Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sterling Newberry on the UK Riots and the irrelevancy of the left

Sterling has a lot to say about what's been going on in Britain and what it means for the rest of us. This is just a snippet:

The current left is irrelevant, precisely because its first gesture, is to join with the powerful, in condemning it. It shows that the leadership of the current left is, in fact, on the side of oppression, so long as their own place in that oppression is more reasonable. One can see this from larger issues, but this shows that it is a deeply rooted, deeply seated moral identification with power and the profits of pillaging the world and slapping down the poor. To tell the poor that they should wait for the wheels of law to turn is to insult their intelligence. Anyone with any intelligence knows that the law does not work: the police sell information to Rupert Murdoch, and beat people for filming the police beating people, and only an editor has faced the dock, none of the principals will. No one from the bank meltdown has gone to jail. Or ever will. Only people who are comfortable in their place, can say that it is a moral imperative to wait on a legal system which is manifestly corrupt beyond all redemption. Where the courts are criminals, there is no justice.

The riots are not, of course, some great sign of immediately coming hope. Riots and insurrection are common through history, and most come to an ignominious end. Even large rebellions, such as the insurrection against the British East India Company, or the Boxer Rebellion, are put to an end. The best most insurrections can hope for, is to tie their oppressing state in knots, forcing it to spend ever escalating amounts on unaffordable and unattainable security. Al-Qaeda's goal was to do this to the West, and it seems to have worked: the west now spends a trillion dollars a year on wars and security that it cannot afford, but will not stop.

The moral hollowness of the left, however, is my topic here, because it is the key and final failure. We should expect those who hold the gates of commerce to want to extract vast tolls from their control of them. We should expect princes born to wealth to suck the riches of the world into their playgrounds in Dubai. This is their nature. However, the corruption of the left is not of its nature, and it is proof that the present discourse, the present economy, the present society, is going to burn, in a much larger magnification of London burning. The problem is that the present left is a conservative force, which is dedicated to keeping their part of the profits of privilege. They are not the oppressed, but functionaries in the more global extraction of wealth, and they merely want a better deal from the very corporations that they have erected. Lower debit card fees and better protections against their insurance companies. No windmills that might hurt their property values.

In short, a moral void which, none the less, passes moral judgments.
Ouch. That'll leave a mark.


  1. His On a day like today - August 8th entry is also very good. (I know you've read it, but I'm hoping you aren't the only one reading your comments :-) )

  2. Yes, Sterling is quite the insightful wordsmith. Oh yes!