Talkin’-’bout my Generation

David Davis

In the late afternoons of our lives, various thoughts occur. I had a cyberchat with my colleague, the Dear Leader of the Libertarian Alliance, Dr Sean Gabb, at some indeterminate time overnight last night. We both agreed on some things:-

(1) He and I have spent the best part of our adult lives keeping on keeping on keeping on saying the same sorts of things, to the same sorts of people, all the time, 24/7. All the time, we are both getting older and more tired***. At least dear Sean Gabb has managed to get on the wireless rather a lot, and occasionally even on the television – usually as the political EnemyClass’s nasty-wicked-fall-guy-with-the-British-Accent. He doesn’t seem to mind this at all: he has the Patience of Job, truly.

***Never fear: we will continue to “lead you” until we fall down dead, or become “replaced” by younger and newer blood at the head of the British Libertarian Movement. (That makes us look rather self-regarding: trust me – neither of us is really like that at all.)

(2) Nothing that we do, or have tried to do, seems to cause any visible change. The unstated metatext of our exchange was that this is depressing. The prevailing agreed terms of public discourse don’t seem to be changing from the allowed metroleftist narrative. More and more of the properties of the country we thought we grew up in, seem to be being “changed”, deleted or modified in generally rather disagreeable ways.

(4) This marks us both out as “conservatives” in a sort of Old Liberal sense: it also points to us both being in some way English nationalists. This may be a fault, or it may not: we see no conflict between feeling some bond of identity with a particular nation, and being simultaneously classical-liberal minimal-statists.

(3) We are beginning to attract one or two good classical-liberal polemicists to our group of pariahs who are perforce made to inhabit the Chimpanzee Type Writers’ Nissen Hut, now and again.

We agreed that we should like to invite more Libertarian-minded writers who might like to have authorship privileges on this blog. One or two very worthy new people have recently joined us, and you will be seeing stuff written by them more frequently in the fullness of time. The only conditions we have always stipulated are that you ought not to pen anything that would get Sean Gabb and myself into trouble with the “Authorities”. As we all know, the rules about this sort of thing are being progressively made more and more obscure, on purpose.

But there’s always room in the Nissen Hut, and even in the winter there is plenty of good Wigan Coal from down the road, to shovel into the Central Brazier: the Chimpanzee Type-Writers even offer to help sometimes, inbetween typing the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

We do not and cannot know, whether we have wasted the major productive part of our lives on this venture, which seems hitherto to have produced what a chemist would call “no visible change”: this happens when he adds one colourless solution to another appropriate one, and no precipitate, bubbling, explosion, colour change or other event is observed.

However, we continue to utter “Inde, Sit Carthago Delenda”, in the hope that one day, it will be.


  1. Yes it is not change that is the problem – it is change for the worse that it the problem.

    And many “Conservatives” in Britain add to the problem – with their “reform not revolution” mantra (a fatal misunderstanding of Edmund Burke – almost as bad as the demented misreading one finds in such Americans as T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson) – what matters in change is WHAT DIRECTION (better or worse – more free, or less free).

    Does the new building look better than the one it replaces?

    An obvious questiion to most generations – but ruled “beside the point” after World War II when the only thing that mattered was that the building was new (even if it was horrible).

    Does this proposed change in policy better safeguard civil society – the lives and goods of the subjects? Do people get to keep more of their own money by this change of policy, and are they more free to use it?

    Again an obvious question – but not to moderns, where any change (new local government structures, new currency, reorganising X,Y,.Z) is ASSUMED to be good (because it is a change.).

    And if one suggests something is wrong one is, of course, a “swivel eyed loon”.

  2. I guess that after WW2, the only thing that mattered at that moment was that “someone should just get on a put a building up, here, now…concrete’s available, so that’s what we’ll use.”

    The FabiaNazis prescribe “continual change”, specifically to confuse and disorient The Masses, into accepting whatever seems to be going on at the time. I believe that the Frankfurt School borrowed the same idea and pretended it was their original thought.

  3. In Germany there was actually more resistance to this David (as Sean Gabb, a German speaker, knows better than I do).

    In Britain if someone said “building in a traditional style is against the spirit of the age” people (at least in official circles) just nodded as this statement of “wisdom”.

    In Germany a common reply would be “spirit of the age” – “you are just quoting Hegel at me – I do not agree with his philosophy”.

    Germans also know that the Frankfurt School of Marxism is Marxism – a surprising large number of British and American people do not know what “Poltitical Correctness”and “Critical Theory” actually are – people in the English speaking world even assume this stuff is “objective social science” (an assumption that would make a German, even one that supports this stuff, laugh).

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