Victorian Liberal

Another long yet very relevant quote from Trollope:

To the Duke’s thinking the maintenance of the aristocracy of the country was second only in importance to the maintenance of the Crown. . . That the wealth of the aristocracy should be recruited from time to time by the wealth of the trade was well enough, – nay, was in the utmost degree desirable; but they among them who were alive to their duty would take care that nothing should be robbed from them by those who were without.

Such were the opinions with regard to his own order of one who was as truly Liberal in his ideas as any man in England, and who had argued out these ideas to their consequences. As by the spread of education and increase of the general well-being every proletaire was brought nearer to a Duke, so by such action would the Duke be brought nearer to a proletaire. Such drawing-nearer of the classes was the object to which all this man’s political action tended. And yet it was a dreadful thing to him.

Think about the ultra-progressive enforcers of diversity and inclusion whose only real goal is to protect their elite status by, among other things, imposing outlandishly complex verbal and behavioral codes. How is this any different from the passionately liberal (in his own description) Duke who polices the boundaries of his social class in the exact same way?

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9 thoughts on “Victorian Liberal”

    1. Hey, I survived the USSR, and this is so similar that I feel prepared.

      It’s funny that Americans defeated us in the Cold War to become a faithful copy of our own excesses.

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      1. “our own excesses”

        Were those in the Soviet union obliged to publicly proclaim support of Marxism or communism or do stuff like self-criticism until the bitter end?

        In Poland (and as far as I can tell in most other non-Soviet Warsaw pact countries) you’d be hard pressed to find anyone but party loyalists actually claiming to take any of it seriously after 1960 or so*
        And even they only claimed to take it seriously in party meetings…

        *the brutal suppression of the Polish and Hungarian rebellions in 1956 year seemed to drive the nail in the coffin of belief that had existed in the late 1940s and early 1950s

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        1. Absolutely, nobody but the folks who were young in the 1920s (like my great-grandma) honestly believed this crap. But that din’t prevent them from ranting with extreme self-righteousness as they denounced thought crimes. But that was somewhat comforting because you knew they didn’t believe this shit. The ones who did honestly believe it were all exterminated back in the 1930s. And the US apparatchiks of today seem to believe the crap they are preaching. And that’s really scary.

          The Soviet people were corrupt and lazy. But we were not stupid. We didn’t believe our own propaganda. We all ridiculed it in secret. And the earnest believers in the US seem to be actually completely earnest. Such frank stupidity terrifies me.

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          1. “*the brutal suppression of the Polish and Hungarian rebellions in 1956 year seemed to drive the nail in the coffin of belief that had existed in the late 1940s and early 1950s”

            • For us it was the war. After 1943-6, only a very intellectually limited person (or the old guard) could believe any of it. The consumerism and the corruption really exploded at the end of the war and immediately after. Solzhenitsyn wrote about it in his Cancer Ward.

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  1. One real effect of speech codes, etc., is making it easy for racists, fascists, et al. to keep themselves camouflaged so we do not so easily recognize them. This seems to me very dangerous, indeed.

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    1. The camouflage isn’t compliance with the speech code. It’s the impossibility of compliance. Anybody anywhere could be critiqued for racism, so the real racists blend in with the ordinary people getting flagellated.

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