Part 2 of Robert Henderson’s piece on treason.
Of what does treason consist in the formally democratic nation state? Generally it must be the conscious decision to act in a way which will weaken the integrity of the nation state. Betrayal in the old manner of spying or acting for an enemy in war is still part of that, but the primary treason in the modern formally democratic state is more insidious. It is the abrogation of the sovereignty of the nation state by immersement in larger political entities and through the signing of treaties which restrict the opportunity for national self-determination.
This raises an interesting question, namely, can an elected politician commit treason if the treasonable activity is part of an election manifesto or it is put to a referendum? The textbook answer would be that ultimate sovereignty in a formal democracy lies practically and morally, if not always legally, with the electorate. An electorate which elects a party or individual on a manifesto or votes ‘yes’ in a referendum is considered to be tacitly granting the policy legitimacy. However, there are strong objections to this interpretation.
The first is that the treasonable activity may be misrepresented by the party or politician. A classic example of this is Britain’s entry into what is now the European Union (EU). The British electorate were undeniably deliberately misled by the 1970 Tory manifesto into believing that they were merely joining a free trade area. They were deliberately misled again during the 1975 referendum on Britain’s continued membership. They have been deliberately misled consistently in the 25 years since the referendum, being told by every government that British sovereignty is not being lost, when massive amounts have been ceded. That is treason by any meaningful definition that has ever been used in the past.
But what if all the sovereignty which had been ceded to the EU had been done after it was presented honestly to the electorate? Suppose every change had been the subject of a referendum. Suppose those referenda had been conducted with absolutely fairness. What then? Here the old idea of ‘evil counsellors’ has utility. In the modern formal democracy, politicians play the role of counsellors. Where their counsel is bad and the results of it disadvantages the people to which they owe their good sense and loyalty, then that might be said to be treasonable. Our representatives owe us their best judgment and courage. If they act in a way which is compromised by considerations other than their honest judgment and that action has results which are treasonable, they are guilty of treason. Not only that, but the representative must be honest about the foreseeable consequences of what they propose. In the representative’s special position, treason may be committed though acts of omission as well as commission, through not pointing out consequences.
What are the great particular treasons of our time? They can be defined in terms of what causes damage to the viability of the nation state. In the case of Britain, the most dramatic formal act of damaging the nation state has been our membership of the EU. But that is only one of a number of serious attacks on the British state and people. The permitting of mass immigration is a profound form of treason, for mass immigration is a form of conquest. North America is now dominated by the white man because of a slow accretion of settlement, not through sudden and violent conquest. To that treason is linked its sister act, the attempted cultural cleansing of the native population of Britain in general and the English in particular, through the willful denigration of the native population of this country, the deliberate denial to them of their history in our schools and the suppression of dissent through the power of the state, willingly assisted by the mass media.
To those may be added these others which are patently against our interests: entering into treaties which remove freedom of action from the country, for example those governing membership of the World Trade Organisation; the failure to maintain the country’s military capacity and the use of what military we have in foreign adventures in which Britain has no natural interest; the deliberate refusal to ensure that the country’s economic capacity can supply all essential items in time of emergency, in particular the securing of the food supplies; the spending of taxpayers’ money on foreign peoples. All these treasons, and those of the preceding paragraphs, apply to a lesser or greater degree throughout the First World.
Our own time has brought a new problem of definition to treason. The elite ideology of the moment is Liberal Internationalism. This might seem to be a direct challenge to the very idea of treason, for where neither the primacy of the nation nor the authority of a sovereign is recognised, against whom is treason committed? The answer is that for the Liberal Internationalist, treason is any dissent from his ideology. Treason has put on totalitarian clothes.
Unfortunately, the Liberal Internationalist propaganda has been so successful that treason has an old fashioned ring to the modern Briton. It is mocked along with the very idea of patriotism. So long have the British been at peace, so safe does everyday life seem, so ruthlessly have the liberal elite and their educational and media nomenclatura promoted the idea that the time of the nation state is passed, that even naturally patriotic Britons find the idea of treason an uncomfortable one.
That is a mortally dangerous because a belief that treason may be committed is vitally important if we wish to maintain our independence. It is so because the nation state requires a concept of treason as a foundation of its integrity.
We desperately need to understand the nature of treason and act upon it for our own protection.