Unwelcome guests

Travel far enough, politically, either to the left or to the right and the extremes of each will meet and blur. Ultimately, neither wins but both are devastating, soul-destroying, in their temporary capture.

The far Right does not win. It englamours by feeding resentment; it says you are special – superior, even – but deliberately overlooked because there is not enough to go round and those in most need – for which read ‘undeserving delinquent’ – keep getting the most help and at your expense. It tells you, therefore, who to dislike, who to hold in contempt, who to fear. It prescribes utopian levels of liberty but scorns tolerance as a weakness and yet insists that you be fragile and claim victimhood whenever and wherever equality of rights are conferred, as though simple parity of human and civic worth were a liberal elitism; as though the scales of justice were only balanced when weighted in their/your particular favour. It levels like a dam.

It is selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, manipulative and shortsighted. It is dangerous and in the ascendant.

The far Left does not win. It englamours by feeding resentment, saying that you should be special but for a few people with power and wealth who think themselves superior and that the only reason there is not enough to go round is because they control it all because of their elitist/neoliberal/crony model. It tells you, therefore, who to dislike; who to hold in contempt; who to fear. It prescribes utopian levels of equal opportunity based on individual need and desire but treats you as a stereotype and insists on clinical homogeneity. It levels down.

It is naive, petulant, manipulative, bitter and shortsighted. It is dangerous and persistent.

Full-on or fag-packet, fascism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, whether it begins on the left or the right, plays out the same: finger-pointing, resentment, collective paranoia, authoritarian response, censorship, personal paranoia, obedience, resistance, enforcement, punishment, collective fear.

Any extreme, political, religious or social depends upon conformity and control. Motivation may be cynical or ideological, sold as an emergency or in faith but the goal is to gain sufficient, enthusiastic consent for a shared belief. Both start by seizing upon often but, not always, valid grievances and manipulating them in populist appeal to the basest instincts and shallowest fancies. They inculcate appeasement and zeal and rely on compliance and enforcement as the appeal and enthusiasm inevitably falters. They sell it to you as breaking out of your chains but there is nothing freeing about it, unless you hold the power and very much enjoy wielding it. An unwelcome guest it may be but, in this sense, it arrives, incrementally and by invitation. It can be evicted, but, however long it takes to cheat, creep up and settle in, the clear-up and recovery take much longer.

How far is such an administration prepared and willing to go to see the fruition of an entropic ideology? Authoritarianism is employed when those in power fear and do not trust the populations they were elected to serve and represent. Keeping a regimented, submissive population would require more than forced labour, punitive policies and vociferous policing. What if resistance becomes the matched force? ID cards, checkpoints, segregation, armed forces on the streets? How authoritarian would it be ready to be and to what lengths would it go to justify its actions? For how long would it even care to justify them? Perhaps there is none so desperately furious and cruel as a failed and panicking utopian.

2 thoughts on “Unwelcome guests

  1. That was a brilliant piece Juli. I’ve always been a centrist, equally uneasy with the both the hard left and hard right. It’s when I start to see populism creep in I start to feel really anxious.

    Your words made me realise why. It’s simply the ‘us’ and ‘them’ aspects that underlie both ideologies…”If only we could crush (insert target of hostility), everything would be great.”

    It all sounds rather self-righteous, but general principles of acceptance, tolerance, fairness and understanding are my own values. They make for many a snappy Instagram quote, though perhaps not so much a flagship manifesto pledge.

    Charles

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, so much, Charles.

      I don’t think it is self-righteous. That is what the extremists want us to think. They accuse us of being ‘virtue-signallers’, ‘snowflakes’ ‘centrists’ etc because they need to undermine and gaslight us. You’re right, though, about the soft branding. I worry that we are going to have to repeat history simply so that some can finally remember where their irrational fanaticism drove us all.

      Juli xXx

      Like

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