…..catalogue of the blights and woes of modern civilization. These included the ‘disease of industrialism’ with its accompaniments of excessive mechanisation and urbanisation, the presence among ‘the people of Britain in the dark days of their eclipse’ of ‘cosmopolitan geniuses willing to make a burlesque of their noble cultural inheritance’, the ‘sorry mess of egotism and greed’ which results ‘when man ceases to be an individual and becomes a democrat, that is, when he forgets the soil’ or when ‘money dictates the damning of the founts of English culture’.
Other factors adduced were the rise of leisure, which, according to A. Raven-Thompson, initiated ‘the decline of Rome’, usury, which Ezra Pound was convinced had brought down not just the Roman Empire but the Chinese one as well, the ‘excessive individualism’ that ‘appeared with particular violence at the Reformation, which is one of Disintegration’s landmarks, the collective ‘harking back to the ideals of the tribe’ comparable to a garden reverting ‘back to the jungle’, or the spread of democracy with its ‘Philistine majorities’.’
There are an awful lot of people who would sign on to much of that critique these days. From Phillip Blond through Caroline Lucas to the nef.
Excessive mechanisation and urbanisation, industrialism: yes, aren\’t we all being urged to work less for the market and more for ourselves? Egotism and greed…..yes, there\’s lots talking about that too. Even the rise of leisure: nef in particular wants us to do more household production, something inevitably less efficient than market production, meaning less leisure. \”Excessive individualism\”, well, yes, just about everyone to the left of Ken Clarke seems to go on about that. Usury? Ritchie, Anne Pettifor, Polly, they\’re all shouting at that one.
It is, of course, a description of the British Union of Fascists pre war.
Thank goodness fascism is dead and buried, eh?
An almost random piece from the blog feed:
An increasingly consumerist and individualist culture which tends towards indignation at anything it finds personally inconvenient, provides a receptive audience.
Ho hum. Who would ever have thought that the Quakers and the BUF would meet?