I am interested in what is happening right now in the world of politics. Very interested - and I would like to share my thinking in this series of blogposts I have called: 'The Road from Democracy to Oligarchy'.
The Greek for 'few' is oligoi'. Government by the few, in their own interests, is therefore called 'oligarchy'. We are more familiar with the term 'democracy' - government in the interests of all, with the consent of all as expressed through the right of all to vote in elections to decide who should govern our state.
Democracy was never a gift from the few to the many. It was hard-won. My argument in this blogpost is that we are living through a period when democracy may survive by name but the nature of our state is changing as each year passes in such a way that the interests of the few become ever more entrenched. We are witnessing, if we have eyes open wide enough to see, the return of our realm to the state of being an oligarchy. I think that this shift will see Britain become more and more identifiable as a 'failing state', perhaps even a 'failed state'.
I am an historian by training and qualification; we all need a sense of history. Yet history was only 'more or less bunk' to a capitalist such as Henry Ford whose primary concern was the present pursuit of profit.
A 'misplaced' grasp of the past is seen as a serious problem for both single-minded ruthless individuals intent on climbing the greasy pole in the here and now and multi-national corporations whose concerns are principally with profits and dividends. If you have knowledge and understanding of the past, in so far as that leads to a sense of how injustices have arisen and been overcome, you have the imagination to see how the world can be made better through stopping the bad actions of such self-centred people and institutions. You then become, in the eyes of the few, a potential 'troublemaker' with a 'misplaced' view of the past - a 'Marxist', even.
I will be presenting the case that our present coronavirus pandemic is being used by the few who are misgoverning us as a cover for actions that will further advance their move towards oligarchy.
|Thanks to the Guardian cartoonist for this cutting edge piece, pointing the way to oligarchy.|
I will also be saying that their moves must be challenged and resisted.
Our planet is teetering on the edge of a climate catastrophe. Over the next five years, the leaders of thenations of the world will either act as they must if we are to avert a global extinction - or not. Do you get much sense of our leaders in the UK having this realization at the forefront of their thinking? I mean leaders of both the Tory government and the Labour opposition.
Politics matters to everyone. We are all political beings. We all have views about society and what it should look like. If you decide that all politicians are the same and call for a curse on all their houses, you are making a strong political statement. You haven't stopped being a political person by opting out of the way the political game is being played.
I would like to start through charting my own journey as a more active political animal over the last decade. I am edging closer and closer to a personal decision about where my vote and my political energy should go. A vision is beginning to form in my mind. A view of the direction that I think my kind of politics should take. You might like to follow me in that voyage.
The best way for me to bring you aboard is to share the relevant section from my website, written and published in July 2017, just after the General Election of that year on 8 June when Jeremy Corbyn so nearly became the leader of the country.
|Labour Party canvassing in Hayle during the General Election campaign in May/June 2017|
This seems a good place to end the first part of this blog series. I was so full of optimism. The General Election had seen the Tories returned to power but the world of the Labour Party had been turned upside down. It seemed that Jeremy was now truly accepted as the leader. We socialists would go from strength to strength.
Ah! - such ignorance - such naivety.
'Neither to regret one's follies nor wish to repeat them - no happier lot can be assigned to humankind' - the wisdom of Goethe. I have learned the lesson well.
Part Two in this series follows in a few days.