The always excellent Simon Cooke who blogs at The View From Cullingworth has topped an excellent series of posts on the “New Puritanism” with a rousing call to arms-
-and if you don’t go and read it now you’re what my dictionary defines as “vulgar slang for a despicable or worthless person” so I think you’d better go and read it, frankly. And I say this despite the fact that he’s quoted a bit of one of my comments in it.
I’ve been musing for a while that “cavalier” is not a bad group label for those of us opposing the new puritan tyranny. It has advantages over other words like “libertarian”, not least that it’s a word everybody knows already. It has some negative connotations (it can mean, sort of negligent) but it does mean we have a very nice mascot, that laughing chap. And it’s also historically accurate, if you share my general view that the battle between the collectivist state and the private individual, in Anglosphere nations, is simply a continual struggle that has been running since before the Civil War. For centuries.
The Puritan faction have shifted their ideological justifications, from time to time- from Calvinism to Evangelical Post-Millennialism, to a secular version with a Marxist flavour. But the struggle- between one faction determined to “reform” all the “sin” out of the world, and our faction who just want to be left alone to get on with our lives, remains the same. We are now at one of those critical points in history, with the enemy pushing forward hard on all fronts- smoking, food and drink, clothes, internet controls, nationalising the last remnants of the private family and childcare, the list goes on and on. Compared to their last great push in the Victorian Era, they have a massive State, and the necessary institutional structures in place to create a true puritan tyranny, with the ulema of academics, pressure groups and fake charities as ideologists, the State as enabler, and even our own mutaween, which we call PCSOs. And they are moving very fast.
So, if you want to retain the right to watch some gay hobbit porn while eating a hamburger and drinking a beer and then have a cigarette afterwards, before letting your daughter go out wearing a Kiss Me Quick hat, it’s time to get off the fence and declare yourself for the Cavaliers!