Viewing posts tagged democracy
2 years, 1 month ago
Last time in ‘Summing Up’, we talked about how the right-libertarian “views the horror of socially-arranged altruism as worse than the horror of letting people die for want of medical care” because “libertarianism is against individual freedom for all because it depends upon collective liberation”. This, of course, raises another issue. Where does one draw the line? If socialised medicine is totalitarianism for doctors, why is the tacit threat of destitution which lies behind the wage labour system not considered equally bad? The answer to this question is the same brute and vulgar answer we gave already. It comes down to which side you’re on... which, most of the time, in an instance of capitalism creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of the selfish and cynical actor of its own ideological account of human nature, comes down to which class you’re in, or which class your interests are aligned with.
Let’s pause again to notice all those ‘vons’ in the names of the great Austrians. And let’s also pause to again notice that, in applying such cynicism about human nature, such distrust of democracy, such a strategic splitting of the concept of freedom, and such naked class interests, the libertarians ...
5 years, 5 months ago
Off out to vote today on who runs the civil service... oh, no, hang about, we're not allowed to do that are we?
Off out to vote today on who runs the police... oh, no, hang about, we're not allowed to do that are we?
Off out to vote today on who runs the army... oh, no, hang about, we're not allowed to do that are we?
Off out to vote today on who runs the corporations... oh, no, hang about, we're not allowed to do that are we?
5 years, 6 months ago
Might as well put this up.
I consider it a moral obligation to vote against the current coalition, and to maximise any impact such a vote might have… which is why, despite the fact that I loathe and despise the Labour Party, I would vote Labour were I in a constituency where such a vote might conceivably contribute towards a Labour victory.
As it happens, I live in a constituency that has been a solid Tory seat for generations. Really, where I live they’d elect a dog turd if it had a blue rosette stuck on it. In fact, when I look at the robotic, empty-headed drone and waste of clothes who currently ‘represents’ me in Parliament, I think they did.
The nearest possible challengers to the Tories in my constituency are the Yellow Tories, whom I am proud to say I have never voted for in my life, not even tactically, not even in 2010 when lots of ostensibly left-leaning useful idiots tried to bully me into voting LibDem, saying (ludicrously as I pointed out at the time - something which I have since very much enjoyed being proved right about) that doing so would block ...
6 years, 5 months ago
On the ballot paper in my region there are no less than five extremist Right-wing parties. Six if you include the Conservatives. Apart from that there are two centrist neoliberal parties: Labour and the Liberal Democrats. I know a fair few very nice, likeable and principled Lib Dems (online and in real life), but as a national political force the party is part of a coalition with the Tories and, as such, constitutes a de facto Right-wing party. So that's seven Right-wing parties of various shades running from crypto-fascist to poujadist to centre-Right - none of which has any serious quarrel with the neoliberal consensus - and one centrist neoliberal party, Labour... which is now so degraded and debased that it seperates itself from the Tories and Lib Dems by a few whiskers. Centrism has itself been shifted so far to the right that the modern Labour party is to the Right of the pre-Thatcher Tories on many issues.
That's democracy for you. That's apparently the best we can do. That's the freedom I'm supposed to relish and celebrate. What a barren wasteland of horror. What a terrifying ...
8 years, 9 months ago
From the late, great Paul Foot's book The Vote: How it was Won and How it was Undermined:
...Benjamin Disraeli wrote a novel about Chartists. It was called Sybil, or the Two Nations (1845), a deeply sympathetic and beautifully written account of the rise of Chartism and of its appeal to the suffering masses. The central theme of the novel is the distinction between 'moral force' Chartism, espoused by the unblemished heroine, Sybil, and 'physical force' Chartism, described with obvious distaste. The theme of the novel was that the conflict between the good on the 'moral force' side and the evil on the 'physical force' side became so bitter that it could not be solved by working people. The solution had to come from outside, from on high, from a brilliant, sensitive and eloquent Tory MP, Charles Egremont. Sybil's disillusionment with her rougher supporters, who include her beloved father, begins when she reads an account of an emotional speech in Parliament by Egremont, who then conveniently arrives in the middle of 'physical force' chaos to carry off his beloved and make a lady of her.
It occurs to me that, if you take out the romantic ending, this ...
9 years, 3 months ago
In 'The Beast Below', you - as a subject of Liz 10 and a citizen of Starship UK - get to vote. You get a choice of buttons. You can 'Protest' or 'Forget'.
This is evidently an attempt to express something about electoral democracy.
Every time we are exposed to some unpleasant and uncomfortable fact about our society or our world, or even to a suspicion of some such thing, we are presented with an implicit option to protest or forget. Beyond voting booths, we have a set of these buttons inside our heads. When you hear, for instance, that thousands of dirt poor South Africans were forcibly evicted from their shanty towns and moved to settlements of corrugated iron shacks to get them away from the new $450 million World Cup football stadium, you have the option to kick up a stink or to sigh, mumble some platitude like "tsch, how awful" and then put it out of your head so you can comfortably sit back and enjoy watching teams of overpaid jocks play amidst the McDonalds adverts.
By the way, don't think I'm being holier-than-thou. I'm just as guilty of this kind of thing as ...