Monday, 2 January 2017
New Year resolutions? What’s the point? Turning over a new leaf, only to find another wrinkly, mouldy old leaf beneath? I was, for a time, considering starting 2017 by becoming Switzerland; declaring neutrality in the perma-war between left and correct, then realised I just couldn’t do that. It would be a betrayal of all that I have seen over the years. Sure, I could pretend to be a lefty – coming over all treacle and platitudes and occasionally wishing death on somebody for admiring Thatcher, but that’s not really my style. I prefer pointing and laughing when they deny that, since 1848, Marx & Engels’ methods have simply ‘not been tried properly’.
Ah, you say, that makes you as bad as they are. Well, maybe, if you exclude the deep-rooted pathology of the collectivists. Under the mutually exclusive, cognitively dissonant, oxymoron of an ideology – equality and diversity – they (mostly innocently, I concede) manage to disadvantage those who most need help and empower those who are no help at all. Under uncaring capitalism, the dog-eat-dog world does at least breed some quality dogs. But under the soft, woolly doctrine of socialism all that ever seems to emerge is... many more hungry, angry mongrels.
In an imagined Utopia everybody is able-bodied, skilled or learned and wilfully gives of his or her talents to the benefit of all. We are uniform of temperament, able and eager to engage in debate and explore new ways of being. No idea is too humble for consideration, no power too mighty to challenge and we accommodate any and all expressions of difference because embracing change is the only constant. The new Orwellian era declares that change is stability, variety is unity and ignorance, well, we know nothing about that. No complaint goes unheard, no opinion invalidated and as we toil to common purpose our happy voices are united in sweet, sweet song.
So tempting is this simplistic dream, to the reality-impaired, that whenever the echo-chamber mirror begins to crack, the aspic-glazed denizens of dreamland clamour for more of what ails them. Stockholm syndrome manifests itself so strongly that when Merkel’s millions strain German compassion to breaking point – and they are unrivalled at being repentant compassioneers – they blame themselves for not being even more welcoming. When the Euro impoverishes the southern states and keeps half of their young people unemployed, the call is for even more political integration. And against the rampant tide of openly-declared, home-brewed jihad they offer only submission.
The image of the year. Both last year and this.
My reaction to all the remoaner squeals, the stuck-pig shrieks of the social justice warriors as they demand I bow before their idols? Much as it always was. I am an interested bystander, fascinated by the lengths to which the severely deluded will go to manufacture outrage which ultimately hurts only them. I am indifferent up to a point and that point is where they openly declare that their free speech is more important than mine, that the young must listen only to them and that their vision for a dysfunctional and downward-bound future is both inevitable and desirable. They are simply wrong. So I will continue doing as I do, pointing and laughing because, let’s face it, the world is so much more fun when I do.