over many years for the error that it is.
Have you read any significant parts of the Bible? If you have you would understand that from start to finish it is essentially a revelation from God to man, from start to finish.
Old Testament prophecy concerning the coming, the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ were fulfilled to the very letter.
If you read the Christian scriptures for yourself and with an open mind, you will find that your theory does not stack up.

9 February 2011 at 16:48  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Worshipful Master Cameleon has shown his rainbow nation colours.

Zeitgeist occultism fits into the Communist agenda perfectly as explained in Aquarius age of evil.

Its 14 parts but worth watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaavNiM--Ro

I had to look up anhedoniac myself but yes funny ha ha!

9 February 2011 at 16:59  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

The whole thing does seem a bit curious. It'll be ironic if he intends to limit the religious liberty of our Muslim citizens and our Christian ones get carried along with it.

9 February 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I am not saying that you are wrong to believe anything, but I don't. I appreciate my liberties, and whatever it is that I have coming to me, that I deserve, then I will endure it in a state of disbelief because it simply does not stack up to me. My mind is as open as it will ever be, but this one book does not convince me at all. And thankfully, you guys can't torture me anymore (or burn me at the stake) into thanking you for my liberties.

9 February 2011 at 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gaites - if we're torturing you then you must be coming to the wrong place, and of your own free will, to boot. Except for His Grace's Spirit, none here can claim your gratitude for your (presently diminished) liberties.

As to the Bible - and the Word - it was here before you, and it will survive your meconnaissance. I pray that the Truths contained therein begin to dawn on you, one by one, even as the iniquities of your mythologies reveal themselves.

God be with you.

9 February 2011 at 18:20  
Anonymous len said...

I think(and others have said)that the Bible reads you as much as you read it!.
The Bible will inform you of your present condition and of future possibilities (if illumination by the Holy Spirit is allowed).
It does take an open mind,a honest heart, humility, and a willingness to see oneself as God sees you.Not always easy!
Reading the Word of God in this fashion gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to speak into your Life.
The Bible is as relevant today as it ever was because it deals with the unchanging human condition.Our environment and culture may change but what lies at the bottom of the Human Heart and Spirit does not change(unless one is born again!)

Without Gods Word to instruct and guide us we are as lost as a mariner in the middle of the Ocean with no compass.

The Bible is like a mirror hold it up and what do you see?

9 February 2011 at 18:20  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

YG you make a very good point about Camerons choice of words in his speech and their meaning.

I think that there should be freedom of Religion BUT Christianity should be given prominence in a country that has a long Christian Tradition. Instead,sadly, it seems that the very opposite occurs.

9 February 2011 at 18:32  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

When I said that you can't torture me anymore I was sarcastically referring to the atrocities committed in the name of Jesus through the ages.

Now before you further engage in this aggressive defence of your faith, I would like to point out that I do believe that there are very real things as Christian virtues (which you seem to lack). Christian virtues are very real and have indeed shaped modern civilisation both for the better and the worse, but mostly for the better.

Not being a believer makes it a little scary for me about the fact that we are not yet mature enough to make decisions about virtues, morals and principles without imagining that we can hear the voice of god speaking to us out of an ancient book.

But I am more than grateful for the fact that we managed to get to where we are, and having surpassed many of the brutal and savage tendencies we have displayed in the past, we can indeed enjoy many liberties gained from our Judeo-Christian culture. We have moved forward and we have become better people in general. I have absolutely no doubt what so ever that the Bible will continues to influence long after my demise, departure (post getting what I have coming to me). But I have a vision of my own that sometime in the future religion will be an option open to all, and we who do not believe will also share many of the Christian ethics but without the bizarre beliefs in resurrection and heaven and hell. And that we who do not believe will always be safe from the twisted notions about sin and punishment.

9 February 2011 at 18:41  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, it would a good idea if HM Queen were to hand Dave a slip of paper at their next meeting together with the question, 'How am I going?'

On this single A4 sheet would be written certain words:

The Archbishop shall minister these questions; and The Queen, having a book in her hands, shall answer each question severally as follows:

Archbishop. Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?

Queen. I solemnly promise so to do.

Archbishop. Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?

Queen. I will.

Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

Queen. All this I promise to do.

9 February 2011 at 19:51  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

And here's an example: Freedom of worship, but not freedom of religion:

Christian councillor in muslim prayer dispute

9 February 2011 at 20:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would perfer there to be an amendment that gives equal recognition to 'Freedom From religion'then we may be getting somewhere.

9 February 2011 at 22:39  
Blogger Owl said...

One of the biggest problems of any Marxist state is that, when removing religion from the public space, they left an empty space. A vacuum needs to be filled.

Our Fabian maxist social engineers are perfectly aware of this.

Instead of leaving a vacuum, they have promoted Secular Humanism to fill the space

A young religion needs it's evangelists, so in step Dawkings etc. and our own G. Davis.

Cameron is truely the Heir of Blair.

The Catholic church is the biggest enemy of the socialist elite so it has been infiltrated similar to political parties, health services, education services etc.

Blair converting to Catholicism was a sham which he doesn't even try to keep up.

Islam has now got out of control and is now going to be stopped. The decision has been made by the Fabian controllers.

The pecking order was Merkel, Blair then Cameron.

9 February 2011 at 22:51  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I keep seeing the word Marxist thrown around here. Is this just a trivial insult, meaning not-Conservative, or is there something intellectual about it? Can someone explain why it applies if it's the latter? I can't see much at all about our State that could be described as Marxist myself.

10 February 2011 at 04:44  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Its not a trivial insult to expose an ideology that murdered millions Danjo.

Do the research.

Explain why we are second rate citizens in our own country, explain how the crown gets away with taxing us to give money to bankrupt nationalised banks that then lend us our taxes back at interset.


Karl Marx wanted a world in which there was only workers and owners.

Everything is being privatised in a system in which the workers pay the losses and the owners make the profits.

You will not awaken until you are being starved to death because depopulation of useless eaters is a part of the agenda.

Capital and labour as you say.

Smell the globalists, spot what any government has done in our national interest of late.

10 February 2011 at 06:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Karl Marx wanted a world in which there was only workers and owners."

Bred in the bone, it's been a while since I looked at this sort of stuff but haven't you got it exactly the wrong way around?

10 February 2011 at 08:09  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Bred in the bone

I'm not so sure about your theory re depopulation (if it is happening that is), but your last sentence certainly rings true.
If the world was going to practise depopulation, it would have to start where the birthrate is far far higher than ours and the methods would never be agreed on. Eventually though, we will all have to face the fact that there are too many of us for the planet to sustain.

Off Topic, I apologise YG.

10 February 2011 at 09:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that a Venn diagram ? His Grace is betraying his age !

Still,better to betray one's age than follow the example of Cameron and betray one's fellow Britons.

We need a compassionate right-wing Government.There is no other hope.

Marcus Foxall

10 February 2011 at 11:39  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

DanJ0 said..."Bred in the bone, it's been a while since I looked at this sort of stuff but haven't you got it exactly the wrong way around?"

Watch Anthony C Hutton on youtube if you think capitalists and communists are on opposite sides.

Ask yourself why China is a capitalist communist government if they are oppsing forces.

Eustace Mullins has some intersting points also.

10 February 2011 at 16:08  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Bred, I think what you actually ought to write is: "Sorry, I now realise I didn't actually know what I was talking about", having done some research yourself about Marxism and Karl Marx. We all make mistakes every now and again, you know.

10 February 2011 at 17:20  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Ah you do Danjo, well welcome to your world but this is me and as I just explained to the two constables that knocked at my door a couple of hour ago, I play by my rules now not yours.

10 February 2011 at 19:24  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"I play by my rules now not yours."

Well, you might have had your dignity at one point earlier but clearly not any longer.

Karl Marx wanting there to be just owners and workers in a full blown capitalistic system? Nice one. :)

10 February 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

As for having my dignity, you aint my judge and neither are the two constables who I just explained colour of law to before they got carried away thinking they were the law.

I am not sure what level you set for being dignified or whether you are capable of my standards.

Whatever Marx wanted he is dead and had no rights interfering in our affairs in the first place.

He is not worth reading because I have a mind of my own.

10 February 2011 at 20:30  
Blogger Owl said...

DanJ0,

Marxism is not used as a trivial insult in this case.

The aims of Marxism and Fabianism were very much the same. The difference was in the means to an end.

Fabians proposed gradualism (a nice word for social engineering) rather than revolution.

Elenor Marx, the yougest daughter of Karl, was one of the early members.

The Fabians were intellectual socialists, i.e. an elite group.

They professed support of the working classes but seemed mainly only interested in controlling them.

They included many notable supporters of Eugenics.

They also founded the LSE which is well known for it's extreme left-wing position.

Blair, Brown etc. are Fabians.

George Soros learnt his economics at the LSE.

Fabians only (mis)use the working classes for propaganda purposes.

BTW, Sydney and Beatice Webb (Fabian founder members) visited Stalin's Russia after WW II and were very positively impressed.

10 February 2011 at 23:05  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Bread in the bone
Sounds as if you may soon be in need of the vote.
Well inside you may get a chance to read and find out what historical materialism is really about.
Anyway its now up to the judges.
One answer is to adopt a similar system that overseas voters have.
(proxy voting where they were last registered)
In that way prisoners would get the right to vote but few would exercise it.
I feel sure prisoners would be less interested in voting than overseas voters and few of them vote.

11 February 2011 at 02:48  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Yes Owl, I know what the Fabian Society is and the details you throw up read just like the Wiki page for it. They're basically a political think tank.

As it happens, I took a Sociology A Level at nightschool some years ago for interest, having had a science background, and the teacher was a very vocal Marxist who studied at the LSE.

I know about the Fabian Society, I know what Marxism means, at least in theory, and I know what form a Marxist analysis takes.

My question was and is: why is the word thrown around here as often as it is? Blair and Brown fully embraced the City and its capitalism for their economics. Thatcher and Major did the same. I'm not seeing much difference with Cameron and Clegg. So where's the Marxist influences?

In fact, if I were inclined toward a tin foil hat then I'd say that Blair and Brown were following a secret agenda much like Bred in the Bone suggested. Their policies, far from helping the low paid and not paid, seemed guaranteed to keep them in a cycle poverty and dependency while appearing to cater to their interests.

Alternatively, one might swap tin foil hats and say that Blair and Brown were trying to quietly oppress the low paid and not paid in order to create the conditions for a revolution where they recognise their condition, throw off their false consciousness, and rise up to create a Marxist society etc etc.

Or is it that the drivers of the European Union are Marxists seeking to create the conditions for a European wide move towards true Socialism by pursuing a loose social democracy and polluting our minds with Newspeak in George Orwell language?

None of it sounds very plausible to me but then I'm inclined towards cynicism about stuff like that, and optimism about core human nature.

11 February 2011 at 06:58  
Anonymous len said...

Danjo.
I wish I shared your sense of optimism about the human condition, about the' core human nature'.
But the facts deny it!

We have but a thin veneer of Civilization and under extreme pressure this breaks down and reveals the 'true nature'.

Just a small example, whenever a 'shortage' is announced of bread, fuel,whatever, watch how people clear the shelves of supplies, a few will act unselfishly but the majority won`t!.

I believe in the future such events will start happening and will reveal exactly what is in man!

11 February 2011 at 08:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Just a small example, whenever a 'shortage' is announced of bread, fuel,whatever, watch how people clear the shelves of supplies, a few will act unselfishly but the majority won`t!."

The few who don't will be the Christians, I suppose? The 3 million or so of them in my view, or the 37 million of them if one uses the self-identification value of the 2001 census.

Or perhaps we should look back 500 years when almost everyone was nominally Christian, holding Christian values and ethics, and imagine what would happen? Would it have all been sweetness and light at the market stalls?

Your example describes how we tend to view ourselves as individual members of a large, complex society. It doesn't really address human goodness. I would bet that afterwards, there would be millions and millions of acts of goodness between individuals, and not just by Christians either.

11 February 2011 at 09:28  
Blogger Manfarang said...

DanJ0
Maybe they should give Engels a mention.

11 February 2011 at 13:45  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Manfarang said..."Bread in the bone
Sounds as if you may soon be in need of the vote."

No worries Sir, no laws have been broken, rather the opposite infact I have been on a little peace keeping mission of my own design
;-D

11 February 2011 at 17:24  
Anonymous len said...

Danjo,
'Your example describes how we tend to view ourselves as individual members of a large, complex society'

How do you view yourself(if not as an individual) how many are you?

Human goodness please expound on that one.!

Where was 'human goodness' in Auschwitz, perhaps hiding?

Was Stalin or Hitler brimming over with 'human goodness'
Or Mao, or Pol Pot,or Idi Amin,
Please enlighten me!
Perhaps we don`t need prisons or Law Courts because with all this 'human Goodness' they are surely not necessary?
It must be amazing to live in your World, where is it ?

11 February 2011 at 18:45  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Len: "How do you view yourself(if not as an individual) how many are you?"

Len, I am (say) English, British, and European yet I am one person. Is that a conundrum of koan-like proportions for you?

11 February 2011 at 20:41  
Blogger platinum said...

I think that the crux of the matter depends upon your definition of worship. Jesus said that true followers must worship in spirit and in truth. This indicates to my mind that worship is actually a lifestyle- not just something that is done in a building on a Sunday morning. This definition would therefore negate any rhetoric by politicians or others to push practicing our faith into so called private arenas.

12 February 2011 at 15:35  

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