372. The taming power of the great (VII)
The Scouts are sinister. This may seem a strange proposition, since surely the Scouts represent a wholesome organisation: they help old ladies across the street—reputedly, I have never seen that happen; they undertake charity drives; they recycle; and, of course, they go on long hikes, build campfires, and are always prepared. How can there be anything wrong with all that? Surely, in our day, what we want is more Scout-like activity? Yet the Scouts are not a very old organisation; they were only founded, by Baden-Powell, at the beginning of the last century—and we should be wary as regards anything that comes from the 20th century, early or otherwise.
Worse still, the Scouts came from the Boer War; and the Boer War was a bad war. It was a war waged when Britain was well into her decadent phase; much more than Britain’s last involvement in Afghanistan, in the interwar period, the Boer War marks the last imperial war—the last war before collapse. It was an extravagant war and a war that the British struggled to win. The two most notable innovations to emerge from the war—scouting and concentration camps—both represented negative developments. Actually, both were socialistic—Britain was well on the road to socialism, even then—and so both were sinister.
Contemporary communists like to point out the British invented the concentration camp, but we invented it in our decadent period; we were about to degrade from the 19th century, where people could still take picnic out to the battlefields during the American Civil War and be unmolested, to the era of “total war”; nobody took picnics out to Stalingrad, by then everyone was a target.
The British developed the concentration camp; but it was the left—the Communists and the National Socialists—who really perfected this mode of social control; the left crow about semi-socialist Britain’s camps but they merely bide their time to build bigger and better camps. The same goes for the Scouts; the Scouts are a paramilitary organisation designed to drill young people and prepare them to serve the state; and you can tell this is true because both the Communists and the National Socialists loved Scouts—loved neckerchiefs, too. Sure, they banned the official Scouts; but they set up their own versions—the East German version even had the same motto, “Be Prepared”.
Scouting is on the decline because we no longer live in a mass industrial society where youngsters have to be trained to sit at a machine and repeat the same task again and again; so far as war goes, there is no need—as in WWI and WWII—for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people to be drafted into mass armies to march over the wastelands and kill each other. The Scout movement made lads ready for this task; since the state no longer needs this way of war, scouting has declined. The added benefit, from the totalitarian perspective, was to make the young dependent upon the state; to turn them into a fine citizen who would inform on their parents; dib, dib, dob, dob—the accent on the dob.
Scouts have an odd relationship to homosexuality: putatively the homos had to be kept out, and supposedly were for a long time—and yet scouting also seems to be a paradise for pederasts. I suspect that the pederasts—all those curiously single yet rather outdoorsy, horny-handed scoutmasters—wanted the overt homos kept out because it would queer a good racket. The long weekends away with the boys—exploring remote areas—were already suspect, but so long as homosexuals were strictly out then parents could pretend what was obviously going on was not; it was all just good clean fun. Now the illusion is shattered, so parents really cannot trust the Scouts—probably to be merged with the Guides soon enough, to become a truly transsexual organisation. Good riddance, I say; as an organisation it was always sinister, a pathfinder for totalitarian blandness.