This post is now about a week old but it is still relevant, methinks, so here ’tis.
The totalitarian playbook requires that in the penultimate stage, trust in everyone and everything breaks down.
Along comes a messiah of sorts, actually an establishment plant or to get religious, the one spoken about in ancient times.
The breakdown in Oz through Pell’s fall has ramifications, not just for Catholicism, as you know, but for all nominally Christian institutions around the world – doing Them’s work for them. Macron in France, May of course.
And allowed to spread like cancer, the distrust corrodes any normal functioning. It’s meant to. Whoever is behind this playbook knows how it goes in each era.
Things are a little better here in the UK but, like the USA, we have lost trust in the fundamental institutions of society. We mistrust parliament, consider government essentially incompetent and are cynical about central social institutions like marriage, church and business.
Yet no politician is asking how we might restore trust and confidence – in each other and in society as a whole.
This is a moral mission rather than something resolvable through a policy platform and, as such, it sits uneasily with the now dominant utilitarian approach – moral leadership isn’t about “evidence-based policy” but about helping people to recognise why trust is so important.
All our current approach to government and politics does is to provide new sets of rules – often in the form of bans and taxes – intended to manipulate public behaviour and to prevent the negative affects of mistrust from being realised. So the lack of trust becomes embedded – government doesn’t trust people (and is entirely comfortable with not telling the whole truth) and creates an environment where mistrust is seen as normal.
Yet lack of trust makes doing business harder, acts as a drag on economic growth, and rewards those who would hobble choice and opportunity while casting out those who would liberate people from such tyranny.
What I’m seeing more and more of is non-religious people – not particularly antagonistic but at the same time, not religious – and they are coming out with this call more and more.
The ones we would ordinarily have looked to for moral rectitude to a point – archbishops, vicars, heads and teachers, even parents – they’re not only failing to do this but some are starting to cannabalise, to prey on those who look to them. I’m not speaking just of kids here.
It’s a bit like Lord of the Flies – but for real. There’s no naval officer in white uniform on the beach at the end though. Those crying out, voices in the new wilderness – they’re rounded up or cut down.
My take on end-time scenarios is that it’s often been line-ball – time of Caligula, Stephen, Napoleon, Hitler – very real danger where it all might have collapsed. Those saying the moral breakdown was not as rampant then need to see that documentary some years back about the Weimar years – the question is, of course, percentages of society, just how rampant was it and how far just the occasional example?
How can we know how bad it really got in the average person’s mind? This one seems more and more rampant now, ubiquitous, the new norm.
Lack of trust also creates personal danger. The protection disappears. The feral beast survives for sometime.
How to rid ourselves of the morally lost at Westminster? That is, those who have failed to do the jobs they were elected to do? I’m not sure they will be voted out you know.