Saturday, 19 February 2011

Revolution as narcissism

You'll be aware that the one aspect of modern society that depresses and discourages me more than anything is the self-regarding narcissism of the 'me' generation. Every time some moron pipes up with 'I've got a right to be happy' I want to reach for the bullwhip; every time I hear 'I deserve it' or 'It's my right' I feel the taste of puke at the back of my throat. Andy Warhol's prediction is fulfilled on 'Facebook' as every pouting, preening semi-literate pleb on the planet is now the star of their own self-regarding universe. 

This is why I'm very wary of calls for revolution, whether made from Reading or Riyadh. You see, there's no guarantee that those that emerge to lead the new nation will be, like me, committed to absolute meritocracy, equity, fairness, justice and the rule of law. There's instead every chance that those who make the most noise and manage carefully to be in the right place at the right time - those with an indecent interest in their own advancement, the narcissists - will end up in charge. And the thought of being governed by a wunch of mediocre 'me' people terrifies me. Yet such people are at the forefront of the student protests here, and no doubt formed large parts of the Tahrir Square and now Pearl Square crowds - though carefully out of direct rifle range, and with an exit route mapped out. George Handlery also identifies them on Brussels Journal;
In every society, there is an element that finds that the turmoil of revolution is not a means toward an end but a pleasant condition. This element finds the opportunities offered by an orderly and fair society to be a threat that unmasks them as mediocre. Therefore, they have an interest in the opportunities chaos provides and in making a transitory phase permanent. Raising in Berkeley- style “non-negotiable” demands while preventing the majority to return to its business undermines order and therefore prevents progress. These “children of the revolution” are in this manner “eating the revolution”. Whether the peoples now rising shall prevail will depend on whether the new leaders can send the crowd home and have prosaic work resume “after the week end”.
John Major may not have commanded, during his time in office, the respect that his fundamental decency and devotion to his country should have deserved, but by God we know now that the lippy, narcissistic 'revolutionary' alternative and his cabal have caused untold damage to us all for generations. So be careful what you wish for ... 


Bill Sticker said...

Indeed. A riot may be 'exciting', but who gets to clear up afterwards? Sometimes I think some of these 'revolutionaries' are as bad as hyperactive toddlers.

No wonder they want 'The State' to wipe their arses for them.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

"This is why I'm very wary of calls for revolution, whether made from Reading or Riyadh."

How about Witney?

You should be pleased as any of our politicos who do not have a history of believing in absolute meritocracy, equity, fairness, justice and the rule of law, plus a belief in their country, repatriation and Powellism will be adorning a lamp post. :o)

Raedwald said...

WfW - we desperately need radical change, a new course, without the turmoil and opportunism that continued revolutionary unrest brings; you may know when the end has been achieved, and go home, but will all the others?

Don Cox said...

"A riot may be 'exciting', but who gets to clear up afterwards?"

In Tahrir Square, the demonstrators did actually clear up after it was all over. But this is highly unusual.

I think the real risk is not narcissists but ideologists.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

R: the problem is that with the 'hold' that the Lib/Lab/Con have on our politics a revolution may be all that is left to us. Too complex to discuss on here - suggest you email thru my blog and I can then provide a phone number for a discussion? Possibly agree a 'joint post' - or something?