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Crocker's Book on the Wonders of the British Empire Is Not So Wonderful
By Staff News & Analysis - November 09, 2011
America's Success Owes Much to the British Empire ... As many Americans no longer believe in American exceptionalism and others believe America's greatness is guaranteed to extend perpetually, we could all benefit by reviewing the history of the British Empire, the realm from which we sprung and acquired so much. By the time most baby boomers were born, the British Empire had declined. The Nazis and Japanese had been defeated in World War II, and two major military powers – the United States and the Soviet Union – were faced off at the beginning of a nearly half-century-long struggle we call the Cold War. The great British Empire, which dominated the world mere decades before, was rarely on our current events radar, and it got little better treatment in our history courses, except as the villain we had to defeat in two wars to attain our independence and as the waning world power whose chestnuts we had saved from Adolf Hitler's fire. Oh, how much we missed, not just of British history but of our own, because we can't fully appreciate our greatness without understanding much more about our immediate ancestor. But there's an easy way to make up for all that lost time, a way to fill in the gaps and much more. My friend Harry Crocker's "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire" has just been released, and it's a one-stop shop for telling us all we should have learned about that empire and precisely how much we owe it. – David Limbaugh, NewsMax
Dominant Social Theme: The British are really great people and their elites are even better.
Free-Market Analysis: David Limbaugh has posted a review of his friend Harry Crocker's latest book over at NewsMax.com (see excerpt above); to us it includes a number of elite dominant social themes that make it newsworthy.
We're trying to figure out who Harry Crocker is, but biographical info on him is not especially generous. He has written a number of books, some of which are in support of the Catholic Church from both an institutional and programmatic standpoint. He is also a supporter of the "Old South" from what we can tell. Now, we haven't read the book, but David Limbaugh's review raises significant issues for us.
Our main issue is this: Crocker evidently and obviously believes empires are good, or that they have good results anyway. Many people (including some elves) believe they are not "good." We'll go even further and state that empires are BAD. They are, to use a term of current media art (which only shows how Samuel Johnson's beloved language has degraded) "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."
The vitality of empires, as we have often pointed out, is built while people are still relatively free. The primary recipe for creating great cultures (as opposed to great empires) has to do with serial municipal environments that are fairly close geographically but are nonetheless competitors, even though the languages are the same or similar.
This state of affairs, which emerges throughout modern history, allows the most productive and often the most rebellious people to move from one place to another with their families when oppression strikes at them. Not only that but the competition inherent in these regional environments makes them freer as a general rule.
What are some examples? We've provided them in the past. The Greek Golden Age was the product of disparate Greek city-states. Rome was ultimately the product of the Seven Hills. The Renaissance was the product of Italian city-states. The American empire was ultimately the result of 13 separate states as well.
As for Britain, we would speculate that a historical accident made it the center of cultural currents that swirled about Europe for most of its post-Neolithic history. Wikipedia explains the following: "Anglo-Saxon England until the 9th century was dominated by the Heptarchy, the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex."
Later on, of course, England was "consolidated." But that's what happens with all great cultures. They start out free and end up being homogenized. This centralization of a great, free peoples gives the empire a residual energy – entrepreneurial and otherwise – that fools people into thinking it is the "empire" that imparts greatness to the culture. But it is actually the other way round.
An empire is always a culture's death knell. One only has to look at Britain (or America) to see what happens once an agglomeration of people becomes an "empire." To begin with, an empire's leaders always look outwards because they are trying to impress the benefits of authoritarianism on their already brow-beaten subjects. But eventually empires start to collapse and all that outwardly-aimed aggression and hostility rebounds and pounds the domestic population into further subjugation.
There is nothing much positive to say about empires in our humble view. Crocker believes Britain "gave" its conquered subjects much of benefit. Limbaugh, who is enthusiastic about this notion, writes: "The British not only established our chartered colonies but also largely populated those settlements and gave us our language, culture, government and, most importantly, our ideas of liberty and the rule of law, including our critically important common law heritage." Here's some more from Limbaugh's article:
We remain in awe of the enormity and dominance of the Roman Empire — and rightly so — but did you realize that at its height, the British Empire was the largest empire ever, covering a quarter of the world — even half, if you consider its control of the oceans — and governing a quarter of the people on the planet? Though it is de rigueur today to condemn British colonialism, Harry not only defends the Brits' colonial achievements but also unashamedly champions them.
"The empire," he writes, "was incontestably a good thing. The fact that it is controversial to say so is why this book had to be written. In the groves of academe, colonialism and imperialism are dirty words, the fons et origo of Western expansion with all its alleged sins of racism, capitalism, and ignorant, judgmental, hypocritical Christian moralism."
In keeping with the book's title, Harry rejects this politically correct view. To him, "to hate the British Empire is to hate ourselves, for the United States would not exist if not for the British Empire." Harry means that the British not only established our chartered colonies but also largely populated those settlements and gave us our language, culture, government and, most importantly, our ideas of liberty and the rule of law, including our critically important common law heritage.
The empire has far from a perfect record, and Harry doesn't hide the blemishes, but he also gives us the other side — finally — and that other side is impressive. Long before continental Europe went through its turbulent revolutionary period, which ultimately led to republican government, the British had firmly established the roots of free institutions, limited government, and impartial justice.
Limbaugh may be in awe of the Roman Empire, but we're not. The cities of the Seven Hills must have been pretty impressive and Rome in the first stages of its gathering together was also probably a nice place to live (if you were a Roman), relatively speaking, anyway. But once Caesar came along, all that ended. Just read Robert Graves to get a feeling for what the post-Republic period in Rome was like.
Crocker is using the standard "empire" paradigm of history. It is entirely nonsensical. History is the product of PEOPLE. As we have learned from examining the modern power elite, over time psychopaths always take over societies, or try to. Eventually they use war and then mercantilism to break down the culture and impose their will.
Once the psychotic elements of society are in power, they set about "directing" history. It is inevitable. In the Middle Ages, Western kings claimed their divinity arose from Godhead and there was a whole industry (religious or otherwise) put in place to impress that fact on the populace.
In the modern era, directed history keeps running into communication technologies. That's why we have offered our own paradigm. Our idea is that modern history is not a clash of CIVILIZATIONS but a clash of CLASSES over COMMUNICATION CONTROL. It's the middle classes versus the elites, with the masses of the lower classes (partially) as the prize.
The elites get their way by manipulating history and shutting down competing communication centers. The promotions – we call them dominant social themes – are intense. In this modern era, the elite's fear-based promotions are aimed at creating global governance. But such promotions have ALWAYS been aimed at consolidating and then keeping power.
Empires destroy civilization; they don't create it. The British Empire did not provide countries like India with "freedom" or "modern civilization"; they crushed the most ancient and civilized extant society and put a brutal centralizing bureaucracy in its place. Sure they gave the country railroads. So what?
India was made up of principalities, each competing with the other. The British ended all that. Then a decision was made at the top of the hierarchy to "end" the British Empire. This happened after World War II. Churchill was no doubt entirely aware of this change in plans. That's why he kept coming out with his lugubrious quotes about the "end of empire."
It's really ludicrous. The Anglosphere elites – the great Jewish banking families and their associates and enablers – were never more powerful than after World War II. The City of London, the Vatican, Washington DC and Tel Aviv were to rule the world as never before.
Churchill, of course, would go on to write books about the British Empire. "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it," he reportedly said. Churchill was a special kind of liar. Those who write books about the "greatness of empire" aren't telling the truth either, in our opinion. And surely they're neglecting the impact of the Internet Reformation ...