Thursday, November 25, 2004

More Nightmares

Normblog continues to keep us informed of the most egregious delusions appearing in The Guardian.

Subsequent to my post on his TV programme, Adam Curtis has now written an article, 'Fear gives politicians a reason to be' .

Norm makes the point that being 'blown to bits by an idea, not by an all-powerful organization' is not very reassuring. On  the assertion that politicians now rely on fear, he comments 'How does Curtis know this? I don't know how he knows it. He doesn't say.' Well, Curtis does give us an idea of why - because of the Thatcherite idea of  'allowing the hidden hand of the market to guide and shape society' (though surely it was Gordon Brown who, like Clinton, 'gave away the last vestiges of political control over the economy').

There is in my view, though, a more important point to be made.
that idea that politicians can change the world would be laughed at. Of course there is massive social and economic progress, but it is no longer perceived as having been produced by politicians.
Surely the real criticism of this is that it ignores the world outside 'the West'. Politicians may no longer seek to impose their vision on society, but they can still damage society. Corruption and lack of political accountability in Africa, the Middle East and so on seemingly do not exist outside of Curtis' bubble. 

We are now in 'an incredible era of prosperity and calm ' ? Try telling that to people in Sudan - or Ukraine.

Update (25 Nov) One last point : Curtis also remarks that the reliance on fear 'represents the last gasp of a liberal political elite to maintain their sense of specialness in society'. Does this mean that the article exists in even more of a bubble, relating only to the latest proposals by Labour in the UK and ignoring the US 'neo-conservatives', which he deals with at length in his TV programmes ; or that he recognizes that the neo-cons are liberals too ?

Via sussuration, an older Guardian piece on the series.

Norm on something else from The Guardian.


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