What keeps the brake on our anger? Surely we ought to be angry?
The scandal of MP’s expenses – widespread petty and not so petty thieving by our elected representatives. The paedophile cover-up stories which never show any prospect of drying up.
Endless lying, hopelessly complex taxes, petty bureaucracy, incompetence, crony capitalism, crony socialism, crony salaries, crony payoffs, crony sinecures, fake charities, 24/7 nagging by armies of petty officials and a democracy which crumbled away to dust years ago. Even our children are no longer ours – they belong to the state.
Why don’t we strike back? Why have we limited our anger to a pathetic flurry of UKIP votes in EU elections which don’t matter anyway? Why do we dutifully recycle rubbish when we know it’s a waste of our time? Why do we put up with so much genuine rubbish, so many wasted opportunities, so much lying by an endemically dishonest and immoral ruling class?
Why are we not angry?
I think there may be a number of factors, but one may be biological. We are hunter-gatherers who no longer hunt and gather. Victims of our own success, perhaps we simply have too much food and it’s sapping our intellectual drive, turning us into lotus-eaters. Maybe cheap and plentiful food is wrecking our ancient hunter-gatherer instincts, our nose for threats, our ability to weigh options accurately, even our need to weigh options accurately.
Perhaps it’s not so much a question of being overweight as a question of belief. We no longer entertain even the faintest whiff of a doubt about where our next meal will come from. Not so long ago, even the local squire could fall on hard times if harvests failed. Not now.
I recall my great uncle telling us how his family used to catch and eat sparrows. My father-in-law’s family used to pass a single boiled egg around the table, but those days are gone and even their memory has almost faded away.
So maybe basic biology is working against us.
Look around and think about it for a moment. Lots of cheap food isn’t just making us fat, but perhaps it is also making us astonishingly complacent. With the guarantee of food in our bellies we just don’t care. We’ve lost the ability to care, the stimulus of survival, the need for security. We’ve lost even the faintest scintilla of uncertainty as to where the next meal might come from.
So maybe it's the bread - we already know about the circuses.
If biology is this significant, then what we are up against is not resolvable because it isn’t an issue where we can reason ourselves into a better situation. We can’t meddle with our own biology and recreate the inventive spectre of hunger which brought us here. We don't want to recreate it either - why would we?
It works the other way round too of course. The elite don’t care either, but then they rarely did – their bellies were always full.