The nature of politics

Forgive me in advance as I am about to take politics, a hugely complex beast, and reduce it down to what I see is at its core. All politics is, is different groups of people vying for supremacy within society. Human societies form naturally into hierarchies based on power. With the existing elite at the top, usually making up a tiny fraction of society. I think a pyramid is always a useful shape for visual purposes when it comes to thinking about societal structure. The base being the largest portion and what the community rests on. 

What I see when I look at the political spectrum is a struggle for power. The conservatives try to preserve the existing hierarchy and the progressives try to alter it. Each side tries to employ thought processes to justify the reasoning behind why its side of the spectrum should take precedence over the other on a variety of issues and society ebbs and flows based on this tug of war. 

Usually progressives consist of people who want huge scale change, but are satisfied to wage the long war and fight for steady, incremental reforms within the system. Over the long run, these people have been successful in fundamentally changing societies. People like Robert Owen spring to mind, a factory owner turned socialist, who helped campaign for the 8 hour working day. Owen is probably not the best example, given that he tried the radical idea of setting up a town in America called new harmony based on Utopian, socialist ideas, which ended in failure. But nonetheless he springs first to mind as a man that aided the bottom of society by working for change from within the system.

Every now and again you get a group of people who see attempts at working within the system for change as futile, because it serves only to play into the hands of the existing elites. They favour smashing the system entirely, usually in the form of some sort of revolution, either peaceful or violent and re-designing it anew in their own image. In my experience, this comes from a section of the community who feel powerless and weak and grab for extremes to improve their societal situation. Sadly, when this smashing of the system is achieved, what tends to happen is there isn’t an effective plan to replace the existing hierarchy and so chaos ensues. The power vacuum and lack of order, creates the right circumstance for a strong figure to emerge, a dictator.

What then happens is power is taken away from the higher ups to be given to someone equally, or more tyrannical. 

All the work the progressives made in the existing system, the hundreds of years of steady gnawing at the power structure is washed away with regime change. The new leaders flex their muscles and clamp down on the lower downs they once claimed to represent and civil liberties are destroyed. The premise of the Utopian system of equality is a clever carrot to dangle in front of the working class if you’re a psychotic, power hungry, authoritarian. 

When it comes to the conservatives, they will try to preserve aspects of policy that benefit them, often at the expense of other societal groups. This is just the nature of the world, when something benefits one individual or a group, it often impacts another. The conservatives also serve the function of trying to maintain societal structure under the onslaught of the progressive juggernaut and the incessant struggle for change. Sometimes some people will emerge who feel that too much change has happened within a society, or that those changes have led the country down the wrong path. This can breed the tendency to want to employ authoritarian means to clamp down on the progressives to maintain and reinforce societal structure or reverse it.

When taken to its extremes you can have similar instances of repression as the group of people that want to smash the system. 

It’s important in my view to find the right balance in society. To conserve the good aspects, the achievements we have made that in part help people to be able to coexist in some sort of system that can then act as a leap-board for us to pursue the arts, the sciences etc. It is equally important that the progressives continue to push the conservatives and ensure that the freedoms they have won over time are protected and built upon. But the balance is inevitably delicate in a tug of war and at times this can lead to imbalance. We are in such a period of imbalance in my opinion and it is only lending support to the types that want to forsake all order and structure and pull down the system in their anger. 

It would be folly to let that happen in a country, so storied, so proud as Britain. 

The self immolation of the West.

Whenever someone makes a bold, sweeping statement it often pays to be sceptical. I recently saw an influential figure label the UK Labour party as a party of imperialism from the time of Attlee through to Blair. I couldn’t help but think to myself, how wonderfully simplistic. When you take 70 years of political history and reduce it down to such a forthright and provocative statement, I think it is your deep responsibility to be able to comprehensively support such an opinion with evidence. I’m not saying that this evidence doesn’t exist or that you could not make a convincing argument at the very least to support that statement, however no proof or further explanation of that declaration was given by the writer. It was just left there as if it should be taken as a given.

And I know full well in the heat of the moment and because of political bias I am well capable of doing this myself, I hope that I have not done it too frequently in my own political writings. I’m merely by writing this seeking to encourage cynicism of such sweeping claims and get to the bottom of a rationale and logic that appears to appeal to many in the West and yet doesn’t hold much water when it’s held up to the thorough light of inspection.

And that is the rationale of self hatred and the depiction of the West as a great evil with no redeeming features. The argument goes that because of Britain and the Wests’ unsavoury history of exploitation through empire, our civilisation now deserves to be put to ruin. We have developed a collective guilt for the actions of many individuals across huge expanses of time. It follows on that we cannot stand up for the interests of Western civilisation on a local or global scale, because people born in the aftermath of empire in western lands, need to have their livelihoods, culture and homelands sullied in order to repay the perpetual, subjective debt that hangs over us.

I would hope that the issues with this line of thinking would be self evident and yet I see it quite often. I’ve pondered on the motivations behind an incessant demonising of Britain and especially America and yes, undoubtedly there have been foreign policy decisions that have had horrendous impacts on the lives of thousands, probably millions of people. There have also been positive ones. (US repulsion of invading Iraqi forces from Kuwait in Operation Desert Shield in the early 1990s.) The positive ones, or the time when military intervention goes correctly, often get left by the wayside when intervention is considered.

What motivations could you possibly have for only focusing on the negative of liberal, capitalist countries? Well you could be a Marxist/socialist/communist. America is symbolically the nation of free enterprise, individualism and free speech. All things despised by those that would like to see the state emboldened and a move towards a collective orientation in government and culture realised. What better way than to push your political goals than demonising beyond reason the countries that embody the systems that you wish to see replaced? If you spin everything America does as this giant, crooked evil, destroying the defenceless, impoverished peoples of the world it makes for quite a compelling narrative doesn’t it? It only needs to contain a shade of the truth in order to be passable to those not interested in scrutiny, only in confirming their own biases.

Who else? Religious people who see Western values that embody freedom as anathema? People who want their religion to be imposed on the rest of the planet and believe that any other set of beliefs or lifestyles are decadent and corrupt, will obviously not find anything within Western civilisation worth conserving, worth protecting. There are potentially hundreds of reasons you could have that don’t exactly lend support for your credentials as an objective analyst of foreign policy.

Whatever the reasons it is clear that the game is rigged. Don’t intervene and you are left open to accusations that you stood by and did nothing when a dictator or a political group rampaged through a country raping and killing political dissidents. Intervene and it goes wrong and you are a typical imperialist, seeking to keep a small country down to maintain your own power and secure resources. Intervene and it goes right, and it is forgotten by your political opponents because it does not suit the narrative that they have constructed and carefully perpetuated until it has seeped into the education sector and become a widespread, mainstream belief.

I’ve always been somewhat perplexed that the idea of the nation seems to be anathema to some of those that hate the US and Britain. The line of thought is that the nation is a divisive tool, constructed to divide the homogeneous peoples of the world. But then when a small number of individuals presiding over a country, individuals that the collective had no direct control over, vote to bomb a country in the middle east, suddenly the idea of the nation state and its people becomes relevant to those that had previously sought to undermine national identity. The argument goes from, the concept of a nation is abhorrent, to Britain and its people are responsible for the decisions of its politicians. It’s almost as though concepts and tribal groupings are relevant as long as they suit the agenda of the speaker.

If the West and it’s long, unique history are to survive as anything recognisable going into the future, the region needs to pick up the water can and douse the flames that are destroying it’s skin, before they get to the vital organs. Because let’s face it, if the West loses its identity as a result of destructive, self hatred. Freedoms that the targets of this piece take for granted will very much be on the line.

Immigration

So at present it is a conventional principle amongst the general populace that open borders, unfettered immigration is the moral choice. Anyone who even hints that Britain and it’s working class would be better served with controlled borders is shouted down as the wannabe heir to the Third Reich. It has become the emotional rather than the rational position to believe that all immigration is positive to Britain, there are no downsides and anyone who disagrees is a sub human racist who deserves to be ostracised from society in order to maintain its purity. Sounds drama filled and ridiculous doesn’t it? And yet that’s how it is for many on this topic.

When did tolerance become only tolerance for a particular viewpoint? When did free speech become anathema to the ‘good side’. If I was to turn around to you and say that open borders benefit big companies at the expense of the working class what would you say? If I said that an open border policy floods a wealthy country with a multitude of workers giving big business a wealth of choice to pick from for a particular role, thereby driving down wages, because there is a huge pool of choice, what would you say? 

It is simple supply and demand economics. If there are only a few people who have the skills to perform a particular job, then companies will compete for their skills by offering more money for the role they fulfil. If there are huge amounts of people who can perform that role because the market is saturated with labour, wages will decline, because power shifts to the company. They can choose from a huge pool of people who are the very elite at their role and everybody else falls by the wayside. 

The middle classes who are secure in their jobs, earning more than enough for subsistence, keep sneering at the working classes who complain that the jobs market is so saturated that they cannot compete effectively for jobs that provide a stepping stone to a better future. The argument becomes, that if you cannot compete with foreign labour, it is your own fault and you should have worked harder in the past. This argument comes from the left wing of politics. The left wing who are supposed to be the beacon for working class people. 

Let’s knock the morality out of the pro immigration camp. If you accept that uncontrolled immigration benefits UK companies by providing them with the best talent possible, you simultaneously admit that the UK deprives another country of that talent at a benefit to the UK. Your argument becomes that of a patriot. If a doctor from Ghana moves to the UK for a better standard of living, he/she deprives Ghana of the services he/she could provide that would benefit Ghana and aid the development of that country to enable parity with Britain so that its’ citizens wouldn’t need to move abroad for a better life.

How myopic is it to suggest that because the UK currently offers a better standard of living than most other nations, that we should open the borders and accept unlimited amounts of people, until it gets to the point where Britain is bulging at the seams and on the brink of impoverishment, destroying that nation, whilst providing a detrimental effect to poorer nations who need the skill force to develop? 

You are literally advocating the impoverishment of both the wealthy nations and poorer ones based on an emotional instinct and one that derives from a misreading of current misgivings over the migration situation. All because anyone who disagrees with you is a racist based on the left-wing indoctrination that you received from your biased education.