Voices from Russia

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Lady Godiva: A Righteous Englishwoman

Cloisters Cross (King of the Confessors), walrus ivory, carved by Master Hugo, mid-12th century

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According to a well-known tradition, Lady Godiva was a noblewoman who rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covering her modesty with her long hair. She did this to free the townspeople from the taxation that her husband imposed on them. Although postmodernists doubted this story, we see no reason to doubt the backbone of the tradition, which does date from at least the twelfth century. Of course, we should avoid modern misunderstandings… for example, Coventry was then a settlement of only a few hundred people and not a major city.

Godiva  (in Old English Godgifu) was a popular name, meaning “gift of God”. Lady Godiva was probably a widow when she married Leofric, Earl of Mercia. They had one known son, Aelfgar. Both were generous benefactors to monasteries. In 1043, Leofric founded and endowed a monastery in Coventry on the site of a convent destroyed by the Danes in 1016, Godiva being the moving force behind this act. In the 1050s, her name and her husband’s were on a grant of land to the monastery of St Mary in Worcester and on the endowment of the minster at Stow Mary in Lincolnshire.

 She and her husband are also commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries in Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock and Evesham. Lady Godiva also gave Coventry a number of works in precious metal by the famous goldsmith Mannig and bequeathed a necklace valued at 100 Marks of silver. Another necklace went to Evesham for the figure of the Virgin accompanying the life-size gold and silver rood she and her husband gave, and St Paul’s Cathedral received a gold-fringed chasuble. She and her husband were among the most generous Old English donors in the last decades before the Norman Conquest.

Wulviva and Godiva (usually held to be Godiva and her sister) gave the manor of Woolhope in Herefordshire, along with four others, to the Cathedral in Hereford before the Norman Conquest. Her signature appears on a charter purportedly given by Thorold of Bucknall to the monastery of Spalding. It is possible that this Thorold, the Sheriff of Lincolnshire, was her brother. Leofric died in 1057, but Lady Godiva lived on, dying sometime between 1066 and 1086. The Domesday survey mentions her as the only Englishwoman to remain a major landholder shortly after the Norman Occupation. There seems little reason to doubt that her grave is with her husband’s in Coventry.

3 July 2018

Archpriest Fr Andrew Phillips

Orthodox England

http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/lady-godiva-a-righteous-englishwoman/

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Freedom No More

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As I write, with over 75 percent of all yesterday’s English local election results in, Labour has a net gain of 55 councillors compared to the high water mark of the 2014 result in these wards, while the Tories have a net gain of one seat against a 2014 result which was regarded at the time as disastrous for them, and led the Daily Telegraph to editorialise “David Cameron Must Now Assuage the Voters’ Rage”. Yet both the BBC and Sky News have, all night and this morning, treated these results, in which the Labour Party increased by 3 percent an already record number of councillors in this election cycle, as a disaster. What’s more, they used that false analysis to plug again and again the “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” witch-hunt. Of course, it was the continuous exacerbation of this mostly false accusation by Blairite MP’s that… deliberately on their part… stopped the Labour Party doing still better. The Blairites are all over the airwaves plugging this meme again today. What’s more, Labour achieved this result despite the complete collapse of the UKIP vote, which collapse pundits expected to boost the Tory Party. In fact, the net loss of over 100 UKIP seats hasn’t resulted in overall net gains for the Tory Party, even though those ex-UKIP voters demonstrably did mostly split to Tory. The very substantial UKIP voter reinforcements simply saved the Tories from doing still worse. The Liberal Democrats are showing some signs of life.

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, and the tendentious media misrepresentation of the election results reminds me why I couldn’t get excited about it. A media with the extremely concentrated ownership we see in the UK can never be free, and certainly does not represent a wide spread of political opinions. Even the views of the official Leader of the Opposition are almost entirely outside the Overton window. In Scotland, the Scottish government is subject to unreasoning media attack, day in and day out, which contrasts strikingly with the treatment of Westminster ministers and issues.

There’s a seriously worrying example from Leeds of the decline of free speech, where Leeds City Council disgracefully banned a meeting discussing the bias of the corporate and state media because of its content. We aren’t allowed even to get together to discuss media bias. Retired Ambassador Peter Ford, Professors Piers Robinson and Tim Hayward, Vanessa Beeley, and Robert Stuart were to address the meeting at Leeds City Museum entitled “Media on Trial”. I can’t sufficiently express my outrage that Leeds City Council feels it’s right to ban a meeting with very distinguished speakers because it questions the government and Establishment line on Syria. Freedom of speech really is dead.

Truly, British society has changed fundamentally if a former British Ambassador to Syria is banned from speaking in public premises on his area of expertise. What’s still worse is the tone of this sneering report from Huffington Post, now firmly a part of corporate media, in which Chris York libels the speakers as “Assad supporters”, interviews none of the speakers and nobody to make the argument for free speech, but does manage to interview the “founder” of the jihadist “White Helmets”. In terms of banning dissent whilst simultaneously ramping up the official narrative, York has won himself top Establishment brownie points. The man… and I use the term loosely… is unfit for polite company.

4 May 2018

Craig Murray

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/37463/

Sunday, 18 February 2018

18 February 2018. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Horns and Hoofs: Goat is Man’s Best Friend

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Having a pet goat can be just as much fun as having a pet dog as the story of Jack Barrett, a football fan from Burnley in England, shows. They even hang out together in a local pub. Barrett, 40, loves spending time at the Angel Inn with his goat Eric, whom he named in honour of Eric Cantona, the legendary Man United forward. The owner says his pet friend enjoys being around people. Eric the goat is also familiar with fashion… his owner dresses him up before going out. Barrett jokes his goat leads a healthy lifestyle despite his regular appearances in the pub, having no alcohol, and only crisps as treats. Barrett, the father of two kids, said to the Mirror:

He only ever has water. I wouldn’t give my child beer, so why would I give it to my goat? He absolutely loves Quavers.

17 February 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/videoclub/201802171061758762-goat-man-best-friend/

Sunday, 2 July 2017

SHAME on Conservatives Who Ridicule Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

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Socialism attracts young people because they reject the immorality of corporatism. Conservatives should find solace in this… not ridicule it. For at least 20 years, the mainstream Western political and academic narrative was that socialism is a failure. Many cite production deadlock, strikes, riots, and a punitive taxation system to justify these claims. However, the system that ended up supplanting socialism both as a governing economic force and as a viable mainstream opposition platform in the West has also failed and failed more miserably than any prior socioeconomic system. Corporatism, a logical result of neoliberal economics, rejects the cottage-industry style capitalism of people like Ron Paul and the classical Austrian economists. Therefore, in a true sense, it’s unfair to call it “capitalism”.

Unlike with Austrian economics, corporatism places no value on individual liberty, nor does it decry endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy either. Corporatism is to capitalism what the Manson Family is to a Norman Rockwell family painting… it’s a sick perversion. Likewise, corporatism doesn’t value the growth of a national economy, the steadying of national wealth, or the protection of national wealth from foreign hands. It’s unlike traditional market-protectionist economics or neo-mercantile thinking or what many now call sovereigntist economics. In this sense, it’s different from what I call conservative socioeconomics.

Corporatism is a series of interlocking oligarchic global corporations where production often occurs on different continents from where the profits are stored; furthermore, products themselves are often sold in multiple third locations. Corporatism has plenty of regulations and bureaucratic red tape, but all of it works in the favour of giant multinationals that often end up paying less tax than struggling middle-income individuals and families oppressed with socialist high taxation, whilst receiving none of the benefits of a real welfare state. There isn’t a moral, a national, or an individualist component in corporatism. In this sense, it rejects the morality of socialism, protectionism, and classical capitalism simultaneously.

While occasionally corporatist economics can result in a trickle-down effect for some ordinary people, if this ever happens, it’s generally short-lived. Corporatism’s Great Recession in 2007-08 was a testament to this phenomenon. The result has been that many middle-income middle-aged people turned to sovereigntist/protectionist conservative politicians who reject the multinationalism of corporatism and the collectivism of socialism equally. In addition, people in all age groups have begun to revisit classic capitalism as defined by the Austrian school of economics. Generally, the connection this school makes between individual liberty and economic liberality attracts these people.

Socialism has had a revival too, and one of the biggest constituent parts of this new socialist coalition has been the young, although it’s a very different kind of youth than those who previously voted for classical leftist parties. Throughout much of the 20th century, leftist voters came from the heart of suburban industry and, of course, the urban proletariat also. In the USA, this was the so-called “Rust Belt” states and in Europe, this was generally in the big industrial cities outside of the more urbane capitals (Marseilles, Calais, Birmingham, Glasgow, etc). It was only logical that working-class voters would vote for parties with an emphasis on the morality of treating working-class people with economic and social dignity and fairness.

However, today’s socialist core voters are very different. Although what remains of a western industrial base still often vote for politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, an increasing amount of young people from struggling middle-income families are turning to ideas that previously had appeal among the working-classes and those of other classes who for moral, intellectual, or spiritual reasons turned to socialism. These young people aren’t classical socialists, but they’re victims of corporatism. They’ve found that the first proper job in life hardly pays enough to make it worth considering and that the comfortable middle-income jobs of their parents’ generation have either gone overseas or become reserved exclusively for a highly connected upper-middle-class set, beyond simply having a decent income and ability to work hard for an honest first-world pay-cheque.

They’ve found that the neoliberal myth that having a university education guarantees good employment was simply a lie to force young people to take out insanely high loans to pay a university, which was, in fact, a business disguised as a place of learning. They’ve also come to the realisation that many of the comforts of middle-income life were because working-class people created wealth. Now, that wealth comes from foreign factories. All of these factors have led young people to turn to socialism for moral and personal reasons rather than more broad economic beliefs.

It is difficult for socialism to work in a non-industrial society. Socialism relies on working-class labour to create wealth in the same way that conservative economics relies on investment into national (rather than global) industry to initially create wealth. However, a healthy working-class is indispensable to proper moral conservative socioeconomics also. One must remember that conservative policies didn’t create the Irish famine of the 1840s and 1850s, but rather the adoption of liberal free trade by the British state, which ruled Ireland at the time.

With few Western countries having any national wealth and with millionaires conveniently and legally offshoring their money, it’s difficult to see how socialism can achieve anything in the 21st century West unless it takes the crucial step to use the resources of the state to build new factories and pass protectionist laws to keep the wealth they generate flowing on the home front. However, these longer-term economic issues are of little consequences to many young enthusiastic supporters of people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, who unlike Sanders, will almost certainly attain the highest political office in his country. These voters are drawn to the moral message of socialism and this should not be condemned callously, even by conservative protectionists like myself. Instead, we should praise it.

The only way society can ever retain its traditional values is by embracing anyone who rejects the immoral ideologies of globalism, liberalism, and corporatism. While I personally prefer a mixed system, what Deng Xiaoping called “market socialism”, I’m nevertheless sympathetic to those who turn to classical socialism, even though I fully reject the dogma of radical wealth distribution and the rejection of traditional conservative values that many socialists preach. However, in this case, socialism is a healthy first step towards rejecting neoliberalism and allowing a path back to conservatism to form. In many ways, it’s the opposite of the Marxist historical world view, where we have to go back from corporatism to socialism to then step back to conservatism, in each case along the way one must realise our return to past values while combining such thought with contemporary realities. In this sense, one can be both a reactionary and a pragmatic modernist simultaneously. This is the essence of any mixed socioeconomic system rejecting the dogmas of progressive thinking for the sake of modernity alone.

This obviously assumes that it isn’t full communism but full corporatism that is the final “end” of economics. Here, Marx got it wrong; Oswald Spengler (a conservative) got it right. History has proved this; it isn’t a theory. After Russia attempted communism between 1917 and 1991, Russia then turned to corporatism for the remainder of the 1990s. Today, Russia is taking certain socialist elements of the past such as higher pensions and better funding for public services vis-à-vis the 1990s, while ultimately returning to a modern version of patriotic conservative socioeconomics.

If the West is to attempt to save itself, it must follow the same path. Whilst my view is that the October Revolution was a crime against humanity, I nevertheless wept in the 1990s at photos of old women, too thin for their age, carrying photos of Stalin as they protested the piratical liberal economics of Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. Indeed, if Russia were ever to return to a fraction of its pre-1917 conservatism, both conservatives and those holding placards of Stalin while protesting the Yeltsin régime would have to oppose the liberal corporatists of the 1990s.

This is why conservatives who ridicule supporters of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn ought to really step back from their position of arrogance. The young people voting for Sanders and Corbyn may often be odd in their appearance and the idea that they’d want to radically redistribute wealth might be horrifying. Their lack of God is also deeply sad for conservative believers. However, in finding Corbyn, these young people are rejecting the same immoral Godlessness inherent in neoliberalism that true conservatives reject. They’re looking for morality, they’re looking for ethics, they’re looking for community, and they’re looking for family. The authentic conservative solution is the best way to find each, but if they support socialism, which for all of its faults is still endlessly more moral than liberalism/corporatism, then we should wish them well whilst respectfully offering them a respectable conservative alternative.

1 July 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/shame-on-conservatives-who-ridicule-supporters-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-bernie-sanders/

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