Hitler has imposed a new categorical imperative upon unfree humanity: to arrange our thinking and conduct, so that Auschwitz never repeats itself, so that nothing similar ever happen again.
Adorno, Negative Dialectics, Part Three, III, §2, Redmond translation (altered)
This is the real crisis in democracy. People have no use for a freedom which cheats them of redress. If confidence in political democracy is to be sustained, political freedom must arm itself with economic power.
Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear
Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.
Boris ‘pickaninny’ ‘bum-boys’ ‘letterbox’ ‘two editorials’ Johnson – actual name Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (really!) – is what those epithets imply. (I take the terms from Johnson’s own words and actions, but partly via Stuart Lee.) That is, our clowning Prime Minister – ‘Britain Trump’, as American’s would-be dictator called him, with characteristic illiteracy – is someone whose only principle is popularity, via scapegoating if necessary. En route to a station where seemingly lies are allowed, de Pfeffel was twice sacked for lying. The topic of lies (see also the aforementioned two editorials) takes me to Brexit. Surely, and notwithstanding real and serious problems with the European Union, Brexit is a fraud upon the working class. As various people have said, it is a rich man’s revolution. The following quotation seems apt.
If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.
Lyndon Johnson (attributed)
A word now on two members of Johnson’s cabinet. Then I will say something about the pandemic.
The grotesque haunted hat-stand that is Jacob Rees-Mogg would relish brutalising paupers beyond death in a workhouse for ghosts (as Viz magazine put it, if I remember correctly; the hat-stand derogative is, I hope, common currency). Priti Patel is an empathy black hole (as NewsThump says) who would deport her own parents, just so long as so doing appeased Conservative voters and the Daily Mail. The Mail is a paper that supported British Fascism and that ogles the underage whilst promoting violence against paedophiles and, as things worked out, paediatricians. I note these things because the evil of the Mail damages our democracy, though it is hardly the only disfigurement of our media landscape.
Mention of killing takes me to Covid. The following seems clear. Our government’s cronyism, incompetence and callousness has led many more to die of Coronavirus than otherwise would have done, not to mention other gratuitous suffering. In that way, the present government is murderous. Add that to the respective charges of manipulation, corruption, class-war, racism, hypocrisy, and so on, including of course inaction about the unfolding climate catastrophe. Still: it seems to be only partly because of biology that a high proportion of non-white Britons have died of Coronavirus; poverty seems a cause too. The crimes intertwine.