If there is anyone out there who still harbours doubts about the narcotic power of narrative, then I urge them to critically examine recent British history. This will confirm that such is the hallucinogenic power of narrative (or ‘discourse’ if you prefer) that it can capture an entire society in its analgesic embrace while being, not just divorced from the reality, but the demonstrably diametric opposite of the reality.
Since the late 1990’s everybody outside of us hardy but microscopic band of ideologues (and I do mean ‘everybody’ including his brother, mother, plumber and household pets) has been tub-thumpingly convinced that we have endured “the most right-wing government in history”. Oh my Lord, how right-wing it was! Uber-right-wing, ultra-rightist, extreme-uber-ultra-babyeatingly-sealcubbashingly-right-wing. Lord deliver us! Good people everywhere rolled their eyes heavenward and wondered just what was to become of us all in the new, ultra-neo-liberal, so-called-free-market, wild-west-uber-rampant-capitalist free-for-all.
Not us, of course. We could see the ugly truth that we were actually being sovietised. We told them all too. In fact, we shouted it from the blogtops. But was anybody listening? Were they hell. No, they were far too engaged in the generally agreed business of guffing on interminably about the rampant-wild-west-unregulated-greedy-so-called-laissez-faire-out-of-control-cowboy-shoot-’em-up-neo-liberal-free-for-all-unrestrained capitalist nightmare that was destined to reduce our once great nation to a dissipated radiation burst of lonely, atomised wage slaves chanting ‘greed is good’ as we are flung out to the frozen corners of an uncaring, Thatcherite universe.
So, do you think this incongruent moment of flying-piggery in today’s Times is going to incite a re-think?
PARTS of the United Kingdom have become so heavily dependent on government spending that the private sector is generating less than a third of the regional economy, a new analysis has found.
The study of “Soviet Britain” has found the government’s share of output and expenditure has now surged to more than 60% in some areas of England and over 70% elsewhere….
The state now looms far larger in many parts of Britain than it did in former Soviet satellite states such as Hungary and Slovakia as they emerged from communism in the 1990s, when state spending accounted for about 60% of their economies.
Not a bit of it. By this evening, these stark truths will have disppeared down the memory-hole and, by tomorrow morning, everyone will be getting on with the urgent business of finding a strategy for bringing all this rampant, wild-west, cowboy capitalism back under control.
Does anybody have a truth serum?