Monday, 25 November 2013

The basis for revolution (or how a commie talks some sense)


Chris Dillow is a commie (OK, a Marxist, but since Karl Marx wrote the manifesto for communism that makes him a commie in my book) which is pretty close to unforgivable. However, he speaks sense when he says this:

And this is why I say the totalitarians have won. A totalitarian is a fanatic who believes that one ideology should dominate society. And (some) managerialists are - in this sense - totalitarians, who have extended top-down control freakery to places where it is counter-productive and destructive of traditional values. 

 Many years ago I concluded (in one of those all too infrequent flashes of wisdom) that not everyone agreed with me. And that it would be a pretty sad old world were that to be the case. Not that I'm wrong, of course, but that any idea must be challenged - how often do we see the biggest public administration disasters (look at NHS computerisation) occurring where there is no challenge, where everyone thinks it's a good thing.

This is why the closing down of debate by the use of bans is wrong. I think Marxism is wrong (axiomatically) but welcome people who want to argue from a Marxist viewpoint. The biggest problems - the recent banking crisis, the continued failure of international aid, the sclerotic European Union, England's failure to win international trophies at football - all stem from adherence to received wisdom and the absolute dismissal of radical or different approaches to these problems.

I recall campaigning during the 2001 General Election in Keighley, handing out "save the pound" leaflets outside the market, when a Labour councillor stopped for a chat - "I thought you were a sensible Tory, Simon," he pointed at the leaflet, "you don't believe this do you?"

Strip the politics away and this was simply an expression of that year's perceived wisdom - Europe and the Euro are good things and only frothing loonies believe otherwise. Yet those who took a contrary view were right were they not? Despite being contrary, despite being narrow-minded 'Little Englanders'!

The purpose of the government, to many of its denizens (and especially the non-elected ones) is to direct us all to the right decisions, right actions, to promote conformity. And, since I'm a grumpy old liberal rather than a Marxist, here's a reminder to government about its authority and impermanence:

There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time," or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void.

I'm such Chris, as a good commie, would agree that this is the basis for revolution. However it is prosecuted.


1 comment:

Junican said...

There is a simple phrase which adequately defines 'totalitarian'. That phrase is "One size fits all"

That is one of the reasons (and in my opinion the major one) that many people see recent governments as 'being all the same'. Personally, I believe that it is a symptom of 'government by government departments'.

More and more edicts seem to emanate from government departments which seem to bypass the supposed sovereignty of parliament. The Smoking Ban is a perfect example. Only now is this becoming clear, as illustrated by the statement from the PM that he believes that the typhoon which hit the Philippines has been caused by global warming, and the attempts by the EU tyranny to get ecig medicinalisation in a roundabout way, and thereby negate the wishes of the elected representatives.
Do you see the same thing happening in local authorities?