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On Modernist Democracy

 

(For Roslyn Fuller)

 

Preamble
 
Einstein is credited with saying there are only 2 known Infinities.
Human stupidity, and the the likely size of the universe.
Only about the latter , he added, was there any doubt.
 
And so our rulers are aching to lurch us on to War, again.
And most of us buy the puerile media and policy spin.
Even those those! – especially those – who think themselves extra smart and savvy.
 
For many , it is anything but stupidity.
it is canny avarice, as with the dozens of constituencies that profit directly from war.
It is the most profitable and the largest industry going.
 
They dominate the media, and most of the government.
And they game the game, and spin the spin.
 
It may be time to question the parameters?
 
* * * * * * * * *
 
Question: How did the governors gain such inordinate power?
 
Well, they never gave it up, for starters.
 
Medieval ruling elites turned over, in time, to Modern ruling elites.
 
Once power has been monopolised, i.e., usurped, by a sect , a clan, or a stratum – as is ever the case once simple tribal forms suffer dissolution – it is scarcely ceded : except perforce.
 
*
 
We are not speaking of some idyll of ‘democracy’ drawn from political fantasy(I offer no critique of the idyll – it is just that).
But Modernist democracy.
Or, even more accurately, EuroModernist Democracy.
 
A bit like when you study ‘economics’ it is not some universal template, as is the official pose.
It is Modernist economics.
Or, more specifically, EuroModernist economics.
Even our ‘Nobel Laureates’ (what a joke!) are wholly unaware of that simple axiom.
 
*
 

Let me state the axial point: EM democracy is a tool (means) of legitimation of power.
 
It should not be mistaken for the ‘real thing’.
 
That gainsays, instantly, all the vapid distortions that informs discussions of the subject.
 
As Napoleon, canny political scientist, said it : you can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.
You get the point.
 
*
 

Today, the Oligarchy has state power virtually sealed.
As Santayana had it: democracy is the paradise that unscrupulous financiers dream of.
And that our 1% have achieved, in abundance: we have the best ‘democracy’ money can buy.
 
The 2 Party system (wherever practised) is little more than a quasi Duopoly.
And they play good cop, bad cop, every 2/4 yrs, depending on the electoral cycle.
And we lap it up, like dutiful little kitties.
 
As someone very bright put it, if elections were effective they’d be illegal.
Ponder that.
 
*
 
Keep the masses poor, insecure, and in irrevocable debt: and they won’t question a thing.
As the old adage goes: family (wo)men, facing the above, can’t be heroes.’
And so, we don’t have any.
Period.
Except those that strut in cartoons.
 
*
 
Additionally, use media and a galaxy of ‘think-tanks’ ( professional spin doctors) to endlessly purvey disinformation, and the citizenry is kept in hapless, infantile, irredeemable, even stupefying ignorance.
 
And , to clinch it, as and when needed, put out bright-eyed/bushy-tailed gatekeepers who keep the faith lit.
 
Recall the ‘yes, we can’ interlude?
 
*
 
All of the above is no more than the prosaic Art of Governance,, so it should occasion no surprise, except in those that live in ineradicable delusion.
 
It reveals not the shrewdness of the rulers, but the naivete of the ruled.
 
How/when can that spell break?
 
When supermarket shelves are empty: and/or the body count of victims becomes palpably intolerable.
 
Those are the limits within which the governors operate.
 
Those are the limits of EuroModernist hegemony.

 
[© R.Kanth 2022]

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)
 

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