Thursday, January 10, 2013

Loki still in charge

A reference to the Trickster, found whilst reading Chapter III of William Joyce's most interesting 1940 book, Twilight Over England.
In the English people there lingered, however concealed, some traces of the Viking strain. There was an inherent sympathy with the acquisition of new tracts of land; and often, deep down, there lay the feeling that wandering, fighting, encountering danger, killing and being killed were all nearer to the spirit of eternity than the drudgery of a Victorian counting-house desk. Only when one has experienced the drab and sordid conditions of life in commercial London, only when one has felt the last strain of poetry evading the human grasp, like Creusa, in the relentless monotony of pounds, shillings, and pence, can one understand the latent longing for adventure which, in the popular mind, blessed the transactions of British Imperialism.

The Liberals, of course, could not afford to satisfy this longing. The noblest of their leaders never rose in imagination or outlook above the level of a sedate bank-clerkwith singular professional acumen. Their language may have been more exalted.
“..............Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
From Heav’n, for ev’n in Heaven his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heav’ns pavement trod’n gold,
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed
In vision beatific”
The function, then, of Conservatism was to provide just that element of aggressive nationalism which could win empires, whilst the Liberal hypocrites for whom the Empires were being won could intone the glories of universal brotherhood and occasionally sacrifice a General, like Gordon of Khartoum, just to show that they were internationally minded. These Uriah Heaps, these Victorian Pharisees, whited sepulchres, dead men’s bones, talked glibly about the Parliament of Man and the Federation of the World, because their interest lay not in the building of an Empire but in the acquisition of a larger area for their financial depredations. As good internationalists, they must, of necessity, disavow such an aim; and therefore, they found a most useful weapon in the remnants of the poor old landed gentry who, in their mind’s eye, were still winning the campaigns of the Civil War. Thus, when England’s heroes won her battles “in stronds remote”, the Liberal Capitalist could wring his hands and say “How horrible!”, after providing the money for thecampaign. Truly Loki had the Giants at his mercy. more >>
Multas gratias tibi, WinterMute, for recommending this book. What delightful history written inside.

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