The political choices faced by the UK at the last election: a socialist utopia that would cause taxes to increase and suppress innovation and progress while looking after those who were unable to look after themselves, or a slogan. The complex algorithms that the Left proposed were hundreds of pages of promises that were perceived as not feasible, with window dressing of economically destructive ideas such as making the internet a state owned utility devoid of the advantages of competition. That final act of the overreach probably was not the main problem: it was simply not believable. Only those with two doctorates in social science and statistical economics had a hope of understanding the ultimate effect.
Not overwhelmingly, but with some more votes and 80 more MPS the electorate went for the simplistic slogan, instead. The Government has an unassailable majority it does not really deserve. The majority of the citizens are given a future they do not want but was a viable alternative being offered?
Faced with an experienced and solid litigator who stood behind one of America’s most successful presidencies, until his moral compass betrayed him, the woman he betrayed was voted for by the majority of Americans. But the political system – where the ‘electoral college’ decides – sometimes contrary to the voting intention of each state to throw their weight behind a candidate. Trump has highlighted how fragile the American Constitutional democracy is, the fathers of the nation drafted a basic for all laws but in a way that can be litigated and argued endlessly. The Constitution is treated like a religious text, meaning it may not examined in itself, but all law is evaluated against it. It is an interesting system – base all laws on the assumptions made when a war was won in 1776 and in 1787. It has resulted in the most successful federation of states, and in itself is a noble document that must be respected. Or is it the reason that the legal system produces weak opposition and political dishonesty? Could a better political system exist than these two old binary (two party) systems?
OK, so China and Russia have autocratic totalitarianism dressed up to feature elections that seem to be democratic but in name only. Independent thinking in North Korea is rewarded with concentration camps, and the internment of Uyghur Muslims in China, the poisoning of opposition politicians in Russia, military police and the weapons of the state against difference or protest characterise a lack of freedom, but does this suppress innovation? Evidently, not.
The we have real attempts at democracy: proportional representation in New Zealand, Germany and variations of it in Australia and France. These systems are more representative of the majority but result in fragmented parliaments who go off in many directions and are perceived by the ‘first past the post’ systems in UK and USA as less decisive. It is not an argument that they are winning, however, as strong governments are leading these once great nations over the edge. The tragedy of Covid-19 death rates in the UK and USA are testament to the prejudices and ridiculous lack of talent at the top levels of Government.
These once great democracies are now stuck between the devil and the dark blue sea. There is no viable alternative to signing a pact with Satan. Like the rise and fall of the great Empires spawned by Europe and then Britain – the current model of Government is going to fall. It may not happen in the near future. It may be a long journey down. Unless there is a massive war, or, a more deadly pandemic. Or something else provides a new enemy and the Governments as fragile and inept as they are, find an enemy other than their own working class.
Many think socialism is the answer. The only problem is that every time a country tries to implement socialism it finds itself resorting to heavy handed tactics to suppress dissent and it ends up being totalitarian. Socialism is seen as an impossible dream, or is that just a myth promoted by the capitalists who do not want to end up paying for it?
Political leadership appears these days to have more to do with control and deception than growth and hope for the future. Civilisations are comprised of people and activities such as business, means of fairness such as economics and law, assets and liabilities, arts and science provide contributions of shared values.
But what I wonder is, why does politics require the opposite sides of the argument to be in perpetual war? Why does a society need to swing Left and Right? Why do we not just work out the best way to live together and adopt a set of laws we all agree with? Because human society is not even. Different lands have different advantages and opportunities, dangers and problems.
The idea that human civilisation could adopt one system of Government of the world is both seen as utopian and the ultimate threat. There is no single answer to the needs of 8 billion people. Or 12 billion. Or 100 billion. With unrestrained growth, the human virus continues to consume its opportunity of a future. Our collective intelligence counts for nothing if our destructive instincts are the underlying definition of our drives.
What is the real goal of power? Is it enrich ourselves at the cost of others? Or is it to benefit everyone?