Saturday, 6 December 2014

Making Sport For Neighbours

Left Wing, Right Wing, and Industrialised Inhumanity

Mr Bennett once sarcastically remarked that the raison d'etre of the Bennett household was to make sport for its neighbours, so the Bennetts, in turn, could laugh at them.  It was a wickedly clever line parodying respectable society in Georgian England.    Similar observations could be made in our day about our "masters" the political classes, and their fawning, downstairs attendants--the media.

Let's face it.  The media long ago ceased to be the bastion of liberty and the ever vigilant constructive critic of politicians and government.  However much the modern clutch of media personnel may deny it, however they may mock and laugh at the antics of those upstairs, in reality they need those pollies for their jobs.  They depend upon them.  The political classes and the media are our modern version of the Bennetts and their neighbours. 

Every so often little tizzies break out in the neighbourhood.  It makes sport for the rest of us.
  One of our local pollies--Russel Norman, leader of the Greens, is one such self-important fellow.  He sees himself as the defender of freedom, one of the last voices before humanity drowns in a slime of its own making.  He is one of the most amoral of the good-guys.  For Russel, the state is his lord, master, and saviour.  Well, it would be, if he, Russel, were running it.  Russel is a character resembling Mr Collins, so puffed up with self-righteousness he risks exploding, whilst spending most of his time simpering after his patroness--which, in Russel's case is not a person but the State itself.  Russel has been a fawning political creature all his adult life, lusting and craving for power.

Recently a Beltway rag, Trans-Tasman, had the gall to suggest that one of his "flock", the inestimable Catherine Delahunty, whose gravitas makes a ciggie paper look weighty, was an ineffectual member of Parliament.  Russel drew himself up on his hind legs and barked out the most cruel of insults.  He sarcastically accused Trans-Tasman of being a Far Right publication!  Snorts and belly laughs all around.  Good old Russel--once again making sport for his neighbours.   

The spirited, irrelevant exchange raises an interesting question, however.  We have become accustomed to using the appellations, Right, Left, and Centre to characterise politics and the arrangements of government. The terms, Far Left and Far Right are code phrases for being unhinged and unbalanced.  For folk like Russel almost all politicians and political parties and media are right-wing extremists, a perspective derived from where Russel himself stands on the spectrum--which is reflexively Left. 

But nowadays these terms are are of limited meaning (in an ideological sense) and actually reflect little more than class snobbery.  To be Left is to occupy the elevated ranks of the Upper Classes, whence all others are seen as grovelling scrubbers, mere tradesmen, and the ignorant, great unwashed.  To be Right is to hold to a similar snobbish demeanour, except that the Right, by self-assessment, occupy the Upper Classes whilst Russel and his colleagues are at home in the mudflats. 

Historically, the appellations "right" and "left" served to denote where one "stood" on the appropriate role and function of the state.  The right-wing of politics denoted authoritarian control centred upon the apparatus of the state, protected by the interests of the wealthy and the monied.  The left-wing denoted the interests of the bottom-feeders, the masses, those who would rise up to cast of their masters and seize control of the levers of power and all goodies.

But both "wings" are part of the same house.  Both alike represent the ultimacy of the state--the power of some to rule tyrannically over others.  Historically, the "Right Wing" has produced fascism.  The "Left Wing" has produced the dictatorship of the workers' alleged representatives.  Both alike have killed, starved, executed, and cruelly imprisoned millions upon millions of human beings (in a very short space of time).

The distance between Right Wing and Left Wing could not accommodate a Catherine Delahunty, much less a cigarette paper.  It is all smoke and mirrors, noise and babble.  Both Right and Left Wing are of the same spirit.  They both end up at the same place--an institutionalised tyranny where man's inhumanity to man becomes industrialised.

As Lizzie Bennett once observed, there's nothing funny about that. 

No comments: