Sunday, April 19, 2009

Subjects to the Government

(Lithuania in 13th–15th centuries)

As everyone knows, everything that the nations can do, Jews can do better. (Except basketball.)

In the same way, everything that the Europeans can do, Americans can do better. (Except culture. And cooking.)

This includes negative things. Like slavery.

By Philip Chaston, from London:

Once I was born a British citizen, and enjoyed the suzerainty of a long-standing liberal democracy. I knew my liberties as they were embedded in common law and understood the rights and privileges which were my birthright. This was a common culture that was shared in many forms by my fellow pupils at school, by my family and by those who desired to make this country their home.

In 1997 I was still a citizen. Now I am a subject: not a subject of the Crown but the subject of a new beast, one that stretches from Whitehall to Brussels. Roger Scruton has defined a subject as follows:

Subjection is the relation between the state and the individual that arises when the state need not account to the individual, when the rights and duties of the individual are undefined or defined only partially and defeasibly, and where there is no rule of law that stands higher than the state that enforces it.

This is a contentious argument, but our rights are overdetermined and overdefined on paper, arbitrary in exertion, incompetent in execution. Moreover, the European Union under the Treaty of Lisbon confers the authority of a bureaucratic state based upon a law no higher than itself, which can annul and strike out all rights, as power overrides law.

In practice, bureaucratic accretions, quangos and the vomit of regulation have encouraged a culture of subjection. This may have roots prior to New Labour but it acquired its final flowering under this pestilent regime, and discarded the final brakes upon its power: demanding that we are subject to them, civil servants in name, masters in form. ID cards, databases, surveillance and dependency.

The final transition can never be dated. It is not in the interests of the Tories to row back on such change, as they will lose the power that they have looked upon so enviously for a decade. So, when I vote in 2010, I will know that we are each capable of acting responsibly as a citizen, but we are now viewed as subjects, to be feared and controlled.

Sounds familiar? Especially the part in bold.

By the way, I do hope you enjoy paying your new tax when buying things online.


le7 said...

Uch, really?

Crawling Axe said...

Really what? The Duchy of Lithuania stretched from the Baltic to Black seas in th 15th century? Yes. Annoying but true.

le7 said...

No, the online tax.

Crawling Axe said...

Yes. I haven’t investigated it properly yet, but it seems to be true. It also seems that you always pay a tax when buying stuff between the states (which is weird, because I thought the times when the states were considered to be separate economic entities are gone, and their return in not encouraged by Constitution), but since most people buy within the state (again, I don’t know if that’s true), they would not know.

Crawling Axe said...

By the way, on that map, Luybavitchi is between Smolensk and Vytebsk.

Not that they existed in the 15th century, as far as I know from the FR’s diary.