Why can’t people have their own clubs for their own interests and those interests, by definition, necessarily exclude? If I join a yacht club, it’s pretty well assumed I have a yacht or am deeply interested in sailing.
If I attempt to join a women’s club, then there is a natural exclusivity in place – they don’t need govt to exclude me. Similarly, if I attend the Diogenes Club, there’s a natural exclusivity there but these days, that exclusivity is not allowed.
By govt decree.
Exclusivity is a concept which is not in itself bad, I’d argue. It happens naturally every day. But it has a bad name because whenever one excludes, the excluded of a radical nature attempt to be included and when they’re not, they try to get govt to interfere and make the club accept them. Never forget the old Groucho quip.
Paxman did not try to do this. He simply reapplied and reapplied. That’s the natural way and his grounds were that he was part of the occupational area the club was set up for. It’s not as if he was a heating engineer trying to join a professional actors guild.
Exclusivity argues that for one day a week or whenever, a man or woman can retreat to his club or group and indulge his or her interests, free of interference. Some clubs though, e.g. the Bilderberg, are there for one purpose and that is to order and arrange things for Them over us and therefore, that falls into the negative aspect written of in Part 1:
Any club or group can have exclusivity all it likes – it’s their gaff, their rules – unless [and this is the biggy], that organization is planning physical action or legislation against other parts of the society?
Depoliticizing the issue now, GK Chesterton based his Queer Steps on the notion of a hotel [could well be a club] gaining its reputation by turning people away:
The Vernon Hotel at which The Twelve True Fishermen held their annual dinners was an institution such as can only exist in an oligarchical society which has almost gone mad on good manners.
It was that topsy-turvy product—an “exclusive” commercial enterprise. That is, it was a thing which paid not by attracting people, but actually by turning people away.
In the heart of a plutocracy, tradesmen become cunning enough to be more fastidious than their customers. They positively create difficulties so that their wealthy and weary clients may spend money and diplomacy in overcoming them.
If there were a fashionable hotel in London which no man could enter who was under six foot, society would meekly make up parties of six-foot men to dine in it.
If there were an expensive restaurant which by a mere caprice of its proprietor was only open on Thursday afternoon, it would be crowded on Thursday afternoon.
The Vernon Hotel stood, as if by accident, in the corner of a square in Belgravia. It was a small hotel; and a very inconvenient one. But its very inconveniences were considered as walls protecting a particular class.
One inconvenience, in particular, was held to be of vital importance: the fact that practically only twenty-four people could dine in the place at once. The only big dinner table was the celebrated terrace table, which stood open to the air on a sort of veranda overlooking one of the most exquisite old gardens in London.
Thus it happened that even the twenty-four seats at this table could only be enjoyed in warm weather; and this making the enjoyment yet more difficult made it yet more desired.
Sometimes, you don’t even intend exclusivity but it “appears to be so” and in fact, then is so. An example was a group called Bloghounds. Following some unpleasantness with a former group, it was intended this time round not to exclude but to vet more carefully.
This gave the appearance of exclusivity and as the group neither stated its aims beyond a cursory welcome message, nor did it actually publish anything outside in the public eye, it became intriguing to some and a club to apply to for others.
Clubs are intriguing, people feel good being members, it gives a certain something.
I was thinking of joining a club called the Simeon Ellerton Society. There are only 37 members and one waits for a vacancy to arise. The three criteria of eligibility are that you’re not a clubbing type of person, the more anti-social the better, you are housetrained though and won’t bring religion, sex or politics into it and the big one – that you built something which solved a problem.
That could be anything from a new programme which combines the functions of other programmes or it could be a boat which combines sailing and canalling or it could be a home which does various things.
Simeon Ellerton lived in the 18th century and was a fitness fanatic. Because he loved to walk long distances, he was often employed to carry out errands or act as a courier for the locals. On his many frequent journeys he would gather up stones from the roadside and carry them on his head. His aim was to gather sufficient stones to build his own house.
Eventually he had enough stones and he made a little cottage for himself. Having spent so many years carrying extra weight, he felt uncomfortable without it, so for the rest of his life he walked around with a bag of stones on his head.
Members meet bi-monthly for dinner and seven members give seven minute talks [often powerpoints] on some aspect of their claim to fame, the only rule being not to bore the dinner guests. There is an eighth continuation speech for a further seven minutes after that with the port, with one of the speakers voted to complete his speech. He therefore misses out on the port.
Members have ornamental hats made of stones to commemorate Simeon and these are worn at the three loyal toasts during the evening. They roll up their trouser legs and utter gibberish at one point in the proceedings.
They do not concern themselves though with reordering society out there. They’d prefer society out there just left them alone to get on with the evening’s festivities.