Call our state totalitarian, and there will be millions of hands indignantly thrown up in the air. After all, Britain manifestly lacks the outer attributes we associate with totalitarianism: barbed wire, watch towers, skeletal prisoners.
Yet if we delve under the surface, we’ll find that, though so far eschewing all those ghastly things, our state has laid the same groundwork that made them possible elsewhere. For, like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, it has effectively replaced traditional morality with a self-serving kind. The method used to achieve this terrifying end is also similar: systematic brainwashing, ably boosted by an educational system whose purpose seems to be to benumb people’s minds.
Anything that advances the cause of communism is moral, explained Lenin, anything that doesn’t isn’t. Replace communism with the Aryan race, and Hitler’s dicta were identical. But such pronouncements mostly served PR purposes. Their underlying meaning was that for the Bolsheviks and the Nazis morality was coextensive with the good of the Bolshevik or Nazi state.
Our spivocrats won’t have the nerve to make such declarations overtly, but they clearly operate according to the same inner logic. Thus, for example, they’ve brainwashed the British into believing that it’s moral for a government to confiscate more than half of what people earn in the sweat of their brow.
The smokescreen laid on people’s minds is so dense that it can’t be lifted by a few dissidents demonstrating, figures in hand, that high taxation ruins the economy and increases the number of the poor the state claims to love. We can scream all we want about, say, the Far Eastern ‘tiger’ economies, which are so successful partly because the state claims only about 20 percent of GDP, give or take a couple. We can argue that taxing the economy at twice that proportion (or, in many Western counties, even more) is the chief contributing factor to the present crisis. We can beseech people to glance around them in search of proof that capitalist production can’t support socialist distribution – not indefinitely at any rate.
Such arguments, though factually unassailable, convince a brainwashed statist no more than the incontrovertible scientific refutation of Darwinism stops Richard Dawkins mouthing illiterate twaddle. Statism isn’t real political thinking and Darwinism isn’t real science – they are two confessions of a surrogate secular religion.
While the real religion has produced the grandeur of Western civilisation, the puny pseudoreligion can only deliver either concentration camps or a cozy, soulless hell for the whole family. Regimes that deliver the former are called totalitarian. Regimes that deliver the latter are in fact neo-totalitarian, though they cover their faces with an increasingly tattered democratic mask.
Take the camps away from totalitarian regimes, and they’ll collapse. Take some philistine comfort away from neo-totalitarian ones, and they won’t survive either. When people’s vision is sharpened by privation, they’ll see through the mask.
In 1913,when modernity was getting into high gear, the Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was passed, empowering the Congress to levy federal income tax as it saw fit. In debating the bill, the honourable gentlemen laughingly mentioned 10 percent as a nightmarishly high rate never to be achieved or indeed imagined. A generation later their colleagues were joyously taxing high incomes at 90 percent, thus vindicating the thin-end-of-the-wedge theory of state aspirations. This was accompanied by brainwashing so successful that Charles Lindbergh (who, as a Nazi sympathiser, wasn’t immune to statist propaganda) would add 10 percent to his tax bill because he was ‘proud to be an American’. Proud to be a statist, was more like it.
The only purpose of high taxes in peacetime is increasing the power of the state over the individual, thereby effectively converting a formerly Western state into a neo-totalitarian one. I can’t think offhand of a more immoral objective, and yet even our ill-informed prelates argue for the ‘morality’ of extortionist taxation.
They ignore overt pronouncements by neo-totalitarians, such as Gordon Brown. When still Chancellor, he dropped the mask by claiming that his government ‘let people keep more of their money.’ As you can let others keep only something that legitimately belongs to you, the message was clear: our money belongs to the state, which decides how much it’ll let us keep for sustenance. Stalin operated on the same logic, if by different means. So did those pyramid-building pharaohs.
There are still enough people around who refuse to equate goodness with the good of the state. They meekly appeal to what they call Western tradition for fear of calling it what it truly is: Judaeo-Christian, which is to say real, morality. But even such reticence won’t be tolerated by our neo-totalitarian spivocrats. Like wild animals, they can smell danger a mile away. And then they pounce – on everything that remotely resembles Western tradition, and everyone who fights to preserve it.
Their weapons are multifarious, and punitive taxation is only one of them. Mass immigration, especially from societies historically hostile to the West, also acts in that capacity by both diluting – often marginalising – the traditional culture and multiplying the number of those directly dependent on the state.
Political correctness is another such weapon for, in common with classic totalitarians, the neo variety have grasped the coercive potential of language. If people can be made to talk in a certain way, they can be made to think in the same way, and changing the way people think is a time-honoured totalitarian objective. Moreover, by enforcing political correctness through the courts, the neo-totalitarians unleash a whole raft of anti-traditionalist minority activists who may be a bit unsavoury and occasionally violent, but whose desiderata coincide with those of the state.
Why can’t our government cut tax rates, say, to a flat 20 percent, with the low earners exempt altogether? After all, every bit of empirical evidence proves that the economy will thrive as a result. Why can’t it prevent vociferous, aggressive minorities from imposing their will on a silent, yet decent majority? This would improve society’s moral health no end.
The answer is simple: because by doing so the state will increase people’s power at the expense of its own. Neo-totalitarians will never accept that. And for the time being they can count on those who have swallowed their moralising canards.