"There is, let us say, a certain filthy rookery in Hoxton, dripping with disease and honeycombed with crime and promiscuity. There are, let us say,
two noble and courageous young men, of pure intentions and (if you prefer it) noble birth; let us call them Hudge and Gudge."
With these words, author G K Chesterton introduces a fascinating parable of two characters; Hudge (the socialist) and Gudge (the capitalist), and
proceeds to explain how these two characters conspire to keep the common man in chains. Chesterton, writing in 1910, introduces us to an idea that you
may be familiar with: I mean, the idea that 'Big Government' and 'Big Business' are really just two sides of the same coin; that the fight they keep
up in public is really a show fight, and that their ultimate objective is the same: The destruction of the Free Man, the Free Family, and all the
traditions, customs, and virtues of our fathers.
How many times have we heard it said by modern third-way political commentators; that the party system is itself a tool of oppression, that the
liberals and the conservatives who fight on the senate floor, merely retire at the end of the day to the same clubs, drawing rooms, and grand estates,
to plot their own power?
The system is not new, it is as old as Parliament, and men like Chesterton (and like ourselves) have been pointing out the hypocrisy of this allegedly
emancipatory construct almost since its inception. Are we paranoid? Are we mad? Is it just a coincidence that the Industrialist and the Socialist
always play into each others' hands? That the sacred dogmas of both Individualism and Collectivism conspire to strip man; first of his dignity, second
of his liberty, and lastly of his hope?
"And now, as this book is drawing to a close, I will whisper in the reader's ear a horrible suspicion that has sometimes haunted me: the suspicion
that Hudge and Gudge are secretly in partnership. That the quarrel they keep up in public is very much of a put-up job, and that the way in which they
perpetually play into each other's hands is not an everlasting coincidence. Gudge, the plutocrat, wants an anarchic industrialism; Hudge, the
idealist, provides him with lyric praises of anarchy. Gudge wants women-workers because they are cheaper; Hudge calls the woman's work "freedom to
live her own life." Gudge wants steady and obedient workmen, Hudge preaches teetotalism—to workmen, not to Gudge—Gudge wants a tame and timid
population who will never take arms against tyranny; Hudge proves from Tolstoi that nobody must take arms against anything. Gudge is naturally a
healthy and well-washed gentleman; Hudge earnestly preaches the perfection of Gudge's washing to people who can't practice it. Above all, Gudge rules
by a coarse and cruel system of sacking and sweating and bi-sexual toil which is totally inconsistent with the free family and which is bound to
destroy it; therefore Hudge, stretching out his arms to the universe with a prophetic smile, tells us that the family is something that we shall soon
"I do not know whether the partnership of Hudge and Gudge is conscious or unconscious. I only know that between them they still keep the common man
homeless. I only know I still meet Jones walking the streets in the gray twilight, looking sadly at the poles and barriers and low red goblin lanterns
which still guard the house which is none the less his because he has never been in it."
I have created this thread today in order to reassert my conviction that there is, truly, a silent conspiracy at work in our political system today.
The dogmas of "Right" and "Left" -- so arbitrarily and inconsistently defined -- cooperate to strip men of their freedom in a systematic way. The
bright side of each philosophy draws men to their respective defense, but ultimately, when either side wields power, it is only ever the dark and
dehumanizing aspects of each philosophy that we see employed in practice. Gudge preaches freedom and liberty, and personal choice, but builds a world
in which only the rich can be free. Hudge preaches cooperation and solidarity and the dissolution of old tyrannies; but in practice, the only
tyrannies he destroys are the family, the private home, and the simple pleasures and adventures for which most men live.
We are not alone! We are not mad! The hypocrisy and contempt of the plutocratic puppeteers is not an illusion: It is real. It is now more than 100
years since Chesterton penned his words, and revealed his "horrible suspicion" to the world. And the injustices he saw, and fought against, are still
before us this very day.
So what should we do about it? I finish with his words:
"A little while ago certain doctors and other persons permitted by modern law to dictate to their shabbier fellow-citizens, sent out an order that all
little girls should have their hair cut short. I mean, of course, all little girls whose parents were poor. Many very unhealthy habits are common
among rich little girls, but it will be long before any doctors interfere forcibly with them...
"Now the whole parable and purpose of these last pages, and indeed of all these pages, is this: to assert that we must instantly begin all over again,
and begin at the other end. I begin with a little girl's hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good
mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other
things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down.
With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization.
"Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home: because
she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an
usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a
redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution.
"That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair
shall not be cut short like a convict's; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and
sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come
rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed." 3
And so it will be.
edit on 24-2-2013 by RedBird because: (no reason given)