Friday, August 21, 2015

Puppet politics

I keep asking what exactly is meant by "Left" and "Right", which are used more as labels in political argument to cut discussion short before it becomes intellectually awkward. Here's a suggestion:

I think we need to move on from the Left-Right way of seeing. Tony Blair could just as easily have stood for the Conservatives that his father had supported. It is about power, and both sides of that specious divide love it.

Immigration suits the businessman - cheap labour supports his profits while an expanding population creates additional demand. Ironically the Socialists may be cutting their own throats by going along with it, as the economically poorer countries from which many of the immigrants come have traditional ideas about family and community and may agree with British Conservatives when the latter preach that you should look after your own and not have to pay higher taxes for layabouts to whom you are not related.

As inequality of income and wealth increases, the most fortunate are in a position to detach themselves from their native lands and float about the world like the inhabitants of Laputa, escaping taxes and regulation and increasingly, using their servants in the political assemblies below to change the rules on both to suit themselves. And of course they are also co-opting the Fourth Estate. I have long said that this nexus of business, politics and the media is becoming the new pan-European (perhaps global) aristocracy. "Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube (Let others make war; you, fortunate Austria, marry)."

I suppose they also hope to escape the dangerous social consequences of the instability they create, but perhaps like the ancient Mayans they will discover they are more dependent on their inferiors than they had assumed.


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Paddington said...

The rich will be fine until the infrastructure goes down. Orwell recognized this in '1984', when he discussed reducing the level of technology as a matter of policy.

James Higham said...

The only way we could move beyond that is to consider Them as the real enemy.

A K Haart said...

Although Left and Right are not particularly useful labels, many people still identify with them so to that extent they have to be used.

Those who place themselves outside the left/right continuum cannot easily communicate with those who don't because the key "advantage" is that labels sidestep worthwhile discussion. Unfortunately that's what many may want anyway, possibly because fixed standpoints on complex issues usually turn out to be untenable in one way or another.