Sunday, 10 February 2013

The beige dictatorship

Charles Stross has written an interesting post on his blog: Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship. He basically argues that political parties will naturally transform into oligarchies. He concludes with:
So the future isn't a boot stamping on a human face, forever. It's a person in a beige business outfit advocating beige policies that nobody wants (but nobody can quite articulate a coherent alternative to) with a false mandate obtained by performing rituals of representative democracy that offer as much actual choice as a Stalinist one-party state. And resistance is futile, because if you succeed in overthrowing the beige dictatorship, you will become that which you opposed.
Stross also briefly covers why we end up with parties dominated by political apparatchiks and why many parties have similar policies ("did this policy get some poor bastard kicked in the nuts at the last election? If so, it's off the table").

One of the points he makes is:
The news cycle is dominated by large media organizations and the interests of the corporate sector. While moral panics serve a useful function in alienating or enraging the public against a representative or party who have become inconveniently uncooperative, for the most part a climate of apathetic disengagement is preferred — why get involved when trustworthy, reassuringly beige nobodies can do a safe job of looking after us?
I wonder if News Limited views the Gillard Government as "inconveniently uncooperative"?

Well worth a read.

Stross cites Michels's iron law of oligarchy in his post. That's also worth reading up on.

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