There is a real fear of change in most hearts. Not change like going on vacation or getting a promotion at work; but shifts to the fabric and the fundamentals we like rest our lives upon and place a faith in.
There are proverbs like: ‘Better the Devil you know…’ and ‘Out of the frying pan into the fire’; or ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush’, ‘don’t count your chickens’ and ‘Be careful what you wish for’. All are in their ways conservative sayings and rest their wisdom on staying with what one has presently or else on one not being too eager to go forward.
There’s good sense behind this natural conservatism and I believe it can be demonstrated by an appeal to history that when alterations to the fabric of a business, or a society and its foundations change too fast the inevitable result is chaos and control of the situation is lost to everyone.
There is the disarray into which the French Revolution of 1789 fell into quickly simply because the size, range and pace of its changes were railroaded so quickly and so radically that the resulting fragmentation of social relations and connections, of people simply not knowing what was the current state of play in their lives, resulted in a collapse which let in Napoleon to ascend to power.
In Germany in the 1920s in the wake of a war defeat which left the nation literally exhausted of men, materials, industry, means to live, and willpower; there followed the fragmented, tottering successively weak governments of the Weimar period during which no clear direction could be found up front on which to rebuild Germany and its national self-belief. The war had altered the physical map and the psychological map of the German people so utterly and to the core of their being. This chaos and inability allowed the Nazi Party to rise to power.
The fall of the Soviet Empire in 1989 was so sudden and extensive, across Eastern Europe particularly, where the Soviet Satellite states had been held in political chains since their annexation by Russia in 1945 as its share of the war spoils. When Soviet Russia fell, the restraint came off these states more or less overnight, with a result that a third Pan-European conflict was narrowly averted starting up in the Balkans only by a concerted and intense kid-glove handling of the situation there. This happened because there had been no time for consideration and consolidation and easing gently into the new state of affairs. An enormous power vacuum having been created there meant that every tinpot commander in charge of his home-brewed local militia was up for becoming Generalissimo. Fractures along ethnic lines and an abrupt resort to settling long suppressed old scores exploded in political confrontations that nearly destabilised a whole continent
Too much foundational change too quickly, in business and in politics, generally ends in tears all round; and this we instinctively understand and so we remain generally conservative as a species.
And this is the fear and the concern of many people here in the UK right now, now that a new Labour Party leader has been elected whose message to most ears here represents a radical departure and introduces a set of unfamiliar and so disquieting policies and approaches. Most adults in the UK today are too young to have had any experience of living under a left-of-centre government. Most adults here also have little knowledge, and no experience of socialist, Marxist, or any left of centre politics. Other than the stereotypical caricatures of ‘lefties’ offered by the political right over the past 30 or 40 years, there is a blank sheet..
Few adults remember as far back as the 1970s when Britain was being destroyed by class war between Industrialists and their employees, and inflation was running at close to 15%, and the lights and power went out two days in every five. These were the fruits of our last dealings with a political attempt to overthrow or to bring into line the arch-capitalists who run our world. At that time the monied big shots were locked in a struggle to retain their dominance in Britain – and they won. Since then Britain has never looked back – unfortunately.
Since then and across the Western world we have had sanguine pundits taking a view that capitalism is the definitive means of production, the system of choice for humanity that has triumphed globally. In deliberate mockery of Marx, pundits have bandied beliefs like the one that economic history as ideology is at an end because there is no alternative position viable which is able to seriously challenge capitalism. Instead of the state withering away, Marxism and the left of centre in general is concluded to have done so.
So, it is the general belief that ‘fear keeps us safe’. Fear is not just of change, but of the enemies which our states and their media hold up to us their publics as if they were glove puppets being worked in their hands. Thus they present to us a fear-fest show of good and salutary instruction which subdues and mortifies our local discontent.
In other words, so as to make the governing of us more effortless and their policies and actions more self-serving our leaders use and abuse our native sense of fear and apprehension, our desire and our need for stability – our innate conservatism – they use it against us and thus they abuse us. The new Labour Party Leader then, because he is so radical (in comparison with the torpid status quo of the past 35 years that I have outlined) is going to be shown by the right of centre politicians and in their media which serves their interests – the interests of a capitalist establishment – and who are its owners – the Labour Leader will be portrayed as being our enemy – without doubt.
The ‘our’ in ‘our enemy’ is rhetorical. Because this collective ‘our’ is spoken of as if to include in it the likes of you and I, the governed classes, but in actuality it demarcates only the rich ruling despots of global capital in so far as they hold financial, political controlling interests in British industry and commerce.
The guy himself, The New Labour Leader, has sane and attractive ideas for Britain. So many swords on threads hang over him and them however. Not just the question whether our media will succeed in annihilating him politically; he knows and uses the power of social media, and so the power of traditional media is not an open and shut question. But his policies and plans need also to be feasible, viable and practicable as well as wholesome and good; especially given a world wherein the lingua franca and the vade mecum has been for so long so distorted into fierce and monolithic proclamations of global victory to the West and its means of production.
I predict the new leader of The Labour Party will meet with a bloody, ruthless, treacherous, underhand, below the belt, beating from the greater capitalist league.
This league will form a perfect storm out of their prevailing joint interests and gang up to tear him like a prey amongst a pack of wolves. He will never be allowed to proceed to power – or if he becomes our elected Prime Minister he will be forced into failure by them, dismally. His whole set of his good and proper policies will be blighted absolutely at their hand, by these coercive Angels of Death.
Goodness and properness are not good business as business is recommended to be done these days; they do not sell; they cut no cake; they make no dough; they would mean a draining away of power from the bases of commercial robber barons of great longstanding – sometimes whole dynasties in the making and aggregating. The wicked shall triumph; although the bad guys will not see themselves as wicked. Like the smart guy who asked God Incarnate ‘And who is my neighbour?’ they will justify themselves to their own satisfactions.
The original article is located at our Anomalist design blog: http://blog.anomalistdesign.com/fear-and-change/