I have no problem with you, Edward, citing the Economist to bolster your arguments. I prefer the Spectator myself.
None of which makes either of our positions fake, surely?
I don't take issue with debate, disagreement or even the inability to find common ground. I take issue with an apparently inability in society at large to manage the consequences of disagreement. Conformity is not going to happen, despite the best wishes of the corporatists of Davos.
I came across this little gem today:
In 1991, the Club(ofRome) published The First Global Revolution. It analyses the problems of humanity, calling these collectively or in essence the 'problematique'. It notes (laments) that, historically, social or political unity has commonly been motivated by enemies in common: "The need for enemies seems to be a common historical factor. Some states have striven to overcome domestic failure and internal contradictions by blaming external enemies. The ploy of finding a scapegoat is as old as mankind itself - when things become too difficult at home, divert attention to adventure abroad. Bring the divided nation together to face an outside enemy, either a real one, or else one invented for the purpose. With the disappearance of the traditional enemy, the temptation is to use religious or ethnic minorities as scapegoats, especially those whose differences from the majority are disturbing." "Every state has been so used to classifying its neighbours as friend or foe, that the sudden absence of traditional adversaries has left governments and public opinion with a great void to fill. New enemies have to be identified, new strategies imagined, and new weapons devised." "In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself."
"Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider - The First Global Revolution (Club of Rome) 1993 Edition". Scribd. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
King & Schneider, p. 115
, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard talks about nationalism versus Davos man.
Two passages in particular stood out:
...Worker productivity in the US has risen by 243pc since 1973: hourly pay has risen just 109pc – and real wages for both blue-collar workers and the lower middle class have fallen since the turn of the century.
Few still deny that globalisation is a big part of this insidious effect. It allows companies to play off wages in the US and Europe against cheap pay in the emerging world, with the profit going to the owners of capital.
What is unfair is to blame the WEF’s éminence grise, Klaus Schwab, for the moral shortcomings of the mighty who gather each year at his Alpine shrine of globalism. He is their high-minded priest and scold. “We have sinned,” he likes to tell them.
Prof Schwab has been warning for 20 years of the backlash sure to come unless steps are taken to tame transnational capitalism. It is his code of “stakeholder” inclusion, the philosophy that informed his movement since it began in 1971. It has roots in the Rerum novarum of Pope Leo XIII and the ethos of south German Christian democracy.
That passage stood out because, according to Max and Monique Nemni in Young Trudeau, Rerum novarum, written in 1891, was a seminal document for Pierre Trudeau. It offers a clear call for a Church adjudicated hierarchy to ensure justice for the common man. It is unashamedly and openly opposed to liberalism.
The other passage that stood out for me was this:
Davos Man reflexively pigeon-holes Brexit in the box marked “populism/anti-global anger” but the category does not quite fit. Britain has not resiled from its climate commitments or its role in the Nato alliance, and the leaders of the repatriation movement are broadly free-traders.
The Prime Minister (Theresa May of the UK) is a cautious Oxonian at the helm of an old establishment party with a knack for heading off revolution, and ultimately co-opting it. Absolutist Europe has a bad habit of letting matters fester until they spin out of control.
That is in line with my personal antipathy for constitutions and the suborning of the democratic will to panels of experts.
That prompted me to go looking for the World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab. Which inevitably led me to the Club of Rome, Limits of Growth, the UN Environment Programme of Maurice Strong, the IPCC and the Rio Summit - all by way of the declaration to which I refer above.
I suggest that that represents a cornerstone of the edifice of institutional bias that afflicts most centrist opinion. And more to the point it is a concerted effort to maintain the edifice.
I get confused over the terms liberal and conservative. Strangely enough I don't find them at odds. Conservatives want to retain that which was. Liberals, once upon a time, wanted freedom. Conservatives now are people that want the time when they felt they had freedom.
In WW2 the "Liberal Democracies", predominantly Anglo-Saxon and protestant defeated the continental powers. Those powers were broadly underwritten by the Roman church (and I am not accusing Pius XII of supporting Hitler). The Church had constantly found itself at odds with liberalism because it represented, to them anarchy, chaos, disorder and unpredictability. Their world view was built on predictability, order, structure, archy. The liberal view embraced chaos and revelled in freedom. The alternative view embraced order, with freedom being constrained by justice arbitrated by the Church.
There is not a matter of right and wrong here. There is a matter of those people that are comfortable with chaos trying to live with those that demand order. Those that value freedom vs those that expect justice and truth. The issue is how to get along.
The Church has always championed universality. That is in keeping with the internationalist instincts of many socialists, and conservatives, and liberals, and communists. But it is at odds with parish driven protestantism which gave rise to the US - where even top down Lutherans and Anglicans could find a home beside bottom up Presbyterians and Congregationalists by the simple expedient of letting all parties decide, within their own church, how they were going to conduct their religious affairs. That concept extended to the original union of the 13 colonies. Each colony, within their own colony, would decide how they were going to conduct their own internal affairs. As independent entities the churches cooperated within their colonies. As independent colonies the colonies cooperated within the Union.
Episcopalians did not impose on Presbyterians. Maryland did not impose on New York. But this still represented a degree of chaos foreign and intolerable to the continentals of Europe. It was at odds with thousands of years of failed efforts to impose order, where the highlights of history were those periods of empire represented by autocrats.
My sense is that post WW2 those that treasured order sought to re-establish order by claiming the mantle of liberalism, and imposing a veneer of a society that looked like those societies that liberalism had built. But fundamentally they could not come to terms with the basis of liberalism and that is the embrace of chaos. They have been trying to impose that order for the last 70 years but once again find chaos breaking out.
They are uncomfortable with the notion of managing chaos by letting locals have local control and insist on universal solutions. We hear that language all the time in Canada where the demand is for all laws to be universally applied so as to avoid a patchwork of solutions within our borders.
Given a choice between an illiberal universality and a patchwork I will opt for the patchwork every time.
(Sorry for the rant - but it is one of my pleasures in associating with this site