Revolution?

I have just found this piece on Facebook written by an Orthodox priest:

These last few years the country has been is something of turmoil, what with exiting the EU, the Church of England turning itself upside down, the Labour Party run by an unelectable marxist and the Tories by a disloyal globalist. Then it all coming to a head with the Brexit fiasco with the government attempting to disobey the electorate. There is no credible political or spiritual leadership in the nation and there hasn’t been any for close to a decade.

In fact, the UK is going through a revolution almost as difficult as 1548 and 1642 combined. This is a genuine, if bloodless revolution. Whether it has the potential to become violent, I don’t know. For the moment the people on all sides have restricted themselves to internet complaints and a few large street demonstrations.

However, if the Brexit fiasco turns into the situation being promoted by Mrs May (almost alone it would seem) then I can’t be sure that the situation will remain so “calm”.

Meanwhile the Church of England continues its catastrophic decline as it adopts one socially radical position after another, distancing itself ever further from any recognisable form of Christianity and seemingly cosying up to the extreme left and moslems.

The so-called Archbishop of Canterbury has no moral compass himself and is incapable of leading the nation, he has become a joke even amongst his own clergy.

One can hope that the outcome of this revolution, one way or another will be a country free of the German EU and entirely its own master. However I see no hope whatsoever of the Church of England reversing its present gallop to oblivion, nothing can or should save it. The question is: Could anything replace it as the moral leadership of the country? The Roman church is declining almost as fast and with invisible leadership, so no hope there I’m afraid.

So we may emerge in a few years time, maybe after a change of political leadership, free of the EU, but without any spiritual core or leadership and that is a frightening prospect.

He writes from a “leaver” point of view. What I find significant is the latest “deal” worked out by Mrs May has unified the opposition of both “leavers” and “remainers” against it. According to some analyses I have been reading, there seems to be a situation like the tripartite stand-off in the old western movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly where each looks to the other two wondering whom he is going to shoot first.

These three parties of the stand-off would be the Deal, No-Deal or No-Brexit. The consequences of no deal are terrifying because they are largely unknown and unpredictable. The deal is so badly botched to be credible and reversing Brexit and continuing the status quo seems to be “more of the same”.

I have had the impression of something very precisely orchestrated, but which could also be total chaos. This is the thing with “conspiracy theories” – sometimes they are true, partially true or untrue. Take your pick… In a more “normal” world, the dialectic between the Tories and the Whigs would make the governing side accountable, and this is what prevented a revolution from happening in England at the time of the Great Reform of 1832.

Where can it all go? The Orthodox priest brings out the question of the two main political parties representing Scylla and Charybdis the two opposing rocks that would wreck a ship just as efficiently. We have an “unelectable marxist” and a “disloyal globalist”. Is there a moral high road in all this? Perhaps the “disloyal globalist” is deliberately making such a mess of things that the fear of “no-deal death” would bring Parliament to make the only decision possible: call off Brexit even without a second referendum, gambling on people not feeling too strongly about it. Either way, there is going to be trouble.

There is no credible political or spiritual leadership in the nation.

This is serious, and needs thought. Our priest friend offers the thought that we are already in a state of revolution, though there has not been any significant amount of violence – so far. Can we compare the UK of 2018 with France of 1789? King Louis XVI was trying to do something to help the population, but it was too little and too late. The aristocratic elite, linked to the ecclesiastical elite, became the object of hatred of the mob and the Jacobins. The tension had been building for decades. The aristocracy still exists and the UK is a Kingdom, but the target of hatred is not so much the Monarchy but the vested interest and obscene wealth. The EU is globalist, but so are the chief proponents of Brexit – who are doing it for money. I see no real populist support behind Brexit, quite the opposite.

The issue of populism is developing in my mind, and the concept is very difficult to understand in the current context. There is no real leadership other than political parties all over Europe which are cashing in. The polarisation is going extreme right and extreme left, the former defining itself by the problem of mass Muslim immigration, with particular attention drawn to the criminal and fanatical elements. The left is deprived of any original thinking or intellectual content. The game seems to be played, not by the people, but one group of obscenely wealthy billionaires against another group of obscenely wealthy billionaires. Perhaps the conflict itself is all smoke and mirrors.

I am forced to observe the extreme naïvety of our Orthodox friend. Germany itself is in a state of flux with the possibility of Frau Merkel standing down and being replaced by a more strongly nationalist party like Alternative für Deutschland. Perhaps British nationalism is better than German nationalism, even when it is not Nazi or fascist… What about French nationalism? I suppose all those “foreigners” are the enemy and we Brits can look forward to the new Empire on which the sun would never set. This is not the reality of 2018, not even 1918, devastated as it was by the Great War.

The influence of Christianity is not something we can count on for improving the ills of a country or a continent or a world. The whole notion of Christ the King was an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to bring people to put themselves under Christ rather than worship their Führer or Duce in the years between about 1922 to the end of World War II. The western world rejected the notion of Christendom from the time of the Enlightenment, and Romanticism only partially succeeded in any kind of revival. In China, before their revolution, they had Confucius, but no longer. The only principle in western society to which most people relate is money. That is the damning indictment.

I am not counting on the prospect of a revolution, because politicians have a way of averting the worst because of their knowledge of history. I see how Monsieur Macron is dealing with the gilets jaunes by relenting on some of the contested agendas – like charging tolls for entering cities with a motor vehicle. This is what Mrs May’s deal is all about – creating the circumstances in which revolution would be averted by maintaining and hopefully improving the status quo. There may be a lot of demonstrations and riots, but they will not go anywhere unless they get the support of both the police and the armed forces! That is more than unlikely.

Everything is going to depend on money and spending power, consumption – until the resources are depleted and increasingly at a premium. Emmanuel Macron is a very shrewd man, talking as he is of a new social contract, bringing us to think immediately of Rousseau and the situation in the late eighteenth century. Whether this is just hype and hot air, or something much more meaningful, only time will tell.

As for nobility of spirit and a moral reference, all we can do is ourselves to be Christians and constantly refer to the Gospel and the way of Christ. We must teach, not by competing with modern marketing techniques, not by force, but by example and a kind of love that money cannot buy. We can only be a leaven in the desert.

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8 Responses to Revolution?

  1. Stephen K says:

    We must teach, not by competing with modern marketing techniques, not by force, but by example and a kind of love that money cannot buy. We can only be a leaven in the desert.

    This is the spiritual, the Christian way.

    As far as our Orthodox priest friend is concerned, he seems to be throwing out facile slurs about the protagonist parties and offers no solution.

    I think the realisation of the implications of a no-deal-Brexit are increasingly hitting home to a lot of people, but egos and other agendas are getting in the way of either accepting a deal that will be better than that dire prospect or choosing to pull out all stops for a reversal of Brexit.

    My understanding is that more and more of those who voted for Brexit regret it and that being the case, it is simply stupid if not cowardly, for the political players not to start considering – (possibly for the first time in a long time) –what would be in most people’s interests rather than their own. My mother taught me that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    • There is a cheesy line in a James Bond film: “Nothing personal, purely business”. It seems increasingly that the UK Government is a business cartel and not a State. It’s shaky business, because they’re going to lose a lot of money. I suppose they don’t mind because it’s “other people’s money”. I would love to be convinced that there is a higher motive, I keep searching, but I don’t find any.

  2. Rubricarius says:

    It is a peculiar statement to make and exhibits the implicit psychology described in one of the previous posts here ‘England on the Psychiatrist’s Couch’. A visceral fear of the EU and loathing of the Germans.

    It appears to me that the “disloyal globalist” has produced a deal that addresses what the Brexit vote was about – remembering that Campaign Leave had no plans whatsoever just an ideology – so I cannot see that the Prime Minister can be described as disobeying the electorate.

    I am still convinced Brexit, in any form, will be a disaster for the UK. The economic assessments published today forecast a high economic cost to Brexit from relatively mild to severe. Even worse, from a personal perspective, is the loss of movement I will suffer as a result of this. Unlike Farage I cannot apply for a German passport – or one of another EU member – and this loss of my freedom I deeply resent.

    Clearly the best option is for Parliament to act in the best interests of the entire UK and to end the Brexit process. There are far more worthy political issues that need addressing without this national act of self-harm.

    There is also an element of irony and hypocrisy in the Orthodox priest’s OP in that he is almost certainly subject to Moscow or Constantinople. Last time I looked they were not Sovereign agencies of the UK but as foreign as Germany.

  3. Dale says:

    One of my issues with this, one suspects very hairy, priest’s views are his attacks against the Church of England as well as the Church of Rome, blithely forgetting the Byzantine Orthodox; who also offer nothing as regards to spiritual issues in Great Britain. The Byzantine Konvertzi tend to be not too much more than an exotic fancy-dress and the eastern ethnics have made their parishes into ethnic social clubs.

    “There is also an element of irony and hypocrisy in the Orthodox priest’s OP in that he is almost certainly subject to Moscow or Constantinople.”

    I consider this comment to be more than slightly unfair. I am under the impression that many remainers as well as leavers were Roman Catholic, and they owe their ecclesiastical allegiance to an entity in Italy. Are we then to infer that they are also hypocrites as well?

    • I wouldn’t worry about a priest being hairy. 😀

    • Rubricarius says:

      “I consider this comment to be more than slightly unfair. I am under the impression that many remainers as well as leavers were Roman Catholic, and they owe their ecclesiastical allegiance to an entity in Italy. Are we then to infer that they are also hypocrites as well?”

      I do not consider it unfair myself. In the UK whether a Roman Catholic could be a loyal subject and hold offices of State was a burning issue from the sixteenth century until modern times. The same issue appeared with the election of President Kennedy in the USA. If people want to talk of Sovereignty and ‘taking back control of our laws’ then surely the logic of that must extend beyond Brussels to entities in the Vatican City, Moscow, the Phanar and the rest.

      • Dale says:

        Rubricarius, then I think we may be in agreement. In the original comment, of course it was directed to a specific individual, you only mentioned the possibility of Moscow or Istanbul, but since you have included the Vatican in this clarification, it does indeed, well, clarify.

        Of course recently, the Pope has been making some very, very politically charge statements concerning American politics, both about building walls, whilst living behind quite high ones himself (very well guarded ones as well), and immigration (of course, the Vatican state does not seem too keen on opening a refugee camp anytime soon in the Vatican gardens one may notice). So even the Roman Catholics may very much be suspects too.

  4. Rubricarius says:

    Dale, I sincerely hope we are in agreement. I made the original comment to highlight what I do believe is the inherent hypocrisy in the OP’s FB comments. Of course it applies to Rome, Etchmiadzin or wherever. One cannot talk of taking back control of ‘our laws’ if, as in the Orthodox priest’s OP he follows Moscow; or Jacob Rees-Mogg and Bill Cash objecting to part of the Prime Minister’s deal being subject to EU laws when both of them subject themselves – in theory at least – to Rome.

    Again I would agree that people living in a walled and fortified city should think carefully before criticising other nations on the subject of walls (and a lot of other issues too).

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