The UK’s Prevent program, which is supposed to be protecting the Sceptered Isle from terrorism, recently came under fire for treating actual Islamic terrorism as if it were a mental illness. But that doesn’t mean that Prevent has been wanting for terrorists: like its counterparts in the FBI, it has kept busy looking for “far-right extremists” and has now published a helpful guide to spotting those dangerous right-wingers. It turns out that they’re people who read Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, 1984, and other great works of English literature.
Gee, you’d almost get the idea that the Leftist culture warriors who control Prevent, Britain as a whole, and the U.S. as well, want to destroy the civilization of which those works and writers are a hallmark. And you’d be right.
Prevent casts a wide net. The UK’s Daily Mail reported Friday that among the “potential signs of far-Right extremism” and “key texts” for “white nationalists/supremacists” that Prevent flagged were the “comedies Yes Minister and The Thick Of It, the 1955 epic war film The Dam Busters, and even The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare.”
And much more: “A report by Prevent’s Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU) described how far-Right extremists promoted ‘reading lists’ on online bulletin boards.” These include “The Lord Of The Rings by JRR Tolkien, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, 1984 by George Orwell and the poems of GK Chesterton. It also referenced films including The Bridge On The River Kwai, The Great Escape and Zulu.”
Other books, shows and films on Prevent’s list included that bane of freshmen literature majors everywhere, Beowulf, and other monumental works including Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Historian and broadcaster Andrew Roberts marveled: “This is truly extraordinary. This is the reading list of anyone who wants a civilised, liberal, cultured education.”
Yeah. It almost seems as if the Prevent top dogs don’t want people to get a civilized, liberal, cultured education. After all, when you want people to believe that — to note some stateside examples — Rachel Levine is a woman, Karine Jean-Pierre is a competent government official, drag queens are suitable entertainment for primary schoolers, and Joe Biden is a formidable candidate for 2024, you don’t exactly want to encourage critical thinking.
Roberts went on to note that the Prevent list “includes some of the greatest works in the Western canon and in some cases — such as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent — powerful critiques of terrorism. Burke, Huxley, Orwell, and Tolkien were all anti-totalitarian writers.” Now, why might a Leftist government consider reading “anti-totalitarian writers” to be a sign of “far-Right extremism”? The answer is as obvious as it is chilling: those who imbibe the thoughts of “anti-totalitarian writers” might find themselves becoming disposed to resisting the imposition of totalitarianism.
Prevent, which the British government funds to the tune of 49 million pounds ($59 million) a year, “had prioritised countering far-Right activity above tackling the prime Islamist threat.” Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland must have been taking notes. But now that the truth about Prevent’s deliberately wrong focus and attempt to demonize those who value Britain’s culture and heritage has come out, the British government is backtracking.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman admitted that Prevent had “defined the extreme Right-wing too broadly, encompassing the respectable Right and the centre-Right.” A Home Office spokesman added: “The Home Secretary made clear that Prevent will now ensure it focuses on the key threat of Islamist terrorism, as well as remaining vigilant on emerging threats.”
Well, that remains to be seen. As the recent Leftist bowdlerization of the works of children’s book author Roald Dahl demonstrates, the Left’s efforts to destroy English literature and prevent it from being able to inspire readers to deviate from the Leftist line is far larger than just the Prevent program alone. Those who have been running Prevent are embarrassed now, but there is no indication that they’ve been convinced that they were wrong, and once the media and government heat is off, they’re likely to follow the Leftist pattern of going back to what they were doing before.
The war against Western culture and civilization is being fought on all manner of fronts, and only a few who value that culture and civilization are even aware of how comprehensively it is being challenged and undermined. Prevent is ridiculous; the next assault on Western civilization from those who are supposed to be guarding it will likely be less so.