Globalisation is inevitable. Politics in the west is the choice between liberal elites, which will preserve some regulation to protect workers, consumers and the environment, and the most rapacious of the moneyed elites, who will deregulate capital, but regulate the little people- unable to cross borders, our social media use monitored- in a survival of the richest world. I tried to imagine what goal they could seek beyond their own increasing wealth and power, what good they could imagine for humanity, and wondered if the moneyed elites’ more forward thinking members and hangers-on desired war and famine to cut back the human population to more sustainable long term levels.
When I was a small child, “Centrist” politics meant the mixed economy, with nationalised heavy industry and transport. Denationalisation was hard-Right. Considering nationalising other industry was Left wing, but centre-left rather than hard-left. Now, those who would privatise parts of the police call themselves “centre-right”, and though they are exaggerating, political discourse and what is possible has moved steadily rightwards, decisively last year. We hear of the incompetence, violence and horror of privately-run prisons, but do not bring prisons back into public service. Now, those who preach hatred of immigrants and foreigners call themselves centre-right. Hatred is mainstream. When Martin Mcguinness died, a fbfnd expressed disgust at an “IRA murderer”. I feel his contribution to the peace process deserves some credit, even if he was solid Republican until death. I want nuance, sympathy, recognition of all the good there is. That fbfnd wants black and white morality with hatred and fear expressed freely.
It is possible that the President of the United States is a traitor, conniving with a foreign power to subvert the US election. There, some people pay far more into health care, some receive far more than they pay, just as here, but there is a cruelty and capriciousness about the division of spoils there which is not here. Someone without insurance but with a hernia, with a fairly simple operation would become fit for work, but languishes because no-one will pay for it. That benefits no-one.
What can you do? My friend tweets, gives to charity, and signs petitions. You can join demonstrations and contact elected representatives, though the vile man who killed five people including himself on or around Westminster Bridge achieved far more publicity than any demonstration. Even though he has never been to the US, my friend is filled with paralysing, ineffectual rage thinking of the GOP-care bill, and gets depressed. I am not amused by it, but feel that if I distance myself from strong feelings, stay aware with satirical disdain for the vilenesses of the “centre-right” I might be more effective when there is something I can actually do. Others ignore it- people are happier if they listen to music rather than news while commuting- or indulge the fear and anger that empowers the British Prime Minister to betray the “just about managing” people whose votes she courts.