Blue Labour is not a new phenomenon

postwarcons

The modern Tories are often criticised by some in the right because they aren’t truly right-wing. In fact, it can be said that the modern Tory party has become more socialist than conservative. Nowhere is this criticism more pronounced than when applied to Theresa May, the sitting Tory Prime Minister who opened her premiership with an emphasis on social justice. On economic policy, she’s pretty much a left-leaning Tory cut from the same cloth as most of the party, and many have noted that she has pilfered her platform from what used to be Ed Miliband’s Labour manifesto.

Some have taken to calling this Blue Labour, and in this regard, I agree, though I think this is one of those times where it’s important to learn some history. While Theresa May’s leftward lurching manifesto is pretty much the right-wing version of a typical Labour manifesto, it’s important that the Blue Labour attitude that today’s Tory party embodies has been around for a very long time. In fact, the official name for this brand of right-wing socialism is “one-nation Toryism”. This has been the policy of every post-war Tory PM except Margaret Thatcher, and this is because it stems from the paternalistic worldview that many Tories hold in regards to society.

The Tories have always been the party of the owning class, but contrary to what most people may believe, the old Tories never believed in capitalism. This is evidenced by Harold Macmillian (who would later become PM in 1957), when he insisted that Toryism as an ideology “has always been a form of paternal socialism. Similarly, another future PM named Anthony Eden made the Tory’s opposition to capitalism clear at the 1947 Conservative Party Conference:

“We are not a party of unbridled, brutal capitalism and never have been. We are not the children of the laissez-faire school. We opposed them decade after decade.”

The reason they despised capitalism was because it went against their own view of how society should be ordered. In their worldview, your standing in life was something you were simply born into. You were rich because your parents were rich, you were poor because your parents were poor, and your children would more than likely go down the same route as you will. Capitalism challenged that idea. In capitalism it doesn’t matter how you were born, because you earn success through your own merits, and fall because of your own failings.

To the poor, capitalism presents a path out of poverty, and the old elites resented that. They resented the idea that anyone could become as rich as them, but they were most fearful of the idea that they could lose their wealth and status. Capitalism was a threat to the economic privilege of the wealthy Tories of the olden days, and thus they favoured socialism, a system that, in practice, protects that privilege under the guise of looking after the poor.

The old Tories thought that it was their job, nay, their duty to run the country, and because of their desire to limit the free markets, they ended up agreeing with Labour’s policy of nationalisation, high taxation, high regulation, and a generous welfare state. This was called the “post-war consensus”, which is basically a system of Keynesian socialism with no more than a glimmer of free markets. In the era of the consensus, everything was nationalised, and the welfare state grew until it eventually became unsustainable. Although this consensus began under a Labour government, it was the Tories that truly ushered in the era of consensus-style socialism then ran through to the 1970’s. That was one-nation Toryism in action.

Of course, while the post-war consensus was supposed to give us prosperity after the war, it ended up paralysing the economy by overburdening the state, which by the 1970’s was running out of money because it was paying to keep all the industries going, and the taxpayers were getting less and less able to foot the bill. The consensus was defeated when Margaret Thatcher took power and brought a swift end to nationalisation, putting her at odds with the traditional one-nation Tories. In the end, the EU-loving Tories ousted her from party leadership, and returned to their old ways, and now one-nation Toryism, perhaps the last remnant of consensus-era politics, is the policy of the modern Tory party, as exemplified in the current manifesto.

This Blue Labour philosophy is so entrenched in British conservatism that there really is no right wing in mainstream British politics, and no, UKIP is too weak to count. This part of how the left has come to dominate the narrative in British society, because there is no true right to oppose it, and there hasn’t been since Thatcher lost power. Now it seems like we’re headed for a long reign of protectionism, economic regulations, but at least nationalisation is not on their agenda anymore, all while our civil liberties continue the slow path of erosion. This is Blue Labour in action, but because the alternative is blatant Marxism, it seems this is the only way. Just when we thought they were gone, the days of “There is no alternative” are more alive than ever.

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Why socialism is a bad idea

venezuela

Fancy giving socialism a try? You won’t when you find that all the supermarkets are empty.

It seems today that it has become all too fashionable to “resist capitalism”, as a generation of young people on their iPhones take to social media to complain about the “evils” of capitalism. Ever since the Great Recession, capitalism has been used as an easy scapegoat for all the ills facing Western society, thus breeding a whole new brand of nonsense preached by charlatans and believed by anyone who doesn’t know a thing about capitalism. Plenty of Bernie Sanders supporters would have you believe that capitalism is the problem, but do they even know what they’re talking about?

Let’s clear a few things up first. Capitalism is an economic system in which trade and industry are not controlled by the state, hence why capitalist countries tend to have minimal restrictions over the free market. Under capitalism, you have a competitive environment wherein business strive to succeed and please their customers, and those who don’t will fail. That is how the free market is supposed to work, and countries with free markets tend to be more prosperous than those who don’t. In that sense, capitalism is the greatest force to relieve suffering and poverty, because in a capitalist society, the goal in life is to work hard in order to earn a higher standard of living, and we have seen higher standards of living in countries that have embraced capitalism.

Many point to corporate greed as a symptom of capitalism, but that’s complete nonsense. They are confusing capitalism with corporatism, a system where large corporations collude with the state. Corporatism is generally characterized by regulations that specifically benefit large corporations, who can afford to comply with government regulations. Meanwhile, small businesses can’t afford to comply to the same regulations, and are thus driven out of business. In other words, corporatism ensures that big corporations can’t fail because the government protects them from failure, which shouldn’t happen under free market capitalism. If we hate the way big corporations abuse their position in society, then we should be opposing corporatism, not capitalism.

Instead, the Twitterati have aligned themselves with socialism, believing it to be a fairer and more equitable system than capitalism, except that’s nonsense too. In socialism, the government owns and controls industries, and distributes money from the rich to the poor. However, in a socialist society, you could just as easily avoid working expecting money to come to you from the state, or be scared away from success because the government would bleed money from you to give to the people who just don’t want to work. In other words, socialism leeches from hard-working people and gives it to the lazy. To quote Winston Churchill, the inherent virtue in socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

Socialism is also a bad idea because of what happens when countries adopt it. Because socialism creates a climate that weakens the incentive for success, wealthy job creators who would be of value to society end up fleeing from socialist countries to countries that embrace capitalism. I wouldn’t blame them. You couldn’t really have all the nice things we enjoy here in Britain without capitalism. Countries that have adopted socialism, meanwhile, have been suffering economically. If you want an example of why socialism doesn’t work, look no further than Venezuela, which has recently been making news because of how much its economy is collapsing.

Despite having the largest proven oil reserves in the world, Venezuela is currently suffering a food shortage that has gotten so desperate that long queues in the local supermarkets, now almost completely bereft of food, are normal, and it now costs $150 (or 1492.46 Venezuelan bolivar) to get a dozen eggs. Venezuela’s socialist government is now incapable providing basic supplies to its people, and the Venezuelan economy has also deteriorated so badly that major companies are no longer doing business there, and Latin America’s largest airline company, LATAM, has said that they’re suspending all flights to Venezuela.

Another example of the failure of socialism can be found in Greece (though it’s government is usually defined as Marxist), where the Greek government apparently spent themselves into bankruptcy, and tried to fix it with austerity measures (some of it forced by the European Union). In socialist Greece, the government freely gave fat pension checks and welfare benefits from the cradle to the grave, while businesses operating in Greece are heavily taxed, sometimes to death. The consequences of Greece’s Keynesian socialism have been self-evident for a long while. Greece is sitting on billions in unpayable debt that they apparently expected Germany, the EU, the IMF to pay for it. However you look it, socialism failed.

Before the Cuban Revolution and the rise of communism, Cuba was once considered one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, perhaps even the world. After Cuba embraced economic socialism with communist ideology, it became an impoverished totalitarian state, from which millions of Cubans have fled in fear of reprisals from Castro’s repressive government (the fact that Cuba was subject to sanctions from the US also contributed to Cuba’s decline). To be fair, it’s not nearly as bad as the situation in the totally communist North Korea, where most of the population is starving while the people in power enjoy all the food and luxuries they want.

Anti-capitalists like Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore point to Scandinavia as a socialist paradise, with Sanders suggesting that the US adopt a Scandinavian economic model. However, they have the facts all wrong. While citizens of the Scandinavian countries pay very high income taxes, America actually taxes the rich at higher rates than they might be in Norway. It’s also important to remember that Sweden isn’t actually a socialist country. Sweden used to have a “tax-and-spend” model, but the Swedish government apparently recognized that this was stunting economic growth, and instituted capitalist reforms. Only by embracing capitalism did Sweden become one of the most prosperous countries in the world. After that, Sweden experienced high GDP growth and falling unemployment rates.

Of course, capitalism isn’t perfect, and neither is socialism. Due to a number of factors, we still have poverty in capitalist countries, but the wealth created by a capitalism economy allows the welfare state to provide money for the less fortunate in the first place. Without capitalism, you wouldn’t even have the welfare state that socialists want to expand. Capitalism may not be perfect, at least we don’t live in countries like Venezuela. By rejecting capitalism and advocating socialism, the anti-capitalists are pushing for a system that ensures that the people living under it are mired in miserable poverty.

Bernie Sanders supporters might not want you to hear this, but it’s true. Every country that has tried socialism has stagnated economically, and every socialist country that adopted capitalism has since thrived, because contrary to what the average leftist hipster will tell you, socialism doesn’t work. Socialism never worked, and even Bernie Sanders in incapable of rationalizing how he expects his socialist policies to work. The reality is that socialist policies can only be implemented through coercion, and that’s why nearly all socialist countries are dictatorships. As President, Bernie Sanders would probably have to coerce the state into implementing his wildly idealistic policies, but if you do the research, you’ll find that Sanders wouldn’t have enough money to make his socialist vision viable.

So in summary, socialism is a bad idea because it unfairly punishes the successful and stalls economic growth. Capitalism, meanwhile, has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system, and yet in this generation we have a number of young people who know nothing about socialism proclaiming from their iPhones that capitalism is somehow evil. If they lived in a socialist country, they would probably be eating their words by now.

Advertising is all about persuasion, and nothing else

brainwashing

Basically like that.

I was watching this commercial for ITV Player, which allows you to watch ITV shows freely on the Internet. The one thing I asked was “why would anyone want to watch that?”, because as far as I know, ITV is basically crap for older people. But then, it hit me. Advertising is about persuasion.

Think about it. If you didn’t want to buy a certain product, and then you do, that’s because you’ve been influenced by a persuasive commercial. The purpose of an advert is to persuade you into buying or believing something, and there are ads for other purposes too, such as donating to charity.

Some have compared this to brainwashing, and maybe it is. After all, a good advertisement will raise awareness of a product and make you want you want to buy it. The big problem, however, is that many advertisements are completely dumb.

Come to think of it, lots of ads I’ve seen can be quite dumb, and appealing only to people who don’t think for themselves. Unfortunately, this is most of the general population. The dumber you are, the more likely you are to be swayed or influenced by messages of a certain kind, whether they may be commercials, public service announcements, charity ads, or even political campaign ads.

In today’s commercialist society, we are bombarded by advertising so much, that we can’t escape it. Don’t think you can just escape it by going without TV, because it’s everywhere. It’s on billboards, flyers, in movie theaters, and even the internet. Corporations and advertisers don’t want you to not be advertised to, because it means you aren’t being brainwashed by ads and buying their crap.

At this point, one must wonder why governments aren’t doing anything about this? That’s easy, because the government and the media are in cahoots. Politicians need to get their message across, and advertising is the best way to do it. If that’s the case, then it would be stupid for them to attack a medium they rely on to survive.

I have a feeling that large corporations are actually scared of the idea of a smarter society. After all, if we’re all smarter, then we’ll be too smart to fall for any sort of commercial or political messages. So, through Hollywood and celebrity culture, the media aims to discourage intellectualism, and exalt shallowness, recklessness and stupidity.

In an age of commercialism, are our minds really well-guarded from persuasion by commercial messages? Tragically, no, but if we work on it, we can learn to see beyond them.

The Great Stupification

messages are everywhere

Idiocracy may have been a crappy movie, but it did have at least one point: humanity is getting dumber. Of course, there should be no problem in figuring out how this is happening.

As I previously mentioned back in January, television has become the mechanism with which higher powers aim to keep us from thinking. For this reason, governments will always support television, because its primary function is to make people docile (in the form of “entertainment”). Because we allowed TV to have a dominant position in our lives, we have set the great stupification of humanity into motion.

What do I mean? “The Great Stupification” refers to the gradual dumbing down of mankind through the use of the mainstream media, religion, politics, technology, and commercial messages. It’s gotten so bad that we have no defence against blatant scaremongering and deceit.

No one group of people have more to benefit from the stupification than the politicians, the people who want to convince you to vote for them. The truth is that in Western democracies, a large portion of the population has no idea what they’re voting for and what they really need, and politicians know that they can get something out of this, so rather than informing them about all this, they try to fish some votes out of use by using tantalizing promises as bait.

Nowhere is the effect of the stupification more apparent than reality television.

here comes honey boo boo

Pictured: Enemies of thought

TV seems to feed off what the people want, and thanks to decades of stupification by TV, which led to mankind’s exacerbated thirst for non-stop entertainment, we’ve become dumber. Either that, or we seem to have very low standards for what we want. Reality TV shows are poison for reason, intellect, and good judgement.

Even with how bad reality TV is, it’s somehow what people want, even if they have no entertainment value or substance. In a way, reality TV is just like the public hangings of old England.

Finally, let me turn my attention to the bombardment of messages we face in everyday life. Commercials are all around us, and each one is designed to deliver a hidden command (usually “buy now”), and Hollywood keeps delivering conflicting moral messages, all while the politicians keep trying to make us believe their crap.

Come to think of it, I think I’ve found a reason why democratic governments actually support capitalism, because capitalism not only allows stupification to happen, but it thrives on it. After all, if more people are gullible, then corporations will have more customers willing to buy things they don’t actually need, which puts more money in their pockets.

In conclusion, I think we need to be aware of the fact that we as a society and as a species are getting dumber as each generation passes, for we can only reach a solution once we admit that we have a problem. The sooner that happens, we can start getting off our asses and say no to all those who think they can exploit us.

Disney is running out of ideas

disney pixar's planes

For kids only.

In the old days, Pixar was celebrated for films like Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. These films were praised for being truly creative and innovation in film animation. Then, in 2006, Pixar was purchased by Satan Disney, and during the following decade, their creativity would eventually go down the crapper.

Before you ask, yes, this is about the goddamn new movie Planes. And yes, I’m fully aware that Pixar didn’t make this movie. It’s actually being made by DisneyToon Studios, a division of Disney that makes crappy direct-to-video/DVD sequels to established Disney films in order to rip-off gullible parents.

Yesterday, I saw the ad for Planes, and right off the bat, I can tell that Disney is just being lazy, so lazy that they’ll use one of Pixar’s movies to make money. Planes is literally a spin-off of Cars (which got its own unnecessary sequel two summers ago), and the characters are so obviously constructed the same way, but they’re even more uncreative.

What’s even worse about this is that this was supposed to be a direct-to-DVD, just like most of the film’s made by DisneyToon Studios. Also, they’re so confident that Planes will be a box office hit, that they’re immediately preparing for a sequel, Planes: Fire & Rescue, which is slated to be released next year.

Now that I mention it, they’re probably going to make another movie based on the Cars formula, and call it Boats. And maybe the working title will turn out to be Go F**k Yourselves!, released by DisneyToon Studios.

disneytoon studios

The f**k you company

To be fair, Pixar has been fixated on sequels and prequels lately. In 2010, they released the long-awaited Toy Story 3. In 2011, they released Cars 2, and recently, they released Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters Inc., one of Pixar’s more celebrated movies.

In the days where making money has become more important than making art, Disney has resorted to increasingly lowly tactics to make money of the Western family unit. For Disney at least, imagination is dead. But then again, these are the same people who have been brainwashing generations with false morals, and have warped our perception on life.

Capitalism hasn’t failed, it’s just been mishandled

capitalism

Oh grow up will you?

Capitalism has had a pretty bad reputation lately, and this is mainly because of vocal opposition by liberal celebrities, and naive university students who know nothing about economics. I’ll admit, I don’t know even half about economics, but that doesn’t mean I have no opinion on capitalism.

Obviously the reasoning behind this vocal opposition has come along due to the financial crisis of 2008, with millions losing their jobs, and many companies going under. Many people now think that capitalism has failed, and that a new system should be put in place. In reality, they couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, capitalism is a concept, created by humans. Therefore, it can’t really be put at fault for when it goes wrong.

If you’re thinking: “Well if it’s not capitalism, then who’s fault is it?”

I think I can tell you with a straight face. It’s not capitalism, it’s the people who exploit the system in order to be super-rich. The bankers, the CEO’s, the war profiteers, they are all the one you should blame. Why? They took all the money. They wanted more money to buy things that they really didn’t need to begin with, and look what that’s done. If you want to blame anything, you should be blaming corporate greed.

I’m sure the government knew full well that if the plethora of corporate conglomerates were allowed to commit sleazy business practices, then the world would go to hell. I’m also sure that they also knew how to stop them, just that they have been bribed by various corporate lobbyists. What’s a lobbyist? It’s person hired by a corporation to persuade politicians to act in their whim. Corporations use lobbyists to alter the decisions of politicians against popular opinion, and thus corrupting our political system, and damaging the integrity of democracy itself.

What I’m trying to say is that capitalism hasn’t quite failed. Yes, capitalism is quite a bad system, but the question is, what could be better? Communism has seen Asian countries turn to dictatorships, socialism hasn’t been fully tested, and I don’t quite trust anrachism, nor the anarcho-syndicalist commune.

dennis

But then again, this guy isn’t really the best advocate.

Capitalism can be good, it just takes plenty of competent regulation, whether or not it comes from the government. Even if it did, then who cares? Government complacency allowed this mess to happen, and if they want us to have faith in them again, then maybe they should be teaching the big corporations who runs the country. That’ll make us happy.

All I’m saying is that if the big corporations are guilty of extremely immoral acts, then they should be punished. We need to bring an end to their reign of pillaging and exploitation. Regulating big business may not sound comfortable for those who really value freedom, but it’s either that, or we allow history to repeat itself again and again until civilization collapses under the weight of our unchecked mistakes, all while the greedy cash in their ill-gotten paychecks. I assume we don’t want that.

Why China will not rule the world

chinese riot

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about China “becoming a new superpower”. The reason, the media claims, is that Western economies has been borrowing money from China, and if they can’t pay back their debts, the media tries to tell us that the outcome will be anything other than pretty. But I believe that it’s all just a snow job by the media, just like world peace.

Whenever they talk about China’s growth on the news, they’ll post statistics that show China doing well (usually at the top of something). But what you might not know is that the media actually omits key stats that undermine the possibility of a Chinese superpower. For example, China has the worst divide between the rich and the poor in the whole world, which is something even the Chinese are ashamed of, which obviously implies that China knows about this.

There exists another barrier between China and world domination: the people. You would think that in a communist dictatorship like China, the people are not a problem. However, you’d be forgetting that there are over a billion people in China, most of which are “peasants”. There are tens of thousands of angry protests and potentially violent riots (which the Chinese government refers to as “mass incidents”) every year, and all because China has such a crappy government, and horrific living conditions.

China has the worst environmental track record in the world, with air so polluted that only the few can breathe fresh air. Even China’s own Ministry of Health lists cancer as the number one cause of death reported in China. There are towns in China where seeing the sun is an actual miracle, because it’s obscured by smog, one of the biggest issues that China is both the victim and the cause of.

smog

Welcome to Hell!

China is basically the biggest polluter in the world, and all in the name of industrial progress. Money alone does not make a superpower. It’s also about military clout, and the stability of a nation. China is definitely not stable.

The only reason Americans fear China’s “expansion” is because in the American mind, there can only be one superpower. So to them, and the stupid Western media, China becoming a superpower means the end of the US.

highlander

Pictured: American mentality

Is everyone forgetting the fact that there were two co-existing superpowers before? Back during the Cold War, there were two rival superpowers: America and Russia. Both were large in size, both head nuclear warheads, and both ruthlessly hated each other’s ideology.

China does not export its education, innovation, values, or ideas, all of which may as be just as lousy as the smog. America, on the other hand, did. China has a plethora of undesirable attributes, as well as desirable attributes, and we would benefit from studying China. But in all this confusion, use your heads, and don’t buy into the scaremongering. The media is just using this whole thing to instill fear into you so you can give them attention they don’t deserve.

History has shown that people filled with fear are easier to control. If we want to preserve our freedom, then we must be strong, and stand up against the scaremongering.