to control society first control the culture

A commenter at Oz Conservative recently stated, “Liberals can only mount their progressive tyranny on non-liberals through the power of the state.” I’m not sure I agree with this, not completely anyway.
The current dominant ideology, a combination of globalism and liberalism, has gained its ascendancy mostly through gaining control of the culture. This process began early in the 20th century. By the 1960s liberal leftists were firmly in control of the worlds of art and literature. They controlled Hollywood, and most of the world of entertainment. They controlled most of the news media. They controlled the universities. They had thoroughly infiltrated most of the churches. They were well on the way to controlling the culture. Their cultural control is now total.
In most cases they did not advance their agenda through direct political means. They did not control the power of the state. They have certainly been able to force the state to enforce their agenda but this has been a fairly recent thing. In every case the coercive power of the state has only been used to compel obedience to cultural changes that have already taken place.
Homosexuality had already been culturally normalised before legislation was passed to make homosexual acts legal. Marriage had already been undermined before divorce laws were relaxed to the point of making marriage nothing more than a temporary sexual arrangement. Feminists had already gained acceptance of most of their program before feminism started to be legally enforced by the state.
The use of the judiciary to accelerate the rate of social change is a recent phenomenon and it has only been made possible by liberal domination of the culture (both high culture and popular culture). 
Liberals haven’t actually needed the power of the state to push their agenda. Nor have they needed to win election victories. As long as their control of the culture remains total they can rest assured that the power of the state can and will be used to reinforce their victories. Those victories are however always won by cultural battles, not political battles. Politics is downstream of culture.
It logically follows that liberalism cannot be defeated by conventional political means. Liberalism can only be defeated by wresting control of the culture away from them. That can only be achieved by a more powerful, more attractive, more dynamic, cultural force. At this point in time such a cultural force does not exist. Until it does liberalism will remain in the driver’s seat.

the crisis of Late Democracy

You will often hear people talk about the age of Late Capitalism. These people are almost always those who identify as being on the left but they do have a point. Capitalism has mutated. The capitalism of today bears little resemblance to the capitalism of the age of Henry Ford.
What has been less noticed is that we now live in the age of Late Democracy. Democracy of course was always a sham. The purpose of democratic institutions is to thwart the will of the people. What has changed, and it has changed dramatically over the past twenty years,  is that the mask has been dropped. In the past great effort was put into maintaining the pretense that democracy expressed the will of the people. This is no longer felt to be necessary.
Political leaders like Tony Blair, David Cameron, Barack Obama, François Hollande, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull do not even pretend to care about what the voters want or think. 
The media no longer makes any attempt to hide the fact that it manipulates elections. Members of the real elite, the international finance elite, openly buy and sell politicians. Bureaucrats and judges openly despise ordinary people and openly defy the will of the people.
The contempt for ordinary people is palpable. And it is venomous. And it is openly expressed.
The question is whether this is sustainable in the long term. Governments have always felt the need for some sort of legitimacy. This was true even in the days when kings ruled rather than serving as figureheads. A king would think twice before taking any action that he knew would be repugnant to his people. A king reigned by the Grace of God but it was clearly understood that he was in a real sense the servant of his people. If he lost the confidence of the people he could be, and often was, deposed. Such a king no longer had any legitimacy and thus could no longer claim to rule by the Grace of God.
Even dictators usually only survive for as long as they serve the interests of the nation and the people. Like kings they can be, and often are, deposed.
We now have a new situation in which we are ruled by an elite whose claim to legitimacy is increasingly sketchy. Rule by a class which openly expresses its contempt for the people is also new.
Of course our current elites have much greater power in their hands than any king or dictator. Their control over the media is total and the power of the media is unprecedented in history. They control education. They control the police and the military. They control the “intelligence communities” which are now quite blatantly employed for the purpose of social control. They also control the economy. If you oppose them they can destroy your livelihood. They can destroy your family. They can also simply have you locked up and they are increasingly willing to do so.
In spite of all this power held by the elites the situation is inherently unstable. It can only continue as long as the elites remain united, and history shows that there is no guarantee that this will continue indefinitely. There are always groups that are on the margins of the elite and they would be happy to be on the inside, and in order to achieve this they will quite cheerfully displace existing members of the elites. New groups arise that want their share of the action and again they’re happy to take the place of existing elite groups.
The continuance of this situation also depends on the ability of the elites to navigate crises, and crises are by their nature impossible to predict.
Ruling classes also become, in time, decadent.
A ruling class without legitimacy is in a poor position to weather such storms, both internal and external. Whether or not our current ruling class can do so remains to be seen.

nations and shared values and why it won’t work

There’s been some excitement over moves by Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to tighten up on the rules for granting Australian citizenship. Apparently prospective citizens will have to prove that they share Australia’s values.
This is quite interesting. I had no idea that Australia had any shared values. I’m quite sure I don’t share any values with Malcolm Turnbull. 
Is it even possible to base a nation on shared values? How many nations have been based on shared values? Nazi Germany perhaps. The old Soviet Union. In today’s world North Korea is probably the only real example. When we say that a nation is based on shared values what we’re saying is that it’s a successful totalitarianism. Everyone believes the same thing. If they don’t they get sent to a re-education camp until they do.
Liberals and progressives love the idea of nations based on values, because they assume that they’ll get to choose the values and they’ll get to enforce conformity. And there’s nothing they enjoy more than enforcing conformity.
Of course at this point someone will object and say that the United States has been a marvelous example of the success of a proposition nation, and that a proposition nation is essentially one that is based on shared values.
Indeed. A great success. But hold on a moment, wasn’t the Civil War fairly damning evidence that Americans did not share values after all? And that shared values were in fact imposed by force on the conquered South?
And today progressives, the ones who love that shared values stuff, refuse to accept the legitimacy of the current President. And the reason? Because he doesn’t share their values!
Experience tends to show that nations based on a shared history and a shared culture are more successful than nations based on shared values. That’s why Japan is a nice place to live and North Korea isn’t.
Tightening up the rules for citizenship is a great idea (although halting immigration altogether would be an even better idea) but basing the mechanisms on meaningless twaddle like values is never going to work, and for me the concept of shared values always carries with it the faint whiff of latent totalitarianism.
Sorry Malcolm, but I don’t buy it.

nationalism – blood and soil

The most effective form of nationalism is that based on ethnicity and attachment to the land – blood and soil. That raises a difficult problem for countries such as Australia, the United States and Canada. For the US the difficulties are insuperable – there never was much chance of blood and soil nationalism there.

For Australia though there was a real chance of such a thing. Up until the 1940s Australia was remarkably homogeneous both ethnically and culturally. We were genuinely an outpost of British civilisation. Culturally we were British, but with a few variations as a result of our geography and our history. We were, slowly, developing a sense of ourselves as a people. We were proud of being British, but also proud of being Australian. We had a real chance of forging a coherent national identity. The blood part of the equation could not be expected to be as strong as you’d find among people who had lived on the same land for centuries but it was still there.
The soil part of the equation was a possibility as well. Compared to Britain Australia was a harsh unfriendly and even ugly landscape. Even the well-watered coastal fringes lack the charm and the prettiness of the English countryside. Despite this Australians had created a perverse fondness for the Australian landscape. In fact we possibly loved the land even more because it was superficially ugly and uninviting – it was a land you could only love if you got to know it. If outsiders couldn’t appreciate it that was their problem.
We developed a mythology based on the landscape. From an early stage Australia was highly urbanised but even Australians who lived their whole lives in cities were familiar with the mythology of the Bush, of cattle stations and drovers and bushrangers.
Australia in the late 1940s should have been well placed to develop, eventually, a strong sense of Australian-ness based on ethnic unity and a strong attachment to the land. Then our government, in its infinite wisdom, decided we needed mass migration. As so often it was a policy imposed upon the people. Since both major parties enthusiastically supported  mass migration there was no need to ask the Australian people how they felt about the matter. There was certainly no need to hold a referendum even though this was a policy that would radically change our society.
Up until the 1970s it was not a fatal problem. Most non-British immigrants were from Italy or Greece, with smaller numbers from eastern Europe and various Balkan nations. They assimilated fairly well. Our national identity was weakened but not quite destroyed. Then began the influx of Third World immigrants. 
It’s perhaps not quite too late for Australia now but time is definitely running out. The only hope is that people realise that the mainstream political parties – all of them – have betrayed them and intend to go on betraying them. Socially conservative and traditionalist Australians who imagine they are doing the right thing by voting for the LNP coalition are deluding themselves. They are voting for the destruction of Australia.

Nothing can be achieved until voters are prepared to reject both the mainstream parties.

why have conservatives failed to revolt?

It is easy enough to make the claim that the catastrophic decline of our civilisation over the past fifty years or so has been imposed upon us by without our consent and against our will by  cynical elites. There is a considerable amount of truth to to this but it is not the full story. We have in fact given de facto consent to our own destruction. We have done this by failing to resist this destruction.
A particularly interesting question is – why have rank-and-file conservatives allowed our civilisation to be trashed? The supporters of parties such as the British Conservative Party, the Australian Liberal Party and the Republican Party in the US have been historically drawn from the middle classes. They are supposedly well educated. Many if not most are people who are at least modestly successful in business or the professions. Can these people really claim they had no idea what was happening? Can they really claim they failed to understand the consequences of one disastrous decision after another, one catastrophic policy after another? Can they also make the claim that were was nothing they could do to halt the remorseless slide to ruin?
By the time Ted Heath became prime minister in 1970 the British Conservative Party had long since ceased to stand for anything conservative. In fact it had ceased to stand for anything at all. It’s true that under Margaret Thatcher it had a brief flirtation with the concept of standing for something, although what the Thatcher Government stood for certainly wasn’t conservatism. After that it gratefully went back to standing for nothing except the hope of power. And for half a century Conservative voters have dutifully turned out to vote for them.
It’s understandable that they didn’t wish to vote Labour but there were alternatives. Even voting for an independent is preferable to voting for unprincipled charlatans. Conservative voters could have made it clear to the party that if it intended to betray its conservative principles then it was going to face political oblivion. Faced with a revolt by its core voters it would have little choice but to rethink its slide towards amoral cynicism.
In Australia as early as the 70s it was clear that the Liberal-National Coalition intended, with its catastrophic embrace of multiculturalism, to betray its own base. It’s the same story with the US Republicans.
Each of these these parties has consistently treated its own base with contempt, and that base has kept on voting for them.
It could be argued that in the 70s the process of betrayal was not yet completely obvious, but it has certainly been obvious for the past twenty years. Finally, in the past few years, there have been some stirrings of discontent – the rise of UKIP, the Trump phenomenon – but it has been too little too late and there is still no guarantee that even these belated revolts will be sufficiently sustained to have any real effect.
Even more puzzling are the motivations of the actual members – the rank-and-file members – of these parties. They should surely have been even more aware of the extent to which these parties had abandoned any loyalty to their supporters. Why do they remain within parties from which it is obvious that nothing good can be expected?
Of course the leftist parties have betrayed their principles and their supporters to an equally egregious degree, but conservative voters are as I indicated earlier supposedly better educated. 
It appears that the middle and upper classes, who provide most of the support for these supposedly conservative parties, have been thoroughly demoralised and corrupted. Of course our whole society has been systematically demoralised and corrupted by half a century of relentless indoctrination into the values of liberalism coupled with the worship of hedonism and depravity. What is disturbing though is that it appears that the demoralisation of the middle classes must have started long before this – after all it was educated middle class people who unleashed the horrors of the past fifty years of cultural degeneracy upon us so they must have already been corrupted.
It was apparently sensible and respectable middle class people who were already as early as the 1960s tamely acquiescing in elite follies such as mass immigration, feminism, the undermining of the family, the insane liberalising of the drug laws and the embrace of homosexuality. And not just young middle-class people, but in many cases middle-aged middle-class people. The demoralisation of the middle classes must have begun much earlier.
Societies can commit suicide but it takes a very long time to do so. It requires people to shut their eyes to reality for decade after decade. In fact it requires a real effort of will to ignore reality so completely for so long, and an even larger effort of will to persist in such folly.

the social revolution within the Left

The most extraordinary (and arguably most disastrous) change in the political landscape in the past century has been the social revolution that has occurred within the political parties of the Left.
In 1945 Ben Chifley became Labor Prime Minister of Australia. Chifley was the son of a blacksmith and he became an engine driver in the New South Wales Railways. He was the solidly working-class leader of a solidly working-class party.
Chifley was defeated at the 1949 election. It would be 23 years before Australia had another Labor Prime Minister. In 1972 Gough Whitlam achieved that distinction. Whitlam was a lawyer from a privileged background. He was the solidly elitist leader of a party already well on the way to becoming an elitist political party. In 1972 Labor still retained vestiges of its past as a working-class democratic socialist party. Today the last traces of that past have long since disappeared.
The same process has occurred in the British Labour Party and in the Democratic Party in the US. The leaderships are entirely elitist in outlook. They not only have no interest in the working class, they actively (and increasingly openly) feel contempt for the working class. They advance the interests of people like themselves – fellow members of the elite. There is only one group whom they despise even more than the working class – the few remaining remnants of the old school Left within their own parties. Not that there are many left – if you are an old school leftist your chances of a political career within these supposedly left-wing parties are just about zero.
The treatment meted out to Bernie Sanders is a good indication of the chances of an actual leftist in a modern leftist party. While it’s true that the current leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, does hold some old school leftist beliefs he was elected by the rank and file much against the wishes of the Labour Party establishment (who will do everything within their power to destroy him).
What all this means is that in practice there is no longer any political opposition. The mainstream parties all support globalism and crony capitalism. They all despise anybody who is not a member of the elites. They all work to further the interests of the same class, the class to which they all belong. On economic policy there are simply no genuine differences between the parties. There is no debate on real economic issues. 
This is an extremely unhealthy situation to say the least.
When economic policy is no longer a subject for debate failed economic policies go unchallenged. Even those who disagree strongly with the old school socialists should be concerned by this.
There are no real differences between the major parties on social issues either. They all welcome identity politics because it provides a convenient smokescreen for their disastrous economic policies. They pretend to differ slightly on social issues but this is quite simply a fraud. The “leftist” parties (which have abandoned leftism) want a complete social revolution right now. The “conservative” parties think we should move more slowly. They want a complete social revolution as well but think it should be delayed at least until next week.
It is quite likely that most people under the age of 50 have no idea that the Australian Labor Party, the British Labour Party and the US Democrats used to have actual socialist policies and, more startlingly, used to be solidly socially conservative. 
This political revolution has simply passed unnoticed.

identity and ideology

The 20th century has been described as an age of ideology. In the past few decades ideology seems to have been become less important. Identity politics has become the dominant theme. Politics is no longer a clash between believers in competing ideologies but a clash between competing identity groups. People vote for parties and candidates that will advance the interests of their identity group (be it feminists, homosexuals, blacks or other ethnic groups) – the actual policies of the parties and candidates are no longer relevant. In most cases elections are contests between parties whose policies are more or less identical anyway.
There are those on the alt-right who believe that whites should adopt identity politics. The idea of white nationalism has been gaining ground among alt-righters in the United States. 
Personally I’m a bit sceptical, for several reasons. I’m all in favour of nationalism but I’m dubious about a nationalism based on something as vague and as broad as race, or even ethnicity. It concerns me that it’s the sort of woolly thinking that led to the nightmare that is the EU. It’s also the sort of thinking that led Winston Churchill to come up with his ludicrous idea of some kind of brotherhood of all the English-Speaking Peoples, blithely ignoring the fact that the various English-speaking nations had no actual interests in common.
My second reason for scepticism is that I simply cannot bring myself to consider all white people, or even all Anglo-Celts, to be somehow “my people.” I can’t even consider all white Australians to be my people. I find it impossible to feel any sense of solidarity with white Australian feminists, white Australian LGBT activists or white Australian environmentalist extremists. I feel no solidarity at all with liberals. I’m afraid that I can’t really accept the idea that identity trumps ideology. Call me old-fashioned, but ideology matters to me. 
I don’t want my country overrun by immigrants but I also don’t want my country trashed by feminists, homosexuals, environmentalists and other assorted liberals. The threat to our civilisation posed by liberalism in all its myriad manifestations is far greater and more far-reaching than the threat posed by immigrants. Without liberalism there would be no immigration menace.
My third reservation is this – has identity really superseded ideology? I’m not so sure. It’s true that the major political parties are now more or less interchangeable. It’s true that politicians talk about identity politics more than they talk about ideology. But then anyone who believes what politicians say is pretty naïve – politicians always lie. Ideology does still matter, it’s just that the major political parties all share the same ideology. Their devotion to that ideology is as absolute as the devotion of the most devout Marxist. The ruling ideology  is free trade, global capitalism and open borders combined with social radicalism and identity politics. The social radicalism and identity politics are needed to ensure that the population remains divided and demoralised and thus unlikely to challenge the rule of the elites. 
This globalist ideology has nothing to do with traditional notions of left or right but that should not lead us to make the mistake of thinking that it is not a political ideology. The age of ideology has not ended.