90. Enthusiasm (III)
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Margaret Thatcher, daughter of a shopkeeper, was the last gasp of Britain’s lower middle class: the last vital section in an exhausted society. She represented Britain perfectly because, as Napoleon and Nietzsche derisively observed, England is a nation of shopkeepers. Thatcher became the national shopkeeper, harassing socialists who dipped into the till and nagging lazy workers on their fag break.
Until Thatcher, conservatism was associated with the landed aristocracy. Burke said it was the money-jobbing stockbrokers and envious scribblers who supported the left; and money-jobbing stockbrokers were the very people Thatcher adored. The right was associated with roots sunk into the ground by a landed military aristocracy, a group who enjoyed a paternal relation with the lower orders. But, by the 1970s, the vitality of this group had declined; it was up to the shopkeepers.
Thatcher was a woman, no matter what her detractors say. As all spiritual traditions know, women take a materialist and profane view. Thatcher’s idea of responsibility—the essence of the right—only extended to the realm of finance, as was appropriate to her sex and class. This was an improvement, but it was only relative; her rule laid Britain open to become what she is today: a sterile country dominated by finance capital, unable to produce children or industrial goods. A joke in Conservative circles went that Thatcher’s cabinet had, “More old Estonians than old Etonians,” alluding to the predominance of bright Jewish immigrants over the landed aristocracy. The Jews are spiritually female; they are a non-martial people associated with the menstrual flow of money across the world—naturally, they figured prominently with Britain’s first female Prime Minister.
The lower middle class is the balls and the guts of a society; the left hates them because they most perfectly instantiate the desire and ability to make money. However, if a society allows itself to be completely ruled by its balls and guts it turns into contemporary Britain: a shallow country that has no spiritual defence against progressive values. Its main interests become shopping and fucking; and though there is a kind of rude freedom to this condition that is revolting to the left, it is still an unsustainable degeneration.
Britain revived economically—although the state never really shrank—and there was a new dynamic market that led to huge fortunes, especially in the City of London. In 1995, Barings Bank collapsed: this, in the last years of Conservative government before New Labour, represented Thatcher’s true legacy. Barings was a venerable aristocratic firm characterised by unimpeachable trust. It was a bank used by royalty, a bank where the mere name stood for reliability. It was brought down by the fraudulent behaviour of a young trader, Nick Leeson, who came up from the lower classes. The Barings collapse is the microcosm of Thatcher’s Britain: an old aristocratic institution characterised by trust and loyalty, destroyed by a newcomer from the lower classes with great zeal but whose only interest in life was making money—even if it meant betrayal. Ultimately a bank is an institution of trust: it guarantees money so that it is unnecessary to carry gold around with you. A bank is not about making money: a bank is about making trust; it happens to make money by generating trust.
It is only a landed aristocrat—a military man—or a true priest, or a warrior-priest, who can maintain the concept of honour: death before dishonour. This is the highest level of responsibility; if I say I will die for my word then I cannot be more accountable and trustworthy. Shopkeepers are responsible and they are—contrary to what the left says—decent people, but they do not think in terms of death before dishonour. In modern Britain, the concept would be laughed at—only a few radical Muslims think like that. We are all clever liars and dissemblers looking to make money and save our skins: we are, in short, women—and some of us are making the full surgical transition.