Whether a democracy or autocracy – constitution or oligarch – normal or abnormal – we like our dictators more and more. More and more dictatorship – less and less “democratic”. Right now Russia. Last week China. Last year the USA. Before that ….
Our elected Prime Ministers are becoming presidential and our elected Presidents are becoming dictatorial. And we, Joe Public, seem to like it that way. Or else why is it from West to East, north to south, more and more “leaders” are “leading” that way?
More and more disconnected with “the people” (now seen as a “resource”). More and more cocooned within their necessary wall of security. More and more fed a stream of clever and cleverer ideas to maintain power. Ideas that must, of need, be worked and decided “behind closed doors” – the machinations of power must work unseen to work at all. We call it politics. We like it that way.
So long as we are our own keyboard warriors. Safe in our homes. Cocooned by a firewall making us untouchable – fed a constant stream of tittle-tattle offence and offended never seen as “clickbait” (we are too clever to be taken in by “clickbait”). All whilst being manipulated on each side: by our leaders, our social media, our
marketing machines culture.
So long as we can grab a holiday, a meal out, as many new clothes and nifty gadgets as are needed to preen our self-esteem expectations … we are happy. We are becoming 1984’d without even realising it. Take “woke culture”, take our “cancel culture”, or all the inequality, or the us and them, all the sexist, racist, misogynist, ageist, religious, atheist, society full of division and disharmony … we are already always at war with something.
At war with fear, with “them”, with those who are offended and with those who offensive. Even the meek (who should really grow a pair), or the strident alphas (who should take a course in empathy). We are at war constantly with this faction or that … this bandwagon or that … this topical issue (and the next one to replace this one).
Being at war (always and with anything) is a wonderful place for our leaders to lead us.
Just like today and the Ukraine, like yesterday and China’s expansionism, like the USA’s fear of not being great again. It’s just that today Russia have made the proximity of my death – our death – just a little too close for comfort. Mr Putin’s “interfere and the consequences will be immediate and unlike anything anyone has even seen” isn’t playing the game as it should be played. Because Mr Putin is the man with his finger on the Russian nuclear button. And if he presses his then everyone else must press their as well. That’s how “deterrent” works – mutually assured destruction. So the rules are being revised. Our world leaders are writing new rules. And Joe Public has shown he/she is happy with it. And when/if Joe Public complains it’s no big deal.
The UK left Europe because 50% of the UK thought an ever-expanding “Europe” just an ever-growing-unaccountable-gravy-train. Add to that some UK politicians thinking it a very clever idea to settle the “European issue” once and for all. So 50% of UK Joe Public was okay with a long-established UK political gravy-train (local and national) – whereas a Europe gravy-train as well? It was one gravy-train too far. And Europe’s response? Make an example of the UK so no one else gets ideas.
And so we went to war.
With ourselves, with our leaders, with Europe and with anything and anyone who popped their heads above and was “offensive”. It’s how we do things now. Just as our leaders (stuck with something none of them imagined would ever happen) went “to war” with Europe and each other as well. It’s how they do things as well.
It is a mindset that seems to have evolved across the globe.
Maintain a state of war with something (anything) and Joe Public won’t notice that Joe Public has no say anymore. That knows that Joe Public will be too busy with their constant war on something (anything) to notice that our leaders are driving whatever cart-and-horses they choose past Joe Public. All this we are at war with something and everything is too distracting!
Which is why today we have world leaders making “I am offended” sound-bites for their local and global audience. It’s also how things are done. As a calculating Mr Putin also knows all too well. It’s how we all do things nowadays.