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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tory Manifestos

       "The Aristocracy of England have had for three centuries the exercise of power;  for the last century and a half that exercise has been uncontrolled;  they form at this moment the most prosperous class that the history of the world can furnish:  as rich as the Roman senators, with sources of convenience and enjoyment which modern science could alone supply.  All this is not denied.  Your order stands before Europe the most gorgeous of existing spectacles;  though you have of late years dexterously thrown some of the odium of your polity upon that middle class which you despise, and who are despicable only because they imitate you, your tenure of power is not in reality impaired.  You govern us still with absolute authority--and you govern the most miserable people on the face of the globe.  Disraeli, Sybil ,p.195
       "Here too was brought forth that monstrous conception which even patrician Rome in its most ruthless period never equalled--the mortgaging of the industry of the country to enrich and to protect property;  and act which is bringing its retributive consequences in a degraded and alienated population.  Here too have the innocent been impeached and hunted to death;  and a virtuous and able monarch martyred, because, among other benefits projected for his people, he was of opinion that it was more for their advantage that the economic service of the State should be supplied by direct taxation levied by an individual known to all, than by indirect taxation, raised by an irresponsible and fluctuating assembly.  But, thanks to parliamentary patriotism, the people of England were saved from ship-money, which money the wealthy paid, and only got in its stead the customs and excise, which the poor mainly supply.  Rightly was King Charles {I.} surnamed the Martyr;  for he was the holocaust of direct taxation.  Never yet did man lay down his heroic life for so great a cause:  the cause of the Church and the cause of the Poor."  Disraeli, Sybil, p.198
       "But we forget, Sir Robert Peel is not the leader of the Tory party;  the party that resisted the ruinous mystification that metamorphosed direct taxation by the Crown into indirect taxation by the Commons;  that denounced the system that mortgaged industry to protect property;  the party that ruled Ireland by a scheme which reconciled both Churches, and by a series of Parliaments which counted among them Lords and Commons of both religions;  that has maintained at all times the territorial constitution of England as the only basis and security for local government, and which nevertheless once laid on the table of the House of Commons a commercial tariff negotiated at Utrecht, which is the most rational that was ever devised by statesmen;  a party that has prevented the Church from being the salaried agent of the State, and has supported through many struggles the parochial polity of the country which secures to every labourer a home.
       In a parliamentary sense, that great party has ceased to exist;  but I will believe that it still lives in the thought and sentiment and consecrated memory of the English nation.  It has its origin in great principles and in noble instincts;  it sympathizes with the lowly, it looks up to the Most High;  it can count its heroes and its martyrs;  they have met in its behalf plunder, proscription, and death.  Nor, when it finally yielded to the iron progress of oligarchical supremacy, was its catastrophe inglorious.  Its genius was vindicated in golden sentences and with fervent arguments of impassioned logic by St. John;  and breathed in the intrepid eloquence and patriot soul of William Wyndham.  Even now it is not dead, but sleepeth;  and, in an age of political materialism, of confused purposes and perplexed intelligence, that aspires only to wealth because it has faith in no other accomplishment, as men rifle over which Bolingbroke shed his last tear, to bring back strength to the Crown, liberty to the subject, and to announce that power has only one duty--to secure the social welfare of the PEOPLE." Disraeli, Sybil ,pgs. 233-34.
       "The great object of the Whig leaders in England from the first movement under Hampden to the last most successful one in 1688, was to establish in England a high aristocratic republic on the model of the Venetian, then the study and admiration of all speculative politicians.  Read Harrington;  turn over Algernon Sydney;  then you will see how the minds of the English leaders in the seventeenth century were saturated with the Venetian type. .  . .George I. was a Doge;  George II. was a Doge;  they were what William III., a great man, would not be.  George III. tried not to be a Doge, but it was impossible materially to resist the deeply-laid combination.  And a Venetian constitution did govern England from the Accession of the House of Hanover until 1832."  Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby , Book V, Chapter Two 

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