Peter Hitchens makes some gloomy but significant points about the recent royal wedding. Consider “They wouldn’t have thought much of this wedding back in 1953” and “Old misery guts hits back” (in the latter, Hitchens responds to criticism by Libby Purves).
In Monday’s post, “The Royal Wedding,” I wrote:
The sorry state of the British people, the decline of their appreciation for tradition and civilization, their increasing acceptance of leftist, egalitarian nonsense, and their self absorbed commitment to “me society” egoism spell trouble for the crown even if the royal family executes its duties well.
Hitchens’ pieces more thoroughly explore those themes. Read, for example, the following from the second article:
Few grasped my point, which is this: If you want a functioning monarchy, you have to have a serious, responsible and religiously committed people, who revere tradition and honour the past. That’s simply not what we are. WE ceased to be during the Diana frenzy, the ghost of which haunted the whole event last week. And you cannot really like the events of last Friday if you value the hard, sometimes cold, sometimes gloomy things that lie beneath the ceremony and the pageant. Monarchy can’t be fashionable, can’t be modern, can’t be populist - at least not for long.
If you marry the spirit of the age, you will pretty soon be bereaved or divorced. For that spirit doesn’t wait around in the same place for long.
Hitchen also offers some sage social commentary:
My points about the marriage service will have meant nothing to those to whom they meant nothing, and lots to those who cared.
This is the point I constantly come up against. That all these arguments, over drugs, marriage, crime, schooling, foreign affairs etc are down to which sort of country you prefer, and what price you are prepared to pay for what you prefer. As I have begun to write my next book, on the non-existent ‘War on Drugs’, it has become clear to me that the issue, from right back into the late 1960s, has been ’ are we to be a self-controlled, restrained people who accept this as the price for the ordered, peaceful, stratified, and insular civilisation we desire, deferring immediate gratification for long-term security and solid prosperity? Or are we to be a relaxed, pleasure-seeking and unrestrained people who accept that the price of that may be more disorder, less efficiency, more chaos, a steady decline in our real wealth - and less political freedom?
I know my opponents would put it differently, but I’ll leave them to do that. My guess is that many of them actually quite like the benefits of the ‘repressed’ society I favour - the assurance that our frontiers will be defended, that there will be a competent doctor in the hospital when they need him, that there’s somebody out there when things get difficult. But they’re not really prepared to pay the price for it.
Of course, Leftists do not believe that natural laws operate in human affairs, as they reject the idea of human nature. For them, nothing, not even biology, can stand in the way of their will.