The title is borrowed from Lenin’s brochure, where the last word was ‘communism’, here appropriately replaced with ‘capitalism’.
For the same contagion has been passed on to the West in general and Britain in particular, which is worrying. Especially when the aetiology of the disease is masked by the triumphant shrieks accompanying Labour’s loss of another parliamentary seat.
Serious commentators are opining that the Labour party is finished as a viable political force, and they may well be right. But that’s uninteresting if true.
All that Labour’s troubles signify is that one political machine has perhaps become obsolete. But for as long as its design principles persevere, it’ll simply be traded in for a new model. Former Labour voters will drift towards other left-wing parties, such as the Greens, the LibDems or some new contrivance.
And many of them will happily cast their lot with the Tories, detecting in them a slightly diluted version of the same thing, a glass of socialism with a splash of water. In fact, all our mainstream parties are socialist, and the differences among them are only those of degree.
Divesting socialism of its share-care-be-aware sloganeering, it’s best defined as an accelerating transfer of power from the individual to the state. That’s exactly what’s happening throughout the West and certainly in Britain: the state is getting bigger and stronger, while the individual’s muscles are atrophying at an alarming rate.
As has been the case for the past 100 years or so, the tone is being set by the US, where Biden has announced plans to increase public spending by $4 trillion. Gone are the times olden, when President Eisenhower had to apologise to the nation for running a $3 billion deficit. Today’s American state has developed a socialist appetite and a concomitant knack for thinking big, in trillions, not paltry billions.
Our national debt is also measured in trillions, two of them as of last count, but the count is soaring. That means the government is consistently spending more than it earns, and the curve is climbing steeply. The problem is dire, and it’s not just about money.
For the more the state spends, the more power it acquires – mainly by claiming a greater proportion of the nation’s income and increasing the number of people dependent on it. The form of dependence may differ, but its essence remains the same.
It could be direct handouts responsible for much or all of an individual’s livelihood. It could be giant construction projects, with the state throwing money on what Marx used to call ‘labour armies’. It could be the state employing more bureaucrats, as the need increases to manage, or rather mismanage, the growing pile of public money. It could be burgeoning grants to organisations that loyally do the state’s bidding. It could be any old thing, but whatever it is, state power grows with every pound spent.
Another symptom of the eponymous infantile disease is a sustained attack on the culture, traditions and institutions of Western civility. This follows the blueprint drawn by the crypto-communist Frankfurt School, whose objective was to take over the West gradually, without having to resort to violent, revolutionary upheavals.
One doesn’t detect in our currently triumphant Conservative Party any resolve to roll back the bossy woke onslaught undermining the subsiding foundations of our civilisation: religion, family, morality, decency, tolerance, civil liberties.
All one sees is a slightly less strident effort to do the Labour work without the Labour Party. Less strident is better than more strident, which is why the Tories are to be congratulated on winning the Hartlepool parliamentary constituency and over 600 seats on the local councils.
But it would be a mistake to think that these victories are a sign of the infantile disease receding. It’s not. It’s merely progressing at a slightly slower, but ultimately as deadly, pace.