The end of the year is a time when I get more reflective. I try to recall the ups and downs of the year and think about where that leaves me now. I also try to think about where I am heading and what direction the new year seems to be heading in.
When it comes to politics I have realised I am feeling more frustrated and more radical than ever. I thought people were supposed to get more conservative as they got older? Well, that doesn’t seem to be happening to me…
Here in the UK there are no political parties I’d want to vote for. I always used to vote Labour and I suppose they are still the least worst option, but since they elected the wrong Milliband as their leader there is no hope of them being elected. Moreover, the truth is whatever aspirations they might have for a more just and fair social democratic society, they are just as subservient to the anonymous, all powerful, gods of the Markets and the City as the heartless bastards we have in power now. And frankly they are no less corrupt, self serving, faceless and ideal-less than the Lib-Cons either.
In fairness, the Conservatives do have ideals; they just happen to be evil and self serving. Conservatives by nature follow the creed of Gordon Gekko without ever realizing that it was supposed to be satirical. Yes Conservatives encourage Greed and worship money and the corporations who control it. There is no concern for social justice, no concern for the poor, the old, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, or anyone, unless there is financial gain to be made. They are very good at propaganda to convince the masses that they serve their interests too though. This is because they have the money and half the media in their pocket. Most of the people who vote conservative are like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Here in Britain the Conservative are in an unholy alliance with the Liberal Democrats. At first I thought the coalition might be a fairly good thing and that the Lib-Dems might bring some fresh ideas, new thinking and balance to the government. But then they seemed to go out of their way to betray everybody who had ever voted for them or just given them credence within the first few months of being in office. Within months they made it virtually impossible for poorer students to even think of attending college or university and the only thing they seemed interested in was rigging the voting system in various ways to ensure that they would always have a foothold in power. In short they turned out to be total scum and I hope that they are not forgiven for at least a generation.
I think the Lib-Dems make me particularly angry because I am a passionate democrat and was always one of those who encouraged other people people to go out and vote. But now the Liberals seem to have proved that whoever you vote for you still get more of the same self serving, corrupt, degenerate assholes!
I kind of like The Greens (and used to vote for the Austrian equivalents when I lived there). The British Greens however are still a bit wooly and unrealistic when it comes to hardcore national politics and are as lamentably anti-European as most of the three bigger parties.
Xenophobic UKIP and the racist BNP don’t even deserve more of a mention in this rant. They are beyond scum.
If I was American I would also be disillusioned by this point. I think I’d still vote for Obama but not with the same enthusiasm or optimism that would have been the case last time round. He has just got so bogged and beaten down by the system that he has been unable to deliver most of what he would idealistically like to do. He would still be a much better choice than anything the Republicans have to offer though. I wonder if the Republicans are just a little bit embarrassed by the caliber of the candidates they are offering up to lead the most powerful nation on Earth? They seem to range from totally inept to totally insane. Then again, this is the political party who inflicted Brain Doner Bush on the world!
On various forums I have had discussions with anarchists who think they are the obvious solution and alternative to the way things are done now. All I can say is, I hope not! Some of them may be well meaning but I think their philosophy is fundamentally flawed. I don’t like chaos or lawlessness. I believe we do need rules and we do need government so long as it is fair and democratic. Anarchy would just leave all power in the hands of the person with the biggest gun. It would be worse than anything we have had so far.
So what does that leave?
Personally I still believe in Democratic Socialism, the kind of thing that worked so well for Germany and most of Western Europe for half a century following the war. But that seems to have gone out of style and the world has certainly changed in the meantime. If that were the solution it would have to be radically revamped for the times we live in.
In 2008 the world economic system collapsed. It is still in a state of collapse. Unbridled Capitalism as championed by Regan and Thatcher has failed; it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. All that is happening now is that the mysterious markets are pushing the debt around from one place to another to amuse themselves. They are calling the tunes the cowardly politicians are dancing to; and they are playing with people’s lives. As ever, it is the poorest who will suffer most. And of course none of the puppet masters have any genuine care for the environment or the physical state of the world they will be bestowing to future generations.
I don’t like being or feeling radical. I want a comfortable safe life like most people do. But I can feel the seething anger and frustration in society. I fear that 2012 will bring a lot more demonstrations and maybe even riots to once peaceful streets. Do we really need to go that route to bring about positive change? What we certainly do need is a better caliber of politician. And an end to the madness which thinks there is a quick fix to the environment and the economy and meanwhile we can all go on as normal.
Meanwhile, we’d better all keep our heads down.