I have just been blackpilled by Peter Hitchens.
Blackpilled, as I’m sure you all know, is that stage of enlightenment beyond redpilled. Not only do you see the truth of things but what you go on to realise is that we are totally doomed: if there is any redemption, it can only be in the next world, not this one.
Hitchens, Christian brother of the atheist Christopher, was talking with special reference to Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.
I asked him why it is that on so many issues — giving Britain’s 5G contract to a hostile foreign power, going ahead with the expensive, futile and environmentally destructive HS2, the insanity of Net Zero, Keynesian deficit spending etc — Boris’s Conservatives have proved to be every bit as disappointing as the quite fantastically dismal Theresa May Conservatives and the spectacularly useless David Cameron Conservatives.
The reason, Hitchens explained, is that the Conservative party isn’t Conservative and hasn’t been for some time. He didn’t use the phrase “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” — that wouldn’t be Hitchens’s style — but it’s essentially what he means. “There are no Conservatives left,” he told me. “Or at least so few they can make no difference.”
The rot set in the 1960s, Hitchens argues. From about this point, the Conservative party ceased to offer a meaningful alternative to the ideology of the left, but simply argued that it would handle Britain’s managed decline more efficiently.
The Conservatives did not attempt, for example, to challenge one of the fundamental — and most damaging — tenets of the left’s ideology: egalitarianism.
Instead, they accepted all the left’s shibboleths — that selective education, where pupils are set by ability, (eg grammar schools) was unfair; that the war on patriarchy is a good and necessary thing and that there must be more enforced equality in the workplace, even in careers to which women are largely unsuited such as the Army and the fire brigade.
“But there has been no attempt to put women on dust carts,” notes Hitchens.
Why haven’t conservatives put up more of a fuss about the left’s cultural takeover?
The best way to revolutionise a country is by small increments. This, of course, is the slogan of Mátyás Rákosi, the hideous Hungarian communist leader. He called it ‘salami slicing.’ The idea being that you sliced away at the liberties and the wealth and the freedoms of civil society in tiny, thin slices – none of which was big enough to provoke organised opposition. But at the end of the process of slicing them there wasn’t any salami left.
As a former Trotskyite revolutionary himself, Hitchens knows whereof he speaks.
And he’s right. Most of us have a pretty strong idea of what a functioning Western democracy looks like. It has an Army that defends the realm rather than agitates about how best to get more women through the SAS selection test or how to make Muslims feel they can comfortably whip out a prayer mat while on exercise in the Brecons; it has a police force that stops burglaries and knife crime rather than paints its fingernails and BMWs in rainbow colours to show solidarity with LBGTQ issues; it has elite universities which polish the finest minds of a generation by exposure to the best that has ever been thought or written, rather than train them to be nasty, narrow-minded little Social Justice Warriors; and so on.
What’s extraordinary is that a nation where — as the Brexit vote suggested — the majority of people are of at least a small-c conservative disposition, there was no serious pushback to any of this lunacy.
Most culpable of all is the Conservative party itself. Instead of presenting a coherent opposition to the left’s social justice dogma, it actively embraced it.
One of the key moments, Hitchens argues, was when Labour leader Tony Blair — who, Hitchens believes, remained a Trotskyite long after his student days — made a speech on the 2001 campaign trail effectively setting out the terms on which any future Conservative administration had to obey if it was ever to see power.
David Cameron duly obliged by announcing himself as the Heir to Blair.
The Conservatives never seriously attempted to counter the left’s constant suggestion that they were heartless, selfish, uncaring – the ‘Nasty Party’ as Theresa May once styled them.
As Hitchens says:
“Nobody ever responded by saying that actually there are humane and civilised arguments which can be made responsibly by intelligent people which suggest that [the left’s policies] are mechanisms which although they appear to be good have terrible effects and need to be resisted. It was never done. There was no development of a conservative thought process, no critique, no basis for a conservative long march through the institutions – because there are no conservatives.”
I wish he were wrong. But you only need to look at Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, which are merely continuation John Major, David Cameron and Theresa May, to realise that Hitchens is absolutely right.
The full Hitchens interview will be broadcast next Thursday on the Delingpod podcast.