(Born Jan 8th. 1897, a Naval Cadet 1908-1912, a Lieutenant of Artillery 1914-1918, a Wine Merchant 1919-1931, an Author from 1932, a Wing Commander on the Joint Planning Staff of the War Cabinet 1941-1944, and the owner of this property (in which I have planted over 1200 trees and bushes) from 1945)
Thursday 20th November 1947
Today Princess Elizabeth was married to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece. As the eldest daughter of the King, George VI (he having no male issue), the Princess is the Heir Apparent to the Throne of the United Kingdom and the British Empire beyond the seas. Should she outlive her father, and remain sane, all historical precedent makes it appear inevitable that, in due course, she will become our sovereign, as Queen Elizabeth II.
Yet our present monarch being just over 50, and in good health with a normal prospect of another 25 years of life, many people would lay heavy odds against his daughter, or any other member of his family, ever being crowned at Westminster.
I am now of an age with the King, having been born while the reign of Queen Victoria still had three years to run. At that time even the thought that one day the British Monarchy might be abolished was inconceivable. But in the 50 years of my life greater changes have been wrought in the habits and mentality of the worlds population than in any 500 years of previously recorded history.
When I was born electricity had been discovered but not yet adapted to practical every-day usage. London had no electric light or telephone system. Wireless, radio recording, broadcasting and gramophones were still unknown, and the petrol engine was still in its infancy. There were no motorcars; on the streets all vehicles were still horse-drawn, and for travelling further afield, the steam train as yet without corridor coaches, was the only means of transport. Liners and warships were generally steam propelled but a great part of the world’s sea-borne commerce was still carried in sailing ships; and the idea of travelling by air was as remote and unreal with us as it was with the Romans.
The electric age, having its infancy while I was a schoolboy, reaching maturity during the First World War, and becoming a dominant factor in all our lives from then on, has revolutionised thought wherever it has penetrated.
In the early years of the century the vast majority of the people of Europe and the United States – and even more so those of the less progressive areas of the world – formed their opinions from personal contact with their fellows. The more advanced among them were neither lacking in intelligence or political consciousness, but their attitude towards their rulers was governed in the main by (1) any new laws which affected their personal well-being and (2) the discussion of events at the centres of government – declarations of war, treaties of alliance, court scandals, royal marriages etc. these were often belatedly reported but formed the staple talk wherever men were gathered together; in the towns, in clubs and taverns, in the country, in public halls and inns. Thus, in those days, the ‘voice of the people’ was in fact the consensus of opinion arrived at after a vast number of free debates had taken place at every level of society and in all parts of the country, concerned.
This ‘voice’ was rarely raised; but when it was, rulers had good cause to tremble, and almost invariably, the result was a cessation of repression or a change of government; as the ‘voice’ was usually pregnant with both justice and commonsense.
But the ‘voice’ was stilled by the coming of the electro-machine age, as the new inventions enabled the professional politicians of all parties to get into direct touch with every community, however remote. First came the electric press, enabling a million or more copies of a newspaper to be run off in a single night – and enormously improved arrangements for distribution. Then came the wireless telegraph – which swiftly developed into radio, with a five times a day news service which, by means of a cheap receiving set, could be picked up in every home. And these were followed by the cinematograph which soon became one of the most insidious weapons for political propaganda.
The result was that instead of forming their opinions by quiet thought and reasoned discussion, the bulk of the people took them ready made (from so called ‘informed’ sources) and, in consequence, in the short space of the first two decades of the 20th century an almost unbelievable change took place in the mental attitude of the masses all over the world. The immense speeding up of means of communication brought the national and international picture so swiftly before them that it filled their thoughts to the exclusion of local conditions and the well-being of their own communities; political ideologies and abstract theories of government usurped in their minds the place which had previously been occupied by the selective prosperity of local industries and the prospects of crops. Worst of all, the masses came under the immediate influence of the political demagogues who labelled themselves as the ‘representatives of the people’, who held that ‘all men being equal’ all power should be vested in the majority rather than in the intelligent minority, as had been the case in the past.
For many centuries power had been vested in Priest-Kings who were usually members of an hereditary ruling house – but the authority of such rulers was nearly always circumscribed by a group of elders, or a feudal nobility, whose say in matters varied in accordance with the strength of personality of the reigning potentate. It was generally recognised that a throne could be permanently maintained only if it were the apex of a solidly supporting pyramid of aristocracy and thus as a general rule the Priests/Nobles/Senators exercised a power at least equal to that of the Priest-Kings. In the event of the ruler proving irresponsible or despotic they usually succeeded in either overthrowing or placing a check upon him – as was the case when the Barons of England forced King John to sign Magna Carta. Moreover, the Priesthood or Nobility was constantly being added to by the rise of men of exceptional ability and talent among the masses, as witness King Henry VIII’s great minister Cardinal Wolsey, who began life as a butcher’s boy.
Thus, until the dawning of the new age, the lives of the vast majority of the people in all countries were ordered in accordance with the will and beliefs of a comparatively small ruling-class – mainly composed of the boldest, cleverest and most energetic individuals in each nation.
Yet, from time immemorial idealists of all races have supported the doctrine that ‘all men are equal’. Saints and martyrs have preached it in all ages, the outstanding example being Jesus Christ, whose creed largely owed its far-reaching acceptance and prominence to the fact of its appeal to slaves and underdogs.
For two thousand years at least this conception has waged a mainly unsuccessful war against its opposite – the belief that the direction of human destinies should remain vested in a limited number of individuals who are, on average, better educated and more intelligent than the masses.
The aristocracies of Egypt, Greece and Rome, clearly had no doubts at all that they were better fitted to govern than any committee composed of representatives of the common people. In the middle ages, both the Princes of the Church of Rome and the temporal Kings whom they so greatly influenced also took this view. In later times the European sovereigns and the supporting hierarchies of nobles likewise accepted the authority to rule as a natural commitment of this order. Yet it gradually came to be admitted that the Third Estate had a right to a voice in the direction of affairs, and more particularly, in how the money taken from them in taxes should be expended.
The English race, which has led the way in most things, was the first to give full expression to the determination of ‘those who paid the piper to call the tune’. In the early seventeenth century the commercial classes of the Kingdom brought about the Great Rebellion and cut off King Charles I’s head. This drastic culmination of the revolution was, however, far from having the approval of the great majority of the people, and the resulting dictatorship by a bureaucracy proved so distasteful to them that 14 years later, in 1660, they gave overwhelming support to the restoration of Charles II.
Nevertheless, as a result of these troubles a new balance was achieved, and it became recognised that the best means of governing the realm lay in a fair distribution of power between King, Lords and Commons. For the following 200 years the balance was reasonably well maintained and, during them, Britain knew a greater well-being and prosperity that any nation since the fall of Rome.
But from the latter part of the 19th century this balance gradually became undermined. The coming of the machine age enabled the politicians of the ‘all men are equal’ school to get into ever-closer touch with the masses. Under the banners of liberation they preached against every form of privilege, thus making the The English race, which has led the way in most things, was the first to give full expression masses discontented with their lot; and later, as socialists, they openly advocated equality in all things with supreme power vested in the House of Commons.
By the opening of the 20th century this new political consciousness in the multitude, coupled with the long disuse of the power of veto by the Monarch, had already reduced the Throne to a cipher; and in 1911 a liberal majority in the commons passed a bill that reduced the power of the Lords to a negligible quantity. It was not, however, until the elections of 1945, that the ‘all men are equal’ propaganda resulted in the return of a Socialist majority to Westminster, where, the other two factors having been virtually eliminated it has, in the past two years, given Britain her first taste of government by the representatives of the underdog, free from all unilateral or higher control.
Up to the end of the last century the difference in condition between the very rich and the very poor was obviously too great to justify on any count, but much had been done to bridge the gulf long before the socialists came to power. Successive governments had brought in ever-higher rates of income tax with a sharply rising scale according to income; so that by 1940 the great bulk of all taxation was borne by the moderately well off and richer classes. In fact, a married workman with 4 children could earn up to 400 a year without paying any tax at all, whereas a millionaire with an income of 50,000 had to surrender 44,000 in taxation. Again, under the old system there were many abuses of power, particularly through economic pressure, whereby workers were often compelled to labour overlong hours in unhealthy conditions; but here again, during the first 40 years of the present century an enormous amount had been done to redress these evils. Education and health services had beenmade free to all, hours of work restricted, minimum wages set for all types of labour, insurance of workers against accident made compulsory on employers, and both unemployment pay and old-age pensions assured to all below a certain income level.
It was far from being a perfect world, but the masses were no longer at the mercy of chance or the caprice of their masters, and were fully protected from either calamity or want. No one would seek to deny that the worker’s own representatives and the trade union movement played a great part in bringing about these reforms; yet the fact remains that the laws concerning them were mainly introduced and passed by just-minded and humane legislators drawn from the old ruling classes.
However, having agitated for such reforms for so long, the ‘all men are equal’ advocates were far from content and are now in the process of lightening the natural burden of the workers to a point where the wealthy and even the stability of the nation is threatened. Employers are now no longer allowed to run their businesses as they think best but have become the bond slaves of socialist state planning. The school leaving age has been put up to 16, and a 5 day working week has been instituted in the mines, the railways and many other industries.
This means that while workers are being protected and provided for, whether employed or not, from the cradle to the grave, they are no longer putting in a sufficient number of working hours to pay for the benefits they receive. To continue on these lines can only end in national bankruptcy, or a reversal of policy by which, as in Soviet Russia, the vast majority of the theoretically classless society are compelled to work appallingly long hours to maintain the state bosses and a huge non-productive bureaucracy.
The doctrine of ensuring every child a good start in life and equal opportunities is fair and right, but the intelligent and the hardworking will always rise above the rest, and it is not a practical proposition that the few should be expected to devote their lives exclusively to making things easy for the majority. In time, such a system is bound to undermine the vigour of the race. If the rewards of ability and industry are to be taken from those who rise to the top, they will cease to strive, and if the masses are pampered too much they will regard protection from all the hazards of life as their right, and become lazy. There is only a limited amount of wealth in each nation’s resources. If it is not added to year by year by vigorous enterprise, made possible by the majority of the people doing an honest day’s work, but instead, gradually drained away in bettering the condition of the masses without their making an adequate return, the nation that follows such a policy is bound to go into a decline; then the general standard of living will fall, instead of becoming a Utopia, as the ‘all men are equal’ theorists fondly imagine.
And this is the slippery slope to which the new socialist government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ has now brought a once rich and prosperous Britain.
Socialist controls now make it impossible for any ambitious young man to start his own business. Socialist taxation operates against any man of initiative immediately his efforts place him in a higher income-tax group. Socialist laws actually forbid workers in all the great national industries to work overtime or better themselves by changing their employment. Socialist ‘planning’ forbids any man to kill his own sheep or pig, cut down his own tree, put up a wooden shelf in his own house, build a shack in his garden, and either buy or sell the great majority of commodities – without a permit. In fact, it makes all individual effort an offence against the state. Therefore, this Dictatorship of the Proletariat, instead of gradually improving the conditions in which the lower classes live, as has been the aim of all past governments, must result in reducing everyone outside the party machine to the level of the lowest, idlest and most incompetent worker.
Realising that many thousands of our young people are planning to leave Britain for the dominions, colonies and other countries overseas, where unshackled by the bureaucratic socialist octopus, men are still free to carve out a fortune for themselves, and enjoy the rewards of hard work and enterprise.
Man began as a member of a herd. He became different from the animals only when the urge to become a real person – an individual – gave him the courage to back away from the herd. The desire to remain free and independent forced him to think and act for himself. In the process he developed his imagination, his ability to reason, his strength of purpose, his audacity, his powers of concentration, and his expectation towards a still greater freedom in some afterlife more perfect than the present. As an individual, often subject to the orders of others, but rarely reduced to a mere part in a soulless machine, men achieved a variety of great civilisations – a feat beyond the bounds of all probability had he always been regimented and had his thoughts moulded for him into a uniform pattern by state propaganda.
The triumph of communism means the reconverting of civilised men back to the herd. That has been proved in Russia where, since the revolution of 1917, in which the noble, moneyed and intellectual classes were almost entirely eliminated by organized massacres, the communist party has wielded absolute power. For the past 30 years, the truth about the past and about everything which goes on outside the borders of Russia, has been either deliberately falsified or withheld from the people. Even their party men have become only slightly larger cogs in the state machine. All but a very few are ignorant of the fact that the standard of living to which communism has reduced the Russian people is the lowest in the world; and they dare not express a doubt as to its rightness or efficiency, as to do so could cost them their lives. There is not a shadow of liberty left. Everyone is compelled to labour to the limit of their endurance in return for their bare subsistence. They can be arrested and imprisoned or shot without trial. There is no justice and no freedom of either thought or action. Few have any conception of the joys that go to make life worth living. The Russian people now know no other form of life than that of state slaves. Day after day they labour on like harnessed animals. From their dreary lot there is nothing to look forward to, no future and no escape.
And this is the ultimate outcome of the false, pernicious doctrine that all men are equal. Socialism is but a halfway house.
Therefore, if when this document is discovered, the people of Britain are bound to a state machine, my message to posterity is REBEL. All men are not equal. Some have imagination and abilities far above others. It is their province and their right to take upon themselves the responsibility of leading and protecting the less gifted.
We are sent into this world to develop our own personality – to use such gifts as we have been given and to set an example to others by our courage, fortitude, sympathy, generosity and self-reliance. Any state which controls the lives of the people and dictates where they shall live, what work they shall do, what they shall see, say, hear, read and think, thwarts the free development of personality, and is therefore EVIL.
It will be immensely difficult to break the stranglehold of the machine, but it can be done, little by little; the first step being the formation of secret groups of friends for free discussion. Then numbers of people can begin systematically to break small regulations, and so to larger ones with passive resistance by groups of people pledged to stand together – and eventually the boycotting, or ambushing and killing of unjust tyrannous officials.
Your life does not matter, but your freedom does. The age-old wisdom tells us that death is not to be feared, for it is but a release from life, leading to rebirth, and if one has lived and died courageously, as a finer, stronger personality. Therefore, if need be, fight for your RIGHT to live, work and love, how and where you will. If need be die for it. Your death will be an example to others that it is better to die fighting for your freedom and happiness than to live on as a slave.
May the courage and wisdom of the Timeless Ones, who order all things, be your support and guide. They will never fail you if you have faith in yourself.
Blessings be upon you; freedom and love be with you.