24 January 2011

Mark Steyn - soothscribe

Recommend you read "Dependence Day" for as comprehensive an "as others see us" as you will encounter. Key comments:

To almost all members of Britain’s governing elite, quoting Churchill approvingly only confirms that you’re an extremist lunatic. 

“Anti-fascism” now means attacking the British Empire, which stood alone against fascism in that critical year between the fall of France and Germany’s invasion of Russia. And it’s even sadder to have to point out the most obvious fatuity in those “anti-fascist groups” litany of evil - “the British Empire’s association with slavery.” The British Empire’s principal association with slavery is that it abolished it.*

In cutting off two generations of students from their cultural inheritance, the British state has engaged in what we will one day come to see as a form of child abuse, one that puts a huge question mark over the future. Why be surprised that legions of British Muslims sign up for the Taliban? These are young men who went to school in Luton and West Bromwich and learned nothing of their country of nominal citizenship other than that it’s responsible for racism, imperialism, colonialism, and all the other bad -isms of the world. If that’s all you knew of Britain, why would you feel any allegiance to Queen and country?

Read it all - you won't find a more succinct summary.

*For those inclined to quibble, check out Lord Chief Justice Mansfield's reluctant ruling in R v Knowles, ex parte Somersett (1772). Mansfield was a racist, but he was first and foremost a jurist - and he found no basis in English Common Law for the state of slavery. End of. The home of the brave and the land of the free rebelled 4 years later and did not get around to declaring slavery illegal for another 90 years.


  1. I salute the essay and have signed on to such a view of history long ago. Mark Steyn's notion that the statist Left in America is somehow responsible for the huge outstanding US indebtedness seems however a little odd. What about the recent presidential wars and the hugely unregulated financial shenanigans which have shifted the nation's assets overwhelmingly to corporate and super-rich, not of course to entirely forget the profit-taking of their willing servant lawyers in the US Congress and Senate?

  2. Yeah - he lost me on that curve. I think he's too much of a creature of the US "culture war" (although a Canadian) to realize that big corporations are just as statist as the pathetic lefties. A strongly centralized state (the UK, the EU) reduces the number of people you have to buy.