August 15th, 2004

Have No Truck With The Senseless Thing

When I was writing about "holiness" I had a snatch of Kipling come into my head. I looked it up and found it was all about politics not religion- so I didn't post it. But it's still going round my head, so I guess I'll give way and post it now.

"Holy State or Holy King-
Or Holy People's Will-
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!"

I grew up in an age of ideology. Left and Right- it was all so plain. You fell in behind a banner and felt good about it. That changed when the Wall came down. Now, as archyena points out, the labels have become meaningless.

I still haven't adjusted. I used to be a man of the Left; I knew where I stood and which party I was going to vote for- and now I don't because they're all offering variations on the same rhetoric. I feel baffled and angry. My complacency has been disturbed.

Well, yeah- but it was the 2Oth century that was anomalous and now it's back to business as usual and a good thing too! The grubby, unheroic politics of the present- where no-one believes in anything- are a whole lot less less murderous than the polarized, ideological politics of the recent past. Better Putin than Stalin. Better the dim, corrupt politicians of the European Union than Hitler and Franco and Mussolini.