The Have-Your-Cake-And-Eat-It brigade are at work again. Boris the Johnson is quoted as saying to press in the US: “Brexit means us being more outward looking, more engaged, more energetic, more enthusiastic on the world stage than ever before.” There is a very precise word for such nonsense, bullshit. No. Not lies. Not in this case. When you lie, you know you are not telling the truth. Rather, creating an alternative reality and throwing all your efforts into having people accept that as reality, including, first and foremost, yourself. Unfortunately, the longer this continues, the greater the rift with what people experience on the ground, the more force and effort required to maintain the bullshit, because everyday reality fights back. Denial some would call it, but you can’t deny what you have convinced yourself is reality. The ultimate outcome of extended bullshit is the eruption of violence. For an insightful little book about bullshit, read On Bullshit by Harry G.Frankfurt.
See: Boris Johnson distinguishes Brexit from Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ policy, The Guardian, July 22nd 2016.
Why so much disrespect directed towards politicians? The buffoons, the liars, the twisters-of-truth, the fear-mongers, the hate-makers, the racists, the wall-builders, the divide-and-conquerors, the off-with-her-headers, the its-their-faulters, the power-hungry führers, the mad hatters, the control freaks, the drug-pedlars-for-sportlers, the you-know-who-I-meaners. The problem is not so much this foul-mouthed, foul-breathed breed of would-be politicians, but the fact that they are acclaimed by the crowd, granted legitimacy by a vote and handed power over our futures. Democracy has become about numbers, big numbers and related alluring promises, rather than competence or quality or vision. Despite the illusions they peddle, this riffraff cannot help us. They bring only isolation, violence and ruin. Yet despite this fact, they are applauded and their words of vitriol are echoed by their clamouring followers. “Kill the pig.” Democracy? Don’t shake the boat, the fearful masses scream. Don’t rock the ship timid politicians plea. But democracy is at stake and society with it. It is not the enemy without we need to worry about, but the cancer flourishing within. That fearful growth that is eating out our society from inside feeds off money and media and secrets and unchecked violence and our tacit complicity. Despite the desperate cries for security and stability, we need to challenge the way we do democracy.