by Andrew Brons
We might define Politics as a process – perhaps the process – of acquiring, retaining or losing power and influence in the state. It might be more accurate today to see that power being transferred globally across state frontiers.
We might study the constitution of a state and conclude that we can thereby understand its political system. We would almost certainly be fooling ourselves. Even the best constitutions, in the best regulated of countries, do not tell the whole story of how power is possessed or passed in the state. In many, the constitution is a mythology that is designed to delude the populace – the governed and even the governors themselves.
Politics takes place on a stage but the background scenery and much of the choreography comprise the distribution of power that is not ostensibly political – economic power and the power of communication, including the power to create and distort images. All states arrive at conclusions or make assumptions about the nature of the world, on which public policy is based. These beliefs and assumptions might be called the Ideology of the State. That, too, is part of the background that confronts us.
Those of us who venture into the political arena seeking political office must be aware that political steps are not taken in isolation from the background painted by others. If our steps are taken in isolation, oblivious of the moves taken by others, they will usually fail to achieve their objective.
It is self-evident that we cannot change the distribution of power and influence in the state – still less in the global economy and superstructure. That distribution must be a 'given'. Nor should we think that we shall be able to win over the main movers and shakers. They are mostly immune to our appeal such as it is.
Nevertheless, there are wielders of power and influence who can exercise their resources independently. We would indeed be foolish if we were careless enough to offend them unnecessarily.
It has been said famously that our image is made for us by others and not by ourselves. However, we have sometimes made the task of our detracting image formers much easier than it might have been.
Nationalists have not always been indifferent to the image they presented to the public. The National Front, in its first incarnation when headed by AK Chesterton, headed its correspondence and publications with the names of a National Council that contained a bevy of the great and the good: a Rear Admiral here, a Major General there, a vicar and his wife, flanked by an authoress on this side and a titled somebody or other on that. The fact that this National Council was nothing more than a shop window and that power rested elsewhere, was not drawn to our attention.
A cartoon in Private Eye, a couple of decades later portrayed an unappealing youth with a spray can, asking an accomplice, "How do you spell NF?" Whilst this cartoon was undoubtedly funny, I felt that it was immensely unfair, until I noticed in my own home town, within the last decade, a spray painting inviting readers to support the 'BMP' (sic).
Whilst a party cannot be responsible for the idiocy of anonymous and unconnected supporters, it can avoid tolerating negative images of itself. Need I say more than 'Bulldog'? If I do, will 'League of Louts' suffice?
Nationalists, when they are presented at all these days, are shown as Australopithecines (Neanderthals are deemed to be too sophisticated for us) trying to master the technology of an, as yet, uncrafted piece of flint. Ordinary Australopithecines are not sufficient, only those with a personality disorder will truly fit the bill.
We might ask why 'image' is so important. It should be enough to say that if it is important to the public – potential members and voters – it is self-evidently important. It is not enough to say that members of the public ought to be be satisfied with policies with which they agree; they are clearly not! The 1979 General Election was one in which the National Front contested 301 or was it 303 constituencies – nearly half of the total but received minimal publicity. After the Election (and its dismal result for the NF) the New Statesman published a strange article in which it said that if the electorate had voted on the criteria of policy preferences the National Front would have been elected. Needless to say that it was not!
It was clear that the Party's policies were more popular than the Party. Not for the last time!
The Image War has sometimes been fought as though it were simply a party-specific campaign. We could, we thought, be as negative as we liked about other Nationalists. Our error is to assume that the great British public is aware of the arcane differences between different but similarly named organisations – between the Judean Popular Liberation Front and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Judaea. In reality, a smear against one is a smear against all, in the eyes of the Great British Public. That is why I refused five invitations from the BBC to discuss the wrongs of one Griffin.
Furthermore, we must not see image as a distortion of reality that can be used to protect us. It must be true reflection of reality that really does protect us. If a true reflection of reality does not protect us, then reality must be changed – ruthlessly.
However, there is even a problem with our policies. It is not that electors in their hearts of hearts disagree with our policies. It would be truer to say that they feel that they ought to disagree with them. They have been convinced that they are out of touch with current thinking.
Of course, they are quite right; our policies and the beliefs on which they are founded, are out of touch with current thinking and so much the worse for current thinking. Current thinking can be summed up by the phrase (and I paraphrase): "Differences between individual human beings and between population groups ( a euphemism for races) are attributable to differences in environment or upbringing and not to differences in heredity". The small, conspiratorial grouping responsible for this nonsense was headed by Franz Boas and fronted by Margaret Mead. Its conspiratorial nature was summed up by Mead's own most famous quotation:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
There is a certain irony in the quotation, because it flies in the face of her hypothesis of people and events being shaped by large impersonal cultural forces. It should be seen as an admission rather than a serious theoretical proposition.
Notwithstanding, the demonstrable falsity of the ideas that she and Boas promulgated, they have dominated the thinking of the Western World – by which I mean the thinking of Europe, North America and the Antipodes. Perhaps the word 'monopolised' would be preferable to 'dominated'. If virtually all public policy – and much private policy – is based on the same false assumption, it should not surprise that much public (and private) policy is wrong-headed.
However, it has a second effect that is, if anything, worse. It casts a shadow over and demonises policies that are based on the opposing truth. When Nationalist policies are aired and explained by reference to an underlying truth, they are automatically devalued and dismissed on the ground that they are based on 'prejudice' – which is hate speech for truth!
The old nature-nurture debate no longer takes place. Indeed, the fact that it has ever taken place has been erased from history and consigned to the Orwellian memory hole. There is simply the nurture-nurture consensus. This teaches us that individuals and population groups are the product of their cultures and are therefore interchangeable. Falling birth rates in Europe can, we are told, be compensated for by importing large young families from the Third World who will become new Europeans – though perhaps with interesting features and enviable tans.
I spent much of my time at the European Parliament refuting this error:
"Distinctive peoples are not the product of distincting cultures. Distinctive cultures are ultimately the product of distinctive peoples," I would say.
"If you import peoples from the Third World into Europe, they do not become substitute Europeans. They turn parts of Europe into the Third World," I would continue
It soon became clear that people listened, not because they understood the truth of my propositions but because I supplied a brand of heresy that they had not previously encountered.
It must be one of our tasks to conduct a War of Ideas. However, we must not confine this war to our fellow proles on the margins of society. We must takes that war into the bastions of those who control the thinking of the administrators of the Political Class. These people are not imported from extra-terrestrial sources, despite the way in which they talk and think. They are (or were potentially) ordinary human beings who live in identifiable homes and are easily contactable if not easily distinguished from their neighbours.
The War of Ideas is a long term project that ought to have been conducted continually starting several years ago. That it has not, should not be an excuse for further postponement.
It is one that requires the greatest thought and caution. It should not be regarded as a missed opportunity to start an outpouring of the full gamet of conspiracy theories – some ridiculous, others containing some truth but not readily credible by Establishment-educated high fliers.
It should not be conducted by political parties or ideological pressure groups, which are inevitably seen to have axes to grind. The source or sources should not be seen to be hostile to the Establishment but rather concerned for the success of its policies. It should concentrate on what ought to be the nature-nurture debate and the whole range of nature-nurture relevant areas: education; immigration; crime and punishment. However, its message must not be absolutist; it must be seen to be pragmatic, a six-of-one-and-half-a-dozen-of-the-other approach. It must, above all, be seen to be reasoning and reasonable.
Of course, it is all very well to say that the political process must be supplemented by an Image Campaign and a War of Ideas. A cynic might ask where the political campaigns are to be supplemented!