If we just let the Beast live, it will eat us
So anyway, here we are in 2013 – and still the only descriptive dimension being applied to politics is the Left to Right spectrum.
I’ve no idea when or how the term ‘Left-wing’ originated, but I can’t believe it was earlier than, say, 1910. In more recent decades, it has become a noun in the collective (hoho) sense, The Left. Increasingly, it puts me in mind of the past tense of ‘to leave’: “I left many years ago, because there was nothing left for me, and there was no real working class left by then anyway”.
I suspect the baggage of the Left would be better referred to as The Left Luggage Office. Around 1981, somebody left the Case for the Left there – but in the 32 years since, nobody has turned up with the correct credentials to reclaim it. Except for Ed Balls, a man who really was born forty years too late. He does strike me as oddly archaic, and – like Tom Watson – is brazen to the point of bigotry in his tribalist unwillingness to accept that anyone beyond the confines of The Left has anything valid to contribute.
Being Right-wing, by contrast, is the big thing now among the Young Lions. It is very funny to observe their worship of the Dead: the idolatry of past heroes coupled with a conviction that they represent the Future represents a form of mule-like naivety they never seem to recognise. Dan Hannan quotes endlessly from 17th and 18th century icons, Ed West abominates Ted Heath with a venom totally oblivious to the old Boy’s irrelevance these days, and James Delingpole rejoices in membership of a narrowly nationalist organisation whose ideas owe more to 1930s Empire Loyalism than anything likely to address our profound cultural and economic problems going forward.
A great deal of parroting emanates from both sides. For the Left, there is much emphasis on unthinking acceptance of political correctness, feminism, and multiculturalism – along with an inability to complete any declaration of ‘progressive’ politics without using the words ‘smash’ or ‘scum’. From the Right, we get endless references to Friedman, Adam Smith, Ronald Reagan, deregulation and a dozen other failed crackpot theories. The Left is too frightened to use the word socialism and too dim to think of anything better; the Right boffs on endlessly about free markets and then rigs every last one of them.
I doubt if, in the entire modern history of Man, so much certainty of success has been based on hypocrisy about the present, and inflexible reverence for the past.
In the West, we have lost the Voyager gene. It was undermined by cotton-wool Nannyism and pc education from the Left, alongside a persistent insistence on TINA (There is No Alternative) from the Right. It has fallen into disuse after years of watching formulaic media content driven by process rather than ideas. It is being destroyed once and for all by our escape into and dependence on technology: we daren’t go anywhere without a phone, make a car journey without satnav, or sort anything out without an app. And it is being discouraged by a banking system that favours big business, multinational gargoyles out to destroy all serious competition, and crooked politicians with little or no experience of adventurous commerce. The central risk-idea of the last thousand years – capitalism – has been nobbled by either socialism or monopolism. In the UK, we have alternately used both to devastating ill-effect.
The dominant human emotion today is fear. Fear of what citizens might decide, given half a chance. Fear among banks of lending risk. Fear of leaving the EU or the euro. Fear of actually letting the markets decide. Fear of everyone else’s currency value. Fear of ratings agencies and Troikas. Fear of terrorism. Fear of radical creativity. And perhaps most pernicious of all, fear of reality.
Some of this is generated by control-freak government propaganda that lurches from odious pessimism about loss of jobs through to ludicrous optimism about non-existent recovery. But even more of it, I suspect, is the unconscious realisation by many people that those supposed to be in charge have no idea what to do apart from save themselves. This generates a widespread feeling of having nobody to look up to, nothing to look forward to, and nobody to look after us. Given the conviction by many over the last sixty years that we need the State to look after us, there is a diabolical irony to it all. Worse still – given the expectations generated among the mass of the population by vote-hungry politicians – the potential for serious violence in the medium term is very real indeed.
This is all, of course, the wrong interpretation for the innocent citizen to make. The far more positive way of looking at the mess we’re in – while accepting that we’ve gone along with it, and must be complicit to some extent – is to remember that it hasn’t been created by any of us: Politicians, Government bureaucrats, investment bankers, media moguls and multinational business senior management did it. The overwhelming majority of us don’t occupy any of those positions. Far from being dependent on such people, we need more independence from them.
Without the acceptance of risk and responsibility as part of life, all cultures decline in the end. Risk-averse monopolism would rather artistic expression offered immediate investment payback. Nanny State would rather we became children, rather than be adult in how we look after our children. The entire construct is built on fear. Fearful packs retreat inside themselves, stick to their comfort zones, fail to bring home any bacon, and thus eventually tear each other apart by squabbling about whose fault it is.
This is what we are doing in the West. Our politics – indeed, our debates generally – have never been so adversarial, so negative, so devoid of reason, or so divisive. Warmists yell at deniers. Occupiers yell at bankers. The 1922 Committee yells at Camerlot. Tea-Partiers yell at Democrats. Republican Congressmen yell at Obama. Golden Dawn swears at Syriza. The French press vilifies Hollande. UKippers yell at Europhiles. Rome yells at Brussels. Berlin yells at ClubMed. Everyone today would rather be right about something than actually do something.
Even the maths of contemporary politics shows near-exact division: none of the US, Britain, France, Greece and the Netherlands has been able to show decisive results in recent years: nobody gets a mandate because nobody has a fresh idea to which the clear majority can sign up. We are not living in the present in 2013, we are looking for certainty from the past. We do this because we fear the future. We fear the future because there are no ideas to inspire and unite us.
I’ve written many times before about my solution. I believe the legislatures of the West have less and less power: they are selling out to minority money, and anyone who tries to challenge that through the electoral system will simply be sucked into it. As sure as eggs are eggs, that is what will happen to America’s Tea Party, Farage’s UKip, and Greece’s Tsipras. The solution isn’t political, it lies with the citizenry.
I have no doubt there will be serious violence in the end, but there is no need for it. Radical Realism as I keep advancing it is about a starting point that asserts, “They think they have the power, but only we have the power”. We have the power not to cooperate, not to buy, not to pay tax, not to work, not to accept. We have the power to boycott policies, to empty banks, to threaten MPs, Deputies and Congressmen with unemployment. In the end, we have the power to starve the beast.
The beast feeds on money, cooperation and prisons. Above all, it feeds on apathy. Take all those things away, and the beast dies. We are all understandably apathetic about the legislative process, because it is no longer for our benefit. Just one large demonstration of online power will show people that there is something they can do. Already throughout the West, communities are waking up to the fact that most of the State’s central apparatus – and most of the globalist companies – are expensive, dysfunctional, and in the way. They are ‘bridging’ – showing the State how community action by decent individuals can deliver pretty much everything we need to be more content.
Just one large demonstration of online power. Just one Live Aid for liberty. We keep on waiting for the Leader to emerge. Well, the hour has been here since 2008 and no leader has come to the fore. Nobody else is going to do this for us. Only concerted and constructive demonstrations of citizen power will deliver us from serfdom. Comment threads calling this naive, poppycock, impractical and juvenile won’t do it: the beast snacks on cynicism every day. This is the time to do, not the chance to have another moan and then feel better.
Carpe Diem. Or verily, bestiam nos habebit.