Monday, 28 July 2014
Are you a Useful Idiot? Are you unwittingly doing the bidding of an unseen master, banging the drum and flying the banner for an ideology that despises you even while it uses you as a foot soldier? For that matter, am I a useful idiot also? Am I swallowing a sinister, worldwide Zionist plot to rid the planet of islam by deliberately and cynically sacrificing thousands of its own innocent civilians in order to incite people to unite against Hamas while claiming to be the victim? Are they playing me? Then well played, I say… well fucking played.
It may be possible that, Matrix-like, the world I experience is just the world that some sinister conspiracy wants me to see but you know what, I’m more than happy with that; it’s a world that works for me. Why would I want to take the red pill and wake from the dream? Why would I want to even know about the pills at all if, as the likes of Owen Jones and Co like to insist, reality is that a cold hard puppet-master is twisting my mind to despise the little people? In the world of my experience most people – and I include myself - are enormous bell-ends anyway.
But wait. If those on the left, as they constantly tell us, believe the world is in the thrall of a massive capitalist conspiracy to enslave the masses to corporate ends, why do many not on the left see socialism as a massive plot to subjugate and enslave the masses to statist ends? Surely, if I was bound to the Matrix, I would see neither argument. And if I was in thrall to the Zionist master plan, why would I take a middle view that would happily see both sides expunged from existence… anything for a bit of peace and quiet?
Or is this all a clever – too clever by half – double bluff, whereby William of Ockham was induced, almost seven centuries ago, to develop a hypothesis of simplicity simply to persuade me, little old me, here today, that the more complicated things look, the less likely that explanation may be? In this way I can scoff at Owen’s People’s Assembly and their fervent belief in foul intent and dastardly doings, while remaining blinded by my partisan prejudices to the complexity of the other argument; believing instead that shit happens and it’s every man for himself. If that is how the supposed right-wing controls the affairs of man it is sheer genius.
Think about it – I do – to adopt a leftist stance I need to believe first of all that a species capable of the gross stupidity, recklessness and tribal loyalty that causes millions to be senselessly exterminated is also capable of a system of benign public stewardship of the planet’s resources. That such a system can fairly distribute to each according to his needs without favour or prejudice. If I believed THAT maybe I could also be persuaded to believe that the nasty people who make things and grow food and build factories and hospitals and schools and houses are all engaged in a bid to herd the rest of humanity into cruel servitude.
To me, that way of thinking is way too complicated and takes up far too much processing power that could be used for getting on with your life, but it turns out that there may be a natural explanation for socialism after all. There appear to be evolutionary origins for the morals we adopt and we may in fact be powerless after all; not to resist some big plot to gain our endorsement but powerless to engage in thinking beyond our biological imperatives. Left or right, it seems, we are at least partly victims of our genes. Given that nature tends towards greater efficiency it looks very much like those on the left are just not as highly evolved as the rest of us.