Well, my prediction was wrong. I thought enough voters would be swayed by the fantastical fiscal promises of the Labour party, but more have chosen to stick rather than twist, it seems. For now, at least.
Choosing a government that will probably continue to reduce the amount by which the State over-spends every month (even if it is by just a percent or so) will likely reduce by some degree the severity of the financial oppression that we and/or our children will be subjected to by a future government in the coming decades.
Governments have historically almost always solved debt crises by imposing massive tax rate increases, ‘nationalising’ people’s pensions and imposing capital controls. Acts of government that will be sold to the public as ‘necessary sacrifices’ for the ‘greater good’. The reality is that the less money the government needs to pay its creditors the less severe and long-lasting these acts of legalised theft will be. This is the best, perhaps we, but most probably our children can hope for.
It can’t be right (can it?) when the near future of one of the world’s most prosperous societies is not bright but bleak; not promising but perturbing; not obliging but oppressive. It can’t be right when it feels like a victory to have potentially minimised the harm that is going to be done to our standard of living and our freedoms by the institute that is supposedly necessary for our society to exist – that supposedly enacts the will of the people. This must be a sign that something is fundamentally wrong with our society’s political structure.
It’s easy to think that economic stagnation and the indebtedness of democracies the world over is the consequence of an uncontrollable external factor: the illness of human corruption, greed and imperfection, but what if it’s not; what if it’s a flaw in the genetic make-up of democracy itself. What if these impoverishing and illiberal outcomes are written in the very DNA of the political system our societies are founded on. This is the possibility we must all take time to think deeply about because if they are, then every future variation and reproduction of democracy we try to make work will contain the same fatal flaws – regardless of the number of checks and balances we put in place.