“Trapped in a blind alley of our own enlightened choice”
My old friend David Warren has a few hard sayings for those of us struggling in the trap and who still think that politics and activism are some kind of answer:
I am trying to show how we moderns are trapped in a blind alley of our own enlightened choice. We cannot make improvements in our lives, or win our freedom, by the methods that were devised to make improvements, and free us. And, we can’t get out of them, either. We are accroached progressives who have left ourselves only one path forward, and that leads into a brick wall. We can acknowledge only political solutions and … there are no political solutions. The only conceivable way out is backwards, but our car was designed to have no reverse. (Or brakes, or anything but an accelerator.)
Politics, as I like to say, is “the art of the impossible.” It is impossible even to imagine how, by a political process, any large modern nation state could devolve to the point where locals could have control of their own affairs. The vested interests for Large are too large. Big-league politicians, of any stripe, do not voluntarily part with their powers, whatever rhetorical roughage they may spew, and small interests will always be crushed or bought off — more often with lies than with money. This is why I concluded that with God all things are possible. They aren’t with men.
The limit of what we can do for ourselves through politics is seek ameliorations, none of which can possibly stick — unless something unforeseeable by any man happens.
Our foreseeable future is something like what “PRC” China is already achieving: using advanced surveillance technology to rank all citizens by obedience to the State’s commands, and arrest all those with failing grades. (Going offline and unplugging all appliances won’t hide you, as anyone with a techie son can learn; in our brave new world, even Jeff Bezos can be monitored.)
It is true, we still have some checks and balances in the West (semi-independent judiciary and the like), but note that they are all inherited from the distant past, and all are currently under unthinking attack from both Left and Right ends of the political spectrum. And while only one of those is demonstrably insane (guess which?) they routinely alternate in power.
Time, in my view, to revive the old-fashioned stratagem, for when you find yourself inside the belly of the beast. Complete passivity is not an option, so what you do is, pray.
More and more of us are becoming aware that we are on a path to destruction. But the solution does not lie in anything we can do. All our methods are what got us into this mess. Only something outside human methodology can save us.