Breaking them in.


“Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from the birth as a paternal, or in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.” So wrote Thomas Babington, Lord Macauley, in 1830, as published in the Edinburgh Review.

“Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely. A government can interfere in discussion only by making it less free than it would otherwise be.”

Babington was criticising the works of Robert Southey in “Colloquies on Society” in which Southey (a poet and friend of Wordsworth) viewed with satisfaction government interference and greater control over the lives of the commonalty. Babington characterised Southey’s desire for the government official to be “…a Lady Bountiful in every parish, a Paul Pry in every house, spying, eaves-dropping, relieving, admonishing, spending our money for us, and choosing our opinions for us.”

That Babington was writing in this way at all shows that Cultural Marxism preceded Marx. The desire on the part of some to impose their views and wills on the rest of the citizenry clearly is not new. How would Babington view the state of government in Australia today, with the zealots at the Human Rights Commission, amongst others, behaving in perfect reflection of his description above? I think we can guess.

On the one hand, it could be comforting to know that the forces of Cultural Marxism appear to be part of the nature of some people – our depressing state today is not new and while we have to deal with it, it could be characterised as a ‘perpetual irritant’, as one may say.  Yet Babington has a warning that this struggle may not be an enduring one. One side may win. He said that meddling government was galling to a people “not broken in from the birth”. The long march through the institutions of the Cultural Marxists has advanced to the stage where today their sights are set on those first few years of a child’s life that, so far, they have had less influence. Once the child reaches school age, the teachers can get to work. The question occupying the minds of the left today is how to prevent parental influence between birth and school. They are not far from achieving the break-in from the birth.

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