And How To Defeat Them
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Yesterday was perhaps my blackest day. Bought to tears, something only last provoked in the heat of a family crisis. The past two years have been tough for me personally with politics serving as a distraction from my own problems. If I could master politics then maybe I could master my life. I have learned a lot in that time, including that I could never become a politician, certainly not with this media. I mean if a bunch of bored virgins hiding behind their keyboards can hold me up for so much as a millisecond then the combined might of the establishment would surely squash me like a bug. Today I think I have cracked the enigma code to this riddle and perhaps more crucially restored my faith.
Capitalism is dying. It has a terminal disease and I sincerely believe Global Socialism - like that outlined by Paul Mason in his book ‘Post Capitalism’ - is the only answer. Capitalism cannot be saved, not even if the semi-mythical variant I support - Regulated Capitalism - is implemented. Yet there are road blocks before the course of progress. Road blocks represented by the ideology of Neoliberalism and the Establishment forces that seek to implement and protect it.
When I started reading ‘The Establishment And How They Get Away With It’ by Owen Jones, I found joy and hope in the tale of the Outriders of Neoliberalism. Partly because I am a capitalist who regards Marx as an outdated irrelevant whose name has tainted political discourse for centuries, and thus took perverse pleasure at the advancement of a kind of capitalism that would reign supreme. Partly because I saw within Neoliberalism’s rise the source of its downfall.
Then Owen Jones goes on to outline precisely how much opposition we face in The Establishment. This is a combination of intellectual, political, corporate, media, legal, financial and international forces allied by greed, ideology and personal relations. I have warned against violent revolution on many occasions, particularly against the overwhelming military might of America, Owen Jones outlines a case that would make my concerns seem a gross understatement. No despot could be so powerful.
In hindsight, not a great book to read for one fearing their own chances of survival were slim in the long term. Indeed I have come away with a sense that I am fucked in ways I never before realised. Yet there is hope among such darkness.
Paul Mason’s work calls itself Post Capitalism yet in practise touches on many of the same themes and topics as Owen Jones does here yet Mason left me underwhelmed. An amazing journalist and thinker he expresses well the sense and evidence that change is a foot yet fails to sell a solution. Owen Jones by contrast has a surprising charm. Maybe I am just subject to similar biases when I watch his youtube videos as my haters are to me but I did not expect the persuasive powers Jones exhibits here. It is a careful blending of fact with anecdotes, jocularity with suaveness. If this man engaged in debate as sport I fully believe he could convince me that postage stamps are heralds of eldritch might. In text at least.
Mason sells the facts behind his theory, Jones sells his view of the facts then offers a solution that at the least offers the reader satisfaction of someone somewhere having some kind of a plan. Perhaps that is why Mason’s work left my mental state unhindered while Jones pulled me out of a spiral. I mean last night I practically had a breakdown at the stupidity of Neoliberals, the new capitalists, and my own inability to find a solution. The solutions Jones outlines may not have much practical relevance to me as a broke graduate/youtuber staring down the barrel of economic unviability but they offer me a rationalist’s faith. The belief that a solution to one’s problems, however unlikely, exists and can be implemented.
I am not sure a lot of what Jones suggests as a solution is entirely relevant now. I am a strongly of the opinion that technological unemployment will, at the least, radically reshape the economy. So coming as it does in my reading schedule, between Paul Mason’s ‘Post Capitalism’ and Martin Ford’s ‘Rise of the Robots’, Jones’ suggestions for total employment seem laughably naive. Though I understand that Jones is trying to suggest conservative solutions to shift the Overton Window leftward.
This is the real genius of what Owen Jones writes. For too long the left has hidden from debate. Something I am guilty of though when your family and friends may be threatened should you ‘debate’ then the calculus changes somewhat. Owen Jones presents here an outline of the enemy and how it operates so the information might be exploited. It is not enough to simply shift the Overton Window through discourse, the anti-establishment agenda must infiltrate, combat and convert the various subsections of the establishment. This is the blueprint for a peaceful revolution. The golden bullet for societal ills that I have spent the last two years chasing, and something we know from the very success of our enemy is achievable.
I have said before that violence does not destroy ideas, tolerance and education does. Here we see how this philosophy is outlined within the rise of our enemy. They may use violence or see it used to protect or advance their wills when they have the political cover but to get that cover they first had to peacefully accumulate political power. This is an ideological revolution on global politics and it will require simultaneous semi-coordinated attempts infiltrate the establishment and influence it.
The worker as we know it is no longer a viable tool to enforce political obedience. Instead we must re-educate the Establishment enforcers to see about a paradigm shift. We need our own outriders and here I have some good news for once. Like so many of the things I care about I am not the first and things I wish I could have done already have been. Radical anti-establishment concepts are being floated more and more, with anti-establishment successes across the political spectrum. From Corbyn and Sanders to Trump and Brexit, the establishment is clueless as to how to react. I mean they even bought sexual assault allegations to bare against Trump and he shrugged it off, despite being recorded boasting of committing assault.
I suppose ultimately here I must concede to a meme, in the Dawkins sense, that I noticed cropping up time and again in this book which I have used on more than one occasion, the last of which I am certain provoked malicious scare tactics. Heads, you lose. Tails, I win.
I wonder, had someone on 4chan or its ilk, who was ideologically opposed to me read this book and concluded correctly the probability of my one day encountering this book, reading it and coming to the conclusions I would? I don’t believe in conspiracy but equally I do not entirely rule out the possibility of astute observation and probable predictions thereupon. After all on such things are investments made.
You see I’ve mentioned before that there is nothing I would not do if I thought it would save the capitalism I love something that might be deduced from how much personal information I have given out freely. in that vein it is mentioned here that UKIP has gained great support by presenting as anti-establishment despite being part of them. One might deduce that I would realize the power of such a trojan horse. Not only radically shifting the Overton Window against establishment philosophy but using the establishment to get into power then destroy it.
Here Donald Trump makes perfect sense. He isn’t the great leader, he’s a suicide bomber sent to destroy the American Establishment from the inside. It doesn’t matter if he succeeds or fails in any of his policies. He’s so stupid and anti-establishment that his being anywhere near the establishment exposes it for the sham it is. His very hypocrisy and incompetency undermines the establishment. Heads, you win. Tails, they lose.
Again, I’m not supposing conspiracy. Though this is mad enough and fringe enough to be plausible. What matters is that I now understand where all those jokes about me being close to being redpilled come from. I despise Trump and would support killing fascists if they enacted legislation to commit genocide but to a certain mindset that doesn’t matter, only the support of their guy. As Churchill once said “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the devil in the house of commons.”
To topple a global political elite, Trump may be a useful devil to have on side. At least theoretically. I’m not redpilled. Instead I have returned to my original beliefs. After all capitalism may be doomed, with Global Socialism the only viable answer, but we are going to need to shift that Overton Window leftward.
There is also something else that has been happenning behind-the-scenes where I am. A shifting and settling of things. The guillotine of economic unviability still hangs over my head but I’m reading again and little by little I am trying out solutions to smaller problems on the road to tackling that large one. I’m not great but I do think now that maybe there is a real hope.