If we believe in a history of the masses – not just in one of heroes and heroines – there has to be more to what is going on between Cameron & Co and the rest of civil society than simply the bald intention to fill corporate pockets with even more dosh than they already possess. There must be bigger movements at play here than simply stupid incompetents being stupidly incompetent.
Firstly, it would appear there is a massive battle being fought between a society of professionals on the one hand and a society of the unprofessionalised on the other. So it is we have doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers fighting painfully disagreeable rearguard actions with people who have few actual qualifications to be what they end up acting out: in the main, alpha businessmen and women and politicians of all colours and levels. These latter two “professions”, if the label can (or should) be usefully applied, currently have few training paths to prepare them for the roles they carry out – supposedly on our behalf but more generally on their own.
Secondly, there does seem to be a recognition out there that specialisation – the very stuff of both charlatans and experts – may in some insidious way itself be destroying society.
In another universe then, quite parallel to Cameron & Co’s, we might appreciate the attempts of what we could charitably describe as Wannabe Renaissance Men (WRM) (there would appear to be few women, thankfully, of the same mettle) to break through the Chinese Walls of self-interested sectors.
The problem, of course, is that these WRMs I describe really aren’t. They’re not doing what they do in order to break down barriers that divide society but, instead, in order to re-establish – using the most unpleasant methods possible – those barriers which most benefit them at a quite individual level. It would seem they have so convinced themselves their might is right that anything can be justified – precisely and simply because of who or what originates the acts in question. And we are so taken aback by the astonishingly unexpected nature of these acts – so massively and confusingly outside our moral scope – that we find ourselves mainly giving in:
Govt using practices we instinctively know are wrong but our inexperience of such immoral behaviour is restraining our outrage. #Disabled
Yes. It’s possible that Cameron & Co are able to sleep at night because they truly believe themselves on a crusade against evil and interested parties. They see themselves as cavaliers – as latterday buccaneers of magnificent breaking-the-rules ambitions – in much the same way as top-flight businesspeople often feel themselves hard-done-to by a comfort-seeking society which fails to appreciate the real emotional hardships they run the gauntlet of in their uncertain rise to the top.
No wonder these creatures all become self-seeking and selfish.
No wonder they believe we must become like them.
But, in reality, Cameron & Co are anything but Wannabe Renaissance Men – anything but the far-sighted finally able to shrug off a lazy society’s shackles and liberate a democracy of the dreadfully slumbering.
They sense something that perhaps all of us should sense, it is true, but they are utterly incapable of performing the service civilisation requires of them. As Pope Francis mentioned the other day, their money is ruling the vast majority instead of serving the same. And unable to reconfigure it, they have given up at the first hurdle; they have given in and become its hugely detrimental servant rather than its master.
Renaissance Men? They wouldn’t know a flying machine if it hit them on the noggin. They’d assume it was a brutal and violent attack by dangerously trained beings on their self-taught, unqualified and intuitive impulses. Out of such inferiority complexes are born the actions of the essentially brutish.
So who’s lost their moral compass? Is it ourselves – lost in a sea of society-defining media? Is it the journalists themselves – as yet another suspiciously discrete body of professionals too? Or is this actually a case of the pyramid so taking over everything we do, think, say and believe that a 21st century of gloriously compulsory education has only prepared us properly for outright submission?
Maybe, even, Cameron, Gove and their cohort of evil politicos are right in some of what they say – even as they wrong in most of what they do. Specialisations are destroying society; sectors which know so much about their own workings are never going to be entirely direct about the changes which might prejudice them.
Maybe we are all Wannabe Renaissance Men (and Women, of course).
Maybe that’s the problem.
Capitalism’s ultimate revenge: the diarrhoea of an amateur democracy.
Coalition Britain, in fact – multiplied, now, a thousandfold. And controlled by those with the biggest chips on their shoulders history has seen.
From a society of supposedly meritorious conduct, those who least deserve to be in charge are those who have most benefited from a social democracy that urged us to value citizens in terms of what they were instead of what they did.
And so it is that the moral black hole this Coalition of half-baked humans inhabits is bound to fail, time and again, to properly impact on our sense of right and wrong.
We’ve been taught for far too long that what you do isn’t what you are.
To such an extent that what they are is affected in no significant way by what they do.
And even as they lambast us for our relativistic ways, they continue to ruthlessly take full advantage of the room for manoeuvre such generous morals do allow.