Russell Taylor: We are the radicals now

It is said that the modern political landscape was shaped by the baby boomers of the post-war era. In fact, the progressive philosophy they embody pre-dates them, but it is true that much of what passes for conventional wisdom was forged in the political crucible of the 1960s. Boomer radicals styled themselves as rebels against an oppressive and reactionary establishment – an intellectual guerrilla force, launching covert attacks on capitalism and convention. But for all their pretensions, they never had much of an agenda, beyond a childish determination to dodge the responsibilities of adulthood. Get a proper job? Work hard? Raise a family? What a buzz-kill. Better to plan for utopia and trust in your passion and book-smarts to see you through.

Boomers discovered the hard way that creating a post-modern society, liberated from the ego-denying burden of reality, is an expensive business. Turning on, tuning in and dropping out is just groovy if the rest of society gets on with the work you are too avant-garde to undertake; but once it becomes the stuff of social convention, ‘the rest of society’ becomes a dwindling force of demoralised cash cows, working to finance the bureaucratic machine that maintains boomer-sponsored entitlements. And when their beleaguered efforts are no longer enough, the money is borrowed against future earnings – a future that looks bleaker and more debt-laden by the minute.

That’s the bitter irony of the post-war era: the dreamers promised to release us from ‘the system’, with its rules and hierarchies, and ended up creating the most dogmatic and authoritarian political system in the history of Western civilisation. The hippy idealists have been replaced by men in grey suits – more dour power than flower power. They have been joined at the top by an axis of thinkers, writers, media luvvies, and that hallowed priesthood known as ‘the experts’, who have less regard for your opinions and less tolerance of your wishes than the conservative mafia they supposedly replaced. So much for progress.

For those the system serves, the fairytale has come true; but for those suckers charged with bankrolling it and suffering its deprivations, it feels more like a prison. And it was always destined thus. The boomers never intended to swap the pressures of responsibility for anarchy and medieval squalor. They wanted the freedom to do as they please, without being deprived of modernity’s comforts. As long as their sugar daddies were free to place conditions on their generosity, they would be bound by the responsibilities they were determined to throw off. So the state was employed to take that freedom away and bring about the municipal quagmire that envelops us today.

Despite their grimly statist ways, the utopians continue to pass themselves off as well-meaning hipsters, anti-establishment rebels and earthy pro-underdog types, united by a devotion to freedom and tolerance. This has to be the most successful PR exercise in history – no less astonishing than if Hitler had convinced the world he was an avid Judeophile. The people responsible for hate crimes, speech codes, the smoking ban, debilitating taxes, and a soul-sucking state bureaucracy would have us believe that they are chilled-out hepcats, who totally dig your scene. If you think what they think, do what they say, and accept the terms of their ‘generosity’, it might be possible to enjoy their simulacrum of freedom as though it’s the real thing. But wander too far from the coop and soon you’ll soon collide with the chicken wire.

The purveyors of the utopian vision would have us believe they are doing us a favour by facing down the monocled toffs, mega-bonus bankers and goose-stepping genocide enthusiasts who are out to get us. But while we are free to snub these right-wing bogeymen, they give us no such choice. They are tolerant of everything, save dissent. And anyway, they’re the puppet masters now. Their anti-establishment poses are meaningless, because they are the establishment. They are not sticking it to the man, because they are the man. It’s cognitive dissonance gone ape. They sit on the bridge of the progressive Death Star and lecture us on peace, humility and free love, seemingly oblivious to the absurd juxtaposition.

It is preposterous that these illiberal liberals should describe proper liberals (in the classical sense of the word) as agents of exploitation and oppression. Real liberals don’t demand a say in your opinions, your decisions, your choice of associates and how you reach accommodations with them, how much money you have or how you earned it. If we don’t like what you’ve done or what you have to offer, we’ll tell you so, and we’ll extend to you the same right. Judge and be judged, we say. After all, you can’t have it both ways: you’re either in favour of freedom or you’re not. You can’t claim to be a live-and-let-live kind of guy, then draw up a list of things that people can and can’t do. This isn’t to say that we don’t respect the rule of law – we do – but we believe that laws and the power of the state to create them should be limited. We respect your rights as an individual and we want you to live your life as you see fit – which is a radical idea, in this day and age.

So-called liberals of the so-called progressive variety are now the status quo. They’re the reactionaries, clinging to their outmoded economic theories, their debunked social models, their blinkered opinions, and their unaffordable entitlements. They’re the ones who have sown resentment, envy and division, and made ambition and advancement dirty words. They want you to live for everyone but yourself. If that is the life you choose, so be it; but to force that preference on others is not compassion, it’s tyranny.

Young people once looked forward to the day they would escape the family home and forge their own path through life. Holding down a job, managing their finances and taking responsibility for their actions were what defined them as adults. And a society of such people, working together, was the cornerstone of Western civilisation. But for the past few decades, the Left has sold us a different dream. They have promised to look after the boring admin of life, so we might set off on its great adventure, like Georgian gentlemen embarking on Grand Tours. Even if this vision had not soured to a living nightmare, it would have still been profoundly dehumanising. Coping with the vagaries of life is life. It’s how we express our individuality and become more mature, rounded human beings. By seeking to liberate us from life’s challenges, the Left has turned us into a nation of children, trapped in a shabby, impoverished society, the primary function of which is to subsidise its least productive members.

What is radical or exciting about any of this? What could be more conservative than the grey, Sovietised world of bloated bureaucracy and state dependency? Young people after something fresh and liberating shouldn’t look to the Left’s glowering commissars and prissy schoolmarms for inspiration. They should recognise them as the deadbeats who’ve been kicking the can in their direction for the past few decades, and whose obsession with equality has lowered their horizons and stunted their opportunities. A life defined and prescribed according to the nostrums of the Left is no life at all. It’s a travesty: a blood sacrifice to the gods of ego and equality. No one with an ounce of intelligence or integrity should want anything to do with it.

17 comments on “Russell Taylor: We are the radicals now

  1. Luke Major
    November 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Fantastic read!

    • Baron
      November 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Seconded to the power of two, truly brilliant from top to bottom.

      The same question Baron has asked before. Why aren’t you published more widely? Surely there must be another platform, even within the MSM media, that would have you. The Bogpaper may one day become more widely read than the whole of the other sites, but why wait?

      Your take on things smells fresh, is superbly well articulated, invigorating and uplifting, almost sublime in the lightness of expression and depth of thought.

      Come on, young Russell Taylor, move your star to yet another place. You’ll outshine the lot. Trust Baron, he knows, he’s checked it out.

      • Russell Taylor
        November 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        Thank you for the kind words, Baron. I tell it as I see it, and I’m glad that there is an appreciative audience out there, small though it is. I’m sure that for every like-minded soul there will be plenty who think I’m talking out of my backside.

        As for my writing ambitions, I was plucked from obscurity by James Delingpole, so I’ll be loyal to Bogpaper as long as I’m wanted here — which will be long after I’m producing this stuff from a hammock in the Caribbean, with a couple of Pulitzer Prizes to my name.

        Like most of us at Bogpaper, I’m a working Joe, who writes in his spare time. But I wouldn’t say no if some media bigwig offered me bundles of cash to write for a wider audience. Just need someone to snap me up!

  2. Peter
    November 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Spot on! Sadly, you are probably preaching to the converted.

  3. Woorde
    November 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    “…progressive Death Star…” ; BBC central

  4. Degueldre
    November 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm #


  5. dr
    November 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I was thinking about my late cat the other day, and I noticed a loose similarity between my economic relationship with him, and the relationship between the government and citizens.
    My cat didn’t have a job, and frankly was a layabout. My family used to provide food (food stamps), shelter (housing benefit), pay vets bills (healthcare) and sometimes took some time to play with him aswell (entertainment eg. BBC).
    To be honest, he didn’t seem to mind being the recipient of our care – he never ran away – and we loved him to bits. He provided company for my family members when others were at work or away from home.
    Are we turning into pets of the government?

  6. John
    November 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Great article, many thanks.

  7. silverminer
    November 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    “a nation of children” is spot on. That sums it up exactly. A mass condition of learned helplessness always looking to Big Daddy State to make it right. They want us dumb, clueless and easy to control. Seems like a few of us slipped through the net though…

    • Russell Taylor
      November 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      I’m going to pushing this line now: that the Left is for misfits, losers, grey men, and fusty old gits. There’s nothing exciting about their vision. The Right is where it’s at.

  8. Lord Lunatic
    November 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    It seems to me that part of the states role is to pay for those who can’t afford to pay for the state eg exhorbitant council tax .green subsidies ,VAT,tv licence etc.

  9. Simon Roberts
    November 21, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    An excellent piece and beautifully written as always.

    For someone from my generation, the subject is dripping with irony.

    The Soviet Union was established and maintained by force and we spent decades opposing it – yet now we are choosing to emulate it.

    For those who are starting out in life, the best option for future freedom would seem to be to move to Russia or one of the other ex-communist countries. They’ve lived it and they aren’t going to go back.

    • Russell Taylor
      November 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      Thanks Simon. It’s been interesting to read how some people in the Czech Republic regard the EU. They see all that consolidated power as a terrifying reminder of the old Soviet Bloc, and they take little consolation from its supposedly benign intent.

  10. silverminer
    November 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Found this on ZeroHedge:-

    Well worth a read. I think there is a lot of sense in this article. Whilst we can have a intellectual argument of Right verses Left, and rightly feel that we have the moral high ground, it doesn’t change the fact that all of us are enslaved by a supranational, psychopathic predator class of bankers, crony capitalists and technocrats.

    I don’t see a way out until well meaning people on Right and Left can somehow come together and make common cause against the parasites who oppress us. Ron Paul was very effective at this.

    I think UKIP are the vehicle for doing the same in the UK. Most of my local party are Old Labour types but I say let them have their welfare state and their NHS as long as I can can get an opt out from paying for it and make my own provision. In the meantime we can work together to get out of the EU and agree that the wars, the wind farms and the overseas aid need to go.

    • Russell Taylor
      November 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Thanks, I’ll take a look. Your idea of an opt-out is nice, but will never happen for two reasons. Firstly, the welfare state is as much about harming the well-off as it is helping the poor. Secondly, welfarism doesn’t work at all unless you can stick the cost on the people most likely to opt out if given a choice.

  11. silverminer
    November 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Never is being a touch defeatist, Russell. Where there’s a will there is a way! The Welfare State didn’t arrive in its present form overnight, it grew by increments. Likewise, we’ll never get rid of it overnight, it needs chipping away at.

    A good first step would be to restore the contributory principle, so we know exactly what it is costing, i.e. a ring fenced NI that fully funds the whole welfare and healthcare system (increase it to whatever it takes). This has the added benefit that you could require 10 years contributions of either yourself or a parent in order to qualify which gets rid of the immigration entitlement problem overnight (which Frank Field has suggested…make common cause with the Left again).

    Then you can see a direct link between increasing or decreasing benefits and the corresponding effect on the NI contribution, i.e. payers of NI will be looking for benefit cuts to save them money. So you’ve created a political constituency for cutting welfare, increasing the pension age etc.

    Then you let 18 years old opt out and make their own provision saving themselves from ever having to pay NI. Can’t be right to ask the next generation to pay this generation’s benefits now, can it?! Next year it’s 19 years olds etc. As people see this alternative working independence becomes less of a scary alternative. Of course this starves the system of funds leading to higher NI and reduced benefits, i.e. more opt outs.

    Keep chipping away at it and a few decades down the line and it’s gone. Just withered on the vine. Each step is fairly innocuous in itself but it’s all working to an end, i.e. the same way the system was built. What can be done can be undone.

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    November 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

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