I don't know if this is English literature 101 but I had a very good English teacher in my upper school years. His first lesson was that at the very heart of good literature is conflict. Conflict of characters, ideas, concepts and metaphors. It's all about juxtaposition and contrast. Much in life and politics is the same. Without conflict and without struggle there is no intrigue and that is at the very heart of our creativity. Without epic struggles and the kind of political engagement that inspires us to do great things we atrophy. Revolution and renewal define us.
This explains why Fareed Zakaria, writing in the Washington Post, has such a hard time working out why this new movement on the right wants to tear down the global order.
What is this globalism to which these people are so opposed? he asks. "After 1945, after the Great Depression and two world wars, Western nations established an international system characterized by rules that honored national sovereignty, allowed for the flourishing of global commerce, and encouraged respect for human rights and liberties. This order resulted in the longest period of peace among the world’s major powers, marked by broad-based economic growth that created large middle classes in the West, the revival of Europe, growth in poor countries that lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and the spread of freedom across the globe".
Of course, it's a conceit to say that these systems honour national sovereignty and they are in fact the very antithesis of it. What these systems have done is pretty much abolished politics to the point where Western societies are run by remote technocratic institutions where democracy is largely a decorative ritual. Effectively what we have build is a number of global supply chains that actually work better without the involvement of politics and politicians.
The problem with that is that the regulation of these systems fall to an elite band of globalists who are increasingly making seismic decisions over the products we consume, homogenising everything and eradicating those things upon which we build our identity. In this, national sovereignty and identity are viewed as quaint throwback ideas that stand in the way of the greater good and so through deception and coercion those things are eroded.
Through gradual brainwashing the narrative has been twisted so that nationalism and identity are viewed as akin with fascism and racism and an international groupthink has emerged which as it that us primitives who cling to "outdated" concepts like sovereignty are holding back the progress of mankind. Our global elites even call themselves progressives. This is why language and political correctness have been at the centre of a culture war which the globalists have until very recently been winning hands down.
In this they have sterilised the food we eat, the political discourse and political processes, making us passengers in our own lives with no real influence over the laws and diktats we must live by. Right now decisions are being taken in the WHO that will eventually be issued by executive order or statutory instruments that will have a profound effect on our social habits. One such example is the smoking ban which nobody ever asked for but was uniformly implemented without our consent. It changed our social lives, our night-life and in the space of a few short years changed our culture. It ruined nightclubs and removed one of the few reasons we had to congregate and meet people.
In every sense the global order has been the transfer of power ever upwards to those who believe they know what is best for us. These are people who hold some profoundly Malthusian ideas and see people as a problem to be managed rather than a species endowed with free will.
And without the politics and the liberty to do those things that are untidy and unhealthy and not necessarily efficient we create a cage for ourselves where yes we are notionally peaceful and more prosperous but socially and spiritually bereft. Throw into the mix the idea that the freedoms we have are impacting the climate to such an extent that we must live austere and restricted lives. It goes against the very idea of being human.
Meanwhile as these systems have grown ever more restrictive and ossified we have stagnated and our culture is in a repeat cycle with each new generation having nothing of its own. Everything is served up to kids as a rehash of what came before in corporate wrapping. The corporations own all the intellectual property and they exist to outlive us so that they are our providers for all things from entertainment, culture and consumer goods.
This system though is one that has yet to spread its tentacles into the developing world which has its own ideas and is developing at a pace that our western systems cannot keep up with and so if the west is to remain relevant and able to compete in a globalised world then we must throw off the restraints that enslave our minds, our language and our economies.
In this we must reclaim our identities and our sovereignty and our politics and shape our lives according to our own needs and desires rather than the designs of experts and central planners. And though the idea that people living their own lives in their own way horrifies the globalists who have their own vision and the power to impose it, they cannot withstand the tidal wave as we wake up and reject their rule. The incomprehension of Fareed Zakaria is all too telling. It is a matter of mystery to them that we plebs might prefer the messy and disorganised organic life than the one wrapped up in cellophane and given to us on a plate.
Humans need conflict of ideas and disorders that they may bring meaning to their lives. A planned existence within predefined parameters is to make battery chickens of people. If we are to be dissuaded from participating in our own governance and resign ourselves to being mere cattle then we suffer from a spiritual and cultural ennui that gives way to self destructive habits like drugs and alcohol. For all the wealth and prosperity of globalisation, the west has an appalling relationship with prescription medication and alcohol. Anything to numb the tedium and loneliness of our lives as post-social animals.
What we are seeing across the West is a rejection of managerialism by the few. They may have shown that they can make us materially wealthier but the society they have built cannot fulfil mankind's desire for freedom, conflict and disorder. We are a complex species and the criteria for happiness is an ever evolving one that is not centred around the material. The globalists are distinctly shallow technocrats who believe that world peace can be achieved if only we are fed and watered by the machines. They believe they are building a future paradise when in fact they are building a sophisticated cage for our minds where privacy and liberty is something you don't even dream of.
It may be that this revolution we have started with Brexit makes us materially poorer. It may mean that GDP goes into decline. But GDP is just a number on a screen and a big number does not necessarily translate into wealth for the many. What it seems to mean for most is that we become serfs conditioned to accept smaller aspirations where we wait for our providers to provide rather than to build for ourselves.
Countering that may well mean tearing down the rotten establishment and it may not be in our material interests but it is a spiritual need that compels us that will never show up on any spreadsheet. Humanity is a magnificent species, noble in reason, infinite in faculty. In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god! We can never be forced to live to a design and humanity's greatness will always rebel against the systematic perfection that our rulers have in mind. This year we learned that resistance is not futile.