Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Amusing thought for the day. The rise of right-wing and minority parties, as well as a general apathy across Europe recently, represents a very displaced attitude towards politics on behalf of the voting public. People no longer feel that their say is important any more. In the UK, I think this is because they just don't feel listened to (partially because they probably aren't). But stuff still gets done, and laws, et al, still get decided. How? Why, the big companies, of course! When important debate comes up, the people involved are generally think tanks, focus groups and (most importantly) "industry experts" who, I suspect more often than not, prompted for the law in the first place. After all, we've already seen that if it's publically acceptable, then it's probably lawless (hence the rise of Napster, etc).

So in this way, the companies depend upon the politicians to "protect" themselves from the pull of the public. But here's the first catch - obviously the politicians themselves depend upon the voting of the public. We are, after all, still in a democracy, not a corporocracy. But they only depend upon them once every X years - in the meantime, they're attention can be focused wherever they like, and that generally happens to be the people with a). something to say, and b). the money/influence to say it. Which, I've noticed, tends not to be the public.

So the public want the politicians to listen to them. But - here's the second catch - do they? In absence of any real political involvement, the people have been left to fend for themselves. But the world they live in is contained and caged, made cushy and cosy by... yep - the companies! A society where people have no alternative but to get jobs and feed off whatever scraps and opinions get thrown their way by this week's "content provider". And so the circle is complete - the people depend upon the companies to let them live in their accustomed manner.

All 3 parties in the vicious circle are torn in the dual directions of the other 2, and at the moment, no-one really knows what they want. The corporates seem to have the most idea of "direction" and "purpose", while the government and the people seem to want to get dragged along, but not at the same time.

OK, mais c'est la vie, perhaps. I just find it amusing, and I'm curious as to where it could lead to if the more extreme parties - driven less by corporate want and more by some other desire (the isolated uniformity of the state, say, or the plight of the environment) - actually use their promise of giving attention to the people to get into more power than they have already. Where does that lead the cycle?

Is this the yin? Or the yang?

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