Published On: Thu, Jun 28th, 2018

Old lessons found in surprising places: Sitcom, Aristotelian liberalism, and social engineering

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When one refuses to consume the programming that constitutes television broadcasting, it is impossible to contrast old school insult-driven, dialogue heavy, one-liner situation comedy with whatever is being produced for the Social Justice Age. Although, from such a position of “disadvantage”, one can probably expect the Steptoe and Son style theatre-like production to have been made extinct.  Why? Because fewer characters in a show means less chance of one of them being a woman. That it had no female characters for a long time could be why the BBC was never fondest of Red Dwarf – which came straight out of the odd-couple-trapped-together manual for assured classic comedy. But then the BBC evidently didn’t much care for Gimme Gimme Gimme, at its core, a sitcom of the exact same ilk. The man who wrote that show said the same sort of thing would not be commissioned again these days because it would be too rude. He probably means aggressively offensive, like great comedy always has been ever since Will Hay told Harbottle (nearly 80 years ago) that the bad smell from the engine fire wasn’t the coal, but from the old boy’s underpants. And yet, whatever the climate is these days, there is still an appetite for the old non-politically correct, blaming and “hate-fuelled” stuff, as Red Dwarf’s continued survival demonstrates. Indeed, the most recent season of the show contained an episode that actively took on the hostile environment.

The crew of the Red Dwarf arrive aboard the SS Encomium – a spaceship that is on a collision course with a planet as a direct result of equality and diversity and social justice. The prime piece of legislation that rules the conduct of the Encomium crew is that it is a crime to express negative criticism. There is also an encouragement, now that there are no wrong choices, for the crew to “do as thou wilt” (a Luciferian exhortation, as FBEL readers should know). As a result of this code, the culture degenerates: art is child-like and meaningless. Technology is wasted: hairdressers and caterers can be engineers simply by choosing to be, hence why the craft is discovered hurtling to its doom. There is no satisfactory service in that industry as it is represented on board: Rimmer has hot coffee poured over his hologramatic genitals. Immediately apparent, of course, is that the dress sense of the crew is appallingly outlandish in style, and most importantly impractical: a consequence of the absence of the ridicule that would normally ensue.

The Red Dwarf crew each react differently, and none of them out of character. The most interesting are Lister and the Cat. The former, who despite having a tendency towards delusion when it comes to his own guitar playing, still appreciates that he has had to apply himself to improve. This appreciation, he explains, arises out of his having taken criticism on board. The rest of the crew dispute this. Nevertheless, Lister expresses the common sense idea that society must be dysfunctional when people aren’t told that they aren’t up to standard. The Cat has the most violent reaction of all the Red Dwarf crew: he insults a “CritCop” in one of the most offensive ways that any character has insulted another in the history of the show. And it is retaliation that is not contradictory for the character because of how the Cat considers himself to be a doyen of fashion, and of impeccably good taste with regards the visual presentation of his person – and this is all important, as we shall see, because in this aspect of his personality he represents Renaissance values. The Cat is confronted with evidence that bad dress sense manifests from the sort of stupidity that even he (not being the brightest) can despise – and he clearly loathes it.

The episode was clearly having a swipe at British “all must have prizes” culture – the one that has raised and formed the Millennial generation. Indeed, there is a direct reference to the culpable education system: sports day at Rimmer’s school, St Trembles, and the 100m dash could be run in any direction a student desired to take – or he could draw a picture, or stay at home and watch TV. Real life was already beyond this sort of satire 20 years ago – hence this constitutes open ridicule. Naturally, “cosplaying” geekdom, perhaps recognising its own cotton-wool school days, hated the episode.

But then, most British people are so ignorant that that they don’t know that they are victims of their education, which is entirely based in Constructivist principle; moreover, they don’t know what this means either. A series on the subject is planned at FBEL: people should understand why they should not tolerate Government awarding itself access to their children in order to monopolise their learning, and install life-time lasting modes of thinking. At the crux of the idea is in the supposed principle of the child arriving at their own decision about the value of certain knowledge. The big lie is that this judgement comes without the input of an authoritative figure who dictates right of wrong; the truth is that the child is encouraged to accept the worldview of his educator, which is always of the same political hue (whether the educator knows it or not) as that which belongs to the cultural revolutionaries who devised the brain washing. In short, a person thus educated arrives at a position of ignorance believing that they are in fact knowledgeable, and that they have achieved this state of being by their own genius.

When fact-less, self-acquired “knowledge” is concerned with issues of identity politics, we can see to what sort of end Constructivist education has been devised. The reader may have noticed that Western society is in the midst of a madness that stems from the inappropriate elevation into culture-defining status of the simple act of human reproduction. Something that should be treated as having its own time and place separate from public life, and is the concern only of the man and woman who engage in it, was long ago turned into an issue of lifestyle with which to have people obsess over. Various deviant sexual acts (in that they deviate from those whereby a child is created) have since been used as a means of designation for entire sub-cultures, and a means of personal identification along lines of multiple so-called genders. The truth is that there can be no real justification for a separate cultural identity based on what someone does with their sexual organs for a few minutes of a week (or would like to do). Moreover, genders other than male or female are not real, and people who believe themselves to be anything other, while they are free to do as they please, should not be affirmed by anyone who has a care for the survival of rational society. Indeed, no one should be compelled by legislation to affirm the delusion of a half-way gender. Consider what has been written before in these pages before about the dangers of the affirmation of delusion by the justice system:

But consider this: if one tries to kill another person with a rubber duck, and fails because the tool for murder is clearly not equal to the task, then what does the attempt amount to – what does the intent amount to? The answer is nothing. On the other hand, if we imagine that a rubber duck is a credible instrument to commit murder so that we can make the intent meaningful, are we not just sharing in the fantasy of the perpetrator? Shouldn’t a judge, and a court, be of sound mind so that he and it can come to good decisions and uphold the law, rather than be as delusional as the suspect and open up the way to chaos? What good is he as a judge, then, in the latter case? What good is a justice system if it reaffirms the mistaken beliefs of fantasists – and turns them into social and legal facts – rather than assert reality?  If it does not insist on truth, then it is worse than no good, it is downright dangerous.

This extract was about the corruption of justice that is needed to imprison a patsy on a count of terrorism. As equally bad is the use of legislation to affirm delusion about sexual identity. As the FBEL reader will well know by now, 21st century police-work in the UK is geared towards protecting the instruments by which society can be engineered. The objective in the case of our subject matter is population reduction through the displacement of natural sexual preferences.

The chances are that when they created the episode about the Encomium, the producers of Red Dwarf were not referencing the “real life” hate crime that is in on the verge of being attributed (if it isn’t already) to refusing to accept homosexuality and multi-genderism as some kind of organic social phenomena (instead of the anti-human, Masonic-evolution-from-and-to-hermaphrodite-myth realisation that it is) – and yet the police in the show are dressed in homosexual-emblematic pink. They enforce the “no criticism” law by which everyone can “do as thou wilt”. The costume of the ship’s official, Ziggy, is particularly suggestive of a statement on gender identity – he is wearing a pronounced skirt. And this brings us back to the reaction of the Cat – for this example (intentional or not) leads us to finding a position whereby the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is sexual identity politics can be objected to on the grounds of the survival of civilisation.

It’s from Aristotle (and The Nichomachean Ethics)  that we probably get the word “liberal” in the political sense – and learn that in the way it is used in discourse these days, it has long since lost its proper meaning. To paraphrase the philosopher, liberality is the virtue of using wealth in the best way. The liberal man gives wealth in the right amounts, to the right people, and at the right times – without neglecting his own property. He also takes wealth from the right sources, and not the wrong ones (those who can ill afford it, for instance).

We learn through Aristotle, therefore, that for redistribution of wealth to be just, it should not be a blanket operation, but it must be highly selective. Individual acts of charity (in the very old days, there was real philanthropy), and privately organised subscription funded dispensaries, should provide welfare in a real liberal system. Moreover, government efforts to raise money for welfare should be by voluntary taxation, and there should be no legislation to enforce mandatory payment. Complimentary to content in the recent FBEL article, Reflections on a by-election: another charlatan claims to represent the people, this time of Lewisham East, we would probably find that, in contrast, the arbitrary application of taxation would be seen as a right of the ruling class in the eyes of King and Church Toryism (a civil war was fought over this sort of thing). Likewise, for socialists, taxation is an expression of the concept that the masses don’t have property. We did form the idea, in the said previous article, that the Tories and Labour have always been two sides of the very same coin. Proper liberalism, on the other hand, has been eradicated because, as we shall see, it represents civilisation, and where man is civilised he cannot be enslaved.

Prodigality, Aristotle tells us, is a vice related to using wealth. The prodigal exceeds in giving, and falls short in taking – so that his own property is neglected. And let it be understood that “taking” is not limited to claiming some kind of fee out of a position of advantage, it means being in receipt of someone else’s spending. So, we can extrapolate to understand that the liberal charges a fair and justified price, even if it be costly. The prodigal won’t ask for the price that is deserved. Because the prodigal inevitably cannot sustain himself, he will then take recklessly from the wrong sources – in this way he also becomes mean. Meanness is a vice that is characterised by the falling short in giving, and the exceeding in taken; or, the mean give too little, and take from the wrong sources, or take too much. Both of these traits do not have to be owned by a man for him to be mean, for meanness depends on the possession of only one of them (hence, the man who is prodigal in terms of giving can also be mean).

Aristotle should give the 21st century Briton lots to contemplate, and to regret. When it was said above that liberalism has been eradicated, it was not rhetoric. The very core fibre of the UK, the very essence of the national character, is obviously infected with meanness and profligacy, and the country is therefore in a state of post-civilisation. Read what Aristotle says about the wicked form of meanness, and think of corporate-government that invades the Middle East for oil and gas. Read what Aristotle says about the sordid form of meanness, and think of the pervasiveness of debt; think of the emergence of gambling as a living – and think of the builder or the car mechanic who charge too much and cheat their customers (but this is not fair on those professions – the society is saturated by rip-off merchants): all on a level with pimps, and common thieves:

Others again exceed in respect of taking by taking anything and from any source, e.g. those who ply sordid trades, pimps and all such people, and those who lend small sums at high rates. For all of these take more than they ought and from the wrong sources. What is common to them is evidently sordid love of gain… For those who make great gains but from wrong sources, and not the right gains, e.g. despots when they sack cities…, we do not call mean but rather wicked, impious and unjust. But the gambler and the footpad [and the highwayman] belong to the class of the mean, since they have a sordid love of gain. For gain that both of them ply their craft and endure the disgrace of it, and the one faces the greatest dangers for the sake of the booty, while the other makes gain from his friends to whom he ought to be giving.

Read of what Aristotle has to say about the prodigal, and see that he has got the number of the modern Briton to a tee – an egotist who would wilfully remain ignorant so that he doesn’t need to invest, or make sacrifices for something bigger, but will give to corporate-charity that appeals to a misapprehended sense of being moral, or guilt; someone who would whittle away a little at a time on a self-indulgent waste, all for the fleeting pleasure, but won’t spend a considerable and justifiable amount on something that, while it doesn’t satisfy a temporary whim, is important both in terms of having possession of it, and in terms of rewarding its production (not necessarily always a 50-50 share).

[The] giving [of the prodigal] is not liberal, for it is not noble, nor does it aim at nobility, nor is it done in the right way; sometimes they make rich those who should be poor, and will give nothing to people of respectable character, and much to flatterers or those who provide them with some other pleasure. Hence also most of them are self-indulgent; for they spend lightly and waste money on their indulgences, and incline towards pleasures because they do not live with a view to what is noble.

[It has to be said: this has much resonance for a provider of “alternative media” who would bring law suits against the tyranny instead of using news of it as marketing to extract financing from an audience that has been taught learned helplessness].

And now we bring the observations of Aristotle to the purpose of the making of our point. Liberalism is intrinsically linked with honour through the virtue of Magnificence – which is the liberalism of the very wealthy:

Magnificence is an attribute of expenditures of the kind which we call honourable, e.g. those connected with the gods – votive offerings, buildings, and sacrifices – similarly with any form of religious worship, and all those that are proper objects of public-spirited ambition, as when people think they ought to equip a chorus or a trireme, or entertain the city, in a brilliant way…

Of private occasions of expenditure, the most suitable are those that take place once for all, e.g. a wedding or anything of the kind, or anything that interests the whole city or the people of position in it, and also the receiving of foreign guests and the sending of them on their way, and gifts and counter-gifts; for the magnificent man spends not on himself but on public objects, and gifts bear some resemblance to votive offerings. A magnificent man will also furnish his house suitably to his wealth (for even a house is a sort of public ornament), and will spend by preference on those works that are lasting (for these are the most beautiful), and on every class of things he will spend what is becoming…

The concept that we need to spot in all this is the spending on the architecture and decoration of the magnificent man’s home as a boon to the civic pride, and the value of the polis (Greek, meaning city) given that in itself, the town and the market it hosted and served was a wealth creating device. “Rediscovered” in Renaissance Italy, Magnificence became an 18th century aspiration that shaped the landscape of every town in Britain, Ireland, and original states of America. Even though most people could not be magnificent, they could present themselves as lavishly as was suitable to their station, through their homes, in acts of liberality that aspired to being honourable by contributing to the splendour of their community. The key word is decorum – doing what is becoming. The English language itself reflects the intrinsic link between decorum and architecture in the terms decor, and decorate – but it isn’t restricted to this sphere alone. Decorum is liberality applied to all activity of expression: spend as much as is appropriate. Too much is vulgarity, too little is niggardliness.

And so, returning to the Red Dwarf example, the Cat represents the Magnificent liberal finding himself dishonoured by the dishonourable, vulgar, and sordid: a victory of barbarism over civilisation. The moral code by which the crew of the Encomium live invites and encourages profligacy of expression – too much is given, and nothing is taken to sustain well-being. Then there is the inevitable meanness – in this case, the punishment for the crime of criticism that represents a price too high to pay. By associations already made, UK society is profligate, in the pure financial meaning, and in terms of expression both, and the same dominance by the dishonourable, vulgar and sordid has been achieved. Social media, where people who don’t know an elbow from an armpit can become leading opinion formers (and who are also easy prey for those who have set “hate-speech” traps), has really made it possible for profligacy of expression to become all pervasive, and subsequently the skills needed to engage in, and create civilisation (because people do not read books, for instance), are hurried off into oblivion, being deemed by the know-all masses not to be necessary. Animals defecate where they will, but animals in the vicinity of human beings will usually be penned up where any mess can only irritate those who made it. Of course, at the root of the trouble is the education system, where a judgement about knowledge can be made without any authoritative guidance – where there can be knowledge without facts. Behold the breadth of the design to enslave.

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