Those who patronise us by telling us that ideological concepts relating to egalitarianism are authoritarianism are prone to leaving something very important out of their propagandising. The very important aspect is that the pursuit of inequality is equally authoritarian. The difference is only about who imposes that authority. In terms of egalitarianism, it tends to be the state. In terms of inequality, it tends to be corporations and big businesses aided by the state. The former is therefore usually politically bad but economically good for the majority. The latter is usually politically and economically bad for the majority. We must also be suspicious of the nomenclature’s application. Totalitarianism and communism are not the same thing. Nor are fascism and capitalism. However, their empirical management has unfortunately led some to argue that they are one and the same. However, that is not the fault of the ideologies. That is the fault of specific humans who have become overwhelmed by narcissistic tendencies. Communism was never communism. Capitalism was never capitalism. Those who have studied both Karl Marx and Adam Smith in great depth are those best placed to enlighten.

With this in mind, we must therefore be very suspicious of organisations that apply clear misrepresentations of both ideology and language. One such, amongst a great many, is the Henry Jackson Society. And one of the proponents of this mass fabrication is Douglas Murray.

Background history

The inception of the society occurred on March 11, 2005, initiated by academics and students at Cambridge, including Brendan Simms, Alan Mendoza, Gideon Mailer, James Rogers, and Matthew Jamison. It took its name from Henry M. Jackson, an American Senator affiliated with the Democratic Party, who pursued the 1976 United States presidential election. Jackson was an advocate of “New Deal” politics domestically and endorsed a robust anti-communist stance internationally, rejecting détente with the Soviet Union. His bipartisan appeal extended even to Republicans, with figures like Paul Wolfowitz identifying as “Jackson Republicans” as an alternative to the term neoconservative. The Society regularly organises meetings featuring speakers in the House of Commons, enhancing its influence.

By 2017, the society had gained a reputation for promoting an interventionist foreign policy aimed at safeguarding democracy and human rights. In 2006, it focused on raising awareness about the Ahwazi Arabs of Iran, alleging oppression by the Iranian government.

The year 2011 marked a significant development as the HJS merged with the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a think tank criticised by some for its perceived anti-Muslim views. Douglas Murray joined HJS in the same year, a move contested by some HJS members, including Marko Attila Hoare, who subsequently left in 2012 over what he deemed Murray’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigration perspectives. The merger notably boosted HJS’s income through contributions from former CSC donors.

In 2013, the president of HJS suggested to the UK Parliament that Britain should contemplate early military interventions in conflicts rather than treating them as a “last resort,” asserting that intervention was intrinsic to the nation’s identity. The following year, with the expansion of the far-right news outlet Breitbart into the UK, Henry Jackson Society member Raheem Kassam assumed the role of managing editor.

American politician Bobby Jindal addressed an HJS event in 2015, alleging the existence of “no-go zones” established by Muslims where Sharia law was enforced. The organisation, initially founded at the University of Cambridge, later relocated to London.

In 2017, Hannah Stuart, a Research Fellow at the Society, released a comprehensive analysis titled “Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015),” profiling individuals convicted under terrorism legislation with Islamist connections during that period.

The year 2020 witnessed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of the merger of the UK’s Department for International Development into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a plan proposed in a 2019 report by the Henry Jackson Society, for which Johnson had written the foreword. This move demonstrated the continuing influence and impact of the Henry Jackson Society on shaping governmental policies.

As this brief historical summary reveals, the Henry Jackson Society is not merely a far right talking shop. It is an organisation that has the ears and minds of politicians and, in some cases, prime ministers. However, the public, when they come into contact with their toxic propaganda, is prepared to take a stand.

Interestingly, co-founder Matthew Jamison, who now works for YouGov, wrote in 2017 that he was ashamed of his involvement, having never imagined the Henry Jackson Society “would become a far-right, deeply anti-Muslim racist … propaganda outfit to smear other cultures, religions, and ethnic groups.”. He claimed that “The HJS for many years, has relentlessly demonised Muslims and Islam.”

If anyone wants to get a handle on Douglas Murray, then the following article should capture the scene perfectly:

They claim to represent ‘Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights. What we actually have is a very dangerous organisation of very dangerous people. Their lies and falsifications are, in fact, anti-democratic, anti-freedom, and anti-human rights. Contrary to their propaganda, they want mass suffering and hate to prevail, not a sharing of power and solidarity.

Jason Cridland

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