The Cardboard Enemy

The idea of the Cardboard Enemy is, we feel an important Secessionist concept, but one that has not been written about directly elsewhere. We have therefore joined these two letters to form a small section which should acquaint readers with the meaning of the term.

While I certainly agree with Veritas's comment that animal faddism (and certainly those aspects of it promoted by the mass media) are an attack on the "superior classes, femininity, tradition and anything else decent", I would beg leave to doubt whether the modern huntsman actually represents a superior class.

The Pit-troglodyte, on seeing smart red coats and hearing the sound of the horn, conjures an image of Squires and Toffs and the Real English hierarchy that has been dead for decades. He needs these imaginings in order to survive - just as the Communists, till their very disappearance, continued to depict cartoon capitalists in top hats while the real capitalists were faceless multinationals peddling a corrosive international pop-culture far more subversive of civilisation than Bolshevism had ever been. Which is no doubt why Bolshevism was now surplus to requirements.

Similaly the current Yeekay troglodyte needs his image of Squires and Toffs and a Real England, precisely because evil, as St. Augustine says, is privatio boni. It is nothing in itself, merely the privation of the good.

The Pit is condemned, like one in the grip of a recurring dream, to keep propping up the mouldering body of its long-dead enemy in order to knock it down again; because when it has nothing left to pretend to "rebel" against, there will be nothing left of itself.


A.R's remarks on the Cardboard Enemy are all too true. I experienced an interesting - though very different - example of the same phenomenon some years ago when I was speaking to a soundish but very-much-of-the-Pit fellow. He began to use the Phrase "B.B.C. English", meaning the Queen's English. I felt forced to comment.

"But B.B.C. English is nothing of the sort in the Pit - it is a whining sub-cockney noise. Every one know that, surely."

"Well, yes," he admitted, somewhat sheepishly. "But you see I watch it all the time. It is much easier for you to see that."

I assure you this is perfectly true; and it is highly revealing. What did he mean by that comment? On the face of it one would assume that the more one watches the B.B.C. the more one would be aware of what it is actually like. But obviously my acquaintance did not think so, and I believe he was right, though I also believe that he would have been hard pressed to tell me what he did mean. He had off-guardedly mentioned what I believe to be an almost-subliminal fact about the Pit mass-media - that when one exposes oneself to it constantly one no longer sees what one sees; one sees what one is told to see.

This gentleman could watch the B.B.C. every day and still call Received English B.B.C. English because the B.B.C. world-view incorporates the Cardboard Enemy as an integral part of its image-sphere.

It is a sort of double-vision in which at once one sees the Brave New Proletarianised World - but at the same time - insofar as it is useful - the old "reactionary" world of B.B.C. English is still intact to be rebelled against.

However dead may be the real world, it is still propped up somewhere in the background as an indispensable part of this unnatural Weltanschauung.

For without the real world, the parody-world would be nothing.

The Silver Vixen