Political power has been stolen from the British people. Political discourse hasn’t come clean about this yet, but government in the UK is suffering from a gradually-widening legitimacy deficit.
Through a combination of an outdated voting system and a neoliberal-friendly political campaign, the Conservatives won Thursday’s general election with just 36.9% of the vote. When expressed as a proportion of the British adult population, that figure falls to 24.4%.
In other words, today’s Conservative government has the active support of less than a quarter of the British people. Their election ‘victory’ is a travesty of democracy.
What makes this theft of power even more acute is how the Conservatives are using it to force through policies which have little or no popular support, and which are being directed against many of its own citizens.
The psychopath state
The Conservatives are:
- driving through further privatisation of the NHS and other public services.
- continuing their assault on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.
- introducing mass surveillance with a new Snooper’s Charter.
- intent on scrapping the Human Rights Act.
- selling off social housing in an economy that’s become over-reliant on an unsustainable, unaffordable house price bubble.
- persisting with austerity, a policy that has never worked – in Britain or, indeed, any other major economy – other than as a means of transferring wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich. Indeed, the Tories’ entire economic narrative is a lie.
This is the very definition of psychopath economics: the Conservatives are using their tenuous mandate to drive through a harsh neoliberal agenda that enriches and empowers the elite at the direct expense of everyone else.
But by doing so, they threaten to destroy the very foundations of the institutions of government, as well as the basis of their own power. This is economics by the psychopath, for the psychopath. It is exploitative, immiserating, impoverishing and completely self-destructive.
Indeed, the Tories’ whole economic agenda is about manipulating the British people into a position of dependancy on this rapacious elite. It seeks to achieve this by denying our common humanity, and our obligations to each other.
Expansion of corporate power
The result is a drive to remove or capture all sources of non-corporate power – such as public services, the welfare state, legal rights and protections, and especially democracy itself – so we are powerless to resist. In this way, the state has become an oppressor; a form of social and economic control. Forget welfare dependancy, we are being pushed into a state of corporate dependancy.
Psychopathic power concedes nothing without a threat. And so now our democratic system has been captured, political argument alone will have no effect. Instead, the only way for ordinary people to take back power is through a combination of civil disobedience, direct action, debt rebellion and attacks on corporate intellectual property.
The American revolution began with the slogan ‘no taxation, no representation’. In the UK, as with many Western democracies, the elite monopolises representation while minimising its payment of tax.
Meanwhile, judging by Thursday’s general election vote, the majority of ordinary Britons are saddled with high taxes for minimal representation. Tax rebellion would be a good first statement of intent in the exchanges to come.
Today’s unequal balance of power cannot be redressed without challenging the neoliberal state. Failure to do so will simply deliver our dependancy. If you can accept that, dear reader, then you’re a better person than I am.
- Peter Batt is the author of Psychopath Economics, which is due to be published in four instalments over the coming months. The first ebook instalment is due out shortly. Like the Psychopath Economics Facebook page for updates.