Pages

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Fat chance

One cannot command sympathies and antipathies, and for the lower class to demand love and self-sacrifice from the upper class is mere idealism.

August Strindberg - The Growth of a Soul (1913)

Modern political life is based on the notion that democracy will be respected by the elite classes who will offer love and self-sacrifice in their efforts to improve our lives. Okay so the elite don’t love us and we'd much rather they didn't anyway. Yuk. But our democracy tacitly assumes they at least like us enough to make personal sacrifices on our behalf.

Of course no sane person believes even that and if asked about our political expectations, most of us would be pretty restrained and somewhat cynical about the ability and desire of the political classes to deliver even the most limited aspirations. We'd be cynical about their motives too.

Yet millions vote for the most unlikely promises and the most improbable aspirations as if the elite classes really do intend to put themselves out for our comfort and convenience. The idea is ludicrous and we know it. The elite don’t care what happens to us and it’s time we voted accordingly.

How? Dunno.

7 comments:

Sam Vega said...

"Yet millions vote for the most unlikely promises and the most improbable aspirations as if the elite classes really do intend to put themselves out for our comfort and convenience. The idea is ludicrous and we know it. The elite don’t care what happens to us and it’s time we voted accordingly."

I'm not sure. They certainly don't love us, or even respect us very much. But in the type of "democracy" we currently have, I think they need to attend to our comfort and convenience. If they don't, it creates trouble for them. Uncomfortable lower orders need more of an effort to keep them in order. Some of them need to keep their constituencies (in the widest sense of the term) happy in order to keep their jobs. It often resembles a Business/client relationship.

Demetrius said...

The quote is from 1913. What happened in 1914?

Roger said...

In a government held safe seat vote for the next largest party. Party business managers will be rational - they will allocate assets to places that get and keep power. So keep them lean - keep them keen, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

If not in a safe government held seat then hold out hope of a seat to the likely asset holders, however distasteful, and then exploit them mercilessly. Like pigs, they go where the food bucket is.

wiggiatlarge said...

Your article was well timed as the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 has come down in favour of the applicants, applicants who represent a small but wealthy group.
I have said before that our original vote to enter the then EEC was based on an enormous lie by parliament and the individuals behind it as the later intentions culminating in the Maastricht treaty were already known at that early stge and by all successive governments.
Perhaps the people can bring a court case against the original vote as it was based on a whole raft of lies telling us it was an economic block we were joining and never at any stage was political and fiscal unioun mentioned.
After the Vaz, Baroness Scotland rubbish of recent days my belief in our parliamentary system has plummeted to below zero, never again will I vote for a party.
For those interested in how much was known pre '73 this is a good read.

http://www.charleshenry.co.uk/thoughts/the-strange-case-of-the-werner-report/

A K Haart said...

Sam - that's a view I tend to take, but issues such as the Keith Vaz election suggest to me that we should be as cynical as they are. There seems to be little left if we take away virtue signalling and trying to take credit for whatever was going to happen anyway. Most MPs seem to rely on flimflam to keep their constituencies happy rather than initiatives of their own. It's easier.

Demetrius - Strindberg was dead when this was published, but I think he'd have seen it as a monumentally tragic confirmation.

Roger - I tend to do that and no doubt many others do to, but far too many don't.

Wiggia - thanks, a very interesting link. I'll bookmark it.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"The elite don’t care what happens to us and it’s time we voted accordingly."

Well we did back in June, and the Americans may today.

Will it make any difference? Too early to say.

A K Haart said...

WY - if elected I think Trump or Clinton will do less than their supporters hope for.