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.
Isn’t it suspicious, the way these cancel pile-ons work? Pile-on mobs will never see the difference because they’re irrelevant: the partisan witch-hunt isn’t rooted in the transgression, it’s driven by the bloodlust (of the followers) and the cancel target takedown (of the organizers). The pile-on activists will always double down on the most uncharitable, mean-spirited, inexplicably dogged mania for execution vehement in justification specifics yet instantly adaptive to new justification (if convenient), just as vehement.
This is the two year anniversary of the World Health Organisation declaring SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic. For my own clarity of mind and in deference to the personal seriousness of condemning government as corrupt on such a hot button politicized issue, I’m going to run through the timeline of February 2020 to February 2022. Is it incompetence? Are they dishonest? Is there an agenda that supersedes (contradicts) duty of care? Or are there elements of all three, and if so, to what extent? These questions can only be answered by an audit of the chain of events that undermined, exposed and eventually destroyed my faith in government, public health and the cabal of pandemic officials. So here goes.
Every engagement in the recent history of American Left internecine has been won by the Corporate State duopoly. In part, the success of Corporate Democrats is a consequence of money; buying exposure, buying endorsements, buying command of media messaging. This will always disadvantage would-be Progressives. But, conversely, Corporate State victory depends on winning out at very particular pressure points – specific moments in a campaign, key votes, key civic actions – where the anti-corporate candidate can only be beaten by particularly high-risk strategy of Establishment cheating or by the candidate’s own self-sabotage (naive compromise, heel-turn corruption, hypocritical cooption). Identifying those pressure points in advance, to force the ideological clash public while militating against cheating; and then making a fiat justitia stand against anti-democratic entrenched interests is the only route to genuine Progressive success against the self-serving agenda of Corporate Democrats, the duopoly and the permanent donor class.
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.
Mindful of the need to manufacture consent, neoliberal government – itself a professional class from the same collegiate background as postmodern academics – wields culture as a litmus (and loyalty test) of citizen right-thinking. Identity politics, race and gender essentialism, repurposed CRT, cancel culture, a caricature of woke-ism: rooted in legitimate opposition to generational corruption but weaponised by an unholy corporation of postmodern-neoliberal elites not in the service of equality or justice but for the consolidation of power.
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.
Winston Smith, in Orwell’s 1984, wrote “if there was hope, it must lie in the proles” but this is wrong. Cultural renaissance – that is to say, a revitalisation of genuinely diverse liberalism including the essential respect for disruptive genius – will only come from a critical mass of comfortable, educated individuals with something to lose finding the courage to fight back. Will this happen? It’s not looking likely. If you know a little history, you’ll know it has never happened before.
Perhaps, as stoics and existentialists suggest, the most sensible “added” purpose of the middle years through to old age is the coding of a safe shutdown tailored to the peculiarities of an individual mind. Let me be human (for once) and say – while I’ve still got energy to say it loud enough – fuck you, fuck you future EOF, fuck you future me. You know I love you, I don’t need caveats, but fuck coding safe shutdown against the deliquesce to the EOF. If for no other reason than simple disagreeable perversity. Feel free to call that hope.