Tuesday, 4 August 2009

False Democracy Left Consciousness Shopping

Do we want to shop or to be free? We'd better choose fast | Neal Lawson | Comment is free | The Guardian

Self-righteous left-wing ideologue condemns shopping.

People want stuff because they just want it; because it makes their life more convenient, more pleasant, more comfortable. And maybe they want stuff to boast about status. Who gives a fuck?

If this is such an affront to the puritan Righteous of the Left then why has New Labour assiduously pursued Thatcherite policies over the last 12 years, encouraging people to get into debt in order to spend beyond their means? Why has New Labour basically turned politics into a form of shopping, pretending to offer the electorate a variety of 'choices' in this and that?

Most people are the same. That's because, as human beings, our differences (individuality) are greatly outnumbered by our similarities with regard to needs and desires. The left-wing concept of 'false consciousness' or 'bad faith' is operating here, and it is itself false. The best expression of the relationship between rulers and the ruled can be found in Machiavelli:
The people are more honest in their intentions than the nobles [politicians/ruling classes] are, because the latter want to oppress the people, whereas they [the people] want only not to be oppressed.
People just want to be free - not particularly for anything but just to be able to do what they want, or not do anything at all. This is an affront to the sanctimonious totalitarian impulses of the Righteous.

If I can afford it and I want to shop then I'll shop. If not, I won't. What I won't put up with is authoritarian liars presenting me with false dichotomies and false choices to cover up their own mendacity and to bully me into accepting their totalitarian policies.

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