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22 March 2013 Thought for the Week:
RIP: Douglas Hewson Christie, April 1946 - March 11, 2013
REMEMBERING DOUG CHRISTIE’S 1991 VISIT TO AUSTRALIA
Canadian barrister Doug Christie, visited Australia with his wife Keltie and baby son in 1991. The League of Rights invited Doug to speak on his experiences whilst acting as defence lawyer for Imre Finta the first person charged with war crimes in the English-speaking world. Those who heard Douglas Christie in 1991 will not have forgotten the man.
He courageously visited Eastern Europe before the Iron Curtain came down, in preparation for the defence of the first Hungarian-Canadian charged with war crimes. He demanded a Canadian Government guarantee of protection before he went to Israel to take evidence.
As Queenslander Charles Pinwill observes in his introduction at the National Seminar 5th October 1991: “Douglas Christie is a very rare and special servant of Truth and of Freedom of Speech.”
THE NEW CLASS AND RIGHTS COMMISSIONS
by Ian Wilson LL.B.
God Gough put this into action in the form of the Racial Discrimination Act in October 1975 and Al Grassby (remember him?) was put in charge of a new commission that grew into the Human Rights Commission. Now it has a budget of $27.5 million and states have their own anti-discrimination commissions, chewing up more taxpayers’ money.
Cater documents how all this turned into an express train of “rights” with the Racial Hatred Act, the Bolt case, and more recently Nicola Roxon’s attempt to push anti-discrimination to a new level. He seems to think that this Bill is dead in the water, but I have noted that the new Attorney General is more cautious but just as enthusiastic about promoting a modified Bill.
As I see it, what is needed is the elimination of the Human Rights Commission. Then all the laws inspired by the UN need to be repealed. We need to get back to the freedoms we had in May 1966.
ANTI-CHRISTIAN, ANTI-FREE SPEECH - CANADIAN COURT DECISION
Writing in the National Post Rex Murphy had this to say: Welcome to Canada, land of never-speaking-ill-of-a-marginalized-group free-ish speech. You can say what you like in Canada — to yourself, in a low voice. According to our Supreme Court, free speech is secondary to the right not to feel offended. I join with Andrew Coyne in expressing bewilderment at one particular statement from this week’s decision in the case of Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. Whatcott — the one where the Justices write: “truth may be used for widely disparate ends.” What an eerie caution.
The court wants to make sure that disreputable forms of truth can’t serve to get Canadians off the hook for hate speech. After all, truth is such a wily, insidious, sly concept. Allowing Canadians to use it any way they please … why, that way lies anarchy and uncomfortable dinner tables.
Truth is either the centre of law and life, or law and life both are the worse for its not being so. The term “self-esteem” might have been foreign to Montaigne and Bacon. But they would have lamented how self-esteem — or its group equivalent — now gets more play than truth. There’s a fair dollop of therapeutic chatter in the Whatcott ruling, a resort to vague nostrums, such as the idea that “hate speech” might “oppose the targeted group’s ability to find self- fulfillment?”
So might bad weather, or bunions. What, really, is that phrase supposed to encompass? Moreover, how can group “self-fulfillment” be measured? Is self-fulfillment a legal right? There have been, in recent decades, any number of commentators pointing out the follies and failings of our human rights commissions and tribunals. In rendering their judgment on Whatcott — which arose from the machinations of this same human-rights industry — could not the Justices have offered some view on the often outrageous manner by which this industry operates?
The Court was silent on the manner by which human rights tribunals stack the deck in favour of the offendee against the alleged offendor. The victim-complainant is given all manner of succor and support from bureaucrats. The “offending” party, on the other hand, is left to bear the time and burdens of hearings and rulings. Often, he must go out and get a lawyer, at his own expense.
Nor did the Court offer any real guidance on why our tradition-tested and tradition-hallowed rights — such as freedom of speech and religion — now must be displaced or diluted in favour of new more politically correct axioms. Moreover, why does the overbearing modern notion of tolerance seem to involve so much … intolerance? And why do some Canadian citizens — the “designated groups” we hear so much about in human-rights jurisprudence— now effectively enjoy more rights and more protection than other Canadian citizens? Lady Justice is not blind. She’s now winking at subsets of the population, while pretending to be fair to all.
COURT TWISTS CHARTER OF RIGHTS IN HASTE TO LIMIT FREE SPEECH
Andrew Coyne: Supreme Court twists the Charter of Rights in its haste to limit free speech
This is a legal truism, but as always it is as important what the Court did not say. It did not choose to begin a ruling on an important freedom of speech case with a ringing affirmation of the importance of free speech, or what an extraordinary thing it is to place restrictions upon it.
Indeed, in its haste to get on with the limiting, it did not even pause to properly quote the section of the Charter that grants the state such authority.
Where the Court’s view of such limits is expansive and approving, the Charter is grudging (“only”) and cautious (“demonstrably”). That’s as it should be. If we accept the bedrock premise of a free society, that government is its servant and not its master, then it is up to the state, always, to ask the citizens’ permission before it intrudes on their liberty, and to prove its necessity: it is never the citizen’s obligation to show why he may remain unmolested. That spirit is lamentably absent from the Court’s reasoning.
WHY SCHOOLS OF ECONOMICS, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, ETC SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN
by James Reed
Aristotle put the case for small-scale in these words: “The best limit of the population of a state is the largest number which suffices for the purposes of life, and can be taken in at a single view.” In more modern times Leopold Kohr, “The Breakdown of Nations” and Fritz Schumacher, “Small is Beautiful”, have argued for the same point. Papworth though goes further and argues that human scale/small scale is now necessary for survival. Systems are collapsing because of excessive growth.
Economics though aspires to the ideology of growth and globalism and thus also threatens our survival. That is why economics departments in universities need to be shut down, i.e., because the discipline is socially harmful. It is a degenerating paradigm which has not even solved one of its central problems because of its view of the market as a controlling entity, divorced from social considerations.
Worse, social development is now determined not by the moral consensus of society, but by what the market wants – as if the market was some sort of mythical monster in a fictional story – but one which has suddenly become real. Worse, orthodox economics is basically wicked; it begins with the assumption that the “factors of production”, land, labour and capital are capable of being substituted for each other. To this Papworth says: “Individual human beings, made if you will in the image of God, are of no more or less account than a share certificate or a cabbage patch.” (p.12)
Common sense, let alone more weighty theoretical reasoning (demonstrating that these factors are not infinitely substitutable), shows that this is nonsense, and yet this is the fundamental basis of orthodox economics. The creative individual is reduced to the level of an object by this so-called “science”. Creative capabilities, prized throughout the generations, are lost. Work, which once gave meaning to human life, has become demeaning and mass production has reduced people to the level of passive consumers. Today we do not create beauty – we disfigure it: One consequence of economic tyranny displacing man’s higher powers is that baser powers came to dominate.
Following a theme discussed by Prince Charles, although Papworth does not mention him, he observes that even with our technological powers, we have made an ugly world, composed of ugly cities: “Today we do not create beauty, we destroy or disfigure it; we trample upon the lessons of scale and proportion our forbears studied and practised with such consummate skills, so today our urban skylines are raped with monster apartment or office blocks which acknowledge no principle but that of profit, which squander energy and other resources with mindless abandon, which disregard the need for harmony between man and environment, and which create insoluble problems of human alienation and urban disruption.” (p.17)
Economics has helped produce an alienating mass society.
Politics in this mass society has produced a sham democracy where elections “can never be other than exercises in manipulation, indoctrination, misinformation, and a general sabotaging of citizen’s powers of independent judgement.” (p.25)
Economics is thus not a science but is a “gigantic and complex conspiracy concerned simply with the mechanics of making money.” (p.25) However even this may be self-defeating, Papworth argues, because the Earth is fast approaching the limits of greed and growth. From the polluted waters, to land erosion to ozone layer depletion, humanity is destroying the environment which sustained Life. Consequently, morality must be restored to central place in economic thinking – orthodox economics pretends to be “value-free” but actually follows the sole value of greed.
There is a need to go back, to realise that globalism is a wrong road and that local self-reliance is the way of preserving Traditions, community, and Life itself.
Economic schools need to be shut down “because their teaching assumptions betray truth and help enormously to spread falsity.” (p.35)
John Papworth, from Purton Today
Today the world can become one vast university of which we can all become its students and professors. Yet instead we bury ourselves by the millions in triviality, in organized games involving players flying across the entire world in pursuit of a leather ball or some trophy, or in similar inanities involving the diminution of our human stature.”
DOWN TO EARTH: HISTORY AND THE THREE SPHERES OF SOCIETY
by Frances Hutchinson (From The Social Crediter Spring 2013)
On the contrary, however, the stark reality is that without an understanding of the past there is no possibility that the social institutions under which we live at present, can be adapted purposefully to alternative ends. The entire social framework of the present has been inherited from the past. Individuals work together through an interlocking network of institutions, none of which can be reformed without distorting the entire edifice. The first essential, therefore, is to take a long hard look at various versions of the evolution of the social framework of global corporatism.
The Myth of Progress
Economic history is the story of the technological progress which has made possible the modern Machine Age. In the bad old days (so the story goes) everyone had to dig the soil in all weathers, day in and day out, grubbing about for a living. They went about in rags, and what little food they managed to procure was forcefully seized by the aristocracy. Nobody lived long, and children died off in droves from hunger and disease. Along came the new agrarian technologies, opening up the possibility of mass production and mono-cultural farming. Freed from having to work on the land, people could now leave their homes to work in factories where the ‘division of labour’ operated (see Adam Smith).
Furthermore, there was some ridiculous notion that the person who became king, whether by conquest or heredity, was so placed by a divine being, in which case he was expected to rule over his people in justice and equity, according to the laws of the land. The Divine Right of Kings, if taught at all, is presented as one of the more ridiculous notions of the pre-modern political economy.
Modern educational institutions convey the impression that the story of economic history, as they present it, is all there is to know. According to this recently invented myth, material progress is the only yardstick with which to evaluate social action. Economic progress makes everybody better off. If more and more things are made, it won’t be long before everybody has enough. Then each individual will be able to make his or her choices about political and spiritual matters in perfect freedom from dogma, superstitions and all the paraphernalia of moral philosophy. For the time being, just keep working for money under the orders handed out to you, so that when we reach the end of history – which is just around the corner – you can sit back and enjoy it. There is nothing beyond the material, so talk of justice, peace, fair dealings and rights balanced by obligations, is so much hogwash.
Rural and Urban Economies
The political economy of the Machine Age, for all its apparent sophistication, fails to take into account the need to manage the physical resources of the planet using the ages-old principles of sustainability and returns to the soil.
Aristotle used the term ‘chrematistics’ to describe a political economy motivated by a desire to enrich oneself at the expense of others, the claiming of rights without responsibilities, the maximisation of short-term personal gain regardless of the needs of others or the natural world. It is concerned with the personal ownership of property, and its manipulation so as to maximize the short-term monetary exchange value to the owner.
The academic discipline of economics is at once the study of the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange and the study of how the people as a whole gain from this manipulation. Chrematistics thereby intends to assimilate oikonomia.
Chrematistics and the Worker Class
The above passage indicates the common dilemma of the Machine Age – size and centralisation. Specialists have come to know more and more about less and less, able to cite with authority some details of a narrow field of research, but with no inkling about how the myriad separate parts might fit together in theory, still less in practice.
Perhaps Graham Green has best captured the spirit of the age. His vacuum cleaner salesman in Our Man in Havana has no idea what is happening on the world stage. Wormald’s teenage daughter has expensive tastes, so when he is approached to be recruited as an agent by the British Secret Service in their Caribbean network during the Cold War, he fabricates a series of agents and events, including drawings of secret weapons which bear a remarkable resemblance to the body and fittings of a vacuum cleaner.
In the industrial age humanity has forgotten that its roots lie in the soil. Up to this point in time, the industrial world has been supported by the surviving vestiges of the traditional, rural, peasant cultivation. Ancient knowledge of the soils and seasons, of the cultivation of plants, the tending of livestock and forms of human cooperation based upon trust and responsibility, has been developed and handed down through generation after generation.
Peasant Houses and Households
No civilisation has ever survived in complete independence from its roots in the soil. Human communities can live in a wide range of environments, eating a vast range of foodstuffs. But we remain dependent upon a bedrock of peasant knowledge of the natural world in specific places and times. In 1984 a small book was published entitled Romanian Peasant Houses and Households.
Spiritual Life, Civil Rights and Industrial Economy
Fortunately, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Progressive thinkers provide the serious inquirer with food for thought and coherent action. In The Threefold State, published in English in 1920, Rudolf Steiner presented the case for thinking in terms of a threefold state or ‘commonwealth’. He observed three aspects of a society:
Arnold Freeman, well-known educationalist and student of Steiner observed:
In 1946 Charles Waterman further amplified Steiner’s thoughts on the threefold
For almost everywhere in the body he will find nerves and veins conjointly present. Similarly, although on the conceptual level we can and must speak severally of the spiritual sphere, the political sphere, and the economic sphere, we never encounter one of them alone.
As far as I know, Leopold Kohr never came across the teachings of Steiner. Nevertheless, his vision of the self-governing, autonomous city state provides an intriguing alternative to the business-as-usual corporate model, manned at all levels by the worker class. Dreams of a return to an idealised peasant village society of the past are at once impractical and undesirable. A version of the city state, decentralised and on a human scale, would seem an attractive starting point for discussions on viable alternatives.
The City State
The City of Salzburg was very much like the city-state Kohr came to admire and advocate. Today, however, the global chain stores and fast food outlets litter the ancient streets of the old town. Designed, managed, manned and patronized by the worker class of waged and salaried workers, these retail establishments bear witness to the cultural climate – the spiritual values - of the Machine Age.
The population that built the City of Salzburg maintained contact with its rural roots. Until well into the twentieth century the mountains, fields and forests surrounding the city provided food, fuel and the natural materials for building and furnishing homes according to ages old traditions and customs. The natural setting of the city was also a common cultural inheritance, the setting for the folk stories of the mountains, forests, fields and villages surrounding the City of Salzburg.
In one corner of Europe, in the English-speaking British Isles, the new culture of the Machine Age emerged and took shape. The cottage economy of William Cobbett, and the village economy of Tolkein’s Shire, were swept aside to make way for the modern political economy which would allow the new technologies of the industrial age to be developed. History cannot be set aside or changed. That is the way things happened. However, if change is to come about in the future it is essential to understand what gave rise to the institutional framework under which we now live.
Two Philosophies of Life
In the 1940s Massingham wrote:
Frances Hutchinson’s New Home Economics CD
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