At Ricochet, James Delingpole of the London Telegraph looks back at the career of John Gross, who managed to have a lengthy career as a Man of Letters in England while keeping his conservative politics very much to himself:
But besides being famously nice John was famously not stupid. As he confided to me once in one of our many chats about politics (he knew his dirty secret was safe with me), “Britain is a socialist country” and, social chameleon that he was, John saw absolutely no point in courting unnecessary opprobrium by showing his true colors to those on the other side of the political divide.
Which is a long and roundabout way of saying that in Britain, Gramsci won the culture war decades ago. In academe, in journalism, in literature, in the theatre, in the visual arts, in the BBC-dominated broadcast media the default position is so unquestioningly, entrenchedly, knee-jerk left-wing that unless you are prepared to stick your neck out and make a career of being hated the only sensible path for those of a right-wing persuasion is to do as John did and spend your whole life keeping schtum.
Britain, in other words, is a country where red-blooded Conservatism — apart from a brief glorious period under Margaret Thatcher — just doesn’t get you very far.
Can we say the same about America? American conservative politicians talk a good game, and I don’t think it would be fair to say that “Gramsci won the culture war decades ago” in America, but it’s certainly been a soft-socialist nation since the 1930s. Will it go all the way? We’ll find out right around this time next year. (Caution, auto-play video.)