I founded the Imperial British Conservative party in New Zealand in 1974 having stood three times as an independent candidate in the Australian general elections. I fully realise that the mere mention of such words as “Imperial”, “British”,or “Conservative” is likely to produce shudders of horror or mocking laughter. However, before rejecting my terminology out of hand, I beg the reader to temporarily suspend his or her educational conditioning and follow this brief explanation of my choice of such an unpopular title for a political party.
Is there anyone who is not an anti-imperialist these days? It’s like being anti-slavery or anti-cannibalism. It seems so obvious that imperialism is a bad thing. Images of cruel imperialists in pith-helmets beating up natives and taking their land have become a cliche and sometimes reaches heights of absurdity when used as propaganda to support a new ruling elite.
For example Australians often portray themselves as good honest folk who came to a new land to get away from an oppressive British government. The story goes that when they arrived they found nasty red-coated troops still oppressing them. When they became independent (without a shot being fired) they began to portray themselves as freedom-loving heroes who had thrown off the yoke of an occupying power.
However both the settlers and the troops, being a mixture of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish were all British. Apart from the convicts, the only people who really were oppressed were the Aboriginals, and their lot did not improve under the new ruling elite of “dinkum Aussies” who were being taught in the schools to despise their British roots. In fact the treatment of the native peoples worsened.
In this they were only following the example of what had already taken place in the USA when the colonists “threw off the yoke etc.” of the nasty British, and behaved even worse towards the native people.
In New Zealand, until they became “Americanised” and began slavishly copying the life style of the wretched blacks in the urban ghettos, Maori had more trust in the fairness of the Crown than in the New Zealand Parliament. Parliament had a record of authorising illegal land grabs for the settlers who voted for it and ran it, in spite of the opposition of the central imperialist government in the United Kingdom.
The Economic Benefits of Imperialism
Though not perfect, (and what government in the history of the world has been perfect?), imperialism often introduces a much higher standard of living to people living in dire poverty and disease, with frequent outbreaks of famine.
Anti-imperialism has often had exactly the opposite effect. Look at Africa today. Only red-necked anti-imperialists can do so without questioning their own educational conditioning. British imperialists brought the sugar to the West Indies and the rubber to Malaysia etc. and, given enough time, built up the economic infrastructure in their colonies in a much sounder fashion than international communism (led by Russia and China) or international capitalism (led by the USA and Europe).
Economic Consequences of Anti-Imperialism
The Spanish colonies in Latin America may not have had the advantages of being administered by the British Colonial Office but for a century and a half the largely hidden political interference of the North Americans in South American states has been truly catastrophic to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the people there.
Having brought in trained revolutionaries like Bolivar and backed them with money and weapons to overthrow the Spanish administrators and the North Americans replaced them with corrupt dictators who could be easily manipulated by American and European investors. The only beneficiaries of anti-imperialism are multinational corporations and the corrupt bullies who rule the “independent” ex-colonies.
Are Russia, America and China Anti-imperialists?
Anyone who tries to think for himself, rather than simply regurgitating propaganda cliches learned at school and university, will fail to see how the world powers who have replaced the “wicked” British Empire are free from the expansion of political and economic power that we associate with imperialism.
At the end of WW2, at Yalta and Teheran, the USA and USSR jointly carved up the British Empire, then exhausted by years of a lone struggle against the Nazis. Spheres of influence were settled. America may have bribed her “colonies” and Russia may have bullied hers but both became imperial powers in all but name.
The White man’s Burden
Imperialists who are prepared to admit they are imperialists have responsibilities towards their colonies and introduce not only a properly functioning economic infrastructure but bring freedom from tyranny or chaos, better medical care, education, and often grant citizenship rights to indigenous peoples regardless of race.
Judged by this standard the British Empire was a remarkable success and the pseudo anti-imperialists with their puppet colonies have a truly ghastly record. How can anyone who studies history impartially conclude that the end of the British Empire was a good thing and the heartless, faceless, multicultural and corrupt Global Economy replacing it is to be admired?
The phrase, “Cultural Imperialism”, is often used to describe the flood of American products into all regions of the world. This is a terrible misnomer, since this influence is not cultural but anti-cultural.
The only branch of human knowledge which specialises in studying human cultures is anthropology. Anthropologists define culture as an integrated set of beliefs and practices, or values, which produce cohesion and give meaning to a people. The mass adoption of American consumerist lifestyle and their “neophiliac” rejection of the past has resulted in the collapse of many cultures and their transformation into corrupt and shallow imitators of the American Dream of materialism and freedom from tradition
Multiculturalism and The New World Order
Anthropologists would also reject the use of such a word as “multicultural” to describe a properly functioning society. Tribes or nations only exist because they have a culture which identifies them and gives them meaning. The word “multicultural” is often used to justify the erosion of the existing culture with its laws and customs in preparation for a take-over by a conglomerate of irresponsible multi-nationals whose only interest is in personal gain for their managerial elites and shareholders. In other words, the New World Order.
Before attempting to define the meaning of the cultural identity known as “British” I must point out that such geographical categories as “New Zealand”, “Australia”, “Asia”, or “Pacific”, are terms which have no cultural meaning. I also bring in a word of caution about the use of the word “mankind” (which does not exist as a cultural term, unless we are confronted by aliens from outer space) to justify the destruction of existing cultural values.
It is important first to clarify a number of confusions about national identity, which have developed particularly since the end of the Second World War. These are producing a sense of alienation amongst peoples who are losing their roots as a result.
Today the word British is commonly, if wrongly, limited to describing only citizens of the United Kingdom. At the same time both the Scots and Welsh peoples are preparing to set up separate sovereign national governments.
Citizenship Versus Cultural Identity
Prior to the twentieth century, when immigration and emigration grew exponentially, one’s citizenship and one’s cultural identity were usually the same. Most people lived in the same country as their ancestors and held similar cultural beliefs and practices.
The USA was the first nation founded on the assumption that culture, with its strong connections with the past, should be broken down in the “melting pot” and replaced with citizenship based on the future. In other words, “The American Dream.” The recent growth in political power and economic influence of the USA is producing a world-wide but shallow culture based on the slavish emulation of new American fads and fashions in clothes, food, music, sexual mores etc.
Although this has affected all peoples in the world, obviouly the English-speaking peoples are most at risk of losing their sense of cultural identity. The people of the UK have had some protection as a result of being surrounded by their rich cultural heritage, particularly with the powerful British Empire still a living memory, and the congruence between their culture and their geographical location.
In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, already separated from the British Isles by thousands of miles, the situation has been aggravated by the UK joining the European Economic Community
National Identity And Geographical Location
When peoples lose their roots and culture they frequently begin to identify themselves by their geographical location and mistake this for their national identity in the American manner. At the same time they unconsciously begin to emulate the American lifestyle.
The Poles have suffered from the opposite problem. There has never been a clear demarcation of the boundaries of Poland and they have frequently been occupied by stronger neighbouring states, yet the Poles have a very strong sense of cultural identity.
The Power of a Name
Weakened by two world wars, which had the effect of strengthening the USA, the British Empire began to fade away. Ex-colonies began to find offence in the very name “British”. First it became the British Commonwealth and finally the word British was dropped altogether.
Like “The United States” “Europe” and “Western Civilisation”, “The Commonwealth” as a descriptive term eliminates any cultural component. This is linked with the doctrine of economic determinism, in both capitalist and socialist versions, which is fast replacing cultural explanations of “the meaning of life”.
During the 1950s, for both political and economic reasons, the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand governments broke their links with the British Isles and turned towards the USA. The word British was removed from the passports and history was rewritten for the school children, with the enthusiastic help of the French Catholic intellectuals in Canada and Irish Catholic intellectuals in Australia.
The new history falsely portrayed the British administrators and armed forces of the 19th Century as either tyrants or poltroons, and the settlers as heroic refugees fleeing from an oppressive government in the British Isles. In Australia, convicts and brigands were transformed into noble heroes against the wicked British establishment. In New Zealand the process took longer as there was no similar intellectual grievance group.
Manipulation Of Indigenous Peoples
Unscrupulous people who want power without responsibility will always attack established authorities, who can be held accountable for their actions, so that they may take over and indulge their desire to control others without any such limitation.
They appoint themselves as spokesmen, leaders and guardians of “the people” and especially any groups who can be turned against the “Establishment”. The use of this technique has brought many “radicals” rapid social advancement. In Canada, they espouse the rights of the Native Americans; in Australia, the rights of anyone who is not British; and in New Zealand, the rights of the Maori tribes.
The Treaty of Waitangi is completely misrepresented as giving the Maori tribes joint sovereignty when it in fact granted the Maoris the precious gift of British citizenship, whilst guaranteeing them their ancient rights to hunt and gather food in their traditional way, if they so chose. The nineteenth century wars were recently portrayed in a series on TVNZ written by an historian from Auckland University as an attack on the noble, peace-loving Maori people by the usual villainous and/or doltish British. Those tribes who had embraced British Citizenship for all the advantages it brought them and fought beside the troops sent from the British Isles, were portrayed as crawlers and traitors.
The attack on the use of the word British to describe the culture in New Zealand has been in full force now for a generation. At the same time the predominant role model for the youth sub-culture has become the Black American ghetto dweller, inarticulate, illiterate, resentful, promiscuous and addicted to drugs, sex and rock and roll (rap, hip hop, etc.)
The new power brokers who run the government, mass media, and mass education institutions are still suppressing any knowledge that the people who founded the New Zealand culture of today were not Polynesians or Europeans but British.
The perfect illustration of this is Te Papa (Our House), the new National Museum of New Zealand. At the spectacular opening there was a display of multiculturalism where performers from just about every culture were invited to celebrate the occasion. Guess what! There was nothing at all from the English culture. Inside the picture is much the same. The settlers are described throughout as “Europeans” and the word “British” mainly restricted to negative contexts!
What Is British?
It’s important not to confuse English with British; this will naturally enough infuriate the non-English cultures in the British Isles. The English, who are a synthesis of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Norman French, provided the seed for this distinct culture. The process took several hundred years and began with the consolidation of England and defeat of the Vikings. Soon afterwards the Norman invaders introduced the French language and efficient organisational procedures.
Briefly; the collapse of Caesaro-papist Western Christendom in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries led to the emergence of various language-based “divine right” kingdoms. Until the Protestants there opted for closer ties with Anglican England, Scotland was controlled by Roman Catholic France. Elizabeth I arranged for her throne to pass to the Scottish King James to continue her policy of avoiding unnecessary wars.
In the eighteenth century the world’s most democratic people entered into a Union of Scotland with England and Wales and the progressive granting of voting rights to the Irish produced a new culture which became known as British.
Shakespeare’s beloved England became the United Kingdom or Britannia, and a maritime empire began to grow. Part of North America was lost but Australia and New Zealand provided space for emigration and India became the “jewel in the crown”.
Unlike Napoleonic France, the USA, or USSR in the nineteenth century, this empire was based on mutual trading advantages and improving local economic infrastructures rather than on land conquest and elimination of local ancient traditions. Anyone who has studied history without wearing anti-Britidsh blinkers will realise that the peoples in Asia, Africa, India and Australasia were fortunate that they were colonised by the British rather than the Germans, French, Belgians, Russians or Japanese.
There Is No “New Zealand” Culture
In spite of vociferous, chauvinistic assertions, there is no New Zealand (or Australian) culture. The impossibility of finding one when its true roots lie in the British Isles has produced predictable consequences. These include a worship of local landscape, which is largely irrelevant to a civilised culture, an obsession with sporting achievements in place of intellectual and spiritual achievements, and the placing of absurd emphasis on such things as Pavlova cakes (also claimed by Australia), Vegemite, (a variation of the English Marmite), Gum boots ( invented by the Duke of Wellington), and the Buzzy Bee (recently revealed as an American invention)! Nearly everything proudly called called Kiwiana has been imported from the British Isles or the USA.
Turning Into Pakehas
This alienation from the culture of their ancestors has produced a most revealing development in New Zealand. The superficial Maori revival in New Zealand resembles the totalitarian Nazi and Communist revivals of “peasant culture” to replace the sophisticated democratic Christian establishments which they overthrew.
A racist retreat to sentimental and dysfunctional pre-civilised values has been fostered by government action. The Maori have been persuaded by anti-British intellectuals in the schools and universities that they are no longer British, with all the rights and responsibilities that this entails.
Nearly all Maori are descended from a mixture of British and Maori ancestors yet they are being pressurised to completely reject the British side of their inheritance. They are, moreover, being led to believe that they are the only people in New Zealand with any real culture, everyone else is “multicultural”, a mixture of European, Polynesian and Asian. When told that they are “New Zealanders” and should integrate with the majority of the population naturally enough many of them object.
The non-Maori ruling elites in New Zealand have begun to refer to themselves as “Pakehas”. This is most revealing. Since the word Pakeha simply means non-Maori, they regard themselves as people with no cultural identity at all! The majority of the people in New Zealand have become a residual category.
I hope the reader has taken my point. This is alienation on a really disastrous scale. Use of the word “Pakeha” should only be tolerated on maraes or as an informal slang term, like “Mick”,”Pom”, “Jock”, “Whitey” or “Darkie”. It should never be used in schools, universities, churches, government publications or the mass media.
The Politics Of Alienation
Political parties are organisations of citizens attempting to win elections so that they can exercise governmental power. If they don’t know who they are in the first place, how on earth can their policies make sense?
The names of the parties in New Zealand are almost completely empty of meaning. “New Zealand First” and “National” suffer from not knowing what “New Zealand” means in terms of culture, its history, religion, customs, laws and so on. “Labour” and “New Labour” are not organisations run by and for British working men and women but by professional ideologues with no culture themselves except discredited economic master-plans for running other people’s lives.
“Green” values seem both sentimental and inextricably mixed up with materialistic beliefs. I will outline a more rational approach to conserving the environment in the third and last part of this article when I will give my reasons for choosing the word “Conservative”.
My Thesis Confirmed
A few days after writing this article, I read in the Christchurch “Press” that Tau Henare, having just announced that he was forming a political party solely to represent the Maori culture, was invited to speak to an indigenous peoples’ human rights conference in Auckland. He slammed New Zealand’s “Pakeha icons, Buzzy Bees, black singlets and gumboots”, and told the delegates that “New Zealand lacked soul and identity”. He claimed that the nation was built on the backs of Maori and Pacific Island people and offered “a dream for those who dare”, of an alternative New Zealand as a Pacific nation “with a strong identity that included Maori, Pakeha, and Pacific Islanders”. I note that, unlike Maori, neither Pakeha or Pacific Islander, as a descriptive term, gives any indication of any recognisable cultural identity.
It took much moral courage to choose the word ‘British’ to describe the deep cultural values that my political party wished to protect, advance, and if necessary amend, particularly in those countries like New Zealand, Canada and Australia, who have “sold their birthrights for a mess of pottage!” Since this was an extremely difficult and controversial decision, I welcome any criticism that would cause me to change my mind.
Why chose the word conservative which carries with it an undercurrent implying ‘out-of date’ or ‘conformist’? One reason is that the opposite term progressive, which carries with it an assumption of being innovative and non-conformist, has for at least a hundred years become indistinguishable from rigid conformist views on the absolute good of economic development.
Both capitalists and socialists believe in the absolute good of economic development, they only squabble on the best way to achieve a materialist utopia. It is fairly obvious that the socialists lost the battle for finding the best way to make everyone better off in purely material terms.
Socialism Still Fights On
Today the only place where socialists find ready listeners is in the universities and teacher training colleges where puritanical socialists find a ready audience of ‘un-empowered’ students going through the puberty crisis.
These adolescents are urged to rebel against their parents’ generation out of sheer resentment and, regardless of the economic consequences to their society, to ‘empower’ themselves at the same time. If it were not for these tax-payer-funded institutions, socialism as an influencial creed, and its associated inquisitorial campaigns to enforce political correctness, would vanish overnight.
Capitalism Given a New Lease of Life
The present obsession with market forces or pure capitalism is a knee-jerk reaction to the incredible bungling of socialist governments, whose policies of massive state intervention bankrupted every country who tried it.
But for the failed utopias of the socialists pure capitalism would never have been embraced. Prior to the 1980s pure capitalism had never existed. No country before this had ever abandoned all values other than economic ones. There were still traditional religious values in all countries, even though these were losing legitimation with the growth of the rational-scientific world view. They had been producing far better goods and services than the earlier feudal societies though at the dangerous cost of gradually weakening social cohesion.
The market centred values of the Industrial Revolution, which the new economic wizards like Adam Smith had recognized as a vital necessity, have become increasingly dysfunctional as we move into the post-industrial period.
As the manufacturing industry grew the proportion of the population engaged in agriculture shrank rapidly, yet at the same time agricultural production increased dramatically.
With the coming of the postindustrial society the proportion of the population engaged in the manufacturing industry is rapidly shrinking and that in the service and information sectors is increasing rapidly.
Our ideological (educational) and political institutions have not changed significantly in over a hundred years and the values that worked for an industrial society simply do not work for a world where wage-slavery and property owning are losing their attraction to the majority of people.
Politicians, once revered as champions of the people against the traditional land-owning aristocracy, are now universally despised and in the absence of any radical policies to argue about political campaigns have reverted to mutual recriminations of corruption and sleaze. This further weakens their credibility and makes a truly radical change inevitable.
Most Greens are ‘Water Melons’
Commentators have found a label to give the highly conformist and puritanical political radicals known as the “greens”. They call them water melons as they are green on the outside but red within. The reader is invited to check out the accuracy of this label. Like most fanatics their beliefs are more negative than positive and they end up acting paradoxically.
Religious fundamentalists, whatever their religion, hate Satan far more than they love God and are capable of great evil in their obsession with destroying evil. Socialists have shown that their hatred of the rich is far greater than their love for the poor, with the result that the poor become even poorer as a result of their destruction of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Most of the greens come from the suburbs, have studied life sciences and are obsessed with confronting commercial firms who pollute the environment. Much of their propaganda is socialist if not Marxist, as their solution is an egalitarian utopian commune run by greenies. If taken seriously the green movement would lead to massive unemployment of industrial workers and its associated psychological depression.
The Problem and The Solution are Not Just Biological
The cause of our troubles today is the belief in economic development regardless of cost, not just to the biological environment but to the physical, biological, psychological, social and cultural environments.
The greens are not radical enough to realize this since, like the industrialists they are at war with, they are still living in the rational-materialistic world view of the Eighteenth Century.
I am not arguing for a “great leap backwards” to feudalism but for a great leap forwards to a non-puritanical love of things as they are and might become if treated with love and wisdom. By ‘things’ I don’t just mean biological phenomena but all the non-economic traditions and practices which give people their meaning and locate them in loving and playful relationships to each other.
Religion and Conservation
How many of the eco-warriors are deeply religious? Yet religions of the non-puritanical kind do not teach that greed or envy are morally justifiable as ‘progress’ or ‘social justice’. Achieving salvation through self discipline and loving behaviour is emphasised much more than achieving material possessions through self discipline and hard work. Sin is feared far more than poverty, which may even be embraced as a way of life following the example of their founders and prophets.
Allowing for the fact that, as Marx pointed out, religion can legitimate the authority of wealthy and powerful elites, the rich and powerful are never able to demonise the poor and loving as ‘failures’ or ‘Uncle Toms’ for not becoming pushy and ambitious as they can today. The ‘deserving poor’ can have more self esteem than those rich who break the religious sanctions that hold the society together.
In The Name of God and in The Name of The People
The world is run by elites who maintain their power by legitimation either from religious or secular sources which are in themselves unquestionable. Many would agree today that ‘The Will of God’ was a feudal fiction by which priests and landowners, who monopolised literacy, justified their rule. But how many people would agree with my claim that today ‘The Will of the People’ is a fiction contrived by the banks and multinational corporations, who monopolise communication systems by controlling the secular education and mass media monopolies, to justify their rule?
Self Interest and Political Action
It is clear to everyone not wearing rose-tinted spectacles that self interest has always played the major role in politics. If this is the case than any action designed to slow down the terrifying pollution and political chaos that has been steadily growing since the collapse of the Pax Britannica will have to appeal to those groups in the community who do not benefit materially or psychologically from the present ideology of economic benefit at any price.
Aristocrats and Peasants Unite Against the Bourgeoisie
The landed gentry lost almost all of their power and status in the industrial revolution. The importance of their extended families and life-long responsibility for the welfare of their tenants, who have lived on their land for generations, are at odds with payment based solely on hours of work and the belief that the state should provide for everyone’s welfare and retirement.
Their engrained ‘stewardship’ attitude to the land, that it should be seen not as private property that can be sold to the highest bidder but as something that should be passed on to their descendants, gives them an identity which is completely at odds with the ideology of the market place.
The Heartless Marketplace
In the market place everything becomes a commodity and all workers become wage slaves who can be fired without compunction. Since the poor who have no material possessions to provide them with materialistic status, have to depend on the state for the bread on their plates and are even financially encouraged to be stupid or lazy, they are bound to feel resentful about their plight and become increasingly anti-social.
The Heartless Marketplace
In the market place everything becomes a commodity and all workers become wage slaves who can be fired without compunction. Since the poor who have no material possessions to provide them with materialistic status, have to depend on the state for the bread on their plates and are even financially encouraged to be stupid or lazy, they are bound to feel resentful about their plight.
This resentment leads to outbreaks of fanatical envy given a moral disguise in the form of political action from socialist and fascist nationalism to religious nationalism and religious fundamentalism. Their leaders are often not themselves under-privileged, but simply after power.
Contradictory as it may seem, true conservatism is the most radical form of politics in the world today. Radicals speak out and upset the ruling elites and, since today all elites are economic determinists, anyone who even raises the idea of adopting policies involving other values and different ruling elites is likely to be ridiculed or demonised in the media, deprived of any employment which might provide opportunities for communicating such a viewpoint, and in extreme cases treated as insane.
An Open Hierarchy of Conservative Values
People “full of passionate intensity” hate all hierarchies, except their own (whose existence they conveniently deny). No social life, indeed no life at all, is possible without hierarchical organization. It the very fabric of the universe. There are of course good or bad social hierarchies depending on how open they are and the character of those who exercise power at the top.
I am recommending that the present meritocratic intellectual hierarchy based on achievement as measured by secular government or commercial agencies be replaced by a hierarchy based on three principles combined, ability, virtue (meaning in particular a record of honesty, kindness and consideration for others etc.) and charm or charisma of a life-affirming kind. Serious charisma is often based on a self-sacrificing, negative malevolent view of life itself and may lead to acts of great cruelty for some hypothetical greater good.
Position in various social hierarchies always brings honour and respect. People with these three abilities would be less likely to betray that respect than those people selected by the present system.
I have probably tried to cover too much ground in this article but I will sum up in the hope that the development of the ideas follows a logical sequence.
The growth of personal stress and social disintegration is only part of the price paid for an obsession with physical health and wealth; the material environment is unable to take the strain imposed upon it and ecological catastrophes are approaching.
The urgent task facing any political organization concerned with more than just power or money is the “revaluation of all values”, away from individualistic obsession with physical health and material wealth to mental health and relocation in playful and colourful existential hierarchies of honour and cultural meaning.
Seeing the universe as an hierarchically ordered “chain of being” is the only way to prevent the “flattening” effect produced by the scientific world view which can only comprehend the tangible and material. Before even considering joining any existing party or establishing a new one, I took the trouble to put together a synthesis of new theories in all fields of human knowledge, a ‘postmodern’ cosmology. Only then, in 1974, did I enter the political arena by founding the Imperial British Conservative Party.
I have to admit that my candidates in Australia and New Zealand met with complete silence or mocking laughter from the media and political scientists as they stood time and time again against rival candidates whose concern for people and intellectual grasp of the problems facing the world was vastly inferior.
Don’t forget that Evil can only triumph when good men and women do nothing.