As regular readers of this blog will know, one of it's obsessions is that the post-modern age we live in, despite all it's technological wizardry, has culturally far more in common with the Medieval period than with the age of the nation-state that preceded it. Culturally and economically, we are governed in greatly attenuated "democracy" under increasingly oligarchical control. Social mobility has stagnated, and there is much less distance between the elites governing countries, including our own, than between the elites and the people.
One of the major aspects of the medieval period is, of course, that politics and power were very largely dynastic concerns, with fiefdoms being handed down the generations. Astonishingly, this is precisely what is happening on an ever more greatly brazen scale in our own society. Sue Cameron writes in the Daily Telegraph about the rise of dynastic politics in both the Conservative and Labour parties, with "Old Etonians and Red Princes" being groomed and selected for plum positions and constituencies. She also notes the domination of the top educational establishments by the sons and daughters of the elite who can pay for a level of education so expensive most could not even begin to entertain. Of course, to regular readers of bloggers4UKIP this is very much old news, as they will have read it here first.
The emergence of the "power couple" point to another link with the medieval period. Then, marriages within the elite were a highly political affair that hugely influenced the political fortunes of those concerned. Now high powered members of the political, legal, media and business elite tend to marry each other, thereby concentrating that power still further. (As an aside, the EU' imposition of board room quotas for women will greatly magnify this trend, as the women directors and executives placed on company boards will overwhelmingly be married to high powered men. Perhaps the legislation was designed with this very process in mind.)
The results of these trends is that power in politics, business and not doubt media and law will increasingly be a family affair, played out and strongly influenced by dynastic politics within a few ultra powerful families. In a world of stagnant social mobility, the rest of us will be forced to watch on in ever-growing frustration at an enchanted world neither us or our children will ever reach.
How perfectly incredible that with all our advances in technology and knowledge, we have arrived back at such a sorry state.
Monday, 17 March 2014