Friday, January 16, 2009

Some Thoughts On The Nature Of Belonging

BBC Scotland reports that someone named Paul Ignatieff is becoming a British citizen in order to satisfy his wish 'to feel he belonged somewhere'.
Just yesterday, I remarked that the BBC journalist Dominic Casciani, the author of a questionable analysis of changes to British immigration procedures, described 'identity politics, belonging and extremism' as being among his specialities.
In our hypermobile world, it is not unusual that many should feel that they do not belong in any one particular place, yet feel the need at some point to find somewhere to put down roots. This is perfectly understandable; tens of thousands of years of programming geared towards the encouragement of social living cannot be extinguished by two decades of ideology.
Perhaps this is an extreme analysis; but one feels that the encouragement of hypermobility, whether passive or active, has been motivated by a desire to damage or destroy 'belonging', a sentiment previously known as community; to change us from settled men back into nomads, if rather sophisticated and upscale ones. If the wandering lifestyle suits you, then good on you, wander away; but it doesn't suit everyone. It's the expectation that you must move, that nothing in your life can be settled and permanent, that you must always be subject to upheaval and change, that's been introduced into the system; and we're not the better for it.
The primary engine of all public policy is prejudice. Whether it's prejudice against organised labour or organised capital (I have yet to see anyone make a compelling case that organised capital poses less of a threat to civilisation than organised labour), prejudice in favour of what you would like to happen and against what you see happening is the motor of the system. The policy, not a process, called 'globalisation' was born of the intellectual conceit that all human beings think the same way, that Mankind is dead and has been replaced by billions upon billions of clockwork toys whose sole motivation is money. This is nonsense, as grossly disrespectful of the cultures of those Third Worlders it encourages to move to the First World as it is of those First World cultures into which the Third Worlders are not encouraged to assimilate. The easiest way to belong somewhere is to decide that you want to belong. Merely working and earning in one place do not mean you belong there; making the effort to belong is what counts.
The idea that anyone can move anywhere and do anything and be anything they want to be whenever they want is utopian rubbish. To think that way is not to be free, but to be enslaved by your fantasies. It's an understandable reaction to being poor and without liberty; yet its fulfilment merely results in the exchange of one set of economic bonds for another. That you can move somewhere doesn't always mean you should. Community and belonging arise from the existence of a number of like-minded individuals living in the same place at the same time and speaking the same language. The globalists might consider that dystopic, but it's still the hard reality of history, as Paul Ignatieff has proved.


Blogger Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

The cosmopolitan Radicals were mocked in the 19th century by Johan Herder:

All national characters, thank God, have become extinct; we all love one another ,or, rather no one feels the need of loving anyone else. We all associate with one another, all are completely equal -- cultured, polite, very happy; we have, it is true no fatherland, no one for whom we live; but we are philanthropists and citizens of the world. most of the rulers already speak French, and soon we all shall do so. And then -- bliss! The golden era is dawning again when all the world has one tongue and one language; there shall be one flock and one shepherd! (Johan Herder, v, 550)

16 January, 2009 14:15  
Blogger Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

The hypermobility of today's New Elite was commented on my Christopher Lasch quoted here at

16 January, 2009 14:20  

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