February 05, 2014

Arm Folding and Mirror Holding, Ctd

Being able to mock, laugh and ridicule power is a distinctively British tradition. Britain is after all the mother of the free world. Classical British liberalism is what informed the American Constitution and the First Amendment which gives American a complete right to free speech. Britain gifted America Habeus Corpus. The Britain John Milton made the classic case for free speech in his pamphlet Areopagitica. David Allen Green said:
"Being able to openly ridicule and mock those in power – or seeking power – is perhaps a more important right than many realise."
George Orwell knew that England and the English could never fall to fascism as the people instictively laugh at ostentatious acts of power. He said in England Your England:

"One rapid but fairly sure guide to the social atmosphere of a country is the parade-step of its army. A military parade is really a kind of ritual dance, something like a ballet, expressing a certain philosophy of life. The goose-step, for instance, is one of the most horrible sights in the world, far more terrifying than a dive-bomber. It is simply an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is ‘Yes, I am ugly, and you daren’t laugh at me’, like the bully who makes faces at his victim.
He explained why the goose-step, a symbol of tyranny, would never float in England:
"Why is the goose-step not used in England? There are, heaven knows, plenty of army officers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing. It is not used because the people in the street would laugh. Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army."
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