The Conservatives Who Rise Early

Conservative leaders in both the United Kingdom and France have developed remarkably similar slogans to denote what they consider the deserving among their compatriots, whose interests should be addressed and whose prejudices must be pandered to, in the manner of Nixon’s “silent majority” or Palin’s “real” Americans. South of the Channel Nicholas Sarkozy speaks of “the France that Gets Up Early”, while north of the Channel David Cameron extols “Alarm Clock Britain”.

Now, there is much to be said for getting up at the same time every morning, and for the discipline that enables one to do so. Contrariwise, there is little to be said in favour of being a slug-a-bed for lack of anything useful to do. It is tempting to note, however, that the two leaders’ rhetoric does not appear to be targeting the classical opposite of the early riser, namely the idle rich. That Bertie Wooster should be made to get up early and do something useful is traditionally a left-wing dream, fiercely resisted by conservatives who consider the idle rich to be tricklers-down of wealth and ornaments to society (well, they would, wouldn’t they?). Who, then, is being unfavourably compared with those who get up early to the sound of the alarm clock; are there really hordes of left-wing layabouts plotting socialism under the covers until lunchtime?

On the face of it, it might seem as if Sarkozy and Cameron are embracing a kind of left-wing, anti-plutocratic, populism rather than the usual racist sort. This is inherently unlikely. A different explanation comes to mind when we ask why people get up early anyway. Occasionally it is because they are self-disciplined creative artists and entrepreneurs, more frequently is because they are self-employed artisans and shopkeepers, but in the vast majority of cases it is because they have to go somewhere to produce goods and services, the bulk of whose profit goes to someone else – who may or may not get up early. Sarkozy and Cameron are thus asking the wage-slaves to take pride in their chains and to despise those whose legs are not similarly shackled. The poor sap who has to get up early and toil to make some jerk rich and happy is thus given permission to feel himself to be a part of a great and spiritually-superior fellowship, with the right to despise those who do not rise early to have the fruits of their labour expropriated. This includes despising not only the unemployed but also the intellectual, who, by virtue of not being exhausted by the demands of his alarm-clock, has the surplus mental energy to understand how neo-fascism is taking shape around him.

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 11:54 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE ENSLAVING MAMMAL, The Lackey Society

2 Responses

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  1. Written by urban
    on May 4, 2012 at 15:17
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    I had no idea that so much virtue accrued to me under the aegis of my lifelong chronic insomnia. I always rise early and without an alarm because that’s the way I’m constituted. I used to wish I could sleep better but now, thanks to the admen who dream up political slogans, I can stand a little taller and adopt a swagger knowing that I am part of the solution–utterly superior to those lazy six-to-eight-hours-a-night sleepers.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on May 4, 2012 at 18:45
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    You should perhaps remember your Brother Martin then: “He who sleeps, sins not”.

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