Viscount Monckton: The triumph of the individual over the hive mind

Viscount Monckton was in Australia and New Zealand recently.  This address given in Melbourne is re-published from Quadrant Online.       Printable version.

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The triumph of the individual over the hive mind

by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, April 3, 2013


Drab, pietistic uniformity is the curse of the collectivist age. Today, with a fearful and unanimously acquiescent docility, the hive mind tediously hums the Party Line, now rebranded “consensus”. Imagination, initiative, inquiry, inspiration, intuition and invention are not merely discouraged but hated. Individuality in any form is not merely loathed but punished.


It is the solecism of modern government imprudently, expensively and too often cruelly to emphasize the collective at the expense of the individual. Yet, as John Stuart Mill wrote,

“The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be mere docile instruments in its hands, even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.”

Man is at once an island and a universe, an anchorite and a socialite, a lone wolf and a member of the pack. The strength of the West lies in encouraging what Santayana called the “eccentricities, hobbies and humours” of each, not in hindering or punishing individual achievement in the name of all.

In feudal times, the State was everything. The individual, if noticed at all, was recognized solely by his status in the ordained pecking order.

“God blessed the squire and his relations,
And kept us in our proper stations.”

It was only when free-market contract replaced feudal status that the individual, be he never so humble, acquired the right freely to negotiate with his neighbours and, by so doing, to earn advancement by achievement. Social mobility is a feature not of collectivism but of contract and of the cheerful chaos of the free market that it enables. Continue reading

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A world view

Haves and haves not    - Courtesy of NASA 2012

Haves and haves not – Courtesy of NASA 2012                                    (Click image to enlarge)

This introduces our new Global issues page. Selected articles will appear as posts but will be linked and kept indexed on that page.

This is a clever composite by NASA showing the world through the evening hours taken from about 800km (500m) above the earth. Africa is in the centre.Do you notice how dark Africa is? That’s not because nobody wants electricity. It’s because the environmental ‘police’ refuse to allow Africa to develop her natural resources, such as hydro, because of the impact it might have on wildlife. The only development allowed is that by outsiders, who end up taking the land. ( see next post)

Meanwhile, people use open fires inside their little houses to cook their food. Many babies fall in and are killed or maimed every year, and  people suffer eye diseases as a result of the smoke.

As Christians we have a responsibility towards our fellow human beings in Africa. Next time you switch on a light, think about them, and what you can do to challenge the anit-human pro-environmental policies that the world green police are imposing on these people.

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Go now to love and serve the Lord

These are the words a deacon says to dismiss the congregation at the end of the service. They are followed with ‘Go in peace’, (then ‘Amen, we go in the name of Christ.’) But in some church circles, it seems that they are followed with ‘Go in Panic.’ I’m talking about those who worry incessantly about the state of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and the ice caps melting, and just seem to need to live on adrenaline. The science is coming in all the time, that there is no need to panic.  Maybe it should be written in large friendly letters all over the newpsapers! I get concerned when so much of the church’s attention seems to be about saving the planet, rather than the first part of the dismissal – ‘go now to Love and serve the Lord’. The words ‘social justice’ keep getting car-jacked away from helping people live just and fulfilling lives, to planting trees for the sake of the planet.

Well, if my garden is anything to go by, when we leave things alone, trees plant themselves, and I am always pulling out little seedlings of native trees, which aren’t where I want them. Do I feel guilty? Nope. My main concern about the over-emphasis on green theology is that it’s the easy way out of the hard stuff – it’s much easier to plant a few trees or pick up litter than to visit the elderly neighbour who will probably grumble that you didn’t buy the right brand of tea, but really needs some human contact. It’s much easier to get het-up about battery hens than to look at why that family down the road is always at the food bank, and doing something about it. Loving and serving the Lord must mean challenging the stuctures of our society that aren’t working. Things like self-centred pursuits which say it’s ok for me to spend all the family’s benefit on booze, or smokes, or gambling.

Panic about the environment just distracts us.

The other option, at the other end of the scale, is the ‘it’s all good’ brand of Christian thinking. This is more common in the Pentecostal churches, where everything seems to have a Pollyanna-ish gloss on it. Even when there’s great suffering, the phrase ‘God is good’, answered by ‘all the time’ comes through loud and clear. But what about those times when life isn’t good? ‘It’s all good’ is another phrase you might hear. But sometimes it isn’t.

Let’s be honest as Christians, accepting that life has it’s bad bits, and for goodness’ sake, let’s ‘Go now to Love and serve the Lord!’

Stop climate change – as if we could!

I love this picture from Hawaii – it speaks to me about humans and the Earth. The earth is a changing and powerful thing, which has  been pumping out CO2 into the atmosphere for billions of years. Even now, most of the active volcanoes are under the sea, and their emissions are completely ignored by the ‘climate-change’ scientists.

We can try and change the climate, but when it’s due to things like the orbit of the sun, the wobbles of the earth’s axis, bombardment from cosmic rays, we need to stop and think. This planet and this solar system are much bigger than us, the mere human race. We are just dust really on a galactic scale. Yes, it’s convenient to keep the earth the way it is currently – sea level changes would be a nuisance for those who live near the sea. But the sea level has gone up and down many times over the history of the earth – none of them caused by industrially emitted CO2. It will continue to rise and fall. Ice ages will continue to wax and wane.

I am flabbergasted by the sheer presumption of people who think we are so significant in the scheme of things that human activities can influence such things as global climate, except in the smallest, localised way. I see this as a symptom of a world where perspective has been lost – God has been forgotten  and people think humans are the centre of the universe. Well, we’re not. We are part of a bigger plan, which God has for us.

I am surprised that so many Christian groups expend so much energy on worrying about things we cannot change, instead of helping those who are impacted by various aspects of the climate. We surely are called to share God’s love for all people, caring for the earth and not despoiling it, but if the amount of energy that went into hand-wringing over climate-change went into fighting for social justice, we would live in a changed world!

I recommend that you all read “Heaven+earth: Global warming: The Missing Science” by Australian Professor Ian Plimer (Howling at the Moon Publishing Ltd, Auckland 2009)

This book gives a much wider perspective on the earth and the universe, and stands as a corrective to some of the media-driven hype about Climate change.

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou visitest him?”