should we even bother to vote?

We’re having an election in Australia and I’m finding it pretty hard to care.

More and more it seems that voting is not merely futile but counter-productive. We all know that whichever way we vote it’s not going to make a difference. When we vote we’re like the gambler who knows the game is rigged but he plays anyway because it’s the only game in town. We know we can’t win but we can’t give up that illusion that maybe this time it will work. This time it will make a difference. This time we won’t get betrayed. But we get betrayed anyway.

The futility of voting is not the problem. We do lots of things that are futile. The problem with voting is that we’re not making a choice Party X and Party Y (which are both the same anyway). What we’re doing is casting a vote in favour of a corrupt system. What we’re doing is lending legitimacy to a system that has no actual legitimacy. It’s a system that was never intended to be anything other than an illusion, a way of making us think we had political power when in fact we don’t. When we vote we are in effect saying that we’re satisfied with the system. We’re happy to continue to live in a world of illusions.

We convince ourselves that by voting we can somehow change things for the better, even if only in an infinitesimally small way. But we are actually making things worse, no matter which way we vote.

hope, alternatives and Jeremy Corbyn

I’ve been spoken before about my theory that in order to have hope people need to believe that viable political alternatives exist, even if those alternatives are rather unattractive. During the Cold War people disgruntled by life under communism could console themselves that a viable alternative existed in the West. And people disgruntled by life under capitalism could console themselves that a viable alternative existed in the Soviet Union.

Brexit was largely motivated by Britons’ belief that a viable alternative to the EU was possible. That’s why the political establishment has worked so tirelessly to destroy Brexit – in order to teach the British voters that they are not ever going to be given an alternative. That’s why so much effort has been put into opposing Trump. The fact that Trump has achieved nothing doesn’t matter – what matters is that Americans must be taught the lesson that real democracy means you get to choose between two candidates approved by the Establishment, two candidates whose policies are in fact pretty much identical. Americans most learn that an alternative is not permitted.

Which brings us to the current well-funded campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. Now I’m not suggesting that Corbynite Labour is a great alternative, or even a good alternative, but it does at least represent some alternative. Which is why powerful interests have decided that Corbyn must go. It is unthinkable that British voters should be offered anything resembling an actual alternative.

Once Corbyn is destroyed the Labour Party will return to Blairitism, which is of course in every way indistinguishable from modern Toryism. Once again Britain will be a genuine democracy with two absolutely identical parties alternating in power, and with the British people properly trained to vote the way they’re told to vote.

marriage Romanian style

A Political Refugee From the Global Village has some interesting news from Romania. A referendum was held to change the constitution to define marriage as being specifically between a man and a woman. The referendum failed because only 20% of the electorate voted.

This is an example of something that has been concerning me greatly in the past couple of years, and it should concern anyone who believes that nationalism and social conservatism are essential for the survival of civilisation. The unpalatable fact is that the vast majority of people are either actively hostile to nationalism and social conservatism or they’re completely indifferent.

What is really worrying is that it is clear that this applies to eastern Europe as well. A lot of us have been consoling ourselves with the thought that even if western Europe and North America continue to slide inexorably towards social collapse and chaos at least civilisation will survive in eastern Europe. The fantasy that the eastern Europeans will hold the line against Third World immigration and western degeneracy really is just that – a fantasy.

Any society that allows poisonous ideologies like feminism, secularism, liberalism, democracy and consumerism to gain even a small foothold is doomed. And those ideologies already have a very strong foothold in eastern Europe. The most dangerous poisons of all, the worship of modernism and American trash culture, are already firmly established among the young and among urban populations. That’s exactly how the process of destroying the West began. Eastern Europe cannot be saved unless those nations recognise the dangers posed by the twin evil empires – the E.U. and the United States.

Of course the very idea of holding a referendum to define marriage is part of the problem. It means accepting the core of the liberal agenda. It means accepting the principle that questions of morality, or even questions of reality, should be decided by a popular vote.

corruption legal and illegal

There was mention of corruption in the Rainbow Nation in a recent post on Nourishing Obscurity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not going to defend the ludicrous and barbarous (and racist) South African regime. South Africa is heading rapidly down the slope towards failed state status.

But corruption isn’t as straightforward as it seems. We in the West have always liked to preen ourselves on the fact that there’s much mess corruption in our countries than in Third World countries. For alt-right types it’s reassuring proof of our ethnic superiority. For the modern globalist Left and for the cuckservative Right it’s proof of the essential superiority of liberal democracy and it demonstrates that we’re right to bomb the living daylights out of Third World countries until they accept the gift of Freedom and Democracy.

But are we less corrupt? It depends on what you mean by corruption. There are two types of corruption, illegal and legal. Illegal corruption is the most familiar type. On a large scale it means paper bags filled with banknotes being handed over to crooked officials in exchange fir services rendered. On a small scale it means handing over small amounts of cash to bureaucrats to persuader them to process your paperwork in 24 hours rather than six weeks. Illegal corruption tends to be rife in many Third World countries. It has also been common in some western countries at certain times, particularly among the police – Chicago during Prohibition, New South Wales in the 60s and 70s, etc. But illegal corruption has become much less common in the West. It’s illegal since it involves actions that are quite clearly and unequivocally against the law.

Legal corruption is a different animal. It involves practices that are not technically illegal. Let’s say you have a politician who gains important public office. After a decade or two he retires. And then he has an extraordinary stroke of luck. He gets offered a consultancy job by the Absolutely Gigantic Corporation Inc. For a few hours work a week (or possibly no work at all) he’ll collect an enormous pay cheque. Now no-one can actually prove that he was given that job in exchange for services rendered. Maybe the Absolutely Gigantic Corporation Inc just likes paying people lots of money for nothing. On the other hand I think most reasonable people will conclude that it’s a form of delayed legal pay-off.

Superannuated politicians also have an amazing knack for landing well-paid job involving virtually no work with international bureaucracies like the U.N. and the E.U. In Australia quite some time back a prime minister who had been unceremoniously thrown out of office by the voters found himself with a very cushy job indeed (involving lots and lots of luxury travel) as Ambassador to a certain U.N. agency. Most Australians had no idea that this absurd job even existed. I’m told that former U.S. presidents can get paid immense amounts of money for standing up in front of a bunch of bankers for half an hour and telling them that bankers really are a swell bunch of guys.

In cases like these it’s not necessarily always corruption in the formal sense of a pay-off for a specific corrupt act. But it is all part of a political, business and bureaucratic culture of doing favours and looking after political allies. It creates a fundamentally corrupt culture. It makes democracy, an inherently corrupt system, even more corrupt.

But this respectable corruption is hard to quantify and almost certainly isn’t going to show up in any official statistics anywhere so we can go on preening ourselves on our moral superiority. In actual fact it’s not that we’re less corrupt, we just practice corruption in a nicer and more efficient way.

democracy, consent and false consciousness

One of the arguments that supporters of democracy can always be relied upon to wheel out is that legitimate government requires the consent of the governed, and that only democracy can truly provide this.

To a certain extent it is true that government requires the consent of the governed, but actually this is the case even in undemocratic systems. Any regime, whether it be an absolutist monarchy or a military dictatorship or a liberal democracy, will find its survival threatened if it loses touch with the will of the majority, or even of a substantial proportion, of the people. That’s why kings sometimes lose their crowns, dictatorships sometimes get overthrown. A revolution can be seen as the withdrawal of the consent of the governed.

Do democracies reflect the will of the people more certainly than other regimes? Superficially the answer might appear to be yes. The problem is that the various systems  of representative or parliamentary democracy all have one thing in common – they are designed to prevent the will of the people from being expressed. They are designed to manipulate the popular will rather than to reflect it. Deception is their stock in trade. They are based on lies. They are corrupt and the corruption is inherent. While they may claim that their supposedly democratically elected governments serve the people in reality the government is the master of the people rather than the servant.

All political systems are in the final analysis based on force or the threat of force and in most cases this is quite open and honest. The characteristic feature of democratic systems is that by preference power is exerted by manipulation rather than overt force. The problem is the dishonesty and the hypocrisy and the fact that you end up with a system thoroughly permeated by dishonesty and hypocrisy. It’s actually less healthy than a system based on straightforward force. And in any case it’s an illusion – in a democracy the iron fist might be concealed by the velvet glove but the iron fist is always there.

This raises the question of false consciousness. At this point you’re going to start groaning and muttering that he’s resorting to tired old marxist slogans. Up until a few years ago I would have agreed with you. I would have said the whole idea was typical marxist nonsense. The last few years have changed my mind. It’s now obvious that public opinion is whatever opinion the public is told to hold. If the media and the teachers tell people that black is white and up is down most people will accept that. If they’re told that homosexual marriage is just like a real marriage they’ll accept it. If they’re told that they love diversity they’ll accept it. It all seems pretty much like false consciousness to me.

I’ve seen the results of our modern education system in action, in young people with whom I have a family connection. They’re zombies. They believe whatever their teachers tell them. They have no doubts. They question nothing. If the teacher says he’s holding up five fingers he must be holding up five fingers. Orwell was wrong. You don’t need violence or the threat of violence or even coercion to turn people into slaves. People will turn themselves into slaves because they’re terrified of not conforming.

Democracy is based on the concept of encouraging people to turn themselves into slaves. It’s based on teaching people to embrace lies. That’s just the way democracy is.

religion and politics don’t need to make sense

In my previous post I made the point that conservatives see politics as something that is open to debate while liberals see their own political beliefs as religious dogma that is not subject to debate. This is of course hardly original or startling although there are still conservatives who have failed to notice such an obvious fact.

There is something much more interesting that follows from this. Religion does not need to make sense. It is a matter of faith. You do not enter into debate on the subject. Rational argument is irrelevant to religious belief. It naturally follows that the same rule applies to any political ideology that functions as a substitute religion. Debate cannot be permitted.

What must be understood is that it’s not that liberals are unwilling to enter into political debate. They cannot do so. To do so would be to admit that their faith is subject to doubt. It would mean admitting that heretics might be right and the orthodox might be wrong.

The history of the decline of Christianity in the West provides compelling evidence that liberals are, from their point of view, quite correct in rejecting the possibility of discussion. They have a faith and they are satisfied with it. It gives them a reason to live, it gives them a feeling of moral superiority and it gives them a warm fuzzy emotional buzz. From their point of view their political religion works perfectly. The fact that it might make no sense at all and that it might all collapse like a house of cards if subjected to rational argument does not matter because they have no intention of allowing that to happen.

Conservatives just don’t get this. They still insist on assuming that politics is something that can be discussed and debated rationally. They still insist on thinking that political ideologies have to be logical and have to make sense.

This is why conservatism has failed. They can come up with impressive rational arguments in favour of their own economic and social policies but people don’t respond to rational arguments. People don’t decide how to vote based on rational arguments. They make such decisions based on emotions. If voting for a particular party makes them feel morally superior they will do so. If voting for a particular party gives them an emotional rush they will do so.

People do not vote based on a rational assessment of their own interests. There is nothing remotely rational about voting behaviour.

People do not choose their political beliefs by weighing up evidence. They choose the political beliefs that will make them feel good.

People need to feel that their lives have meaning. Choosing a political belief that is emotionally satisfying and that feels morally right helps to give a person the feeling that their life does have meaning and purpose.

Liberalism can only de fought and defeated by an opposing ideology that works the same way – an ideology that appeals to the emotions, that makes a person feel that they are fighting for something good and worthwhile, that feels morally right and that gives meaning to the life of those who believe in it.

stability and order vs dynamism and progress

There are many different axes which can be used to describe political positions. There’s free market vs central planning, libertarian vs authoritarian, globalist vs nationalist. The one that doesn’t get considered so much, but which seems to me to be the most important of all, is that I would call the stability/dynamism axis.

This is more than just a political alignment. Where a person falls on this axis has much to do with both personal psychology and cultural traditions.

Some cultures have always seen stability and order as being the most important objectives  of government. China for most of its history is an obvious example, Ancient Egypt being another. Other cultures have seen stability as a weakness. They have valued change, dynamism, expansion, growth and what they like to call progress.

Western society since the Reformation has been a spectacular example of a culture that has chosen dynamism at the expense of stability. Whether this is actually an inherent feature of western culture is debatable. Western Europe during the Middle Ages certainly seemed to put a fairly high value on stability.

Obviously some individuals are also psychologically more inclined to favour either stability or dynamism.

Overall though western culture has become so focused on the supposed advantages of progress that it is difficult to find any mainstream political party in any western country that genuinely stands for stability and order. Self-described conservative parties are in reality, almost without exception, liberal parties that fetishise growth and progress. One of the few institutions that truly stood on the side of stability was the Catholic Church. Since Vatican II even the Catholic Church has tended more and more to favour the liberal concept of progress. Christianity in general has become, if anything, a destabilising force in the West.

The fact that those countries that were formerly part of the communist bloc are now more socially conservative and less inclined to make a fetish of progress seems puzzling at first. The usual explanation offered is that the citizens of those nations were so horrified by their experience of communism that they reacted by becoming ardent conservatives. That’s probably partly true. It is however worth considering a curious fact about communism in practice. Once a communist revolution succeeds the revolutionaries themselves tend to become very suspicious of change. They start to focus on preserving the revolution. They start to put a very high value on stability and order.

It is of course difficult to reconcile stability and order with democracy. Democracies quickly become obsessed by the idea of change for the sake of change. Democratic governments want to to be seen as doing something and doing something invariably means changing things, and changing things invariably undermines stability and order.

I have to say that I’m basically a stability and order kind of guy. Society is a fragile thing. If you try to change society the odds are very high that you will end up changing it for the worse. It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are. Not only are changes more likely to be harmful than beneficial, they also tend to make society even more fragile, so the next time you try to change things the risks will be even greater.

Since I favour stability and order it’s not surprising that the one political ideology that really terrifies me is liberal democracy. It’s probably also not surprising that I take a jaundiced view of free markets. Liberal democracy combined with free markets seems to me to be a guaranteed recipe for long term chaos. My inclination is to support any political ideology that stands for stability and order. I guess I’m just a natural reactionary.