BY FRANK WRIGHT
We have seen of late the spread of farmers protests – from the Dutch, who object to a third of their farmland being seized by politicians, to Italy, Germany, Spain, and Macedonia. This is a striking indication of the deep division between people and politics in the management system known as Western democracy.
The issues which drive cultural conflict within nations are those concentrated in the cities. Politics speaks to the urbanised centrist, who mistakes his values for universals, since he seldom meets anyone with whom he disagrees. Those idiots who live marginal lives outside the vibrant hum of the city he considers failures, their outmoded views an embarrassment to be dismissed.
Such is the attitude of the Irish political dynasty, referring only to itself whilst the country outside the conurbations goes to hell. It is the hauteur of the Italian technocrat Draghi, and animates the hubris of Macron. The urban progressives of the US refer derisively to the ‘flyover states’ – places in between the significant hives of each coast. Parisian contempt for deep France is as entrenched as the idea that to migrate to London is to make it.
The attitudes of contempt for the past – one’s own and that of the nation – of a sense that the people beyond the pale are worth less – these are the deeper currents of the managerial centrism which rules – from the urban centre.
Another paternalist, often called the father of conservatism, was Edmund Burke. He believed that the urban concentration of State power after the French Revolution would lead to the replacement of institutions with an ersatz and self serving machine composed of administrators, business interests. And so:
He saw in this model the emergence of a new type of power, one wrapped in the promise of liberation, yet dedicated to a mode of organisation which would become self serving. Burke thought this ‘ignoble oligarchy’ would be difficult to dislodge, except, perhaps – by the emergence of some champion of just those people it marginalised.
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup was a success, according to Marx, because:
The settled way of life of people who come from somewhere versus the deracination selfhood of the nowhere man. Town versus country is true in the sense of the cities being antagonists to the nation, which is neither the State nor the bureaucracies – but the people who by birth and tradition and custom and creed know it in their hearts as their own. They will take it back, from the middle managers whose destructive grasp cannot own what it cannot touch, what is most precious to man: his soul and its attachment to that place from which he sprang. What is most valuable cannot be sold. Family ties, the love of your children, the home, the kinship of the sane. The grace of God and the spiritual purpose to life for which the market vends no toxic remedy.
Politics will return with a collapse into necessity – of order, of meaning, of relevance to your life and to mine.
Frank Wright is a reality reviewer and lives in London (for now) with his family. He has wasted his life on books and currently writes for TCW. You can read more of his work on SubStack.