When Aristotle repeated the wisdom of the Delphic Oracle of ‘Know Thyself’ he was preceded by a long line of poets, philosophers and other idlers. The phrase spans all languages, all religions. It is one of those quick and helpful philosophical gems which, like the ‘Cogitans’ of Descartes – ‘I think therefore I am’, fits the modern world of fast and furious. No one has time to be reading Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ or leaping, bungee like, from Dover Cliffs, after reading Schopenhauer’s ‘The World as Will and Representation’. Sun Tze in the ‘Art of War’ implored ‘know others and know thyself and you will not be endangered by innumerable battles’. Coleridge wrote a poem entitled ‘Self Knowledge’ whilst smoking opium. The Sufi Ibn Ara, wrote that ‘who knows himself, knows his lord’. He would know, because he wrote 800 books. Edmund Burke to buck the trend with ‘read thyself’ (although he was pissed off with the French Revolution at the time). Benjamin Franklin thought it very difficult to know oneself. He lamented – ‘There are three things extremely hard: Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.’ Yet only one person has seemed to genuinely ‘Know Thyself’. Only one person has known all three. That is Meghan – Meghan Markle.
Alas, Richard Dawkins had already penned ‘The Selfish Gene’ before the young Meghan had airbrushed her father out of the family history. With Stalinist gusto only her mother had raised and nurtured the precocious talent. Here, replicating your genes is the object of selection and genes and chromosomes are inherently ‘selfish’. And if you are going to replicate them, why not head to Buckingham Palace and find the greatest ginger on offer.
Lady Macbeth headed to London and whispered in the ear of Harry:
‘Yet do I fear thy nature, it is too full o’the milk of human kindness..’
Lady Macbeth and Meghan share the megalomania of aspiring greats. The reason the two will remain, however, sat around a boiling cauldron somewhere near Inverness, is, quite simple. They are not great. Yet megalomania is common to artists and the famous. It is, in many ways, a career trait. ‘I am revolted at the idea that there is any Being in the Universe superior to myself’ wrote the arch neurasthenic Edgar Allan Poe, when at West Point, he turned up to parade wearing only a pair of white gloves. Oscar Wilde was once asked to name his hundred favourite books. He lamented that ‘I have only written five..’ Yet it was Truman Capote who effectively signalled the onset of modern meghanomania. He asserted that ‘I’m an alcoholic. I’m a drug addict. I’m homosexual. I’m a genius.’ Many of the self styled ‘geniuses’ also inflict their belligerent greatness onto others. Like Meghan and Harry, they take aim at the ‘other’, the rival, the brother. The ‘Meghan and Harry’ documentary is really a toned down ‘Godfather’ without the dead bodies in a Palermo junkyard.
Hemingway, speaking of Ezra Pound, the troubled poet, said ‘He should shoot himself. Personally, I think he should have shot himself somewhere along after the 12th Canto, although maybe earlier’.
The problem with the Harry and Meghan documentary is not so much the egocentric ramblings but their obvious lack of empathy with ordinary people. The bemoaning of Nottingham Cottage, poor things, a cottage in the garden of a London palace, was vain and bulbous. Maybe it’s the fact that their life seems to be devoid of work. It seems immensely trivial. No books, no cats or spliffs stubbed out in ash trays. The ‘décor was poor’. Golly gosh they had to paint the walls. An indirect shot at the previous tenants, William and Kate. Harry says that they were so popular that they ‘stole the limelight from someone who was born to do this’. ‘Trolling’, we are told, is a humanitarian crisis, mostly, because…. it affects them.
So, what becomes of those who are born great (Harry) or have greatness thrust upon them (Meghan)? Harry and Meghan, begotten with megalomania, had been planning the ‘Escape From Colditz’ before the funeral baked meats of the Queen’s death had coldly furnished forth Meghan’s next marriage table. If they were Hamlet and Ophelia in character then they would elicit bounds of empathy. However, alas, there is no tragedy, more a melodrama of a moral tableaux of Prospero. Will Meghan walk, Ophelia like, into a river? Put her head in an oven like Sylvia Plath? And poor Harry. Chained to a wall like Maupassant braying in an asylum? Or receiving the voltage in the mad house chair like Hemingway? Tolstoy ended up whipping himself. However, probably the most insightful comparison may be Ezra Pound. He wrote his later ‘Cantos’ on toilet paper at the St Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in Washington. When visited by T S Eliot he said he didn’t want to leave. Eventually freed by his coterie of poet chums, Auden, Hemingway and Eliot; he was asked by a journalist if he now felt free?
‘When I left the hospital, I was still in America. And all America is an insane asylum.’
Maybe this is the fate of Meghan and Harry. It is an escape, a flight from reality, a ‘bildungsroman’. After all, life is but a poor player who struts and frets across an empty stage, like Meghan. Alas they don’t have the artistic streak to bury their demons. They have documentaries, shopping and faux-liberal concerns. They have moved from one nut house to another. The Hotel California. Many have been there and stayed at ‘The Bellevue’, the US’s oldest mental hospital, the nut house of choice for the famous: Malcolm Lowry for alcoholism, Norman Mailer for stabbing his wife, Ginsberg checked in himself. Kurt Vonnegut, a chain smoking melancholic, subsumed by constant depression, once sued the cigarette company, ‘Brown and Williamson’ ,that their packet warning – ‘CIGARETTES CAN KILL’, had not materialised. Charlie Manson tattooed his head with a swastika. There’s a theme here for the megalomaniac artists and the famous. Yet maybe the media has it all wrong. For what, in essence, are ‘Meghan and Harry’? They are not a Royal couple. Perhaps they are what Meghan perceived long before the drama unfolded. They are a brand. A very modern thing. Like Universities these days. No longer serving academic excellence, but selling themselves as a corporate brand. In this they appeal to the modern, the liberal, the woke, for that is their customer, their audience. And the greatest shopfront in the world? California.
Brian Patrick Bolger studied at the LSE. He has taught political philosophy and applied linguistics in Universities across Europe. His articles have appeared in ’The National Interest’, ‘The Montreal Review’, ‘The European Conservative’ ,’The Salisbury Review’, ‘The Village’, ‘New English Review’, ‘The Burkean’ , ‘The Daily Globe’, ‘American Thinker’, ‘Philosophy Now’. His new book, ‘Coronavirus and the Strange Death of Truth’, is now available in the UK and US.
Like his great granduncle, Prince Hal appears to have a narcissistic sense of grievance against the onerous duties and lifestyle of a Royal. (Not that I should wish that fate on a dog.) But for most of them, it is an obligation to the nation freely choses. Then along comes an outsider like Wallace Simpson or MM, who as an American buys into all the nonsense about the “privileges” of the Royals, and wants some of the goodies. Then in David Windsor and Prince Hal, they find the willing accomplice to further their ends. Then they discover the reality, and are “hurt”. Pity.
Princess Megaphoney of Hollyweird & Henpecked Harry of Nutflix?
Pass it on.
There is now a very good article (not the only one) on Harry’s book by Jef Costello on the US “right-wing” AMERICAN RENAISSANCE website, which I strongly recommend. Mr Costello pays tribute to the patience and generosity of his father, an important point also made by Tina Brown reviewing “Spare” (aka Spite) for the republican “Guardian” Culture, 28.01.23, pp.38-9. HM The King naturally wants him at the Coronation; a tricky situation reportedly being negotiated with the “help” of the Arch of Cant, Primate of Wokianity, The Most Revd. Lord Justin Weedy – still Weepy over his vicarious guilt for colonialism, antisemitism, racism, nationalism, and so forth.
Is the deportation of at least 20% of the population a practicable proposition?
The numbers aren’t quite as bad as that. For example, I don’t regard Ugandan Hindus or Nigerian Christians as a threat to European civilisation. They ought to be our allies.
The impracticability comes not so much from the numbers of inimical immigrants as from the neo-Marxist take-over of our institutions: Parliament, the Law Courts, the Police and the Armed Forces.
So there’s probably no hope, and our culture is condemned to extinction. But we can still tell the truth about the causes of its extinctions until we’re silenced. And if we can’t be Caesar, we can be Horatius:
“And how can man die better
than facing fearful odds
for the ashes of his fathers
and the temples of his gods?”
There are 80 million Christians in Nigeria, many facing persecution from Muslims. How many would like to settle here, especially if invited as the Social Market Foundation hopes? There are 4 million Muslims in Britain.
Yes, the chief problem is the Woke Nomenklatura, against which there is some belated and sporadic opposition (e.g. FSU). Certainly verbal resistance is a start.
See Mohshin Habib,”Is the UK turning into something extremely different?” Gatestone Institute, 1 January 2023 online.
Do the activities of two dullards mange to constitute a “tragedy” in your view? They are of little consequence.
Great article had me giggling on the tube..I see this also as an unfolding tragedy. For Harry. It will be the media which decides the fate of Meghan and Harry. Im not sure California was a good choice by them but their woke agenda will be lapped up in the US! Myles Harris is right-the Royal Family is one of the final citadels to be demolished for the woke militia.
HaHa, brilliant read. I think the problem for Harry and Meghan is that they have ostracised themselves. They will also be persecuted in the US.
I’m used to learning interesting new facts from the Salisbury Review, but I didn’t expect to learn that Thomas Hobbes (who died in 1679) was “pissed off with the French Revolution” (which started in 1789).
Unlike you, I’ve read Heidegger, though I’m not sure he was worth the effort. (It turned out that he wasn’t as boozy a beggar as I was led to believe.)
Unlike you again, I prefer Pound to Hemingway. You’ve told us what Hemingway said about Pound, but I wonder what Pound said about Hemingway.
I wonder why you find Harry and Meghan interesting enough to write about. More, I wonder why you had to wrap your opinions about them in a thick cocoon of quotations and name-drops.
It’s Edmund Burke not Thomas Hobbes (I am told). Why should we write about Markle? A large number of our ethnic population admire her greatly and see her as a role model, a black princess is everything they ever dreamed of . If she (and the left) are successful in toppling the white monarchy after Charles the 3rds death – we wrote on this web page how as soon as the Queen died attacks on the monarchy would start – a special act of Parliament could put one of her children on the throne. They have Royal Blood. More representative ‘don’t y’ see?’ The inability of conservatives to sniff the political wind is remarkable
It was indeed Burke, not Hobbes, who wrote voluminously in opposition to the recent revolution in France, but I’m not sure that he ever said he was merely “pissed off”. He was much angrier than that!
The solution to the problem of “our ethnic population”, as you call them, is not to argue with them but to repatriate them.
I think I’m at least as good at scenting the political wind as you are, but if I told you what I smell I’d be in danger of being arrested for doubleplusungood crimespeak.
But thank you for the latest edition of the printed magazine. The editorial article at the front is perhaps the best ever.
Harry always reminds me of Edward Vlll; invincible stupidity combined with entitlement.He is probably set for a later life of meaningless sybaritism and purposelessness . Once he has divorced, of course.
Opinions like recollections vary over Edward VIII, but he reportedly remarked to Diana Mosley that he was at least spared the post-war indignity of pulling down the Union Jack from one Commonwealth country after another. Still, the Communists got a large part of Europe and Asia, and Britain is now under foreign ownership and occupation, so declaring war on Germany over Danzig was well worth it in the long run, wasn’t it?
Someone who understands both the concepts of Nazi Heidegger and the cantos of Fascist Pound, and dares say so in the Shadow of the Holocaust, etc. Wow! More than a hate criminal, a war criminal to boot?
Heidegger NSDAP Card No 312529 1933-1945
Pound “enabled the Holocaust” (Tim Redman)
Deport the Afro-Caribbean and Muslim millions (PJR)
I’m not sure whether you mean to compliment me or not!
1. As I said, I’m not a fan of Heidegger.
2. I enjoy Pound’s poetry, but I find his political philosophy negligible.
3. What alternative to deportation do you propose?
See John Cohassey, “Hemingway & Pound”.
Also E. Fuller Torrey, “The Roots of Treason” who shows the link between the poetry of Ole Ez and his politics, but is very hostile and occasionally mistaken (e.g. Mosley did NOT “promote” the Protocols of Zion). One could say that some of Pound’s critiques of international finance and fractional reserve are today especially valid, without the ethnic aspect that is covered by serious academics like Jerry Z. Muller, Betty Naggar, Jacques Attali, Mariestella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein.