At last a little truth and reality is beginning to emerge from a long period where politicans have treated those who elect them as fools to be gulled with lies and impossible promises, while always careful to feather their own nests. For decades they have become increasingly ignorant and philistine, caring for little other than being leected and living an easy, privileged life. Never having learned much history, treating economics as doctrinal religion and with no general culture or interest in knowledge, they have become the worst body of parliamentary rulers for centuries. At least the new coalition is telling us that our descent into debt and chaos must be regulated as far as possible. It is only thinking of those with enough income to survive a period of increasing austerity, ignoring the plight of those without jobs or even a legal right to live here, and giving no thought to the strong possibility of revolution because that is not part of the British tradition.
They talk of coming out of recesssion and returning to prosperity, but that is an impossibility for the foreseeable future. The world is turning uglier as it runs out of food, water and energy, as wars and tribal massacres increase, as religious, national, tribal and cultural hostilities are whipped up by demagogues and often the local press, but all the while the world population is still growing. Here and there things might get slightly better and some problems might be reduced through technology and regulation, but there will never be a return to the artificial and illusionary apparent prosperity of the beginning of the century. What the government still cannot accept, although some of them must know it, is that the only humane and right thing to do is to create a culture of sharing and equality, while simultaneously training a new class of highly educated, responsible people to run things properly at a modest reward. This needs a new thinking that accepts a national incomes policy, where individual spendability is not more than one to fifteen, achieved through taxation, a reduction of purchasable items to what is necessary to a basic civilised life, an end to corporate activity with the break up into smaller and manageable units to industry and commerce, a limitation of unecessary imports, probably a return to rationing. This might seem unthinkable now, but it will not be in another year or two as the outside world gets worse.
Basic thinking must look at the cause of theings. Our human nature is only part of animal nature, which is tribal, instinctive, greedy, competitive and anti-social. Our love of sport is tribal and based on that animal nature. The alternative is civilisation, which should be cooperative living, sharing, based on the desire for knowledge and human betterment through altruism and the growth of wisdom and intelligence which comes about through the thinking which the arts and human creativity bring about. Frivolity, fanatacism, rivalry, refusal of education – are products of the first, with the fundamentalist hatred of everything different from what one knows, its manifestation, while the second – the production of civlised thinking – is seriousness, generosity, appreciation, understranding and involvement in the mind, the arts, science and knowledge, together with a natural curiosity that looks to meaning and causes.
If a revolution is to come, it is up to us to make it one of the mind and civilisation, and not of violence, hatred, and bloodshed. If politicians do not, or cannot help us to face the reality of today, then we as individuals must do it without them.
John Calder 23/6/10