Sunday, August 12, 2018

O'Sullivan's First Law continues - so far

"All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing."
O'Sullivan's First Law. John O'Sullivan, CBE (born 25 April 1942) is a British conservative political commentator and journalist.(Wikipedia). I suppose the RSPCA would be an example.


The priests invariably propose an ideology, a romanticised (false) view of human nature which usefully buttresses the existing order. The Enlightenment, a secularised Christianity, is popular in the west. I make an observation, not a moral critique.

The ideology's falsity violates innate instincts and therefore requires self-control in application. The priests live rather gilded lives: stresses are few. They find mental compartmentalisation and self-control ('tolerance') not so hard.

Those outside the bubble are ceaselessly lectured, indeed have no other language of norms and morality. As O'Sullivan noted, heretics are everywhere shamed and expelled.

But in recent years there's been a widening gap. Guardian and BBC ethics have been losing purchase on life's not so little problems. The masses mill around, seeking answers. There is no truly acceptable alternative ideology. ''Populism" is an inchoate mishmash.

Most recoil at mindless prejudice and bigotry. In the old days the alt-narratives of Communism (and Fascism, with less coherence) had mass appeal. Today, not so much.


Ideologies are not forged in a vacuum, they morally and intellectually underpin the order of society - and evolve with it.

Is there a replacement for neoliberalism, with its failing global supply chains and tottering financial  architecture? Is there an evolution which doesn't require a round of effective repression against the uppity masses? Like in Chile, the gold standard for dealing with (leftwing) populism?

I rather fear not. But the priests won't be doing the dirty work. I suspect their time is running out. Though to be clear, we are talking of a decade-long timescale here, not the events of the next year.

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