There was a time when to use a Marxist phrase politics was a petit-bourgeois activity. The players were like bankers and lawyers mere flunkies of the capitalist. At that time the political system was set up to efficiently manage the capitalist economy and ensure the competing needs of the big players, the landowners and men of capital, could have their differences reconciled without taking up arms. The whole process worked so well that by the 1750’s the British Empire spanned the globe bringing trade that would eventually liberate people from poverty and disease.
The 17th and 18th centuries were the period when a free people and a free capitalist class drove up economic value in such vast amounts that London was so wealthy it became a city of expensive architectural marvels. The Law Courts in London, the Naval HQ at Greenwich from where the Empire was policed and the end of slavery enforced, and of course Parliament itself. The Capitalist political model was adopted elsewhere in the world, notably the UAS signifying the success of the Bourgeois revolution…..or as it is known in Britain the “Glorious Revolution”.
Politicians were there to promote and protect this capitalist model and secure its future. The Monarch has by this time acquired a purely symbolic function and has discharged this role competently right up to the present day. And long may that part of the State continue. It is the least problematic part of the British State by a country mile.
The problem is that the capitalist model is now defunct! Lets stop there and think about that. How is the capitalist system defunct? Well to be capitalist, capitalism has to produce economic value by combining things like land and labour thus creating Goods and resources that can be traded for money. This money builds up as wealth. This wealth enables the rich to pay taxes and the state to function in the interests of the economic players the Capitalist and Landowners, and by the 20th century the workers too. If we accept this definition of capitalism, capitalism has had its heyday and has been replaced by the debt dependent “free market”.
The free market was an important element of the Capitalist system. Based on Contract, Choice and Consent it allowed “trade” to flourish. However without the economic underbelly of “capitalism” it has spawned a virulent form of immoral consumerism driven by debt. This consumerism is unsustainable, planet destroying and will eventually, like capitalism itself fail spectacularly. When this happens, and unless we prepare for a properly democratic “managed decline” involving ordinary people making decisions about their future, we are likely to lose the elements of Contract, Choice and Consent that were the kingpin of the last three hundred years of trade, freedom and democracy and find ourselves governed by an indifferent elite. Worse than now trust us!
So how do our modern western politicians fit into this doomsday scenario? Well as we said at the beginning they were originally there to promote the interests of the bourgeois economy and that bourgeois economy paid for the state and therefore paid them and those who administered the State.
Now of course the State pays for them with no bourgeois economy paying for the state. The State pays for almost everything else too. To meet its obligations the State relies on debt.
With the State indebting us up to our ears and ordinary taxpayers indebted up to their ears too, paying taxes on a salary that relatively speaking would have been too low to tax by 18th century standards, we are all paying hand over fist to keep a political, public sector and “free market elite” in well remunerated work but for no discernible reason. Frankly the old the young the taxpayer the planet and the indebted can no longer afford to support this outdated system.
Blue Revolution says “move over State elite and let the people take over, it’s our country and it’s our planet”.