The rise and rise of democratic atrophy
Prime Minister’s Questions every week is a TV programme that hardly anyone in the UK watches, because all it shows is that politicians are deaf. The highest rating it ever got was in 2015, for Jeremy Corbyn’s maiden flight. Roughly 2% of the electorate watched it – about a million people. Usually the figure is much lower.
Today’s bunfight comprised two grown adults having a spat below the standard of wit one might expect in a Bromley playground. In the coming hours, the next stage of the Neverendum formally known as Brexit will take place. Almost nobody in the country understands the state of play: all they can see is the likelihood that, at some point, MPs will torpedo the EU departure plans of the Government, thus overriding a “binding decision” taken by The People…and fatally weakening its bargaining position with the Brussels Commission.
How bizarre it is that we have created a world in which everyone can be in tele-contact with everyone they know all the time….but while that process has been taking place, the growing fissure, fog and failing links between government and its citizens has created a scale of distance that should be measured in light years.
Mutual understanding between the governed and governing classes has not been so poor since the invention of the printing press. And it’s no good just blaming “the politicians” for this. First of all, we have allowed them to surround themselves with security and live in a bubble without holding them accountable; and secondly, we have chosen to watch footie, obsess about gaming and follow the braindead serials and soaps on telly while gawping at the resultant “celebrity” in the press. Such distraction has made us inattentive to the progress of unelected power; and fine, some of the distraction was created by that power in the first place…..but nobody is forcing us to watch it: at least, not just yet.
In truth, the creation of fissure and fog has occurred on several levels: technological, ideological, media disinformation, deregulated employment, education and defamation. Today, the combination of all these factors has produced the surreal spectacle of the deaf leading the blind – the blind being increasingly apathetic about the direction of trial.
Hitech wastes a gigantic amount of human time, be that time spent gaming, phoning, texting, emailing or even reading old gits wittering on from their hideouts in rural France. In turn, the internet allows both suppliers of goods and services (alongside the political and bureaucratic classes) to hide from us….while at the same time giving us no place to hide from them.
Blind belief in Islam, trickling wealth, fractional reserve banking, Marxist constructs, collectivism, busted psychiatry, political correctness, personal identity, feminism, globalism, America First and blocism ensure that around 50-90% of the citizenry (depending on whether you’re talking Vietnam or Italy) have minds so closed to any innovative ideas, they screen out an and all facts challenging their catechisms…assuming the facts can be established in any meaningful way.
Spin as practiced by Clinton, Blair, Mandelson, Campbell, Obama, Johnson, Corbyn, Trump and myriad copycats makes those facts increasingly difficult to establish, and the ease with which the liars perform their black arts has been helped by the extraordinary shrinkage in media ownership over the last two decades.
Contemporary education (when applied to that facility) has in turn produced the inability of most citizens educated after 1980 to discern excremental drivel from Belgian chocolate. So syllabus-trained have they become, they think only of approval under examination rather than questioning an interpretation.
Defamation of “enemies” and the creation of bogey-men is terrifyingly easy once one has that level of naively conformist and unthinking raw material with which to construct a narrative. It explains why a huge majority of the Western middle classes bought into the Skripal poisonings, the Assad bombings, the Windrush hype and the need to “punish” Greece.
Somehow, we have arrived here at the perfect meeting of those elements required to destroy any accepted concept of civilisation. First of all, a mediocre political class with illiberal tendencies prone to producing constitutional vandalism:
“Though liberty is established by law, we must be vigilant, for liberty to enslave us is always present under that very liberty. Our Constitution speaks of the “general welfare of the people.” Under that phrase all sorts of excesses can be employed by lusting tyrants to make us bondsmen.” (Cicero)
Second, a dumbed down, undiscerning and ill-informed electorate:
“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” (Plato)
Third, the rise and rise of unelected power:
“If there is no enemy within, we have nothing to fear from the enemies beyond our borders”. (Socrates)
And finally, the destruction of our citizen rights under the Rule of Law by such forces:
“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” (Aristotle)
PMQs, Lords defiance, Embezzlement of State pensions, bank bailins, spineless governance, politicised cops, bureacratic delays and urban guerrilla tactics to thwart the will of the People: these are but symptoms of a cultural structure in which there is mutual exclusivity between those given power, and those who granted it.
The disease is called democratic atrophy. It can result in many deaths. But in the end, it destroys everyone’s liberty.