May 7th, 2017

Death Of An Illusion

In Britain the levers of power are in the hands of an uninspired and uninspiring bodger (May) while her idealistic opponent (Corbyn) is dismissed as a Quixotic fool.  In France they're making a choice- right now- between the candidate for let's carry on as normal even though its shit (Macron) and the candidate for let's go back to the 1940s even though they were even shittier (Le Pen). In the USA proper politicians were rejected in favour of Trump.

Political rhetoric has become empty and formulaic, electorates are disengaged and bored- no more interested in politics than they would be in the arcana of any other necessary but unglamorous trade- plumbing for instance or grave-digging.  We wonder what can be done to ginger things up. But why?

The idea that the state of the world- and even human nature- could be changed by political action was an illusion that slowly gained ground on us until it became the dominant faith of the 20th century.  It replaced religion. Marxism, Fascism, Maoism and the rest promised heaven on earth. One more heave, brothers and sisters, and we'll get this Sisyphean rock to the top of the hill. We tried out ideology after ideology, banged them against one another, tested them all to destruction and when the dust cleared- and the dead had been counted- found ourselves in much the same world and with much the same human propensities as when we started. Such gains as had been made were down to advances in other fields of human enterprise- philosophy for instance and medicine. The rich were still rich, the poor were still poor...

And now we know better.