I was drafting something this morning for what I hoped would be one of my more thoughtful/thought-through pieces. On the whole, I’m a bit of a draft-dodger when a piece of news sets one of my many hobby-horses free from the regularly mucked-out philosophical stables. But it’s important now and then to be apart from the action, in order to be closer to the truth.
So there I was, creating a terrific draft, and I wrote ‘In the end, Britain won’t leave the EU, the EU will simply leave all of us’. It was a hopeful draft this one, but it was almost immediately overtaken by Der Spiegel’s revelations about yet more Berlin ‘demands’. It is now pretty clear, at 20.40 GMT on May 14th 2012, that the EU and its madcap schemes will never leave us alone until Brussels has been destroyed by the inevitable eurobanking breakdown, and the Merkel/Schäuble axis of Shifty Thrifty has been voted out of history by a German electorate finally waking up to the deranged plans of those in search of Grosseuropa.
All of which, as the Buddhists say, has allowed some good to emerge from bad. Because while in the throes of coming to terms with unwanted symptoms of Herrenvolk Syndrome, I was reminded (and not for the first time) of the tectonic mismatch between the issues out there, and the navel-gazing of Europe’s national political Parties.
There they are in 2012, these diplodocus politicus, still boffing on about Left and Right – or Liberal and Conservative – while out there in the real world the issues couldn’t be clearer: SupraState Looney fascism vs Enterpreneurial freedom, globalism vs trading self-sufficiency, megamedia corruption vs the truth, Big surveillance state vs repaired society, Elite denialism vs Common Man reality.
I wonder if, like me, you have spotted that an astonishing proportion of big Parties are split in several directions, and an equal number of national elections arrive at a dead heat – or very close to it. Do you know why this is? I bet you can guess, can’t you, that I’m now going to tell you.
It’s because very few Establishment Party lines are clear any more. And that in turn is because their divides and splits live in the past, while the real issues face us in the Here and Now.
In the British context, we have the Cameroid pragmatists constantly at war with the Thatcherite Right in the Conservative Party. Their differences are based on outdated theory and ancient industrial relations. The Labour Party is divided three ways between Blairites, Brownites, and unreconstructed cloth cap trade unionism.
In the US, the globalist Republican Big Business mainstream has been damaged by the fundamentalist individualism of the Tea Party tendency. In the Democratic Party, the Clintonite Third-Wayers are – for the time being – eclipsed by an Obamite Big Statism that exists purely as the mechanism for re-electing its figurehead….a man whose ideas are a bizarre melange of FDR New Deal and Nixon media control.
Greece, however, is the future foretold for those who wish to study it. For there, the old Party lines are being obliterated by the stark reality of a need to survive at the most basic level the West can – as yet – comprehend. And the more supranational bureaucrats and scheming Finance Ministers try to interfere, the more the old dividing lines break down.
In many ways, what we are witnessing today is a rehearsal. An off-Broadway trial, if you like, for a new kind of drama: one in which worker is not pitted against boss, but rather the classless citizen entrepreneur takes on a floundering political State unwittingly paving the way for the globalist internet snooper to know everything about us. And by doing so, the all-knowing ISP will hope to swamp us with a profiteering monopoly – all the while watching everyone 24/7 via a million Security Agency cameras and internet transactions.
This last is the surveillance/banking/marketing info alliance that threatens us. Only by electorates voting for radical realism – while doing everything possible to peacefully sabotage multinational corporate fantasy – can a new form of flexible capitalism emerge. One in which all the sizes, all the models, and all the routes to finance are available. One in which individual investment, community mutualism, retail bank finance, and Bourse flotations are all equally represented.
More and more people are getting tired of being told that they must do this, they mustn’t do that, and only others are allowed to do the other. They grow restless as young men grown prematurely old tell them there is no alternative to austerity, that we are all in this together, and that we must all strive to repay the unrepayable. They listen incredulous as already rich bankers insist that the only road to redemption is the one paved with bigger and bigger bonuses for those very same bankers. That wealth really will trickle down one day, if only they are patient. And that life without the euro can only consist of a fight for survival at the very lowest common denominator.
These are the non-believers who – we must all hope – will one day demand a new kind of politics, and a more inclusive form of capitalism. They need also to emerge beyond the eurozone – in Britain, the US, Australia and India. And if they do, politics will have to realign to suit them…not the Party whips and constituency selection committees who allow only the clones of the clowns through.
Related: Ghosts from the Past