April 10th, 2009

Out Of Ideas

Our politicians are clean out of ideas. The overarching ideology of the past half-century- freemarket capitalism- is collapsing around us,  its historic opponent- state socialism- collapsed decades ago and there don't seem to be any alternatives. The politicians, bereft of ideology- are reduced to managing the mess. That's why I don't hate them the way I hated their immediate predecessors. You can hate a man with ideas. His ideas make him loom bigger than himself. Tony Blair, as frontman for neo-conservatism- the last and feeblest ideology of the 20th century- had a sort of nasty, glittery grandeur.  His successor, Gordon Brown, is  just a hapless human being, floundering about in the shambles he helped create. There's nothing there to hate- no big idea to oppose or disprove. You can point at the incompetence, the corruption, the dishonesty, but you know in your heart that that's just the human condition- and you can expect exactly the same sort of muddle from the next person to take the job.

Big ideas lead to big crimes. Countless millions of people died in the last century because politicians got big ideas in their heads. Distasteful as they may be, I think we're better off with our current crop of scuttling, empty-headed managers.