Britain has two competing traditions – one that’s humanist, devoted in ideas of freedom, equality, democracy and Bertrand Russell liberalism, and another that’s Tory ethno-authoritarian, seeing these words as mere rhetoric to be trotted out at will, utilised as a propaganda tool and violated whenever it serves the Machiavellian purposes of exploitation and the preservation of their generational power. Since 2008 the latter has been at war with the former, constructing a carceral techno-feudal future that threatens to capture us all. Permanently.
Building on years of Republican voter discrimination laws in the state legislatures, Democrat lawmakers are trying to force a Devil’s bargain on the American people – presenting a raft of federal voting rights legislation and insisting it must pass if we want to save our democracy. The Devil’s bargain is simple. Accept an omnipotent party duopoly in exchange for your right to vote. Because our cunning political class has found a new way to turn years of partisan erosion of voter rights at the state-level into fuel for a far more pernicious erosion of voter choice by extirpating all potential challenges to the Red-Blue duopoly’s absolute, unaccountable and indefinite hold on power.
Government policy, corporate oligopoly, legislation, assent manufacturing strategy, official propaganda, loyal media messaging, political polarisations, inexplicable yet relentless demands for team loyalty, public atomisation and division; everything serves the same elite power centres, enriching the same corporate stakeholders, shaking down the same working and middle class citizens, mercilessly bankrupting the same unreported cracker and ethnic precarity, etc etc. Isn’t the evil game obvious to everyone? It sure oughta be by now.
Since its unholy convergence with neoliberal corporate-statism in the latter decades of the 20th-century, academic postmodernist thinking has spread from the universities and colonised the credentialed institutions to the point of almost total cultural dominance over civil society. Most of the traditional engines of right and wrong are in thrall to a median dollars-and-cents orthodoxy modelled on the same postmodernist verities. To achieve this corporatisation of the expert class it has been necessary to professionalise the pursuit of knowledge itself, to legitimise centralised consensus as the exclusive arbiters of truth, as if the modus operandi of the monolith is objective learning by independent merit rather than vocational networking by interdependent monopoly. It could have been otherwise. Society didn’t need to become a lanyard oligopoly. But as the complete extirpation of outliers and non-conformists gets closer, so too does a coda of permanent cultural bankruptcy.