When it becomes slogans not policies…
12 April, 2019
• THE governance of the US, Britain and Europe is at a historic moment, poised between the increasingly dysfunctional, 20th-century, industrial nation-state and the sporadic, but inexorable, emergence of a 21st-century multi-cultural, pluralistic, devolved, constitutional order.
One aspect of this emergence is the overwhelming influence of the media on politics as it assails the institutions of the state and exalts its own values of profit-making, celebrity, and entertainment.
These policies – if a melange of slogans constitutes policy – are assertions of the core concerns of the waning, but hitherto dominant, national group: immigration, which dilutes the influence of the pre-existing electorate; free trade, which sacrifices uncompetitive national industries to the pitiless vagaries of the market on a global scale; multi-national alliances, which entangle us in distant quarrels whose link to the national interest often appears attenuated; the protection of religious minorities from a caste system imposed by the majority; the adherence to the rule of law that limits the coercion which the state can use to protect the nation; and the norms of political correctness which act as a supercilious, hectoring schoolteacher limiting the expression and perhaps even the thoughts permitted to the members of the forever offending cultural heirs of the historic nation.
When the basic structures of government begin to fail – evidenced in the parliamentary paralysis over Brexit among many others – it can’t be long before politics begins to fail also.
Only a crisis in governance could have brought us to this point.