FUKUYAMA’S ‘end of history’, by which he meant the triumph of democratic liberalism over other forms of government, has been far from an end, rather the beginning of something unpredicted: the West’s loss of confidence in itself. The US is in political uproar. Europe is divided. Far from being triumphant, democracy is, if not on the run, under severe challenge and it has been happening while we looked the other way since before 1989.
Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the imagined corpse of Marxism turns out to have been only sleeping and is flexing its muscles. On reflection, the very idea that communism might be dead has been exposed as naïve and should have been from the start. If the aims of socialism, which are as much religious as economic, were immune to the verities of government in practice, why would communism be different despite being even more unrealistic?
Modern government is complex but the basics are simple. Do this and you prosper. Do that and you go broke. Socialists do that, every time.
Today’s Left, armed with the instantaneous strike power of Twitter, claims the moral high ground in its attitudes to capitalism and the big social issues such as race and immigration which are both bound up with the fight for open borders. Democracy is floundering as politicians try and fail to reconcile more competing claims than they can cope with, especially when you add a crisis such as Covid that has to be managed on the hoof. Consensualism, the lifeblood of democracy, is in constant retreat under the people charged with protecting it – democratic politicians – because it makes their lives too hard.
Party politicians everywhere try to circumvent the constraints of democracy in every way they can imagine, confident that supposedly righteous ends justify the means, whether they involve rigging elections, outright lying or spreading fake news to win or keep power.
Here in Britain, we had the spectacle of a four-year battle in parliament and the courts to overturn the Brexit referendum result. Remainers made no secret of their contempt for the democracy’s verdict. They were even cynical enough to call their proposal for a second referendum a ‘People’s Vote’ as if the first had been confined to some unrepresentative part of the electorate. How absurd that provincial dimwits should be deciding London’s future for it.
Politicians of all parties joined to their domestic attacks on democracy the transfer of large parts of their sovereignty to the European Union – which diminished Westminster and their responsibilities but not their salaries and perks – and other transnational organisations that decide things for us over our heads.
This is the sort of the trick the Soviets knew and is why its satellites called themselves people’s democracies. Theirs were democracies not of people as individuals but of people as collectives. If that sounds as dishonest as Rousseau’s General Will, in which every Remainer is surely a believer, it’s not a coincidence.
Edward Heath joined Europe in the full knowledge that the true objective was the building by politicians and bureaucrats of a federal Europe in which representative democracy would have as little part as possible, even once the peoples of the member states cottoned on to what is being done to them, because then it would be too late.
Whether Brexit turns out to be a bump in the road to Eurofederalism remains to be seen. What is certain is that the battle against genuine democracy, in which the voices of everyday people matter, will continue everywhere in the West including Britain.
So what is it proposed should replace democracy as we know it or want it to be? The Western intelligentsia, always in the forefront of attacks on democracy, wonder if China hasn’t found the right balance with its command capitalism regulated by one-party rule intolerant of dissent. They handled Covid so efficiently, you know – efficiently in the sense that no one ever knew the truth about what went on there. Do we have to give up truth too?
Since WW2, the liberal-Left has denounced not just the extreme and destructive nationalism of the Axis powers but nationalism in any form. Nationalism is the bacillus of conflict. To wipe out the evil inherent in nationalism, it is necessary to make obsolete its host, the nation state. The vehicle of this obsolescence has been globalisation and mass migrations that are gradually diluting the identity of countries that all happen to be in the West. There’s still no queue of would-be immigrants at the Congolese embassy.
The issue of race has exploded in the West since the death of George Floyd, with the police cast as the emblem of white supremacy. White liberals everywhere are pleading guilty on behalf of us all to the crime of oppressing the world’s population of which we are a mere 11 per cent.
To expiate our guilt, the Left believes, we must throw open our borders to all comers, regardless of the consequences for ourselves, until whites find their true place in a world whose population is a single community with perhaps a world government in some foreseeable future but certainly with more executive international institutions like the UN.
So much for the dream. What is the reality likely to be? Will it suit China and India to subordinate themselves to a politico-economic system which gives them no more power or influence than Botswana? Or does the dream founder on the rocks of human fallibility long before we get to that stage? Will the Left be satisfied, or have to be satisfied, simply with the destruction of whiteness?
The nation state or country grew out of the European Middle Ages and is claimed to have reached the end of its natural life (a claim that belongs entirely to the intelligentsia and which you are by no means obliged to agr
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