White Knight – The State | Dinah Kolka
No one is saying that the past was this evergreen land with rivers of milk and honey, glorious acts, beautiful women, and heroes strolling through the cities. But one thing is undeniable – the general individual freedom was greater than what we’re witnessing these days.
I had a bit of a hiatus recently so when September came and I had some more free time, I needed to catch up on the world of politics. I resubscribed to a few political magazines, I read the political tweets more attentively and what I found was probably more disappointing than I had before my hiatus. The opinions were milquetoast, the articles were mediocre, and everything boiled down to getting the state to do everyone’s bidding.
The overall consensus I reached was that regardless of where on the political scale people find themselves, they look up to the State, to their ever powerful omnipotent God who at one command can fix the problems they have. The parties fighting with each other over being in power, yet ending with the same results. It’s a vicious circle – the state overpromises, the masses believe and vote, the state disappoints, the masses complain and the process starts all over again.
Let’s start with our friendly left-winger. Constant cries to the state to mandate speech, rights, poverty. Whatever happens, your left-wing Brad looks at his TV set, points at Boris Johnson to his family and grumbles under his nose ‘it’s the Tories, they can’t get anything right! If only my guy was in government’ he sighs, thinking of the alternative reality where his guys are winning and establishing a paradise on earth. Everything that happens in the world, everything that happens to him personally is the fault of the government at hand. Lost a job? It’s the darn capitalism! Got run over by a car? The cars in the city centre are at fault. If you look close enough, everything could be blamed on the government.
But the right isn’t free from fault here either – the government must ban this and that! It corrupts the young people! Look at the public schools! Critical race theory! Just as Brad complains about the Tories, your fellow Tyrone complains that the government does not go far enough! They’re just liberals, they’re not getting anything done at all!
And even though I’m more sympathetic to the right-wing cause I can’t help but notice how pathetic this general attitude is. The root of the problem isn’t the government at hand – it’s the whole establishment in itself. We can complain all we want about how /ourguy/ would do better but is that true? Men are fallible, at this point even a theocracy would make more sense (and I’m an atheist!).
The best way to allow people to stop looking up to their White Knight (the state) would be to stop mandating. Most things can be done organically. People can be guided in different ways. Remove the propaganda – and they will follow their own instincts. Well, ‘their own’ instincts may not be entirely correct. I do share the broad view that the masses have no instincts of their own and need to be guided to some extent.
In the Victorian era, since books were costly, the idea of select libraries was popularised. ‘Select’ is a key word here – books were available at a cheaper price, selected specifically for the demographic they were catering for. As such, the books for working classes differed from the books for the middle classes. In a way, people who were in charge of the libraries made the decisions that affected the social views and interactions of the Victorians – sometimes for the better.
Culture is powerful enough to guide people to believe certain things. If we remove propaganda and political messaging from culture – we allow people to interpret things organically.
What I’m trying to say is that the state isn’t your White Knight. Stop expecting, stop trying to change them. The only valid request that we may have of them is to limit their power as much as possible. I believe that corporatist governance would be far superior to what we currently have. If they don’t perform – get rid of them and pick better people for the job. Leave decisions about the masses to the intellectuals (in the true sense of the word), genuine elites who can guide them via cultural means. Why ban anything if a self-shaming society would ensure that things that aren’t acceptable never come out to the surface? I have no problem with people doing things they feel are okay to them – guess that’s the part of me that identifies as a classical liberal. If you ban things people are more likely to want them. Legalise them – they become normality. Leave them as taboos – they will remain as such. And I vote for the latter.