How To Understand Violence In Society
I think political thuggery has its roots in a concept of rule that can be traced back to the ancient rulers and god kings. Rulers have always had to rely on thuggery to get things done when events on the ground threaten their hold on power.
The assumption is 'they' know best as a result of being kept well informed by their advisors and experts. A regular flow of analytical information is fed into our government system and the efficiency of the system varies in its ability to process this information objectively without it being obfuscated by the pettifogging culture of inter-governmental rivalry or by the vested interests and hidden agendas of influential people with senior ministerial powers connected to the super rich industrialists who themselves are connected as politicians. The ministerial responsibilities of an army of civil servants largely manages this flow with the kind of quiet efficiency that is similar to the growth of a malignant virus that first ensures the populace has the bacteria in as many hosts as possible before it mutates. The individual cells dutifully function with asymmetric efficiency blissfully unaware of the strategy of epidemic. The question is often posed therefore whether joined up thinking really does exist within such a megagogic system or are we being constantly fed with a barrage of lies in order to keep the lid on public anger and outrage.
One of the most hopeless assumptions held by those who crawl their way into positions of political power is that they vehemently defend the notion that their specialised knowledge gives them some kind of inalienable right to make decisions on behalf of the electorate, arguing that they can 'see' the big picture and plan better for the future. This hopeless and arrogant assumption swept this nation into a Middle East conflict in 2003 that is costing the British Public their hard earned cash that, if decided by the Sovereign Act of Referendum in that year, would have shown our leaders that their wisdom was misplaced, ill advised and without any justifiable cause. The public would have voted 'NO' and as a result our balance of payments would be a wholly different financial picture for the current punitive rounds in public spending.
The reason leaders continue to avoid the proper introduction of direct democracy is perhaps based on the false premise that knowledge equals power. By placing the fate of the nation into the hands of a public plebiscite they probably feel they are somehow abrogating their responsibility as the ‘know-all nannies' of the State when in fact the opposite would be true if they were to engage with us a little more outside the asphyxiating and insulting cultural circuit of sound bites and TV chat shows. The analogy with the helmsmen and crew, the awful plight of those below the deck on the Titanic who suffered a terrifying death as a result of what commentators call ‘poor safety planning’ is a reminder of the darker aspects of State control. Can we really trust men and women besotted by the possession of power?
The idea that we can trust our leaders hasn’t come to us by chance, it is inculcated into our consciousness through an educational system that saturates the young and tender mind with a nefarious history of kings and generals and mighty warriors who are lifted up onto the plinth of our national glory and pride. It is a system that achieves what Greek and Roman writers were constantly going on about, the creation of the State as single unit of blind allegiance to their leaders as intimated in this excerpt from an ancient historian.
“From the constant renewal of the reputation of good men, the glory of those who perform great deeds is immortalised, and the fame of those who have done good for their country becomes well-known among the masses and handed down to future generations. But what is most important is that the young men are induced to endure all sufferings on behalf of the common welfare in order to achieve the glory that accompanies brave men.” Polybius 156AD
An alternative to being 'badly' led by a government not joined up at the top is simply never going to become a realistic option while the current political system remains intact. No matter how many great writers whinge eloquently in journals and newspapers, or how often we take to the streets with our banners and slogans, or how much we try to influence the megagogic system with our ambitious expression of social reform, the awesome reality of an institutionally ingrained system stares at us defiantly from the granite of Rome dominating our cities’ architecture and funeral piers. We are so ingrained culturally by the granite of our iconography, idols and xenophobic jingoism, which we’ve been taught has been written into our culture forever by the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers, that to change it would require a paradigm shift in our cultural heritage, a cultural revolution that goes well beyond the pubic thoughts of Chairman Mao.
All this 'hot air' on Message Boards and Comment Boxes on BBC web pages and on countless other pages around the internet has the cumulative effect of 'zero' upon a system that is so unyielding in its inherent resistance to change we can be certain that it will be intact even when its infrastructure is wiped out by megatons of plutonium.
In fact, political communication from the top down is like entertainment in the Roman arena that keeps the public suitably anaesthetised with the idea their lives are safe in the hands of their leaders. Gladiators and ship battles portraying the empire’s defence of the Roman citizen against enemies from without and within have been replaced by docu-dramas, endless appraisals of our glorious leaders in repeated history programmes and constant news broadcasts about terrorists.
The Americans think they have a 'handle' on the future using their 'specialised' knowledge gained from research by experts done through computerised modelling and they have 'ill-advised' Mr Blair that the long term oil issue will be resolved by setting up puppet Westernised States in the Ancient Lands. 'Whatever the cost' assures Mr Bush talking in privacy with Mr Blair at his bugged residence, 'we must stick together on this very long term strategy before China looks West for more oil to lubricate its economic revolution.'
Politics is big business and the issue of violence in our streets and on nearly every TV channel is a concomitant issue of political and institutional thuggery that uses our armed forces to help industrialists advance their global goals.
I can think of no other good reason why citizens of the UK shouldn’t take to the streets and tear down the granite buildings that maintain a violent culture other than the prospect of this demonised institution of privilege and elitism fighting for its survival in a way that would bring about the striking down of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in cold blood. The other reason of course is that violence begets violence as witnessed in Iraq.
Violence in society is as complex as the cultural violence glorified by our educationalists and academics in their pathogenic school and university textbooks. The battle with our granite establishment therefore is an ideological one and it is won with the sheer weight of reason and common sense being thrown at it with the trebuchet of dialogue until it crumbles along with they that defend it. On that day ‘they’ will change the tenets of our educational system and deconstruct the meaning of canonical political history stripping it of all its authority over the present. Icons like the Cenotaph will be pulverised into dust and thrown to the four winds and the dead will remain dead forever.
Questions about society: