Published in The Spectator Australia. Read it online here…
Published in the Good Sauce. Read it online here…
This article is published in the Summer Penthouse AU… [ read it here ]
Liberty is an eccentricity of human order. Our natural inclination is to rebel against anarchy and seek safety under the shelter of rules. We function best when these are backed by threat and rewarded with riches. This is the basic root between religion, politics and philosophy – the careless smear that blurs the three structures of civilisation together. We bend between these, battered by all manner of external force. War. Disaster. Surplus. Exploration. Find me a political system that does not dream of utopia while wrestling with the ever-closing reality of dystopia. One is impossible – the other, probable.
We must never become echoes of each other…
Indoctrination enforces unity by crafting a cage of whispers. History has practised this art and found coercion to be censorship’s silk glove – allowing it to touch every part of our lives without leaving fingerprints. Confined to this intangible prison, liberty curls up to die. In time, what is left unsaid becomes unthought until we guard our contrary opinions on behalf of powerful people. That is how social politics works. It is a slow burn that starts with language and ends in unyielding ink.
By ‘powerful people’ I mean those who treat democracy as a formality. Any politician who disregards the ballot box for the sake of ‘what’s best’ is an authoritarian in waiting. This elite moral veneer are often fans of collectivism, better known as the practice of subduing individuals into voting clumps that fit nicely on a spreadsheet. Marxist university lecturers may applaud this as a modern education, but obediently reciting dogma puts civilisation at risk of obliging dangerous ideas. It is a game we have seen up-scaled by an organisation that subverts the sovereignty of nations by selling its membership like overpriced hotel rooms.
I speak of the United Nations, which has completed its transformation into a gilded palace of closed doors, whose members are loosely connected by matching key-cards and a place at the breakfast buffet. Indiscretions are erased with a generous tip and like the sanctuaries of the Middle Ages, even the genocidal can take their drinks at the bar beside terrified victims. Based on Secretary General Guterres’ panicked bleating, this monstrosity faces imminent death via spiralling credit card debt. On the off chance that it survives, we might consider weighing its soul while we have it on the scaffold.
Uniting the world’s nations was always an aspiration rather than a reality. By polishing off Immanuel Kant’s ‘Perpetual Peace’, the underpinning philosophy manages to shine in the marketing print, but in the real world it remains as dead as a display of bones at the Smithsonian. I find it eerie watching the United Nations stalk through these exhibits of failed politics, threatening to elaborate on the mistakes of its predecessor, The League of Nations, which is occupying a nearby glass box.
The problem sits with their shared backbone. There is an untruth wandering around that humanity is in possession of absolutes. Coherent moral purity is a luvvie idealism elevated so far above subliminal culture that it threatens global security. If you pick off the fiction, humans have only one thing in common and that is their desire to disagree. Neither people nor the nations they construct are capable of maintaining unified ideas. Religion, philosophy and politics all attempt to round off our edges but irreconcilable difference remains the principal reason the world divides itself into countries and then extends limbs out into like-minded alliances. The world is at its best when we remain diverse and allow a combination of commerce and power to hold steady the ground that gapes between.
Anyone who attempts to unify this collection of opposed forces will finish with either a victor presiding over violence – or shattered pieces of civilisation, further apart than when they started. The energy required to forcibly hold unwilling nations together is directly proportional to how much cleaning up will be required at the end. After all, it was only an environment of post-traumatic shock from global war that coerced nations into delusions of utopia, our leaders having forgotten that you should never make hasty decisions after an argument.
Collapse is inevitable. The instability lies within the countries themselves. Democratic power is a tepid endorsement and no one enjoys watching it usurped behind closed doors. Western countries like Australia operate on the premise that citizens have power over the laws that govern them. This expectation forms the foundation of parliament. Politicians are the elected tools by which these laws are decided and the courts – the chisels setting them in stone. If laws become unjust, citizens elect new politicians to edit or destroy them. This back and forward motion breathes steadily inside the ribcage of a functioning civilisation. We are autonomous, self-correcting and evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Lord Jonathan Sumption, a former justice of the UK’s Supreme Court, describes the expansion of treaty into sovereignty as, ‘law’s expanding empire’ where international courts have made a habit of replacing our custom and convention with their unwelcome opinion. His argument continues that this new type of law has become invasive rather than protective – that it meddles in social matters and caresses the exposed neck of liberty.
However undesirable, enforcing unpopular law is easier than chasing the coveted notion of ‘world peace’. There are different types of peace – free, forced and indifferent. Tyrannies represent a failure of freedom in favour of perceived calm and are exceedingly difficult to escape. When power is assumed instead of given, the people find themselves super-glued to subservience. Communism, Socialism, Theocracies – these are all types of government that rule in their own interest. Democracies sit on the vulnerable fringes because they afford people the choice to downgrade to slavery at the ballot box.
In addition to being a doomed failure of concept, the United Nations and its accompaniment of treaties represent a perversion of peace. It is a faux democracy of nations, more than half of whom practice despotism at home, attempting to control the squabbles of sparrows with vague threats of sanction. This is an ignorance of reality. Powerful countries always have the means to wage war and small countries always fear annihilation. Real power comes from a nation’s threat of violence while unshakable alliances are built on the personal relationships of their people, not treaties destined for the shredder.
Countries inevitably outgrow the reach of global diplomacy and anyone cuffed to a chair at the United Nations is forced to watch potential conflict brew while having genuine fears vetoed by rising powers. Australia is caught in the mess, unable to form meaningful alliances while also the focus of petty geopolitical vengeance. Despite what leaders preach, there is nothing noble about surrendering your country to the whim of its neighbours. Certainly nothing virtuous.
If we want to survive the century with our identity intact, we should peck at the locks and make a break for freedom before this overpriced globalist theatre collapses under the weight of its echoes. There are no refunds on offer and our friends are outside hailing cabs.
As for peace, you won’t find it here.
This is the last article for 2019. If you like my work, consider shouting me a coffee over on Ko-Fi.