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England’s second civil war is upon us

The Battle of Naseby in 1645. Getty

The first modern revolution was in England, says Paul Kingsnorth in UnHerd. Our society attacked its very foundations: Englishmen killed the king, turned to republicanism, and unleashed a religious revolution “to scorch away the old world”. Nearly four centuries on, our history is repeating itself: back then it was medieval monarchy taking its dying breaths; now it’s the Anglo-American Empire. We’re once again bent on upending the “mores of previous centuries”: then by overturning feudal assumptions, now through the “endless ructions” of the culture wars. After decades of Western decline, leftist elites have descended into an “incoherent rage” only satisfied by deconstructing our way of life. Just as in the 17th century, there is a “culture of inversion”. Everything is being turned on its head, if not erased.

As a result, traditional values – patriotism, Christianity, cultural conservatism – are “more or less verboten”. Allegiance to them sees you labelled at best a “hater”, at worst a “white supremacist”. To be part of the new world, you must partake in the coup de grace of the old one. That’s why white male television editors stand in front of audiences explaining why people don’t want to hear white men explaining things any more; why liberals topple statues of long-dead slave traders while filming on their “smartphones made by actual, living slaves”. In demolishing our culture, we’re rehashing the tactics of colonisation: rewriting history, replacing language, banning and demonising traditions. But our society hasn’t been upended by hostile outside forces – this time, they come from within.