Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lies and balderdash

Terry Gilliam's 1988 film Baron Munchausen was prescient indeed. The film is replete with monsters, tyrants, despots and belligerents all determined to do away with Munchausen, but by far the most dangerous of these, the real enemy of good and right, is the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson. Jackson is a professional politician, a rationalist, a follower of Rousseau, an advocate for the exercise of totalitarian power by the central State "for the general good". When one of his soldiers performed an action of great bravery Jackson ordered him executed on the grounds that such behaviour was demoralising to the other troops. I have met Jackson, in the departure lounge at Barcelona airport.

The gold-rimmed specs, the immaculate and fastidious slim-fit sports coat and slacks in the manner of Brooks Brothers but crafted in Hamburg or Rostov, the prissy little manicured fingers, the little handled wheely bag, the perfect English only slightly accented in German or Danish, and of course the tie. A tie of such anodyne presence that its colour and pattern are wholly immemorable (for it would never do to display ostentatious individuality in dress) but nonetheless, in a heat and humidity that was intense even inside the departure lounge, a woollen jacket and tie. We only chatted for two or three minutes, until he was called forward for priority boarding, but it was long enough for me to take a deep and immediate dislike for him and everything he stood for. He didn't say exactly what he did, but it was clear he was part of the intellectual hegemon that forms, supports and lives from the EU. He was Horatio Jackson.

The Berlaymonstre is packed to the walls with clones of this little chap. A new Imperial elite; athiest, rational, convinced of the rights of the State, prepared to trample the responsibility of individuals, families, communities and local institutions for themselves and substitute central control and governance 'for the greater good'. For such people John Bull is a man who needs medical intervention to deal with his appalling BMI, Jorrocks someone who needs re-education in sustainable consumption and Falstaff the epitome of irresponsible drinking. Rows upon rows, floors upon floors of these anally-retentive little creatures all beavering away in multilingual concert in producing rules, codes, laws that enforce their puritanical world view, all utterly convinced of their righteousness, all committed to an iconoclasm that would destroy all national symbols, loyalties and horizontal ties in favour of a Rousseau-esque relationship between every individual and the European Federal State. Their reality, in the words of Gilliam's Munchausen, is lies and balderdash and I too am delighted to say I have no grasp of it whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

I guess Plato was right, democracy inevitably leads to tyranny.

A K Haart said...

I like your style, although I doubt if all these people are atheists.

One weakness in our ‘democracy’ is the way bureaucracies are able to establish long-term policies and international obligations which outlive individual governments. Modern professional politicians have much in common with professional bureaucrats, tending to be sympathetic to their aims, so they don’t interfere with the main planks of bureaucratic projects.

We citizens don’t come into it; we are merely behavioural fodder, only required to conform and pay the bills.

Thornavis said...

Why are you dragging atheism into this ? Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity why would that make you a statist ? This atheist certainly isn't, in fact to me the EU looks increasingly like the ideal catholic corporate state.

Bob Doney said...

Very good piece, but that's your card marked for Room 101.

I'm sure you're right about atheism. These people are rationalists, so why would they believe in a higher power?

I'm an atheist too in some respects, but God help us!