I am waiting to go in for the ‘tube down the throat’ treatment and thought I would pass the time putting the world to rights. Haven’t done that for a bit.
(written as I think it – slightly stressed by imminent horrid treatment)
I wonder how many people really think about what they want? I don’t. I just carry on without thinking, pretty happily actually. Of course for a good part of the world’s population they don’t need to think hard, they just want the basics, but for us privileged westerners I bet most people are like me – they just carry on. In terms of the ‘don’t vote’ debate it’s the ‘carry on without thinking’ bit that bothers me. To put it another way they say – why change what doesn’t need fixing. How many assumptions are buried away in that notion of carrying on? I need a partner, a job, an education, money, a decent home, a car, holidays, free time. Before long the list escalates to include, a new kitchen, broadband an iPhone etc. In my case capo di monte lamps, phone boxes and the rest. These things become the essential building blocks of life and other people’s lives and real needs get forgotten.
I didn’t vote because all the new governments we could have elected on Thursday advocate the notion of carrying on regardless without scrutinising these assumptions and asking if they could be wrong.
The argument put forward by the pragmatists is that there is no other way of conducting practical politics. We should only think about the things that have an immediate and direct impact on people’s lives. How much tax they pay, how long it will take to get an operation, how good their local school will be. I am fed up with this and I am fed up with pragmatists. I don’t want to talk about these trivial things. I want to talk about how we are going to create a more equitable peaceful world so that the majority of people have the opportunity to indulge themselves in the sort of naval gazing I am indulging in now. There is no political party that is prepared to consider anything other than a maintenance of the status quo, the vested interest of us greedy, privileged islanders .
Of course some governments are worse than others. Conservatism is defined by its name its reactionary credentials and its supporters who tend towards the establishment, but Labour also harks back to a history of class struggle which has become the status quo for many supporters, however supposedly radical and may no longer be as relevant as they think. My point is that our political parties are too inward looking and us voters are too selfish to bring about real change. Democracy doesn’t really work. How many of us really feel as if we had a voice. I don’t. The underlying philosophies upon which the government policies are built are not progressive enough to deal with the circumstances that exist today rather they are based on principles and precedents that were once important. The significance of history, of precedents is vastly overrated. It worked like this in 1945 so it’s bound to work like this again. I see no evidence that history has ever provided any more predictive power than a crystal ball. By concocting this illusion of having a voice, of precedents and empiricism governments provide a reassuring sense to voters of continuity and stability. But this is false. Under the water they are paddling frantically. This was exemplified by the financial crash, but also by the rise of fundamentalism, antibiotic resistant bacteria, climate change and even the this last election. Such uncertainty can only be dealt with by either a very joined up system or a very fragmented system. The current system of national governments formed around an arbitrary division of the planet into nations established in prehistory by the movement of tectonic plates that formed seas, rivers and mountains is redundant. It’s also the worst of all worlds. It creates reasons to compete rather than cooperate, reasons to resent rather than celebrate and a culture of separatism and suspicion.
So the solution is to join up and establish a global government that divides the cake fairly. The alternative is to continue to accept that some lives are worthy of more resources than others, something most of us would agree is abhorrent. As a global government can only come about with the dissolution of all current governments my anarchic stance is justified and thus I can only vote for no government at all. Thus I should spoil my ballot.
Actually I didn’t, but that’s another story.
Good timing I am summoned to be plumbed.
Gastro endoscopy was a joy. I got 9 ½ out of ten for bravery. The doctor said I needed something to work toward for next time.