|cognitivedissonance - 2016-11-19 |
Opinions considered and ignored.
|Maggot Brain - 2016-11-19 |
Park and Rec, The West Wing, I'm With Her, NBC really is lefty propaganda.
|bawbag - 2016-11-20 |
Yeah, that cynicism in our comedy series' sure stopped us from electing decades of horrible PMs Lloyd...
I think his point is no so much about electing less-horrible politicians, but rather about electing them in an egalitarian or meritocratic fashion.
Trump's is going to be the first administration, in my lifetime at least, to have neither a Bush nor a Clinton in the top ranks of the White House. We've gone: Reagan with Bush, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama with Clinton, and almost nearly Clinton again (whose bid, this time, was supported by Bush). Of course, Mr Trump is himself a friend of the Clintons, and has been considering friends of both the Bushes and the Clintons for spots on his cabinet - so one could argue that the brief Combo Breaker which Trump played on the country is not quite so spectacular as one might hope it to be! But it's nice to think that the circle of power is expanding a little, beyond merely those whose family has ties to the CIA.
And anyway, the way Britain handled Margaret Thatcher, and the way the US handled our own Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, is a good illustration of how the system *could* work. Yes, like Hillary, Thatcher was a miserable old neoliberal warhawk, but she was also genuinely more likeable than Hillary, more popular with the voters, less corrupt, far less criminal, and did not need her family name to ride into Downing Street. Britain, like the United States, is largely run by a Deep State of unelected ministers, generals, and career bureaucrats. But there is at least a veneer of genuine meritocracy at work there, and the British people are, by and large, far more willing to see their ruling class for what it is than the Americans are (or at least that is the way our respective culture industries want it to be).
On the other hand, it could be that the American public's record-low confidence in the institutions which presume to govern them, is not so much a reflection of the horrible, broken, aristocratic system we've got in place - but rather, in a reflection of an our willingness to *more deeply* understand the world we live in? Perhaps British cynicism is simply a "safety valve" of sorts; a fatalist (or even defeatist) mindset which allows British people to "carry on", stoically accepting the world of CCTVs and ASBOs that their rulers have built up around them. Perhaps the insipid, romantic vision of Government which Americans are prole-fed on a regular basis simply causes festering resentment in the minds of the people? We saw a similar thing occur in the aggressively-optimistic Soviet Union, wherein the disconnect between the official socialist mythology of roses and sunshine, and the miserable collectivist reality in which the public actually found themselves in, had to crack somewhere! If the Russians were all about the BS, and the British are all about the cracks, then perhaps Americans are best understood as a remarkably sophisticated mixture of both?
After all, the main mechanism behind Panopticon is not the physical structure of the system, but rather, the psychological and emotional effects of believing that one is always watched, always powerless, always doomed to fail. Perhaps British cynicism, by shedding light upon and then normalizing the miserable reality of top-down coercion, would simply be our undoing?
I see your Tyson, Mr Bawbag, and raise you a Feynman:
Miss Henson's 6th grade class
Like an insufferable freelance grad student in search of a scholarship. And the part of his fucking brain that went missing.
| Register or login To Post a Comment|