Guy Herber’s excellent article The public mood (while the public moo-ed) got me thinking about the nature of the ‘Radical Centre’.
The Radical Centre seem to have the same obsession with control that the fascists and communists had but unlike them, it is control for control’s sake rather than in the service of some clear ideology: there is no Blairite or Clintonite (or even ‘Bushite’) ‘The Communist Manifesto’ or ‘Mein Kampf’. They do not seek the triumph of Volk or the dictatorship of the proletariat, they just seek to replace all social interactions with politically mediated interactions. They seek to regulate everything via a total state that does not organise mass rallies or collectivise farms, it just wants a world in which nothing whatsoever is private, everything is political. Their symbol is not the Hammer and Sickle or the Swastika, it is the CCTV camera.
Perhaps this also explains the radical centre’s transcendent hatred of the USA’s system of checks and balances: the US Bill of Rights takes whole sections of civil society and tries to place them outside politics (free speech, the right to have the means to defend yourself etc.). Sure, it fails miserably as often as it succeeds but at least the notion that not absolutely everything is subject to politics is part of the American cultural DNA and that, rather than the US government’s policy towards, well, anything, is what makes the US anathema to the Radical Centre (including the US Radical Centre).
The Radical Centre has also been called ‘Authoritarian Populism’ because it seeks to impose the popular will by force and it does not much care what that will is. Just as liberty for liberty’s own sake is the objective of the Classical Liberal/Libertarian rather than some ‘overarching narrative’ as was the case with the radical statist left and statist right in the corpse filled 20th century, the Radical Centre seek control for control’s own sake with no particular grand reason in mind other than to perpetuate a political class whose reason for existence is to make decisions about other people’s lives.
The reason they dislike us so much is that to attack regulatory statism is to attack these people’s very reason to exist and we challange them on a profound psychological level. They need to control other people just as we need to control our own lives.
The Radical Centre is our demonic reflection.