The psychology of ‘Not’: Meet your (unexpected) inner conservative


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamIf conservatism is famous for anything, it’s famous for what it doesn’t do. Conservative platforms since Thatcher and Reagan have been all about ‘Not’:

  • Not regulating.
  • Not funding.
  • Not culture.
  • Not education.
  • Not public health.
  • Not social justice.
  • Not science.
  • Not environment.
  • Not modernizing.
  • Not listening.

These Nots are basics, monotonously droned out by conservatives in every Western country on Earth without exception. They’re therefore usually ignored, and therefore not at all understood, by progressives. This range of Nots are everything about conservatism that any progressive has ever claimed them to be, and devalued accordingly.

The problem is that’s a very simple, and shallow, way of looking at conservatism. It’s also a great way of totally misunderstanding what Not really means in practice.

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This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

For example – The usual appeal to “tradition” is often based on a personal reward. It brings back to you things that barely exist anymore. Tradition, however, is also the incarnation of a range of Nots, too, if you spin it that way. These appeals to tradition are great for those lost in the modern world, modern thinking and modern initiatives.

Tradition can be a huge reward. It’s a return to the womb or the family home of childhood, a safe place in your mind. (You could call it a luxury, on that basis.) It’s also a well-known psychological manipulative process. It’s guaranteed to appeal to the insecure, the overstressed and the under-acknowledged. It’s particularly effective on the modern psychological plague, anxiety.

This is the major, classic version of ‘Not’. These pre-adult nostalgias are at their core all about things  that are ‘not’ the things now bothering you. It’s like watching an old TV show from when you were a kid; you’re back home, somehow, at least for a while.

Let’s be fair about this –

  • Everyone over 10 has an established ‘Not’ zone, and a range of experiences and preferences to back it up.
  • The ‘Nots’ are real, perfectly valid psychological buttons, and they work on anyone. People use their Nots as valid reasons.
  • There’s a natural, and reasonable, right to insist on your personal ‘Nots’.

The problems with ‘Not’ as a basis for anything start with the ultra-dangerous “Not real”. This is a double entendre in a whole new class:

  • It can mean your personal Nots are real.
  • It can mean that any reality which isn’t a Not, isn’t real.

The separation between reality and Not is based on deep Fight or Flight catalysts. Fear is always effective, delivering adrenalin to upgrade non-specific Nots to personal crusades or deeply held, sudden beliefs in anything and everything.

Case in point – Many people fear change, and by extension, progress. Others may fear ideas, which leave them lost and totally unprepared for the thinking that goes with new ideas and new things.  They feel insecure, and disadvantaged by these things, and, in fact, they are. Their Nots have excluded them.

This is another universal human experience. It can be a very honest experience.  Many are highly distrustful of the often fake, facile logic of business culture. They distrust it, both on the job and in general.  That distrust is usually backed up by truly lousy personal experiences, and the belief in Not, which is a natural defensive reaction to adversity, becomes entrenched.

It’s a type of logic, perhaps not very focused, but it can drive a drastic response to anything. It can also drive a demand for more Nots. Nots are both a combination of conflict evasion and a position for conflict. Any Not can be used as a stonewall reaction to any group. It can be a rallying point. Add some dopamine, and you can even use it as a basis for “friend or foe” relationships.

The reality or unreality of Nots in history

Put enough Nots together, and you have a society based on Nots. That would be all fine and ducky, but Nots have a 100% record of failure over time.

  • China had a policy of not introducing foreign goods, for decades; look at China now.
  • Tsarist Russia had a policy of two very separate economic classes, not connected in any way and a strict social hierarchy on that basis; look at Russia now.
  • The sun did not set on the British Empire; Not-style mindsets destroyed it with unpreparedness and mismanagement based on the Not mentality. Look at the UK now.

The moral of history is that it’s not about Nots. Nots are straws in a hurricane. Life isn’t, and can’t be, entirely about negativity. The question is this: Does everyone’s inner conservative, the usually self-serving Not-addict, recognize the risks? Probably, Not.




England ad oblivia – Mediocrity to the end


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamIt means “England to obscurity”. If you have an atom of English blood in you, not the pathetic England of today, but older, more plausible, England, you don’t even need to ask what happened. The tedious little bastards have finally done it – From super power to car park in 150 years.

England has produced some truly remarkable people. These aren’t them. Look at the leaders of today off camera, and you wouldn’t notice them, or care that you didn’t. They’re nobodies. They do very little worth mentioning except find disasters in which to participate.

This is the fifth generation after the fools who entered World War 1 and bankrupted the country for the first of many times. Do you think Henry VIII or Elizabeth 1 would have gone to war over a trivial assassination? Hardly. The ancestors of the current useless load of baggage, however, did.  All the rest followed; the slaughters, the blunders, and the economic failures piled up for the rest of the century.

The immortal Celts in EnglandBritain’s passage through the 20th century was only redeemed by its people, who somehow managed to survive some of the least competent governance in history. England, however, did one better – As a tale of conscious, wilful national self-destruction, it’s hard to beat.

England has always been a separate entity, mainly for physical reasons. In ancient times, it was quite successful as a Celtic, then Roman, country. It had enough resources and trade to be at least visibly prosperous. It wasn’t overpopulated, either.

History was a series of invasions, wars, revolutions, the odd relieving plague or so, and maniacal mercantilism. England, then, as now, was as much an economic entity as anything else. The Tudors started the empire, almost by accident, and a progression up to George III did quite well until losing America over a piffling tax.

The City of London, apart from being burned down by Boudicca and the Great Fire, has always managed for itself. During the Wars of the Roses, it guided itself through and kept the business of the city, and the nation, more or less intact. It survived the blitz as being just another unasked-for encumbrance on its business.

The Empire of England – What was and what wasn’t.

Wanderlaugh, Paul Wallis books, Amazon

My books are set in the England of the immortals, not some dreary little off license. Wonder why? No.

The brilliant stage of England at its modern best came after the Napoleonic Wars. This was an uncharacteristically prosperous England. It was truly rich. That rarely occurs in English history. Under strong kings and queens, it was very rich at times, but most of the monarchs were pretty average.

The Empire flourished after 1820 – Mainly because it had no real competition. Europe was a disorganized, neurotic, inward-looking, mess. Russia was a backward blizzard full of the poor and the not-all-that arguably delirious. The Royal Navy ruled, and until after World War 2 it was an instrument of national policy with global reach. That it’s now more of an auditing exercise than a global power isn’t its fault – It’s the fault of substandard Whitehall lackeys who never really understood what it was for, or what it did.

Queen Victoria was a very good ruler in one way – She was the face of a triumphant, very English, not “British”, super power. The money was in England, the power was in England, and the global reach was in London. “Britain” was a sort of geographical euphemism.

Didn't know that, eh?

Didn’t know that, eh?

If the Empire existed today, it would cover North America, Britain, half of Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand, with countless other islands and territories. It would have been unchallengeable, un-fightable, in fact, with 19th and 20th century military technologies. The money would have flowed back to England. It would have been the biggest economic entity in human history, bar none. Even bigger than America at its peak.

If Europe wanted to destroy itself, it would have just meant more business for London. England could have remained aloof, and not much could have been done about it. A fairly rational policy, in fact.

The fact that it didn’t happen is based on one thing only – Politics. This obscene word is now a synonym for insanity, but it’s always been a negative force. Consider a form of government based on division of societies and conflicts over every piddling issue, however instantly fixable. Does it sound like a good idea?

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This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas.

England, however, managed to avoid global domination thanks to its politics. The big money centralized the real power. The soggy brains of England’s very average politicians were easy to outwit. More big money was made, and hypnotized by the cash, national and Empire policy followed it, not logic. It’s been doing that ever since.

There is no human social dynamic less able to resist money than politics. There is no social structure more able to spread corruption and inefficiencies than politics. The rest of the story is all about politics doing what it does, and doing it so very badly.

The Commonwealth could have worked as an economic entity, and it did, in a largely ignored way, for a while. Putting together decent trade deals and managing all those foreigners, however, was quite beyond the governments of the postwar era.

English culture, apart from the 20s and the 60s, has become more superficial than real. It’s a two dimensional form of England, appropriately enough, a shop window. It’s a sort of reality-mediocrity bit of theatrics. There is a real English culture under the drunks, criminals and tiresome little rich people, but it’s not visible.

Brexit unter alles – England? Where’s that?

An English author. Perhaps that'll be illegal too, in the cowardly, dribbling modern version of England? You have to wonder why this book is STILL so far ahead of "debate" so many years later. A classic case of the norm being so far behind previous thinking.

An English author. Perhaps that’ll be illegal too, in the cowardly, dribbling modern version of England? You have to wonder why this book is STILL so far ahead of “debate” so many years later. A classic case of the norm being so far behind previous thinking.

Brexit is the next to last step in the total destruction of the giant achievements of England. The final step will be actual dissolution of Britain and reversion to a tiny little nation which has escaped from national prosperity yet again.

The Scots don’t have much choice – They need Europe. The Welsh and Northern Irish need their lifelines, too. The self-destruction of English industry and mainstream economics doesn’t give them many choices, either.

Even more spectacular in its utter mediocrity is the fact that England has effectively moved itself to the bottom of the food chain. With one stupid, barely considered move, England has managed to go from a palace to a bedsit. Only England’s least intelligent could possibly have achieved this situation.

I’m not quite prepared to write an obituary for this stupid, insular little country, despite its oversupply of absolute fools. Much of my ancestry is English. I like the place, if not the idiotic national image of it and the pathetic losers running it.

My family worked for the Tudors, set up Wesley Mission for the Wesleys, and participated in most of its wars.  We have a family crest going back to the days when there were wolves in England, pre-1120 AD.

It’s just possible that another English characteristic, knowing what to do with fools, may reassert itself. Parasite removal may come back in style. Someone with a vision may find a way out.

The problem is that the people expected to find the fixes are obviously irredeemable genetic morons. They’re the descendants of useless scum, following the family trade. Nobody with half a brain would have staged Brexit with no idea what to do next.  There may well always be an England, but it’ll be an idea, not a fact, until someone pulls their finger out and gets down to business.

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