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by Christopher Chantrill
August 07, 2005 at 6:51 pm
AFTER ALL the tragedy and heartache in London over 7/7, at least there is some good news. Now that Prince William has got his degree at St. Andrews University, hes moving back to London and will set up house with his constant companion Kate Middleton. So thats all right then.
Of course, this is nothing new. Princes of the blood have always lain upon a soft pillow, and there is no reason to stop now. For instance at the turn of the nineteenth century the princes namesake, the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), enjoyed the favors of Mrs. Jordan, the greatest comic actress of the day. But when it came time for the Duke to produce an heir, he married a princess and abandoned Mrs. Jordan to a fate worse than death.
It says something about the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, not to mention the eternal power of an attractive and intelligent young woman, that handicappers say this is unlikely to happen in the case of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
The tragedy of Mrs. Jordan was performed back in the days of Disraelis Two Nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy... the rich and the poor. At least, there was no intercourse and sympathy when it came to the crunch. As the old song goes:
Its the same the ole world over,
Its the poor what gets the blame.
Its the rich what gets the pleasure,
Aint it all a bloomin shame?
The power of Kate Middleton tells us that it is time to update the hoary old Two Nations conceptand modernize it, as they say in Britain. For the Two Nations of the developed world are no longer the rich and the poor. Not in an age when the poor are fatter than the rich.
The new division is between what we might call Venture Nation and Tenure Nation. Venture Nation is the community that accepts life as a risk proposition. It recognizes the principle of responsibility and the principle of service. Businesses, marriages, and families are built out of responsibility and purpose, and the glue of personal commitment. And nothing can be achieved without the ethic of service. Life is not all about me; its about meeting someone elses needs, and meeting them willingly. You can see Venture Nation in the life of Kate Middleton. Her parents, according to Matthew Bell in The Spectator, are energetic business folk, running a highly successful mail-order company called Party Pieces, selling [stuff]... for childrens birthday parties. The business is operated from a series of converted barns in Berkshire. Kate went to a top British public school and then to university at St. Andrews. She is an entirely ordinary upper-middle-class girl... lineage cant be traced much further back than the suburbanization of Berkshire. Not much tenure there.
But then there is Tenure Nation. Tenure Nation regards risk as proof of oppression. It whines I have my rights when things go wrong. Whereas the folk in Venture Nation spend other peoples money on their businesses and their ventures, spending money that is freely given and usually returning that money with increase, the folk in Tenure Nation are different. In Tenure Nation they also spend other peoples money. But the money is not given freely in a contract between equals. It is money taken by force, usually by political power. The people of Tenure Nation occupy the government offices, the government schools, the government universities, the government social services, the government enterprises, and they browse upon government entitlements and benefits. And they have Tenure. Prince William belongs to Tenure Nation, as a second in line to a hereditary job with tenure. But there is hope for him if he can learn the Venture Nation culture of sensible Kate Middleton from Berkshire.
The Muslim immigrants who came to Britain a generation ago belonged to Venture Nation. They put their lives at hazard to create a new life in a new country. But their children have been thrown, to use Heideggers term, into Tenure Nation, condemned to indifferent schooling in Britains bog-standard comprehensives and exposed to the depravities of Britains lager louts. Not surprisingly, they view Britains youth with contempt. Yet they have learned to whine I have my rights with the best of them. As Minette Marrin writes in the London Sunday Times, there is a connection between the decadence of British public life and the miserable failure of Britains schools; illiteracy here is beyond belief, disruptive behavior is normal, exams and degrees have been debased, and social mobility has declined in the past 30 years.
Unfortunately Britain does not enjoy a conservative movement like the United States that champions the culture of Venture Nation and actually proposes to do something about the whining adolescents of Tenure Nation. But at least it has Kate Middleton.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State