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Tony Grist

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Have No Truck With The Senseless Thing [Aug. 15th, 2004|09:44 am]
Tony Grist
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.

From: archyena
2004-08-15 03:27 am (UTC)
It's interesting that now that the ideological underpinning of the people who are constantly warning against "imperialism" is gone there is only now the possibility of imperialism. Imperialism cannot exist in an ideological frame, true client states do not emerge. Ideology creates mutual bands of friendship and defense, what we see now is a return to blatant calculation in pursuit of simple (petty) national interests, but these are overwhelmed by cooperative goals (hence the mutliplicity of interlocking cooperative systems and an odd paucity of alliances old-fashioned alliances). Marx was wrong on a fundamental philosophical question (not to mention a plethora of economic ones), is capitalism an ideology? No, it is a simple outgrowth of markets and the trading of abstract methods of payment (promissory notes and later "float" currency).

The power of confident ideology is nothing against nature. Canute may have ordered the tides recede, but Marx believed they would.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-08-15 06:21 am (UTC)
The idea that capitalism is simply a force of "nature" is a hard one for me to swallow- soft-headed old lefty that I am- but it seems like I've been wrong about a lot of things...
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