In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Defend what democracy we have!

Posted by seumasach on January 7, 2008

Cailean Bochanan

30th November, 2007

The humiliation of Gordon Brown may seem to be fair sport, but there are good reasons for not getting carried away as the Lib-Dem and Tory leaders already have done. They should have been thinking “there,but for the grace of God, go I” for the British behind-the-scenes elite have no particular grudge against Brown: in the new circumstances in which they find themselves, their projects for global domination in disarray, the object of their hostility is nothing less than constitutional government itself, in as far as we can claim too possess it.

The dynamics of this situation are already familiar to us via the lorry drivers strike in 2000 when the companies used the lorry drivers to deliver a shot across the bows of the government, happily allying themselves with all and sundry , including the far left, in the process. It matters not that Brown has in the past gone along with their agenda, up to and including the genocidal assault on Iraq. His personality and political hue are not the question here: the oligarchs wish to caste off the constraints of, not just democracy, but of any form of legal and constitutional order, in a context in which reverses internationally no longer give then the space to indulge anything which is not amenable to their absolute control. For example, as their financial system implodes nothing is good enough except a permanent drip-feed of public money, effectively, the transfer of all wealth to them. No politician, even one honed in the New Labour school of big money arse-licking, can go along with this: they are all , therefore, fair game for Murdoch and friends.

Around a successful project of power projection, the various elements within the elite, corporate, military, political and fourth estate can act as one. But , as soon as projection fails, the unity unravels: military leaders baulk at impossible campaigns and politicians turn their eye to the evaporating base of support; there is nothing holding corporate interests together. The key power players risk being exposed and move rapidly to re-establish control. In order to grasp their dilemma, imagine if they themselves had to establish a political party and take power: their prospects would be grim indeed. They are , thus, faced with the task of whipping others into line, whilst themselves remaining in the background. This is how they have always operated in a paradigm that means control without accountability; the mechanism of this form of rule is the network, painstakingly constructed over centuries and permeating all the organisation of the state and civil society. But can it continue to work? 

To do so they must neutralise every pole which has the potential to escape their control, above all, the executive power of the state. The humiliation of Brown shows this process at work. Carried to its logical conclusion, it will reduce British political life to farce and paralysis as we fall into the mire of economic, political, social and ecological crisis. At some point decisive political leadership must emerge to lead us out of that crisis; it can only come through those potentially democratic and constitutional organisation that we have, and in all instances is to be preferred to the rule of what is little more than a mafia.

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