Social Cohesion

Every society contains stress between unifying forces and divisive forces, stress that increases with social complexity. Social cohesion is constantly threatened by the competing interests of different groups, some in direct conflict. Primitive, societies suffer the least stress because they are held together by strong, normative rules that are ancient, internalised, unwritten and unquestioned.

As a society becomes open to change the need arises for explicit rules from a priest or other acknowledged authority. In post Norman-Conquest England cohesion was achieved through feudalism, in which everyone knew their place. As England opened further through trade in the fifteenth and sixteenth century feudalism gave way to rising individualism, leading to confrontation between King and Parliament.

The rise of individualism began to challenge the concept of any central authority and society was in danger of fragmenting. It was this threat that led Thomas Hobbes to write ‘Leviathan’ in the seventeenth century. Eventually, the normative rules of different social elements yielded to legal controls, first through common law and then statute law.

Though such controls contain the tensions, they do not remove them. There is always a fine balance between unifying and divisive forces, especially in England. Daniel Defoe said in 1701 “…whether we speak of differences in opinion or differences in interest, we must own we are the most divided quarrelsome nation under the sun.”

Unifying forces tend to win out in times of prosperity, but divisiveness follows quickly on the heels of impoverishment. It is into such a situation that our highly educated leaders introduced an element that has tilted the balance against cohesion: multiculturalism. In their ‘we know best’ arrogance they introduced into Britain’s complex society people whose behaviour is guided by normative and religious rules appropriate to primitive, tribal societies. Those rules are sometimes in direct conflict with our norms, and with statute law.

People such as Robin Cook who saw this influx as ‘adding colour to our drab lives’ , and those less educated fools who spouted the mantra ‘their values are every bit as valid as ours’ have created a situation that will possibly lead to the destruction of a British society that has taken centuries to form. Resisting that process is not racism, simply rational.

Author: tomkilcourse

A sceptical Mancunian who dislikes pomposity and rudeness.

22 thoughts on “Social Cohesion”

  1. Practically all our ‘rulers’ are come from an academic or bureaucratic background (I lump journalists and lawyers in with that I’m sure we can think of other categories). Practically none of them have practical experience i.e. they’ve never had to hump anything from A to B (via C?), make anything, fix anything for a living. That’s why they keep screwing things up; because they don’t have the mental rigour that practical activity brings.

    Britain became great because of its artisans, few of the great discoveries or inventions could have been realised without the manual skills which brought them into reality.

  2. Tom

    Once again I’ve inserted the ‘more’ function for you.

    You’ll notice that your post now takes up less place on the front page, it’s not an auto function but something that we encourage members to insert themselves.

    Please edit your post you will see that I’ve inserted the ‘more’ function, the ‘more’ function is the 4th function from the right top line.

    The difference between you doing it and me is that you can choose where to encourage the reader to read on, me, I’m quite arbitrary.

    You’re welcome to delete this comment once read 😉

  3. I very much agree with your comments re society as an entity. On the personal level I find I need time out from humanity. I do think the UK is a very fractious society mainly because the place is overcrowded and one just cannot get away from people. I much prefer to see the neighbours through the trees a distance off, not on one’s doorstep. Too much terraced and semi housing do not make good neighbours, especially when you have aliens sacrificing goats in the back yard!

  4. Hi, tom.

    Pease forgive me for commenting on your post, as, coming from a legal backbround, I allegedly lack the necessary ‘mental rigour’, according to jazz.

    Anyhow, para 3. Do you really believe that Hobbes the proto-Stalinist (in my opinion) won the argument against Locke in the 17th Century? Have to disagree although I see that CO might well be on your side. Call me a soft old utilitarian (deliberately anachronistic, for the avoidance of doubt) but I personally believe that the emergence of our Parliamentary democracy and constitutional Monarchy owed far more to the boy John than it ever did to the tormented Thomas.

    Moving on and nitty gritty-wise, Robin Cook was, admittedly, an arrogant, self-obsessed, poisonous little ginger tosser who was a complete waste of space. I speak as one who knew him at the University of Embra and who had a really good story about him that I could have sold to ‘Private Eye’ for a fortune, had I not been sworn to secrecy by a mutual friend. ‘Eheu fugaces’!

    Moving on again and just out of idle curiosity, I googled your quoted remark ‘adding colour to our drab lives’ since you seem to be attributing it to my pal Robin. Can’t find it so why is it a quote? Then googled your other quote and atributed mantra ‘their values are every bit as valid as ours’ and could not find it either, so why is it a quote?

    Not saying that I disagree with the tenor of your post and certainly not disagreeing that people who refuse to integrate in my country are, on balance, a bad thing.

  5. John Mackie

    “…Anyhow, para 3. Do you really believe that Hobbes the proto-Stalinist (in my opinion) won the argument against Locke in the 17th Century? Have to disagree although I see that CO might well be on your side. Call me a soft old utilitarian (deliberately anachronistic, for the avoidance of doubt) but I personally believe that the emergence of our Parliamentary democracy and constitutional Monarchy owed far more to the boy John than it ever did to the tormented Thomas….”

    Quite frankly WTHFC

  6. Hello Tom.

    I’ve read your post and I am not entirely in agreement with your historical rationale from which you draw your conclusions. I’m not sure about Robin Cook’s part in this either, but I doubt it helped.

    I need to ponder, so back later, time permitting.

  7. With qualifications restricted to the field of science, it probably ill behoves me to venture a comment on this philosophical post. However, thanks to my Public School education I am adequately comfortable with the quotation from Horace, so bolstered by that I shall raise my head above the parapet into the strange world of history, political ‘science’, sociology and other fuzzy -ologies, all bound together by their utter disregard for deductions to be anchored on fact.

    I have no idea what Jazz’s acronym stands for, and the web does not enlighten me – go on Jazz, spell it out for us, there’s a dear.

    One has to admire Tom’s chutzpah. A brief romp through a thousand years of history (which bears little relationship to the subject as it was instilled in me so many years ago), a couple of references dropped to philosophers (if Defoe can be granted that accolade), and then a gallop on to the finishing straight with a couple of fabricated quotations from Cook (of all people) in order to reach a finishing post which has, in true Tom style, no logical connection to the rhetoric which precedes it. The only reference on the web to the alleged Cook quotation is a link to Tom’s duplicate post on the Dark Side.

    As a rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Tom has clearly found his métier. But in a more refined environment, such as The Chariot, where most if not all authors have extensive education and experience, and a less hysterical approach to the realities of life, the holes are too visible and the connective tissue too weak for it to survive.

    Cut your losses, Tom; you know it makes sense.

  8. Hi, Bearsy. Another all nighter coming up then. I’m hoping that Andy might win but I’m not holding my breath in the cricket.

    To be fair, I personally think that Tom is referring to Cook’s ‘chicken tikka masala’ speech. Worth a read but I don’t agree with most of it myself. Not that I agree with Tom’s analysis of how we got here or what we were before we left to get here either.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/apr/19/race.britishidentity

  9. I am not hopeful, JM. The way CA are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped Brett Lee! 😦

    Good luck to Andy, but … ‘twil take a minor miracle, I fear.

    As a wee aside, does the statute of limitations not absolve you from your bond to keep stum about Cook’s undergraduate indiscretions?

    Thanks for the link – I shall read it shortly, but whilst it might possibly re-establish partial validity to Tom’s assertions, it is unlikely to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

  10. Daniel Defoe said in 1701 “…whether we speak of differences in opinion or differences in interest, we must own we are the most divided quarrelsome nation under the sun.”

    Just for the record, Daniel Defoe was Irish! So he got that quote dead right!!!

  11. Bearsy, I suggest you stick to discussing knitting patterns with Araminta. John, the blog is not about English history, but about the stages of development that societies go through, or are in at any one time. I use England as a brief example of that development. Nor do I suggest that Hobbes v Locke ended 1-0. There are not two quotes from Cook, just the first one from memory, it is probably not word perfect. The second quote is from one of the less reducated idiots that I worked with for three years in the socialist paradise of Blunkett’s Sheffield. The point that I attempt to make is that the society from which many immigrants come is at a different stage from the British and those leaders who ignore that simple fact do not seem to understand the implications.

  12. I use England as a brief example of that development.

    I suggest that you read something a little more factual than “1066 and All That” if you are going to use English history as an example of anything in the future.

  13. christinaosborne :

    Just for the record, Daniel Defoe was Irish! So he got that quote dead right!!!

    Not sure that he was Irish, CO.
    I know it is only Wikipedia, but…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Defoe

    I took Jazz’s acronym to mean “Who the f*** cares”. But perhaps that is too obvious. I can see his point in so much that one might consider that the meat of the post is in the last sentence.

    As it happens, I do care as I am uneducated with regards to the relative philosophies of Hobbes and Locke. I nearly quoted from the former last night in one of my replies to JM, but thankfully and in spite of my emotional state, I managed to resist. I think I would have made a bad situation worse.

    Rather than attempt to offer an opinion, some might find this interesting.
    http://www.essortment.com/all/hobbeslockephi_rvjm.htm

    I can see why JM called Hobbes a Stalinist. But I wonder if you can guess who it was who said this about Native Americans? (Single quote = paraphrase, double quote = literal)

    ‘If the Indians resist expropriation of their lands then they should “be destroyed as a Lyon or Tyger, one of those wild Savage Beasts, with whom Men can have no Society of Security”‘

    Was it ‘Horrid Hobbes’ or ‘Lovely Locke’? Whoever it was, I think he would have agreed with the gist of Tom’s post.

  14. Bearsy, I suggest you stick to discussing knitting patterns with Araminta

    You have a good point there, Tom – it would certainly be far more entertaining than bothering to decipher your muddled thinking. But I’m a kindly fellow, so I shall persevere with your offerings. 😆

  15. On balance, Tom, I think your ‘philosophy’ is best consigned to some other discipline! 🙂

  16. Janus :

    On balance, Tom, I think your ‘philosophy’ is best consigned to some other discipline! :-)

    Philosophy, Janus?

  17. Hello, Tom.

    Despite Bearsy’s love of knitting patterns, which is a jokey reference to the past, I do feel that your posts are better basis for discussion and debate, which in my opinion, is a Good Thing.

    I don’t always agree with them, however, but I always read them with interest.

    I regret that I haven’t had time to present any sensible reasons for disagreeing with you, in this instance.

  18. tomkilcourse :

    Janus :

    On balance, Tom, I think your ‘philosophy’ is best consigned to some other discipline! :-)

    Philosophy, Janus?

    Tom, I was referring to Bearsy’s phrase ‘philosophical post’. Your style is more ‘social anthropology’, innit?

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