PETER Whittle of the New Culture Forum put it best: cultural conservatives watch the Tory leadership election from a position of detached indifference.
The competition between Truss and Sunak is a kind of summer Rewind festival https://rewindfestival.com/ for political groupies. Tribute acts, pale carbon copies pandering to old, declining demographics; feeding an ageing fan base nostalgically looking back at the vibrancy of their youth. Sunak is lead singer of the Blairite boy band The Cameroons; Truss meanwhile is the new political Blondie, a Mrs Thatcher retread. The rival bands churn out all the old favourites: ‘Things can only get better’ versus ‘The lady’s not for turning’. The greying fans roar ecstatically, but for most of us the whole scene has long since moved on.
Whoever wins the ballot, we are probably far beyond the point where today’s crop of mediocre politicians can turn things around. Everywhere, throughout the entire Western World, we see systemic crisis. Sluggish representative systems of democracy, designed for the pre-digital age, are in constant turmoil: Britain, the ‘unfrozen moment’ that was Brexit having been comprehensively squandered, lies in a slough of despond; Trudeau’s Canada is descending into a woke dictatorship; the US is a gerontocracy seemingly one bullet away from civil war; Holland’s farmers are in uproar; in France, Macron’s first term in office was scarred by the Gilets Jaunes and he is hamstrung in his second. In Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi has resigned. ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light’ both metaphorically and literally: when the gas runs out this winter, it could bring a decisive shift towards anarchy and insurrection all over Europe.
The systems of representative democracy developed in the 19th and 20th centuries are clearly unable to cope with the entirely new societal structures of the 21st: on issue after issue, the rich, deep, global communication networks between the narcissistic, deracinated cognitive elites have created a rapidly propagated and rarefied groupthink that the weak, vertical and slow-moving mechanisms of representative democracy seem powerless to counter.
At the same time, the decline of Christianity has led to the adoption amongst the global elites of new high-status faiths, the most dangerous being radical environmentalism. Although it poses as rational and progressive, it is deeply sinister and reactionary: an essentially pagan belief system which, rather than the one perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, requires constant sacrifices to placate Gaia, its angry god. Cars, meat, dairy, energy – all are being laid before it as burnt offerings. It justifies the deliberate impoverishment of humanity by turning the position of the Hebrew Bible concerning man’s relationship with creation (Gen 1:26–28) entirely on its head, regarding humanity as essentially a plague on the Earth. One shudders to think where its logic will ultimately lead – today rationing energy and cars, tomorrow rationing babies. Of course, the entire purpose of any high-status faith is that it acts a social marker for elite membership. As such, it cannot and does not seek democratic legitimacy.
Again and again, we see this play out where elected governments are hijacked by radical, profoundly anti-democratic, globalist green agendas. Holland is the merely the most recent example of how weak democratic mechanisms are in the face of the onslaught. Its farmers are now facing forced land sequestration to reduce nitrogen emissions, a policy which apparently originated with the World Economic Forum (who else?) propagated via EU diktat to the Dutch government for implementation. With no democratic means to overturn these impositions available to them, Dutch farmers have turned to the only avenue they have left – civil disobedience and protest. This established pattern of imperial imposition by the elites and turmoil amongst the people will be repeated in country after country in the years ahead.
Technically, our current systems of government are plainly finished, with only radical reform to a more directly democratic system capable of rebalancing the power dynamic between the elites and the demos. However, the cultural rot is deeper still: it is becoming obvious that to survive, the West must follow the lead of Hungary and Poland in recultivating societies and elites with Judeo-Christian values. It will take time, and it can be done, but until then much pain and dysfunction will be endured, and the leaders who may do so have yet to emerge.
Meanwhile, in Britain our political Rewind festival is winding down. As dusk settles the bands play on. The thinning crowds wistfully sing along, painfully aware that it will soon be time to pack up the tents and head home to reality.