The other day I argued that so-called liberal democracies are converging with frankly totalitarian states in their practices – as they’ve already converged with them in their commitment to rampant statism.
One such totalitarian practice is stifling debate on any issue on which the dominant ideology has already passed judgement. (In the Soviet Union, this was called ‘democratic centralism’.) That judgement is elevated to the level of the only possible truth, and no deviations are tolerated.
What the issue is doesn’t really matter. It could be the dictatorship of the proletariat (Russia), the supremacy of the Aryan race (Germany) or – closer to home – any New Age diktat inspired by political correctness.
Political correctness is in fact sanctimonious, fascistic totalitarianism backed by the physical might of the political establishment. The latter throws behind PC its power, bristling with restrictive and often punitive measures.
Such violent intolerance is called tolerance, which is Orwellian jargon at its most sinister. To clarify, tolerance extends to anything that assails our residually Christian civilisation, while intolerance is any attempt, however meek, to offer rear-guard resistance.
Thus inspired, in 2014 Michael Gove, then Justice Secretary, sacked Richard Page, the Christian magistrate and executive director of an NHS trust, over his opposition to same-sex couples adopting children.
(This is outside the scope of this article, but do let’s remember that Mr Gove is widely regarded as the embodiment of the Tory intellect and sensibilities.)
Mr Page dared express publicly a view that had held sway unopposed over two millennia of British history, that a child’s best interests would be best served by having a Mummy and a Daddy, not two Mummies or two Daddies.
Mr Gove treated that remark as “gross misconduct” because Mr Page’s comments suggested that he was “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters”.
We must keep in mind that any statement critical of the New Age zeitgeist constitutes bias and prejudice, while any statement in support of it is an exemplar of dispassionate, disinterested objectivity.
Yet for two millennia Britain organised her affairs on the basis of biased and prejudiced morality, whereas only in the past few decades has the reign of objective truth dawned upon us. (The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany beat us to such objectivity by a long way.)
The underlying assumption is that any a priori judgement, prejudice for short, is wrong if it proceeds from principles that are two millennia old, rather than those concocted the day before yesterday. The clock is reset in every generation, nay every year, with new morality ushered in and old morality consigned to what Comrade Trotsky called “the garbage heap of history”.
However, prejudice (and its corollary, discrimination) is the essence of any moral or intellectual quest. It is what RG Collingwood called “absolute presupposition” and what I usually describe as “metaphysical premise”.
Any serious judgement is a structure erected on the foundation of pre-judgement, which is what prejudice means. But Mr Gove and his ilk aren’t embarked on any moral or intellectual quest – truth to them is whatever is expedient now, today, this minute.
Their power is contingent on their ability to flap with the weathervane of this ‘truth’ and, should the wind die down, to keep rotating it manually, hoping that the vane’s blades will cut off the head of any apostate.
Mr Page was one such apostate, and his head was metaphorically cut off. In desperation he appealed to the Employment Tribunal, but his plea was rejected the other day.
“The Claimant’s remarks,” explained Justice Choudhury, “were found to be likely to prejudice judicial impartiality.” Mr Page ought to be thankful for being allowed to hold such antediluvian views, explained the judge, but he abused the privilege by actually expressing them.
Worse than that, “The Claimant also accepted that LGBT members of the community suffered disproportionately from mental health problems and that there had been significant difficulties in getting those members to engage with mental health services such as those provided by the Trust.”
Is that true? It’s highly plausible that being a member of “the LGBT community” ipso facto constitutes “a mental health problem”. The opposite argument can also of course be made.
Yet according to Messrs Gove, Choudhury et al, this isn’t a scholarly or any other debate. Who cares about true or false? Mr Page’s position is informed by Christianity, which over the past few decades has been debunked so thoroughly that no reference to it can be made on pain of repercussions.
If those people got off their ideological high horse, they’d probably realise (although I may be giving them too much credit) that our whole judicial system is prejudiced by Christianity, and that adhering to such founding principles indeed constitutes “judicial impartiality”.
All our laws covering malum in se, such as murder or theft, have Biblical antecedents, and only laws proscribing malum prohibitum, such as driving after three, as opposed to two, glasses of wine, are wholly secular.
I’m not going to enlarge on the merits of Mr Page’s arguments. I’m not even going to invoke common sense that ought to indicate to any possessor of it that there’s something unnatural and warped about a child trying to figure out who’s Mummy and who’s Daddy all his life.
I’m merely going to reiterate the point I made the other day, that all such cases, and their name is legion, prove the point that modern ‘liberalism’ differs from fascism only in the severity of its methods – and sometimes not even in that.