With the battering the reputation of government, Parliament and politicians in general has taken as a result of the painful and as yet, unresolved attempts to ‘deliver Brexit’, the news that the public are losing faith in the system doesn’t exactly come as a surprise: UK poised to embrace authoritarianism, warns Hansard Society. Whether, they’re Leavers or Remainers, people are sick of the posturing and mind games they see in Parliament so in a way, it’s understandable a growing number want someone to step in, sort the mess out and impose some degree of certainty. Understandable but utterly wrong…
We’ve spent a lot of energy on this blog taking local and national government to task, highlighting their shortcomings and explaining why they’re pretty much unreformable. However, we’ve always said that the way forward is wrenching power away from those who presume to rule us and creating a self-organising society. Now it would be great if the current wave of dissatisfaction with the political process as it is led to existing power structures being dismantled and power coming right back down to the grassroots. The problem is that as anarchists, for a variety of reasons, our propaganda and ideas aren’t reaching out into the broader population in anything like the way we would desire. We have a lot of urgent soul searching to do to work out why that’s the case and to do something about it pronto.
For those wanting an authority figure to step up to the plate and fix the mess the UK has got itself into, all we can say is be very careful what you wish for! Is a competent leader who has almost god like powers in understanding the complexities of the shite the UK has dropped itself into and a workable solution that can be implemented to turn its fortunes round lurking in the shadows ready to rescue us? If they are, they’ve done a remarkably good job of keeping their views, analysis, solutions and leadership capabilities hidden from the majority of us mere mortals. The grim truth is that if shadowy figures pulling the strings deem an authoritarian solution as the only way the UK can be pulled out of the shite, those implementing it will be coming from the pool of muppets we already know of in government or Parliament.
One scenario could be Boris Johnson succeeding Theresa May as prime minister after the UK has tumbled out of the EU without a deal and the EU are setting strict terms and conditions before entertaining any idea of negotiating with the UK. With the disruption and chaos that has been forecast by a number of experts engulfing the UK in the aftermath of a no deal Brexit, Johnson would be seriously tempted to enact Henry VIII powers which would bypass Parliament and centralise power in a bid to get on top of the situation. All embellished with a flurry of oh so clever Latin phrases!
Another scenario, could be a last minute revocation of Article 50 and the formation of a government of national unity in a bid to keep the lid on the frustrations of seriously pissed off Leave voters. You could imagine the centrist ChangeUK party being involved in such a government. Just because a government is ‘centrist’ in outlook, don’t imagine for one minute they will respect the norms of so called democracy if things start to get hairy. As we all know from painful experience, centrists are ‘polite’ (when it suits them) neo-liberals who in order to implement their agenda, would be willing to be a lot less polite and a lot more authoritarian if it suited them. Look at the way the ‘centrist’ Tony Blair broke the rules to con this country into going to war against Iraq in 2003 to get an idea of what we could be dealing with.
Whatever way you look at it, an authoritarian solution to the crisis of ‘democracy’ in the UK will not provide a solution. As ever, it will be the working class who will end up paying the price, albeit a divided class as some are bribed just enough to stay onside while being manipulated to demonise the rest of us. We know that the system of government we have is not fit for purpose. That’s because it’s based on hierarchy and the notion that power has to be concentrated at the top echelons of society. While the current imbalance of power is accepted, it doesn’t matter which party or coalition is in power, nothing substantial will change. Radical change can only come about by pulling down existing power structures and bringing about a self managed society.
It’s down to a simple choice between the wisdom of the hive mind where decisions are made at the grassroots as opposed to the whims, ego and the inevitable cruelty of an authoritarian leader or clique. The hive mind of a self-organising society may be occasionally messy and not as clear cut as some would like but it has checks and balances and above all, is one where everyone is accountable to each other. Yes, a self-organising society will involve hard work but it’s a price worth paying for genuine freedom.