The abdication of responsibility

The problem is that we cannot abdicate the political sphere to the cynics who say that decency and fairness are no longer possible, for that is what the power-hungry monsters want. (Look at Hungary or Israel.) They seek to corrupt normal society in order to declare that traditional rules no longer apply and grab power while the bourgeois are disorientated. 

That’s the Trump/Bannon playbook, and like the Nazis they tap into a deep memory within the indigenous population of ‘good times’ before whatever current instability has threatened their social values - using im/explicit racism to “explain” hugely complex geo-financial issues (which no one can easily summarise) to create a narrative that ordinary people can lock onto in their uncertainties and parrot as fact. 

I haven’t been to Paris for 15 years maybe, but I was shocked then by the way that parts of it no longer appear to a European city. And I’m sure it’s far worse in Italy. When I visited a friend in Arezzo 6 y/a there were black prostitutes in caravans in lay-bys all along the mountain roads. The scale of the problems is beyond anyone’s capacity to resolve. 

We curse our politicians for failing to deal with what we the people cause by our conflicted priorities: EG demanding low taxes but also good civic services and effective social care. 

The EU and its member governments tried to create a fair framework for handling migrants, but it was wishful thinking; because the northern states simply refused to share the burden. And this all the pretext the demagogues for destroying the remaining social fabric of the European ideal. 

Suzi gave me a book on migration which shows that longterm solutions are impossible, because political instability around the Mediterranean and the range of satellite TV publicising western consumerism mean that Europe is an irresistible magnet, just as the USA is to SAmerica. 

If you look at the history of population movements from the Celtic era, there seem to have been these great migratory moves at many points in history. In Lyon for instance two distinct tribal settlements beside the Rhone stood alongside the Roman town on the hill, in a sort of functional apartheid; and of course the origin of the Jewish nation lies in migration mythology. But before today it didn’t matter because there was enough room for everyone. Now there isn't. 

I see this as the twilight of liberal democracy, and among the reasons is that we the people are largely ignorant of Christian principles. We have become a deracinated people, whose psyche no longer has roots in the transpersonal, with the result that we are blown by the winds of pleasure, and morally defenceless in the teeth of corporate forces. We were told that all the old ideas were irrelevant to the modern world, but nobody has come up with a better vision to replace them. It’s true that a new spirituality is growing, but much of it is consumerist in character, and being heterogeneous and individualistic it is incapable of putting down deep collective ethical roots. And thus its capacity to be a moral fulcrum is lacking. The Right seeks to exploit this moral vacuum by an appeal to the slogans of imperialistic Christian past, but ignores altogether the ethical heart of what it claims to promote. 

Yet we remain herd animals, and part of our psycho-somatic makeup is that we need to belong. How do we create those ethical magnets of elective affinity in the modern world that tap into and draw from the deep wellsprings of perennial wisdom that manifest in the best of all religious cultures, namely to honour the numinous within ourselves and to bring out the best in others? 

For all my difficult relations with the  Religious Society of Friends I still think it’s a great space for exploring the dilemmas of existence in a respectful silence, and that Quakers have historically got a great deal right about social organisation. 

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