By Steven Yates
September 17, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II was born April 21, 1926, and passed away September 8, 2022. The world she left was horrifically different from the one she was born into. Understatement of the century. Should conservatives honor her life and legacy?
My answer would be a qualified Yes. My answer acknowledges that she wasn’t perfect, nor was the Royal Family free of assorted question marks. Be this as it may, Queen Elizabeth’s life seemed to reflect something that is rapidly disappearing: class. Not in the economic sense. In the sense of cultivated behavior that reflects dignity, self-respect, proper manners, and a sense that with great wealth and power (she had both) comes great responsibility — not to gain more wealth and power, but to watch over and serve that portion of the world to which one has been entrusted.
A controversy has erupted over conservatives paying respects to her memory. Tucker Carlson defended doing so in one of his recent commentaries.
I imagine that was hard for liberals to hear. After all, British colonialism is very much out of fashion. To defend it? Gasp! How unwoke can you be?!?!
Carlson, to his credit, couldn’t care less about being woke. So as he is wont to do, he provided a dose of truth in a world saturated by wokery’s lies.
The British empire, rising as did beginning in the seventeenth century and whatever else one says about it — no one says it was perfect — was more humane, decent, and civilizing than anything the twentieth century produced.
What did the British empire help bring about? Rising living standards everywhere it and its agents set up shop. Improved medical care. Falling crime rates.
What happened after it withdrew (and became the present-day Commonwealth)? Living standards fell. Governance grew deadly. Uganda, as Carlson points out, got Idi Amin for a spell. Rhodesia eventually became Zimbabwe, with everything that name invokes, going from one of the richest countries in the world to one of the poorest in just one generation. South Africa got “majority rule,” but also massive political corruption, violent crime, and a minority of whites who justifiably fear for their lives. Now Chinese economic hit men are moving in. How many Africans silently wish the British had never left?
Just the truth here, without trigger warnings that have become hallmarks of a hypersensitivity that protects lies, wokery, and corruption.
What made the British empire a superior form of life? That’s an easy question.
It was joined at the hip with what was still fundamentally a Christian-based civilization, even if secularized financial elites were already sabotaging its upper echelons.
By the time Elizabeth II was born, Christian culture was being dismantled apace, and being replaced by materialism. What enabled materialism in addition to financial liberation were Darwinism, Freudianism, and the rising technocrat mindset that started with Auguste Comte. This mindset rejects original sin and embraces its opposite: human beings can perfect themselves by their own means. All we have to do is place ourselves in the hands of “the experts.” Technocracy proclaims itself the path to a “scientifically designed world” and to a more perfect human. This last is called transhumanism.
GloboCorp — or the superelite, hellbent on establishing a world government serving its global corporations — is a natural product of this worldview. Present-day elites are as different from those of yesteryear as night is from day. There were elites of yesteryear who merited being called aristocrats. To them, excellence mattered. Grace mattered. Proper décor mattered. Leadership meant service, not domination.
Achievement mattered. The first corporations emanating from the Anglo-European world spread the rising scientific-technological-commercial mindset, but within an ethos that sought to improve the lives of those to whom its purveyors had been entrusted. True, they did not always succeed, because those they contacted weren’t welcoming of what the West offered. Sometimes this was indeed Westerners’ own fault. A Christian worldview is no guarantee against corruption and wealth’s abuses. Corporations such as British East Trading Co. controlled as much wealth as governments. Wealth is power. Power corrupts. No one with a brain denies this.
Nevertheless, the visible aristocrats of the day were about something other than money and power, and this makes them very unlike their equivalents today.
Money and power become the summum bonum of every culture materialism overwhelms, whether those who think materialism reflects “the scientific view of the universe” or not, whether they wish to retain (essentially Christian) “ideals of truth, justice, and equality” or not. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, materialism engenders death cultures.
Communism and Nazism were about power and domination, and the result was the mass slaughter of millions of innocent people. Both are rooted in variations on the modern materialist worldview, in which there is no Creator, no transcendent reality, no moral compass rooted in eternal truths, and hence nothing above history and society — and those able to seize the reins of power.
One of the most important consequences of the materialist outlook: when all is said and done, lives don’t matter, especially if they become inconvenient. Entire populations are thus expendable. Our holocaust is hidden by such innocuous-sounding euphemisms as women’s reproductive rights.
Thus Communism, thus Nazism, thus the pro-abort mindset of Planned Parenthood: sick branches from the same diseased tree and roots.
Neither do capitalism and materialism mix! I think none other than Adam Smith understood this at some level. His Wealth of Nations notes that businessmen are subject to corruption and that “market forces” alone are insufficient to prevent the formation of cartels and monopolies. He was thinking of government regulation, of course, and that invites the question, who regulates the regulators? In the absence of self-regulation in accordance with a Christian worldview in which consciousness of human imperfection and temptation are part of the culture, capitalist institutions are as vulnerable to corruption as those of overtly totalitarian systems like communism and Nazism. It just takes longer. Sadly, Smith was a product of his century. Leading intellectuals were rejecting Christianity. Thus he never took this last step, preferring instead a “morality of sentiment” shared with his correspondent and close friend the Scottish philosopher David Hume.
Even self-regulation at this level won’t do the job perfectly, of course. Original sin again….
Materialism become the dominant worldview of the twentieth century among academic and political-economic elites and superelites — whether they understood it in these terms, or not (most did not). The academics systematically confused materialism, a worldview (supplying starting points for reasoning) with science (a range of methodologies and results). Their claim to epistemic authority — “we know the truth” — gave materialism cultural as well as intellectual power. Capitalistic enterprises were not immune. A term I have sometimes used for the spread of materialism from the pristine labs and hallways of academia through the rest of a civilization is cultural osmosis.
Neoliberalism, the brand of capitalism that dominated the West by the turn of the millennium, had already financialized the economy and redistributed wealth upward — welfare-statism in reverse, I have called this. When money becomes your sole value, you will sell out not just your employees but your nation. Hence corporations moving jobs to cheap-labor countries, hiring illegal immigrants willing to work cheap so that all wages are driven down, all in addition to gains made from going public and selling shares. Hence the purposeful pursuit of technology that eliminates jobs and dumps tens of thousands of people into the streets. Hence the devaluation of currency via money printing, which is all that will prop up a fundamentally unsustainable system so that those who profit from that system can continue indefinitely.
In this environment, the middle class starts to disappear. Its earnings no longer keep up with its (inflated) expenses. Society as a whole gravitates toward techno-feudalism, a state of affairs in which the superelite dominates, regional visible technocratic elites, both political and economic, advance agendas assisted by cadres of cooperative administrators, and real freedom diminishes. The majority, without the know-how to escape this kind of system (and “educated” to believe they live in a democracy), live increasingly miserable lives working “gigs” for low pay, indebted to “payment plans” with no end in sight. This is the new serfdom, tied not to land as such but to the money system. To keep their sanity, the masses respond to whatever pleasurable escapes are made available by corporations, which include drugs and eventually every form of sexual fetish and perversion. Moral arguments against all these will have all but disappeared, demonized when they do appear as calls for “theocracy.”
Today’s government schools, of course, are encouraging small children to question their “gender.” As recently as three decades ago, this would have been condemned as child abuse. The sexually confused were seen as mentally ill. Today you can get kicked off Big Tech’s platforms for saying such.
What does all this have to do with Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family? I am not claiming they’ve stayed free of the corrupting effects of what was trending all around them. Indications are, though, that Queen Elizabeth was profoundly disappointed by the divorces and scandals that have dogged later generations of Royals. Tradition, however, kept her from weighing in on political matters. I cannot help also having sensed, for some time now, her dignified if stoic refusal to be transformed into a celebrity, which has become the unfortunate fate of her grandchildren and their spouses.
Goes without saying, the superelite are not following the example she set. Led by Klaus Schwab and his Young Global Leaders, they scheme to complete their global empire based on surveillance and control, not dignity and service. Meanwhile, wars they fomented lay waste to nations, economies crumble under the weight of irrational policies, political systems fragment on fomented division and justifiable distrust of authority, formal education continues to disintegrate under the weight of wokism, and cultures descend into barbarity.
As an exemplar of this last, consider this tweet by one Uju Anya of Carnegie Mellon University: obviously, given that name alone, an academic affirmative action charity case:
I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.
See what I mean about formal education disintegrating? What can one say to the sociopaths that have inundated its once honorable lecture halls? What is scary is that such people may have as many as several hundred university students fall under their sway each academic year.
Some will reply angrily to all this that the Queen associated with, and even knighted, people who turned out to be pedophiles. If true, this is just one more symptom of the corruption of our era. She herself seemed to remain above all such frays. Even should it turn out that she looked the other way as much as possible, her British stiff upper lip intact, just the dignified appearance she maintained for as long as she lived might well be remembered as among the last anchors against the long-term collapse of Western civilization.
© 2022 Steven Yates – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Steven Yates: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Yates’s latest book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (2021) is available here and here. His earlier Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011) is available here.
These columns present a perspective unavailable elsewhere: of personal freedom and community autonomy, based on a philosophically-informed conservatism within a Christian worldview holding that in the last analysis, we all answer to our Creator.
This stands opposed to the major threat of our time: a sociopathic superelite using technology and financialization to gain world domination, unleashed by secular materialism and the latter’s having collapsed all forms of valuation other than money and power. Globalists see themselves as answering only to each other. They do not believe in a Higher Power. They are the culmination of the materialist / secularist / liberal worldview.
My perspective incorporates accounts of how emergencies of various sorts arise or are manufactured, how controlled media hysterics generate fear in populations, and how these enable controlled governments to grab power and do the superelites’ bidding. Hegelian dialectic: crisis, reaction, response. Foment a crisis or through inaction allow it to develop; the crisis leads to a predictable reaction within populations (“Do something!”); those with power move in with the response they had planned all along.
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