Angela Merkel having won 98% approval of her CDU member votes to continue in the leadership role ten days ago, this week the news from Germany is that Peer Steinbrück won 93.45% of SPD member votes to remain as leader at a special SPD conference last Sunday in Hannover.
Burly and bespectacled, Steinbrück has an ebullient style that should stand him in good stead when trying to debunk Chancellor Merkel’s eurobollocks in the election campaign to be held next September. Steinbrück’s ideas about how to handle the 2008 financial disaster won plaudits at the time. But the SPD man from Hamburg faces a task that goes way beyond uphill.
This may turn out to be the Batttle of the Plebiscites, but although – like almost every First World nation in 2012 – Germany is divided on neocon v mixed economy solutions, the overwhelming majority of citizens there support the European Union almost unreservedly. And like Yuri Gagarin before her was a Hero of the Soviet Union, Chancellor Geli is a Hero of this latest European version of braindead central command.
My hope – and it is a real one, not a Friday night fantasy – is that massive events will combine to rain on Merkel’s Siegeparade well before September 2013. But my closing point tonight isn’t about europolitik: rather, it is the danger represented by the tyranny of numbers.
Democracy above all else is based on the will of the majority. That works extremely well when the populace is well-informed about events based on what they learn from a rounded media set. But it is a quick-prep recipe for authoritarian oligarchical rule if the People are fed a nonstop diet of – for example – Brussels Rule as the only option on offer. I am reminded of the old and ironic adage, “Eat sh*t, 870 quadrillion flies can’t be wrong”.
I will be posting tomorrow about some of the increasingly obvious ways in which our current model of globalist neocon nonsense is falling apart. But in the meantime, I’d like if I may to list some examples to support my argument about misleading majorities:
* In 1936, the top record in the German hit parade was Ich will mit mein Baby ein Anschluss haben, a crude sexual double-entendre based on Hitler’s forced amalgamation of Germany and Austria – a subject upon which the Austrians were never consulted. Think about the insensitivity of that song.
* One in two Americans believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.
* In October 2011, ITV’s X-Factor talent show attracted 8.3m viewers, while 9.5 million tuned into BBC’s ballroom show Strictly Come Dancing. A year earlier, a live debate on the key General Election issues attracted 9.4 million – but this represented both stations put together. Think about those numbers.
* When Vancouver reasearchers asked the public about the leading causes of homelessness earlier this year, two-thirds thought drug and alcohol addictions were the leading causes, followed by mental illness. Yet 77% cited affordable housing to be the main remedy. So three-quarters of Canadians think that addicts, alcoholics, and the mentally ill should get cheap housing to solve their problems.
* On 14th April 2008, Silvio Berlusconi’s Opposition Coalition won the Italian election with 46.81% of the votes cast. Think about what came later.
* Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans believe that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin. This is medically impossible.
*When Albert Einstein presented his ideas about relativity to a scientific audience in 1907, practically everyone present thought his ideas preposterous.
If this doesn’t make you doubt the muddled, ignorant and capricious views of the majority, nothing will. But again, as a former market researcher I know that questionnaire design, well-meaning compassion and biased information are factors every bit as significant in unravelling such stuff.
My bottom line is this: percentages of agreement deliver only opinion: not the answer, not the best policy, not a practical compromise, and most certainly not the truth. They must be read with care by those of good intention. Sadly, in 2012 they are used by those with questionable motives.
Earlier at The Slog: Why the UK is turning into Argentina