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Friday, 9 January 2015

Chesterton’s Bind

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But there can be little doubt, I think, that if some form of Collectivism is imposed upon England it will be imposed, as everything else has been, by an instructed political class upon a people partly apathetic and partly hypnotized.

The aristocracy will be as ready to “administer” Collectivism as they were to administer Puritanism or Manchesterism; in some ways such a centralized political power is necessarily attractive to them.
G. K. Chesterton – What’s Wrong With The World (1910)

Chesterton was right, the political class don’t care which system they administer as long as they are the administrators. The political class is an environment, a niche. As with any other niche it selects those best adapted to it.

So there is no point in expecting a political party to change the niche, rebuild it into something more democratic, spoil it for the current occupants. Why would they? They merely want to occupy it. Such an appealing niche too, and a staging post for so many others equally attractive.

We could call it Chesterton’s Bind - a centralized political power is necessarily attractive to them. Not an easy nut to crack.

4 comments:

0a633w4ZhvSIhb0_tJvjULdekJff said...

I sense there is another influence at work - grooming. Not for sex but selecting and testing employees for their ability to keep their mouths shut in the face of hypocrisy, cant and outright lying. The mechanism is the same, the offering of treats, the gentle introduction to new sins and a veiled threat should the gaff be blown. By the time those selected have a 5 bed detached and kids at private school and expenses almost anything can be demanded and will be given.

Sam Vega said...

"By the time those selected have a 5 bed detached and kids at private school and expenses almost anything can be demanded and will be given."

A superb sentence - many thanks.

Demetrius said...

In the past rapid technological change has led to major structural change. When the elite can no longer can offer enough prizes and there is both uncertainty and upheaval in the middle levels watch out, as in 1789.

A K Haart said...

0a633w and Sam - I agree, although I think the effect begins lower down the social scale.

I have in mind a post on similar lines, but I don't think the issue is a popular one because most of us have to admit that we are affected by it too.

Demetrius - yes I think the middle may be where the problems are.