Well, I don't get much time to do quality writing, so I rant instead...)
Anything can be a good and productive thing… in moderation. A bit of unity, a bit of multiculturalism, a bit of socialism, a bit of democracy. But the problem comes when the goal becomes all encompassing. Too much of anything is… a bad thing.
It is amusing, and terrifying, to see successive generations of politicians and theorists fall for successive bad ideas, which they then defend to the death… long after historical realities have kicked in to prove that such overly-simplistic guff is in fact overly-simplistic dangerous guff. Such stupidities have included Internationalism, European Union, Socialism, Multiculturalism, Communism, and… Democracy. All overly simplistic solutions, to problems that have been carefully misread to allow such solutions to seem reasonable.
The European Union for instance, is founded on the ridiculous, and incorrect, 1950’s assumption that all Europe’s problems can be traced back to Nationalism.
This was a knee jerk reaction to World War II, where the problem was supposed to be Fascism, which was supposed to be a Nationalist version of Socialism (literally the National Socialist Workers Party in the Nazi case).
It conveniently ignores the fact that the Communists were just as territorially aggressive and expansionist – in the name of ‘internationalism’ – as the fascists were – in the name of nationalism. In fact Stalin’s deal with Hitler to divide up Eastern Europe under the Molitov-Ribbentropp pact was what actually started the Second World War. (A factor swept under the carpet when, at the end of the war, Finland – one of the victims of Communist aggression in 1940 – was prosecuted for the ‘War Crime’ of resisting Soviet occupation, by the Soviet Empire that had been expelled from the League of Nations for its unprovoked invasion of peaceful and democratic Finland 5 years earlier…)
So when the delusional Social Democrat types in the decades after the war were looking for something to blame that could be phrased in such a way as to hide their share of the guilt: they picked the term ‘nationalism’ and launched the ‘ever closer union’ concept for Europe as ‘the one ideal way to end all future troubles’. Possibly the most idealistic stupidity since… well, since the same type of people launched Communism as ‘the one ideal way to end all future troubles’ thirty or forty years earlier.
In fact, so carefully do such people hide the truth from themselves, that it would probably come as a surprise to them to learn that European conflict did not start with the modern nation state!
You will no doubt be amazed to learn that there was not ideal peaceful harmony in Europe before the rise of modern Nationalism. Frankly, Europeans have never needed much excuse to slaughter each other. Some the reasons over the centuries since the Ancient World have included: forced and voluntary migration; droughts, floods and famines (most of the above as results of variants of what we now call ‘climate change’ issues); religious and political movements; social changes and class civil-warfare; trade issues; international exploration and colonization and de-colonisation; dynastic conflicts and treaty obligations; slavery and attempts to end slavery; blatant territory grabs at other people’s expense; conquests, reconquista’s and ‘liberations’; and plain simple ‘prestige’ conflicts (such as the War of Jenkin’s Ear).
The decision – by people who want to hide their share of any guilt – to throw all the blame onto something carefully chosen to exclude them from any blame (and to carefully fit a requirement for a solution that would require their own preferred world order to save everyone), is an unfortunately common one in history.
The tendency of such idealogues to then defend to the death such stupidity, is even more common.
Thus we have Angela Merkel announcing that ‘Germany’ will take all refugees who want to come, and then telling anyone else in Europe who is unhappy with this idea that European Unity means they have to accept whatever quota’s her pet European bureaucrats decide to assign. Also, while we’re at it, that open borders in Europe mean that anyone that Germany does accept can be immediately encouraged to move to the UK or France or Sweden anyway. Her defence of such stupidity merely coming down to the European ideal, and to the concept of nationalism being evil. Therefore anyone who argues her plan is stupid, an evil racist, and probably a fascist.
Well guess what? Nationalism is going to save Europe from such stupidity.
Unfortunately, because all the Social Democrat types have spent so long ignoring and belittling such thinking, the nationalism that the long ignored average voter in Europe is going to turn to may well be as extreme as the nationalism that the European project was trying to avoid in the first place. In other word’s Merkel and her idealogues will do more to bring fascism back into fashion than any number of Beer Hall fanatics.
Which brings us to the problem of Democracy. The sort of real democracy that European Unionist loonies hate, because it is expression of common people trying to get their idealogical rulers to listen to their real world concerns. The sort of democracy that inevitably leads to dictatorship… (or at least to a different dictatorship than that of Merkel and the European Union dictats).
Democracy is supposed to be a wonderful thing, unless of course the majority of your population do not want to go where the political and chattering classes believe they must take them. In which case it is something to be ignored, or outflanked. Preferably by non democratic routes such as the European Union, but if necessary by the simple expedient of ignoring the electoral result and trying to install someone who fits your preferences better… see Portugal after the last election.
So the great ideal of democracy is ignored by the idealogues, until the electoral swingback gets so extreme that protest voters start electing people who hate democracy… Extreme parties of the left and right across Europe come easily to mind, and can be compared with other popularly elected lashback responses by irritated and frustrated voters – Fascism and Nazism spring to mind.
The modern ideal of Democracy, is founded on the ridiculous, and incorrect, 1700’s assumption that all Europe’s problems can be traced back to Monarchy.
Thus we get the ‘Revolutions’ in America and France, where educated and newly politicised chattering classes try to find a simplistic solution to all the world’s problems. Their solution being to adopt a system which fits their preferred world order, and seems to give them an advantage that will allow them to force people into their way of thinking.
Humans being what they are, it didn’t work of course.
The American Revolution, supposedly about ‘equality for all’ – if you want to fall for idealistic propaganda – was actually a tax rebellion by Northern states (who also wanted to get rid of the English governments treaties that kept them out of Indian land), and the Southern states (who wanted to block the English anti-slavery legislation from spreading to their nice comfy system). It was never really about equality, and all the exclusions of people from voting on the basis of colour, race, sex, religion, immigration status, etc, should have made it clear to anyone that what was being considered was really an Oligarchy. Similar in fact to the Ancient Greek and Roman slave based societies, where some special and limited classes shared rights no one else had.
Actually all ‘successful’ democracies in history have always been Oligarchies. The 1000 year old ‘Sublime Republic of Venice’ – on which large parts of the US constitution were based – for instance, being limited to a certain number of families that had the vote. Similarly the ‘Republics’ of Ancient Greece or Rome, and modern Switzerland or Israel, being based on vote by military service – another way of ensuring the voters might put national interests above selfish ones.
The first few French republics (those squeezed in around the inevitable dictatorships and emperors that are the result of such systems) were also based on a limited franchise. In their case not a race or religion or sex one like the US, but a straight property qualification that saw a small percentage of both sexes as voters.
Unsurprisingly the Oligarchical Republics of the 18th and 19th centuries were some of the most internally violent (US Slavery, Civil War, Indian Wars, the Terror, multiple revolts and 'communes', Lynchings, Jim Crow laws, etc), and externally aggressive (Napoleonic Wars, Spanish –American Wars, ‘Interventions’ in Central America, Occupations of Hawaii, Philippines, etc) governments in history. Rivaling the Greek and Roman republics for their aggressive expansionism by land and sea, and certainly being no less effective than more traditional military (Russia and Germany) or trade (Britain and Netherlands) expansionist states.
(And here I would note that the one of the mitigating factors in the idea that German Nationalism was a problem in WWI, was that the populist Navy Leagues and Colonial Leagues of the newly enfranchised voting classes did in fact push Nationalism to dangerous extremes. The Kaiser was a dangerous loon, but he was a dangerous loon responding to the fervor of the dregs of the petti bourgeois who had been enfranchised in his nation, not a man with Napoleonic capabilities in his own right.)
Fortunately the idealogues had a solution to overcome these minor imperfections of limited franchise democracy… universal franchise.
The more recent concept of Universal Franchise Democracy, is founded on the ridiculous, and incorrect, early 1900’s assumption that all Europe’s problems can be traced back to a limited voting Oligarchy.
Clearly if the ‘ruling classes’ in a state are the rich and powerful – ie, the naturally conservative propertied elements who make the economy work and provide the productive jobs – then the chattering classes who want change will need to enfranchise the not rich and not powerful, so they can ride the wave of demand tor change into their ideal world. In fact so they can direct it to provide taxpayer funding for non productive jobs…. For people like them.
It is certainly no accident that the modern ‘ruling class’ is the nouveau-rich chattering classes – and the power base they have established in the completely unproductive taxpayer supported lawyers and civil servants and union officials – who lead inevitably to ‘leaders’ who have the right and duty to lecture their stupid populace’s for not being politically correct enough… People like Merkel, Obama, and the European Union President. (Go on, name him? He has more practical power to interfere in his ‘citizens’ lives than either of the other two. Who is he?)
It is not just the Australian Union Movement of which we can say ‘they used to consist of the cream of the working class, now they consist of the dregs of the middle class’. All the petty tyrants who gorge in the taxpayers trough, and who try and force the ignorant peasants under their care down the correct path – whether medieval monks selling indulgences, or modern human rights lawyers banning free speech on issues they disapprove of – tend to be the dregs.
The dregs, of the intellectual fervor, of the previous generation, of wrong thinkers.
The dregs of any intellectual movement eventually have to accept that their ideal is hogwash. Even Marxists have started to admit that after a century of promoting Communism, they can no longer hide the hideous nature of Communism. Still, they are not going to give up their world-view just because the evidence against it is so overwhelming that continued attempts to argue in favour of it become ridiculous. Instead they move smoothly to supporting another, equally ridiculous ideaology that they think will support their world view. Say Environmentalism, or Multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism is founded on the ridiculous, and incorrect, 1970’s assumption that all ‘the West’s’ problems can be traced back to integrating immigrants into a corrupt western society, when clearly their pure original society was better. (After all, that’s why they were trying to move to the West, wasn’t it? To go from a superior society to an inferior one?)
Well where’s the point of making integrated citizens? How can lawyers and social workers (any more than the union officials of the previous generation), make ever increasing demands on the public purse, if they can’t create the conflicts that drive the need for their services?
The rule that the amount of social work needed increases at a faster rate than the number of social workers available to do it is just the Sir Humphrey Appleby principle of civil service management. If you want to be overpaid by the taxpayer to do unproductive work, you have to create a need for the work to be done. This can be best done by promoting policies that cause the frictions you want to be paid to control. Simples!
So we have ever greater education costs that result in ever decreasing literacy; for the same reason that we have ever greater family law divorce and settlement processes that result in ever greater ‘family’ violence problems.
The simple fact is that the more incentive given to taxpayer funded people to do whatever they want to do, the more problems they help to manufacture that will lead to more funding.
(Let’s not even talk about climate change ‘scientists’ who need ever greater funding to overcome the fact that their fancy models do not remotely resemble the facts. If anything was as simple as ‘we can solve the world’s problems by limiting one insignificant natural chemical by one insignificant %’, then we would not need to pay billions to explain why none of it adds up. If they could stop defending the indefensible for a few minutes, we might be able to look at the myriad intersecting issues that cause real pollution and environmental degradation…. But no, limit carbon dioxide growth by 1% and all the world’s problems will be solved! Hallelujah!!!)
So why do the silly chattering classes fixate on stupid oversimplifications?
Because they are too lazy or limited to explore wider I suppose.
But why do they defend them to the death even when it is proved they are crap?
Well, it would seem, because we let them make vast amounts from doing so.
Follow the money… that will explain all.
This is even more the case of idealistic socialists who live on the public purse, than it is for the evil capitalists they despise.