Viewing posts tagged conservatism

An Ageing System

It's always puzzled me, this thing about people getting right-wing as they get older.  You'd think that the opposite would happen.

I mean, as you get older, you notice that the world keeps having the same problems, and that they tend to have the same underlying causes, and that nothing is ever done about them.  You notice more and more of the same kinds of scandals reoccurring over the years, time and again, and always based upon imbalances of power, and upon powerful people being unaccountable.  You're more likely to have a mortgage and debts, the older you are.  You're more likely to owe lots of money to banks and credit agencies, and to be crippled by these debts.  You're more likely to have health problems, and thus to need medical care, and thus to see that the Health Service is underfunded and overstretched.  You're more likely to realise that your investments and savings (if you have any) don't pay off in anything like the way you're told they will when you're younger.  You're more likely to worry about how you will look after yourself and your partner ...

9

Wow.  Single figures.  Okay, time for some fun.


"I'm asking you to help yourselves," says the Doctor. 

Revolution isn't about everyone suddenly becoming altruistic and angelic.  It is, as Marx saw it, "the movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority".

"Nothing will change round here unless you change it," says the Doctor.  Here is 'freedom and necessity'.  It must be done, but they can choose to do it or not to do it.

"What will we do with two guns against all those guards?" asks Veet.

"You can't do anything, but there are fifty million people in this city. Think how the guards will react to that number."

"It's crazy talk," says Goudry, "Rebellion? No one would support you."  Capitalist realism.

"Given the chance to breathe clean air for a few hours, they might. Have you thought of that?"

The Company pumps a chemical fug into the air that makes people anxious and weak.  That's how it works on Pluto.  Here we call it ideology, or hegemony.

The Doctor and Bisham discuss ways of knocking out the gas pumps.

"I was ...

Apocalypse Below (or The Tractate Face-Off)

From Panic Moon, July 2011.  Edited, and with new material in a seprate coda.


This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end


At first, 'Frontios' seems like the odd one out amongst Christopher H. Bidmead’s Doctor Who scripts. Unlike 'Logopolis' and 'Castrovalva', it’s overtly political and doesn’t seem to be powered by any underlying scientific concept. Also, it has monsters in it.

Bidmead included monsters – reluctantly – at the insistence of John Nathan-Turner.  On reflection, this seems a dodgy call. Monsters from Bidmead were always going to be too concept-heavy to realise properly on screen. Sure enough, he comes up with giant woodlice that can disguise themselves as rocks until they unexpectedly uncurl… which was never gonna look good on the day.

Apparently finding the macabre more fascinating than he expected, Bidmead also included alien machines made with bits of corpses. This was very tuned in to the then-current turn towards biomechanics and ‘body horror’ in the fantasy genre, but it proved too horrific for Doctor Who to attempt on screen (though it livens up the novelisation ...

Review: 'The Reactionary Mind' by Corey Robin

The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah PalinThe Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Superb.

As an historian of ideas, Robin concentrates on the patterns of thinking within conservatism, but never seems to say that conservative actions and policies stem entirely from ideology. Indeed, he frequently points out the ruptures between theory and practice... yet he can usually find hidden resonances within the conservative idea/s that are consistent in ironic, unexpected ways, ways that often make seemingly paradoxical dissonances between theory and practice seem much more explicable.

Disjointed, of necessity (since this is a compilation of previously published essays on a variety of subjects), there are still clear and original linking ideas which are spelled out mostly in the new introduction. Conservatism is fundamentally a reaction to the loss of privilege, or the challenge to privilege from the oppressed. Conservatism is much less enamoured of stasis, familiarity etc than it thinks it is. Conservatism is much more depressive and melancholy than many people think. It is dependant upon left-wing ideas to provide it with negative stimulus. It is animated by a preoccupation with violence. It is more revolutionary than it pretends, being often as ...

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