Review by A Brief Encounter
9th March 2009
I have been having a bit of a sort out and found some old stuff I'd done. Below is a review I did last year of a book I still really enjoy dipping into, it's well worth giving another plug here:
Cultural Revolution and Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, by Sean Gabb (Hampden Press, London, 2007)
Sean Gabb is Director of the Libertarian Alliance and an economist who advocates the closure of economics departments in our universities. He has had more than a million words published and is a broadcaster as well as a writer.
His new book is not the run-of-the-mill attack on political correctness that many writers indulge in; he does not merely recycle tabloid headlines, but goes deep into the heart of the political revolution known as “political correctness” that is destroying our country. He then outlines his manifesto for counter-revolution, the cornerstone of which is unilateral withdrawal from the European Union. The ground is covered in 105 pages with not a word wasted and in a style that is extremely readable as well as enlightening, a rare quality in an academic. His words hit the target as effectively as an English bowman on St Crispin’s Day. Be warned, Dr Gabb pulls no punches and to many his medicine will seem extreme.
Even the charity world comes under Dr Gabb’s microscope. Many charities are vehicles for politically correct revolutionaries, but too many commentators shy away from criticising these “worthy” organisations. Not Sean Gabb: “…we should reform the charity laws, so that the only organisations able to claim charitable status would be those unambiguously devoted to feeding soup to tramps and looking after foundlings.” (p15).
Reading this book en route to a political meeting meeting in London, I laughed out loud on the train more than once, not because it is a comedy, but at the sheer courage and honesty of Dr Gabb’s observations. He truly does say what many people only dare think.
The book exposes the terrible manipulation of popular culture and the media to enhance further the politically correct revolution. Dr Gabb cites the TV soap opera Eastenders and the Radio 4 soap The Archers, where any similarity to real life has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. In how many inner-city or rural farming communities would there be numerous same-sex, or mixed-race marriages? Furthermore, would not a single one prompt even mild criticism or objection from some locals?
The hope is expressed that once the frontiers of the state have been rolled back, newspapers such as The Guardian will close down because there will no longer be revenue from the thousands of public sector/politically correct jobs currently advertised in it that keep it afloat. A redundant Polly Toynbee would be a welcome bonus!
Dr Gabb admits that his stance on the legalisation of recreational drugs may not have the support of all, even all libertarians, but when there is an acceptance that a problem exists, and that current policies are clearly not working, then more radical solutions need to be considered. However he states quite clearly that: “It is not the business of the authorities to tell adults how to live – and especially how to behave in private” (p66). And finally, he advocates the abolition of all new criminal offences created since around 1960!
Whether you agree wholeheartedly with Sean Gabb, or agree with some of his philosophy, this book will certainly stimulate thought and discussion. It would make an excellent present for libertarian friends, or for politically correct friends whom you may wish to enrage. Either way, at £9.99 the book is extremely good value.
This, and other books by Sean Gabb, are available from:
The Hampden Press, Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, London, W1J 6HL
© 2009 – 2017, seangabb.
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