All real news in the present is to be postponed until the future sorts itself out. When that future arrives and settles in, all present news will be changed to make it appear that something was being done to prepare for that future. Only we who are here now know the present reality is stagnation hidden by distraction. The Slog puts this hypothesis to the test in the context of today’s “news”.
Over the last ten years, I’ve posted many times about one particular thing that both neoliberal economics and soi-disant liberal politics share as a consequence of their ideologies. This is a wariness of anything new, untried or risky…..especially anything that might threaten their received catechism. It comes out in the use of assumptive vocabulary like “unreformed”, “progressive”, “correct” and “settled science”.
The obvious outcome from philosophical denial and risk aversion is a complete stagnation of artistic aspiration, and the survival of dinosaur thinking about most social, economic, fiscal and political policy. Almost all the thought found acceptable by the Establishment looks backward, adopting the syntax of the past: the funniest form of it to my mind is the robo-bods who walk into meetings declaring that “everyone must think outside the box”. A meeting then follows in which any and all attempts to do that are politely rebuffed by the robo-bods.
In the performing arts, for example, we see revivals, remakes, crossovers and sequels. In popular music, we see variations on jazz, rock, electronic and rap. In television, we see copycat lifestyle, satire and gameshow formats. What we don’t see is anything step-change fresh, because Return on Investment – bums on seats, album downloads and ratings – have become the sole arbiter of intent.
Similarly, in politics we have No Turning Back on the Right, and the Return to Real Socialism in the left. This effectively means monetarist nonsense versus collectivist nonsense…..nationalisation versus privatisation, Keynes versus Friedman, and so on. Again, no new philosophy is on offer.
For amateur commentators like me, this creates a genuine dearth of things to write about, because very little changes from year to year. In this historical interregnum between old and new – civilisation, commerce and media – the Generals out there continue to fight the battles of yesteryear, dragging the same irrelevant, outmoded weapons to the trenches, only to discover (far too late) that cyber and graphene warfare have rendered the journey irrelevant.
It is one of a number of factors at the moment reducing the amount of blogs I post. There are, after all, only so many ways one can say that cunning censorship, ideological denial, monied politics, agendered media and globalist mercantilism are deadly cancers. After a while, the posts become just as repetitively ineffective as the systemic processes one wants to critique and deconstruct.
And yet the irony is that, every month, we drift closer to sea-change….the sort of sea-change that hasn’t been seen since the late eighteenth century saw agrarian feast and famine morph into industrial boom and bust.
The forces of reaction fighting against this approaching deluge appear at first sight to make very odd bedfellows. Yesterday, for example, I posted about an alliance I call the social liberal neoconservative globalists. But in fact, the commonality between the two – an acceptance of prurient pc gesture politics and US do-good foreign policy hegemony – is there for all to see.
And believe me, they are the forces of reaction. Jeremy Corbyn, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and Alexis Tsipras are all peddling either neoliberal “reform” or socialist “rebirth” as an answer that has been tried and found wanting over and over again. Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi, Haruhiko Kuroda and Mark Carney are dyed-in-the-wool monetarists trying to flog a dead horse called central bank fiscal globalism. The Chinese politburo has its finger in a hedgerow it hopes will hold back a Tsunami of unrest among the 90% left out of corrupt State-bank capitalism.
To the average eye, leaders like Trump, events like Brexit – and Parties like UKIP, 5-Star, Podemos and En Marche – seem to be the mavericks breaking the old mould of socio-economic sculpture. But they are not – they are in fact latecomers to a trend started by the election of Syriza in Greece, and the emergence of the Tea Party in the US. Seemingly revolutionary, but in truth pretty obviously reactionary, they are desperate grassroots protests against the merciless (and pointless) extremes of supranational monopolism. The early versions have already faded, and the later ones will do the same. They represent an idealised past put into the present, not an entirely new model designed to flourish in the future.
Almost no influential thought is being applied to what that future is going to be like. Today, the media are all news and zero insightful analysis: one might just as well give every newspaper and website a masthead that says Business as Usual. Let’s look now in “real” time at what they’re saying today:
- Growing threat of North Korea
- Trump tells GOP to get back on healthcare case
- Reviews of the new Tesla 3
- Corn clash between Brazil and the US
- Russia flaunts military might on Navy Day
- Jihadi plot in Sydney
- The great Brexit standoff
- Times hack sacked for racist/sexist article
- 100th anniversary of Battle of Passchendaele
- Chinese power struggle involving Xi Jinping
Now, were I the Supreme Commander, World Media, those headlines might look like this:
- Pentagon & Kim Jong Un vie to defend power
- Trump is really an Indie President
- Will electric be 50% of car market by 2030?
- The disaster of globalised farming competition
- Why is Russia still top US bogey-man?
- Time to cut off Islamist money-supply
- Too many people are opposed to a Brexit deal
- The clear threat to liberty from Leftlib pc
- 50,000 died for nothing at Passchendaele
- Can Beijing control its hothead tendency?
The body-copy beneath might then suggest the following hypotheses/probabilities:
- When a US military-industrial complex looking for new enemies meets a Korean military élite hijacking a revolution, there’s going to be trouble. The job of future politicians must be to put all military influence back in its cage, or we are all going to die.
- The Tesla brand is ludicrously overvalued, and could end up being one catalyst for stock market revision or collapse. But electric, solar and fusion are going to replace oil as the dominant geopolitical energy reserve over the next twenty years. It is, for once, in everyone’s interests worldwide for electric locomotion (alongside solar portability) to condemn oil to the dustbin of history…and thus energise the chances of real peace in the Middle East.
- The US electoral and check/balance system is in need of root and branch reform to give direct power back to the voters, rather than filter it through malign, monied interest groups. The lobbyists must have their wings severely clipped.
- The first job of all national farming output should be to feed its own citizens adequately. Mercantile globalism in agriculture leads to faceless agrocom mergers, bad growing practices, price speculation and food dumping….all of which are bad for global food supply. Eventually, mercantilism leads to friction and then war.
- Once a genuine bulwark to control the International Communism of the USSR, NATO is now – like the IMF – an instrument of American neoconservative commercial imperialism. The idea that Russia has “military might” in comparison to the US is as idiotic as the idea that Vladimir Putin is a benign human being. But to keep poking a stick into his nest is to invite completely unnecessary friction and danger of conflict. See earlier: time to put the military back in its cage: through its White House cypher McMasters, the MIC and CIA continue to lie consistently about Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Putin as “real” enemies.
- The US and Russia should unite to (a) contain mad Islamism and (b) put huge oil-pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop it supplying Islamists of which it approves with money. The world, meanwhile, should move on from oil as an energy form with all speed.
- Neither Brussels nor London is applying any reality whatsoever to the Brexit negotiations, because they are both irrevocably split on the issue – see last week’s Slogpost. The only real solution is for Britain to (a) devote far more serious time and effort to negotiating the detail of alternative trade arrangements now, and (b) formally remind the EC that the Lisbon Treaty says nothing whatsoever about the need for reparations in the event of member exit. Equally, the threat to retaliate against Britain with trade barriers is a lead aeroplane without engines: European industrialists simply would not stand for it, and the eurozone in particular lacks the pockets for a trade war.
- Whatever his views, it is to be hoped that the Times journalist appeals against his firing, and wins substantial damages. The very term ‘political correctness‘ represents pure Stalinist thought process, and is quintessentially anti-libertarian. Whenever fascists develop a strategy for advancement, the first thing they do is come up with a goodie-goodie brand name. ‘Progressive liberals’ is the 21st century brand of choice for these Nazis. Without the FPTP electoral system in the UK, however, the power such drongos have would be massively decreased: Britain sorely needs constitutional reform, and an end to monied politics.
- War NEVER solves anything. The First World War was the War to End all Wars. It failed….at the cost of 9.4 million lives. The Second World War was The Fight to Preserve Democracy. It failed, this time at the cost of over 63 million lives. Everyone who fought at Passchendaele is now dead and long gone: we say we honour the Dead, but military interests use these occasions to glorify war. There has never been anything glorious about War except the brave men and women who give their lives needlessly during them.
- The best way to control younger military hotheads in China is to stop raising the political temperature against its neighbours, and stop crawling to the Beijing gerontocracy for trade deals that never benefit anyone but China. The global nature of banking and the inability of financialised capitalism to make more than a tiny élite rich is the real issue here. But the problem in China is not its poor per se; the problem in China is global tensions giving power to its armed forces, alongside ideological, bubble-dwelling power freaks paying little or no attention to local corruption and the bottom 30%. Accountable power must always be the aim.
The conclusion to be drawn seems to me clear. Elites look to the past for their answers – and when these fail, they tighten their grip domestically while looking for commercial gain and glory abroad. No new ideas are applied, old problems are kicked down the road, and nothing changes; so the élite media aid Establishment survival with event distraction – because the media are owned by the political paymasters…and in turn kept in business by the budgets of all the other paymasters. Journalists with no ideological axe to grind are the only ones able to seek out and then tell the unvarnished truth. Ideologically committed journalists are, and always have been, whores.
This was the Slog news for 31st July 2017, and no more than a few thousand people out of 7.5 billion are going to pay any attention to it. If you have any good ideas as to how I might overcome that obstacle, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org