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Totalitarianism quiz

I saw one of these de-motivational posters a while back entitled “Fascism ~ it won’t be this obvious” or some such, against a picture of a line of imperial storm troopers.

And so, I got to thinking, what would it look like in the UK? But why think in the abstract when you can look out of the window? No, this isn’t going to be a “definition of fascism” type post; if that interests you, take a look at Johan Goldberg’s excellent “Liberal Fascism”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Liberal-Fascism-History-Mussolini-Politics/dp/0141039507/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348328035&sr=8-1

The question I was pondering is simply this. What aspects of your lives does that state stay out of? This is not as easy as you may think. In the 1930’s it was said, that a reasonably law abiding Englishman could go years without any interaction with the government, but the same is hardly true today. So let’s go through a typical lifestyle and review.

You wake up in the morning; the government wants its pound of flesh in property taxes for the house you live in. If it’s new, it has rules on the degree of insulation you must have, or the access1 a disabled person must enjoy. Of course they have ruled on where it can be built and how much slush money2 they have demanded from the developer to allow permission as well as who your neighbours3 will be. You turn the light on and pay VAT on your electricity. The government has a strong idea on how the power should be generated and where it should be generated, typically the less reliable and more expensive, the better. Make your self some breakfast and thus far you don’t pay VAT on your food (although that’s coming down the tracks) but there are a million rules on food production and again where you are allowed to buy it from and at what time. Similar deal for gas and water supplies. The government does like to give you lots of really authoritarian advice on what and how much to eat and “fat taxes” are coming soon. Put out the rubbish in the morning and you can expect to be hectored about what to put in what bin and how much you are putting out. You might also expect to be taxed on this directly pretty soon and even now the local council wastes loads on idiot recycling projects.

Going to work the fun really starts. Tax on travel is vile especially if you drive a car. You can be expected to pay fuel duty, road tax, tax on mandatory insurance and be subject to any amount of pointless rules and victimless crime fines from speeding to not wearing a seatbelt. If you are a socially approved pleb, you will get public transport because ‘Zils’ are for the inner party only (and they offset!). Said public transport will be crowded, unreliable, expensive and inconvenient. If you go outside peak hours it can be dangerous or even murderous.

In work you will have income tax and national insurance taken off you, plus the hidden tax of employer’s national insurance which you absolutely pay. To say otherwise is a lie and it’s done simply to hide the truth.

Have kids and they will weighed and checked and subject to compulsory4 vaccination and thoroughly indoctrinated in government camps that used to teach literacy and numeracy. The elite don’t use these gulags ~ anyone care to guess why? Ditto for the useless state healthcare. Fundamentally, if the state provides it, you can be sure it will be crappy, expensive, rationed and politicised.

Try going on holiday and you can expect to be treated as a criminal at transport hubs, molested and hectored by buffoons and taxed on your airfares often much more than the actual cost of the ticket. Also expect to pay a fortune for some government paper confirming you are in fact, you. They call ‘em passports.

Don’t think you can own a handgun, even if you are an Olympic shooter much less someone looking to defend themselves. The government do that, er… except when they don’t or it’s them fucking with you in the first place. Remember, an armed populace can be jolly troublesome and so dictators like you disarmed not free.

Well maybe you like to smoke some disapproved of plants? Depending on what it is, expect to pay vast taxes and to be socially shunned, hectored and lied about if its still legal or slung in jail if its not. Remember comrade, your body belongs to them.

How about a drink? Humans have been brewing for thousands of years but the government doesn’t like plebs boozing because they become troublesome. Expect to be taxed and regulated. They will tell you where you can drink and at what time you can buy it and where from.

How about your private religious beliefs? Best not incur the wrath of state disapproval so don’t deny gay people the right to a wedding in your church (it’s about weddings not marriages) despite what your doctrine might say. Don’t say you think Islam is violent nonsense and the prophet a highly dodgy individual lest you upset someone. Certainly don’t express forbidden opinions, otherwise like the unfortunate Emma West, you maybe dragged off to jail.

And you know the bastards want to give you an ID card as well as any amount of surveillance. In the future this could easily morph into a ration card (for your own good of course) and GPS tracker to know exactly where you are at all times.

Well you get the point. So here’s my challenge, can you think of three substantive areas of your life that the government doesn’t try to hector, or bully or compel, or ban, or tax or regulate? I bet you can’t and thus totalitarianism. Evil in pure form.

But never fear, they are going bust soon enough. It will all come crashing down, at least, that’s the only way out I can see. Mainstream politics isn’t going to do it and I really hope things don’t get violent.

  1. Even in townhouses (sic), my particular bête noir. Yep, you can see a kitchen and stairs from the ground floor.
  2. The section 106 agreement.
  3. The amount of social housing. Around my way, spend £500K on a house, have a social tenant as your near neighbour.
  4. Try sending your kid to a state school without a vaccination certificate. It’s compulsory for plebs but don’t ask the PM is his kids are subject to the same laws yours are.

12 Comments

  1. LJH says:

    Serious challenge SAoT! My Amazon account keeps me supplied with the unPC books you would never see at Waterstones. I can’t blame the government for the crap summer which kept the night skies clouded and seriously limited any enjoyment I wanted to derive from contemplating the universe. Skype keeps me in touch with friends and family wherever they may be for however long we need to communicate or waffle affectionately, without costing the arm and leg BT once took.

  2. Richard Carey says:

    “In the 1930’s it was said, that a reasonably law abiding Englishman could go years without any interaction with the government”

    Yes, this was said, but in reference to before the Great War. By the ’30s, the era of the ever-growing state had well and truly arrived. Ernest Benn wrote much on this.

  3. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    RC ~ my thanks, I really hate mis-referenced posts. LJH ~ good one, of course via Amazon the bastards know what you are buying and your purchase record would be used as evidence you were a counter-revolutionary as necessary, similarly Skype is great and easy to monitor and record.

    The weather is indeed beyond the government’s control, it does not of course stop ‘em taxing you and restricting freedom and endlessly lecturing you in a claim they can do just that.

  4. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    it’s about weddings not marriages

    Well done, mate. ;-)

  5. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    PST ~ I believe it was in fact you who put me onto this one in a previous thread, and I found myself thinking “dah, how did I miss that?”

    This is the real pleasure of this site, whether its in the post or in the comments, I pretty much always seem to find my thought process clarified and enhanced afterwards.

  6. LJH says:

    SAoT, My Amazon purchases are heavy hardcopy, hard to dispose of but easy to lend, old fashioned books. To prevent ideas within from leaking out they have to be bloody burned which thus far has acquired a bad press and lacks subtlety; ebooks on the other hand may be remotely deleted, at present for copyright infringement, but later..and if that is so, subtly altered: how to keep track if everything is stored electronically and remotely accessible? Deadtree technology gives a physical record to inconvenient ideas; screenshots and wayback programs help freeze an historical moment, but the internet is potentially more manipulable without obvious evidence of interference. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance (attributed to several sources)!
    Skype? Even with voice recognition software at some point they run out of resources to capture every nonconformist.

  7. LJH says:

    PS the act of reducing the price of communication by several orders of magnitude is liberating even if there is a possibility of surveillance.

  8. PhilB says:

    You forgot to include sex in the listing …

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2208377/Pensioners-sex-advice-council-rise-number-having-night-stands.html

    Though why Councils should deem it their responsibility to give advice to pensioners on what they get up to in the bedroom is beyond me.

  9. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    SAoT –

    What I took several paragraphs over two comments to say you distilled to five words. I wish I’d been so succinct.

  10. tomsmith says:

    What aspects of your lives does that state stay out of?

    1. lovelife

    2. friends

    3. dreams

  11. “What aspects of your lives does that state stay out of?

    1. lovelife

    2. friends

    3. dreams”

    1. Try consensual S & M leading to injury, see if they stay out. Try offering a hottie £500 for sex see if they ignore you and expect endless lectures about safe sex etc because you can’t work that out for yourself.

    2. Try having friends of an Islamic tilt and see if you are left alone. Try being friends with people who hold any unpopular views.

    3. Just so long as you don’t tell their shrinks what you dream about.

  12. tomsmith says:

    Your examples 1 and 3 depend on you or the person you are dealing with going to the state and complaining about something that has happened to you or them as a result of a private agreement you made. 1 and 3 then are not examples of state interference, they are instead examples of personal peevishness. Consequences might just as well arise from such reactions in a state free environment

    In example 2 it is not true that the state censors or otherwise interferes with friendship based on the the religions or opinions of the friends involved. You are entirely free to make friends with anyone you like, even people imprisoned by the state.

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