The Saturday Essay: What’s the Point of an Opposition That Doesn’t Oppose?
Looked at with a jaundiced eye, Western nations and power blocs are no longer pluralist. We do not have legislative Oppositions any more that look to the future. Only Establishments inviting in power-greedy Alt States – while ignoring those who pay for them to do so. We have nothing beyond extra-Parliamentary Resistance. Such is far better than nothing; but only social-change-grounded, citizen-centric Parties and leaders can succeed in one day taking back power from the Corporatocracies emerging everywhere. The Slog highlights some of the obstacles in the way of getting there.
Today’s essay is a UK-Euro-American event that focuses on the growing role of various Alt (for Alternative) States and ideologies in our daily lives and probable futures. I dislike the term “deep State” because such élites are now above ground and obvious; and I think “Surveillance State” is far too narrow. There are several Alt States at work, ranging from surveillance, military and energy via financial, neoliberal, big business, media and bureaucratic interests.
Superimposed upon these states-within-The-State are several ideologies that share one thing with the Alt States: an unquenchable lust for power in the name of The People which, in reality, cares not a fig about any People beyond their people. These I would name (and frequently shame in these columns) as violent socialist collectivism, monetary economic theory, radical Islam plus its camp followers, ‘free trade’ globalist mercantilism, hardline/knee-jerk feminism and political correctism.
Be they Alts or Isms (and of course, they overlap) there are also two traits that go hand in hand with knowing better: ruthless intolerance of alternative speech, writing and thought; and complete contempt for the devolved enablement of directly accountable democracy.
The job of every Opposition Party in a politically plural culture is two fold: to point out faults in Government strategy, objectives and priorities, while proposing practical alternatives; and to oppose any action by government in general they perceive to be a threat to the liberal (as in tolerant) democratic State. In the US (which I know well), in the UK (where I was brought up), in the EU (where I live), in India (which I like), in Russia, China – and much of Africa and South America – there is either no Opposition at all, or one that obsesses purely about political direction, while ignoring obvious instances of Alt States and ideologies undermining the true democratic process.
I apologise if that was something of a mouthful, but would beg to illustrate the observation by reference to infamous history. After John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected to the White House in late 1959, and before he was sworn in, the outgoing Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower sat the young senator down in a bug-free room and warned him about the MIC (Military Industrial complex – the forerunner of today’s Alt States) as a clear and present threat to free-speech democracy.
Grateful for the warning, JFK already knew some of this. His first two years in office, however – in dealing with racism, Cuba, the Pentagon, the Mafia and Texan oilmen – opened his eyes to the sheer size of the problem. So during the last year of his life, Kennedy and his disciples worked not just on sound economic management and a tough anti-USSR foreign policy, but also on being The Opposition to Alt Statism, organised crime, militarily mendacious intelligence, overseas adventurism, CIA régime change and the Texan hard-Right security/oil wealth nexus.
There is now little doubt that, had he survived to run for a Second Term, JFK would’ve dumped Vice-President Lyndon Baynes Johnson (a Texan hawk) to send a clear message to the “enemy”. He told FBI boss J Edgar Hoover that he would “scatter the CIA to the four winds”. Ten days before going to Dallas in November 1963 he made a major speech, syndicated across American radio, to express his total opposition “to fighting Communism by restricting American liberty”. The night before his assassination, he told his press secretary Pierre Salinger, “The thing we have to get in Vietnam after ’64 is the f**k out”.
Like other real Democrats like FD Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy was opposed to the unelected Status Quo that threatened the Bill of Rights. We shall never know for sure who organised his assassination, but it is increasingly clear that one or more of the Alt States cooperated in ensuring that The Hit in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas succeeded.
Those he opposed also knew how to send a message.
Fifty-six years on, only a handful of political leaders and Party Big Beasts are doing (or trying to do) the culturo-constitutional things Kennedy believed to be non-negotiable. Donald Trump shows signs of doing so, but the Alt States usually both surround and outwit him. Viktor Orban has succeeded on a small scale in revolutionising Hungarian politics and resisting the blandishments of the European Commission, Assembly and Central Bank. While the Italian Government continues to play hardball against Brussels austerity ideologues, and remains a vocal critic of the euro currency.
What are the ‘official’ Opposition Parties doing in the US, Britain, France, the European Parliament and other centres of potentially contrarian thought?
The short (and clinically accurate) answer is navel-gazing collaboration.
The US Democrats buy into the ideological authoritarianism and accept all the Alt States as if they were as American as hamburgers and apple pie. They use State apparatus illegally to try and remove the democratically elected Trump, moan continuously about electoral fraud in which they themselves are massively implicated, and toy with washed-up dinosaurs like Joe Biden. Aside from Elizabeth Warren and her desire to root-and-branch reform the banking system, we simply do not hear any doubts expressed in contemporary US politics about the rogue power of the State Department, the Pentagon, Texan oil barons, radical Islam, Middle Eastern neocon foreign policy, the FBI, the CIA or indeed anything.
In Britain – where a silent but rapid corporatist-pc-media-bureauratic-MI6 Alt States putsch has developed around superbloc fan Theresa May and her Chancellor – neither the Labour nor Liberal Democrat Parties oppose any of the obviously unhealthy and often unconstitutional behaviour of May, her Attorney General and the twin Whitehall EUNATO fanatics Robbins and Sedwill. The reason for this is simple: they approve of it, and want it to remain in place should they ever come to power and gleefully begin to use it for their own ideological ends. And they gladly comply with the stark naked rape of sovereign Brexit, for they are all bloc-heads who believe sovereignty, nationalism and the concept of popular Will to be naively 20th century. As most of their socio-economic views were promulgated in the 18th and 19th centuries, this is perhaps not surprising.
It is unquestionably galling and pernicious. But does it represent in any way an act of Opposition? Of course it doesn’t. It reflects only blind admiration for Big Federalist process at the expense of personal responsibility and creative fulfilment.
Two years ago, France – or rather, a barely democratic minority of the French People – elected Emmanuel Macron President. Macron is a dictatorial product of the Ecole National d’Administration (ENARC), a former senior director at Rothschild, and a man who used Establishment media and banking money to convince Useful Idiots that he was the Centrist who would get La France en Marche!
Political opposition to his privatisation, stealth taxes, social cuts and overwhelmingly Blairite virtue signalling has been minimal. Only the still strong regional press here has expressed doubts about him. The big cities, business, banking and legislative houses have offered little or no effective opposition to his anti-Union, deregulation, anti-citizen and illiberal use of social force.
There is no meaningful legislative plurality in the US, Britain and France. All the Opposition pressure is extra-legislature – that is, in the Latin sense of outside the Congress, Parliament and the National Assembly.
In the US, it comes from the dogged determination of those various communities forgotten by the Alt States: main street, rural America, white trash America, salute the flag America, traditionalist old America: and most bitterly, anti-pc banking and obscenely rich America where everything is rigged against the perspiring body of Real America.
Donald Trump perpetrated a reverse takeover of the Republican Party: the US Congressional GOP played a role in his election that was, to say the least of it, baffled and grudging at best.
The UK’s attack on censorious ideology and élite bloc-head corruption has come overwhelmingly from one man – an early member of UKIP, and now the undisputed boss of TBP – The Brexit Party, Nigel Farage.
In his case, the private and State media have done everything in their power to smear and snear. The legislature Parties have treated him as an infectious threat to their duopoly (which he undoubtedly is) and the Left both inside and outside Parliament have been outrageously biased in their increasingly laughable attempts to position him as (variously) misogynist, racist, fascist, megalomanic and autocratic. Only the last of those has any behavioural evidence to support it: by comparison, their own leader Corbyn’s Party purges are akin to Josef Stalin on steroids.
The French resistance passed an “Allo Allo, qu’est-ce qui se passe ici?” judgement verdict on their new President (soon nicknamed MacroNapoleon) fairly swiftly. But it wasn’t from the Assembly; it wasn’t even from the the trade union movement.
It came from the Gilets Jaunes – an avowedly anti political and economic ideology Movement that has no National Deputies, and flatly rejects the idea of ever having any…..because it recognises that the system is rotten, and increasingly works only for the wonks and the rich.
The GJs (Yellow Vests) have gone the Suffragette route of civil disobedience, with a specific focus on tax as a means of pauperising lower middle, agrarian and working class France. Ask any group of them what they are primarily against, and they say “L’injustice fiscale” – tax injustice. It has hit a severely raw nerve in moyen classe France that encompasses anyone using petrol, paying autoroute tolls and watching in dismay as the rural domestic land tax continues to sky-rocket.
They continue to disrupt cities, starve the Government of tax income, and embarrass Macron at every turn. Without trying to elect a single Deputy, they have forced him to cut petrol taxes and call a national debate on social justice. His televised conclusions about Le Grand Débat were found puerile by a staggering 63% of viewers. Already, he has the air of a one-term President.
But yet again, the so-called major PS and UMP (Republicain) Parties have been largely sidelined: for the first time in nearly ninety years, neither mainstream organisation made it to the Presidential second round.
We are just a week away, as I write, from what are going to be the most anti-Establishment, eurosceptic EU elections in the Union’s history. My take at this juncture is, “So far, so good….but it’s nowhere near enough”.
Although it would be comforting to think otherwise, none of Trump, Farage, the Gilets Jaunes, disruptive elements in an EU talking shop or a tricky oil-and-water Italian eurosceptic Coalition are viable long-term weapons in the global attempt by Personal Destiny Control (PDC) units to defeat 3% repressive power-bloc élites.
They may just be the end of the beginning of the liberty backlash…..but expect an immediate counterattack (probably based on carefully staged security emergencies) by the Alt States to provide suitable excuses for yet further reductions in free speech.
The recent Soros-backed schools push to create a sense of child-killer climate emergency is already being used to purge our Universities of CO2 sceptics. And the furiously illiberal campaign by Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson to crush any criticism of multicultural shortcomings or Islamic agitprop in Britain was truly breathtaking. He has lost a lot of weight recently, but Watson seems to have achieved it by shedding large numbers of marbles en route.
Trump may have captured the GOP, but he shows no sign of controlling the real power-brokers. Farage remains a single-issue bombast whose broader views on the need to restore social justice and constitutional probity are at best sketchy and at worst wrong. Yellow Vests saying what they don’t like is no substitute for a radical reform plan. And the Brussels Bourbons are implacably opposed to democratic reform, for the simple reason they don’t like democracy, period.
Sooner rather than later, the EU is going to go bang following a combination of banking and Member State crises. Too late, the fluffy dupes will grasp that fake data has been more disastrous than any piece of fake news.
The same people at whom this blog is aimed will remain a minority of thinkers aware of just how geopolitically and socially dangerous the medium term is likely to become. Every substantial nation State in the first World is now split down the middle between status quo élites offering counterfeit change, and extra-legislative movements determined to offer the real thing. That could so easily degrade into Tsars losing out to Bolsheviks, and Kaisers making way for Nazis.
Political language has been so mangled, inverted and manipulated over the last four decades in the West, whatever spurious ideologies of either Left or Right were put forward would quickly give way to the reality of bigger North Koreas and Vietnams – where the power cult of personality is almost always the outcome.
We must see these new ground-level playing fields as catalysts, and not expect them to bring about the Alt States’ cataclysm in one 90-minute Cup Tie.
Fiscal, financial and economic chaos will, in and of itself, have a far greater potential to destroy élites already weakened by PDC. History shows us, unfortunately, that anarchy leads quickly to autocracy.
That’s why the search for robust, long-term creative solutions based on social anthropology and sound, empirically proven ecology ideas must start without delay. Cometh the hour, cometh nobody just yet.
I’m off to watch the Cup Final. I wish one and all a restful and thoughtful weekend.
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