WHILE on a training course for the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of not reading a single news article. Nary an opinion piece floated across my field of view, nor any kind of YouTube commentary. For someone who habitually reads about current affairs it was quite the holiday.
What a relief it was. With no fuel for the pessimistic fire my cortisol levels fell. Suddenly the sting was taken out of life’s tail. Instead of fretting about the imminent collapse of the West I could concentrate on more important things: what to have for breakfast, for example.
Only occasionally did the unsavoury worlds of news or politics assert themselves. People in passing would reference The Right Opinions (Brexit Bad, Orange Man Worse, Ukraine Very Good), and that was that.
It was a taste of most people’s existence. For those with families, jobs and hobbies, and who are thus fully immersed in their day-to-day lives, the sordid goings-on of the vampiric Twitter class are a world away.
Two things struck me. One is the weakness of prevailing common opinion. Most are formed merely by repeated utterance of accepted shibboleths and are not well-thought-out positions. Orange Man Is Bad because the last five people said so, not because we came to this conclusion through our own assessment. Opinions are like wildfire, and our minds dry tinder.
The other is the ease with which the decision-making class are able to carry out their agendas unopposed. For those who baste themselves in the juices of our political and civilisational decline, the apathy of those around is incomprehensible. It is like a man in the middle of the road seeing a lorry laden with concrete slabs hurtling towards him at 60mph and refusing to budge an inch.
In reality, the man is glued to his phone or busy with life’s ordinary moments. Who can blame him? Logging on to check the news once in a while – a selection of curated headlines reinforcing The Message – quenches the need to know what is going on in the wider world.
Yet this performative news cycle allows the schemers among us to whittle away at the stabilising structures of civilisation unopposed. Only once every few years are lights shone brightly upon their incompetence in the laughable spectacle of a general election whereupon we are asked to choose between two bands of fools differentiated only by the colour of their rosette, upon which time they sing and dance to their captive audience, fooling just enough of them to keep the fraudulent show on the road.
Sensing their freedom of action, the priestly class rapidly impose their theological diktats. Upon the horns of various insidious devils – environmentalism, DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equality) – our lives are increasingly impaled.
As terrible as this is – as we witness the degrading of our nation’s body and soul by the day – the untouchable class will eventually overplay their hand as they strive to implement their utopia.
Believing they can mould society into their perverse notion of perfection – hyper-individualised, isolated and bug-fed – they will intrude too far into the lives of those formerly ambivalent. Forced into 15-minute cities and forbidden the luxury of travel in the name of Gaia, and robbed of an identity in the face of each -ism churned out by Brahmins of academia, a break point will eventually be reached.
I remember a TV ad from when I was younger. It bemoaned people’s lack of engagement in politics. When we are offered a perpetually false choice come each election, it is hardly surprising that so many became disengaged. The only ones interested in the incestuous swamp of Westminster in such an era are the self-aggrandising, the vainglorious and half-sharp.
However, there will come a day when those in power will long for those halcyon days of uninterest. As the advert notes, politics affects almost everything. As we all come to realise that everything is getting worse and we are becoming poorer and more atomised – when it manifests itself beyond any doubt – the much-ignored public will be left with no other option than to remind our aloof elites where power truly lies.