Spare the rod

You have to hope this gathering worldwide storm of populism is not a glissando towards Nazi-ism. Sure, there is a quickening in the political pulse. The disconnected nomenklatura and all-too-connected social welfarists demand that the people get to eat cake when there really is no cake. The dispossessed gather in tribal clans to do harm. The centre cannot hold.

Could that often-decried populist yearning to restore order from disorder find a better model for itself than strutting, saluted-at European and South Americans of the previous century?

We should be guided towards the morally infused authoritarianism of the Victorians for our salvation, rather than the knock-in-the-night fascists of the thirties.

Yes, the 19th century state apparatus took brutally unfair but effective action to gain back the streets following the destabilising industrialisation and associated urbanisation in the first half of that century (blast those capitalists!) Measures taken then to make life safer were passingly as harsh, as violent, as inhumane and as unfair toward the ‘undeserving poor’ and other perceived untermenschen as the fascism of the mid-20th or fatwaism of the early 21st – but with a hugely more enlightened and disinterested ends.

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5 Responses to Spare the rod

  1. I’m not so sure that’s the way but something needs to happen and smartish.


  2. actonbooks says:

    It isn’t going to be pretty in any direction the future takes. I suppose I was hinting at the lack of moral compass today. No matter how wonky were the men (and yes, I know, I said wonky and I meant it) there seemed then to be an –albeit flawed– core consensus over right and wrong.Nowadays the first world seems intent on piling laissez faire up against the door like a flimsy barricade in a B movie western. You just know the baddies will break it down real quick.


  3. We’ve given up on being first world. The popular ideas of Darwin (and others) collided with morality and morality lost. So sad.


  4. actonbooks says:

    That Darwin! I know this is heresy, but the more you watch those wildlife programmes the more it seems that this concept of survival of the fittest is, well, questionable to the untrained simpleton like myself. Ok number one, flies. How is it that the smart ones who work out what window glass is and stop headbanging don’t out-breed the dumb ones who don’t?
    Why is it that the patterns on certain tropical butterfly wings (Google Atticus Atlas) look better than a photograph of a snake and yet the theory that eyespots on buttefly wings deters birds is now discounted by the Darwinians? You can’t have it both ways fellas.


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