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It’s time for Anglofuturism Westminster's stagnant ideology will guarantee collapse

The future (Steve ChinHsuan Wang)


August 29, 2022   7 mins

Just a few years ago, to be concerned with national resilience was to be seen as some kind of crank at best, and some kind of nativist radical at worst. Even at the height of Covid, to diagnose the fundamental problem facing Britain as one of eroded state capacity was often viewed by liberal commentators as some kind of quasi-Stalinist state worship, dangerously close to either fascism or communism. 

Today, however, the British state’s inability to provide the most basic of functions — stopping crime; providing adequate healthcare, housing and functioning utilities like energy and water — are the central plank of political discussion. We have won the argument, yet there has been very little reflection on what this means, or how we have reached this dismal state of affairs. Worse, the people who brought us here are still in charge.

But what is the alternative? In their 2015 book Inventing the Future, the Left-wing writers Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams used the example of the Seventies crisis, which ushered in our current political and economic model, to examine the way in which one governing ideology can supersede its predecessor as the common-sense frame of political argument, and become hegemonic. The previous, dominant Keynesian framework had no immediate answer to the economic crisis of the time, and thus ceded ground to the free-market ideology of neoliberalism, which had created an ecosystem of think tanks and journalistic popularisers biding their time for a moment of crisis: “The neoliberals
 had both a diagnosis of the problem and a solution.” As a result, they observe: “Government officials who were uncertain about what to do in the face of crisis found a plausible story in neoliberalism.”

The fundamental problem facing Britain today is the collapse of this chosen model, the fruit of a previous, lesser era of crisis. Instead of shoring up the state’s resilience to the pressures of an increasingly unstable world, the reliance on market forces has left the Government increasingly unable to impose order, provide functioning healthcare, keep the lights on or put roofs over people’s heads: a state that cannot provide these basic functions is really no state at all. We are witnessing the death spiral of the world created after the Seventies crisis; even conservatives now understand that things cannot continue as they are. To argue in favour of the current system is now the marginal and eccentric position: half the ideological battle has already been won.

And yet, no single viable alternative model is waiting in the wings; both parties are ideologically inflexible, far more so than voters. The most likely outcome is Westminster’s desperate political preservation of a rapidly collapsing system in which no one believes. The model has failed, but the people who imposed it, who genuinely believed in it and somehow still believe in it, remain in power. 

There have been no consequences for their decades of failure, and the detachment of voters from the people who represent them has never been greater. This is a deeply dangerous, unstable situation, which has already given birth to conspiratorial political religions, such as QAnon, Russiagate, and the Great Reset, which will doubtless multiply as living standards continue to plummet and politicians continue to fail. They seek to discern some underlying logic or rationale to events, when there is only incompetence and a dying political system bereft of ideas. At a moment of grave national crisis, we require a statesman of historic stature, with the vision and will to steer us out of disaster. Instead, we’re getting Liz Truss.

But in reality, it no longer matters whether Truss or Sunak wins the battle to enter No 10. No one believes that either has any answers to the problems facing us, and the paper-thin dividing line between them is merely the narcissism of small differences. Similarly, the increasingly bitter battle over political control of the American state conceals the fact that whichever party wins will find themselves at the mercy of global forces they can no longer control. Across the Western world, the red lights are flashing in the cockpit, but no one knows how to fly the plane. 

Degrowth, the failed totalitarianism of the 20th century, political Islam; these aren’t useful alternatives, just fringe ideologies — more often used rhetorically by the current regime to justify its prolonged existence than sincerely adhered to. Fukuyama may have posited liberal capitalism’s victory because nothing had shown up to replace it; yet its failure looks more like the world we already inhabit, a world of niche micro-ideologies without any grand unifying project. 

To maintain the fiction of progress, we must believe that things are better now than they have ever been, even when they are demonstrably worse than any time in living memory. We are entering a post-progress era, where the achievements of the past decades, even centuries, will be reversed. We will, for the next decade at least, perhaps longer, be forced to live in a simpler, sparer way. The fat will be cut off, now we have entered the lean years. As Macron observed this week, “we are living through… what could seem like the end of abundance”. To describe the years since 2008 as an age of abundance seems absurd, but we may well soon be nostalgic for the stagnation of the 2010s.

It is as if we have entered a dark tunnel, and the political forms waiting at the end of it are too distant and obscure to make out. But there is no reason to believe things will get any better, and much reason to believe that there is much further for us to descend. We don’t know how the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine will end; there is the prospect of a grave escalation. We don’t know the consequences of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, now more likely than ever. But surely, given the West’s total dependence on China’s industrial base, it will dwarf the consequences of the Ukraine war. 

The term “crisis” implies an end state, like a fever breaking: but this is the new baseline normality. Next year will be worse than this year; the year after will be worse again. Previous attempts to stave off disaster, the mass demonstrations of the early 2010s and the populist wave that followed, were often inchoate attempts to correct our course: both failed. The ideological output of the 2010s, like fully automated luxury communism, posited a post-scarcity world of happy, abundant consumption derived through mining asteroids and other unlikely tech fixes. A decade later, we’re having to settle for energy rationing and trying to restore the very most basic competences of governance.

As the Marxist thinker Wolfgang Streeck warns: “We are facing a long period of systemic disintegration, in which social structures become unstable and unreliable, and therefore uninstructive for those living in them
” It is a time, perhaps lasting centuries, when “deep changes will occur, rapidly and continuously, but they will be unpredictable and in any case ungovernable”. Life in such a society “offers rich opportunities to oligarchs and warlords while imposing uncertainty and insecurity on all others, in some ways like the long interregnum that began in the fifth century CE and is now called the Dark Age”.

How are we to manage life in this hard new world, for ourselves and our children? The survival of the British state, our ark in the coming storm, is paramount. Yet whether the British state will even exist at the end of the decade is still a matter of helpless conjecture. We must demand a wartime level of mobilisation focused on state resilience: we are now far beyond nudges and quick fixes. This is a campaign for the basic functions of the state: streets that are safe to walk, homes to live in, healthcare for those in need, universal access to food, warmth and shelter. 

As Milton Friedman put it: “Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.” That time has now come. Of necessity, in a world without a convincing successor ideology, this new model of politics must be pragmatic and non-ideological. Centred on restoring the basic functions of statehood, it must unite Labour voters as well as Tories, socialists and conservatives. It is a call, I propose, for Anglofuturism.

“Anglo”, because Britain should survive as an entity focused on the health and prosperity of the people, and not merely as a theme park for international capital. Through shifting domestic industry abroad and encouraging mass immigration of low-wage labour at home, policymakers were able to create the illusion of prosperity, conjuring the outward form of a middle-class existence even as it demolished its foundations. But this world has now gone forever, leaving us poorer and less resilient. 

The “futurism” is for the understanding that unlike our current political class, this approach looks beyond the electoral cycle. It is the idea that the state, and the nation, have interests to be safeguarded over the course of generations, and that infrastructure should be built now to secure the lives and prosperity of our descendents. “Futurism” also because it harnesses the optimism and high modernism of the post-war era, a vanished world of frenetic housebuilding and technological innovation where British scientific research could lead the world, and produce higher living standards through its fusion with well-paid, high-skilled labour. 

The Anglofuturist vision of Britain is one where every county town has its own Small Modular Reactor providing clean, abundant nuclear energy. It is a country where cheap and reliable high-speed rail darts across the country, through the new towns where everyone who wants can have their own warm and spacious home, past the small family farms which provide the country’s food security. In the clean skies, electric airships move freight across the country; in our seas, teeming with fish, vast arrays of domestically-manufactured wind and wave power stations, the product of a revived industrial strategy, unite British ingenuity and manufacturing capacity in clean power generation that is the envy of the world. 

This is not a reactionary vision, for there is no going back: the Britain of the Fifties is gone forever, as is the Britain of the Nineties and the 2010s. Yet everything to come has been shaped by what has been before. Rooting our vision of the future in the best of our past, and Britain’s unique natural and cultural gifts, perhaps we can emerge from this crisis richer, happier and healthier than we have ever been. This requires a total, war-level shifting of the Westminster worldview, brought about by public pressure: after all, the political incentives currently in place are what brought us here. Like the austerity of the 2010s, which midwifed the weakened state of the 2020s, Truss’s desperate, cargo-cult Thatcherism promises only deeper, faster, harder collapse: it is the proposed cure that already ails us. We must look towards a pragmatic, emergency programme of rebuilding state capacity as a matter of national survival. Even as we enter a decades-long period of near-collapse, it is time to reject decline and embrace a better future: it’s time for Anglofuturism.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

arisroussinos

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Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

1. Limit immigration to half the number of new homes built in previous year.
2. Stop illegal immigration – no borders, no country
3. Start fracking, expand North Sea fields, invest in nuclear, get energy independent by end of decade
4. Bring back Beat Policing – stop crime happening in the first place
5. Get rid of the wishful thinking – woke, green etc – when setting policy or running public bodies
6. Celebrate Britain and our ancestors

Graffiti Avenue
Graffiti Avenue
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Might I add get rid of the Royal Family & the Unelected House Of Lords.Put more money back in too are community’s & heath service & stop fighting America’s wars.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Inadequate as the Royal Family maybe, they are obviously better than any conceivable alternative don’t you think?
Just imagine First Lady Cherrie Blair, President Hesseltine or other such horrors.
As for your other suggestions, agreed, particularly the last one which has severely embarrassed the Armed Forces in recent years, for no apparent gain.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Agree. President Tony Blair and his First Lady is a recurring nightmare.
Blair,.as he ages, more and more resembles Alfred E Neumann from Mad magasine. Even down to the iinane grin.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

The reign of Victoria , in the face of never previously experienced change in the form of industrialisation and the advent of mass office workers, so brilliantly produced a system whereby the entrepreneur had a rapid escaltor to the top, the majority of people gained the vote via the Reform Acts, and the middle and lower misdle clerical classes were given targets of ” decency” not material wealth”.

Revolution was avoided, alongside growth, economic power and stability, and then came The Great War.

What this ingenious system never envisaged, of was ” designed” for, was to be replaced by one where power would revert entirely to the erstwhile clerical class, and that is what has happened in nu britn.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Agreed, but the catalyst for disaster was The Great War as you so rightly say!
More than three three centuries of ‘plunder & profit’ thrown away in fifty one months of madness. “How are the mighty fallen”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Nice thought but ue cannot go backwards. What’s need is a new approach! Remember Victoria was an empress, ie there was an empire to plunder. No one to plunder now except your own poor.. oops, too late: you’ve done that already: nowt left!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

False example. In a Parliamentary system, the PM would hardly be Head of State. It would be a contradiction in terms. Many countries have well-respected, legitimate, elected Heads of State and I don’t see why England couldn’t be one of them.
Time to bid farewell to the ridiculous soap opera of the ‘Windsors’ – and yes, time to stop fighting the USSA’s barmy and ruinous wars, too.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

I was thinking of the Irish example where various politicians have endured apotheosis and become Presidents, the wretched De Valera for one.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Our current guy is good: Ml.D. Higgins. A real intellectual, well respected around the world. A lot cheaper to keep than your royals! But that ain’t goin’ to touch yhe edges of your crises.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Yep: one o’ dem deckchairs is definitely out of place! Your second point is valid, for sure!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

Well yes, the House of Lords. Only Blair could have turned an unelected chamber into something worse. The man was a political genius.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

no.. get rid of life peers!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

As strange as it sounds, I’d sooner have the life peers in a second chamber (nominally apolitical) than the current setup whereby it’s simply stuffed with friends of the government of the day. Though my personal preference would be to scrap it completely

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

I disagree with losing the Royals, I think it’s a very cheap, stable system that has served us well and they’re a form of soft power abroad. I’d bin the Lords in a heartbeat, it’s cronyism on steroids

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Until a year or so ago I was an ardent republican but I came to think that having a royal family had benefits despite its faults. The Queen has shown how a constitutional monarchy should work. Unfortunately I think Charles and William have already started the movement towards a republic. Charles cannot keep his mouth shut and it looks like William is following, not to mention Andrew, Harry and Meghan who are a disgrace. Young people clearly see the privilege the royals have and recognize the unfairness. It don’t see it happening soon but I think the monarchy is on the way out.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago

Agree with the Royal family and the Lords but the last thing we need is the State taking more tax money from us to put it into our health service and communities.
They have doing that for 60+ years and the problems get worse every decade.
We need some radical change and that is to shrink the State and give people their ÂŁmoney back

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..tinkering around the edges: not nearly good enough!

Kevin Armstrong
Kevin Armstrong
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Ironic that Kemi Badenoch, a talented Nigerian, was the only contender positing such strong medicine for our current ills. Note the surprising number of Conservatives backing her, recognising that cure would work

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Yes I am a big admirer of hers too

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

… and take hate crime off the statute book

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

‘Hate Crime’ is there to protect the inhabitants of Quislington & NW1 and thus cannot be repealed

ever!

David Croom
David Croom
1 year ago

What a joy to read this fine article coupled with comment from Charles Stanhope and his colleagues from Blimpville. I often recommend the comments from Unheard readers to European friends who want to read pure British bile.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  David Croom

Praise indeed Sir! Thank you.
Incidentally it is Blimpshire not Blimpville.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
David Croom
David Croom
1 year ago

Wiltshire or Devizes or somewhere further north?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  David Croom

A little further West.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

ahh… Croom… put out the night tray…. good…and make sure you whiten my Hunting boot garter straps.. thats all… you may go now…

Kayla Marx
Kayla Marx
1 year ago

Will that get rid of the non-crime hate incident at the same time, or will that just keep going?

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Why wouldn’t we build wind farms with the comparative advantage we have.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Yes we should do that too. I believe we are one of the few countries ideally placed to harness the wind. Some people say the same for tide but I’ve not seen it demonstrated yet.

But be need base load too. That has to be gas until nuclear can do the job.

Though I like Aris’s suggestion earlier in the week of burning all the rubbish non native trees and replacing with oak, chestnut and ash:)

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Tide is one for the UK according to this.
https://www.withouthotair.com/synopsis10.pdf

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Thank you Roger

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

….it’s BS that’s why. Here’s a sober analysis about energy: https://quillette.com/2022/08/24/the-energy-of-nations/

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Thanks Bernard an interesting article, very sobering…

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Immigrants come here for work, to fill vacancies in the workforce: in agriculture, the NHS, social care, and throughout the economy. Don’t we have to solve that one before we stop people coming into the country?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

That seems to me to be a backwards argument, at least to me. 300k net immigrants a year need a share of those inelastic resources – housing, NHS, schools, etc – just like the natives. The pie just doesn’t grow quickly enough to accommodate everyone.

We should skew our work visas to those shortage occupations that you mention. After all 50k-100k immigrants a year is still a lot and if we select well we can keep the gaps filled. At the same time we should be encouraging automation/ process improvement to reduce the need for lower skilled labour.

Also we should be training and encouraging our own kids to take up those high-skilled manual roles – plumbing, construction etc – where we have traditionally relied on imported labour. Ditto doctors and engineers.

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I don’t see that it is ‘backwards’. There are two very strong arguments on the immigration issue. First, as you indicate, we are a crowded country and immigration puts a strain on housing and infrastructure. Second, important parts of our economy and society depend on immigrants. Neither of these arguments should be ignored.
The trouble is, we have been dishonest, in claiming to want to keep immigration down but in practice allowing people in. What is needed is a serious fact-gathering exercises to underpin a reasonable, workable policy.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

If I seemed to suggest that it was backwards as in dim, I’m sorry. That wasn’t what I meant. I meant more in the sense of horse before the cart.

I completely agree about the dishonesty of the debate to date.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

Is that not simply using immigration to suppress wages?

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

National Service and reduction of the school leaving age are options, and the scrapping of the obsession with degrees and academic qualifications.
How many disaffected pupils do we have to create to get some sense into this debate? Provided a basic Matriculation Exam of reading, writing and arithmetic can be passed, I’d allow 14/15 year olds to leave education for work. They’d take the starter low wage jobs, as the one’s I’ve taught are desperate to get out of school and into work. The few I’ve followed started at the bottom but very quickly moved up the ladder because they were motivated and wiling to work and learn.
I also know of a number of young girls who would have graced the nursing profession – not as graduates but as compassionate workers. As a former Matron terminally ill in hospital said to a relative of mine (also a former senior nurse) when she visited.
“It is all ‘hands-free’ nursing now. You don’t ever want to experience this NHS, it is terrible.”
There are good wards and good nurses, even in the same hospital as the atrocious ones. My mother experienced both. However in the NHS this obsession with degrees is stupid and catastrophic. There are more important qualities needed in many caring professions, compassion for one. A few years in the caring professions as ‘National Service’ could be the saving of our health service and perhaps the making of many a young man or woman.
A French colleague once told me that his father – a rich man, looked back on his National Service with pride and gratitude –
“It made me meet many who compared to me were poor. Meet them on equal terms and achieve equal ends. I still number many among my friends.”

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

I strongly agree with you on both counts, national service and nurse training. Fortunately there are Nurse Apprenticeships now whereby you train on the job like you used to, on the minimum wage.

Maybe in the same way there should be National Service apprenticeships (armed forces not nursing). I think that would be a good way forward. The danger would be the likelihood today of mixing up the sexes for Equality’s sake. This would imo undermine the attraction of the scheme for a lot of young men. Keep the sexes seperate in training, they do not work well together in a high testosterone fuelled environment, as we are witnessing in the RAF.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

The system of apprenticeships, T-Levels and funded vocational training in general seems to be a major success of the last few years (though I am not up on details).

The parents of intellectually middling children would be mad to send them to do humanities degrees when they could be getting a trade. Maybe the government should only offer loans for non-STEM degrees to kids with 3As at A level.

To your second point, I think the sexes will work it out for themselves so long as the authorities don’t intervene with these idiotic “positive discrimination” policies. They should be outlawed by the government.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I cannot agree that “the sexes will work it out for themselves”. They definitely are not doing that.

At the highest levels of the RAF, that is the elite fighter pilots and the Red Arrows, such men risk their lives every time they fly. Not only that but they have particular qualities – high intelligence, incredibly fast responses and forceful personalities.

Providing these men do not commit a crime they should not be expected to pussyfoot around sensitive, easily offended female recruits. If such women cannot take the heat they should’nt go near the fire.

This country needs the fighting spirit in those men and they offer it up for us. To treat them as if they are somehow “toxic” is a disgrace.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

Agree – if you just have the highest recruitment and assessment standards only the toughest and most able will make it through. Almost certainly those few will be men.

Ian Burns
Ian Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

Yes, train our own people to the task pay them accordingly

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

Fine to welcome documented and skilled immigrants. But better to upskill our benefit tourists.

rodney foy
rodney foy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ann Ceely
Last edited 1 year ago by rodney foy
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Ann Ceely

Sure but total numbers are also important. We need to keep the population to a size that our inelastic and straining institutions can cope with.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I would add to the above excellent list:
Strategic food security whereby the nation grows core crops to support the basic calorific needs of the nation.
This is paramount in the event of a disruption to international trade (via land or sea).
Without national food security the UK is as prone to being held to ransom over food as it is over energy.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The usual bullet points but no look at the underlying structures that brought us to this point.
Sorry Matt but u are producing the same old same that people have been mouthing for years … we need a little more than that

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

You mean the bullet points are the wrong things to do?

Or do you mean they will never happen because of the current system/ crop of politicians etc?

Or do you mean we need a radical change of system away from capitalist, liberal democracy?

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

They are not the main issues … the problem with our Society is the The Big State … it has failed us time and time again and it is still expanding, particularly under Boris.
A small state with low taxes and democracy will take care of the rest

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yep: back to the 50s then is it? But sadly, he reckons that won’t work! Besides, Matt that’s just rearranging the same ol’ deck chairs as Britania sinks in the waves.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There’s a great deal of ruin in a nation, Liam.

I’m sure the British Isles will survive whether or not the larger island adopts my wish list of policies.

I would not worry too much about old Britannia, She will keep the lights of Ireland on if push comes to shove this winter. And bail you out again when the wolf calls. And send peacekeeping troops if you start tearing chunks out of each other over there.

After all we are really one country under all the politics.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

I enjoyed and appreciated this essay, not least because someone has to stop endlessly diagnosing our social/economic problems and actually have the guts to propose testable solutions. I guess the main weakness, for me, in the author’s proposal is the lack of commitment to British culture/society (or, more broadly, to Western culture). How will the UK unite around all these challenges while at the same time the dominant political and ideological narrative is constantly denigrating UK history and culture? Will the prospect (or reality) of power cuts and food shortages finally end the tyranny of modern “progressivism”?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I noticed that as well. There’s nothing here that’s actually Anglo at all. You could map the whole plan onto Franco-futurism, Germano-futurism, Saudi-futurism, Ukraino-futurism (if we really want to dream), or what is most likely in the real world: Sino-futurism. Only a “nowhere man” (someone lacking in physical or cultural roots) would design such a utopia, and that’s what it is. Thomas More would be proud.
That said, the diagnosis of the problem is better than many I’ve seen. Karl Marx postulated an endpoint for capitalism of such abundance that the owners would spend most of their immense resources not producing useful things but convincing people to want the useless things they knew how to produce. (Think Centrifugal Bumble Puppy from Brave New World). There’s a case to be made that the industrialized world entered that point a while ago, and I suspect Marxist analysis might have some real solutions. I hate saying that because the 20th century shows what happens when you wield Marx as a hammer (or a sickle), but honestly, we wouldn’t still be talking about him 170 years later if he was completely off his rocker.

However, those solutions (or any others) can not be implemented in a society that has no common values, because such a society doesn’t believe in anything enough to bother trying to save it. Mr. Roussino appears not to see that without the roots of Anglo-ism, his Anglo-futurism dies on the vine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 year ago

“However, those solutions (or any others) can not be implemented in a society that has no common values”

There has never been a ‘society’ with ‘common values’ in the entire history of the world (except in very restricted domains e.g. music, art, train spotting, stamp-collecting etc.).

Last edited 1 year ago by Arnold Grutt
James Bannerman
James Bannerman
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Hmmnnn…well the future described in the article reminded me most of Japan where arguably, there is a greater sense of shared values than many of the other places mentioned

Last edited 1 year ago by James Bannerman
David Harris
David Harris
1 year ago

…because they are 99% indigenous population. UK, nowhere near. With a huge rump of remainer, anti English waiting to reverse Brexit the authors plans have a mountain to climb.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Arnold, I’m honestly not sure what to say to that. The vast majority of societies both in history and today are based on shared religion / tribe / ethnicity. Ancient Rome had a broadly shared pagan culture. Europe had a shared Christian culture for over 1000 years. Throughout American history, we had a shared Judeo-Christian-Enlightenment culture. James mentioned Japan below, a modern, industrialized country that has a broadly shared culture (and enforces it via limited immigration) even today. Were there differences of opinion? Sure. But they were differences mostly about means not ends.

Given those examples, I would love to know what you mean when you say there has “never been a society witih common values”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Obviously that cannot be true, otherwise we would not be here. There may not be a society with common views now, but there most definitely must have been in the past.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
1 year ago

Marx was definitely off his rocker and if you read him, or try to, you’ll see his analysis actually had nothing to contribute even in his own time, let alone today. Many of his claims even about his contemporary society were not actually true, he made up quotes attributed to people who never said them and so on.. The man was a fraud.

The reason Marx keeps coming up is not the quality of his ideas but their endurance. He had wafer thin analysis tailor made to appeal to people who are themselves as big thinking intellectuals. The supply of those has gone up a lot over the last 150 years but the supply of quick fixes hasn’t, so people gravitate to Marx because he was and largely still is one of the only guys willing to claim that hard problems are easy.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Spot on! Thank you.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

We’ll have to disagree, Norman. And that’s OK. Marx was very much a product of his time. Saying Marx isn’t relevant today is a little like saying Dickens’ Oliver Twist isn’t relevant. They’re both are responses to the injustice of the early English factory system, but I think both have persevered because they speak to alienation and futility that is a recurring theme of the modern industrialized world.

I do agree that most of Marx’s solutions are off-base, but I also think it’s hard for us to talk about Marx without really meaning Lenin or Stalin. (Yes, know that sounds like “a real communist country has never been tried” and I hate that line. ) For much of my life (despite studying him in college econ) I rejected his solutions, and I still mostly do. But the problems he identified are real. And despite my misgivings, some of his predictions about end-stage capitalism are starting to look more likely.

Paul Ingham
Paul Ingham
1 year ago

“To a man with a Hammer, every problem looks like a Nail”. I suspect the problems that Anglo-Futurism seeks to address are closer to re-wiring a circuit board, while still trying to run Windows 10.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Ingham
Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’d also see the cultural side as vital if the country is to be united around a programme of economic regeneration. One could argue that enthusiasm for June’s Jubilee events suggests millions, probably a majority, would like to see a reinvigoration of British culture. (And many too occupied with private concerns to care, would likely appreciate it if it happened and helped draw them out of themselves a bit.) So I can see why it might seem a major omission that Aris said so little about it. But I think he was right not to. So the problem with rooting a plan for political regeneration in even so fertile a soil as great British culture, is you have to pick out specific symbols, representations & other expressions of culture by which to move from the realm of imagination to reality. So what do you chose – King Arthur, Robin Hood, Sumuel Barber, Flax + Thistle + red Dragon & red Rose, the Proms, the year where we “stood alone” against Hitler, more modern representations like cool Britannica, more abstract expressions of British value, etc. ? When you put your choices to the test, the reaction from the public is often indifference, as your choices no longer have the inner power that you’d thought. Or sometimes you’re met with unexpectedly fierce opposition, not just from the usual suspects in the Guardian. Its different with one off events like say the 2012 Olympics where UK can still be great at cultural expression. But attempts at long term cultural revitalisation, especially when linked to politics, tend to fail. I’m thinking especially of Blue Labour which has largely been a flop despite being driven by a group who I consider exceptionally charismatic, sensitive and intelligent.  And several attempts that came from conservative figures who Im not even going to name as its embarrassing how little popular interest they were able to generate. So anyway, the point Im getting to is I think Aris is right not to risk crystalising specific elements of cultural reform too early.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Britain never stood alone. The British Empire & Commonwealth Stood alone, and in doing so it brought that Empire to an end. Churchill’s quote understood that it wasn’t just Great Britain, though he understood that it was the British Isles that stood at the heart of the Empire and Commonwealth.
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: ‘This was their finest hour.”

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Agreed, and it was kind of my point that fault can be found with any specific. I like this quote on the matter: “Although England is wasted by the sickness of the age, she has such a continuity of history and such a living tradition that some of her roots are still nourished by a past that is bathed in the light of mysticism. … Germany fell upon Russia and broke the best of her strenght there. The oceans of blood sacraficed by Russian soliders have made us almost forget what happened before. And yet that moment when England stood silent and unshaken is even more worthy, by far, to be eternally remembered.” – Simone Weil , 1943

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

I see what you mean, Adam. I hadn’t thought of it in terms of which symbols and culture to choose, and perhaps that was his purpose. However, I would also say that if you have to decide “which culture to choose” in order to design a new political system, you’ve already lost whatever it was that made your culture unified and unique.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Agreed, which is why I think it may require a rarer than once in a generation political genius to bring off the cultural reinvigoration ideally needed when implementing Aris’s plan. Anyway, best description of the specific methods to inspire a nation is to be found in ‘The need for roots’ by aforementioned Simone Weil.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

“Anglofuturism.”
I’ll tell you what the problem is: educated-class people that keep coming up with delta-minus-moron buzzwords and North London luvvie enthusiasms like climate change.
All the problems the writer cites are the detritus of educated-class programs that Made Things Worse.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Quite right. What enabled the great expansion of Georgian and Victorian power across the globe? It was relative technical and organisational skills and a belief in the superiority of the British way of life.

Unfortunately we have neglected technical excellence in our education, our organisations have become bloated bureaucracies and the dominant cultural theme is our past was a disgraceful period of racism and exploitation that we should apologise for.

We need to reform our educational system, cut a swathe through our bureaucracies and sack all diversity directors and promote people on the basis of talent not class, sex or skin colour.

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

‘A belief in the superiority of the British way of life.’ Yes, this is something we have lost. Everyone likes to maintain that the country is in the control of an ill-intentioned elite (government, fat cats, ‘bloated beaurocracies’, ‘diversity directors’ or whatever) who are responsible for the dire state we are in.
Unlike Americans, for example. Even those who are fully aware of what’s wrong with their country have a pride in America and in being Americans.
We are unusual in the extent that we run ourselves down.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

Not all do, but the ones that don’t run us down are denigrated and maligned by our MSM and Elites. White Van Man, and St George Flags are anathema.

Kurt Keefner
Kurt Keefner
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

I’m an American, and I can tell you that many Americans, especially on the progressive left, do not take pride in being Americans. They believe the US to be a unique evil in human history. However, pretty much everyone else is proud of being an American, or at least believe in some version of America’s ideals, however poorly they believe they have been realized.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Kurt Keefner

American Progressives make up up a tiny minority or the Democrat Party never mind the country at large. However, they speak very loudly especially when what they want gets promoted and channeled by the senile, blow-with-wind, dolt Joe Biden – a politician who in 50 years, has never acquired the ‘vision thing’.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

One of the fascinating things about the globe as is, is contained in lectures by the Late Prof Hans Rosling. He exposes the myths about population and poverty and shows how we are progressing so well (at least until Central Bankers & Western Politicians screwed it all up).
The start of this ‘leap forward’? The Industrial Revolution.
It is why we live longer, happier lives. Great Britain not only had one of the most benign Empires the world had seen (and that acquired in the early years often by accident rather than design) it produced arguably the best legal system, the best democratic system and the means to alleviate poverty and raise the standard of living and life expectancy of the planet. Add in that it sought, and to an extent, succeeded in eliminating Slavery and we should be proud to be British. The fact that we actually used our Navy to eliminate an institutiton that had existed from the dawn of time (sadly it seems to be making a comeback!) should be celebrated.

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Good to see someone speaking up for British Empire: an unusually ‘benign’ empire indeed.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

I agree with almost everything you say, but I have to point out that, although the Briish goverment deserves praise for its role in abolishing the slave trade, Britain was deeply involved in it before that. To say, as you do, that it was (is) an institutiton that had existed from the dawn of time using the passive voice tends to make it easy to leave out the fact of Britain’s (and all the others’) involvement. The reason that I think it is important to acknowedge this is that those who wish to always denigrate any of Britain’s achievements pick up on this to then smoothly dismiss Britain’s abolition role; if we do acknowlege Britain’s initial complicity they then have to concentrate on somehow arguing their case, something that they are not used to doing.

Another salent point is the way that Britain-bashers conflate the ideas of “slavery” and “empire/colonialism”, therefore they feel justified in saying that the empire was part of the slave trade – an untruth, and they know it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Linda Hutchinson
Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago

I think that a lot of this stems from the lack of morality in business and government. One hears talk of corporate ethics, but when you get down to it those ethical statements actually say very little. How about “don’t be greedy”, “treat people fairly and give them the services that they have paid for”? Look at BA as an example. A once great airline that has failed to invest in its IT, and has treated its staff and customers like dirt. There are too many greedy accountant types at the top of our businesses and too many equally greedy incompetents at the top of the Civil Service. I’m convinced that corporate wokery is because these people don’t have the flair or imagination to do the things that really matter to people and think that pandering to a vocal Twitterati will divert attention from their appalling ineptitude.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago
Reply to  Ibn Sina

Indeed. There was much talk and dozens of books about the ‘morality in business’ problem for the first few years after 2008. One of the more interesting outcome was the ‘inclusive captialism’ trend, which has fizzled out a bit now but there’s still surviveing embers. The sustainability ethic is still going strong despite some of the ‘fossil fuel divesters’ being stung by recent events. Over 10% of worldwide assets now in ESG! Hmm, this might not be central to what you meant, perhaps others will give better examples.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

ESG is parasitical and will eventually destroy its hosts.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
1 year ago

I really want to like this essay but got stuck at this early point:

“the reliance on market forces has left the Government increasingly unable to impose order, provide functioning healthcare, keep the lights on or put roofs over people’s heads”

This is entirely backwards! Policing and healthcare – two of the areas of biggest collapse – are state run with no virtually market forces in existence. Energy is now being crippled by sanctions against Russia – nothing market based about those – and housing had been crippled for decades by ultra strict planning permission. Literally ALL the examples Aris picks of failure caused by “reliance on market forces” are failure created by state control, so how can the rest of the essay have anything to contribute when it’s initial analysis is so off base. Especially so because Marxists always blame the collapse of their own terrible systems on capitalism even when they’ve wiped out of decades ago.

The reason the areas he lists are so broken is because those are the areas that were left alone by Thatcher.

Last edited 1 year ago by Norman Powers
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Excellent comment. Re your final sentence, you could make an argument, I suppose, that housing was not something left alone by Thatcher, but either way the point is that it only became a problem because of 20 years of post-Thatcher defective policy, so it is in any case absurd to propose that any of it is the fault of 1980’s Tory policy.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

I could not make head of tail of this essay and at the end had no idea what it was about. But this did catch my eye:

”already given birth to conspiratorial political religions, such as QAnon, Russiagate, and the Great Reset, which will doubtless multiply as living standards continue to plummet and politicians continue to fail. They seek to discern some underlying logic or rationale to events, when there is only incompetence and a dying political system bereft of ideas.”

Maybe the writer could do a bit of searching on The Great Reset, and then tell us how it is a conspiratorial political religion. The WEF will tell you exactly what they are planning as the reset – and it is a 1984 style Global Corporatocracy where you own nothing, and they own everything, even you.

This blended with ‘Transhumanism’ and AI, and the reduction of the human population by about 6 Billion – basically Hell on Earth, run by some Satanic Cult of Global Elites making themselves dark gods.

It is a real ‘political religious conspiracy’ which will tell you exactly their plans are if you just search on WEF, and every day they move one step forwards, and us humans, one step backwards. Actually it shares a lot with Qanon……

Nick Faulks
Nick Faulks
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Absolutely right. Twenty years from now, when the “conspiracy theories” this writer so enjoys deriding have all come to pass, he will be bewailing the fact and saying “but how could we possibly have seen this coming?”.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Exactly – I actually think this is a valiant and serious essay but sadly torpedoes itself by leaning into and swallowing establishment narratives denigrating those who question the Dem version of the 2016 Clinton defeat as well as those who in fact bother to take the WEF’s stated agenda and influence seriously. And linking these to Qanon is just cheap. As a result the writer fails to dig below the surface of what is in fact a global malaise requiring change at a much more fundamental level than he posits.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

The fundamental problem with the so-called ‘Great Reset’ as well as with Progressivism is that they deny the existence of human nature.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

I don’t agree wholly with everything said here, but it is thought-provoking. This part though:

“To maintain the fiction of progress, we must believe that things are better now than they have ever been, even when they are demonstrably worse than any time in living memory.”

This is very obviously untrue. Things are still better now than they were at almost all times before the 1990s. I do accept that the 1990s and the first 15 years or so of the 21st century were a better time than now, yes, but it really just isn’t true to claim that the 50s are better than now: they simply were not.

I give whole-hearted applause to the idea of a distributed energy grid reliant upon small modular reactors (please, people at the top, pull your bloody fingers out on this, ffs), a little less to the railways thing (roads with autonomous cars are very obviously so much better than trains), and while the idea of family owned small farms feeding us all is a nice idea, I predict a more complex mix of large scale agribusiness, small specialist farms, and most importantly GMO and lab-grown protein – this is something the UK is poised to become a world leader in, if only we would throw off the shackles of EU protectionism masquerading as the precautionary principle and the ignorant popular conception of food technology as being an inferior choice to “natural” food. The principle thing that is “natural” about food is that it is scarce – not a characteristic any sane person wants associated with the food supply.

Finally, this is a bit tangential, but I’m going to have a rant about the collective stupidity of a millennial class of young people who both resent the fact that they seem to be excluded from economic progress but who at the same time seem obsessed by ideas such as Net Zero, universal basic incomes, Great Reset revolutions intended to overturn property rights etc. Anyone who supports these ideas must accept that they are entrenching and guaranteeing their own future poverty. There is no future in which we’ve all somehow become richer by deindustrialising and become fairer and more inclusive by upending the basis of property rights through socialising things, such as housing, that presently appear to be proof of generational injustice. Just yesterday I had a brief online debate with a young fool fresh out of university with his politics degree who proudly asserted a moral creed of mass nationalisation of the housing stock and a whole bunch of other daft ideas, but who had no idea, it seems, that it was no different from the same experiments in the past which always led to tyranny, poverty, misery and crimes against humanity.

How can you study the subject for three years and then still not know something as basic as that? There’s another thing we need to change for the future: stop our universities being places of radicalision and make them do what they used to do: educate.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Jon Game
Jon Game
1 year ago

All our current issues stem, not from the pandemic, but from our reaction to the pandemic. It was so obvious at the time yet people (MSM) cheered it on and enabled the madness. England currently stands out as an island of sense in this continued madness but we are impacted by these global disruptions.

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago

The first step should be recognise that we are, by historic and global standards, an extremely prosperous society. Harold Macmillan may or may not have said ‘You’ve never had it so good’, but there was a sense of being more prosperous than in the past. Governments since Harold Wilson, however, have encouraged us to feel poor. They have sought our votes by telling us how badly off we are and saying how they will make things better. Aris Roussinos seems to buy into this fallacy: ‘To describe the years since 2008 as an age of abundance seems absurd’. It has been an age of real abundance.
The second step should be to stop worrying about the useless statistics of GDP, growth and productivity, and concentrate on outcomes that have a clear impact on people’s lives: unemployment, poverty, inflation, environmental damage. You can make your own list. This would make for a sounder assessment of the success of the economy.
This provides a sounder basis for deciding the size of the state and the level of taxation. Most of us spend money on ephemera that add little to our quality of life, and actually we might benefit more from knowing that an ambulance or justice (for example) were available when we needed them. Although we like the idea of low taxes, our lives might actually be enhanced if we paid more.

Last edited 1 year ago by Henry Haslam
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

Indeed, the claim that 2008-2022 was an era of real hardship is ludicrous. Most people (not all, but the vast majority) have never had so much. If we have to take a cut in our standard of living, there is plenty of fat to cut. Most of us have more than enough of everything.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

.

Last edited 1 year ago by D Glover
Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
1 year ago

Interesting analysis of our ills (and some of the solutions) but I was unconvinced by the framing of our response. Such a massive switch of national endeavour will need a national level of engagement and buy-in, akin, as the Aris writes, to wartime.

My question is this: is Britain sufficiently coherent an entity to permit this; is anything labelled ‘Anglo’ going to resonate in a country where ‘Four Nations’, let alone self-ID, are often seen as having greater valence than being a Briton.

My observation therefore is that, in order to create the psycho-social conditions for a successful transition to a different world, we need to create a concomitant national empathy, also I sense, currently lacking. Of course, to some extent, the act creates the feeling: Britain in the 1930s was a deeply divided country that the shared experience of war transformed: (HM The Queen Mother (+ RIP), “At last I can look the East End in the face.”, after Buckingham Palace was bombed). That national bond created the coherence that carried us not just through the war but the wholesale post-war reconstruction.

Aris is right about so much but let us not neglect what the military term the ‘moral component.’

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Diggins
kevin austin
kevin austin
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Diggins

No, ANGLO is not a good look. My nieces (35 and 37) are horrified when I say our family are WASPS (White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants). It was everywhere in the 80’s and 90’s. Joan Rivers loved the term!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  kevin austin

and you great peoplemade America! You made the new capital markets,and now America wants rid of you… Communiat hate and envy so prevalent in US and nu britn

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  kevin austin

I’ve never quite understood the term WASP, surely it should be ASP – unless you can think of a non-white Anglo-Saxon to warrant the need for the inclusion of “white”

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
1 year ago

I don’t really get this article, it seems to be blaming free markets for everything and saying the state needs to get more involved. It seems to me that the state has been very involved in making decisions that have left us without enough energy. This is true across Europe. So rather than a major shift maybe we just need a pragmatic state, that remembers the importance of energy and food security and stops making stupid decisions. That would be showing European leadership as most have been equally dumb.

rodney foy
rodney foy
1 year ago

I think the problem is that the country has always been run by ideologues. Governments should look at the best ways to achieve happiness and prosperity, and ideologies should play no part.

For example, it’s not so important whether the public or private sector runs utilities etc. Rather, it’s the rules and processes they are governed by that matter so that the people benefit

Lance Stewart
Lance Stewart
1 year ago

The analysis of the dreadful state of our country and its defunct political system is pretty accurate, as is the principle of the basis on which any programme of reform would have to be implemented. But it is no use talking about a “wartime level of mobilisation”, “British ingenuity” and “rooting our vision of the future in the best of our past and Britain’s natural and cultural gifts” when liberal “values” are using mass immigration and multiracial policies to dilute and eventually destroy the very identity of the nation which had the inherited ability to create such a culture. Any such future will be as much “Afro-Asianfuturism” as Anglofuturism”, and so not able
To offer a continuation of Anglo culture, dependent upon there being racial & social homogeneity.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Lance Stewart

It’s yer own fault. Ye’re too selfish to reproduce yerselves! Given current birth rates there’ll be more great grandchildren born to Muslims than to indigenous (wtm?) English. Think of all those Patels, Sunaks and Javids running your country then! …oops, too late! Lol..

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

We don’t need the ignorance of racism … immigrants today will enrich our society and their children will help our country evolve for the better.
If you can’t get your head around that then you have little going on … no thought .. no imagination

Jay Tee
Jay Tee
1 year ago

Not all. Not all are here to become British. Some are here just to take the money and run (which ultimately is fine). Certainly those from the 7th century will not help us evolve for the better. These people actually make it worse wherever they go.

Fred Paul
Fred Paul
1 year ago

“And yet, no single viable alternative model is waiting in the wings; both parties are ideologically inflexible, far more so than voters.”
Oh, for the love of Mike. Think of an alliance with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. We have an opportunity here the envy of all the countries in the world. CANZUK !!!
https://www.canzukinternational.com/
For example, Canada is already building its prototype nuclear-molten salt reactor in Chalk River, a few miles from me and the provinces will start building them within 7 years. We can share this technology.
This idea to combine our resources and free moment with the same cultural/language/political/judicial system with entry into any market around the world along with natural resources would give our shell-shocked political dingbats and us something to reach for. A goal within our reach. A bright future. It can eventually lead to a confederation.
And before you argue about distances, China, through containerization shipping, sells toothpicks in New York City competitively.
Will we wake up, or are we going to rationalize this to hell along petty nationalism? You want a way out; here’s the door. Read the link above on the soft sell approach. Talk to people and write to your representatives.
You have a better solution to the world’s mess; tell me about it. But don’t rely on the United States anymore…. their democracy is already in the rabbit hole.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fred Paul
Jay Tee
Jay Tee
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Paul

This was fervently hoped for post Brexit, but it became apparent in 2020 that we now need to get rid of the commie leaders in our erstwhile sister nations and push back against Great Reset nihilism for this to work.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin
1 year ago

Interesting article by the always excellent Aris Roussinos, but for once I completely disagree with his conclusion. What we need is less state rather than more. I’m not sure whether this makes me “neoliberal” but to be clear I still cling to the old fashioned Conservative principles set out by Edmund Burke, Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. Hayek, in particular, was right in arguing that you can never control something as complicated as an economy, never mind a whole country, by governing from the top down. Instead you need to rely on free markets, international trade, “little platoons” of local institutions, and businesses focused on delivering specific value-added solutions to customers at a price determined by the market. Insofar as global capitalism with minimal checks and balances is the least worst way of achieving this then that remains our best chance for solving current problems. Fukuyama was broadly correct. The present Tory approach of spending more and more by meddling with everything from utilities, to the energy market to health and even to climate has been disastrous. Socialism would be much worse! Less government, less ideology and more old fashioned Burkean pragmatism will get us through this crisis and hopefully our lives in the West will continue to improve immeasurably as they have been since at least the industrial revolution.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nick Collin
Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick Collin

I agree with you in favouring the free market and the small state. In principle. But:
The market fails to deal satisfactorily with the issues of poverty and environmental protection. The market benefits those who have something to put into it (money or labour). The destitute have nothing to put into it, nor does the environment and nor do future generations.
The state should be judged not by its size but whether it provides what we want it to. At present, most people spend money on ephemera that do little to add to their quality of life. Their general well-being would be enhanced if, instead, they paid more tax and could rest assured that an ambulance and justice (for example) were available when they or their family needed them. We’d be better off if we paid more tax and had better public services.
If you want a small state, what does the government do now that would better be left to the market? I could suggest heath and social care (insurance provided by the market?) and infrastructure (paid for by the user at point of use?). I see no appetite for either of these.
It’s easy to say that the public services waste money through inefficiency, but what can be done about it? We’ve had a Conservative-led government for more than ten years; if they haven’t been able to crack it, can you identify anybody who can?

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Haslam

The market benefits those who have something to put into it (money or labour). The destitute have nothing to put into it, nor does the environment and nor do future generations.”

I think the fact that there are far fewer destitute people in market economies and far greater environmental protection laws in them rather defeats the point you’re making here. As usual with such arguments, it implies a context-free and extreme caricature of what is being criticised so as to have an easy target.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick Collin

I agree Nick. Statists are like the creationists of economics, always trying to justify top-down Intelligent Design theories.

Adam Smith recognised and described the brilliance of the market evolution in best responding and providing. He was the Darwin of his field.

It’s no accident either that the most prosperous free societies are also the most environmentally responsible, despite the endless propaganda to the contrary. Does nobody remember the hideous environmental mess of Communist countries only 30-odd years ago? The shocking lack of innovation?

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

‘we must believe that things are better now than they have ever been, even when they are demonstrably worse than any time in living memory.’ Total Poldarks. Things are a bit worse than they were 3 or 4 years ago, and slowly getting worse still, but in my ‘living memory’ there were far worse times than now. The diagnosis is in principle correct, but Roussinos’ wildly exaggerated end-of-the-worldism is not the way to start a convincing examination of remedies.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

I think he’s considering “worse next year: worse again the year after” …and after that, who knows? If you factor in lawlessness from currently law-abiding “Enough is Enough” types you may see a lot worse. We had a glimpse of such lawlessness when our govt tried to impose water charges in Ireland. You had it in poll tax protests.. don’t underestimate the mob factor!

samain11
samain11
1 year ago

Start from basics, educate our children properly and acknowledge the primacy and desirability of the nuclear family through the tax system. A young couple on average earnings with 4 children paying no income tax would be a good start, 25% off per child. That would solve many issues at a stroke, be very popular and cause a great wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the poisonous progressives. Less Government intervention should be the goal as well, at least until we can improve the quality of that Government.
The problem of course, is that strong, well educated, and self reliant families are much harder to indoctrinate and control and are therefore anathema.

Last edited 1 year ago by samain11
TIM HALL
TIM HALL
1 year ago

I am going to print this article to read, and reread, over the coming years. By candlelight.

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

As I read this really great thesis, I am thinking of enlightenment philosopher Hegel whose thesis, antithesis, synthesis model has been part of the assumed evolution of Western culture. I think that assumed “we need change” (we need the right antithesis) leads us who still cling to Western universals to think in certain patterns. But I think that his model was developed in a “Christianized” world. A world where people weren’t necessarily real Christians, but everyone, even the atheists relied on and agreed on universal biblically founded truths that were sort of a common ground.
 For example, prior to Western deconstruction, questions like what is a man or a woman, or what is a marriage? These things were assumed, as “universal truth”. It was within those assumptions that Western societies thought. Now we have post-modernism, the rise of the independent self, the atomized-soul. The “universal truths” of today are disseminated through propaganda with the purpose of influence (of nudging) and moving human resources, like things to be used or harvested. Things to serve the purpose of the elites.
I think the reason that nobody has any good ideas or there is no mass idea or antithesis with which to create the new synthesis is because the atomized post-modern is simply no longer fit for real democracy. Sort of like how in colonial days when Christendom was interested in civilizing the primitives, we’ve reached that sort of potentially ungovernable state where they are almost only fit for a pod (with lots of padding) and to eat the bugs (which is all that might exist for them), and they will climb into the pods and eat the bugs willingly, and happily if just shown the right reason and motivation through the neo-liberal propaganda disseminated through and from the digital world.
I guess what I am thinking is that the people in the West have nearly been prepared and zombified into what the WEF wanted and saw they could rule over. So, there is nothing to work with intellectually. It doesn’t exist in large enough quantities. So, I think there is nothing to mold and shape in the West because there is no framework (in the former case Christianity) to work within. The cultural frameworks that give greater universal meaning have been abandoned. Also, there is no truly benevolent and wise leadership waiting in the wings, willing to help their people grow into what a Western person used to be. The idea, the urge in man, is always to progress, so apart from an act of God, there is no going back. With no way to go back, the only way is to go forward and through the new looming dark age. This appears almost inevitable. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

I think at this rate we’re heading towards a new danger where the extreme left and right might thrive once more. The winter of 2022/23 will likely trigger seismic changes in our societies across the continent and as the author says, we don’t know what will be waiting for us on the other side. However, I think we could easily see a backlash against our elites and possibly their removal. Even Twitter and Meta will have a hard time protecting their pals in business and politics when the masses can’t afford to heat their homes, power their ovens and refrigerators while paying ever more of their income towards extortionate rent to benefit a mostly faceless landlord.

In any case, I don’t see this optimistic Anglofutrism emerging, even if it does look very appealing. If the author believes in it, he’ll have to make a wider case for it.

Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe
1 year ago

Everyone’s got their own nostrums. Whatever they are, no matter how well-intentioned they are (and they all are), they are only nostrums. When I was a teenager, I could make lists such as the one Mr Roussinos has made here. There’s always an abundance of nostrums.
As for Fukuyama, he has been justly described by Starkey in a rival magazine as being a true quack. Someone who not only prescribed the wrong medicine but also made the wrong diagnosis in the first place.
If a problem is ever solved, it yields another. The motor vehicle was seen as a progressive solution to the pollution and noise of horse-drawn transport. Mary I’s government enacted a law to stop the ‘effeminacy of men in coaches’; a superior mode of transport recently introduced into England from France. In the 1890’s the London Chamber of Commerce concluded that all vehicle transport in cities would eventually be electric powered.
There’s no solution to the problem of being human. Nevertheless, even the hardest of hearts must have a twinge of sympathy for Ms Truss, leaping in where angels would fear to tread, abundantly spraying everything with her nostrums with more verve than a tom cat scenting someone else’s garden.
Yet people will still vote for her. Jesus of Nazareth had compassion on the crowd for they were like sheep without a shepherd. Presented with a Solution, the crowd then voted for a strong man. As the Romans said, the voice of the people is the voice of god.
The subtlest illustration of the effect of good intentions can be found in C S Lewis’s story called That Hideous Strength. When everything starts to fall apart for the progressives, each of them turns to their neighbour and tries to say something to help, to provide a solution. They are well-intentioned. But it only inflames the situation and each other. Rather than stop talking, they redouble their efforts, to their ultimate destruction. Lewis’s own particular judgement of such people, put into the mouth of another character, is that they despised the word of God, so from them the word of man is also taken away.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

Re your last paragraph, it reminds me of something GK Chesterton said: “when men stop believing in God they do not believe in nothing, they believe in anything.”

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Gonna be hard to run those “small family farms that will provide the nation’s food security” from the concrete government-run council estates the global elites will herd everyone into, Aris.

Nanda Kishor das
Nanda Kishor das
1 year ago

It’s good to know that there’s still optimistic people out there, but this vision for the future of the UK is completely delusional. It’s the same fairy tale we’ve been telling ourselves for 150 odd years: technology will solve all our problems and we’ll all live happily ever after. Also, Anglofuturism is a terrible name, though it sounds fittingly (science) fictional. The author should probably go out more.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

And? ..your solutions are?

Stephen Philip
Stephen Philip
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Having read the article, it doesn’t appear any are needed. I certainly didn’t see any meaningful attempt by the author to offer any.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

I have to agree with you here. This article only pointed out that all things come to an end. I’m from Australia, so I’m viewing this from a distance, but I think it’s only a matter of degrees. What do people want? Do they know? What are they prepared to give up for something better? And who are the people? Too many subsets to even contemplate. A state is now like a world. Dynamic people in the form of leaders would probably make a difference. But we’ve become leery of leaders and probably can’t even recognise one anymore. It may be that we’re in the hands of something we do not recognise. We may not even know if it’s good or bad. I think we’re lost children.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald
1 year ago

The forces that opposed Brexit, and still fighting DJT in US, are very strong. These forces are using wealth of the West to fight Russia in proxy war in Ukraine tp preserve their WEF/Davos inspired vision of a unified world. Central to their concept is unlimited movement of peoples, without regard to impact of such movement on welfare of current citizens. First task should be to restore legitimacy of individual national character and to control immigration. Tory failure to address this has caused their dire political situation. Only after this critical first goal can we move to solve the problems so accurately described here.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Yes: let’s focus on problem no 42! We should ignore problems 1-41 until that deckchair is rearranged! Are you serious?

Christopher Cuff
Christopher Cuff
1 year ago

At last. A setting out of the ills of the UK. At present we have dirty water and sewage pumped out into the sea and onto beaches whilst monopolies collect our money. Unaffordable houses and rents, trains reliant on a small pool of drivers. National grid planning for power cuts, schools unable to afford to heat classrooms with children having to keep warm somehow. It is time for the state to invest in infrastructure over the long term and build a resilient nation. One that can face down Putin and his ilk. A conversation has started, after the inevitable failure of Ms Truss.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

The UK’s railways have enjoyed nearly 2 decades of huge state investment. That no one has noticed shows (a) there’s no political benefit and (b) it hasn’t achieved very much for the passenger.

The state regulator has used its powers to direct over ÂŁ100bn of investment in renewables and the supporting grid in the last 15 years. Right now, and since Monday 27/08/2022, the output of this investment has been practically zero. That so much state direction and so much investment has resulted in almost nothing shows (a) a lack of political will isn’t the problem and (b) a lack of investment isn’t the problem.

Fundamentally, at a deep level, the UK’s people no longer understand modernity, there is a widespread lack of basic technical understanding, many actively oppose modernity, so consequently we repeatedly make bad decisions. Changing the managers and changing the formation won’t change the team’s performance.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

For the Railways, the 1982 Serpell Report, Option A, should be implemented forthwith.
As for the £100bn squandered on ‘Green Cr*p’* over 15 years that seems rather modest compared to the squillions lavished on the Scamdemic.

(* Thank you David Cameron Esq.)

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

What on earth do you mean, “at last”? Every single media outlet is awash with verbal sewage about all those things you mention!

Richard Turner
Richard Turner
1 year ago

Spot on! I have been saying similar things to anyone who would listen for the last 20 years. We are in what Paul Kingsnorth calls a “progress trap”. It is economic growth which has brought us to the brink yet still we find politicians proposing more of the same. My only change to the future technology you suggest is a transit system which combines individual transport (electric buggies/pods) with a public system (pods towed on a rail). We have the expertise and the money to completely transform the way we live. All we lack is the will.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

As Milton Friedman put it: “Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change“.
Let’s hope he was correct! And thank you Mr Roussinos for such a doom laden polemic, laced with improbable but well meaning solutions. My only fear is that I will miss the denouement, and the consequent destruction of Quislington* and all that it stands for.

(*North London, for the uninitiated.)

Roy Mullins
Roy Mullins
1 year ago

It seems to me that the problem is that governments have lost the ability to adequately govern their countries due to the huge interconnectivity and interdependence brought by globalisation and the power of global corporations and supranational institutions. I don’t see how national governments can raise sufficient tax to do all the things they would like to do without producing high inflation. This is the situation which we are in at the moment. What can our government realistically do ?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

The article ends with:
Even as we enter a decades-long period of near-collapse, it is time to reject decline and embrace a better future: it’s time for Anglofuturism.
So, one the one hand Roussinos presents a fait accompli and then presents something else… just a little bit muddled, wouldn’t you say?
I think we can all understand where we are in terms of nationhood, but slightly overblown rhetoric won’t get us very far in working towards a better future; nor will demagoguery and even worse, something with a banner that reads like an early 20th century artistic manifesto: “AngloFuturism”
Plenty of interesting ideas within the article about changes such as Small Modular Reactors that will produce plenty of cleanish energy, and better train services, but please, spare us the anxiety-laden doom mongering, as if the UK has uniquely awful problems unhitched from the rest of the world.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago

” We are witnessing the death spiral of the world created after the Seventies crisis; even conservatives now understand that things cannot continue as they are. ” 
Excellent article and I agree with the concept of the reliance on our own resources but the this can only happen if we radically shrink the State.
There was a window when it seemed the shrinking of the State in 80’s was working … sadly we had Major and then the disaster Blair which has continued to this day of with a continuing expansion of the State and the interference in our individual lives.
Ever since WW2 the State has expanded as have our problems … until we are willing to embrace the small state and low taxes we will be condemned to the post war World we consigned ourselves to in 1948 .. little has changed in reality.
Truss seems an unlikely knight in shining armour to take us forward but then so did Thatcher … but unless we embrace the small state we will indeed face a declining and uncertain future.
I am confident this Country will take the radical action needed, be it now or in 5 or 10 years, it will happen because the British electorate are imbued with great commonsense … we just need that leader to emerge

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I agree with all except your final sentence. It’s less central leadership you need (small state?) and more local, bottom up leadership (from the grassroots).

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Small state or big state you need a ‘leader’ … its the structure that is important and the big state has totally failed us

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Outstanding essay! Really hope it goes on to have a lasting impact. There’s much I could disagree with in terms of fine detail, and I’m just going to throw one point out there as it might be hopeful for some. There is a small but not tiny chance that salvation may emerge from the private sector after all. By that I mean the various private firms that are trying to achieve technological breakthroughs in fields like Fusion, much faster than is predicted by their state & EU funded counterparts. If that happens there could be a transformative regeneration very quickly. We’d still want sensible people in government to ensure the resulting economic boom didn’t come at the cost of too much further inequality, polarisation, cultural drift or spiritual decay, but it should be much less of an ask that the sort of genius needed to effect a regeneration without either first having a massive decline or a tech breakthrough.

Will D. Mann
Will D. Mann
1 year ago

“We must demand a wartime level of mobilisation focused on state resilience: we are now far beyond nudges and quick fixes.”

Absolutely right, though this does sound awfully like the system brought in by the post war Labour government ( the Keynesian consensus) which supposedly failed to provide answers and was then superceded by the current Neo Liberal hegemony.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Will D. Mann

He makes it clear however that different times call for different solutions: just because Keynes no longer worked then doesn’t mean it work now. It worked fir a good whilecafter all. Also, Keynes can be tweeked to suit current conditions. Personally I believe localisation is the answer combined with self-reliance.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
1 year ago

I concur that the globalisation of supply chains has proved to be a flawed strategy. Some of the reasons for that has been misplacing trust in ‘partners’ who do not hold our own values. We need to recognise that there are still bad players out there who are to be avoided.
When it comes to our own country and values we need to recognise the vast extent to which our society has broken. Our levels of lawlessness is far greater than most of our continental neighbours and the Government should not be blamed for this. It is our fault, the citizens. Criminals should take responsibility for their actions instead of being seen as victims of a failed society.
There are calls for increased spending on the police and judiciary. But these only address the effects of failure not the causes. We are a society with no decent community values anymore. Lawlessness is no longer seen as the perpetrators fault.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

Can you not see the inherent contradiction in your contribution?

rk syrus
rk syrus
1 year ago

Jan 1, 2024:
Migrants still streaming across Channel? Yup.
The City still making Westminster its b***h? Yup.
NHS descending to the medical standards of 1st Century BC? Yup.
Countryfolk scrounging for fallen twigs or even (an illegal!) lump of coal to burn for heat? Yup.
Chicks with dicks raping women with pussies in female prisons and beating the shit out of them in MMA contests? Yup.
Wake me when the future happens, will yeh?

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago

“An emergency programme of rebuilding State capacity”. Almost as terrifying as those words nobody wants to hear: “I am from the Government and I am here to help”.

Raymond Allen
Raymond Allen
1 year ago

Aris is right. We need to understand our priorities; to focus on what is needed and how it can be achieved effectively. This is about making the state do what people need it to do, free of vested interests, be they ideological bureaucrats from the left or profiteering capitalists on the right. I call this approach Lean Socialism as it proposes using technological efficiency to improve lives for all and not just to increase profits for the few. See the manifesto for lean socialism at
http://leansocialist.appspot.com/

Raymond Allen
Raymond Allen
1 year ago
Reply to  Raymond Allen

“Lean socialism means having a mixed economy with private enterprise, but recognizing that the government always has a duty to ensure the right to an affordable home, free education, free healthcare, a basic income and decent living standards, irrespective of the prevailing wind of the economy. And to do so with as little bureaucracy and waste as possible.”

Stephen Philip
Stephen Philip
1 year ago
Reply to  Raymond Allen

Thanks for the explanation. Clearly a complete pile of BS. Look forward to the specific set of proposals demonstrating how it can be achieved “irrespective of the prevailing wind of the economy”. I could do with a good laugh.

Max Price
Max Price
1 year ago

I like it. We need more commentators articulating the problem and seeking solutions.

David Lark
David Lark
1 year ago

Things will steadily improve only when individuals live to put others’ interests and the public good ahead of their own self-interest and personal gain.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

In my humble opinion the political solution is to ‘localise’, apply the principle of ‘subsidiarity’ whereby all political decisions are taken at the lowest practical level. Power to the people not the oligarchs. British people have the ability to knuckle down and solve local problems in a smart way and to cooperate with neighbours to achieve what is needed: a whole new approach.
Community power generation, food production, housing and sanitation, far from being rocket science, are simple, tried, tested and relatively inexpensive. This will also make for community spirit sadly lacking in many areas. The author is predicting a simpler future. Such a future will need be driven from the bottom up.
Regional and central government can get on with long-distance transport infrastructure and defence etc and leave the people to get on with looking after their own interests. God knows central government has proved it just isnt capable! Small is beautiful!

John Lee
John Lee
1 year ago

Most critical actions.
1) Get control of the Civil Service.
2) Get control of the Treasury.
1+2 maybe the same thing but without this start none of the rest will happen.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  John Lee

The only way to shrink them is to diminish them !

Katharine W
Katharine W
1 year ago

Aris is a wonderful writer; I love his work, and I totally agree about the hopeless state of our politics and our political parties, addicted to tired old political solutions when the most basic functions of the state do not function anymore. Britain is becoming a scary place, a country in which the old certainties – a health service, a police service, the law – can’t be relied upon anymore. I may be a Luddite and a pessimist, but these idealistic visions of the future that Aris outlines disturb me somewhat; like all such visions I don’t trust them. Feel very un-Anglo, and even though we might start out with good intentions you know the results would be hideously ugly, crooked contractors would do it badly, walk away with billions, the new towns would be hubs of antisocial behaviour and crime. I see Britain’s political problems as being, primarily and at root, social and cultural.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine W

Your pessimism is not justified … the woke World we have lived in this last 10 years has destroyed values.
We simply need a conviction politician to ‘lead’ us forward … shrink the state, lower taxes and a great transformation will proceed as we go forward
With the innovation and new technologies coming down the line the future looks bright indeed

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

It’s difficult to go along with that when technology has enabled so much that is dysfunctional. Just think how many times the internet lets you down, or non-person contact with corporations fails, or digital information is utilised for purposes other than informing.
But, I would be interested to hear any clear cut ideas of where things look “bright indeed”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Look to what he calls “Localisation” aka “The Principal of Subsidiarity” ..do yes, shrink the state to the absolute minimum and grow the local to the absolute maximum. Power, fuel, food, services, support etc.. all local! There us where you’ll find real hope. 3ven in large cities, local groups are emerging..

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Shrink the state. A nice idea and I agree. But how?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..ah yes: the great Liz Truss and pie in the sky technology. It’ll all be fine: as you’re being crucified sing: “Always look on the bright side…”

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine W

..that’s not the root. Go deeper and it’s the elite class and its great reset driving people apart in social and cultural distractions.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 year ago

The Great Reset is happening. Nations are so yesterday in this. The pyramid scheme of neoliberalism has run it’s course. Now to disperse the money and power.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

The sheople aren’t ready fir that just yet. Right now they want Harty Potter”s magic want to make all the bad stuff go away..
In the new year, those who have nearly frozen and starved to death: who’ve been evicted, who’ve had their toys (cars, 100″ TVs etc) repossed… will start the ball rolling.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

As usual, a well-written article with some good ideas, but based on a fundamental misdiagnosis of our problems.
The undersupply of housing is not the result of free-market ideology.
High energy prices are not the result of free-market ideology.
Nothing in free-market ideology justifies rampant money printing, a complicated tax code, and burdensome regulations.
Free-market ideology doesn’t call for us to house and feed foreign nationals who enter our country illegally.
“Austerity” saw only a slowing of the increase in government debt. As the ONS will tell you, “Debt as a percentage of GDP has nearly quadrupled since the early nineties”,
https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicspending/bulletins/ukgovernmentdebtanddeficitforeurostatmaast/june2021
If our government lacks “capacity”, it’s not because they’ve taxed too little, borrowed too little, and been too timid in interfering with free markets.

Cosimo Smith
Cosimo Smith
1 year ago

Curiously close to Boris’s vision.

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
1 year ago

Everything was going fine until you mentioned windmills and solar. With modular power you wouldn’t need them, in fact you could possibly do away with a national grid for a regional one. No more aesthetic nightmares incl electricity pylons across our countryside please!

Peter Rigg
Peter Rigg
1 year ago

What a verbose puff piece this is. Most of it is about the obvious problems. Virtually nothing on solutions except “more State”. Really? Why?

Melissa Sterry
Melissa Sterry
1 year ago

If the above essay had been authored by a student, my comments would be that, it starts well. Though over-simplified, the general synopsis of why Britain is where it is isn’t bad. The author has done at least some research, and grasped a few key tenets. However, the second half of this essay is weak. Principally because, though its author appears naive to the fact, he has proposed a solution that is embedded in the very ideology that is driving Britain to its economic, social, and political knees. The narrative makes clear why this error of author judgement has occurred. Britain has no shortage – no shortage at all – of radical ideas, inventions, and innovations that could address the great challenges of the day. These ideas, inventions, and innovations span all areas of industry and commerce – providing of scientifically plausible and in many instances already prototyped and proof-of-concepted solutions across energy, manufacturing, construction, and much much more.

There are 3 principle reason why these many and extraordinary ideas, inventions, and solutions are largely invisible to the public. The first is the generally dismal standard of journalism and content creation more generally, of which the majority works are not authored with intent to provide of insights and inspiration, but to generate as many clicks as possible, and the reason for this is that most content creators are devoid of ideas as to revenue models beyond advertising. Thankfully, we are seeing new content creators, of which Unherd is one, that challenge this generally dismal state of media affairs . Why else? Because, by and large, ‘futurism’ has been reduced to a marketing ploy by many businesses. Most of the content most UK businesses publish on futures topics are the corporate equivalent of click-bait. Many PR firms play an active role in diminishing the role of futures and foresight, and do so for reasons including, firstly, an absence of understanding of the damage done by the perpetual flood of shoddy futures works to press, and because in some instances some PR companies have an absence of business ethics. Why else don’t many of the most interesting, intelligent, and inspiring futures works get visibility? Because, as anyone that works with those that, be they in the UK’s leading academic research labs, start-ups, or other places where pioneering concepts are researched and developed know, financing in Britain is still beholden to an ‘Old Boys Club’.
In the start-up world it’s a situation that sees, [insert expletive of your choice here] back of a beer mats ideas that have been knocked together by half wits that, with typically zero understanding, let alone research of an idea, nonetheless anchor 7-figure start-up investment sums, which they then predictably [insert another expletive here] up the wall. Meanwhile, umpteen startups that have pioneered ground breaking works are given no access at all to such funding opportunities. Meanwhile, research grants in the UK are not only dwindling, but the grant system is likewise laden with bias and of multiple kinds, and of the options, gender inequality is not only written all over the statistics, but it’s the No.1 issue that every female professor in this domain that I work with states as being the primary barrier to advancing their research. What else? Quite honestly, the list is so long that it’s come to the point where the only reason why Britain hasn’t lost most of its foremost innovators to overseas is the fact that, truly awful though the funding prospects for most pioneering concepts is in Britain, and equally awful though the nations’s economic outlook, one of saving graces of Britain is that – if nothing else – it still has one of the most streamlined and efficient tax and business admin set-ups on the planet, and, even when the state of affairs is as shocking as it is now, Britain still retains its humour – we don’t cry, because we still know how to laugh at the situation.
I’m glad the author wrote the article, because it serves as a provocation to get more important conversations around why – of the abundant brilliant ideas for Britain – and the wider world’s future – few are getting any visibility. Who knows, perhaps Unherd could be among those platforms to help address the issue. One matter about which the author is correct is the extent to which technofuturism has failed to deliver. Those oh so many oh so shiny ‘visions’ [tongue firmly held in cheek] of flying taxis and sky scrapers towering to the heavens… all sunshine drenched, and filled with ideas that hold not even scientific ground, let alone any commercial viability, have done nothing but act as a distraction. I would use the metaphor that, some can’t see the ‘wood for the trees’, but for the fact that those of whom the grasp of biochemistry is thinner than an nanofilament might mistake that inference to mean I am suggesting we build ‘cities of timber’… you know, of the kind that burned to the ground in the Great Fire of London. Here’s to more debate around Britain’s future. The nation sure as heck needs some hope to cling to, given the current trajectory is so dire it would come as no surprise if Britain wasn’t bankrupt by 2024 and pleading for a handout from the IMF.

Last edited 1 year ago by Melissa Sterry
Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
1 year ago

The problem Aris is who is going to pay for your accommodation of human overshoot and at what point are you going to acknowledge the Limits to Growth and accept that beyond the Limits to Growth is poverty, starvation and death.

https://dieoff.com/

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
1 year ago

We need to increase national capacity not State capacity. They are not the same thing. It is State incapacity that is behind many of our ills. So we need to fix the organs of the State and until then national capacity must be developed by non State actors.
It is no good dissing Truss. She is no Churchill but Churchills record in government before WW2 was far worse, which is why we initially got Chamberlain. What made Churchill great was the Will. Truss has at least acknowledged there is a problem beyond energy prices.
The only real alternatives to Truss are Starmer, Davey and Revolution.
Pick one.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago

In agreement with your first paragraph.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago

Using more and more energy, more and more effectively and efficiently has been a proxy, as good as any, for measuring human advancement.
Being always suspicious about (suspiciously) round numbers achieving this that or the other by 2050 has always made me feel..well..suspicious.
If we keep after Net Zero in the way we are, with hopey soapey hopes and wishes about renewable energy’s potential capacity by then, or that properly working batteries at the scale needed will actually arrive by then, then I think the dystopian type of future (however mildly or severely dystopian it actually turns out to be) is more, not less likely.
The energy side factors are by far the most important and so the small reactors thing and more renewables are good…but till then we need to adequately transition, so more gas and whatever else..coal, oil etc is needed.
If we end up Net Zero by 2060 or 2065 why is that such a terrible thing..especially as our emissions now, and then, are, and will be a very small proportion of those from China, India and soon, most of Africa the way things are going at the moment.?

jim peden
jim peden
1 year ago

At last, an article that looks to the future! We are indeed going to have to take a deep dive into what has gone wrong with our formerly successful system.
“And yet, no single viable alternative model is waiting in the wings; both parties are ideologically inflexible, far more so than voters.”
I somewhat disagree, and I’m examining one in my substack column at https://panocracy.substack.com/
All comments welcome!

John Thorogood
John Thorogood
1 year ago

Aris:
Excellent essay, agree with much of what you say except for the financially idiotic idea that masses of offshore wind farms could make any economically useful contribution to our energy needs. With the posited fleet of SMRs the windmills would be an unnecessarily burdensome financial liability.

Stephen Philip
Stephen Philip
1 year ago
Reply to  John Thorogood

Just one of many meaningless statements in the article. Does he have any idea when these fleet of SMRs will become available. Has he done a cost benefit analysis? Why not a fleet of ESMRs (extra small modular reactors). Maybe every household could have one. I’d suggest we allow IKEA to sell them in flat pack form so we can build them ourselves.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Philip

Your mockery is foolish .. SMR’s are due around 2030 .. other Companies are also working on SMR’s in the US
The future is bright …. innovation and AI will bring great changes to our society but the greatest change for good would be moving to a small state, low tax economy

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

I agree about SMRs, isn’t that what submarines run on? But AI and smaller states? I think that horse has left the stable. It may be what people desire, shrinking from globalism back into smaller societies, but i don’t believe people are capable of living like that anymore, otherwise you would see it thriving already.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

A suspension of elections and the formation of a coalition government. The extremes will be forced to the periphery of decision-making, allowing all the other politicians to discuss and decide on a solution to the problems we face today.

Last edited 1 year ago by Iris C
Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

you sound like a frustrated member of the ‘other’ parties.
Frankly I think we are best to stick with democracy … without it you get extremism and anarchy

Richard Atkinson
Richard Atkinson
1 year ago

Democracy can be whimsical and also engender the knee jerk populism that leads to extremism. A bipartisan coalition is what we actually need. Not popular, of course.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

I’m pretty sure some “extreme” measures are needed! More of the same politicians will produce more of the same disasters, surely?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Yes,a nice idea, if governments were capable of solving problems. But who would be in the coalition, who’s in and who’s out?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

I think we will do what we’ve always done, we’ll adapt. It won’t be fun but we’ll do it and we always have. We won’t solve things. Being adaptable is our strength. People have endured the most horrific condition by adapting to circumstances. No one promised a rose garden. We know that. Sometimes things go well, sometimes they don’t. But it’s not the end. It’s always the beginning.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Eh yeah: but right now it’s …now! Wtf r we going to do right now: ir say between now and Xmas?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I already said what we’d do, we’ll adapt. Or do nothing. Which of the two have you chosen? Have you begun to budget a bit differently with the increasing cost of living, or haven’t you?

Mick James
Mick James
1 year ago

Why would high speed rail be cheap…and where would we all be going when we are so happy walking to our new town jobs from our spacious homes?
What makes rail cheap is using the same infrastructure for freight and commuters. Commuting is in decline and freight is never coming back because of the problems of transhipment. Which will also deflate the electric airship. You might as well dream of electric barges. Roads are the perfect place for freight, and we have roads.