Written by Daniel Greenfield
Few other places turn out dystopian fantasies quite like the United Kingdom and if the United States has never quite become the chrome skyscraper and flying car utopian wonderland of its utopian fantasies, with its ubiquitous cameras and DNA banks, the United Kingdom seems well on the way to its dystopian destination.
1984, The Prisoner and V for Vendetta are all a train ride away nowadays. Say the wrong thing and you can expect to be wearing a prison suit and nominated for a national run on Two Minute Hate.
Towards the end of last month, the UK launched a nationwide manhunt or womanhunt, in coordination with online activists, Labour politicians and the police to bring the most feared criminal in the islands to justice. The lady, whose last name is appropriately enough West, will be spending Christmas in prison away from her three children. Her crime was to engage in some abrasive taunts with the denizens of the New Britain complete with obscenities and be videotaped doing it.
West was hunted down, tips were solicited from the public, Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour opposition, who always manages to wear the face of a well-meaning idiot, retweeted the "important appeal" to track down a woman who was threatening the nation by shouting on a tram that the Poles, Nicaraguans and Blacks should go back where they came from.
Needless to say the charming fellows from Hizb-Ut-Tahir, Islam4UK, Muslims Against Crusades or their associated groups rarely have to spend Christmas or Eid in prison no matter how many poppies they burn or how many slurs they shout. Anjem Choudary is not likely to touch off any morality mobs on Twitter. The same people who desperately sought Emma would sneer at the Daily Mail mentality for even acknowledging good old Anjem.
And around a week or so later the very generous Judge Robert Brown freed four Muslim women who beat a native British woman senseless while shouting racial slurs at her, judging that it was only their inexperience with alcohol that led them to misbehave. The Romans used to say In Vino Veritas, but in New Britain if you're Muslim and drunk you get a free pass on assault.
Emma West shouting, "What has this country come to? A load of black people and a load of ****ing Polish," merits a nationwide manhunt, but beat a native woman senseless while shouting, "Kill the white slag" and the kindly English judge will be sure to see your side of it. Similarly smash the windows of Jewish stores and you get more judicial kindness, but say the wrong thing about Nicaraguans on a tram and you can expect to be sent to jail for "your own protection".
For all the shouty "vile racist tram rant" headlines, Emma West cutting loose is a familiar enough experience to anyone who rides the New York City subways. I can't begin to count how many times a lady or gentleman have gotten up in the car to express their feelings about white people or the devil or the government. And being experienced dwellers in a multicultural city, we know enough to read our books and switch cars at the next station if they become too agitated without anyone being sent off to prison.
There was once a notion that a liberal society would be an open society, but that door has shut some time back as its activists have discovered that the only way to have an open society is to close the door on any populist dissent. Their kind of liberalism is notoriously unpopular and cannot be sustained without control of the media, regular editions of Two Minute Hate and the baton and the prison cell.
The "I disagree with you but will die to defend your right to speak" society is all but dead, and it has been replaced by the "I disagree with you and will sentence you to prison" society. Disagreeing with an Emma West is no longer an option. Dismissing her views as garden variety bigotry that is an unfortunate reality no longer passes either. No she must be tracked down and sent to prison.
This really isn't about bigotry, if it were then beating a woman senseless while shouting racial slurs at her would not result in a suspended sentence. It isn't even about race, it's about a power structure that uses race to cover its own multitude of sins. Multiculturalism has become the metaphor for a changing nation, and while it is as of yet not illegal to oppose change, it can be made illegal to oppose the Broken Britain that it leads to.
The morality mob that went after Emma West showed off the same insecurity that is behind Muslim hysteria over a cartoon of Mohammed. This is not the behaviour of confident people who are secure in their views, it is an outburst of state violence from the 1 percent who are terrified of losing their grip on power.
The dystopian fantasies which imagined that a police state would be the product of some right wing takeover never seemed to anticipate that just as in the east, it would be the left that would resort to it. That is where George Orwell, who came out of the left, proved far wiser than many other writers. The police state is a consequence of the left's failures, its economic failures and its demographic failures. That is as true in the United States as it is in the UK as it is in Israel and throughout what was once known as the free world.
Multiculturalism and prosperity can uncomfortably exist side by side, but multiculturalism and poverty cannot. Worse yet when you invite in half the world while destroying your own economy and segmenting what is left into government work, private sector jobs requiring a higher education and the dole, then you create your own nightmares and they will walk the streets and beat you senseless.
Systems like that are inherently unstable, the deeper they go into debt, the more unstable they become and the more the people at the top begin behaving like the crooked heads of bankrupt companies, cooking the books and lashing out violently at anyone who might notice.
Emma West is dangerous in a way that Anjem Choudary isn't. The day may come when someone like Anjem is the Emir of a truly New Britain, but that day won't come for a while. The Religion of Peace is not yet a majority in the country. But the people at the top and their cronies do fear that there may be a majority of Emma Wests, if not a majority, then enough to cause them trouble.
West is apolitical, there was no agenda or philosophy on display here, she was saying what so many think. And that is dangerous. The Western left is well aware that beyond its bubble are struggling people dealing with the everyday frustrations that their power and privilege shields them from. These are the people who have not been programmed, but they have been distracted. They are the proles of 1984, the lower classes that no one bothers to closely monitor because they are thought to be incapable of revolution on their own. It goes the extra mile to destroy or suppress their potential leaders and sometimes it sets out to make examples out of people from among their ranks so the proles remember that dissent is punishable.
Gavin Barwell, the allegedly conservative MP for Croydon, praised the power of the social media outsourced police state, and called for a dialogue on "how the evil of racism in our society can finally be eradicated."
But there really is no need to have a dialogue on the question. Several nuclear wars would do it. Like most human attitudes and feelings, racism cannot be eradicated without also eradicating human beings. And that might be a matter of throwing out the baby with the racist bathwater.
Racism is an aspect of racial identity, just as sexism is an aspect of gender identity, and class resentments are an aspect of class. The attempt to eradicate class by the left has created more inequity, the attempt to eradicate gender identity has been a boom for sexism and homophobia and the attempt to eradicate racism has embedded it even deeper. But the same left which sneers at wars on terror, keeps declaring wars on aspects of human nature and then fails to realize why they may be counterproductive.
Human beings pack along a constellation of identities, and those identities have positive and negative sides to them. A journalist may have a positive identity consisting of his pride in informing the public of important issues and a negative idea which allows him to disdain the public for being so ignorant. The negative side is not particularly attractive and yet it is the natural shadow aspect of his positive side. The two are indivisible.
Manners and good behaviour lead us to suppress the shadow side of our identities, but they are never truly absent. The civilised society consists of decent people struggling to remain so because decency is innate to their sense of self. This is markedly different from the collectivist broadsides that call for a national effort to eradicate one train or another as if it were a dying patient in an NHS ward.
The state cannot reform people, it can only browbeat them and imprison them, and people react to oppression in unpredictable ways. Secrecy is one of them. Covert jokes that brush the edge of taboo. But there is another. The public outburst that challenges the authorities to do something about it. This is a common activity of comedians, musicians and artists who follow the creative mandate to challenge those in power. But in a society where the creative fields are controlled by the left, there is the public outburst. And when the political and cultural authorities pounce on the outburst with fury and launch their own Two Minute Hate, the public is taught to rise and shout with the rest of them, but how many in that public, like Orwell's Winston Smith are seething with unknown emotions waiting for their moment of release.
The great social planners of the left have never understood that their technocracy is doomed from the start. They cannot plan an economy, let alone regulate human behaviour like the gears of a clock. Every action has its equal and opposite reaction, every law has its negative consequence and every move they make will lead to results that they do not expect and cannot account for.
The iron first is a good way of making free men and women into slaves, and then when the iron fist falters, it leaves behind a useless population incapable of doing more than tearing down the ruins and using them for firewood. Such total control does not make a people more moral, it makes them more secretive, more unstable, more vicious and more slavish. Under tyranny people learn to wear many faces until they forget who they are. Until they become mask wearers, rather than human beings.
Negative behaviour is viewed by the left as reactionary, a form of resistance by the system they have overthrown, and so they stomp on it with their heaviest jackboots. In reality though the behaviours they seek to eradicate are most often the outcome of their own policies. Stomping on them isn't the way to a utopian society, it's the leaders of the unintended dystopian society shooting the messenger. Messengers can be shot for years, decades and even perhaps a century or two, until the message finally arrives that the society is hopelessly broken and all is lost.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a message the nation was lost. The message is that the present system is badly broken and no amount of pretense otherwise can change that. Teaching ambitious members of the young generation to hunt down offenders against political correctness did not salvage the Soviet Union, there's no reason to think it will save the socialist West from the consequences of its domestic policies.
In life, unlike fiction, few people set out to create a dystopian society where mothers of three get sent to prison for rowdily expressing their opinion on a train. It is one of those things that happens when a system tries to suppress any negative reports about its wonderful social changes. And perfectly decent people cheer it on until suddenly they have a moment while staring at the television and they realize that perhaps slavery isn't freedom after all.
From NY to Jerusalem, Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News