By Jack Turner
People for whom “I really found myself in India” is not a derogatory term, modern politics is only seen through a prism of there being a right answer which must be sought and found and then proselytised from the mountain top so that the ignorance of the enlightened can be lifted.
The third way centrist slant of politics emerged in the 90’s as a way of moving forward from union labour vs unrestricted capital argument. It worked because like the explosion of cheap credit, it gave people a feeling of having gained something immediately without the exhaustion of working through the details.
Alongside the repeal of Glass-Steagall, Clinton’s other far reaching damage to the global political landscape was that finding a centrist argument meant winning the argument.
Political expediency has always lead to telling people what they want to hear, but by moving to the centre, each side has lost their fundamental reason for entering the argument in the first place. With no opposition it does not resolve conflict, it just provides one direction with which to deal with it.
Not having an argument is not the same as reaching a compromise, it just misses the complexity required to understand the other points of view. Without the argument, there is just conclusion whilst skipping the fulfilment that comes from having your point validated by being heard. This is what is driving the easily dismissed sense of apathy subscribed to the greater part of the population. I don’t see it as apathy. Rather, it is the unrequited fury at not only not being heard with the myriad of grievances that any populace has, but that the framing of any discussion which deals with the progress of our country does not even have the mechanism for those grievances to be given relevance.
This energy dammed through the lack of structural change does not erupt in violence for the most part but instead spills over into fantasy expressed through the disingenuous nature of the 24hour news cycle, extolling an Orwellian ever present with no past and a conjectured future. It’s the baseless transitory nature of our political class that endears such little trust. With the lack of shared experience that comes from x% of MP’s coming from private schools, x% from two universities, x% sitting on board of directors in and out of office, the sense of sacrifice resulting from seeing classmates at the same exclusive institutions just further distorts an already myopic world view.
Is this figure gormless or Gormly
Tide crashing against it
or staring out majestically
Will it speak in this soliloquy
Silent or are you deaf to its pleas
Feckless or futility
The road less traveled is
the plaster cast of the upper caste
which is wrapped with the mythology
that hard work isn’t built
on the supine backs of the huddled mass
That require just a cup of tea
to perspire at the daily grind
which they thought was left behind when
last they lay their heads on
their scared bed
For they too have folk stories
that offer comfort on cold and frosty mornings
that the lots of we, can be changed by the
that ours is not to do and die
but to strive for
rather than survive
so that the farthest flung apple
from our tree
will grow to see
a tectonic shift that will
take from them and give to
If that comes to exist
rain washed granite
will show inscribed
“Here stood a figure who could have been alive.”