Five years and $35 trillion later, there remains not the remotest iota of doubt in the minds of those who caused, watched and puzzled over what happened in 2008. None of them wonder overmuch why we haven’t recovered in the West, and why we are still on course for disaster.
No anxieties about the imbalance of the British economy towards f**kwitted financial paper salamis.
No worries about the need for an alternative to Bourses for raising money.
No feeling at all that Globalism might not be the way forward.
No concerns about the terrible mismatch that is neoliberalism in the hands of sociopathic greed.
No regrets that they’re about to turn to the populace to bail them all out – by simply changing out to in.
Not even a second’s thought given to the mutualised model for key cultural services like health, education,the Justice System and welfare.
No doubts at all.
It’s at moments like this one understands how Copernicus must’ve felt towards the Catholic Church in that grey age before the Enlightenment. In fact, the econo-fiscal and political Establishments of the West behave more and more like those preaching the love of Christ while simultaneously burning them, if only to show the unfathomable profundity of his mercy.
Anti-frackers are tree-huggers, critics of neoliberalism are Lefties, speaking against Ronald Reagan is evidence of anti-American behaviour, Milt Friedman is the one true purveyor of economic wisdom…and all who oppose him are neolithic Keynesians. Margaret Thatcher deserves a statue, Jamie Dimon is an outstanding financial technician, Simon Stevens is a unique reformer, Jeremy Hunt’s revival is a sign of his character, and Lloyd Blankfein is doing God’s work.
The result is that it takes just one slur against the Opposition Leader’s long-dead Commie Dad to have Ed Miliband suggesting that he once smoked Socialism, but didn’t inhale. It is The Spanish Inquisition: admit your heresy if you don’t want to wind up 8 feet tall.
And if at any time there seem to be doubts in the Congregation, then every cleric in the Adventist Church of the Neoliberalist is on hand to yell bigotry and lies from the pulpit: employment is up, we’ve turned a corner, the euro is forever, America is booming, it’s the recovery, one more heave, we’re on the right road, so get Thee behind me Satan, so help me Friedman.
This is worse than folly, it is a folly: one huge wall pointing to nowhere built on spin, shifting sands, and human waste. A cardboard set that, every time it wobbles, is frantically grabbed by Dan Hannan while he talks about the 70th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan ascending into the Third Grade. Anything to stop too many overworked and underpaid slaves realising they’re in a surreal version of The Truman Show.
Take this morning’s piece in the Financial Times, recording Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s latest outburst of directional dyslexia. The heading to this cross between Feydeau farce and Gay Passion Play is – I kid you not – ‘A message of hope for the City of London’, sub-head, ‘Carney speech stresses importance of finance to UK’. F**k me Marky-Mark, are you a man of insight or what?
I could bore you with the detail, but instead let me give you the synopsis: stop knocking the bankers. So then, BoE Man is treading the same worn-down jungle trail as Johnson, Fallon, Osborne and Cameron: “Blessed are the Bankerf**kers, for verily shall they inherit the Earth”. Well, fair play – they do have a much better chance than the meek.
Mammon has replaced the Church of Rome with the Church of Basel. In the Baselian Orthodox Church, there is equally little room for theological doubt. The issue of transubstantiation? Gold is worth what we say it is, and paper can be turned to gold if St Mario commands it. The Ascension? Greece is dead, but will rise again if the blessed Santa Angelicus di Jugendführerin commands it. Miracles? Watch in awe as the Christian convert Emperor Barack gratifies the Chinese with loaves, and his own poor with fishes thought by trouble-making heretics to be suffering from Fukushima Toxicity Syndrome.
Only a new Age of the Enlightenment will bring this sacrilegious twaddle to an end. I’d love to think that The Labour Party or Left Foot Forward or Occupy or any of the other Leftist solutions were the vanguard of this, but they too are from the past. I truly adore Russell Brand, but while he stood up to Jeremy Paxman commendably in their recent encounter, he too resorted to syntactical drivel with his talk of “an egalitarian socialist democracy”. There is no such thing, Russ baby: read a book on anthropology.
I am too an unalloyed admirer of Tom Watson’s balls and gritty determination to defend the vulnerable: but Tom is a tribalist, ineluctably wedded to protest marches, Tollpuddle martyrdom and trade unions.
The fundamental problem with the Resistance in the West is that it employs the rear-view mirror alone. Only when the enormity of the fiat currency financial auto pile-up finally reveals itself as a mass funeral pyre of monetary motorway madness will new ideas start to gain ground. I repeat my overriding fear in all this: the ever-present danger is a Robespierre or a Napoleon rising through the dross to promise the weary masses a Utopian future of guillotined immigrants, defeated ogres and infinite fraternity.
Such things come not through the political process, but from a culture willing to embrace social service and civic-driven education as a given. Even this route is fraught with the danger of thought-control triumphing over individual creativity. Whatever our legislators tell us, this isn’t easy: if it was, everyone would’ve done it centuries ago.