Left, Right and Centre

Does it matter from which theism or atheism some fundamentalists stem? And in politics (so much the same thing, of course), does it matter whether it’s fascism or communism? Fascinating history, devilish details, technical definitions and fashionable discourse aside, extremism is extremism when it’s applied. When a crazy utopian, messianic obsessive or cynical opportunist gets their hands on power over another, or a whole bunch of others, does it matter what is the colour of the authoritarianism; what shade the totalitarianism? Whether it came from ‘Above’ or the Left or the Right? If a person is labelled an infidel, a terrorist or a deviant; if a person/group is considered to be an undesirable element within its own society or by a whole block of global powers; if a person/group is denigrated by a powerful collective purely for its own convenience: how much does it matter what flavour the condemnation and punishment is to the person or group on the receiving end?

There is an arrogant, self-appointed, self-entitled, ownership class, a nervous, judgemental, compliant class and a disenfranchised but indispensable class. They each exist in every shade and flavour of every regime. The devilish details, technical definitions and fashionable discourse may explain the motivation and the how of achievement but, in the end, what happens is that Power rests with a few at the expense of an increasing majority. The effect is the same: fear, paranoia, division, diminution, violence, arbitrary punishment, dehumanisation…

~ * ~

The Left and Right sit side by side to overlapping at the centre and stretch to their opposite ends of a line: a spectrum. But if the ends are bent around they eventually meet and overlap. Like ultraviolet and infrared, they are merely different expressions of a shared source. Hence the irony in those with fascistic tendencies who fear any application of Marxist or other socialist theory so much as to automatically associate and equate it with Stalinism. Hence the irony of Führer Cameron Mao and his “Cultural Revolution” in “The National Interest” as he looks lovingly to China, where they have little of this messy democracy which interferes so dreadfully and which he is so keen to demolish to advance his kleptocratic whims. Hence Cameron’s ability to build a regime which straddles the potential of both disgusting political extremes.

For ages now, people have had no problem at all with claiming “no difference” between the way our main political parties occupy a modern notion of centre ground. Both parties, like so much of the world, have been englamoured by the scourge of short-termist, narcissistic neoliberalism. This is the nominated and seconded centre. In some ways Labour appears to be rehabilitating itself somewhat and, hopefully, it will be sufficient to at least slow the devastation of this fascicommunist coalition. But it will not be enough. For, as much as Labour is making some of the right noises about our economy, it is still tinkering at the edges rather than overhauling from the ground up. Neither is the economy an isolated feature in need of reform: there are all manner of legislative, executive and institutional abuses to redress. ‘Eternal vigilance’ must surely by the price of Democracy as well as ‘Liberty’.

Labour alone, will not save our sorry arses: at the most it will allow us just to take a breath; to buy time to worry less about literally surviving the day and more about well-overdue economic, institutional and democratic reformation. It is vital that that breathing space is not squandered if – no – when it comes; vital that the People do not heave too big a sigh of relief and go back to the complacency and lazy thinking that exacerbated the current state. For, as sure as night follows day, however much Labour is starting to look like the palatable alternative – and in so many ways, they are – notice that they are moving as little to the left as possible. It is difficult to tell whether this is reflective of the party’s real worldview or reflective of its inhibition in the face of the eager hysteria of mainstream media.

The way mainstream news, media and political parties gravitate to the centre ground makes of it a fiction because neither of what are considered in politics as either traditionally or new left or right can actually sit there (wherever on earth ‘there’ is) very comfortably. And yet they seriously believe they can occupy the same ground – the same centre – and still proclaim to offer substantial difference while also serving both the majority and the latest version of National Interest. The so-called centre ground is now as potentially extreme as its ends. It’s like some great joke played on the electorate in a manner comparable to some infinitely long game of cricket. You know: You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in… To the practised eye they look like two teams but sometimes you could swear blind it was just the one.

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2 thoughts on “Left, Right and Centre

  1. Pingback: Left, Right and Centre | SteveB's Politics &amp...

  2. You sum up neatly the mess of our politics. Tony Blair said that there are really only two parties – those who tout the ‘wisdom of the markets’ and those who hold a positive role for the state. Unfortunately, all our political groups (including the Greens) contain both those strands – which are irreconcilable! It is not possible to be a little bit ‘free market’. Furthermore, the leadership of all the political parties (other than the Greens) prior to 2010 were neoliberal… the jury is out on how different Ed M and Ed B will be (and I am much more concerned about Ed B’s position than EMs).

    Fundamentally, democracy and ‘free markets’ are in contradiction… and this is without taking into account the criminality/fixing that is associated with the deregulated markets. At best, imposing the wisdom of the markets is akin to an unaccountable dictatorship but we all know that the ‘markets’ are not an entity but are controlled/manipulated by the four big companies and the 161 individuals who run the global economy.

    Fascism is a rejection of not only democracy but also of politics itself. Neoliberalism is a blind for fascism.

    Like

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