A Note from the Editor - Winter 2000-2001

By Wayne Lutton
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 11, Number 2 (Winter 2000-2001)
Issue theme: "America and Great Britan: common past - shared future?"

Like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the United States derives its mores, political purposes, institutions, and language from Britain. We share a common pattern of law and politics, a body of literature, religious heritage and a common history.

In all of these outposts of British civilization mass immigration and the demands of multiculturalists threaten to sever the Anglo-link that ensures cultural continuity. Indeed, in Australia, the United States, and Britain itself, the mass in-migration of wholly different peoples bringing with them non-Western cultures, will, if not halted, lead to the displacement of the majority populations and the extinction of the culture that was so attractive to other non-Westerners in the first place.

The Winter 1997-98 issue of The Social Contract (Vol. VIII, No.2) featured a discussion of 'Australia's Identity Crisis.' The guest editors noted that, 'Far from being of interest only to Australians, this identify crisis is of relevance to all... the English-speaking countries,' since they are now being demographically and culturally 'transformed.'

The transformation is occurring in Britain. On September 3, 2000 the Sunday Observer (UK) admitted that 'whites will be an ethnic minority in Britain by the end of the century.' The next day the London Times reported 'On current projections, the change could happen as soon as 2060.'

We have invited Derek Turner, a respected London-based political analyst and editor of the quarterly journal Right Now!, to address this issue. He draws on contributors from both sides of the Atlantic to review the Anglo-American connection. Sugges-tions are offered to help re-forge these essential ties.

A future issue of The Social Contract will take a closer look at demographic and cultural changes in Canada.

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D.

Introduction to the Feature Section by Guest Editor Derek Turner

How things have changed since 1833, when de Tocqueville observed how 'One hardly ever meets an American who does not want to claim some connection by birth with the first founders of the colonies, and as for offshoots of great English families, I think America is simply full of them.' Now Vachel Lindsay's excitable statement that 'We here renounce our Saxon blood' seems to have become widely accepted by many Americans - certainly those in positions of power or influence.

America is neglecting her essentially Anglo- Saxon and Celtic heritage as either irrelevant or discriminatory. On the one hand, neo-conservatives say that America is a ‘proposition nation' whose inhabitants need only believe in the free market to be good Americans. On the other hand, and to similar effect, Leftists are in endless pursuit of the chimera of 'multiculturalism' or deliberately downplaying America's British roots in order to further some ethnic agenda of their own.

Yet this is ingratitude on a monumental scale. In this special issue of The Social Contract, Joseph Fallon demonstrates that the things Americans take for granted about their country stem directly or indirectly from England. The very freedom of expression that some Americans abuse in order to try to impose Left- wing totalitarianism stems from the Puritan desire to find 'free air, free ocean and a harmless shore.' As David Hackett Fisher puts it in his magisterial Albion's Seed 'In a cultural sense, most Americans are Albion's seed, no matter who their own forebears may have been.'

The estrangement from her roots of the most powerful country in the world is of great consequence for everyone. Even those toward whom America is well-disposed are likely to find out that, as Arnold Toynbee said wearily, 'America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair,' while those whom America dislikes face bombing or invasion. What happens in America affects everywhere else, fulfilling the American Quarterly Review's 1831 prophecy that 'the old world is destined to receive its influences in future from the new.'

American upheaval has affected Britain more than any other country. There have been monumental political changes, not just in respect to Northern Ireland, but also in Serbia, where British politicians have allowed themselves to get caught up in the American mania for imposing the 'American way of life.' American foreign policy today is governed much less by the perceived national interest or rational (if unedifying) motives of economic exploitation than it is by perfervid ideology. As the wise Italian, Luigi Barzini, noted, American politicians appear to think that the world is populated by 'law-abiding angels' (who may need to be freed from nasty rulers). Today's British politicians seems to find equal enjoyment in bombing foreigners until they draft shiny, new, politically correct constitutions or open up their economies to be taken over by multinational corporations.

But policy changes are less important than cultural and social changes. And, as Alexander Boot points out in his thoughtful 'Damn La Difference,' modernity means that every day there is less to differentiate average Americans and Britons from each other. There are all too many baseball caps and hip- hop fans in British High Streets, while a visit to the antiseptic, planned town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire - a town whose grid-pattern roads have names like 'Midsummer Boulevard' - bears out Boot's thesis.

Merrie Cave regrets the parting of our ways, and calls for a revival of the ‘special relationship', with the UK joining the USA in NAFTA, as an alternative to being absorbed into the European Union. This is an idea now being examined closely on both sides of the Atlantic, and might indeed lead to greater understanding between the two countries along with Canada. Kenneth McDonald, an Englishman who has lived in Canada for decades, tells of the differences and similarities between the American and Canadian situations, and hopes that the intimate links between the two countries can 'survive the attacks of country- changing socialists on both sides of the border.'

Brett Decker uses the Labour government's reforms of the House of Lords as a jumping-off point to relate how, simultaneously with America, Britain has begun to forget her own roots. The British government has embraced wholeheartedly the Marxist maxims of 'multiculturalism' and 'equality,' and is anxious for Britain to relinquish her independence in a European empire. It is not even as if this decline in British importance will lead to a specifically English renaissance, for our political masters have decreed that Englishness (if it exists at all) is inherently dangerous and evil. Not only has the government abolished hereditary peerages and said that the arts are 'elitist,' but it has endorsed - or mostly endorsed - the Parekh Report, which calls for Britain to be officially declared 'a multicultural society' and says openly that British history needs to be 'rewritten' to accommodate recent immigrants and their descendants.

Such Reports are not just of relevance to British people, of course, but to everyone who values British (and Western) patrimony and wishes to see British distinctiveness preserved, as is indicated in several columns by American journalists in this issue. The sentiments - there is little thought involved - of those who produce such ludicrous but dangerous documents as the Parekh Report are widespread within the Western world, but perhaps especially within the Anglo-American ambit, whose constituent countries have long stressed civic rather than ethnic forms of patriotism and whose opinion-forming classes are perhaps especially naive and prone to chiliasm.

Mark Wegierski sums up the state of America and Britain well as 'a curious mixture of technological and economic prowess and triumph, combined with social and cultural decline.' The challenge for Britons and Americans of good will is to arrest that decline, and reinvigorate our flagging relationship. It is my hope that this collection of articles may prove to be of some utility.

Derek Turner is editor of the British journal RightNow!, PO Box 2085, London, W1A 5SX, UK. Website www.right-now.org

E-mail rightnow@compuserve.com.

About the author

Wayne Lutton. Ph.D. is editor of The Social Contract.

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