Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Thoughts ...

Floating around at the back of Laban's brain are three embryonic posts which he'll get round to one of these days (not today).

One is on corruption. We're importing people from a fair few countries where corruption is endemic without any attempt at integration. We're simultaneously beating ourselves up that, say, 39% of the population of Trumpton are from minority x, yet only 2% of the local magistrates are. I don't know what magic the soil of the UK posesses, but our rulers are apparently convinced that the moment you set foot on it all the 'bad' practices of the old country fall off you, leaving only the good bits - you know, the ones that enrich us.

Absent such magical soil, I'd expect that as more magistrates/tax officials/police whatever are appointed from (unintegrated) minority x, so levels of corruption/violence/whatever will depart from those we've experienced in the last 150 years, and move closer to those in country x.

This thought was inspired by the news that apparently 7,500 people have died in police or prison custody in India in the last 5 years.

Post 2 will be on religion, how we got where we are, and whether, as Shuggy asks, the decline of Christianity isn't a bit of a conservative myth (as you'd imagine, I don't agree).

Post 3 will have to wait till I've read Arnold Toynbee's 'A Study of History'. At a glance, it seems to fit the bill pretty well.

He argues that the breakdown of civilizations is not caused by loss of control over the environment, over the human environment, or attacks from outside. Rather, it comes from the deterioration of the "Creative Minority," which eventually ceases to be creative and degenerates into merely a "Dominant Minority" (who forces the majority to obey without meriting obedience). He argues that creative minorities deteriorate due to a worship of their "former self," by which they become prideful, and fail to adequately address the next challenge they face.
Blimey. That seems pretty spot-on for our rulers - right down to the worship of the former self (see the BBC '1968' retrospectives for details).

Somebody - I thought Martin Kelly or David Duff but I may be wrong - blogged about this book a week or two back, but I can't find the post. If thou art that blogger, then identify yourself and receive credit where due.

UPDATE - Martin Kelly's posts were here and here.

On corruption - the BBC - and Pickled Politics for that matter - often report some of the bad things happening in India, which makes for an easy link. But the very existence of such reports show that it's taken seriously - and some fairly senior people get nailed - although some don't. But at least the slew of reports show someone's taking an interest - or more to the point, is able to take an interest without ending up shot dead at the side of the road. It's the countries where you don't get a lot coming out from that are probably worse.

During the agitation (I signed the Downing Street petition) to free Mirza Tahir Hussain, Guardianistas, the Muslim Council of Britain and Uncle Tom Cobley queued up to tell us how corrupt Pakistan was. Yet by some miracle any corruption in Pakistani culture apparently falls off that country's people somewhere on the way to Karachi airport. The same, of course, applies to the good people of Russia - another place where investigative journalists end up dead - but for some reason the only Russians who come here are successful large-scale plunderers of Soviet assets - who want to hang onto their ill-gotten gains.


Anonymous said...

We're a patient bunch, or will have to learn to be. Toynbee's A study of history is 10 thick volumes.

Anonymous said...

"Worship of their former self"? The opposite - they loathe and deny their former self, if "former self" is the previous "creative minority" of the culture, the minority which created the glories of our culture in the first place.

Anonymous said...

My wife is Asian and I can tell you that Asian culture tends to be "corrupt by design" from an Anglo-Saxon perspective.

You are probably aware of the importance of "family" in Asian culture. This is because there is no-one else to rely on in Asian nations. No welfare state, no "society". The concept of "family" is a broad one, with people that are merely good friends in Anglo-Saxon terms also being considered members of the family. The reason for this is that Asian cultures typically consider ONLY the family as being important and everyone else can go hang. The status of the family and individual members of the family is what counts.

Put such a culture within Anglo-Saxon society and its like putting a kiddie in a sweet shop. They are not "bad" people, they are simply reverting to type and promoting their own individual self-interests. Thus if an Asian sees an opportunity to go on early retirement by going to their Asian doctor and making a claim for disability benefit - they will take it. They will get a disability sticker for their car window at the same time, to make parking a little easier. As long as the doctor is "like family" they can get away with it.

Asian culture is riddled with this kind of patronage and nepotism which is why the sub-continent has never got off its knees despite having long-since been shown the path to a better life.

JuliaM said...

"I don't know what magic the soil of the UK posesses, but our rulers are apparently convinced that the moment you set foot on it all the 'bad' practices of the old country fall off you, leaving only the good bits - you know, the ones that 'enrich' us."

So we'll see more of this?

Anonymous said...

It was Marin Kelly. Search his recent posts.

Anonymous said...

There abridged volumes of Toynbee's massive tomes available on the net at reasonable prices.

dearieme said...

You've got better eyes than me if you can still read David Duff.

Anonymous said...

re. Arnold Toynbee's comment is not quite so relevant in a democracy. After all, the ruling elite may become committed to its particular course, but the demogaphic underlying is always in flux. The Labour Party is in my view about to meet its end, primarily because the demographic that created and maintained it is slowly dying off, being replaced by young people that no longer share its views. We will see a political revolution take place over the next few years rather similar to the one that took place between the wars, where the Liberal Party lost its moral authority and was replaced by the Labour Party as the voice of the poor.

NuLabour was Labour's last ditch attempt to cling on to power. It finally has been exposed as a socialist fraud. I don't think people will be suckered into this dissembly again. How could Labour possibly recreate any trust in the Labour brand when they have been so poisonous for their own people?

Cameron is going to be presented with a huge majority and an opposition that is utterly demolished and cannot speak with any integrity on any subject whatsoever. He will have huge power. It will be interesting to see how he uses it. Failure to make good use of the power we will give him will quickly see us turn against him I suspect.

It will be interesting to see how a new opposition to a future Tory government could take shape. Perhaps in the absence of any real opposition from the left, and with huge power on offer, the Tory party "wets" will split from the tory right and fight out subsequent elections between them.

Interesting times indeed.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with this waste of space.

she made a fortune stamping up passports for her Nigerian cronies. Yet she got a pitiful 3 1/2 years. Seems you can take the girl out of Nigeria, but you can't take the Nigeria out of the girl. I would like to think it is a one off, but having spoken to colleagues it seems the Home Office is overflowing with people like this.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you on the magical soil.

What kind of numbers do you think we could reasonably have immigrating per year while still being able to integrate?

judge fudge said...

Say what you like about Pakistanis, Nigerians et al -- they weren't responsible for the Holocaust(TM) and should be allowed to swamp those who were, like the British. That we and numerous other Europeans died in large numbers to defeat Nazism, and that many Muslims would love a second bite at the Jewish cherry, is a point lost on certain people.

Now that over sixty years have passed since Auschwitz was "liberated" and the shame has dissipated, the vicious anti-Semitism which was always part and parcel of British life has re-emerged from the shadows. I believe that the gentiles of Europe are the eternal enemy of the Jewish people (not because we wish it, but because they make it so) and long after we Jews have made peace with the Arabs, the greatest danger to our survival will come from the Europeans. At the heart of that danger, Britain will lie, perfidious, Jew-hating, amoral and vicious. For now, it is obvious that Britain has once again abandoned the Jews in favour of the Muslims. It is therefore high time that the Jews of Britain abandon any loyalty they once had to that realm and leave, before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

You'll love this one Laban.

A British high school student received credit for writing nothing but a two-word obscenity on an exam paper because the phrase expressed meaning and was spelled correctly.

Anonymous said...

The Jews have a country of their own, Muslims have umpteen.

Perhaps, as some kind of crazy madcap schoolboy experiment, we could have a country thats only for Europeans.

That way it could serve as a terrible warning to the world to see how poorly a country could manage without cosmopolitan Jews or vibrant Muslims.

Ugh! The horror, it makes me shudder just to think of it.

To expand further on double standards...

Jews have no particular desire to live in Islamic countries and Muslims dont want them to and no one is forcing them to accept Jewish settlers and Jews dont mind.

Muslims have no particular desire to live in Israel and Jews dont want them to and no one is forcing them to accept Muslim settlers and Muslims dont mind.

But both groups are of course perfectly free to live in European countries, God forbid anyone to say otherwise.

Evil, hateful white people are not allowed not to like Jews or Muslims and arent allowed not to let them live in their countries. Jews and Muslims otoh are perfectly free not to like each other and not to like Europeans either.

Yet, by and large, Europeans dont want to emigrate to Israel or Islamic countries. For some reason Europeans and their countries get to be the special case.

Anon2 said...

Anon wrote You are probably aware of the importance of "family" in Asian culture.

Pre the welfare state, I can't see Europe or Britain in particular, as being very different. Family is the basic unit of humanity.

The framers of the original welfare state. (It wasn't Labour) thought in terms of social insurance rather than entitlement. They recognised that some people fall outside the family safety net. I doubt the original intention was to undermine the bonds of family although from a Gramscian perspective, it certainly seems that way.

Anonymous said...

"Pre the welfare state, I can't see Europe or Britain in particular, as being very different."

Not really true. Many men volunteered for service prior to WWI. Unlikely to happen in most Asian nations where war is carried out primarily by zealots and paid mercenaries. There is a concept of "society" meaning something greater than family that barely exists at all in Asia. There is very little concept of charity as we have in Western culture. There is, therefore, no likelihood of a genuine welfare state appearing in Asia without Western intervention, because the concept that one should care for strangers doesn't really exist in Asia.

Dave said...

nonsense anon 1:14.
The British Raj was a volunteer army and had over 2 million Indian men at WW2.

Anonymous said...

Dave I dont think your point refutes the argument on its own. People would have joined the army for all sorts of reasons.

What other evidence is there that Asian nations, which is a rather sweeping category, have the necessary volunteering, fair play, attitude to support a welfare state.

Anon2 said...

Anon: Not really true.

I made a point about the family being the basic unit of society. You responded concerning the level of volunteers for the army. Maybe the link is obvious to you but not to me.

I would suggest to you that it is pretty nigh indisputable that the welfare state has been corrosive to the family.

Anonymous said...

Well, the three Lords "suspended" during the expenses scandal were Lords Paul, Bhatia, and Baroness Uddin... no prizes for guessing what they have in common apart from being utterly corrupt