The Slog has another crack at explaining his unaligned philosophy
Today is Good Friday in the Christian calendar. For various reasons, it isn’t celebrated in France, the French preferring the more positive aspects of rolling away stones and then ascending. But very little trading is going on in Western Europe, and none in the UK or US. Elsewhere, things are very different, thanks to different religions. My own belief is that all deistic religion is complete tosh, and that it is odd to say the least when two ‘modern’ nations take the long weekend off to celebrate something medically impossible: the link between dying on a cross of suffocation and chocolate eggs has always defeated me, but there you go.
Left to themselves and well away from (a) government and (b) other religions, most who designate themselves Holy Men and Women do, in my experience, more good than harm. But when ‘threatened’ by atheism or an influx of antithetical belief systems, religion reverts to type….especially when the State is involved.
What I mean by ‘type’ is what religion really is – an ideology. What a Greek friend of mine describes as ‘the act of putting a steel case round your brain to stop its development’ is what happens when private belief becomes public fanaticism.
Now I know that I boff on about the harm all ideologies do in the world, but I was wondering earlier this week whether Sloggers relate to this in a way that goes beyond abstract philosophy, and/or whether they really do grasp how powerful their influences and ramifications are every single day.
The influences are nearly always censorious and fascist, the ramifications the result of turning away from evidence suggesting the ideology is wrong. But it’s important sometimes to be specific: so I’ve taken the main news items around first thing this morning, and looked at them in this ‘ideological’ context.
Global climate change is about as tooth-spitting an ideological question is ever likely to get, because there are two opposing churches: one that says it’s happening, and we’re about to fry/drown/be irradiated/ die of starvation; and another that says it’s all bunk – every last ill-analysed snippet of snapshot bollocks. I think they’re both provably, empirically wrong but then I’m not an ideologist. However, there is a small and by the sound of it idyllic little village in Wales near one of the more exposed and weathering bits of British coastline.
The local council involved has a majority (it appears) of Milibands whose stance has been to take the worst scenario possible on rising sea levels. Pointing out a while back that the hamlet will be overwhelmed by 2020 at the latest, it’s refused to protect the homes involved. Which is fine, but it’s now 2016 and there isn’t much sign of this happening…and new data now suggests that the village will be viable until 2030 at the earliest.
What we have here is two ideologies – fanatical warmism and Tory anti-investment austerity – combining to produce very poor governance that leaves several hundred law-abiding citizens in limbo. I could go on about Conservative neoliberal ideology, but I’ll park it there for the moment, as I intend to post about what’s really happening in Toryland later today.
One of the bigger news stories this morning concerns the guilty verdict served upon Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. The UN Court found him guilty of genocide on several counts during the last major Balkan dustup in the 1990s. And let’s not beat about the bush, as Yugoslavia fell apart thanks to the peace dividend of Soviet collapse, Karadzic’s aim was clearly to wipe out Islam as a religious cultural force in the region. I knew for a while some years back a senior UN officer involved in it – a blunt and honest bloke who is I suspect Islamophobic, but felt what Radovan Karadzic did was inhuman.
Yugoslavia was yet another multicultural experiment held together for decades by the presence of Marshal Tito – a man who fought a lot harder than most to erase Nazism. When he died, yet again the multicultural ideology collapsed into a messy and brutal war.
The same daft ideology has now presented Belgium with an appalling problem. Despite being mainly Belgian nationals (allegedly) the bombers’ fanatical ideology overwhelmed any vague sense of nationality given to them by a pc government – run at the time, I might add, by the Nipponese doggeralista himself, Hermann van Rompuy – that had welcomed their arrival. This same unwillingness of the soft bureacratic liberal tendency to face facts has been applied to the Syrian refugee/migrant invasion, and the entirely predictable result has been yet more chaos and loud shouts of Allah Aqbar. It is going to destabilise a European Union which, in itself, represents the biggest multicultural experiment in history, and is now – with obvious foreseeable consequences from Day One – the proud owner of a currency and open borders policy that is hastening the collapse.
Doing his best to stir this pot and maximise the sort of chaos in which his caliphate can thrive is the Islamofascist ideology nutter Recep Erdogan. He is liked by multicultural euroarmy promoter Federica Mogherini (and by the US, for whom she really works) because he is prepared to do the bidding of a post 9/11 NATO stuck rigid in the idiotic ideology dictating that its purpose is to destroy Russia and wipe out Jihadism…in the thinly veiled and never-ending search for Oyuuurrrl.
I hope you’re keeping count of the several influence of ideological thought here. As always, its called ideological because it despises new ideas and is illogical. I hope that’s allowed you to catch up; now let’s continue and complete the vicious circle.
Why are perhaps 1.2 million displaced Syrians migrating to Germany and then back again around Schengens, fences and borders? Well, John McCain’s military might Pentagon ideology persuaded him four years ago that the blokes running ISIS were really freedom fighters out to evict the evil Assad; so he arranged for his arms industry buddies to give them weapons and training. The fluffy ignorance of the liberal New York Times was then folded into the mix with bilge about ‘the Arab Spring’ and US ‘Democratise the World’ ideology created further mayhem in Syria….to give them time to complete a pipeline carrying oyuuurrrrl.
All it required then was the British foreign office’s Special Relationship ideology to get Cameron “really puffed up” and kissing Erdo the Mad, while also bombing the crap out of what was left of Syria. But two years earlier over in Hungary, the EU and multiculturally off-message Viktor Orban was predicting exactly what the result of Syrian anarchy would be, and that by the way he wasn’t going to take the euro or any displaced Muslims. So the liberal Eunatic ideologists declared Orban to be a hateful Unperson and racist. Well, he was right and they were wrong.
Close by Hungary is the developing story of Polish rebellion in a post-Tusk arselicker world. The Poles too don’t want the euro, and they especially don’t want Merkeschäuble austerity. Monetarist austerity in ClubMed is another failed policy that has also morphed into an ideology. It is based on a hyperinflation that occurred over 90 years ago, and bears 0% resemblance to the corrupt borrowing problems of the Southern euroland States. It has turned Greece into a failed State being run by debt accountants, tossed some four million EU citizens into the unemployment mountain, and dramatically increased the electoral appeal of extremism…while destroying any scintilla of original thought being applied by the likes of Yanis Varoufakis.
All based varietally on the joined-up bad science of multicultural single currency and monetarist tricks…aka, ideologies.
It’s an horrific trail of bad planning, violence, bitter war, socio-political instability, disastrous economic policy responses, destitution of entire populations, mass , dysfunctional alliances and stupidly encouraged terrorism.
That was just one news bulletin from the UK’s Radio 4 at 6 am BST today, Good Friday. It feels rather more like Black Friday, and the everyday life of Western world citizens is going to blacken beyond recognition until minds open up, natural allies reach out, and creative thinkers argue for new philosophies relevant to a post-industrial 21st century….as opposed to recreating 19th century dialectical materialism or mediaeval feudalism.
So when I describe myself as a Radical Realist, I do not mean an amorally goal-free slimeball of the normal political genre: I am a latter day Benthamite utilitarian…but having an empirically derived philosophy not an ideology, I have moved dear old Jeremy on two hundred years.
Bentham gave as his aim “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”. Happiness is such a personal value (and can denote sellfishness) that I have changed the goal to “the greatest social fulfilment of the greatest number”. I do this for two reasons: first, I see evidence everywhere of the need for more citizens to feel a responsibility towards their community; and second, fulfilment comes (modern social anthropology suggests) from having genuine control and power to influence how that community works.
In turn, I have watch the disconnect in First World society between the government élites and the real People get steadily worse. The future is not global, it is communitarian: I am committed to the principle of devolving real power to communities, where innovative small business can thrive.
Only by following this route, I suspect, can the gargantuan task of radical reform get under way…and make the Slog’s goal – Deconstruct bollocks, reconstruct decency – stand a chance of coming to life.
One hero of mine (mistakenly viewed by contemporary thinkers as a Big State Socialist) said this in reply to a sneering heckler who asked what he felt the purpose of power was.
“The purpose of power, boyo,” said Aneurin Bevan, “is to give it back”.
Have a Good Friday.