Tom Brown’s schooldays gives some insight into the Tory mindset

If you want to get inside the Tory mindset, then Tom Brown’s schooldays is a good place to start.
It’s not about Capitalism and greed, although these are, in my opinion, the consequences of people holding the Tory viewpoint.

Superficially, the book is about a survivor.
Tom Brown is a callow youth (from a well heeled family) thrown into the bearpit that is Rugby school.
Such school’s are intended to breed rugged individuals, with an independence of mind and Tom proves the apparent wisdom of this process by not only surviving but, through his own sterling qualities of pluck, perseverance, bulldog tenacity and thoroughly good-eggedness, goes on to win the admiration and love of all those who have come to know him.
Tom Brown is indeed admirable and would have been just as admirable, if he had been brought up as a miner’s son.

So where is the moral?
Consider the environment and the ethos from which he emerges.
A Tory would tell you that it was the school that moulded him and brought out these qualities, rather like the philosophy, which suggests that the best way to teach a person to swim is to throw him in the deep end of the swimming pool.
Oh! sure, a few drown but they probably weren’t fit to survive, anyway.
In the book, Young George is a casualty, as is the young girl, who Flashman rapes.

In fact if Doctor Arnold had not been there, trying to change the ethos of Rugby,  young Tom may well have proved a failure, through being too plucky.
What of Flashman? Expelled, yes. However, as a very rich young man (his father was a school benefactor), he goes away to a life of ease and continued arrogance and bullying, still believing that he has the right to use the weak for his own selfish desires.

In fact another author tried to portray his ensuing career (title “Flashman”) as a commissioned officer.

Ah! yes but Doctor Arnold was an important character, who showed how the Public school ethos was changed to demonstrate a more empathetic side to Public school education.
How much of a change was Dr. Arnold striving for?
He certainly seemed to be at ease with the roughness of pupil interactions.
The wall game, the fight twixt Tom and Flashman, the raucous behaviour of pupils in the dining hall etc.
He drew the line at roasting fags, fifth years demanding fagging service, theft from the plebs and other not quite fair activities.
He, obviously still believed in the survival of the fittest and that  it was a regrettable but necessary part of life, that the Devil takes the hindmost.
This is the Tory lodestone.

Tom is admired and becomes the Head boy, whom all the other boy’s love, admire and pledge their lives to.
This is another tenet of Tory credo, culled from Public school values.
You aspire (perhaps conspire) to be Head Boy and if you fail, it’s because you’re not worthy and you should give your Head Boy whole-hearted support in everything he does.
At least, until he weakens and the time comes for challenger’s to step forward.

One other tenet, is that you are trained to lead.
A natural leader doesn’t go where the rank and file wish to go.
A natural leader is an independently minded person, a man of conviction, not for turning, heedless of populist opinion.
A man like Churchill, or a woman like Thatcher.
Poor Cameron. He tries to appear populist, to con the British Public but his own MP’s don’t see it, whilst the Plebs do.

Nevertheless; No matter how mad they may be, they are the one’s to follow, even onto the Russian guns.

The tacit assumption in this creed, of survival of the fittest, is that the weak should go to the wall, culled from the herd, so the herd becomes stronger.
If you do not wish to be culled, you must ensure that you are not at the bottom of the pile and that, lacking a Doctor Arnold to ensure that you play fairly, you should do whatever it takes to get as near the top as possible. you must step on those beneath you and ensure that they never get the chance to pull you down.
Money gives you power, so the poor must be the powerless and deserving to be stomped on.
It’s always easier to stomp on those, who are despicable, so the poor must be despicable and deserving of their place underfoot.

The Rich must be admirable, because they are our leaders.
They are our leaders, because they have the power.
They have power, because they have money.
Achieving power through accruing wealth makes you a person to be admired.
It is admirable to accrue wealth by any means possible, especially, if it comes from the despicable Poor.


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