As we go into another Groundhog Day for some there is a need to ignore the consequences, although there is an inevitable background of anxiety.
What shall I do to be saved? – John Bunyan, Pilgrims Progress
With a veritable Gordian’s Knot of conspiracy theories it is difficult to know what to make of it all and what to think of the implications. Unpicking the knot may be a good place to start.
Stand back and take a holistic view, scrutinise one issue and entangle it loosening the knot, or use different perspectives to analyse.
Conspiracy theories are likely inversely proportionate to trust, that may be a clue. So let us look at trust.
We think we are being cheated. We cannot understand the motives for actions and decisions. We suspect that there is a profit for the few at the expense of the many, profit that is linked to political decisions. Perhaps that is where trust is lost. Either there are no explanations, or when given they are perceived as lies.
The conspiracy theories provide explanations, filling a void left by the lack of credible answers to justified concerns.
If we cannot trust the actions of those in power, then we have to ask what drives them, what motivates them. Therefore one perspective is to consider how members of the Establishment profit.
Is it cynical to think that personal gain or benefit is the motivation?
Consider the types of profit made from politics. Financial gain cannot be the only one, prestige, power, perversion, anonymity, and the status quo can all be benefits from the ‘right decisions’.
Politicians who are proud to have been politic in representing their constituents can be forgiven, but to neglect responsibility to the electorate is a political sin. Profit may not be at fault per se, but profit and politics is mischief afoot.
Some may argue, even those who do good, have one eye on redemption. Survival is a natural phenomenon. Orwell took human survival to its limit, when Winston betrayed his love of Julia, he wrote of the strength of survival.
Is fear greater than love? Instinct greater than reason?
We know the nature of the knot is political. Justice may be as simple as putting a wrong right, but when there is something to hide, honesty turns to deceit, and simple turns to complex.
Hide or steal, the ‘profit’ is always at the expense of someone else.
Obfuscation, distraction, half-truths, defensiveness, offensiveness, subterfuge, prevarication, and ‘ducking and diving’ to evade an issue, are sure signs that the truth is being compromised. Clearly some topics are complex, but we are better than we know at identifying lies. We have had many thousands of years of subconscious training in identifying the liar. Even the lack of explanation raises a suspicion of deceit.
Some politicians may have to be nailed to the floor to explain themselves. But it is not just politicians who play at politics.
Who are the players in this game of Profit and Politics?
The politicians have their slippery words and demonstrable hypocrisy. At which point in the journey, from being a fresh candidate to being an MP, do they change their mental makeup? At which point do their secrets become negotiable?
Those civil servants who have influence. They can agree on a common purpose but are not so sure about common sense. Is the health of the nation a ‘serious’ matter, or are they more concerned with their own personal interests?
The judiciary who have lost their way in an open field, but are nevertheless, so very clever. It was their duty to serve our sovereign nation and its legal history. They suffer from self-esteem, masking their dereliction of duty with pomp.
The media who can no longer distinguish between objectivity and subjectivity, riding the money rollercoaster, gambling truth for gain. Fooling the public into thinking they serve the public.
The clergy in their robes, defiling the words presented to them in the synoptic gospels. A clergy acquiescent to the establishment and an incompatible religion, whilst in denial of internal and external corruption.
The scientists who make the answers fit their prejudices.
They are corrupting science by chasing their personal needs and preferences. Integrity is an integral component of science. Funding and prestige appears to take centre stage.
They all play at politics.
How can trust exist? Is truth relative?
One soon runs into the slippery slope of Relativism.
Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones, and soul and spirit, and all – Valiant-for-Truth, Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
That leads to the main players. The public!
Politics with a small ‘p’ is ubiquitous; we are all complicit, dwelling on the psychological glitches which pepper the ‘human condition’.
It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. –Anonymous
We have ignored those psychological glitches such as tribalism, celebrity culture, ‘group think’ and an escalation of commitment. We have mastered in self-deception, cultivating a lacuna, replacing self-awareness with mental censorship.
Greed and pride are sins of indulgences that we are all, at some time, be guilty.
Let there be no mistake the human face is not always a pretty sight.
We cannot change the human condition, any more than we can impose virtue. We need social responsibility, the courage to question, the determination to demand answers and the strength to be open and honest.
Accept the right for others to have an opinion. Make public figures accountable, and stop the corrupt lobbying that undermines democracy.
Allow all to profit from good politics.
The knot of conspiracies is not solved by denial but by debate, protecting Freedom of Speech.
As the couples step and swirl, locked into their predestined routines, the whisk, and the box step, there is a foreboding, a premonition of suffering, inevitability, fatality, and also, peculiarly, of repetition.
Do not worry tomorrow is another day.