Bullies who recognise no higher authority will always choose an inferior one to replace it
Look at the major stories covered by the media in recent months, and you could be forgiven for thinking that a lot of completely random and haphazard things are going on, which just happen to have come to a head at one and the same time. In fact, they all go back to one fundamental problem. Mad religionists and conspiracy theorists are fond of putting this down to everything from the Devil to a global Zionist plot, but the real cause is much closer to home.
One thing common to the US, UK and European mainland at the moment is the failure of any ethical and charismatic leader to emerge. Not only that, but the minnows actually running things argue, squabble and dissemble without so much as break to draw breath. I know that the world-weary are keen to say ’twas ever thus, but this simply isn’t so. In 1933, nobody played politics with US survival like senior Congressmen did the week before last. After the first UK race riots in Notting Hill during the 1950s, nobody (apart from Oswald Mosley – and that’s significant) took to the airwaves to say one thing but mean another. The Harriet Harman type of political bigot simply didn’t exist. When Adenauer and De Gaulle signed the first Coal Agreement that led to the EEC in 1954, both men were seen as giants of geopolitics. De Gaulle particularly had observed the destruction from two terrible wars: for all his obvious chauvinism, his mission was to ensure that in the future, there would be too much to lose from any European war. The ludicrous double act last Tuesday between the present day equivalents – one a sour-faced apparatchik and the other a lightweight chancer – had nothing of substance to say to anyone, but to the markets the ‘Summit’ signalled disaster, and a sell-off ensued on the markets.
The media in those same countries are dumbed distractions, be they daily papers, sites, magazines or TV stations. Although both Britain and the US have been transfixed by the sight and sound of Newscorp’s comeuppance, some French gossip titles are far worse, and of course the Berlusconi empire in Italy plumbs bathyscape depths of tasteless and lascivious sex. A seemingly important sector of Italian TV seems to me to consist entirely of enormous breasts on show in dull panel games. Elements of German telly are equally gross. In the US, Fox News shamelessly pushes an illiberal agenda, usually backed up by breathtaking misinformation; and the tabloid New York Post is like the Sun, only without the subtlety. The only UK broadcaster at one time a beacon of ‘truth’ – the BBC – is now under fire from both Left and Right for being variously a Communist cell or a powerhouse of Right wing reaction: nobody, but nobody, these days can accept the central tenet of unvarnished facts; and few in the media explain the significance of those facts
Respect for, and understanding of, vital principles of the Law are absent wherever one looks. In bailing out Greece, the eurocrats broke three separate EU legal instruments. France and Spain ignore any EU law they don’t like. Both the Greeks and the Italians have lied persistently about their fiscal situations. In the UK, at least three Cabinet members regularly consume illegal drugs; and if Hackgate showed one thing above any other, it is the blithe insouciance with which businessmen, police, politicians and journalists disobey laws, excusing their behaviour on the basis of it being “a bit of a wheeze”. The early signs emerging from the FBI are that the situation is just as bad across the Pond. MPs fiddle expenses, Congressmen pocket ‘fees’ for helping globalist business, Lloyd Blankfein blatantly obtructs any legal process and ignores a President he despises, and Lord Mandelson clearly did favours to his many ‘friends’ in Eastern Europe while EU Business Minister.
Of course, the law springs into action – ie, repression – the minute the sociopathic, left-out bit of society decides to start stealing and torching stuff. Swift retribution is vital in such a situation: but I wonder, does anyone with a well-honed view of human beings really imagine for a second that (a) these long sentences will reform such people, and (b) David Cameron can legislate his way to a better UK culture?
Just taking the page headings at the top of The Slog, the same disappointing range of malpractice is immediately apparent. Gordon Brown unquestionably used illegal threats to expose Tony Blair as the means of becoming the leader of a mass Party – without a single member either of the Labour movement or the electorate at large having voted for him. Crash 2 has been predicted here since mid 2009, for the simple reason that its inevitable arrival was obvious – a question of when rather than if. Highly leveraged banks and poor public finances across the Western world were always a deadly potion, the taking of which turned Jekylls everywhere into appetite-fuelled Hydes.
Hackgate was a major scandal waiting to happen from the moment it kicked off, and the appointment by David Cameron of Jeremy Hunt to replace Vince Cable was the act of an opportunist making the most of a politician’s well-meaning mistake. Hunt – himself a smooth-talking chancer – had declared himself many times to be an unalloyed admirer of Rupert Murdoch: so he got the job taken away from Cable, who had expressed the much more accurate opinion that Murdoch was a bad guy. And last but most repulsive, the willingness of Piers Morgan to believe that, by simply continuing his US mendacity marathon, he can talk his way out of wrongdoing that makes him unfit to be a ‘media personality’ is at times beyond belief. (His former UK employer Mirror Group is engaged in exactly the same denial exercise over here).
There are attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that are common to most or all of these news stories; and the overlap is so enormous, the concentric circles might just as well be one thick, black, vicious circle of undisciplined self-interest.
Therein lies the key to our current situation – one in which all those chicken-sh*t ideas and values are finally coming home to roost: the triumph of multinational Me over local Community. All of these situations have been brought about because few if any of the players have any higher cause in mind. There is often low cunning to replace the higher aim, but that’s all it is. Whether you are leaving peripheral EU members out to dry, nicking Ipads, ticking the boxes on inappropriate takeovers, or blackmailing your colleague, the fact that you feel no shame in doing so demonstrates a childish ego out of control.
Childish egos produce extreme views – like infant kids demanding something they clearly can’t have. Such nascent megalomania recognises no laws, and subverts those it cannot remove. It knows no discipline beyond instant gratification, shoving enemies out of the way, and telling any lie – however damaging, bare-faced, and utterly unrelated to reality – to get the decision it wants. There is no fear and no shame: because there is no recognition of a higher authority….and because most of the time in the Twenty-First Century, there is no higher authority to recognise in the first place.
So, for example, Harriet Harman sees feminism as a higher cause, but it is based on nothing more than an extreme view about the importance of gender. Lloyd Blankfein calls his banking methods “doing God’s work”, but it is the ultimate egocentricity to see oneself as a double agent between God and the Devil. Multinational companies and banks have destroyed the potential for QE effectiveness by using it cynically for shareholder (rather than national) ends. In a world where nobody believes in the overriding values of ethics, ideals, consideration for others and the greater good of the community, the gargoyles let loose to do what they want always use a third-rate ‘objective’ as an excuse: but it never bears examination.
The reason is simple: we are a pack species, and ultimately the pack must come first. Not the State, mind you: that is another invention of those who crave power thanks to a disordered ego. But in the wild, Alpha pack leaders are judged on two bases: physical power to ward off challengers and enemies; and the wisdom to ensure the health of the whole pack. Failure in either area quickly produces insubordination, and his replacement with a better balance of brawn and brain.
Above all, most of our authority figures today are born bullies – and bullies will always take the coward’s way out, because self-preservation is the only possible motivation they think worthwhile. Trichet and Geithner, for example, display this trait over and over again. So too did DSK.
The biggest single change in public life over the last sixty years has been the steady and decisive destruction of anyone or anything who stands as the final arbiter. Be this the Head of the Household, the policeman, the Judge, ‘the Nation’, religious leaders, or a teacher’s use of discipline, everyone from satirists, Brussels and atheists to hard Left power-freaks and feminists have taken away each and every higher authority in our various countries.
Without that higher judgement of performance – the greater good of the greater number – achiever-leaders have lost out to those who deny, run away, enrich themselves, search for legacies and yet demand more and more power. As I’ve written before, we want accountable leadership – but what we get is secretive corruption of the pack.