Is anyone still surprised by the sheer nastiness of the Tory Party?
That the Tories are even considering reducing Universal Credit at this time is, perhaps, not shocking. They are Tories, after all. That they are not pushing through pay rises for nurses at a time when not only are health worker hours and commitment stretched beyond imagining is probably par for the course for Tories. This Tory government has now led us to the highest death rate, if not in the world, then at least in Europe. With, I might add, no apology, no acceptance of blame, and certainly no sign of contrition.
And this evening, Tories voted down a move to keep the NHS off the table in future trade deals. You know, the NHS we were clapping for only recently. The reward for valiant service to the nation is for the nation’s leaders to consider you worthy to be sold off to private enterprise. Nice touch, Tories.
I’m not in cheerful mood, as you can tell.
Thinking on these things, I dug out this quotation from my notebook, taken from Astra Taylor’s quite superb book Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone.
“The idea of liberal democracy posits free subjects rationally deliberating and deciding what is best for them. Yet a motivated subset of self-interested elites has dedicated itself to sabotaging broad understanding and deliberation, knowing that there’s money to be made fr4om incomprehension, bewilderment, and strife.”
One of the ways that the ‘self-interested elites’ sabotage the abilities of the majority of us to engage in rational discussion is to undermine education while at the same time ensuring that we are never presented with the full picture. We are shown the world in 2-D, projected against a flat screen in which the world ‘out there’, populated by the people and things that are said will threaten us. There’s no room for nuance, for subtlety. As Taylor goes on to say in the book,
“Today’s purveyors of ignorance are part of a deep tradition, though they are subtler than their predecessors. The ruling class has never been particularly keen on the prospect of ordinary people becoming educated and governing themselves.”
And because there is another quotation in my notebook close to those from Taylor that is perhaps a neat summary of how I’m feeling at the moment, I’ll share that, too. This is from Erik Olin Wright’s How to be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century — something more and more of will need to be are we to survive as a species.
“Anticapitalism is possible not simply as a moral stance towards the harms and injustices in the world in which we live, but as practical stance towards building an alternative for greater human flourishing.”
Amen to that.