Ask an English child of 2011 about the iconic dates of English history such as Hastings, Blenheim and Waterloo and your chances of getting a correct answer are very small. Quiz them on who was Alfred the Great or ask them to describe the outcome of the Spanish Armada and the odds are that you will be met with blank stares. Pose a question relating to English geography such as the position of the Chilterns or the course of the Severn and a shrug of the shoulders is the likely outcome. Mention a Shakespeare play or a Dickens novel and childish eyes are wont to roll.
Sadly, the modern English child is more likely to be able to tell a questioner about the Muslim festival of Ramadan than relate the story of Easter. They will know more of the geography of Africa (if they know any geography at all) than of England. On the rare occasions when they are told about England’s history, it will only be in the context of the country’s “evil” past, with the Atlantic slave trade elevated to the status of the ultimate act of historical immorality and the Empire recounted as an unrelieved tale of the exploitation of native peoples.
The upshot is that we have several generations of English children who have commonly left school with next to no meaningful knowledge of their own history and higher culture. That applies not only to those who depart education with a basic school education at the age of 16, but even those who go on to university. Worse, their education is designed to leave them with, at best, a belief that they have nothing to be proud of because they are English, and, at worst, that they should be thoroughly ashamed of the fact that they are English.
The conscious intent of the liberal elite is to create a belief amongst the English that they, of all peoples, are not worthy of a national identity. Most of the English do not actually believe this even at the intellectual level and they still have a primal sense of being English because of Man’s innate tendency to associate with “the tribe”. But this is beside the point. By being denied access to their history and culture, English children are left without a bedrock of conscious cultural imprinting to build upon their natural and healthy communal instincts. They are like children of good natural parts who have been denied schooling.
Education, of course, is far more than academic study. It is about the general development of the child. Modern psychological research consistently fingers the peer group as most potent influence on the development of a child, far more influential than the family. Those who doubt this is might care to reflect on the fact that children speak with the accent of their peer group not that of their parents.
The dominance of the peer group is vitally important because it means that children can potentially be manipulated en masse. If they do not take their view of the world from their parents – and children commonly reject their parents’ views – they have to take their view from elsewhere. That leaves them vulnerable to elite propaganda, especially that pedalled by the mass media and schools. The important point here is that parents as a class have many views, an elite ideology has one view. The danger is that the elite can succeed at least partially in forcing a single view of the world onto all or at least most children.
A peer group whose members have been properly socialised in their history and culture and who have been given a generally positive view of their society, will reinforce that view themselves. A group robbed of that knowledge and mentality will be less inclined – because they have less positive information and reinforcement about their “tribe” – to amplify what they glean from the adult world. They may build upon the negative propaganda ceaselessly fed to them by schools, by the media and by politicians and by the persistent promotion of other cultures as superior to their own. Most damagingly, they are in danger of being conditioned to believe that they, the native people of England, are but one ethnic group amongst many, that they have no special cultural claim within their own land.
If England is to survive as more than a geographical entity, it is essential that the young be imprinted with a knowledge of the immense achievements of Britain in general and England in particular and a sense of what the English have been.
No nation can maintain itself if it does not have a profound sense of its worth. In a healthy society this sense of worth simply exists and children imbibe it unconsciously. Our society has been so corrupted by a mistaken educational ideology and the liberal’s hatred of his own culture, that a conscious programme of cultural imprinting is necessary. If it is not done, how long will it be before English children express surprise when told they are speaking English and not American? The corrosion of English society can only be halted if pride of England and her achievements is instilled in the young.
The words of the younger Pitt in 1783 (following the disaster of the American War of Independence) seem peculiarly apt for our deracinated time:
We must recollect … what is we have at stake, what it is we have to contend for. It is for our property, it is for our liberty, it is for our independence, nay, for our existence as a nation; it is for our character, it is for our very name as Englishmen, it is for everything dear and valuable to man on this side of the grave.
That the tribal sense of English identity is still immensely strong can be seen in the way the English take the opportunity to publicly express their patriotism in the only regular way left to them – through their support for sporting teams. The English fans of all the major team sports are truly amazing in their dedication to their national teams. Go to any football game or Test match involving England played overseas and you will see a support unmatched by any other travelling supporters. See how a forest of St George’s Crosses sprout when a football world cup is on. Marvel at the reception given to the England Rugby team after they returned as world champions. It is also noteworthy that in recent years the English have taken the opportunity to come out in ever increasing numbers for occasional national events such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Queen Mother’s funeral, surely a sign of English national pride being frustrated in most other ways. There is a generation of English children just waiting to be given their sense of historical place and culture back. All it needs is the political will to do it.