Lions and Foxes
Why has a country that has fought so many heroic battles and been so honourable sunk to its current level of deceit, degeneracy and cowardice? Once noble warriors we have deteriorated to a senior military man General Sir David Richards launching The Armed Forces Muslim Association in October 2009, to “forge closer relationships with Islamic communities across the U.K.” Richards: was “delighted” and “honoured” to be its first Patron and said it will make a “huge value in raising awareness and mutual understanding” in the armed forces. He added that the Afma would help to recruit from the Muslim community. A senior General encouraging those who are at war with us to infiltrate our armed forces!
What were the wheels of decline? Why are we governed by liars, crooks and deceivers who are interested only in making money and clinging to power? Italian Sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, clarified how this came about. In what follows I shall try to give an insight into how lying, manipulation and deceit are the contemporary methods of managing the population and am not necessarily expressing personal preferences or dislike of persons. Pareto is broadly right in his insights.
In his important book “The Triumph of the Political Class” on the immorality of contemporary politicians Peter Oborne uses the work on elites of Gaetano Mosca. Following Mosca Oborne sees power as vested in dominant elites in our society. I agree and do not think we are in a battle of ideas as some think but battles between groups. However, a dominant ideology, works like a like a dominant religion and people are promoted in society or held back by whether they conform or not and subjected to public Inquisition if they transgress as under Torquemada or Macpherson.
It also influences the type of people who rule or lose influence. Those who come to power promote their own kind and demote those who are different until the one type dominate. The “multi-racial or anti-rascist” ideology is crucial to whether individuals have influence or are removed from power and I call this an “ideological caste” because expressing the right opinions is crucial to obtaining and maintaining one’s position.
Pareto described how power-elites change and developed notions of how rulers change called “the Circulation of the Elites”.
In all societies including Democracies there is a class that rules and a class that is ruled. On weak rulers he wrote, " Any elite which is not prepared to join in battle to defend its position is in full decadence, and all that is left to it is to give way to another elite having the virile qualities it lacks. It is pure day-dreaming to imagine that the humanitarian principles it may have proclaimed will be applied to it. The knife of the guillotine was being sharpened in the shadows when, at the end of the eighteenth century, the ruling classes in France were engrossed in developing their’ sensibility.”
There are two types of ruler - “Lions and Foxes.” This originated in Machievelli’s “The Prince”. Machievelli was formulating a rationalist plan of “how to rule” for new rulers who had no tradition to guide them. He advised the new ruler to be half beast and half man: “So, as a Prince is forced to know how to act like a beast, he should learn from the fox and the lion; because the lion is defenceless against traps and a fox is defenceless against wolves. Therefore one must be a fox in order to recognise traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves.”
The Lions have what Pareto termed Class 11 residues of “Group Persistence”. They have a sense of objectivity and permanence and believe in family, property, nation, church and tradition. They are cautious in economics and value saving and “sound money.” They esteem character and duty over education and wealth and will use force to uphold their values. They rely on their strength, stubbornness.
Foxes, tend to work in the talking professions like journalism or the law, and live by their wits, shrewdness, deceit and fraud.
Pareto added Residues. There are six classes of Residues but the first two are relevant to our era. Class 1 residue is the foxes’ instinct for “combination”. They tend to manipulate words and construct abstruse theories and ideologies. They do not have strong attachment to Church, family, nation or tradition but can exploit these loyalties in others. They are creative in economics and politics and promote change and novelty. They do not plan far ahead and do not look to a great future for their people. They rely on their wits to thwart challenges and ad lib answers to questions.
A feature of Foxes is their distaste for the Martial and a preference for Economics. Our defences are severely cut back and the elites act as if we are in a safe world and have no enemies and think they can buy everyone off with aid and good will both here and abroad!
The dominant anti-British tendency and favouritism for “the other” can be traced to well-named Charles James Fox and his type down to the present. He exhibited the Foxes tendency for abstractions and high-sounding ideals which is evident from his support for the principles of the French Revolution while ignoring the reality. He regarded our war with France as an attempt to crush a noble experiment in human liberty. In 1786 he said of the Rohilla charge,” by those laws which are to be found in Europe, Africa, and Asia – that are found among all mankind, those principles of Equity and humanity implanted in our hearts which have their existence in the feelings of mankind …”
Why then do things not stay the same? Why are we decadent and longer capable of defending ourselves? Modernist art critic Herbert Read wrote in “Form in Modern Poetry” that the nature of men had changed from character to personality. Character being permanent, solid traits; personality more fluid and changeable.
Pareto suggests that there is a “Circulation of Elites.” The ruling elites are not a stable ruling class but changing. Pareto thought this circulation occurs because each type has inherent weaknesses. Thus whilst the Lions' act forcefully they lack imagination and cunning; conversely, Foxes possess cunning but fail to act coercively. Examples are the police negotiating for too long instead of shooting the criminals, kidnappers etc. Pareto disputed that democracy was a progressive form of government; it was, he said, another form of elite rule. A topical insight was that foxes often ignore invasions until it is too late. We should know. We are living through one!
The radical MP Samuel Whitbread was even more anti-British than Fox and excused the French while denouncing his own people. It was the dawning of our era when abstractions were coming to dominate and practical thinking was losing ground. Heroes like Nelson and Wellington were still at that time “role models” for young men, for their quiet manly courage, selflessness and high sense of duty. On the French Revolution Edmund Burke foresaw the decline of Lions’ values: “It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that charity of honour, which felt stain like a wound…The age of chivalry is gone. The age of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded.”
The Duke of Wellington was a famous lion. Like Churchill Wellington had been uninterested in education as a schoolboy. He shows the characteristics of a Lion.
He was at the Congress of Vienna when Napoleon returned from Elba but sent to command the Allied armies in the Netherlands, where he cooperated with the Prussian general von Blücher. Wellington was surprised by Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras and fell back on Waterloo, where he held on until Blücher came to his aid after the Prussian defeat at Ligny. Wellington won one of the most decisive battles in history. He was respected by his troops, who admired his composure under fire and his successes were due to his study of war, careful planning including supply, and realism. He defeated by Foxes Cobden and Bright who promoted free trade to bring about world peace. In 1846, the year The Corn Laws were repealled, Cobden said” I believe that the physical gain will be the smallest gain to humanity from the success of this principle. I look farther; I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe – drawing men together , thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace.” The Victorian historian James Anthony Froude lamented that we had chosen economics over duty as Foxes were taking over from lions and this can be traced through the century as economics replaced values like “nobility”, “duty” and “honour”.
It was Disraeli who turned the Conservatives into an opportunistic party from one of tradition. Disraeli was apparently determined to obtain independent means, and speculated on the stock exchange as early as 1824 on various South American mining companies he was a progressive Tory and only nominally a Conservative and was sympathetic to some Chartists demands and argued for an alliance between the landed aristocracy and the working class against the increasing power of the middle class. He was a founder of the Young England group in 1842 to promote the view that the rich should use their power to protect the poor from exploitation by the middle class. During the twenty years which separated the Corn Laws and the Second Reform Bill Disraeli sought Tory-Radical alliances though unsuccessfully. His rival Gladstone a Fox, was opposed to General Gordon, who expressed the values of lions in his journal about “honour to his country”.
Lord Kitchener was worshipped by the public but attacked in the Commons as a “butcher” and “Imperialist” by foxes and then pushed out of the War Cabinet by Lloyd George who formed the War Committee, which had dictatorial powers and took over the running of the war. A reformer, Lloyd George also out-manoeuvered and replaced General Sir William Robertson, Chief of the Imperial Staff with one of his own kind, Sir Henry Wilson, who wrote more of the balls he attended and the dignitaries he met than anything honourable or noble. Robertson was forced to resign on 11 February 1918, taking the lesser role of Commander-in-Chief of the British Home Forces (replacing Sir John French). Wilson had connived with Lloyd George to create the Supreme War Council which Robertson had vociferously opposed.
Robertson is the only man in history to rise to Field Marshall from private.
A staunch supporter of Sir Douglas Haig, Robertson acted to prevent Lloyd George's attempts to divert effort from the Western to the Eastern Front; unlike Lloyd George, Robertson was a keen 'Westerner', believing that the war could only be won on the Western Front.
In “Soldiers and Statesman 1914 –1916” (1926) Robertson repeatedly stresses “duty”. He highlighted the anti military bias of Foxes when he wrote of how Lloyd George and his war cabinet took a private house to seclude themselves from the Generals “where they sit twice a day and occupy their whole time with military policy, which is my job; a little body of politicians quite ignorant of war and all its needs, are trying to run the war themselves.”
Stanley Baldwin turned the Conservative party from imperialism to offering inducements to voters such as “houses” and “prosperity”. A century of disarmament, on both sides of the Commons, when old Tories spent their time preaching appeasement and dozing in London clubs while Socialists had fantasies about Internationalism, disarmament and submitting to the League of Nations when we were the most powerful country – left us weak and nearly defenceless.
Before being removed or nullified The Lions were first “Stigmatised”. The Lion Churchill spent a decade in slandered obscurity as a “Warmonger” before being needed to fend off Wolves. A Lion called Enoch was sacked from the shadow cabinet by arch-Fox Heath, who has since admitted misleading Parliament and thus the people into the federal state of Europe, which he claimed was merely a trading arrangement. Fox John Major deceived us when he pretended that we retained control over our borders after his legal advisors had advised him that had been signed away at Maastricht.
We have constant moral outrages such as Blair’s infamous sending our troops to war on a lie and his habitual lying to the population. Michael Howard campaigned for election on immigration control when he knew that the European Union would not allow him to implement his plans even had he meant to do so. In June 2004 it was revealed he is an investor in communications firm Incepta. A subsidiary company Citigate Lloyd Northover won 2 Home Office contracts to develop Websites and communications technology to speed up applications from immigrants to enter the UK. The company also gained from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website for the Government to facilitate admission and settling of asylum seekers.
Parato’s world has deteriorated even more to our time. He wrote:
"The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate... The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes."
When a society's system of values deteriorates to the point where hard work is denigrated and "easy money" extolled, where authority gives way to anarchy and justice to legal chicanery, such a society stands face to face with ruin.”
"It is a specific trait of weak governments. Among the causes of the weakness two especially are to be noted: humanitarianism and cowardice - the cowardice that comes natural to decadent aristocracies and is in part natural, in part calculated, in "speculator" governments that are primarily concerned with material gain. The humanitarian spirit ... is a malady peculiar to spineless individuals who are richly endowed with certain Class I residues that they have dressed up in sentimental garb."
Should the great Dead White Male Geoffrey Chaucer return to us he would behold not a Parliament of Fowls, but a Parliament of Foxes.
(1) The Triumph of the Political Class. Peter Oborne (Pocket Books) 2008
For corruption and deceit in the global media see:
“Flat Earth News by Nick Davies (Chatto & Windus) 2008
Pareto's most famous work is: “Mind & Society” which was published in 1916