Welcome to the John Wilkes Club, the definitive home for Whig-Radical comment, analysis and – given the idle, illiberal and incompetent collection of pygmy tyrants now governing the English-speaking world and beyond – the occasional apoplectic stream of consciousness suggestive of some inebriate offspring of Colonel Blimp and the late Mr James Joyce.
The club takes its inspiration from the life and opinions of John Wilkes (1727-1797), the indefatigable champion of English freedom and hero to the working man. Establishment lickspittles of the eighteenth century, and dull-minded conservatives ever since, have sought by drawing attention to his somewhat colourful personal life to play him down as a mere libertine rather than a true libertarian. Never mind his long and ultimately successful battles to rid the country of general warrants, press censorship and the power of Parliament to reject the electorate’s chosen candidates, or the high esteem in which he was held by many of the great philosophers of the French Enlightenment – the notion that there is some clever philosophical distinction between personal and political freedoms is fake; and, what is more, is shown to be fake by the tin-pot tyrants themselves, with their ever-expanding cat’s cradle of sin taxes and opinion-crimes, as well as the preposterous and counterproductive War on Drugs.
If you would like to learn more about Wilkes himself, please visit the Discover Wilkes section of the site, which includes details of his major achievements as well as reviews of all the main personal, political and intellectual biographies. For the principal purpose of the site, however, it suffices to say that, whereas many on the paleo-left today derive their ideas from the great Whig figures of the long eighteenth century – Franklin, Burke, Jefferson and others, reaching their apotheosis with the Victorian Liberals – we Wilkites find them a little too aristocratic. Like them, our ideological foundations can be found in Algernon Sidney, John Locke and Adam Smith, but Wilkes had something extra: he was a man of the mob, the so-called mobile vulgus of powerless and disenfranchised people whose only leverage over the State was – and is – to appreciate its true nature as the enemy of free individuals, the usurper of our right to self-government, the great impostor, and to respond with disobedience and contempt.
Animated by this spirit, the site will include regular articles on current affairs, economics, history, law and anything which takes our fancy and is relevant to the growing intellectual backlash against our ever-diminishing sovereignty over our own lives. We hope that you enjoy the site, and if you would like to get in touch please Contact Us.