Cameron must be consistent. Either General Well Being and happiness are important or they are not. If they are important, the key is the right to their pursuit.
When we come to an expression of the values of society, it’s not good enough to list out excluded negatives. Cameron or anyone for that matter, has to articulate the basic elements of our culture in terms of its positives.
For nigh on three hundred years, the most significant cultural positive we have lived with in our souls, has been the belief that we possess the inborn right to the pursuit of happiness. It is the suppression of this inborn instinct by layer upon layer of bureaucratic government which is throttling us and our efforts to improve our world.
This philosophy, first espoused by philosopher John Locke, drove the Enlightenment, underpinned American Independence and created modern western civilisation. It was revolutionary to imagine that individuals could have a significance other than as subjects of powerful governments, or as fodder for the Church’s teachings before Locke’s ideas became mainstream.
Yet like all truly great things, once they have swept their way across the world, they become standard and the norm. TRTTPOH has disappeared from consciousness as later generations have peddled their inferior versions of goodness, and suppressed the best of the past, to make their relative nonentity less apparent.
TRTTPOH should be at least mentioned in any big speech about the harmonisation of our culture with others, or as a topic in its own right. This is the core value of our civilisation, and Cameron or anyone else, should be holding it up as our positive cultural identity to be brandished as our saviour as it was throughout the last 250 years.
Or does Cameron want to undo the cultural progress of the last two hundred and fifty years, and allow our culture to control by bullying elitists? Or does he think his Big Society will be sufficient to inspire the greatness of western civilisation into the future?
History shows that there has been one and only one cultural factor in human endeavour which trails success, and that is contentment and its pursuit. All other cultural specifications have led either to either mediocrity or disaster.
TRTTPOH is crying out for a modern champion to hang his policies upon. If Cameron doesn’t want it, Farage should be grabbing it with both hands.
John Locke’s Political Philosophy
John Locke was a 17th-century philosopher concerned primarily with society and epistemology. An Englishman, Locke’s notions of a “government with the consent of the governed” and man’s natural rights – life, liberty, and estate (property) – had an enormous influence on the development of political philosophy.
His ideas formed the basis for the concepts used in American law and government, allowing the colonists to justify revolution. Locke’s epistemology and philosophy of mind also had a significant influence well into the Enlightenment period.
He first used the phrase ‘the right to the pursuit of happiness’.
Other memorable quotations
MORE RECENT HISTORY –
Socialism is only a device to suppress people so they can be more easily repressed by a powerful elite, the concept of The Fabians, who wanted an end to the Old Order, and its replacement with a New World Order, in which Reason would predominate over the right to the pursuit of happiness.
Reason would be exercised by a self-selecting elite which believed itself so far above the level of the masses that their ideas were entirely superior. GBS, HG Wells, the Webbs of the LSE before WW1 – and more recently the Blairs.
Multiculturalism serves the purposes of The Fabians, as it helps to override and destroy all previous cultural influences, making the way clear for Reason to rule. Yet Reason, defined by a self-appointed elite,is far more limited in scope than the possibilities in permitting the Pursuit Of Happiness by all.
Reason can justify anything you want it to, as Socrates demonstrated more than two thousand years ago. As a device for defining ‘virtue’ or wisdom, it is useless.
Pacbell on Socrates
As an example, take the case of paedophilia. Reason could suggest that as it is a natural urge for some adults to want to have sex with children, it is part of Nature, and cannot be seen as entirely wrong.
Yet a philosophy based on the right to the pursuit of happiness would demand that no one person’s happiness could be achieved at the cost of another’s, and that paedophilia is therefore clearly wrong, as the victim’s right to be happy is removed. The right to the pursuit of happiness is a defence against slavery of all kinds. Reason can easily create slavery for all, to bring the results identified as of overriding importance by a dictator, or an elite.
The RTTPOH is the most crucial element of our culture, and it is being lost.
You wonder what Socrates would have made of it. I don’t have any proof but I imagine would have preferred it to policies based on Logic or Reason. I doubt he would have agreed with any of the precepts of Fabianism. His story demonstrates how philosophical ideas can dramatically affect real life politics.
SOCRATES EXECUTION –
Socrates was 70 years old and familiar to most Athenians. His anti-democratic views had turned many in the city against him. Two of his students, Alcibiades and Critias, had twice briefly overthrown the democratic government of the city, instituting a reign of terror in which thousands of citizens were deprived of their property and either banished from the city or executed.
“When Crito heard, he signaled to the slave who was standing by. The boy went out, and returned after a few moments with the man who was to administer the poison which he brought ready mixed in a cup. When Socrates saw him, he said, ‘Now, good sir, you understand these things. What must I do?’
More on the pursuit of happiness –
my own writing on business cultures covers similar ground from the point of view of the ideal inputs and outcomes –
refs to that are in pages ‘more bio’.