Saturday, May 21, 2022
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The shambolic state we’re in

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THE question is not what is Left, or what is Right, but why is it all wrong?

If people bother to get informed at all, their attention is funnelled by a media which focuses their attention on a white-hot dot of hysteria. Both wings have their clickbait trigger words. The Left and Right in print and online are so often little more than signals saying APPLAUSE or BOO to a captive audience.

Why are things like this? Why does no one from either wing seem to notice that the world they refuse to describe is falling apart?

Our entire culture is being cancelled, because that is the goal of cancel culture. This process goes hand in glove with the anti-culture of global consumerism, whose sales pitch is a tick-list of woke totems. Marginal voices dominate mainstream imagery. To be normal these days is to be borderline subversive.

It may be a surprise to some that the Blairite governments with which we are stuck have surrendered every battle in the so-called culture wars. This is where we are in Britain, governed by progressives in blue ties with no commitment to conserving anything of value, whilst the Left assassinates itself periodically over which radical madness to endorse next. Government and its reflection across the benches are just the most prominent example of the collapse of the institutions in Britain today.

The intellectual poverty and demonstrable incompetence of our leadership at every level is guaranteed by the ideological blindness to which they owe their careers.

To speak off-message is to abort your own ambition, and so messages which are off are deleted. This leads to the kind of feedback loop shown in the humiliating US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Plenty of people including diplomats, sources in other US government factions and countless ordinary people on the internet knew it would be disastrous. The Biden administration was shocked at the collapse of the Afghan government, having relied exclusively on it for information.

The reliance on Trusted Sources becomes an enfeebling handicap which prevents even basic realities from being noticed. To get anywhere in any organisation these days you must say the Right Things consistently, for ever, to the exclusion of reality. This is why things are all wrong.

You can see this in the United States Government, in ours, in the media picture of reality and in any public bureaucracy or corporate culture with which you attempt to engage directly. If you try to make an appointment with the GP, if you try to find out why some clownish pervert is twerking in front of your children in a library, if you wish to contest an unjust traffic fine or have police investigate a burglary at your home, you will be painfully familiar with the parlous state of our institutions. They seem all to have learned, these bureaucracies over which no one seems to have any real control, to defend themselves against you as if you were an enemy. The attempt to get a hearing is so frustrating as to suggest the process is deliberate. Once you lose your composure you are dismissed, to return to the customer service limbo that is the telephone queue.

On the global stage, which is an apt setting for the pantomime politics which grace it, the sheer folly of the greatest power on earth is breathtaking. In two weeks the US has lost Saudi, the UAE and India to China and Russia, all of whom are preparing to move their energy trades off the dollar. This could very well collapse the US economy, as the value of the heavily leveraged dollar is backed by the hitherto unquestioned practice of trading oil and gas in dollars.

Nato and the EU are not as one. Here too the US has squandered a settlement which has obtained for 76 years. In allowing the Germans to re-arm, in exchange for cancelling the Nordstream 2 pipeline, the US has opened the door to the long-desired EU army. France and Germany are going their own way, to the detriment of Nato and US influence in Europe.

We do not make military decisions independently of the US. We remain very closely allied with a power whose empire appears to be breaking apart, yet remains dedicated to the neoconservative foreign policy which brought such tremendous success in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and in Yemen. The US Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, was infamously recorded naming the new Ukrainian cabinet in 2014. “F— the EU” she remarked, when asked what Europe might make of all that.

From your local council to the heights of state power, our world is directed by people who are in place for reasons other than their ability to do their job well. The notion of duty – civic duty – as a natural obligation to consider the good of others is only one casualty of this epidemic of incompetence. This sickness is a result of the system selecting its own in a closed loop of self-affirmation, which views any healthy input as infection.

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Frank Wright
Frank Wright
Frank Wright is a writer and full time dad who lives in London with his wife and children. You can read more of his reality reviews at https://frankwright.substack.com/ and @frankwrighter /

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