BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
I attended a dinner in London last week dominated in numbers by socialists, who dismissed my (small c) conservatism as evil.
Whilst switching between Brexit, Trump, the Income Divide, Bankers and Eton as their arsenals of ire, they explained that they were unquestionably the genuine do-gooders in British politics and that the world was in such an awful mess right now because of conservatives like me.
These dinner companions were insistent that their kind were so needed. More than ever. That conservatives were better off staying clear of government and MSM institutions like the BBC. That in no way whatsoever were they – or heroic, scandal-free President Obama – at all responsible for the current chaos gripping the planet. “More nice guys,” they argued, “less austerity”.
The Christmas Season delivers such dinners. One can rarely choose the crackers one pulls.
In the past, I might have bothered arguing with these experts in their reindeer jumpers. Now I prefer to listen in to these last conversations of a failing breed, as might a budding anthropologist. (I wish I could have filmed them as I am sure future generations will not be privy to such curious repartee.)
Frankly, I watch socialists these days with stupefaction, as one watches moths burn themselves on a light bulb and return for more singeing. Hearing them, with so many bees in their bonnets, waxing lyrical about mansion taxes, UN Agenda 21 and wonderful Angela Rayner – captivating stuff.
Their Brexit explanations – about how the populus really didn’t “get it” – were insolent yet mesmerising. A slice of time that can never repeat itself – surely not? – once the world’s brains become openly educated by a future, interconnected, well-sourced and logical knowledge stream. Once what lies behind their flawed, socialist ideas is exposed to the people in unquestionable terms which simply cannot be dismissed as fake news.
In my bath after dinner – watched on by my son’s Spiderman bubble bath bottle – I questioned myself. Are any of the influences behind my conservatism evil?
I pondered the lives of the influences that I use to mould my conservative stance (not all of them conservatives). I considered Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich Hayek, Irving Babbitt, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, David Landes, Margaret Thatcher, Sir Roger Scruton, Lawrence Reed, Matt Ridley and other influences I tend to agree with and draw on.
And I conceded to myself that, yes, Hayek’s theories on collectivist rationalism and Sir Roger’s now-disavowed thoughts on homosexuality are not everyone’s cup of tea. But I do not see any of my conservative influences seeing vast swathes of the population as excess to requirements or describing themselves as übermenschen. If anything, I see my conservative influences as pragmatic, realist and caring – wishing to conserve; bothered enough about people to think things through practically and logically, using History as arbiter.
Although conservatives, like most human beings, are sporadically arrogant, we’d never defend – as they do – the likes of George Bernard Shaw, who provided their beloved Fabian Society with its first manifesto. The same George Bernard Shaw who supported Hitler and Mussolini knowing full well they would kill; the same evil little chap who urged eugenics and the humane gassing of those who could not justify their existence in the Fabians’ idea of a global collectivist society. (The way my socialist dinner companions were spitting poison about Brexiteer oiks in Grimsby, you’d think they were BS acolytes themselves).
Shaw has reappeared as Maurice Strong, as Soros, as Obama in the short-cutting world of hot-headed conspiracy theorists as a common thread of Alinskyite evil – seeking Shaw and the Fabians’ same global, one world solution. There are some who argue that if you look at the diseases which have been conjured up by nature over recent years they are all traceable back to Bill Gates and his various laboratories across the world as Alinskyites try to reduce the world population down to a manageable billion. But the conspiracy theorists’ reasoning, or lack of it, does not matter here. What matters here is do I trust my conservative influences? Are they evil?
After a good, long bath, what became clear to me was that I’d not have left my baby with Shaw but I’d have left my baby with any of the influences that mould my conservative stance (even with Sowell when he was a Marxist).
Socialists calling conservatives evil is bizarre when the socialists’ body counts in socialist catastrophes like Venezuela are still growing by the day. Societies reduced to primitive status by dangerous socialist ideas, where – same old story – any seed cash ran out and the unrealistic socialist ideas became too expensive to fund. The Fabians’ ideas are still the same and they still hold considerable sway over today’s Labour Party.
Feeling that you are doing good does not mean that what you are doing is not evil. What is evil is failing to face up to harsh reality and an imperfect world; failing to deliver pragmatic and real-world trade-offs.