For such a successful political movement (the Tories and Lib-Dems are apparently even more adept than the Democrats at sabotaging themselves), Blair’s New Labour is awfully unpopular. Here is a round-up of gripes.

Kevin Carson reviews Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back by Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance and The End of Politics: New Labour and the folly of managerialism by Chris Dillow of the heterodox economics blog Stumbling and Mumbling. Is this hope of a left-right synthesis that could chuck out the Establishment? I cynically say no, but there’s much to enjoy there.

British academic Fabian Tassano regularly trashes the current zeitgeist at his blog and in his book Mediocracy, which Mencius Moldbug discussed here. I don’t know about the book, but the blog’s running gimmick is to have a comparison of the old definition of a term and the Newspeak perversion of it that reigns today. His perspective is a right-libertarian one that is more than a tad resentful of the mantle of the term “liberal” having been stolen from its noble tradition.

If you think Tassano is over the top in his denunciation of the status quo, you probably don’t read Lawrence Auster who has been proclaiming that England is dead for some time. He adds though that it is “a spiritual death, which is potentially reversible, not a physical death, which is irreversible” though. As I am not in any sense an essentialist and don’t believe in a “spiritual” anything, much of what Auster says is meaningless to me. It appears to be symmetric, as Auster told me our different perspectives of epistemology make fruitful discussion impossible. Unlike the other folks mentioned here (Carson and Moldbug excepted) he doesn’t actually live there.

The best possible view is from within the bowels of the dysfunctional bureaucracies themselves. Some similarly named books out (both discussed here in the Guardian) are Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of the War on Crime by the pseudonymed P.C David Copperfield (blog here) and It’s Your Time You’re Wasting: A Teacher’s Tales of Classroom Hell by the pseudonymed inner-city schoolteacher Frank Chalk (blog here). I haven’t read any of the books mentioned, but the stories you can find online from them are quite good, especially if you like the writings of Theodore Dalrymple. A gem in that genre not from England but from Mr. Dalrymple’s publication is How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million by Joshua Kaplowitz. It’s nice to have such examinations of mundane foibles to contrast with jeremiads like John Gray’s Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (reviewed here in the Guardian again).

Finally, for the crude sexist misogynists out there there’s the Eternal Bachelor blog, which regularly rails against “the Matriarchy” which is basically the same thing as Moldbug’s Universalism in British form, Tassano’s Mediocracy and everything everyone else hates. It’s the reverse situation of Bob Black’s Anarchism Problem where all anybody can agree on is the name for what they hate (in Bob’s case it’s work).

Oh, and as long as I’m on the subject, one of the few places to have an enduring Stirnerite anarchist movement is Glasgow, whose history is described in this interview.

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