Tag Archives: society

Diary Blog, 3 February 2021, including more thoughts about prepping

Prepping

I have written before about “prepping” in the UK or Western European context. Those articles can be found using the search box on this blog.

In essence, I made a distinction between the kind of “prepping” or survivalism appropriate (arguably) in North America, and that appropriate in Western Europe and particularly the UK.

I also distinguished between pure survivalism on an individual and/or small group basis, and the kind of community “prepping” that might keep culture and civilization alive, forming a germinal ethnostate that might later blossom into something that might replace the lost world (the one in which we live at present).

Today, I want to address the steps that individuals can take to be more prepared for what might be coming. I mean realistic measures, not involving disappearing into the Scottish Highlands with a Swiss Army knife and a box of Swan Vestas.

To deal with the least likely scenario first, my blog posts about the formation of social-national communities (also available via the search box on here) covered the sort of situation where an individual or family have the means to buy a country estate, a farm, or a detached house with land or at least a large garden area.

An acre or two of land is enough to feed one person, possibly several people, depending on diet. A rule of thumb might be 1.5 acres per person. So a family of four might need 6 acres, well within the amount of land often found attached to houses in the country (as distinct from “country houses” stricto sensu).

The more one moves away from a purely vegetable, fruit and nut diet, the more land is necessary. A single tomato plant (a single seed may cost from 1p to 40p) can produce 30 pounds weight over a season; in exceptional conditions, 80 pounds weight.

At present in the UK, one can keep up to 20 chickens without notifying officialdom (DEFRA). 20 chickens will produce about 15 eggs per day, so if about 6 are required, you should only need about 8 chickens.

Anyone in the fortunate position of starting off with such property can improve its survival possibilities by, firstly, making it independent of the electricity grid. Solar panels for electricity, and (assuming roof space is available) the other kind of solar panels for production of hot water: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_water_heating.

Such panels do not last forever. After 20 years they lose efficiency. Still, well worth having, and it may be possible to store some against a future collapse of society.

Ground heat exchange can heat a house for free once installed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heat_pump.

There are more traditional improvements to houses that can help save heat: insulation is one; roof, between attic and main floors, within walls. Another is double-glazing. In the UK, this is usually within a module, the panes not far apart. In other countries, such as Russia and Kazakhstan (where I once lived for a year), the panes are built in, and can be six inches or even a foot apart. They can usually be opened (in older buildings), and some people grow pot plants in the space. In some buildings in central and northern Russia, there is even triple-glazing. Ventilation is via a small window in the corner of each large window, that small window being called a fortochka.

Electricity can also be generated from small-scale hydropower, depending on whether a river or stream is nearby; it need not be expensive or complicated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_hydro. Small and very small readymade systems can be installed for a few thousand or even a few hundred pounds;

It may be worth having a generator which works off petrol or diesel, for short-term emergency use only. Expensive (at cheapest, several hundred pounds, usually more, in the low thousands). This usually requires construction of a fuel holding tank, which is also expensive, and potentially hazardous. Still, a generator may be worth having, despite its noisiness, with the idea of using it for a hour or two per day, perhaps in the evening, or purely for emergency power.

Not much electricity can be produced by human effort, though there are bicycle generators which produce enough power for a light bulb and or small devices such as radios etc while the pedalling continues. A relay of two or three connected to a charging battery could therefore produce perhaps two or three hours of small-use electricity for an hour of pedalling.

Small-scale wind turbines can produce enough for basic purposes, as an addition to the mix.

Traditional heating still has its uses: open fires or, more efficient, woodburning stoves.

Cheap coal is mostly to be banned soon in the UK (for domestic use), but a remote country house is unlikely to be checked out, and in conditions of societal collapse there would be no men with clipboards anyway. It is probably possible to buy a stockpile of, say, 100 tons of wet coal, fairly cheaply now if you know people. The approved kind of smokeless coal costs far more, about £300 per ton.

There are useful items that can be charged by human effort (wind-ups): radios, lamps etc.

There are table and other lamps that are powered by batteries that are recharged via solar power.

The country house owner may wish to install useful small-scale equipment for use in times of collapse: cider presses, threshing machines, nut-oil presses etc. It costs less than you think. Hundreds rather than thousands, usually. Also, the sort of equipment that can produce home-made beer or cider. I tried making beer once or twice when I had the lease of a large country house in Cornwall many years ago. My efforts were, putting it kindly, crowned with only modest success. Practice makes perfect, or as the Russians say, “repetition is the mother of learning” (it rhymes in Russian).

The next thing for the country house or farm owner to do will be to increase horticultural growing capacity. Greenhouses, a large orangerie or, more modestly, polytunnels: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangery; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytunnel

[polytunnel]

[polytunnel, MIssouri]

[cucumber growing in a greenhouse, Minnesota, 1910]
[Royal Greenhouses, Laeken, Belgium]

[1760s orangerie, Kuskovo, Moscow]

[Grand Orangerie, Peterhof/Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg region]

Whatever the scale of residence of the prepper, there can be improvements made.

Water purification is also key, in case the mains supply is cut off. Many but not all country residencies have a private supply. When I lived in Cornwall, the country house had its own abundant supply from a spring. When I moved to a more modest place, a 6-bed farmhouse on the Devon side of the Tamar, that also had its own supply. I read somewhere that somewhere between 5% and 10% of the UK population have access to private water supply. Surprisingly high, if accurate.

Something that almost everyone can do is to lay in extra longlife food. In his interesting memoirs, Drink and Ink, once-famous writer Dennis Wheatley [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Wheatley] describes how, in his late 1930s newspaper column, he advised his readers (in 1938 or 1939) to stock up on dried and tinned food. He did so himself, and later wrote that when rationing was mandated (1941), he and his family got through the war far better as a result.

Tinned food is good (in the sense of edible) for far longer than the 2-5 years “Best Before” date. Some dried foods, eg white rice, are OK (if kept very dry) for 20 years.

There is no need for immediate bulk buying. A few tins or bags of rice extra whenever shopping should do it.

People should lay in a supply of seeds, and of course a range of equipment relating to horticulture, as well as small but always useful items such as nutcrackers, kitchen equipment, matches, lighters, tealights and candles.

The same goes for first aid stuff: bandages, band aids (in England, “plasters”), and so on. Painkillers and other proprietary medicines (they become less effective over time, but better half a pint than none…). All useful; we saw in 2020 what happens when, suddenly, loo paper, kitchen roll, pasta, flour, antiseptic products etc become unavailable.

The above should at least be a basis for further research for people interested in mitigating the effects of a possible societal meltdown.

[addendum: https://thepreparednessexperience.com/prepping/; I suppose that I should make it clear that I am not paid to have that link on my blog, but just thought it useful]

Tweets seen today

Ha ha. Made me laugh… I recall when I was a trustee of an educational charity some 30 years ago. The unofficial supporters were mostly women, very nice but very willing to talk endlessly. There is a skill to handling such situations.

You can see the likely result, as has happened before in France and elsewhere (eg when David Duke was cheated out of his Senate win in Louisiana many years ago): the supposedly “far right” or nationalist candidate gets into the final two, only for the self-describing “Left” to abandon all principle and endorse the System finance-capitalist candidate, who then “wins the election”. Rigged.

“Will be released at age 36″… I have always opposed capital punishment as such, but it probably will be necessary at some stage to restore order by putting up against a wall a few thousand of this sort. The wider question, though, is how to build a better society, an advanced society. You cannot do that when huge numbers of socio-ethnic degenerates exist.

Ha ha!

Late music

How Long Before UK Society Breaks Down?

I happened to see comments of General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the Chief of the General Staff [see Daily Telegraph link, below]:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/04/british-military-risks-irrelevance-doesnt-adapt-future-army/

The British military risks becoming irrelevant if it continues to focus on “missiles and tanks” as the main threats to the UK, the head of the Army has warned.

“The army must “update and change the rules of war” according to the Chief of the General Staff, to be able to tackle new threats like cyber attacks, whilst also deterring countries that rely on heavy firepower.”

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said a focus on high-tech weapons that are no use against low-level threats like fake news and subversion “leaves us close to a position of dominant irrelevance”.”

The main threat is not missiles and tanks, it is the weaponisation of globalisation, and those elements of globalization that have hitherto made us prosperous and secure: the mobility of goods, people, data and ideas.”

“Secure borders, or living on an island, are no guarantees against the corrosive and intrusive effect of disinformation, subversion and cyber.”

“The Army head suggested that traditional concepts of warfare were “increasingly redundant”.”

General Carleton-Smith fails to mention, at least specifically, mass immigration (and the subsequent and consequent births) as a factor impacting the very survival of the UK as a state, a country, a society.

Of course, if he did mention it in that context, he would be sacked.

At one time, the UK was a fairly cohesive society. Now it is not. It is a seething volcanic caldera, disguised only by a thin and disintegrating crust.

Look at what happened just today (4 June 2019):

A baying mob of anti-Trump “protesters” bait and then attack what seems to be a lone middleaged man. A porcine woman leads the abusive and violent multi-ethnic pack, shouting “nazi scum!” repeatedly into his face. I suppose that he was brought up not to punch a woman in the face, even one like her.

Look at the policewoman (or PCSO) who not only does not attempt to arrest the milkshake-thrower but looks terrified, before she is pushed aside by the crowd as an irrelevance. The police are just useless these days. That “officer” made no attempt to protect a citizen standing in the street outside Parliament itself. Well, in the end, she is just one woman in a clown outfit.

Incidentally, I am not exactly a Trump fan myself; that is another issue.

We often think that the UK is becoming a police state. How is that reconciled with the imminent social breakdown I am predicting? In fact, the two go together, and both are linked to the now-fragmented UK society.

As society becomes fragmented, the easy-going policing of the past has to change to try to contain the chaos just below the surface. In addition, anything which disturbs the surface calm, or relative calm, has to be criminalized. So we see that, as the foreign invading hordes and their offspring have multiplied in number, so have the penalties increased for anyone who suggests that they should not be in the UK, or should be removed one way or another.

This started in the 1960s with the first Race Relations Act (1965), and became increasingly more oppressive with subsequent Acts (1968, 1976, 1985, 2000, 2003). It is clear why: the threat of public order upheaval, as more and more “blacks and browns” (and others) arrived in the UK and started to breed.

Free speech, freedom of expression generally, freedom of choice (eg in offering employment, or housing or whatever) “had” to be curtailed for reasons of “preserving the Peace” and in order to keep up the pretence that the multi-ethnic/multicultural society can work, albeit at the expense of a certain loss of civic freedom.

There was also the realization that, as the non-British and indeed non-European populations expanded in size, they had to be pandered to, not “offended” etc, not because the reverse would be impolite or undiplomatic, but because those increasingly huge populations might rise up against the white British people who “allowed” them to come to the UK (though most of the British opposed mass immigration; it was always the System and its politicians etc that caused the influx and its problems).

It was and still is the Jewish Zionist element that was and still is behind much of the legal repression and the “ethnic” influx itself (“The Great Replacement”).

Over the years, the censorship of speech and restriction of actions has expanded from races and “ethnicities” to other parts of the general population: religions, sexual orientations etc.

You can now say, or post online, relatively innocuous views, only to find that you are not only faced with a virtual (online) mob baying for your blood, but also quite likely with a policeman at your door or on the telephone. My own experiences include this:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/

If you say something that offends the general orthodoxy, you may lose your job, your professional status, your liberty.

The satirical singer-songwriter Alison Chabloz lost her job —singing for a cruise line— simply because her views supposedly offended some Jews, even though her views had nothing to do with that job. Later, she sang satirical songs about some of the hundreds (if not thousands) of “holocaust” fake stories. That resulted in a farcical cycle of police persecution, prosecutions, eventual trial, conviction, sentence, appeal and now (at time of writing) further appeal.

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/alison-chabloz-the-show-goes-on/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/alison-chabloz-the-fight-for-freedom-of-expression-goes-on/

Jez Turner set up the London Forum discussion group. He also made a speech in Whitehall in 2015, recalling how the Jews had been expelled from England more than once (and hoping that they might yet be removed again). Put on trial in 2018. Convicted. His punishment? A year in prison (he served 6 months).

I too was subject to action (by the same Jew-Zionist element): see above, and also

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/the-slide-of-the-english-bar-and-uk-society-continues-and-accelerates/

The Zionist campaign against free speech and free historical enquiry is being resisted, but the mere fact that such repression of free speech exists is very significant.

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/the-campaign-against-antisemitism-caa-takes-a-serious-hit/

In the last few years, the privatization of public space has led to the abuse of power by the main online platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc), and even the organizations behind or around such platforms: paypal, patreon, and so on.

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/the-knives-are-out-for-freedom-of-expression-and-more/

When Twitter started to remove “unwanted” opinion from its pages, many turned to GAB, only to find that there was a strong and focussed attempt by the ZOG powers to destroy GAB. So far, it has survived. However, the campaign against free speech continues, and shows no sign of abating:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/tommy-robinson-banned-on-facebook-the-repression-of-free-speech-online/

Indeed, even a joke made (and posted online) about a Guy Fawkes event in a suburban garden can result in a police raid, evidence “bagged up” as for a murder case etc. Am I making this up to prove my point? No.

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/a-country-gone-mad/

Measures against free speech and freedom of expression are just, overall, a symptom of what is happening. By that I mean the fragility of civil society generally. We see that, as the police “crack down” on social media posts or stickers put up on university campuses (incredibly, some young people got 4 years in prison for the latter, quite recently), comments made in blogs etc, in the real world of the UK, crime and especially violent crime is getting out of control: London infested by mainly black and brown “moped raiders” and “scooter raiders” and muggers, “road rage” incidents, brawls etc. The courts are far more lenient, usually, on those real crimes than they are on the fake crimes or notional crimes of pretended offence.

I have seen over the years how thin the veneer of society is in the UK. As long ago as the petrol protests of 2000, I noticed that that veneer was already very very thin indeed. Fights breaking out over the fuel pumps etc.

The police cover has been reduced, and while the police seem to be enthusiastically noting and acting upon reports of anyone seriously (or even unseriously, thinking of the dog taught to do a “Hitler” salute! The owner got a heavy fine…) criticizing the failing multikulti society (or the Jews that are mainly behind it), they seem far less interested in the traditional role of the police, i.e. investigating real crime and keeping safe the citizenry.

As for the armed services, they seem to be going the same way. Reduced in numbers, and with their focus on the approved shibboleths of the “multi-everything” society: multi-ethnic, multicultural, LGBT-whatever friendly, with confused aims, ever-lowering standards and little ability to counter either conventional threats or new dangers.

There again, what are the armed forces actually defending? We are now at the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. There may be disputes about whether the Second World War ever need have happened, about whether an honourable armistice between the British Empire and the German Reich might have been concluded in 1940, but leaving all that aside, the British servicemen and civilians of that era (albeit bamboozled by Churchill and his cabal, so be it…) knew, at least in their own minds, what their own society was! Something like the picture given in the popular song There’ll Always Be An England:

Is there a British society at all now? There are bits and pieces still operative, but the society as a whole is now a jigsaw. There are fissures and rifts and splits everywhere. Racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, sexual, economic etc. Some always existed, but not to this extent.

So we see a situation where, at the very time when the society itself is not a coherent whole, the forces which might compel civic obedience and discipline are not numerous or powerful enough to do so, despite theoretically strict laws relating to various areas.

What will happen in a situation (which might come sooner than many imagine) in which the population is without luxuries or even necessities? Who will control those seething and uncontrolled masses? Not the depleted Army. Not the very depleted police.

A social national movement does not exist in the UK. It may be that the only way for one to exist will be for its existence to become the only way for the whole society to exist.

Notes

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/06/strange-death-europe-immigration-xenophobia

https://gab.com/ianrmillard/posts/47468129

https://gab.com/LionoftheNorth/posts/47563842

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_Relations_Act

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9831912/I-feel-like-a-stranger-where-I-live.html

 

 

Barbarians at the Gate, Facing Nothing but Decadent Plutocrats and Soft Plebs

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Increasingly, it becomes hard to believe the news, not only because of the various kinds of “fake news” around, but because so much news now, though perhaps completely true, reflects the galloping madness of our society. Take the report I just saw from the [UK] Daily Express (see link in Notes, below), admittedly not the most accurate of newspapers, but there seems to be little doubt that the basics of the report are true. Extracts:

  • “University lecturers told DON’T USE CAPS as it frightens students”

  • “UNIVERSITY lecturers have been told not to use words in capital letters when setting assignments because it might frighten students into failure.”

  • “Generally, avoid using capital letters for emphasis and “the overuse of ‘do’, and, especially, ‘DON’T’.””

Reading the Express report led me to consider related ideas. We already see that almost every school student who is not actually retarded or absent now gets high marks and that the majority now get “A” grades (often in everything, usually triggering the Americanized phrase “straight-A-student”). The same is true at degree level. Only the drop-outs and mentally-disordered now fail or get Thirds. Even a lower Second (the norm of, say, 30 years ago, awarded to such as Tony Blair) is rare. Sweeties for all and Firsts for over half. No-one must be upset, or offended.

Then there is the calibre of recruits to the armed forces. It will be said that many recruits are fit, healthy, brave, resourceful etc; people will point to exceptional cases such as successful SAS candidates, individual heroic actions etc. The reality, though, is that the armed forces have been forced to lower their physical entry requirements, and not only because women now comprise a quite high proportion of the intake (about 9% across the armed forces).

It will be recalled that, when Iranian forces captured a dozen or so British naval and Marine personnel in 2007, one or two not only told the Iranians everything they knew, but in one case did so because the Iranians threatened to confiscate his iPod! Several of those held later sold their stories to the UK tabloid press (one, Faye Turney, a married naval rating aged 25, is said to have made £80,000-£100,000).

In case anyone thinks that I am criticizing without ever having been in such a situation, all that I can say is that in fact I have myself been in a few difficult situations overseas, albeit not exactly similar.

The point is that wars are not won by the few elite or heroic exceptions, but by the rank and file generality, by what Germans used to term the Feldgrau. That brings us onto numbers. The British Army now consists of 81,000 regular troops and 27,000 in The Reserves (formerly, Territorial Army). A number lower than at any time since the late 18th Century. The same is true, mutatis mutandis, of the other armed services.

Now I hope that we shall never war against Russia, and I certainly do not regard the Russians as “barbarians”, but to some extent Russia does stand in the same relation to the “West” as the barbarians stood to Rome 1,500-2,000 years ago, as Amaury de Riencourt pointed out in his 1950s book, The Coming Caesars.

Russia can field, across all arms, over a million men (and women) in regular service and a further nearly three million in reserves. Four million

Then we have the other and more obvious “barbarians at the gate”, ranging from China (about 2.5 million service personnel), through Islamist forces and terrorists, to the migrant-invaders from Africa and elsewhere. We must also not ignore the fact that the barbarians are, in many cases today, already inside Fortress Europe.

In order to defend a society, one must have strength. Strength comes from both numbers and moral force (and, today, advanced weaponry, but that is, in reality, not quite the gamechanger many imagine). As Hitler said, “it’s not the weapon, it’s the man behind it.” History is replete with tales of how small forces have defeated larger ones, but those smaller ones were always in possession of superior spirit and tactical sense and, usually, superior (or at least more capable of further evolution) race and culture. Is that what we see when we look at the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia today? Hardly!

Look at the seething urban masses of the UK, for example: a very high proportion of non-whites, for a start. Not that every “black or brown” is a “bad person” by any means, but few really share our culture; most (even those born in the UK) are in fact entirely ignorant of our culture and history, and few are ready to fight for it, and us.

Look too at the mass of white British. Can one really say that they are ready to fight for race and culture? I think not. In fact, they have proven the reverse over the past decades. Indeed, since 2010, they have proven themselves incapable even of fighting against their own reduction to near-serfs: pay reductions (in real terms), benefit cuts and oppressions, migration-invasion on a scale that not even Enoch Powell can have foreseen.

Brexit. The EU Referendum brought out the generational differences: about 70% of 16-24-y-o persons favoured Remain (if only out of ignorance, so be it), whereas over-70s were about 80% (maybe more) for Leave. There were many reasons why people favoured either Leave or Remain, but part of the Remain vote was certainly younger persons —and especially younger under-24s— who were scared of not having Big Brother EU to tell them what to do and what to think. The same applies to social media, where so many younger people just want to ban anything or anyone (they think) “offensive” (anything that challenges their spoonfed view of the world).

A good proportion of the white UK population is covered adequately by the pejorative term “plebs”. Culturally-weak, racially-insecure, with quite a number further weakened by drink and drugs. As for the “upper classes”, they are mainly socially and culturally decadent, interested only in selfish concerns and quite as mired in such vices as drug abuse as are those characterized as “plebs”.

I see no sign that the British population as it is can stand up to any of the threats to the present British state, population or way of life. The only solution or possible way out is for a very radical social nationalist movement to take power and impose its will on the unresponsive masses.

Notes

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1046977/university-lecturers-not-to-use-cap-letters-student-failure

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1548129/Faye-whispered-theres-going-to-be-a-rape.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-468434/Hostage-Faye-Turney-given-share-cash-crewmates.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/apr/07/military.iran

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaury_de_Riencourt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Armed_Forces

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum,_2016#Voting_demographics_and_trends

Afterthought

The Asia Bibi case surely shows “lack of moral fibre” in the UK “establishment”. I am not, of course, in favour of allowing in “refugee” hordes, but if ever there was a genuine individual “refugee” case, this was it. Refused asylum in advance because few UK politicians and civil servants want to take the risk of agitating the millions of Pakistani Muslims in the UK, many of whom want to turn the UK into a facsimile of their own native (hole of a) country.

Again, I do not much like Katie Hopkins, but is she wrong here?

This too. Again, is she wrong?

…and if you think that my blog post title (about the decadent wealthy and their equally drug-soaked and useless pleb contemporaries) is a harsh judgment, take a look at this:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6415315/How-Twitter-helped-turn-Lady-Beth-prodigy-prostitute.html

Update, 4 December 2018

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/04/half-uk-population-now-unhealthy-unable-pass-initial-army-selection/

Update, 10 December 2018

Trawling through some of the “me too” idiots who joined the Jew-Zionists in attacking me at least once on Twitter in the past few years, I noticed a typical waste of space today (for the first time): one Peter, Twitter name “@_binbag”; 23+, gay, with a “degree” from somewhere or other, and “working for” an equally-worthless MA. Semi-literate, probably (judging from his tweets) deeply ignorant, and totally signed-up to the “rainbow” nonsense multikulti society of the doomed. Does someone like this add anything even to the present decadent society? Would such a person be “wanted on voyage” to a better society? I think not.

Update, 21 December, 2018

https://dailystormer.name/uk-british-army-devolves-into-complete-farce-male-words-banned-by-higher-ups/

Update, 27 December 2018

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6532247/African-soldier-sues-MoD-accusing-Army-failing-protect-British-winter.html

(If you don’t like the UK weather, stay in Africa or return there)

Free Speech: Individuality and Collectivity

Rudolf Steiner often spoke of the ever-increasing individualism in our age (that period which he named the “Fifth Post-Atlantean Age”, which started around 1400 AD and is due to run until about 3500 AD). This is an inevitable continuing process and will bring many benefits if people are guided by conscience. However, if people are not guided by individual conscience, the forces of the individual will tear apart society.

Against the forces of individualism stands “society”, which encompasses law, unwritten “laws” of convention and expectation and also the powers of the State (which holds itself out as the concrete expression of the people as a whole).

Society is, of course, a good thing. In proper measure, it makes possible and supports such aspects of life as law, public order, organized help for the sick, disabled, elderly, poor etc. It is a structure which supports the family, too. It also provides, via the State,  the structure for defence against outside forces (hostile states, natural calamities etc). However, if taken too far, society and/or the State becomes oppression, involving the repression of individual liberty in various ways (most obviously, perhaps, suppression of free speech or other freedom of expression).

Society restricts freedom of speech. It is hard to imagine a society beyond the most primitive or germinal in which complete freedom of speech exists (eg spoken or written threats against the person). On the other hand, when society (the State, or perhaps a religious or political cult) prevents individual expression, reasonable restriction becomes unreasonable repression. One thinks, perhaps, of the more extreme socialist states of the 20th Century, such as the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, China under Mao Tse-Tung, Albania under Enver Hoxha, Cuba under Fidel Castro. The same was true of anti-socialist tyrannies such as Nicaragua under Somoza.

Particular emergency conditions may lead to a temporary tightening of what is regarded as acceptable free speech. In the Second World War, the various combatants restricted free speech considerably. In the UK, those who spoke out against the war or government policy faced both prosecution (State) and persecution (society generally). Even the USA, with its famous Constitutional safeguards, clamped down on freedom of expression.

As in other fields of life, we can see that the tension between the demands of the individual qua individual and those of the collective results in what amounts to a compromise. It is a question of either where society (in practice, usually the State, but possibly a smaller community such as a town or even a family) decides where the line is drawn, or where the individual draws the line, based on conscience or preference and regardless of where the State and/or society has drawn it.

Most people, most of the time, obey the dictates of the collective. Were that not so, law could not exist except as a facade with nothing behind it (cf. Stalin’s Russia etc); neither could the State or its power, in the end. On the other hand, the individual must always obey conscience and it therefore becomes vital to distinguish between individual conscience and individual wilfulness or egoism. No outside force can decide what is conscience and what is wilfulness or egoism. The individual, the individual human soul, is the only judge or arbiter here. Where the individual and the collective collide, the results can range from martyrdom of the individual to reform or even revolution affecting the collective.

Where do I myself, as both individual and citizen (i.e. part of the collective) draw the line? For me, freedom of expression about social, political and historical matters should be absolute. Other forms of expression (eg threats, libels, fraudulent misrepresentations) can be (and commonly are) restricted to a greater or lesser extent.

It follows from the above that I prefer the approach taken in the United States to that of most EU states (including the UK). Restrictions on freedom of expression are often imposed for or from outwardly “good” motives, but rapidly become a slippery slope with evil results. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Notes

  1.  http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/communications_sent_via_social_media/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_defamation_law
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution